As I have stated before, I did not choose a visual arts career because of the fame and money that might come with it. I chose art because I love it and I enjoy taking part in it so much that I want to make it my career and get to do it everyday.
I know to many the idea of having an art career in today’s world is insane, but I cannot help but feel that I have a good chance in actually accomplishing this, because I am not focusing on art alone. A part from working towards my BFA in studio art I am also going to start working on my BA in art history, while also minoring in French and anthropology. From the very beginning I have known in order to be an art major and have an art career I would need to dapple and explore other areas of study to use as a source of knowledge and inspiration to infuse into my art. In art I need to have an open mind and be able to take my surroundings and everything that goes on around me in. I need to be able to understand the workings of the world, and I feel that by exploring and taking part in other areas of study I will be able to do so.
My career goal is to become a professional artist while also maybe working as a museum curator. I want to work with my art as well as the art of others. I want to show that art is not just simple hobby it is a serious career that requires more work than people tend to associate with it.
I know that the completion of undergraduate studies will not be enough in order to become a professional artist as well as museum curator. In order to do this I will need do undergraduate studies and get a MFA in studio art and MA in Art History. Along with the continued studies I will also need to travel a lot in order to be able to use those experiences in my work and in order to be able to understand people and their cultures better. One of the most important things that I need to do is make sure that I get my name out into the world and make my presence known in the community.
What I need to work on now is trying every single medium and technique possible so that I can get acclimated to each and be able to use them throughout my career. I have already started this process of experimentation with the creation of my very first installation piece. I hope to be able to experiment more throughout my undergraduate studies.
The path that I have chosen will be a though path to trek through, but I am not the type of person to shy away from a challenge. One of the things I am looking forward to is continuing the journey and getting to experience everything art throws at me.
“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.”
~Vincent Van Gogh
Skills are developed slowly; this is one thing being a visual artist has taught me. You can have natural talent, but without the development of that talent and the collection of skills that comes with it, you do not have much and you steadily begin to lose interest in that art form. It becomes just another side activity and hobby like playing video games or gardening. It loses the passion it used to posses. Ever since I started taking art seriously my skills have started transforming and they have been tested. I have never been very strong in the area of drawing people, I have always been the type of artist who has a strength in drawing landscapes, animals, and nature; I actually attempt to bring nature in each of my paintings and drawings. I have begun to see, that with small projects and practices I have had concerning figure drawing, improvement in my technique. I have also begun to uncover and discover my personal style through this process. Like I said before, nature is really my strength, because I can be more open and fluid about it. Unlike the human figure it does not follow a set list of guidelines that I must have, like proportion, I can be open when working with that subject area; I actually feel it is a lot freer to interpretation and expression. Both areas are skills that I am constantly trying to develop and improve. I am also attempting to improve my skill in drawing, I am predominantly a painter, and so my drawings are mostly rough sketches laid down simply to get an outline of the subject, because the use of color and texture fills in the gaps. This year, so far, I have mostly worked with drawings, so it is an extreme change from the past years, but it is a necessary change, it is actual part of my goals. As an artist I want to experience every method and tool available to me in visual art, and this is exactly what I am doing. There are many skills out there that I have to aster and develop, some of them I have heard about, and other I do not even know exist yet; it is a learning process I am excited to be a part of. I cannot wait to realize it through all of the classes I will experience in these next four years on through graduate school. I am especially looking forward to study abroad and getting to experience the different cultures of the world. This whole process of developing and improving skills is all about experience and experiencing the world. I can’t wait for this journey to continue!
Going into art I automatically knew that fame and money were not a part of the package, and to be honest that did not bother me. Today’s world revolves too much around these materialistic objects and ideas; they end up blinding people to what is truly important. The purpose of art, to me anyway, is not to make a buck, but to satisfy my cravings for creation and expression, and to impact others through that creation. That is my ultimate goal in life, to help people through my art in some way; as long as I accomplish this I am happy.
The people I want to serve are those who do not have a voice, those who are too afraid or uncomfortable using words to communicate; I want them to see art as a means to say what is on their mind. I want to help them express themselves and not simply fade away behind those who feel at home voicing their opinions verbally. Everyone deserves a voice, and that is what I want to provide through art. I mostly want to work with children and adolescents who find themselves in this predicament, who come from communities, especially in Central and South America, in which they never learn how to voice their feelings, their opinions, their thoughts. They live lives in which they have to abide by rigid and restraining standards of life. Many of them never get the chance to do something that releases their bottled up creativity that shows the world their perspectives. I want to give them this gift of free expression.
Who am I? I am Elainy Rebeca Lopez. I am an artist; Art is my voice. With every single splash of color, line, and form I lay on a blank canvas, my ideas go down with it; my mind becomes an open book for the entire world to see. I do not hide behind my art; I present myself through it. I use each brushstroke to speak the words that I cannot articulate verbally, and with each brushstroke I hope to provide a voice for others.
