To start, please tell us a bit about yourself. What's your story?
I am a college student at UC Irvine, majoring in Studio Art and hoping to get a degree in Physical Therapy in grad school. I am half Filipino and half (Caucasian) American, and I have lived in the Philippines for my whole life up until college because my parents are missionaries there. I have two passports, I love dogs, I love cats, I love sports, I played rugby and soccer in high school, I played soccer for the Philippine national team when I was a senior in high school and I played for one year for my college team but now I am just playing club soccer and loving it! I love playing the piano, singing, ceramics, finger painting, running around barefoot in mud, playing soccer on the beach, jumping in puddles, drinking hot chocolate or english tea with a hoodie on in my jammies, surfing, baking cookies, eating cookie dough, and just plain eating.
I love to travel and I have been to Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Myanmar, Japan, China, Mexico, the U.S., Guam, the Philippines, and I will be adding England and the Czech Republic to the list this summer. I love taking pictures when I travel, and my greatest dream would be to become a photographer for National Geographic. Imagine the opportunities! My favorite things to paint and photograph are people, because I love the idea that you can capture a person or an aspect of a person in an image. I love God and I adore the fact that He is the ultimate Creator and has instilled in each of us a love for creating.
What is your favorite quote?
Anything by Victor Hugo from Les Miserables. These are some good ones:
“Laughter is sunshine; it chases winter from the human face.”
“Love is the foolishness of men, and the wisdom of God.”
“All those places that we no longer see, which perhaps we shall never see again, but whose image we have preserved, assume a painful charm, return to us with the sadness of a ghost.”
“This lowly sand which you trample beneath your feet, if you cast it into the furnace, and let it melt and seethe, shall become resplendent crystal, and by means of such as it a Galileo and a Newton shall discover stars.”
What is your favorite movie?
I’m indecisive! I love Batman: The Dark Knight, Bolt, The Incredibles, Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Princess Bride, Transformers The Movie, V For Vendetta, and the first X-men movie. I love action and superheroes and animated films, and I’m a sucker for movies made on ridiculous premises.
What is your favorite TV show?
Heroes! And the Office is a close runner-up. :)
What is your favorite song at the moment?
(*fin) by Anberlin
What kinds of music do you listen to?
A lot of rock and indie music. My favourite bands are Anberlin, Eisley, Emery, Ingrid Michaelson, Iron And Wine, Skillet and Sufjan Stevens. I really enjoy crossover artists/bands that are made up of Christians but not necessarily sold in the “Christian” section of the store. My all time favorite band is Anberlin, and I feel like they really get a good message across.
How long have you been creating?
Since I was teeny tiny.
What inspires you?
Beauty. I enjoy finding it in the strangest places. One of my friends told me that she liked how I make the mundane seem beautiful. That’s how I feel that God transforms us, he beautifies the ordinary.
“Beauty itself is but the sensible image of the Infinite.”
- Sir Francis Bacon
Beauty, of whatever kind, invariably excites the human soul to tears.
- Edgar Allen Poe
Please describe your creative process (the how, the when, materials, etc.).
I get crazy ideas all of a sudden and I drop everything and make it. It usually involves paintbrushes, watercolours, acrylics, India ink, or just pencils. It’s either that or my camera jumps into my hand and make me take fifty billion pictures.
Is there any kind of music you listen to when you create?
I like soft music, Indie folk usually, like Iron and Wine or Sufjan Stevens. But I also have this weird thing where I really like watching House when I paint.
What's your biggest artistic disaster to date? How did it help you progress?
When I was working on my portfolio for AP art, my first piece was not looking at all how I wanted it to, and I was very disappointed. My art teacher just told me to stick with it and keep reworking it. He told me something I never forgot: “If you get it right away you will end up with a boring piece of art. It is the struggle that adds character, the layers and layers that build up to make a complex piece of art that has so much more value than a piece that took no time at all.” It is so true! Now one of my signatures in my art is how I just go for it and slap on that dark brushstroke with confidence, because I know that I can rework it and build on top of it. It was always something I did with drawing, but it took me a while to find myself as a painter.
What's your favorite piece that you've done?
This is great, because it is that piece that I was just talking about, the one I didn’t like at all. It took me forever to keep tweaking it and reworking it but not I absolutely love it.
What's the best advice you were given when starting out?
From my art teacher again, it was to be willing to use anything. You have materials all around you that are much less expensive than things you can buy in an art store and work just the same. Be creative even when it comes to tools!
Do you have any advice to give others?
When you get your great ideas, just sit down and work on them, it always works best when you are excited about something. Then take a step back and look at what you’ve done. If you look at your creation with fresh eyes it allows you to see things you may have missed or come up with new ideas. Look at it in a mirror, upside down, from 20 feet away. And this goes for everything, not just painting! :)
What's coming up for you; any big plans artistically?
Well, artistically as in painting? Not really, just passing my classes I guess. But artistically as in musically, I’m starting a band! I’m the lead vocalist, haha, it’s really chill and not a big deal, but it’s still going to be a lot of fun.
Where can we find you? Both online and in stores.
http://support-a-starving-artist.blogspot.com/ (I haven’t blogged in forever though!)
or search for Sharon Lynn Whelchel on facebook and add me as a friend. :)