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Photo by Luis Aleman

Luis Aleman: Portraying Life on a Canvas

This week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a talented and well-versed artist as well as an Florida State University film student and freshman Luis Aleman, during which he discussed his passion and drive for art, upcoming projects as well as his goals and plans for the future. Aleman has a lot of impressive accomplishments and works under his belt and he’ll just keep growing from here, painting life on a canvas.

Her Campus (HC): How and when did you get started in art?

Luis Aleman (LA): My interest in art began at a very young age. One of my elementary art teachers suggested I try out for a magnet school because she had seen potential in me. So, I did and attended an arts magnet program in middle school. After that, I attended the New World School of the Arts, where I discovered different media and have been learning new ways to further advance artistically since.

HC: What are your aspirations for the future?

LA: It’s not very clear now. I know in the future I want to have a career in the arts field, whether that’s animation or a full-time painter or anything else. I just hope to find a job I can enjoy doing and have a passion for.

HC: I saw you’re a YoungArts winner. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

LA: YoungArts is an art foundation program that awards the top selected winners across the nation with financial awards and creative and professional development experiences working with renowned guest artists. I happened to be one of the selected winners and was so honored and humbled when I received the news. For a week, I was invited by the program to join the other winners and got to see many museums and meet many others from different art strands, such as dance, music and film. It was a very eye-opening and fun experience and I was very glad to be a part of it.

HC: Another big and impressive accomplishment of yours is that you’re in FSU’s film school. What made you decide to apply, and what was that process like?

LA: I started realizing as a senior in high school that I wanted to expand myself creatively and test out different art mediums in which I can express myself as an artist. The first thing that came to mind was film, more specifically animation. I had a growing passion for storytelling and animation is a gateway to that. With painting, it is very limited to telling stories but with animation, the possibilities are endless and you aren’t stuck with just one frame but rather thousands. I knew that FSU had a very strong reputation in the film department and happens to be one of the greatest film schools in America so I knew I had to apply. The process of applying was quite intimidating. I had zero experience in film and only had my focus in painting, but I knew I wanted to try something new. My portfolio looked very different from others who had applied, with mostly paintings instead of film projects but in the end, it all worked out.

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HC: Are you working on any projects right now? If so, what are they?

LA: As of now, I am working on just one painting project to have exhibited at a gallery in Miami soon. It’s been a slow-moving project because of the balance of trying to focus on school and my art career at once but progress is going well so far!

HC: That’s so good to hear! Could you tell us a little bit more about the exhibit?

LA: Yeah, so this gallery is called Zenith Art & Fashion Miami and I have been lucky enough to be represented by them. This gallery loves to introduce not only professional artists but also new and local emerging artists. Their exhibitions typically involve both fashion and art and have such a wide range of contemporary art styles and so I’m just very glad to be a part of it!

HC: How would you say your style has evolved over the years?

LA: I’d say that I always had that art style in me and I just needed to discover it myself, almost like solving a puzzle. Piece by piece I began to connect the dots, as a little kid I only focused on graffiti and graffiti tags. I just really liked how they looked and they were such a big part of my life living in Miami. As I got older, my traditionalist side started to reveal itself as I always had a love for the renaissance and baroque eras, when technical skills were the priority in the art world. So, I began to teach myself the anatomy of the human face and body, from skeletons to muscles and reading about the great masters like Caravaggio and William Bouguereau and their ways of painting. This resulted in me combining both of these two very different art worlds and styles into one, describing my love for both of them.

HC: Lastly, what inspires you?

LA: Many things inspire me; there is just something in me that makes me want to create art. If I’m not creating art, I feel hollow. The people I meet inspire me. Most of the paintings I do are of people I have meet, and in a way, I like to feel as if I have immortalized them into a painting. Other things that inspire me are my surroundings, where I live, where my high school was, right in the middle of Downtown Miami. The essence of Miami inspires me. The paintings are almost like a record of my life being told through the people I have met, the places I grew up in and how I found my identity as a person.

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Julia Safrin is a freshman at Florida State from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is majoring in creative writing with aspirations of becoming a screenwriter for movies and TV. She has a general love for writing but is the most passionate about spoken word poetry. In her free time she goes out with with her friends and vibes to indie, alternative, and modern rock music. On campus she is involved in Poetry Club, the Brazilian Student Union, and the Hall Council. Julia is fluent is Portuguese and also frequents concerts and poetry slams.
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