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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Portrait of the artist as a Wildcat

    Brenna Bailey

    A stencil piece by Sean Coleman inspired by street artists such as Bansky. Coleman said art often goes unappreciated and comes in many different forms.

    Art is in the eye of the beholder, and a student is using his time at the UA to create more beautiful works to behold.

    “Painting is definitely my passion,” said Sean Coleman, an art education freshman. “It really is personal; it’s kind of a spiritual experience. You know, each piece of art someone creates — it’s only in their head until they make it. And once it’s created, it’s there. They created something out of thin air.”

    The freshman said he “really feels like art is one of the most important things” in his life. He said his creative process is lengthy, detailed and completely subjective.

    “I get the idea in my head, let it sit a few days, play around with it until I finalize the idea,” Coleman said. “I go up to the studio in the art building, … and I just start working for like five hours, getting a really rough picture. Then, I let it be for maybe a week, come and touch it up, or completely change it.”

    Coleman explained that his pieces are ever-evolving throughout the process; he makes sure to paint with an open mind.

    “You can’t finish a piece of art in one sitting,” Coleman said. “You have to constantly go back and look at it … revise it, revise it, revise it.”

    Throughout his over three-dozen-piece collection, Coleman explores different painting styles, from more realism-focused pieces to altered realities.

    “I’ve always found when I try to base [a painting] off what I see in front of me, I’m always trying to make it exactly like that picture,” Coleman said. “It’s never quite right. … But when I [paint] it from my mind, it’s what I want and what I imagine.”

    Hoping to be a high school art teacher some day, Coleman said his high school and college art teachers really influenced and fueled his passion to pursue art as a career. Though he knows school funding will affect his future career, in five years, he said he hopes to become a mentor and fosterer of creativity. 

    “I just really want to teach kids and just help them grow emotionally [and] spiritually,” he said. 

    Coleman, upon observing some local art mounted upon the walls of the Scented Leaf Tea House and Lounge, said he feels that art, as a whole, is underappreciated. He added that art doesn’t necessarily need to be a physical medium, such as a painting or sketch; rather, by looking deeper into aesthetic value, we can recognize art in anything.

    “[Art] can be a photograph on the side of the wall or just the look of a building,” he said. “Art is everywhere in our lives, and people don’t even notice it.” 

    Coleman also noted that he feels as though people wrongly label art as a natural talent. Contrary to popular belief, making beautiful art is not an “innate ability.”

    “Some [artists] are [naturally] gifted, but they always have to work for it,” he said. “Great artists aren’t great because they’re lucky; they’re great because they worked for it.”

    Coleman said he feels as though his passion, painting, is highly underappreciated and underestimated, especially in modern pre-college curriculums.

    “I really feel like art is one of the most important things,” Coleman said. “People are so obsessed with STEM research. … People really need to look at art. It’s a real alleviating circle; you have the technology, but you also have to have the view to it.”

    Coleman said he constantly attempts to broaden his horizons, craving a continual evolution as an artist.

    “I try to get myself immersed in art,” he said. “Listening to music can really give me inspiration, listening to a poem — it’s all really connected.”

    Within his time at the UA, Coleman strives to fulfill his ideas for local art shows showcasing his works, as well as continuing to evolve and learn more about himself as an artist. He said he hopes to not only fulfill his own needs for personal expression through his work but to also show others the beauty in abstract thinking.


    Follow Brenna Bailey on Twitter.

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