Byline : Kayley Weeks / Staff Writer
Dana Casey has been able to draw since the day she first picked up a pencil. Drawing has always been a part of her life. “I do not remember a time that I was not interested in art,” says Casey. Her interest in art really solidified during high school when she took a Graphic Design class. This class helped her to determine the path she wanted to take throughout college. Now, Casey is in her fourth year at the University of Southern Maine. She is working on her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography and Digital Art and Design. On top of this, Casey has a double minor in Art History and Education.
Casey grew up in Oxford, Maine, but she has been living on campus since she was a freshman. Like most residential students who lived on campus during the fall semester, Casey moved home for winter break. Since then, she has found it difficult staying on top of things in a new environment. She prefers creating her artwork in the studio space at USM and her dorm room than at home. Casey feels like she has not learned as much this semester as she has in the past. She thinks this is due to professors having to rearrange their lesson plans to switch to remote learning. Remote learning is not as in depth as in-person studios. She feels like her classes are doing project after project with less critiques which makes growth hard.
Casey took her favorite art class in the fall of 2019. The course offered by USM focused on printmaking and was taught by Damir Pirobic. “Print is tedious, but print compliments my art style and creative process well. Damir was also a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the projects and freedom we had,” says Casey.
Casey describes her art style as versatile, but believes that semi-realistic may be the most accurate description. Most of her art is inspired by cartoons and anime, but she still manages to portray realism in all of her pieces. However, her style is not always as realistic as artwork from the renaissance. She likes to draw traditionally and digitally, and she believes she has a good eye for drawing.
Casey believes that something is always inspiring artists, and that there is a lot that inspires her own art. She draws inspiration from her own struggles and her own life and from her own interests like video games, tv shows, or the supernatural; “It is easier to create art that draws inspiration from somewhere than trying to be completely original.” She also draws from her emotions as well, “It is hard to create pieces that do not cater to my emotions, if I am not in a good place at the time, it is all I can think about.”
Lately, Casey has been discovering more about Korean culture. Casey is Korean and European. She has been perceiving it as a self discovery journey. Casey is really interested in Asian Art, especially Korean Art, and she would like to implement the art and culture into her own art as a form of self-expression.
Casey is motivated by self-growth and improving as an artist. She likes to practice her skills and experiment with new things. Casey feels that a lot of her pieces are important and meaningful to her in unique ways, but she has a certain style that is her favorite. There are some specific pieces she has enjoyed creating over the years, including her Poké Bowl Triptych that she created as her Fundamentals of Drawing final, a few of her book arts projects, like the dos-a-dos book, or her “self portrait as an animal” painting from Intro to Painting. These are all fun projects that Casey has enjoyed and has been able to utilize her own skills as well as her own ideas.
Although the semester has ended, Casey has not stopped making art. She is currently catching up on some commissions, playing around with digital art to find a sense of style there.
Casey has had many ideas of what she would like to do after college. She has a long term goal of either becoming a tattoo artist or a graphic designer. One day, Casey may go back to school to finish an education degree. Although she is optimistic of her future, she knows she has plenty of time to get where she is going.
If you are interested in seeing more of Casey’s artwork, she posts her digital art and photography, and her school work to her Instagram page @daynuhnuh2.