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Aunika Woodbury shares passion for painting

“I think art is important because obviously it’s a really great way to express yourself, and put your feelings just down,” said junior art major Aunika Woodbury. “I feel like it’s similar to writing in that way but it’s just images instead of words.” 

Woodbury said art does not have to be serious all the time. 

“I want to make people have fun when they look at it. It’s just a great activity for getting your endorphins moving,” Woodbury said.

Woodbury has made art for around nine years. While she mostly creates drawings, paintings and digital art, Woodbury said she works in a variety of media — including embroidery and textile work. She is working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in painting and drawing. 

A B.F.A. differs from a Bachelor of Arts because it requires students to specialize in one particular artistic medium, according to the Westminster College website. 

Aunika Woodbry sits next to a painting with a pink background and teal and yellow froge with green plants. She sits next to her painting dipping her brush in the blue pain in a paint pallet covered in shades of green, blue, red, and pink.
Aunika Woodbury, a junior art major, paints in Converse Hall Nov. 11. Woodbury is working towards her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in painting and drawing. Photo courtesy of Keely Carolan.

Woodbury said she hopes more students will get involved with art opportunities that are open to everyone on campus. 

One of those opportunities is through Westminster’s Art Crowd, a club unaffiliated with ASW. WAC was created as a space for students to create art together outside of the classroom, according to the WAC website.

“There’s an Instagram page for it and a gallery space in the basement [of Converse Hall] where there’s shows every month that people can participate in — but a lot of people don’t,” Woodbury said. 

The following interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity. 

Q: How did you get into making art?

A: I’ve had a long history. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been obsessed with cartoons. […] I think that as I was growing up and started watching anime and more mature cartoons, I started to get interested in trying to figure out how they make them, how they draw them — and so I would watch little tutorials online. From there after learning how they made it, I figured out how to make my own stuff and figured out my own style. 

Q: What is your process when you’re creating an art piece?

A: The first starting point I have for a lot of my work is brainstorming or finding inspiration. I have a lot of boards on Pinterest or collections of images […] that I kind of think would look nice together. Then from there I’ll do a rough sketch, or if I’m feeling real spontaneous I’ll just get right into it if I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. I’ll do — like in the case of this painting, it’s a rough sketch with paint. It really depends on the medium too, because different mediums have different processes that I like to do. 

Q: What do you plan on doing with your art in the future? Do you hope to make a career out of it?

A: I am also studying education. I really want to teach art. […] I’m kind of a substitute teacher, like a teacher’s assistant, and I would really love to, in the end, be a high school art teacher. I would also love to start selling my art and making a shop, or a YouTube channel or some other way to share it, because I think it’s super fun to watch other people make art. 

Aunika Woobury stands above a table full of colorful textile and embroidery pieces. Aunika stands next to an orange chair holding an emroidery hoop.
Aunika Woodbury, a junior art major, describes an embroidery/textile piece she is working on in Converse Hall Nov. 11. Woodbury said she works in many mediums, but drawing and painting are her favorites. Photo courtesy of Keely Carolan.
Q: What do you think is one misconception about artists?

A: One [misconception] specifically about art majors is that we don’t have a lot of homework because it’s all painting and stuff; but, it is really hard and it’s a lot of time and effort put into work. I think there’s a lot of art students who work their butts off and are probably exhausted. Sometimes there’s an idea that art isn’t as important or [does not have] the same academic value as science or psychology or anything like that. I would say it also has values, in other ways. 

Q: What is your biggest piece of advice for people trying to get into making art?

A: My biggest piece of advice is to be consistent and not give up. […] I think it takes a lot of time and patience, and researching and learning different things. […] [Be] consistent and draw or do whatever your art is as much as possible. 

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Keely Carolan is a junior communication major from Seattle, Washington. When she isn’t studying, you’ll probably find her climbing, coaching kids at a local climbing gym, or setting routes at the school’s climbing wall. Keely hopes to one day intertwine her passion for climbing and journalism into an enjoyable career.

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