VOX reporter Gail Peterson sat down with her sister, Elizabeth Peterson, a graduate of Mother of Divine Grace, and asked her a few questions about her love of art and her experiences in artwork following graduation.
When did you graduate from Mother of Divine Grace?
What is your favorite medium to use?
That’s a good question! It depends on what your subject is. I think probably it would be my red and white chalk pencils, but for some styles I like to use regular ball point pen, or charcoal if you want to make it all smudgy, and then graphite if I want to make it look all sharp and crisp.
Is art just a hobby for you?
No. It’s a business too! I have my own Etsy shop, and I’ve also done some commissions.
Can you tell me what you drew for those commissions?
I’ve drawn a portrait of two of my friends; I’ve drawn a saint for a card company, [and] I have drawn three commissions through my Etsy shop.
Is there an artist who has been most influential to you in your art? If so, how?
Well, that would be Henry Wingate. [He] is a professional artist. He taught me how to train your eye, how to see, because there are different little techniques you use to train your eye but also on the page itself. For example, you set the top of your drawing and the bottom, and you don’t change those, so the only thing you change is the width. That [way] you’re only working in one dimension instead of two. So that simplifies things. Also, [to] train your eye you look at different things in the drawing, like negative space, which is not the lines itself but the space between the lines.
Do you have a favorite artist?
[That] would probably be Rembrandt.
What is your favorite era of art?
Hudson River School [in the] 1800s!
Can you tell me about your art experiences at college?
Freshman year I didn’t do too much. Sophomore year I was going through a lot of personal issues, and so then I rediscovered my talent and used that to express my feelings, and I forgot how much I loved it! So ever since then I’ve picked it up and been drawing for Etsy shop, doing commissions, [and] just for fun. So my experience always was positive.
I know you’re interested in graphic design. What made you interested in that?
This year, I had a [student activities assistant] job at Christendom College. At that job I had various tasks, and one of them was designing posters. I practiced visualizing an image that would work with the message of the event. I had to lay it out with different texts and fonts to make it look cohesive. That was really fun! I realized that I wanted to do that because you can draw things, add [texts and fonts], [and] lay it out, because there’s a whole art and science behind actual graphics. Some fonts will display certain emotions; other ones will mix with it; other ones won’t, and the use of colors [plays into that]. It’s just like painting, but it’s more for catching the eye and advertising a message. It’s a job you can get with art.
Do you have any advice for artists?
Definitely be creative, and be a little new! But don’t be so new that you lose yourself in [being new] or that you become just [imitative of] what others have done, and that you don’t actually lose the beauty and nice form of art. Because sometimes when people get too creative they can distort things. Find the fine balance between being super creative, new and innovative while also still retaining certain principles that will make art beautiful.