Q&A With Student Artist Kate Gardner

Kate GardnerSenior Kate Gardner’s artwork will be on display at River City Coffee in Hillcrest this September. Gardner sat down with the e-Mustang staff to talk about her growth as a young artist and her passion and inspiration for portrait drawing. 

Tell us about how you originally became interested in art.

I used to just play with watercolor and waste paints, and once I got into Mrs. Hutchins’s class, I enjoyed it a lot more. I started changing my technique and built from there. I use pencil and charcoal the most. I like to just use pencil really, and I just started working with colored pencils and paints again.

What role has art played in your life?

It has given me a lot more freedom — it’s a constant. It’s something I can always go to, and something for me to do, always. And I enjoy being commissioned by people, because they usually choose for me to draw family members and their little children, so it’s always nice to finish a project and see what they think of it.

How do you get commissioned to do these projects?

I post pictures of my work on Facebook, and people from church, or my mom’s friends, will contact me and we go from there. Sometimes I’ll sell small drawings that I’ve already done. Or sometimes I’ll draw people’s family or grandparents. Portraits are my favorite — I can build a lot from portraits because there’s so much you can do with them.

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?

The Einstein, definitely. I just finished Bernini’s sculpture of Neptune. I’ve drawn Michelangelo’s statue of Moses — those are the three that I’m most proud of. The Bernini is actually the least detailed piece I’ve ever done — it’s in charcoal.

How do you choose the subjects you draw?

It depends on when I see a picture, if it’s something I really like in the first place, and I know that it would be so cool to draw. It’s really about recognizable pictures, then the recognizable style. For instance, some people will recognize that it’s Michelangelo right away, and some won’t. But it’s an iconic style — and I like that.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through your experience in CAC’s art program? 

There are students that I look up to, and Mrs. Hutchins — I look up to her so much. I’ve learned that even if you have the most basic of pieces, people will work with you to make it incredible. And it’s all about time and patience.

What are your plans for your art career after CAC?

I’m not majoring in art so that hopefully I still enjoy it and without getting tired of it. It gets tiring sometimes, and I work slowly, so I only do a big project every month or so. Each portrait takes a few weeks each, that’s why I said it takes a lot of patience. But I would definitely like to keep on doing it. I like commissions and working with people I’ve known for so long, and I like that they can put that trust in me to draw the people they love.