Artist shares inspiration advice

Final Illustration

Sonya Francis

Final IllustrationWith the plan to create while creating a final product, expect some changes and a few road blocks in the way, because it will be a process. It could be a step-by-step procedure, or it may just evolve on random occasion. Often, once the idea is created, there is no problem, but getting to that point brings about hours of difficulty.
As an artist, senior Colleen Roetemeyer can appreciate this feeling. The initial emotion of wanting an idea but not having one or not being able to find one is overwhelming. Becoming a person with many things to say but no method of expressing them is a huge fear for artists.
“The most intimidating thing is the beginning,” Roetemeyer said. “It’s so hard to look at because you really have no idea how it’s going to wind up. I’ve done so many pieces where I thought it was going to look like one thing, and in the end it probably turned upside down or flipped over a couple times before I actually knew what I was doing.”
Attempting to plan every moment doesn’t work out in life or in art. In fact, Roetemeyer agreed that each of the changes in her work turned out to better the final project. The first idea may not always be perfect, but it could potentially help mold the next one.
“I’ve been thinking about this piece for a really long time now,” Roetemeyer said. “It started out as one idea, and it sounded really cliché, and now it’s starting to take on actual meaning.”
Concerning how she would help others in a similar rut, Roetemeyer didn’t have a specific conclusion.
A masterpiece isn’t a formula. Inspiration has to be behind the whole idea. However, Roetemeyer has her own process; a dominant part of that is working with unorthodox materials, such as mud, to get the ideas flowing.
“I do a lot of studies and a lot of work before I actually start on my final piece.  Tumblr is awesome. It’s a lot of artist[s] that put all of their stuff out there, and you can kind of take ideas from that,” Roetemeyer said. “My concentration does include literature. I’m looking at Shakespeare, so I have to do a lot of reading and look for quotes and look for themes and all of that kind of stuff.”
Everything has a purpose and meaning behind it, same goes for art. An artist won’t stretch his or her mind and their talents in efforts to say nothing of purpose. The grand question will always be “why?” And for many artist, exploring that question and finding the answer is done through expressing themselves in art.
“I wanted to convey the lengths to which people will go to hold onto their identity. It started with King Leer and this theme of preservation,” Roetemeyer said. “One of the characters, Edgar, concealed his identity in order to stay alive. I started thinking about how people today and how some feel compelled to conform to be accepted even though at the root of it all they know they aren’t themselves.”
[nggallery id=47] By Sonya Francis