Erie Faces Erie: October 12, 2016
Drew Farrell: artist
"Just remember that you don't have to be like all of the other artists. Do your own thing from deep in the heart."
Ed Bernik: So you're now 12 years old. When did you first feel passionate about drawing?
Drew Farrell: I always loved to draw. I used to draw in preschool; my teacher had a hard time getting me to concentrate on my schoolwork.
EB: Do you still have some of your early work?
DF: I do. It's in a box above my closet.
EB: You were selected to have one of your designs used by The North Face clothing company. How did you get involved in that?
DF: My mom told me about the contest and I got interested. I started with a bunch of designs and then narrowed it down.
EB: Were these designs something you already had, or was this totally new stuff specifically for The North Face?
DF: Most of it was new stuff. But some of it was based on older pieces.
EB: Where did the idea for the pattern come from?
DF: Last summer, we went to Seattle and hiked Mount Rainier. We were hiking from base camp and were so high up that when we looked down, all we saw were the foothills and all these trees – and they went on for miles and miles. When I was thinking about the design for the t-shirts, I thought a pattern would be better than a scene because you could repeat it. They could use it more easily.
EB: So your pattern is based on foothill mountain ranges?
EB: Do you have some favorite artists who inspire you?
DF: I like Vincent van Gogh a lot. I drew a big collage of a bunch of famous artists' work, and I put it on my door. It was works of van Gogh, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Vermeer, Mondrian, Dali, and Picasso.
EB: So you like a wide range of different artists. Who do you like best for color? Any modern folks?
DF: I follow a couple of pen and ink artists on Instagram. I like Anne Chihiro and Qinni Art, which is anime.
EB: What medium do you like to use when doing your artwork?
DF: I use Copic markers. I got them for my birthday and I love them so much. They blend nicely.
EB: Is all of your work done by hand, or do you also use a computer?
DF: All by hand. I do sometimes doodle on my phone with an app.
EB: But you do all of your real work by hand?
DF: Yes, by hand.
EB: Are there any TV shows that inspire you?
DF: No, not really. What I do is read a book and think, "This is really a great book." Then I draw something about it. I will take that book and make a collage. Like Alice in Wonderland. And I always liked that movie.
EB: So did you take classes from a teacher?
DF: No. I went to a lot of summer camps that taught different mediums. I went to watercolor camp. One camp was about facial expressions and hand movement. And I do a lot of Asbury Woods camps. Those are very informational.
EB: Do you like to be outside? Are you a nature guy, too?
DF: Well, I like to run and play soccer. And we go on family hikes. I like to draw outside sometimes, but I mainly like to draw in my room.
EB: Is every piece a keeper?
DF: Sometimes I draw something and think it's beautiful, and then the next day see room for improvement, and then a few days later think, "What did I do?"
EB: What would you tell other kids who want to be artists? How would you tell them to realize their dream?
DF: Just focus on your art. Just practice a lot and find subjects that you like to draw. Just remember that you don't have to be like all of the other artists. You don't have to copy other artists. Do your own thing from deep in the heart. Have your creative environment – your markers or whatever.
EB: Thank you, Drew. Now let's go make a portrait.
Ed Bernik: bernikphotography.com