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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Artists show passion through various mediums

Crafting art from the heart

By Isabelle Ortiz | Staff Writer

Maya Katz, freshman

   “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the mind, almost nothing,” said famous artist Marc Chagall. 

   This quote has different meanings to different people, but for one extraordinary student, this quote symbolizes an overflowing passion for art.

   Talented freshman art student Maya Katz. Art has a passion that she takes very seriously. Art of any kind is a popular way to relive stress, anxiety, and  the troubles of everyday life. For some , it is simply pure pleasure. For Katz, it is all of these things.

   Although she does not intend to make her talent into a full-time career, she does intend to keep it as a hobby that brings relief and happiness. Katz is in Drawing and Painting, an art class taught by Emmett Suess. Despite her being one of the only freshmen in her class, and among many other students with impressive talents, she manages to stand out from her peers for her outstanding attitude towards art.

   The year is still new but that has not stopped her from expressing how seriously she takes her interest in art. Suess took particular notice when she first entered the class. 

   “Maya comes in the room, I don’t know her – I don’t know anybody, but than her passion starts to come out,” he said. Suess also stated that, amongst most his students, she stood out for her understanding and determination for art.

   An example of this is an art project Katz has done. She chose to foucs on water pollution. The project was collage of objects of certain colors. 

   The bright and almost blindingly green colors almost seem to weave their way into the bright and joyful blue waters, with textures popping off the board to create depth and character. She even included a yellow sticker with the symbol of showing something is toxic or deadly. In the image she created, without the need of words, it is clear even from a distance what the message is about pollution.

  According to Katz, the best part about being able to create is “the ability to bend reality however you want, and to have the freedom to create whatever you want.” 

   Katz, having grown up in household with supportive and  encouraging parents, helped develop her long-lasting determination and love for art.  But it was her own desire to craft art that led her to taking Drawing and Painting and finding a new passion.

Chu gives their art character, motion

By Kaiya Suehiro | Staff Writer

Sam Chu, junior

   Junior Sam Chu spent their fourth period in the art room, meticulously cutting colored paper or positioning the tail of their creature to create the next frame of the animation. 

   Chu loves watching cartoons and animated movies. They find inspiration from animators, such as director Rebecca Sugar of the Steven Universe television series. They also admire the anime Violet Evergarden for its gorgeous backgrounds and characters. 

   Even though Chu looked up to professional animators, it was artists from Gabrielino High School that persuaded them to take Art in Motion 1. One of their friends encouraged them to join the class. 

   Chu remembered, “I saw a couple clips from the students who took Art in Motion last year and they looked really cool so I wanted to learn and do what they did.” 

   Chu took Intro to Art with art teacher Kat Ross in their freshman year. They did not take an art class last year during virtual learning because they wanted to be able to have the full experience in their art class. Chu believed the projects for Art in Motion may have been difficult to do from home, but have been fun so far. 

   The largest project that Chu had completed for the class was a stop motion GIF of a kangaroo. Each shape was made from colored construction paper. The animal was green with red stripes and hopped on a stage with blue curtains. In the background, there was a carefully cut castle. 

   Art in Motion teacher Ross praised, “Sam’s kangaroo has nice anticipation and follow through. It is a well made character. It has a nice contrast between the character and the background and it’s got a nice jump to it.” 

   Timing and motion in animation are important, but challenging to get accurate. It is what separates it from static forms of art. Chu explained that the most challenging part was planning each movement and anticipating how the finished product would turn out. If something looked incorrect, they needed to find the problem and correct it. 

   Ross complimented Chu’s willingness to take on creative and complex ideas. While most beginning artists start with a walk cycle, Chu worked with a jumping animal. They chose an animal because they thought it would be enjoyable to animate something that was not human. 

  “When I was sketching out this idea for the kangaroo guy, I thought it looked really good but I have a huge problem with coloring and finding what different colors would look best for it. I ended up picking red and green colors and it made him look like a dinosaur. I said ‘Oh, I guess he’s a dinosaur now! Who jumps,’” Chu added with a laugh. 

