epicspacefantasy asked: Hey, Kali! Did you happen to draw the Google Doodle for today (December the 2nd)? Or was it just someone with an eerily similar style?
You are correct, I’m happy to say I drew the amazing Maria Callas for Google! I still feel shocked to see my work up there! (Definitely the biggest job I’ve ever done?!)
57001 asked: Kali, do you have any examples of your work from your teenage years/your portfolio with which you applied to college? I'm in 11th grade now, and with portfolio days coming up (I'm attending the one at MICA!) and college applications due soon, my friends are panicking about their work. I'm nervous I'll be a wreck next year because I'll be applying to art schools AND universities. Anyway, my question was really just what level of work are schools truly looking for from applicants?
At portfolio reviews, all the schools told me to do A BUNCH of observational drawings of people as well as objects/environments, and apply with those. Up to that point, most of my drawings had been from my head. My high school didn’t have a big art program, so I just drew still-lives at home or got my friends to pose for me for a while. I also didn’t have much experience with paint (or anything else), so most of my observational work was in charcoal, with a few other mediums thrown in for spice. 12 of the 14 images I submitted to schools were observational.
LUCKY FOR YOU I managed to find the slides that I applied to school with, AND the terribly BS’d titles & descriptions I came up with for each one (ohhh myyy goddd)
Here’s a selection of them:
"Branching Out, 12"x17.5", ink wash
An observational piece of the tree outside my art room. I had often seen it out the window, but I never really appreciated how complex it was until I started drawing it.”
"Dark Side of the Moon, 18"x24", charcoal, chalk, and cray-pas
This is a good example of a picture that morphed entirely from what it was intended to be. While sitting in on my friend’s photo class, I watched as the two boys across the table from us simultaneously assumed similar poses. However, what started out as a picture based on their similarity turned into a picture all about their differences. The boy on the left seemed to be brooding and uptight, while the boy on the right seemed more easy-going and cheerful. On a whim, I ended up emphasizing their differences while subtly noting their similarities by drawing them as avatars of good and evil.”
"Cat in Repose, 18"x24", charcoal
This is a simple observational piece of the kitchen in my house from a floor perspective. My cat happened to be sitting regally on a chair (as cats are apt to do) and I decided to include her in the picture as a centering point and to add to the general feeling of calm in the room.”
"Easy as Pie18"x24", charcoal
The model I used for this drawing is my friend Erika, who is a dancer, and she can do some pretty amazing poses because of her flexibility. It was just a quick sketch, but it amuses me because I could never bend like that and still be smiling.”
"Three Cheeses, 18"x24", charcoal
This was another observational piece, drawn while at the Ciesemier family Christmas party. It was really just a method of highlighting the beauty of ordinary objects and a way for me to always remember what a good time I had with all the members of my family.”
"One of Those Days (Self-Portrait), 18"x24", chalk and charcoal
I had just had a fight with my parents and I thought that drawing would help to clear my mind and sort things out. I locked myself in my bathroom and rigged a complicated set of mirrors and flashlights to get all the lights at the right angle, and then I just started drawing. By the end of the session I had worked all my frustrations out and felt a lot more light-hearted.”
"The New Man, digital - Photoshop
The inspiration for this Photoshop-drawn picture came from two primary sources: a narrow-minded comment and a famous piece of art. At a local art contest, I was basically told by one of the judges that computer art is not as valid or worthy of attention as traditional art, a statement that I totally disagree with. I drew this picture, by mouse, to represent the energy and potential of the new age of computer art and the artists that create with it, as well as using some elements of the Venuvian man to imply the merging of digital and traditional.”
So, uh, I hope that helps. Observation, Observation, Observation. I can only assume that no one read my descriptions that waxed rhapsodic about cheese and trees, and everyone overlooked the fact that I actually drew a character with “e-REVOLUTION” on his mesh(?!) shirt.
Anonymous asked: My child wants to pursue art as a career. I am concerned that this is a very financially tough career choice and that they will not find work or will be the proverbial "starving artist". As a parent, should I push them in a different direction?
Sorry for the length! I tried to answer this as best I could:
I don’t think there’s advice that is universally applicable. I don’t know your situation or your child, and everyone is different—some people succeed in art, and some people don’t. It is a tough field (partly because it is also an intensely personal field) and it’s rare to be a super wealthy artist, but I do make my living doing it, as do others. I don’t regret it. Some artistic jobs are more stable/financially rewarding than others, too. You have to be motivated, you have to be skilled, and you usually need a little luck (or at least be willing to work hard to make opportunities). Some measure of frugality is usually necessary. Even then some very talented people quit and go into something else. For some people, the financial repercussions of going to art school might totally rule it out as a possibility, too.
I talked to my parents today and asked them why they let me pursue art as a career. In high school I took all honors/AP classes, I was a consistently good student, enjoyed school, and my parents had saved long and hard so they could afford to send me nearly anywhere. I was also really into art, and had been since I was a kid.
They said that because I was so passionate and invested in art, they figured studying it in college is probably better than leaving school without any clear direction. You have a goal you will be motivated to work towards, so you’ll be more likely to do a good job at it! They thought I was talented but they took me to college portfolio reviews so they could get unbiased opinions from professionals. They also wanted to talk to more experienced people about the kinds of jobs that are available. My mom only really felt confident after portfolio reviewers thought I had good work, and i had been offered some scholarships at different schools i had applied to. She figured that was a good sign. If people had been more hesitant about my work, they may have tried to steer me in another direction.
(even so, college portfolio reviews aren’t the end-all-be-all determiners of success. My parents just didn’t have any other metric to look at!)
If I had a kid, they’d probably grow up immersed in the industry already, with all its ups and downs. I think the best thing I could do would be to expose them to other activities they could excel at too. You only really enjoy what you’re doing when you feel like you have some sort of mastery or understanding of it. The more things you feel like you CAN do, the more choices you have for what you WANT to do. If art was still my kid’s passion and I thought they had potential, it’d be pretty hypocritical of me to stop them from pursuing it. At that point I’d just try to give them the best start possible.
That’s just me, though.