Drawing is a form of expression

Creating original characters also creates friendships among artistic students


Stephanie Jimenez

Junior Angelina HangPres looks thorugh her drawings. This particular drawing represents one of her orginal characters. It is influnced by a rose bud that grows into a celestial being along with a backstory to her character.

“We clicked instantly.” That’s how junior Angelina HangPres describes her friendship with senior Nabikkie Thoeun and junior Annie Traxler.
Hang, Thoen, and Traxler all draw their own characters. They take inspiration from “Cartoon Network” shows like “Adventure Time,” “Steven Universe,” and “Amazing World of Gumball.”
“When I see something really cool, it helps me base my characters of off that,” HangPres said.
Despite taking inspiration from the same shows, their drawing styles are different. HangPres makes her drawings more cartoon-like while Traxler is more anime-oriented and Thoeun focuses on realism.
When creating new characters, their imagination explodes with creativity. Because Thoeun’s drawings are realistic, she enjoys having diversity in her creations so she thinks about the little things.
“My drawings are like actual people, they all have their own unique features,” Thoeun said, “I have to think of details like the eyebrow, face, and eye shape and also the skin color. ”
HangPres and Traxler think of whether they want a vibrant character with bright colors and exuberant shapes or a dark character, with somber colors and a gloomy tone.
HangPres said, “It all depends on where I get inspiration from. Recently, I was listening to a rap song and it gave me ideas that are different from my regular style.”
The three were introduced to the world of drawing in different ways. When Theon was a child, she spent a lot of time with her dad who would always watch anime shows and movies.
Eventually she became interested in all the colors and figures that she began to copy the characters until she started creating her own.
For HangPres, it all started in kindergarten when she saw one of her classmates drawing cartoon characters and she immediately became intrigued.
Shortly after, she asked her friend to teach her about it, which sparked her interest even more. As for Traxler, she began to draw when she was 13 years old, out of boredom at first but as she continued her imagination began to kindle.
Both Thoeun and Traxler say that HangPres is the one that gives more tips.
“Angelina gives me tips on how to color,” Thoeun said. “She tells me to make sure not to dab too much so it doesn’t bleed out.”
Traxler said, “She (Angelina) helps me when I freestyle my drawings.”
Although HangPres gives the most tips, she still learns from her friends’ creations.
She said, “I’m always fascinated by my friends’ work. Their style and their characters’ background story… it’s so amazing.”
It took a huge amount of love and dedication for them to become skilled. Throughout the years of them drawing, sometimes they felt like giving up.
Thoeun said, “When some of my drawings wouldn’t come out how they looked like in my head, I’d get frustrated.”
The amount of time it took them to complete a drawing was another frustrating factor for HangPres, who said, “To complete just one drawing, it would take me about two or three days. During those days I’d get tired and I would start wondering if it was worth it.”
Since HangPres plans to go further in life with her drawings, she would tell herself that in order to get better, she had to put in the time.
Traxler agrees with that by saying, “The more you practice the more you get it and once it comes out the way you wanted it to, you know all that time you put in paid off.”