   Chu sketches their friends at lunch and paints whenever they are able to. They like to work with realism. They are familiar with art, but are relatively new to the concept of drawing moving things. It is still early in the year, and there are still many more animation principles for the class to learn. 

   “There is a lot of technique and strategy to [animation], and it doesn’t really come very easily to me,” Chu admitted, “but it’s a fun type of challenge.”

Kurniawan’s lifelong dedication to art

By Oralis Ward | Staff Writer

Emma Kurniawan, sophomore

  “I feel like everything I do, I involve art in it,” said Emma Kurniawan with a thrill in her voice.

    Sophomore Emma Kurniawan, attending a printmaking course at Gabrielino High School, continues to fulfill her passion by managing her time to be more involved in the art field. From Kurniawan’s perspective, art became an outlet to express herself, while also assisting her to process her own emotions.

   With eager nostalgia glistening in both eyes, Kurniawan reminisced about her former years of childhood. 

   At the age of five, during the precious years of kindergarten, Kurniawan recalled the very moments of enjoying her time with the company of her aunt. Together, the two would spend some time strengthening their creativity by doing arts and crafts.

   “I joined in with her one day and it was really exciting,” said Kurniawan with a smile.  

   From the outset of those ages, the amusement Kurniawan experienced from those activities ignited sparks in her heart, hinting at the beginning of a life-long passion that was waiting to be advanced on. 

     “Art is so much different from any other subject since it uses a different part of the brain,” Kurniawan professed, “so [the activities] were actually really fun.”

   As her year progressed, art continued to be an interest and dedication Kurniawan strived to expand.

   “I remember she grew interested in middle school. [While] drawing on her own, she couldn’t draw a side profile for the longest time, [so] she kept practicing to where she’s gotten it now,” chuckled Grace Kurniawan, Emma Kurniawan’s sister, who witnessed the technical growth along her sister’s years.

   After taking an intro to art class with art teacher, Emmett Suess, during her freshman year in virtual school, Kurniawan divides her time between two art classes: printmaking and art in motion. Specifically in printmaking, the thought of transferring prints to create unique images on paper, or on other varieties, was enough to have convinced Kurniawan to join the class, as opposed to sticking to a class she was already familiar with. 

   During the beginning of her first project, which consisted of four prints, a portrait was executed as her main concept. Deciding on the amount of ink needed per print demonstrated to be a challenge for Kurniawan, as with fewer amounts, the ink appeared faint and light, and with greater amounts, the ink was excessively darker and the drying time was lengthy.

   [Thats something] I want to improve on, trial and error basically,” expressed Kurniawan.

   As an artist, Kurniawan has drawn inspiration quite frequently from the people around her, and other artists she has favored. Among her voice was enthusiasm as she proceeded to share one of her favorite concept artists whose moniker is Snatti89. 

   “[Snatti89] uses very aesthetically pleasing colors, the colors he used just blend together and it makes you feel like you’re in the world,” exhilarated Kurniawan. 

   Besides the usual mediums Kurniawan uses for her classes, she carries a preference for digital drawing and has made a persevering effort to utilize her free time for it

Bringing art to life, one click at a time

By Ashley Sanchez | Production Chief

Megan Chwa, senior

   Innovation, creativity, and talent lay in the hands of Gabrielino High School’s very own senior Megan Chwa in Room 108 where Chwa has excelled in Graphic Design. 

   At a young age Chwa has always been an artist at heart; from drawing to painting to graphic design, Chwa has utilized her creativity to make beautiful pieces. 

  “I think I’ve always been into the arts. 

        I first started doing art classes in kindergarten with oil pastels and started to take more of them within my city throughout elementary school,” stated Chwa.

  In Gabrielino’s Graphic Design class with Terry Hopper, students explore visual arts and the use wof technology that will long be implemented into the future of creativity. 

   In the course description, this class entails “[creating] exciting projects, but exploring typography and the history of design and advertising. Students use the design industry standard programs; Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.” 

  Throughout her life Chwa has always been one to dive into different forms of art. In Graphic Design, she’s managed to challenge and better herself as an artist. 

