Creativity brings fulfillment for junior

Abigail Christiansen explores art in multiple forms


Danny Shope

Junior Abigail Christiansen works in a sketchbook on March 14. Christiansen also paints and creates digital artwork.

Danny Shope

What kind of art do you do?

I do a couple different types. I mostly do digital art, but I also do some traditional pen and paper or pencil and paper (artwork). I’ve also done a bit of painting. Over the years I’ve tried a fair number of different kinds of mediums, but I still mostly stick with digital art.

What inspired you to start doing art?

I’ve been doing it since I was really young. My family’s really artsy overall — my parents are, and my siblings are. I started drawing when I was really young, but I got into it seriously in fifth grade. That’s when I started drawing all the time because I wanted to draw characters from the books I liked.

What kind of digital art have you done?

I mostly do illustration work. I use an app called Procreate, which is actually a pretty commonly used digital arts app. It’s an alternative to one of those expensive programs like Adobe Illustrator, and you can just have it on your phone or iPad. I do more cartoony stuff, but I also do a fair variety of other styles.

Do you like digital or traditional art better?

I don’t actually have too much of a preference between the two. the reason why I do a lot of digital art in comparison to on-paper artwork is that it’s just really convenient. Especially for things like painting or drawing with colored pencils, those materials can get really expensive for some artists. Some artists spend a ton of money on brand name colored pencils for their traditional work. I prefer to just buy a program for a one-time small purchase, and then I can make whatever I want on that. 

What advice would you give to people who want to try out doing art?

My biggest piece of advice is just make sure you’re enjoying the process, more than anything else. Even if you want to be really good at it, the most important part is that you enjoy doing it. If you enjoy doing it, you’re going to keep working on it and you’re going to keep practicing and improving. You can’t get anywhere without some sort of passion and enjoyment of the process. 

What have your experiences been like with art teachers?

In freshman year, I had Ms. Ortman for Drawing and Painting 1. I thought she was a really fun teacher. This year, I have pottery with Ms. Jacob. She’s a really cool teacher too, and I’m enjoying trying something new.

What are your plans for the future in terms of art?

I’m not planning on doing it professionally or anything — I’m not really interested in that. But I want to keep working on it, keep getting better at it, and keep enjoying it.

Why is art important to you?

I don’t have any grand reason. It’s just a hobby I really enjoy doing, and I’ve been doing it for so long. It just feels natural.

How does doing art make you feel?

It’s really peaceful for me, especially with a longer piece, where I can get into the flow of it when I’m working on it long enough. I can sit and do it and not even think about it. I can do it during class or something and still pay attention to what’s going on because it’s just mindless.