Freshman expresses creativity through mediums of art

November 16, 2023 — by Florence Wei
Courtesy of Claire Kwon
Kwon’s scene of her original character.
With different mediums and a unique style, freshman Claire Kwon has created a business through her passion for art.

Freshman Claire Kwon brings the tip of her Apple pen to the screen as she surveys her sketch. Then, she creates winding lines until the image of her original character materializes on the screen. 

The result is a complete digital portrait; the original character is created with angel-like details and a mischievous expression accented by a cerulean sky.

As a primarily self-taught artist, Kwon experimented with different styles to find her favorite: digital art. Now, with whatever medium, whether it be a pencil sketch, acrylic painting, or digital painting, her style sparkles in her own unique way: detailed features, varying textures and vivid scenery. 

Courtesy of Claire Kwon

Kwon’s dreamlike backdrops and use of color are a distinctive part of her style.

Even though she still dabbles in traditional mediums, Kwon said her favorite is digital because she can work with a wider variety of tools and draw faster.

Her favorite characters from video games and television shows, such as characters from Genshin Impact and Spy x Family, are often the subjects of her artwork.

Courtesy of Claire Kwon

Kwon enjoys illustrating characters from her favorite video game, Genshin Impact.

The artists who inspire her the most include both well-known illustrators, such as the character designer Rosuuri, and smaller artists on social media. These artists help her set milestones and provide a feeling of community. In addition to inspiring Kwon, these artists were also a major teaching resource as she learned the fundamentals.

“Without them, I probably wouldn’t feel as passionate about what I do,” Kwon said. “My major inspirations include all of my favorite artists on social media. But even just the simple, beautiful things inspire me too.”

Even though other artists have played a major role in her artistic development, Kwon said she finds the greatest inspiration from nature or moments with her friends. Many of her pieces are created in an attempt to emulate those feelings. She especially enjoys completing personal projects of her own characters, helping beginning artists on social media with basic anatomy and improving her skills. 

“Although the result is always satisfying, the art process itself is what makes it beautiful,” she said. 

In August, Kwon started an art Instagram, @dahwolfypotato_, to post her digital art and express her passion for art beyond friends in real life. However, even before joining Instagram, she received commission requests from friends, ranging from digital art of characters to logos to website designs. 

“I love the app’s versatility since I can post in both stories and as posts,” she said. “I put my sketches and unfinished work in my stories but sometimes I post my art process too.”

Kwon started taking commissions two to three years ago as a side job, and she said it allows her to draw even when she runs out of ideas.

To place a commission, people message Kwon on social media or in person with a specific request. She evaluates the details and decides on the price. So far, she has created over 20 commissioned pieces.

Currently, Kwon is on a break from her commissions due to a busy academic workload, but she says she will reopen them one day. Even though she has paused this business, she says art is still her favorite outlet for creativity and passion. 

“I just love that with art, you can express just about anything, whether that be something just for fun or speaking up about a serious topic,” Kwon said. “It’s a way to talk without opening your mouth or writing paragraphs.”

Tags: art, game
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