Minds of artists


Created by Bailey Fritz

“The Discovery” by Bailey Fritz.

 Every year, AP Art Studio has countless students who submit portfolios to colleges for grading. This year, senior Bailey Fritz and senior Armando Hernandez are building a portfolio to show to potential college viewers. They have until the end of the school year to come up with 10-15 pieces. Their favorite pieces are “Awakening” and “The Discovery.” 

Last year the AP Art Studio teacher was Ms. Diane Gutierrez. At the end of the year, Gutierrez retired and Ms. Kathryn Coon stepped up to be the new AP Art Studio teacher. Since this was such a recent adjustment, many students were impacted by this. 

   “This year differs a lot because of the teacher changing. Which took some getting used to at first,” Hernadez said.

   Hernandez’s portfolio theme this year is Spirituality. He is heavily inspired by what his mom has taught him as a kid.

   “I focus on a lot of the spirituality that my mom has talked to me about. It inspires me to think of myself differently and think of the world in a different way,” Hernandez said. “That made me want to go in that direction more. I also focused on figures, like bodies. Just the process of how I learned how to draw bodies and how to manipulate it to what I want it and to make it more interesting and different.”

   In the previous year, he focused on broadening the type of media he used and tested various ideas. This year he was able to fine tune what he enjoys making and heavily focused on what really inspires him. 

   His favorite piece he’s made this year is called “Awakening.”

   “It’s basically a spirit guy finding himself. It’s about his third eye opening and what it means to find himself. The spirit guy is surrounded by all these eyes, he’s even coming out of an eye,” Hernandez said. “That represents the idea of all of his past lives watching him change and evolve into what he has become [in the present].”

   Since Hernandez’s theme is so emotionally oriented, he has to feel through his processes and they’re usually inspired by what he’s going through at the time. 

   “For me, the process of it was a lot. First, I created the character of the spirit guy and I was creating different environments for him; ideas and what he would go through,” Hernandez said, “I wanted to create a story with him. I wanted to find out what it means, how to get above the normal plane of things and how different things contribute to that. Made me think of a third eye opening and how I could interpret that in a cool, interesting way. Other than just showing someone with a third eye.”

   For this piece in particular, Hernandez’s process differed from what he usually did. He focused more on what he was thinking during the time.

   “It was more about the mindset I was in and what I was going through, and I was kind of sad at the time. I kind of thought of myself in that way and that I wanted to grow and change. I feel like there is a greater purpose to me and everyone else,” Hernandez said, “So this kind of shows every past life I’ve had just watching me in the present evolve into the new being or idea that I’m ready for.”

   Even though an artist may feel one way while drawing or painting, the piece could come out in a different light. So even though Hernandez wasn’t stressed while making it, there is a feeling of pressure that all of these people are watching your next move. 

   “It’s a lot of people watching. A lot of yourself and a lot of internal conflict because it’s just yourself and what you believe you mean to the world. What you mean in life and how you live it,” said Hernandez. 

   Minds of artists are structured differently than non-artists. That is, not just to say that they think differently, their minds are really built differently. 

   Psychologist Rebbecca Chamberlain of Pinot’s Palette said, “The people who are better at drawing really seem to have more developed structures in regions of the brain that control for fine motor performance and what we call procedural memory” in an article titled “Did You Know: Multiple Studies Have Shown How Artists Have Different Brains.”

   Artists use their hands a lot, which fine tunes the brain more. Bailey Fitz, the creator of “The Destiny” piece mentioned earlier, uses these fine tuned motor skills in ways that contrast with a lot of other artists. 

   Fitz’s portfolio theme this year is skeletons. “There’s not really a reason behind it other than I just like drawing skeletons and skulls,” Fitz said. 

   Her art is very unique. She uses acrylic paints and air dry clay, making her pieces 3 dimensional.  She is also quite talented when it comes to the ambiance of her portraits. Her paintings are dark and have deep emotions behind it. Eyes are drawn to it. Then it being 3 dimensional is what sets her art a part. 

   “I usually sketch it and then paint it. If something feels off I’ll usually revise it, paint over it, and paint it again until I’m satisfied” said Fitz.

   Fitz’s process is very different compared to Hernandez’s process. Hernandez’s theme is very emotional and has a lot of relatability to his own life. Fitz’s theme is simpler than Hernandez. At the beginning of the year, the students can choose their own theme. Even though a theme may be more complex, it doesn’t make it better than anyone else’s portfolio. It’s how the pieces are for the theme that make it a good portfolio or not. Fitz’s may be simpler, but her artistic skills make up for it. 

   An artist’s mind is nonlinear. Creativity and art comes in all shapes and sizes.