Interview with Summer Erika, teen artist!

This is summer. She is a 14 year old Filipino girl from Canada who loves the arts. She has an art account on Instagram on which she posts her artworks. She also loves music and sports. She loves singing and playing instruments, and her favourite sports are basketball and volleyball!

Interview by Joann Lam.

How are you? Can you please start of by introducing yourself?

I'm doing good. How about you? My name is Summer, I'm a 14 year old girl for Canada. I have many hobbies, some of which are drawing, singing, and playing piano. I also love playing sports. My top two are basketball and volleyball. Amongst these hobbies I guess I could say I love drawing the most. I do it basically everyday! I'm an only child, and I'm originally from the Philippines.

How did you first get into drawing? Was it something that you felt you were naturally good at or did you grow an interest for drawing?

I’ve always loved drawing and art and I’ve always had an interest in it. I just really enjoyed doing it. I actually never really drew regularly until around a couple months ago. Quarantine got me bored and inspired me to start drawing more. Then I realized I’m actually pretty good at it.

What made you want to start an art account? Was it something that you felt you were naturally good at or did you grow an interest for drawing?

Once I started drawing pretty regularly, I’d post artworks on my Snapchat story every now and then and someone suggested that I start an art account. I was pretty hesitant at first since I was kinda shy. But since I was drawing everyday and putting a lot of time into it, I thought people should see my art and I needed a place to compile it if that makes sense. So, I started an instagram for it!

Why do you make art? (I know some people do it to ease stress or as a hobby, but why in particular do you draw/make art?)

It makes me happy and I enjoy it. I plan on maybe taking it to university and possibly making a career out of it someday.

I took a look at your page, your sketches are so realistic. What’s your secret, is there a type of technique you use for every sketch?

I just really take my time on it. I try to make sure it’s as close to the reference as possible. I feel like it’s really just patience you need. And a good eye I guess. You really have to focus on each detail and where the darker and lighter areas are.

Do you have a favorite drawing on your account? Is there something that you favor drawing?

I can’t really choose. Some of them are better than others since I’ve gotten better overtime, but I put a lot of time and work into them so I love them all. I really only draw portraits. I’m not sure why but I just enjoy drawing them. I’ve never really had an interest in drawing landscapes or objects, but maybe I’ll experiment around those things in the future.

Is there an area that you feel weaker in? (I.e coloring/blending/etc)

I’m pretty comfortable drawing with graphite. I think I need more practice with coloured pencils. I find it pretty difficult to really match the right colours and such to the reference. Graphite is easier since it’s really just values and stuff.

You said before that you have gotten better, how has your drawing progressed since when you first started?

I’d say my proportions are more accurate and my shading got better. And I’ve learned that patience is key to having a good realistic drawing.

I also saw that you are starting to sketch/draw with colors than your usual black and white drawings? Are you trying something new with the colored pencils or are you going to stick with your usual black/white drawings?

I’m planning on doing both. I love drawing in black and white, but I think it would be really great for me to start experimenting more with colour. So I’ll be posting coloured artworks every now and then.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t draw without?

Probably my fine tip eraser. I feel like my drawings got better once I got one. I’m able to really get into those tiny areas that need erasing. It lets me give my drawing highlights and it gives it more depth otherwise it’d look pretty flat and not so realistic.

No right answers: What do you think your art says about you?

Hmm. I’m not super sure. Sometimes I feel like my art is kind of basic, and that I’m just transferring a photo onto paper. So I’m figuring out how to make my art more me, and somehow put a twist on it so that there’s more originality. If you see one of my artworks you can’t really tell right away that it’s by me you know? There’s a lot of artists out there that do realism too. But there’s nothing wrong with just drawing portraits. I love doing that so I might stick to just drawing a picture and not adding much to it.

What usually motivates you to draw? How long do you usually take on one piece?

I can’t explain it but when I wake up I just wanna draw. It depends on the size of a piece and how detailed it is. It also depends on how lazy I am that day. But it usually takes hours.

Do you have any goals for your drawing/art skills in the future or even for your art account?

I just hope I don’t give up on it and still love it in the future. I hope to really improve and hopefully my art account will grow.

Do you have any advice for those people interested in the arts, but don’t find themselves good enough?

Nobody is ever “good enough” in the beginning. Progress takes time and work. You can’t improve if you’re not doing anything to get better. Just keep looking for inspiration, and draw and draw each day. It takes time, but you’ll get there.

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