Fantasy has a way of transporting our imaginations to adventurous worlds and sparking our creativity. For Grade 12 artist, Amy W., fantasy novels have become a source of inspiration for her digital artwork.
“I’ve always loved to read fantasy books. Whenever I read them, it felt like the words morph into a moving picture, and it’s like I’m watching a movie instead of just reading. I think words do a great job at building a fantasy world, however, there are just some things where there isn’t a word you can use to describe them. So, If I read about a really cool scene, or if I’m watching an anime, I feel inspired to draw something really cool” says Amy.
Amy found that her art was not only an outlet for her imagination but also a way for self-expression and communication.
“Artists play an important role in society because they represent the uniqueness of each and every person’s mind and imagination. Art can be more powerful in communicating messages than words can.”
Dragons and Screens
Amy's digital pieces are a visual representation of the enchanted worlds she often enters while reading, playing video games, or watching movies and shows. Her work was on display during the Grade 12 Art Exhibition, where one of her pieces, Dragons and Screens made its debut for gallery visitors.
“In this piece, I wanted to communicate the feeling of when sometimes fictional stories or games start blending in with reality. I often get sucked into a fictional world that I’m really interested in and that will be on my mind constantly, so much so that it blends a bit with my real life. Almost like I get wrapped in a soft blanket of just that game or show I’m fixated on,” explains Amy.
Though Amy’s journey as a Meadowridge artist comes to an end later this year when she graduates, her journey as an artist is just beginning. Amy is pursuing post-secondary studies in creative arts and will continue to push her creative boundaries, while bringing mythical realms to life through her artwork.
Can you tell me about your journey as an artist? When did you get into art? How did you find your preferred medium(s)? Were there any challenges along the way and throughout your journey as a student artist?
For me, I’ve always done some art and taken art classes throughout Middle and High school. However, I didn’t start creating and learning art more seriously until the end of Grade 9 when COVID started. During that time, I was spending a lot of time at home so there was ample opportunity for me to start learning how to draw.
I started off with drawing on my iPad since it was easier to make changes and move things around if I drew it wrong. Since I did not take art seriously until High School, one of my main challenges was lacking the technical skills to recreate the concepts I wanted to make. As a result, I started having art classes three times a week to improve my technical skills, so I can create the art I want.
What is the theme of your exhibit? What themes do you often pursue or explore?
For my exhibit, there are two main themes: People and Fantasy/ Illustration. The theme of people came from my investigation in drawing the human figure in my art class outside of school.
I think people are really interesting to draw, and there are a lot of different emotions you can evoke through creating art with people. In addition, mental health is also quite important to me since it has affected my life in different ways, therefore my art work revolving around people circulate around those types of themes. My other theme of Fantasy/ Illustration comes from Studio Ghibli. Every time I watch one of their creations, I am always amazed by the world building and how they draw you into a fantasy world. So I wanted to create similar art works that could have the same effect on the audience.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your artwork? What motivates you to create?
I draw my inspiration from a lot of different places one being from movies or books/ short stories. Since I was young I’ve always loved to read fantasy books, and whenever I read those books it felt like the words morphed into a moving picture, and it was like I was watching a movie instead of just reading a book. I think words do a great job at building a fantasy world, however there are just some things where there is not a word you can use to describe it. So, If I read about a really cool scene, or if I’m watching an anime, I feel inspired to draw something really cool. In addition, something else that motivates me to create is to be able to create artwork that other people can relate to.
What lessons do you want people to take away from your work?
For me, being able to create art and hopefully be able to make a living out of it would be the best case scenario, and I know that I will be happy doing my job. Therefore, I hope that people viewing my work will be inspired to do the things they enjoy even if society might dictate otherwise.
What role do you think student artists (and artists in general) play at the school and in society?
I think artists in general play an important role in schools and society because they represent the uniqueness of each and every person’s mind and imagination. Furthermore, I think sometimes art can have an even more powerful effect in communicating messages than words. So the work that they create definitely play an important role in both schools and society.
How do you know when your art piece is “finished”?
To be honest, I never really know when an art piece is truly finished because I feel that there is always some small details that need to be changed. Most of the time I will also ask either my peers or a teacher to also look over my artwork to see if there are any major changes to be made. However, there does come a certain point where I tell myself to just finish and stop since changing it more may have negative effects.
Will you be pursuing art at university? If not, will you continue to express yourself through the arts? If you are pursuing a different study path at university, what is it and where will you be studying/will art still be a part of your life?
I will most definitely be pursuing art in university. I have not decided which university I will go to yet, but, if I stay in Canada I will most likely be pursuing Visual Arts and Psychology at the same time. If I go to the US I hope to specialize in Illustration or even Sequential Art. But, regardless of what I study in university, I will continue to make art for my own enjoyment.