This issue has been all about art and creativity, so we spoke with two TIPsters whose art has been honored to get their take on the creative process. Here’s what they had to say.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Kathryn Haluschak: My name is Kathryn Haluschak. I am a homeschooled student and my favorite subjects are math and science. I enjoy many different kinds of art, including painting, origami, crochet, drawing, as well as performing arts like piano. I have won several honors through piano performances and one of my paintings was featured on the cover of the Texas Music Teachers’ Convention brochure and program.
Aubrey Lauren Williams: I am Audrey Lauren Williams, an eighth grader at The Altamont School in Birmingham, Alabama. I love learning. My favorite subjects are biology, foreign languages (I currently take Latin), and art. My favorite art medium is paint. I just love the bright colors. I prefer to paint either humans or nature scenes.
This is the first year I have entered my art into competitions. My Self Portrait earned a Gold Key Regional award and Silver Medal National award in the mixed media category of the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Additionally, it won the mixed media category in the District IV-A Juried Exhibition for the Alabama State Council on the Arts’ Visual Arts Achievement Program, advancing to the State Juried Exhibition.
Tell us about your works that were honored. What inspired them?
KH: The Texas Music Teachers’ Convention theme was “Achieve Your Dreams.” Students were asked to create cover art to illustrate the theme. I wanted to create a dreamlike feeling in my art. In my mixed media work, I used watercolors to create a swirling background. Then, I constructed musical symbols out of paper and arranged them in a dreamy pattern above a paper figure of the top of a child’s head. I used marker to include details. Dreams are often fantastic and surreal. I tried to create that feeling in my art.
AW: I began my piece when my art teacher, Ms. Gillespie, assigned us the project. She told us to use magazine clippings to create a self portrait. Humans are some of my favorite subjects to draw because of all of the shadows and subtle color changes. People label hair colors as red, brown, blonde, and black, but if you look closely, the individual hairs are actually a unique color.
Also, for some of the highlights of my face, I actually used slightly blue paper. At first I was unsure if it would look right when I was done, but luckily it turned out well. I am a bit of a perfectionist, which is both a blessing and a curse. This made me want to capture all of the tiny details in the face. I used very tiny pieces for the portrait to accomplish this. I would estimate that I spent at least twenty hours on this project, a lot of that in the car to and from Fencing Nationals in Kansas City, Missouri.
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
KH: I create art based on what is going on in my life. I get inspiration from things around me.
AW: Some of my earliest pieces were pictures of my dogs, waterfalls, and trees.
Now my art seems to borrow a lot of ideas from fencing. I am currently working on a surrealist painting inspired by this sport. I want to use this piece to explain the emotions of fencing, with the intense focus, noise surrounding me, and the connection between me and my opponent.
I want to go to Venice, Italy, someday. It is such a beautiful city with the old architecture and the canals instead of roads. I have made two pieces based off of Venice, one with pen and one with watercolor.
Tell us a little about your process when creating art. Does it always turn out the way you expect?
KH: Sometimes my art turns out the way I planned, but may times my first attempt does not give me the result I had hoped for. I have learned that art is a process of trying out different methods and improving or building on them.
AW: I usually spend a lot of time planning the art. I mostly think about what I want to say with the art, and what kind of emotions I want it to display. Since I focus on the feelings behind the art, it usually looks fairly different in my head than as a finished product, but my first sketches of a piece do not differ much from the final. Most of what I change from the sketches to the final are just small details to focus the art on a certain part. I never know exactly what it will look like until I finally lay down my drawing instrument.
How does your art intersect with your interest in other subjects?
KH: Creating art definitely intersects with math and science. Through art I have learned the process of trial and error. This is much like the scientific method. Sometimes a hypothesis is not proven, but that may lead to learning something new. In my art, sometimes mistakes lead to new ideas.
AW: I think I intertwine art class the most with English class. This year in English we read Romeo and Juliet, and then we were assigned to support a theme of our choice with some creative medium. I chose painting, and I painted three canvases with different scenes from the book.