Shelby Farrell  (Class of 2015)

Major: Illustration

Minor: Writing

I chose Marywood because my art teacher in high school had told me about a certain old man who was crazy about cats that happened to work in the Art Department at Marywood. She said he was a brilliant artist and that he’d teach me a lot. I was not disappointed. Not only did Marywood have an Illustration program and a fantastic faculty, they also had a welcoming environment. Just one day on campus, before classes even started, resulted in my finding a great roommate and lifelong best friend.

I am majoring in Art because I have always had an interest in drawing. I hate to use the old cliché that “I’d been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil” but, I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil. I was always making characters and stories and took pride in my imagination and abilities to solve problems that come my way. Becoming an illustrator just seemed like the logical thing to do.

When I’m not in class, I’m either I’m hanging out with my friends or playing a good video game. Every experience outside of my art work is something that I try to apply to my artwork. I always try to stay in the company of other creative people and I’m always looking at other creative works and comparing them to my own. What can I do better? How can I make my own work more original and different? I think it’s very important as an artist to immerse yourself in the culture and stay in the competition with other artists from everywhere else.

My favorite class was Visual Concepts, it definitely takes the cake. Out of all the classes I’ve taken, I still love that one best simply because it put my mind to the test. The projects pushed me in all the right ways. Every “visual problem” has multiple solutions, but only one would work for me.

The coolest thing I’ve done so far was… I really can’t decide. I should say my comic book but I still love my bricolage that I made my freshman year. We had to make something from nothing which literally meant dumpster diving for art supplies. We weren’t allowed to use any bought materials. It was the first assignment for Visual Concepts and it was meant to “break students,” but I think I hit it out of the park. It was the confidence booster I needed right at the beginning.

When I graduate I hope to be a great illustrator. I want to do a few books but really I just want to make people happy with my art. I could work at a firm. But I mostly want to freelance. And who knows? Perhaps I’ll come back for my Masters and teach here one day.

I’d recommend the Art program at Marywood because you’re really left to your own devices when you come here. Sure you get guidance from your teachers and they answer any and all questions you might ask. But ultimately, coming here is a free-reign creative journey. It’s up to you how you develop as an artist. Your portfolio is truly you. It’s whatever you want it to be. The school’s got great equipment and beautiful studio spaces. But it’s up to you how much overtime you’re willing to spend there to get better.

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