Student Artist: Lena Azhar Haifa

June 26, 2020

Pre-Major: Fine Arts

ArtworkWhy did you choose NVC and what do you like about it?
In all honesty, I chose NVC because it was closest to my house. However, I stayed in NVC because of the positive environment the campus enforces. There are so many resources available for students, regardless of major. Also, it's hard to resist walking around campus just for the sake of enjoying the greenery.

Describe your background. What made you decide to be an artist?
Growing up, I've always drawn as a hobby. I thought at first that it was the mere act of creating art that made me happy. However, as I got older, I came to realize it was the storytelling aspect of art that made me an invested artist. Taking the time to create a fictional world, with characters whose stories could touch the hearts of those who cared to listen, that's what made art so enjoyable. When I realized that there were people who made a living off of their passion, I knew I wanted to do the same. I was so fortunate to have loving and supportive parents, as they motivated me to fulfill my dreams.

Which classes or faculty members impacted your work and your life?
ArtworkPainting I and II made me discover my love for a medium so out of my comfort zone. 3D Animation made me realize how especially difficult the animation process is, and yet the end result is so rewarding. Introduction to Ethics taught me a lot about different mindsets and how I could implement these perspectives in my work. Honestly, there isn't a single class I have taken at Vista that hasn't impacted my life in some way.

As for people, William Keith, my painting professor and mentor, has definitely impacted my work and life. He has helped guide me through the fundamentals of art, which has helped my art skills improve dramatically. He always had advice to provide, which I always found valuable as well. My advisor, Anna Castorena, was so supportive of my growth at NVC, and always provided wisdom when I needed it most. Also, my speech professor, Steven Montemayor, has taught me to overcome stage fright and effectively convey a statement to a group of people. Just as these people have influenced my life, I believe they have also influenced my work.

Describe your work’s concept, aesthetic, and your process of making it.
I'd like to think every piece I've ever made has a story to tell. That every person that observes my work has a different perspective of what I'm trying to convey. That's what my work has always been: a story. Just as my views are subject to change, so is my work's aesthetic. This is why my art goes from digital character design, to a landscape painting. My work's aesthetic is the gut feeling I had when I decided to create it. That being said, when I start drawing or painting, my process always begins with a certain emotion.
Which artists inspire and/or influence you the most and why?
ArtworkI've only ever had one major artist influence, and that was Edd Gould. He was an animator popular on YouTube. I had discovered him during elementary school, when I just started practicing animation on my Nintendo DS. His animations may have not been outstanding, but to me, as a child, I was moved. To know someone like Edd Gould, an animator who made a living off of his passion for storytelling, even existed, gave me so much hope and inspiration, which has continued to live on with me.

What kind of plans do you have set for your future as an artist? Are you planning to pursue a Bachelor's degree?
I am planning to pursue a Bachelor's degree, actually! I'm most likely gonna study either Fine Arts or Computer Animation.

Like most college students, I'm still in the process of discovering what I could do with my knowledge. Ideally, I'd like to work for a company as a concept artist (or even an animator). However, I've also considered starting up my own business by selling my work online and locally.