How do you come up with ideas? ...and other thoughts from our BFA students

Posted by Kathy Smyser on Jul 10, 2015 5:00:00 PM

The current exhibition in PCA&D’s gallery, Selected Artworks from the BFA Program at PCA&D, features a selection of outstanding artwork created by our rising junior and senior BFA students. A wide variety of media are represented including digital and hand-painted illustration, sculpture, painting, printmaking, photography and graphic design.


Several of the students took time from their busy summer to talk about their process of making art.

Q: What does the process of making art mean to you?

  • Alexandria Bonner, Fine Art ‘16: Art making is about creating complex beauty in simple materials. It's the sharing of an idea to others. 
  • selected_works_sarah_PietrowskiKatherine Stratis, Illustration ‘16: Everyone has two selves- one that the world sees, and the other that resides only inside their mind. Art is a way for me to express that innermost self- a way to make the visions and worlds inside my mind an expression that others can share and experience too.  
  • Sarah Pietrowski , Photography ‘16: The process of making art allows me to capture a small moment in time and share it with others.  
  • David Billett, Photography ‘17: I don't really think of it as a process, I don't like to work in stages. For me I start with an idea and go from there. I don't usually know where I'm going to end up and yet alone know how I'm going to get there. I don't know if that really answers the question. I'm still in the process of figuring out my groove. 
  • Rebecca Lerch, Illustration ’16: The journey from an idea to the finished piece can be as different as each individual’s walk in life. Each time I make art, I must remind myself that it is a unique experience that requires an open and sensitive mindset to properly convey my thoughts through the work. 
  • Trayton Pinson, Photography ‘17: The process of art to me is finding/exploring a unique way to communicate in a universal unspoken language in order to better express my thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

How do you come up with ideas for your work?

  • Lauryn_Watkins-1 Lauryn Watkins, Illustration ‘16: Like many other art students, I have a sketchbook. When I’m coming up with ideas I usually sketch out the general idea of what I see in my head and go from there. Thumbnails are also a usual starting point for things such as environments or layouts for an advertisement.  After I’m happy with what I’ve come up with and I pick a design, I draw it in pencil and then ink it by hand. After inking I scan it and then do all the coloring, shading, and effects in photoshop or any other program that I need to finish the piece.
  • Alexsis Supplee, Fine Art ‘16: Coming up with ideas can either be a breeze or a serious struggle. I tend to start the process off in my sketchbook by taking a lot of notes from my own thoughts and even sketching out random idea's. Sometimes coming up with ideas ends up being based on my intuition as well. I don't always like planned projects so when I look at a blank canvas I can feel what is supposed to be there. 
  • Kevin Mancuso, Graphic Design ‘16: First thing I do is research the company, then I gather up inspirational artwork that I feel best represents the company. Then I create a word map which is basically anything that can best describe the company. Word mapping basically gives me element different element that I can implement into the overall design. I normally do as many sketches as possible, then I start to design the concepts on to the computer at which the overall design gets three different revisions to them.      
  • Selected_work_Maurice_ButlerMaurice Butler, Fine Art 17: I would ask myself, "What do I want to talk about?" I'm always intrigued the way that art can spark a conversation. To find that road of letting your art speak for you is a tough thing. I'm a conservative man who doesn't really talk much about his past. So I tend to speak about it through my work because I'm afraid what others think. 
  • Jezabeth Gonzalez, Photography ‘17: Sometimes I have dreams about them, other times I go through my journal entries. I mostly write about things I want to make that sometimes I'm scared of people’s reactions or how it will affect me or others. Then I just do it. If it works great, if not, I'm happy I tried it.
  • Avery Rose, Graphic Design ‘16: My process always starts with Research, Sketching and or Writing. I then narrow down my ideas to what I believe is the best direction for that project. After that I try and carry out and complete the initial idea, making corrections and changes as needed along the way.

 More information on the exhibition, which runs through August 8, can be found at



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