Nymph. Adobe Photoshop. 2013.
Where were you born?
I was born in Anaheim, California on February 16th, 1989.
What is your major at AAU?
I’m majoring in Illustration in the Undergraduate program.
How would you describe your work to someone?
I would describe my style as mostly realism, with a hint of Japanese animation influences. As for the work, I mainly focus on illustrations and concept art. Many of my subjects are women, because I love drawing them the most. I’m drawn towards sci-fi and fantasy art because there is room there to do something exciting, fun, and unexpected.
Who or what influences your work?
What influences me today is the concept art industry. There is always something new to see on sites like cghub.com. As for my favorite artists, there is Alex Pascenko, KJ Kallio, and L.D. Austin. Most people expect a longer list of names, but I’m quite picky!
Chris Oatley has been a big influence in my life the past year. I took his online course, and occasionally participate in his monthly live sessions. Whenever I had a dilemma with my art, he and his amazing online students would inspire me, and get me pointed in the right direction. He is very thoughtful and caring to all his students, and I’m happy I’m a part of that.
As for influences that got me on the road to being a committed artist, there are quite a few. Sailor Moon inspired me when I was around 11 or 12 years old. I desperately wanted to capture the movement and style. It fascinated me to no end at that age. I remember looking up Sailor Moon tutorials online and practicing over and over again. I eventually broke away from Sailor Moon to other Japanese styles. Miyazaki’s films, for instance, really inspired and fueled my passion. So, I got into the habit of doodling and drawing on any surface.
However, I didn’t put much stock in a future art career. In fact, in my senior year of high school I was dead set on becoming a pharmacist. I still had that idea while I was at community college until the fateful day that I bombed an important intermediate chemistry test, and realized how very little I cared.
Now, I’m not advocating for people to fail tests, but I was in serious denial about my future and that was the wakeup call I needed. Chemistry and math were not my strong suits, and after all these years, I still kept on drawing on my notes. It then dawned on me. I knew my passion was art, but I was scared. I admitted that to myself, and I think any artist seriously considering an art career should be scared because it’s tough. It’s climbing up a mountain with no summit. You always have to improve, and compete. So, I swallowed my pride and buckled down. I’ve committed myself to studying art for the rest of my life with no regrets.
What is your process for creating work and what materials do you prefer?
I prefer doing the entire process in Photoshop. That includes thumbnails, sketching, color roughs, and rendering. However, I’ve been occasionally doing art in Illustrator. It’s a completely different program, and quite powerful for the right type of art. In that case, I do the sketching in Photoshop, and then do the line art and colors in Illustrator.
I don’t like most traditional materials because it’s often a slower process. Out of all the traditional mediums, I prefer watercolor, because it’s by far the most forgiving and easiest to learn.
What is next? Upcoming exhibitions, trips, graduation, etc.
I’m looking forward to my last few semesters at the Academy!
The 6-on-6 Artist Interview series consists of 6 questions for student artists asked by the Library staff on the 6th floor.
Sarah Ortiz’s interview was conducted by Abby Dansiger, Visual Resources Librarian, in August 2013.