Three Ways to Paint the World

The Latest Form of Art

     Megan Waceken, an English major, is studying a very different type of media. This semester she is studying digital art. “Digital art is anything using pixels that you put time and effort into,” she said. 

Third piece in Megan Waceken’s _PAC-MAN Art_ series, with shiny affects and blue background.

     Waceken uses Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator software to create her art. She said it is frustrating to learn new software. She said, however, the possibilities become endless once the software is understood. The software she uses has many tools and helps her set backgrounds, among other things. She said, “It’s really user friendly compared to drawing.”

     The use of digital art software is shown in one of Waceken’s art assignments. She shared her art piece called “How to Kill Time.” To create the piece, she used three different pictures. When she overlapped them, she varied their gradients, which is their gradual blend of color. 

     Digital art especially provokes the younger generation. That is a main reason it inspires Waceken. “There’s so many things trying to get young people inspired,” she said concerning digital art. “It’s being seen more and more I feel.”

     Waceken plays around with digital art even outside of schoolwork. “You can be messy with it, you can be unorganized and have fun with it, too,” she said. She shared a series of digital art pieces she made called “PAC-MAN Art.” Each piece is a different variation of the same thing. In one, which she gave a pink background, she gave PAC-MAN an interesting texture. If one focuses on the edge of the PAC-MAN character, it looks like ruggedly cut fabric. Waceken described different shapes she used for the texture. She used different tools on the software to advance the texture in various places. 

     To Waceken, digital art is a pastime full of exploration. “There is no wrong way,” she said about the type of media. “But there are so many ways.” She says she might go into digital art professionally or just keep it a hobby. “You can kill a few hours, you know?” she said.

Back to the Roots: Drawing

     Jordyn Gardner, who originally wanted to go to architect school, is taking Drawing II. She recently changed her mind and now seeks an associate degree in fine arts. She enjoyed drawing as a child and doodled in class. As she grew up, she continued to love it. “It is a way of expressing yourself,” she said. “A way of expressing words without talking.”

Jordyn Gardner’s drawing of a messy shelf, with a soccer ball hidden in the drawing.

     For an early art project, she drew a bottle four different ways. She used gesture drawing, cross hatching and scribble gesture drawing for the project. A gesture drawing is a loose, messy sketch. She used cross-hatching to represent the shaded side of one of the bottles. Cross-hatching is making a series of lines across one another. For the bottom center bottle on her project, she used scribble gesture drawing. 

     Drawing is an elemental art medium that many art students learn. The materials are simple, but perfect for jotting down an idea. Then, an artist can use that idea to make a masterpiece with whatever media they want. “It’s like your first draft in an essay,” Gardner said. 

     For another drawing, she drew a messy shelf with a soccer ball on it. For the previous assignment, she drew the soccer ball up close. For the next, she had to hide the ball in a drawing. Hence, she hid the ball on a messy shelf. It took hours to draw. “Me and drawing have a love-hate relationship,” she said jokingly. 

     Gardner also drew an extreme contrast drawing with compressed charcoal. The charcoal’s extreme black against the white paper really made the drawing pop. For that specific assignment, the students were not allowed to blend the charcoal. So, Gardner used another method to express the transition between shades on the objects. She used rough, uneven marks. 

     For Gardner, art is also an inspiration. “I feel like I’ve always done things trying to impress others. So, like, doing my own art is inspiring to myself. It’s just something for me,” she said.

     Art is a world in itself. Yet, art is the pursuit of something already true. No art is an exact copy of something found in the real world. The goal of art, however, is to capture something from imagination or reality. Then the artist makes something out of it to find its true meaning. Concerning what she learned in drawing class, Gardner said, “You get really nitpicky, really detail oriented. But you also see a lot of different things and different perspectives from other artist’s views, which is really interesting, because you cannot live anyone else’s life. So, seeing it through someone else’s eyes is spectacular.”

Confronting Fear

     Art is essential to humanity. It helps people search for the truth and the meaning behind life. Not everyone knows how to paint the world, but there are still so many artists. Cole, Waceken and Gardner are just a few. Everywhere, people are learning to paint the world in new ways. Remember, also, that the three artists who shared their inspiration were not only born with talent. They had to step out, experiment and practice. We all can have the same inspiration they have. If you want to begin creating art, don’t be afraid to try!