Art Appreciation

Roman Kress

Junior Roman Kress is an aspiring and dedicated artist, whose commitment and determination have helped him pursue his artistic passions and improve his abilities. It was almost inevitable for Kress to start a journey that involved art, as he was surrounded and influenced by art since childhood, 

“My dad is an artist, he initially started out painting, and then as he got better he moved into sculpting and that’s usually what he does, that’s what he primarily does right now,” Kress said. “Growing up with that influence is entirely the reason I’m an artist. All of my siblings are artists as well. It definitely rubbed off. A lot of my aunts and uncles are also artists. It’s definitely a gene that follows through.”

As an artist, Kress enjoys the skill progression and growth that comes with doing art, the constant improvement. 

“It’s just really fun. It’s such a joy to get better and even more of a pleasure to see yourself grow,” Kress said. “It definitely progresses over time but it’s not just a steadily moving skill. It’s somewhat scary to see yourself progress so quickly in a short amount of time. It’s such a fun thing and so satisfying. It’s what I’ve done forever and it’s what I’ll do forever.”

Anyone participating in talents like art have people, aspects, or idols that they look up to for inspiration. For Kress, his inspirations include Japanese manga and anime. One particular graphic artist, MC Escher, is one of his earlier inspirations. 

“One of my favorite pieces of art is a piece of his called ‘Up And Down’. It’s a multi-perspective look at the same environment. It’s two-perspective but they align perfectly,” Kress said. “It’s the weirdest thing ever. So much of his art influenced my own style. It really transformed my perspective on art and what it could be, and I still look up to his work all the time.” 

As Kress grew as an artist, his inspirational figures also changed.

“I still think the biggest inspiration for me moving into my high school career as a freshman was an Eastern artist, Hirohiko Araki. His work is incredible,” Kress said. “It taught me so much about anatomy, form, color. A lot of the basis of my technique came from copying and just studying his work.”

Balancing school and art can be a hindrance that can harm a person’s artistic potential at a young age.

“I will say there are times where school definitely gets to you with art. It’s a very personal practice. It’s good to compare yourself to get better. There is definitely a series of events in an artist’s life, the passion for art kind of goes through a bell curve,” Kress said. “When you’re the most true to the art form is when you are extremely young. It’s a very emotional act as a child, it’s entirely ingrained in you and it definitely starts to shift as you get older.”

“There’s always such a joy to make art and if you get too deep into academics it really is easy to lose sight. So it does take, for me saying, I need to make a piece for myself. Or just cause I want to,” Kress said. 

However, the academics involved with art that impacts your personal growth are important. 

“I think once you start getting into actual art classes your art 100 percent shifts to meet a demand and a schedule. When you are given prompts for an art piece you are expected to fulfill the prompt,” Kress said. “It does shift from emotion to technical skill which isn’t a bad thing. Now it’s the end goal of an artist’s career which, much later in life will return to the extreme emotional side of a childhood’s art. But it is necessary for one to go through this academic training to reach that point.”

Being completely immersed in art and its different forms has caused him to see the world from a different perspective. 

“There is a wonderful art philosophy book called ‘The Art Spirit’ and that goes into so much detail on just so many aspects of its influences. I think my favorite aspect, which is very early on in the book, is just talking about how the phrase ‘everything is art.’ It really does apply,” Kress said.

To him, art is evident in anything and everything. From the smallest necklace to the biggest skyscraper. 

“Art is just the skill and application of humanity to the world, which is such a broad term. It’s the mark humanity leaves on this world. Just down to anything,” Kress said. “The design of a coffee cup had to be thought out and planned and optimized. It’s a work of art on its own. Any skill is an art. It is humanity’s mark and it has changed how I view the world.”