  “I took Photoshop, Animation and Graphic Design because I was interested in how technology could be used for art as I had mainly focused on more traditional art before,” stated Chwa. “I wanted a class that would challenge me creatively.” 

   Chwa has managed to take her skills as a traditional artist and the innovation of technology to make pieces that reflect the work of a talented artist. Inspiration for art is everywhere, for Chwa it can come from other impressive forms of art that speak to her. 

   In a painting of a man with his hand covering his face, Chwa depicts a more intimate reflection of a person with an ominous gloom. 

   “My biggest inspiration [for this piece] was Simon Prades,” she stated. “For the close up of the face, I focused a lot on movement and was inspired by similar pieces that are under the category non finto which have a central focus.”

   Many of the pieces Chwa has worked on reflect the complexity of emotions to create art that speaks to people. 

   “I like being able to communicate different topics through my art as I mix typography with graphics in an aesthetic way.” explained Chwa. 

   Chwa has not only excelled in Graphic Design but found a future career path she hopes to pursue. As an artist, she is always trying to challenge herself, hone her skills through different mediums and exploring what she loves. 

   “I would love to continue arts in the future,” Chwa stated. “I actually plan on majoring in graphic design after high school.”

   Chwa has demonstrated talent not only as an artist but a student as well from AP Art to Graphic Design she continues to shine in the Gabrielino’s Visual Arts. 

   “She is not only very creative, but a great problem solver,” stated Hopper. “Megan comes up with her ideas, discusses her projects, then implements them with the skills of a true artist.”

Wang is drawing out her future

By Nana Horii | Staff Writer

 Amber Wang, senior

    Senior Amber Wang sat at one of the long steel tables in B105, staring down at her newest project, breath held with intense concentration. Her classmates too, focused on their work and sat in near silence. From across the room, where the printmaking class was held, the squeaking noises of their machines could be heard. Wang however, could barely hear this as she entered into her own world of art. 

      To Wang, drawing is a way to escape her tumultuous life and focus on something other than her stressful classes. When drawing, Wang is able to empty her head and free to forget academic worries, her homework that she has not yet finished, and any troubles plaguing her. It is, however, a hobby that is unsupported by her family. Wang has grown up hearing that art is not a viable job, that artists will starve, and that she should become a lawyer instead. So, she had silently given up any dream that involved her being an artist. 

   Her art journey began when she was in fourth grade, when she enrolled in classes at an art center. Ironically enough, the ones who had signed her up for those classes were her parents. From there her love for art had developed, and has continued to this day. Her art teacher, Kat Ross, hearing that Wang wanted to attend CalArts and that her parents are unwilling to let her take that path, took it in their hands to talk to Wang about the viability of art as a career. 

   “ The salary for an animator was an average of 89k. Like holy crap, that’s not a starving artist.” Wang laughed exuberantly. 

   With this, her parents’ hearts were more receptive to art as a career, and Wang intends to attend CalArts in the future. In the meantime, however, she already has a project she is working on. 

    Although unfinished, Wang intends to draw a webtoon about grief and tragedy, painting the guilt that one has to deal with when losing someone dear to suicide. The idea came to her because she loved writing and drawing, two aspects that make up webtoons. Having always been drawn to tragic stories, the idea of a how a person gets affected by a suicide committed by another person was an intriguing idea to her. 

    “A lot of people feel like they could have done something to stop it.” Wang went on by saying, “If they die from a car accident they go “Well it just happened. It’s an accident. But suicide, the people who are left behind feel a lot of guilt. They’re like “Oh we should have seen the signs, we could have done something.” 

   Wang has planned it out so that the story will start in the present day, and flashback to the past, outlining everything from when the two friends met all the way to when one of the friends committed suicide. From there the story will move to the aftermath and effects of that person’s suicide on their friend, which would then link to the present. The grief the friend feels will be the main focus of the story, according to Wang. 

       Drawing a webcomic has been a longtime dream for Wang, who has always loved to write, draw, and tell stories. With the hope of becoming an animator, Wang is racing towards her dreams, one animation at a time.

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Artists show passion through various mediums