HU campus artists make names for themselves

Aaron Worley | Arts & Entertainment Editor

The career goals and aspects of students on Hampton University’s campus have differed from one to the next. One of the smallest and most intuitive studies is art, and students that are able to express their positions and thoughts about issues through their masterpieces. Two students, Andre Martin and Chase Blackwell, have developed their crafts to appeal to a wide variety of both teachers and fellow students.

Fascinated by art in the third grade, Andre Martin, a sophomore, graphic design major from Aurora, Illinois originally thought of it as something to do, or more specifically, like a casual hobby. He was introduced to the process by a mandatory art class in his middle school; his interest only propelled from that point, up until the sixth grade, when he began to think of it as more of a serious career choice.

For most of his life after that, Martin learned to craft his own personal artistic style more sharply. However, this is not the only difference that can be noted from his style. Contrary to most, he prefers the beginning of making a project, trying to find what to draw about or deciding which way to approach the picture that will highlight its features in the clearest way possible.

The end of the endeavor is rewarding nevertheless, and the relief of finishing it trumps nearly every ounce of frustration and difficulty that comes along with it, said Martin. For starters, he has gained support from his friends, and most importantly, his family members who have influenced the process by providing him with supplies and motivation to continue to do his best and achieve greatness.

“I’ve noticed that the artist’s outlook on life is something that you have to grow accustomed to, but because of my exposure with the elements, I can pinpoint those artistic values and shading or whatever with a richer intensity than others,” Martin said in response to how his perspective on the environment has changed because of his passion.

Even though some people may not understand this viewpoint, Martin insists that it is because they have not opened their minds up to the appreciation of these fundamentals for observation, but can easily learn how to.

With this concept in mind, Martin has applied it from all possible angles, and still gains knowledge every day from regular interaction and continuous observation.

The other student, Chase Blackwell, began to draw as early as when he first was able to pick up a pencil and write. He would draw shapes and figures in art classes for when he was younger and showed early interest from the start. His passion for drawing then escalated through that point when he drew frequently through middle and some of high school, where it overtook his earlier career interest as a zoologist.

Although he still liked animals, he was encouraged by his family members, friends, and teachers to pursue his talent which they said should not go to waste. However, his mother still advised him to pursue a minor in marketing, which she believed would also help him be successful in the long run. “The perspective that one looks at in surroundings,” he said, “is maybe something an artist learns over time, and only with time. I don’t think that it’s someone everyone possesses.”

Obviously by this, he means that soemone cannot just pick up an art textbook, read, and expect the material to flow effortlessly with no other development course involved. Someone who is interested has to interact with their environment heavily; they have to make progress in trying to create objects that personify their ideas on paper, and have to continue through the process without succumbing to frustration.

The broadly defined “artist” genre has therefore reinforced Blackwell’s interest in the subject and with these values, he has continued to create portraits of celebrities and animals in his sketchbook and has created canvases on display in Armstrong-Slater.


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