Stephanie M. Luc
For this senior, her art isn’t simply creativity; it is her way of expressing herself and her daily experiences.
Artists are often portrayed in the media as sitting around different coffee shops for hours having deep and meaningful conversations with whoever will listen, swanning about in interesting clothes at art galleries to admire those that inspire them or having dramatic nervous breakdowns usually about drugs or alcohol. In the movies, an artist is someone who has their work all over their New York studio apartment and can’t seem to get their life together for the hour and a half they’re being watched. Artists are overlooked in the sense that who they are is exactly what they create. Senior Stephanie Luc is her work.
“I motivate myself the most,” Luc said. “I get exhilarated when doing art. I can sit down for hours straight without needing breaks because I’m so into it.”
On occasion artists will be found doing all of those stereotypical things, yet most of the time they are found where they feel most comfortable: in their studio, making art. It’s safe to generalize artists as a whole. It should be assumed that they are open about what they create and are proud of what they do, but this isn’t always the end all be all; Luc is very humble about what she does. Even though she carries so much talent, she keeps it quiet amongst her friends and other peers.
“It’s not that I don’t want anyone to know, it’s just that I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging about it,” Luc said. “There are occasional situations when I transport my stuff and people ask to see it, if they ask I’ll tell them, but at the same time I’m not super open about it. A neighborhood friend of mine didn’t even know I was an artist until this year, that’s when I realized that many people don’t really know.”
Although a lot of Luc’s friends may not know about her art, the ones that do are very supportive and can see how hard she works to create what she loves.
“It’s clear that she has put in a lot of time and effort into honing in her skills and refining them with each piece that she does,” senior Tessa Larson said. “Because of that she is more advanced than a lot of other students our age, but through her artwork you can really see her passion for what she does.”
Inspiration is one of the first steps in an artist’s work. Inspiration is everywhere and it is different for every artist. Yet, most have an appreciation and a wide breadth of knowledge about the creative pursuits of others. Luc finds inspiration in various places such as social media, her peers or other famous artist’s work. Inspiration requires thought. Next time there’s an artist sitting in a comfy chair and gazing into space, they’re not necessarily loafing. They might actually be working.
“I have a wide range of who inspires me and who I admire the most,” Luc said. “I admire a lot of artists from the Renaissance as they took years to do those paintings. If I were to choose one I’d say a small modern artist who goes by the name Kildren on Instagram. When I’m in a slump, I can look at his work and get inspired again. I also find my inspiration from artists on YouTube and social media. I’ll watch an artist paint while I’m painting, and it helps me get through it.”
Success comes with challenges regardless of the individual accomplishing it, but artists specifically struggle. Art is time consuming. It is difficult for teenagers to find time to sit down and do things that take their mind off the rest of the world. It hasn’t been easy for Luc to make time for art because she takes advanced placement classes and prepares for college.
“I’m actually going through my biggest challenge as an artist right now,” Luc said. “Earlier this year I submitted my portfolio in AP, which required me to make 24 pieces of art to be evaluated. I spent all my free time trying to get it done and eventually started sacrificing some of my other classes. After cranking out so many pieces in such a short time, it’s been hard for me right now to pick anything up. I’m having issues finding time to be able to sit down and do art, as I’m busy with college applications and school.”
This is certainly the less glamorous side of being an artist, but it’s part of the job. Because creative people can find it difficult to find time to be creative, they need to pay extra attention to developing good time management habits.
“Stephanie spends most of her life making or critiquing art,” senior Madison McBride said. “I’ve never seen someone with so much natural talent dedicate as much passion to anything as Stephanie dedicated to art.”
Something that sets Luc’s work apart from other artists in this industry
is she isn’t the type to paint watercolor flowers or stick peonies in pages of a journal– even though that is a form of art, she prefers hyperrealism or surrealism. Hyperrealism is defined as a genre of painting and sculpture resembling a high-resolution photograph. Since this is a more time consuming form of art, Luc improves her skills by practicing this type of art.
“I love the ability to improve myself in art,” Luc said. “This has played a role in my constant strive to make or learn new things.”
Luc has taken an art class at Antioch Community High School since her freshman year, and it has helped her in seeing her classmates and her work in several different perspectives that she wouldn’t have seen or realized otherwise.
“As doing art seriously throughout high school, it has shaped me as time went on,” Luc said. “I’m grateful for it, as it has made me more open. Art has helped me become more accepting of others and see all the different perspectives of things. Every single person is unique in their own ways, but in an art class, the only thing different about us is our art.”
Art can take many forms. It is the expression of an idea in some sort of physical form. Artists need to work consistently and produce a body of quality work that so much of their time is spent in the studio doing just that. For Stephanie Luc, her career as an artist is just getting started.