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Artistically Speaking

Maya Coplin

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The Shield: What is your art major?

Abi Trent: The art major is an all inclusive thing. So we are all art majors, but you specialize in different types of art. So personally I primarily take drawing and print making, but I have also taken sculpture.


TS: What made you interested in art?

AT: Growing up, my mom majored in print making at UT and so growing up, art has been extremely important to me. It was just like, “Oh your bored go draw something” and I remember when I was little my mom put me and my sisters out on the back porch and she gave us these big pieces of paper and black and white paint and paint brushes, and we had to paint like Jackson Pollock. Basically, what he would paint was these giant splatters of paint. So we were put outside and were told to paint like him, so like splatter paint all over the place.


Have you won any art awards?

Every year we all have to compete in the VASE competition. For the past four years of high school, I have made my pieces to go to state. I think freshman year we did some sort of competition where we entered in these posters, and I remember winning some sort of gift card. But I don’t really remember.


What went through your head when you made it to state?

My freshman year I remember (former art teacher Carol) Torrence told me and Lilly Hickman-Waldon that we had both made it to state. We were really excited, and she warned us not to get our hopes up that she had never seen a student go to state all four years. I was really determined to make that my goal.


What is your favorite thing to have in your art?

I really enjoy portraits. I have this technique that I call my vertical line drawings which is where I complete a drawing with only vertical lines where all I can do is vertical lines, so you do shading and everything using only vertical lines, so there is no cross hatching or anything.


What is your favorite media to work in?

I think that my favorite media to work in is linoleum carving although the medium I am most experienced in is pen work. Pen work is drawing like pen and ink, and then printmaking is linoleum.


Do you hope to continue after high school?

For a while I seriously considered going to art school. That kind of changed last year, but since I’m going to UT and there is a really wide variety of options that I can pursue, I definitely want to take some art classes.


Why do you enjoy art?

It’s kind of the way I release all my stress. It’s also like this creative energy that I have within me that I can put on paper and being able to see that created is pretty amazing. It just means a lot to me. It’s just my thing.


What do you use as inspiration for your art?

A lot of my inspiration comes from other artists here. I’m really blessed to be surrounded by so many fantastic artists.


What is your favorite piece you have ever created?

This year I have really started getting more adventurous in my linoleum prints and just trying to be more experimental so I think that some of my most recent linoleum prints have been my favorite.


Describe the feeling when you finish a piece:

I never finish a piece, I will get to a point where visually and ascetically it looks done and people will look at it and say oh that looks done. But I can’t say that I have ever finished a piece of mine, they are all on going.


Do you have any goals for your art?

If art becomes a big part of my life in the future, I really want it to be something that changes opinions, changes minds; I want it to effect people.


Is there anything you have learned from art?

Patience. When I first came into this program I would either complete a piece in a day or I wouldn’t complete it at all. Now it takes me three weeks to four weeks to complete a piece. I have learned a lot from art, it has probably been one of my biggest teachers.


What is your greatest accomplishment?

I think just being able to complete huge pieces of art and getting that hand eye coordination like being able to look at a picture and be able to perfectly recreate it on a page. That’s not really what I define as art but it is a

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Artistically Speaking