Artist of the Week: Brittany Fukushima

Artist of the Week: Brittany Fukushima

This week’s featured artist is senior Brittany Fukushima. Over the summer, she attended a three-week intensive at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). We discussed her inspirations, her experiences, and her views on art.

Who is your favorite artist?It’s hard to narrow down to just one artist. Egon Schiele is a huge influence on me and is definitely one of my favorites. I also admire many other artists that I follow on the Internet like Anthony Cudahy and Kaneoya Sachiko.

What is your favorite medium?

What art school do you plan on attending?
I have my sights set on The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but I’d pretty much be happy going to any of the other art schools I’m applying to (California College of the Arts, Ringling College of Art and Design, Columbia College, School of Visual Arts, Savannah College of Art and Design).

What is your ideal job in the arts?
I think creating character designs for animated TV shows and movies would be a lot of fun, but probably just any job in which I’m able to utilize my illustrations.

What is your favorite subject matter?
I work with people mostly, they’re just the most natural things to draw. Lately, I’ve also been drawing a lot of plants and just combining them with my normal subject matter.

What inspires your work?
A lot of things, really…from photographs I see on Tumblr or Flickr to the field directly across from University. Studying invertebrates in my zoology class has been a great source of inspiration — I’ve mostly been incorporating sponges and corals in my work. I also draw a lot of my inspiration from fashion photography and fashion design in general (Givenchy and Alexander McQueen are my favorite design houses…just in case anyone was wondering). I also find beauty in the grotesque, things that most people would probably find off-putting — like maggot-infested fruit or deformity, things like that.

What awards have you received for your work?
My freshman year, I won honorable mention for the drawing category in the Carmel Arts Fair, and this year I won best in show for my white charcoal portrait.

How would you describe your aesthetic?
Well, some of my work has been described as gross or disturbing, but I feel I just have different tastes than most people. If I draw a person, for the most part, they won’t be complete, I’ll draw some part of them missing or dragged away from the rest of the figure- they’re incomplete. My work is weird yet beautiful…at least I think so.

What did you learn from your summer intensive at the art institute?
I studied 3D and 2D animation at the Art Institute. The course was more 3D animation-heavy, which means no drawing. I learned a lot, but I found 2D more fun because I felt I had more freedom with that medium. Both 3D and 2D animation are extremely time-consuming and difficult (it took me 2 hours to create one second of a film with 2D).

What was your favorite part of the curriculum at the intensive?
The program had an overall competitive feel to it, and I enjoyed that because I felt compelled to basically outdo everyone else. I also really enjoyed the figure drawing workshops offered and seeing the Liechtenstein exhibit at the Art Institute.

Is anyone else in your family an artist?
My older brother went into video game design.

Why did you decide you want to be a part of the arts?
I was interested in maybe doing something artsy as a career but didn’t make the definite decision that I wanted to go to school for art until last year.

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