I was one of the individuals who found motivation in getting good grades and having a good academic record. I loved learning and would honestly find interest in what I was being taught, but when it came down to it, I found that I was happier when I received my report card and saw straight A’s. This and the idea of being at the top of my class pushed me to work a hundred times harder every single day. Looking back on those long gone days, I am proud of what I was able to do, school wise, but I regret missing pivotal experiences that I will never get back. Being a bookworm was a blessing and a curse.
Since then, my motivations have completely changed; well, actually I have discovered them. Looking back I am able to see that weren’t what was pushing me forward; it was actually my family. Seeing how ecstatic and proud I made them when doing well in school filled me with joy and thrust me forward. It made me want to do my best just so that I could see the happiness and joy on my parents face. I realized that they were reliving their adolescence through me, the way they wish they could have lived their adolescent years. While this college journey is decided by, created by, and lived by me, it is also lived by my parents as I tell them everyday of the wonderful experiences I have lived and the amazing people I have been given the privilege to work with. My family pushes me to do better not just in school, but also in life. I have been given the role of mentor, not just for my brother, but for all of my cousins. This idea of being able to show them what education and learning can lead to, motivates me to give life my all, because I am not here just for myself, I am here for them too.
This will sound very cliché, but art also motivates me. It is not just my art, but the art of others, whether it is music, theater, dance, or visual. Seeing people engaged in the arts inspires me because I am able to see different forms of expression separate from my own. Just the other day I decided to watch a piece of a Swan Lake performance online. Seeing the passion with which the dancers performed, set in me a desire to pursue my art in the same way, even on those days in which I feel completely lost and confused. The same goes for when I listen to music or watch a performance, the passion radiated by those who are doing what they truly love, because they cannot live without it, motivates me to do the same. It increases the love I have for art to immeasurable heights! When I look at a painting I get lost in the emotion behind it, the color, the lines, the thoughts laid down by the creator. It fills me with joy and makes me want to pick up a brush and start painting. I absolutely love it! Writing this entry is making me want to do just that. Right now I want to walk up to a blank canvas with a brush and paints in hand, and just start laying down my thoughts and emotions for the whole world to see and be motivated by.
To me life is valuable. Everyone is only given one life to live and they have the ability to take as much out of it as possible, or just let it slip away and go to waste. I cannot stand watching people throw their lives away as if it were a piece of trash; it is a waste of talent and potential. I guess that is why I have made it such an important priority in my life to live life to the fullest. I want to try everything the world has to offer me. I am its pupil ready to take everything it has to teach me in. Life, to me, is more than just being able to become famous and make tons of money. Those are two things that I am not searching for or looking out to acquire through what I do. I could honestly care less about becoming a world-renowned artist with billions and billions of dollars to spare. That is not what life is about. Those two concepts would honestly never in a million years make me happy, because I am pretty sure they would come at a cost. The cost of not being able to be with my family, the cost of not being able to paint to satisfy myself, the cost of not being able to relish in the small things that daily life presents to me. These are the prized possessions in my life that I would never, ever want to lose.
I grew up with the idea that if you have more than others to share that wealth with those less fortunate, and this is one of the ideas I value. I want to be able to give through my art, whether ideas or inspiration. I want to inspire those in the world that find themselves in the same predicament as I find myself, the predicament in which it seems as if the whole “logical” world is working against you fulfilling your passion and following your dreams. I do not want others to feel the same way and go through the same pain and confusion, and if the experience is unavoidable, I want them to at least know of someone who was able to conquer the naysayers and feel as if all hope is not gone. I believe in the idea that everyone should be given a chance to make something of his or her life. I feel it is something that should not be denied to anyone.
I feel very grateful for everything that I have in life, and because of that I want to give back. This is the main focus of not only my artistic life, but also my personal life. I feel joy when I hear of people helping the less fortunate, not because they have to, but because they love to do it and find happiness in it. When I hear those stories, I cannot help but think of my desire to help others and bring happiness to them even if it is for only a small period of time.
Life is more than just focusing on yourself and what you can gain, and how you can rise above the rest and watch how others struggle behind you. Life is about living it to the fullest extent, while still remembering about your own struggles and helping others. It is about not letting it slip away and living everyday as if it were your last.
