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Zara Alfonso, an 18 year old Canadian artist spends her time fighting for the environment, getting ready for college, putting her passions into art, and even creating a role-playing game with fellow artist, Wispy-White-Dreamer. Aside from her DeviantART account, you can also see her work in her shop, and on her Tumblr account.
Toonari Post (TP): If there was any art medium that you wish you could master, what would it be and why?
Zara Alfonso (ZA): Digital painting! The colors are so bold and smooth and it’s a medium that can mimic almost any 2D traditional media. Put simply, it’s downright beautiful and one day I hope that I will be able to master it.
TP: Outside of art what is your life like? Tell me anything about yourself that you would like.
ZA: I just found out a short time ago that I’ve been accepted to Emily Carr University of Art and Design. It’s a four year degree program, but it doesn’t start until this September. So I’m currently working at a coffee shop in hopes of minimizing the amount of student debt I’ll have in the future, and working on some various personal and collaborative art projects.
TP: What are your goals in life? Do you plan to continue art as a hobby or make it a career?
ZA: I am hoping to find a career in illustration, or something arts related, and I really hope to be able to use my artistic and other skills to make a difference in issues I feel passionate about in the world.
TP: Would you consider being both an illustrator and author of a book? Perhaps manga or a children’s book?
ZA: I took a class in illustrating picture books and in it we also went over the process of writing for them and having them published. There are a lot of aspects that I like about it, but I’m not sure that I could deal with actually going through the process of having something published. So, yes, I’ve thought about it, but I’m not sure if it will happen, we’ll see! I don’t ever see myself making a manga/comic or drawing for one though, it’s just not something I’m interested in.
TP: How would you use your art skills to promote world issues, such as the environmental ones you feel strongly about?
ZA: At this point it’s just little things, like environmentally inspired pieces, but in the future I hope to do more. A friend and I are trying to put together a video project to educate people about the the Enbridge pipeline proposition and I’m hoping to put together some environmental pieces for a local art show within the next year.
TP: Do you feel that your culture has influenced you in some way that makes you different than other artists?
ZA: I’m Canadian because of where I live now and Italian because of where my family lived in the past. Canada’s multiculturalism is like a patchwork quilt of snippets of all different types of cultures. In one part of town it’s like a mini China and another there’s a mini India. I think this aspect of Canada has influenced my approach to artwork in that I’m always very open minded in trying new techniques, mediums and topics.
Japanese artwork is a very obvious inspiration to my style, even though I’m not as interested in many other aspects of the culture, the beauty of the artwork has been something that I have admired for many years. If it wasn’t for living in Canada I’m not sure I would have been exposed to so many things, and if it was not for living in a well developed country I would most definitely not be able to use such a broad range of mediums.
From the Italian side, my wonderful family’s positive values are one of the biggest reasons that I’m so keen to put a positive message behind my artwork and to try to use my artwork as a tool to bring about positive changes.
Image Courtesy of Hirukio