Umbrella Jacket

I wanted to capture that sense of wonder and magic found in the dancing of waves in the light. I found inspiration for the wave creatures in this piece called Skyfish by artist Drachenmagier. I had fallen in love with the whimsy of their original piece, and sought to try my hand at something similar yet new. With my own style, a higher-contrast color scheme, and probably far less idea what I was doing, I came up with this piece. And it remains one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done.

This jacket was a lockdown project – an outlet for all the pent up energy that suddenly had nowhere to go as we found ourselves locked up in our houses all day every day. It was also my first real foray into painting – unconventional canvas or otherwise – so it was a project of many firsts. I really sought to challenge myself in terms of color and precision, working over details until they felt right. In the end, I was left with a complete piece that felt as though its personality and style was wrapped up entirely not only in the artwork, but the entire jacket itself.

Reflecting on this piece, I see a real step towards finally embracing art and whimsy and the magic that a special piece can capture. I can look back and see technical flaws in my brush strokes or my composition, but I don’t think I could change it if I wanted to – it’s perfect because of what it is, not how it was done.

In addition to my own artwork, this piece was also a moment of bonding between my dad and I. While I think you’d have to do a lot to get him to even jokingly call himself artistic, my dad’s passion for photography blossomed as my siblings and I got into high school. While he was plenty busy running around capturing both the incredible and quiet moments of our soccer and volleyball matches, he stepped out of his comfort zone to take portraits with me showing off my work. He helped me feel confident and proud with my work as a young artist (and might have kickstarted my mostly sarcastic delusion that I’m a model). See his work here.