Cover Contest Winner: Katherine-Aria Close, 18

Behind the scenes with the artist and her inspiration for the "resurrection" themed cover.

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Katherine-Aria Close, 2018

Katherine-Aria Close, 2018

Katherine-Aria Close, 2018

The Austringer Staff

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Meet Katherine-Aria Close, the artist of the intriguing new cover of The Austringer. As the creative source behind several other impressive landmarks around Good Counsel, including the murals in the English department and the senior lounge, we decided we should get to know her and her art a little better.

When asked about her decision to contribute to the cover contest, and her inspiration for it, Kat responded, “I was inspired by the topic of austringers, and when I am inspired, I have to render that inspiration. It helped me out of an art block and gave me a purpose to draw something. I was also inspired by the movie Lady Hawk and the concept of falconry, and the idea of new beginnings (sunrise/takeoff), and medieval Austringers.” Featuring a medieval falconer shrouded in a dark cloak, launching a gold-flecked falcon amidst a gleaming sunrise, one can clearly see these elements come alive in her final rendering of the cover.

We asked Kat, when did you begin seriously working on art? She answered, “art was planted in me as a child through my family and it just gradually grew in my life like a tree, with its roots and branches spreading out to touch almost everything before I knew it.”  While her preference lies with digital art, Kat does not shy from traditional mediums like colored pencil, graphite, ink, acrylic, and water color. Concerning subjects, she shared, “I have always preferred drawing the living and dynamic over still life. However, my greatest challenge has been drawing humans due to their complex anatomy. For quite a while, I restricted myself to drawing animals because they were a challenging subject I believed I could conquer. Thus, I focused on them as a subject for most of my early art life.”

We were curious, what moves someone like Kat to continue to create art? What propels an artist towards this act of creation? Kat responded, “It is just so empowering. It is a form of magic that allows me to conjure and bring to life stories, people, and worlds that reach beyond the possible in this world. Art (both visual, literary, and musical) also acts as a method of self-reflection, through which I have discovered so much about myself that was previously unknown to me, and self-escape, through which I can escape problems plaguing me at the moment.”

Kat shared with us her thoughts on her evolution as an artist, wise advice for anyone who has been involved in the arts. She highlighted the fact that less noticeable signs of maturity as an artist are quite possibly the most important, such as patience, perseverance, artistic ambition, and open-mindedness. Reflecting on her growth as an artist, she said, “when I was younger, I would not dare dream of painting a mural and now I am painting an entire wall by myself. When I was younger, I used to copy other people’s styles, turn to other’s art for reference, and trace the parts of a drawing that I had difficulty with. Now, I am comfortable developing my own style without relying on others’ art, using actual photos for reference and figuring out how to develop the difficult parts on my own.”

Finally, we wanted to know her thoughts on art and its contribution to humanity. She was very honest with her response, sharing, “I probably wouldn’t be here if it were not for art, and I know that is true for many, many, many other artists out there. Art is a saving grace, an escape, a safe haven, a source of renewal, inspiration, and joy. It has existed in some shape or form in every civilization which has existed, either as a means of communication, recording, or recreation.” It is for this reason, we believe, that a publication like The Austringer is a necessary element of any school community. Just as art is an important and vital part of any community throughout the history of mankind, we hope that a publication that shares the talents of our community can help bring the joy of this community to life as well.

What moves you to create or seek out art? Share your ideas with us below.

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Cover Contest Winner: Katherine-Aria Close, 18