Habits are very discrete and so natural that they are hidden from the person doing them; I know that was the case for me. Before this I, never really gave much thought to my habits or what I did before, during, and after every single project I did. I felt that all I did was grab my supplies and creativity and just started painting or drawing; nothing really out of the ordinary. But was I completely wrong. Whenever I draw or paint I have to be in a well lit room, in which natural light seeps into the space from the window. The light makes me feel open and free to do what I want in my project, it doesn’t suppress me like the darkness, which makes mentally claustrophobic when working on a project. I feel the light just makes it easier to get lost in a project, because it transports you to a different place. It helps me tune out the world and just about everything around, with the exception of music. I love listening to music when I paint, because the sound envelops me in my own bubble once again it provides that seclusion from the hectic world, it provides a different form of creativity to surround me and it ends up influencing the way I paint or perceive certain things.When working I found that I, almost always, work best with a rough sketch out of what I want to paint, and afterwards I let the colors and textures take over and define the object. I don’t want to depict reality, that is what cameras are for, I want to show what is beyond reality.
These are only a few of the habits I have uncovered, and I am sure the discovery has just begun, but the habit and process that has helped me improve and has helped me find my style would have to be practice, but practice in the sense of big projects. I have significantly improved in my art as each year passed, but I find that for me practice does not necessarily stand for those exercises in which you are given a random object and told to draw in the time allotted. Yes, these types of exercises are helpful, especially since they are mini projects one can do while standing in line at a store or waiting for the start of a class, but they do not necessarily satisfy my creativity or my need of color. I find that doing larger projects are, in a sense, better practice because they involve every aspect that goes into art; it involves style, skill, color, texture, ad just about everything else. For me the small projects help, but they are nothing compared to the bigger pieces like paintings!
I understand that there is still more to discover about the way I work and that I will change certain things about my processes, everything has to evolve. But that is all a part of the journey as an artist; answering the calls of curiosity and discovering oneself.
My name is Elainy Rebeca Lopez, I was born on November 28,1993 and grew up in Garland, Texas. But one of the most important things about me is that art is my life. I developed a passion for art at a very young age. I remember how as a little kid I would sit in the early morning surrounded by a ream of paper and an array of colorful crayons and I would just draw for hours. I would draw houses, flowers, and the occasional Blue from Blue’s Clues; standard little kid drawings. While my artistic skill was that of a five year old, I still found enjoyment and happiness. Amidst all of those drawings, I would find myself constantly thinking, “ When I grow up, I’m going to be an artist!” In my mind I would yell this sentence with excitement and confidence, but on the outside I never said a word about my dream. Even as a five year old I knew that wanting to become an artist as an adult was irrational and impractical, so I never told anyone. As I grew older my love for art increased as well, but I kept it subdued. I found that my dream was slowly being pushed out of the way into the back of my mind, by “new” career ideas like becoming a teacher, veterinarian, doctor, and even a engineer so that I could work at NASA. But the problem with these careers was that they never satisfied by creative brain, I saw that I truly enjoyed those subjects, but they never made me feel like “ Yes! This is my calling, my purpose in life!” all they made me feel was “ yeah, this is cool and interesting”. They never sparked a flame. I found myself jumping from one career to another, unhappy and confused, unlike my classmates who knew they wanted to be lawyers, doctors, and engineers from a very young age. It wasn’t until sophomore year in high school that I was reintroduced to just how important art was to my life. After taking that required art class I knew that my mind’s need for art couldn’t be ignored.
I rediscovered how happy art made me and how at home it made me feel, it was what I was meant to do in life; it was my passion. Slowly, as I was immersed in a wave of creativity my last two years of high school, that dream of wanting to be a artist was slowly uncovered from years and years of neglect and I finally began to tell the world of my desire to do something that involves art. When I first told my parents, they did not think it was serious, they thought it was just a phase like the veterinarian or NASA thing. But as the time went passing by they came to they realization that I just might not change my mind and so they begin trying to talk me out of majoring in studio art, by presenting me other subject areas that might attract my eye like architecture. But I wouldn’t budge; I knew in my mind that art was the major for me, and my parents never failed in providing me with support in art even though they still don’t understand my passion for it. Art is more than jus pretty color and lines to me; it is my mode of expression. I always found it hard to communicate my thoughts verbally, more so through middle school and high school, and while I have been working on that weakness of mine, art is still the easiest and most natural way in which I can communicate. I use the colors, textures and lines to express my inner thoughts and feelings, even if the painting is of a common object or landscape. I just cannot put into words what I feel when I am drawing or painting, I just get lost in my work. I love that feeling of being disconnected with the world even if it is only for a brief period of time.
I plan on earning my BFA in studio art and then continuing on to graduate school where I hope to earn my MFA, and after that I hope to work as a professional artist and a museum curator. As of right now my plans are very simple, well, in theory I know that in reality the road will be full of ups and downs, which are very crucial. But I know what I’m doing and I am focusing on the present for the time being, because I want to get as much as I can from this college experience, but one thing is for sure I am truly happy and feel, honestly, at home getting to study art here at SMU! I look forward to the artistic growth that lies ahead of me, so let the experiences begin!