Artists trade pens for paintbrushes

by | May 18, 2016 | in Arts | No Comments

Hours upon hours spent sketching, building, designing, drawing, painting, sculpting. For seniors Olivier Suter-Ternynck, Gabe Crown, and Oliver Hsu, hard work and dedication to art has payed off, as they will be attending art colleges in the fall. Art in the lives of these three seniors started out as a hobby, evolved into a deep passion and now is a viable and likely career path.

Despite building and drawing throughout his childhood, Suter-Ternynck just recently discovered his motivation to go to an art college.

Olivier Suter-Ternynck at California College of the Arts.

Olivier Suter-Ternynck at California College of the Arts.

“I took a summer course at CCA [California College of the Arts] in industrial design and I just loved it so much I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else,” Suter-Ternynck said.

Industrial design, which is the design of products which are going to be mass distributed, is not only the focus of Suter-Ternynck in college, but Hsu as well.

Although it is possible to pursue design through a typical college, the visual aesthetics of the object is usually not valued, Hsu said.

Hsu wanted to design objects more along the lines of cars and computers, which are very visual objects, and that swayed him to apply to art school, Hsu said.

The art school application, though it may not include testing scores and as long of an essay as with a traditional college application, was very stressful and even harder in some aspects, Suter-Ternynck said. Art schools accept students based on their portfolio rather than grades and standardized test scores, Crown said.

“I think there is an added layer,” art teacher Gillian Bailey said.

There is more complexity to the art school application because in addition to the information required in a standard college application, each art school has different ways that they want artwork to be submitted, a different number of pieces in the portfolio, and a different format that the artwork is submitted in, Bailey said.   

The portfolio is generally made up of a collection of 12 to 20 pieces of art that demonstrate a wide variety of the students skills and techniques, Crown said.

The art school application process was especially stressful for Suter-Ternynck because of his late decision to apply to art school.

“You are trying to show who you are as a person through your art, and it is pretty stressful, but it is really rewarding to have that final product,” Suter-Ternynck said.

Art school often gets a bad reputation from parents across the country because of the stigma that being an artist is a career in which one can not succeed financially, Suter-Ternynck said.

Crown had a tough decision deciding whether or not to go to an all arts school, because he felt like coming from Piedmont, it is ideal to go to a good liberal arts school, or a place that is well known or well respected.

“I was scared to go to an all art school,” Crown said.

Crown was able to make his decision on college once he realized that he wanted to have a profession in art. While his parents were very supportive of his decision to go to art school, Suter-Ternynck encourages all students across the country to pursue art or any other passion of theirs that may not be supported by their parents.

“Do what you are passionate about and you will be happy,” Suter-Ternynck said.