Artist of the Month Q&A: junior Clarissa Daniel



Compiled by Chelsie Park

How did you get into sculpting?

I’ve been drawing for at least as long as I can remember. My parents took me to a lot of museums, so I got started there. I still go to art museums to get inspiration. Seeing master artists’ work is always a great way for me to come up with ideas. My mother also used to do pottery with the Potter’s Guild, and she’s also a good two-dimensional artist. I’ve been in ceramics for two years, and at the end of last year, I started sculpting. I had been mostly doing pottery and decided that I wanted to branch out a little bit and try something new. My art teacher, Mr. King, was really supportive so I was able to continue sculpting throughout this year. I think sculpture really clicked for me. I also try to paint if I get the chance.

What is your favorite aspect of ceramics?

I love working with my hands. It’s super rewarding to create something, especially when it turns out just the way I want it to. It’s a great experience when you feel that you’ve made something and it’s beautiful and it makes you happy to see it.

Who or what inspires you?

My favorite sculptor is Gian Lorenzo Bernini. I really love the way he makes marble look lighter than air. He has this delicacy in his work and captures both motion and form. I very much admire his work and one day I hope to be half as good as him. I am also definitely influenced by the Classics, especially Greco-Roman culture. I also like looking at Hellenistic sculptures— ancient Greek sculpture where people’s faces are often idealized. I hope that shows through in the way I make portraits. And I also think sea creatures are pretty interesting. They’re familiar but just remote enough that it makes you think a little bit when you see a sculpture based on them. Mr. King is a really great artist and he is very caring and encouraging. He challenges you with different projects. He’s always happy to let you make what you’re inspired to make, and he’s always there to help you with that.

What are your least favorite and most favorite media?

For sculpture, I’ve only used clay, but I look forward to expanding and maybe doing some work in wax or wood or stone, if I have a chance. One day, I hope to work with bronze. Since I’ve only worked with clay, I don’t really have a medium I dislike. It must be hard to work with stone and or wood because you can’t correct your mistakes. Like, if you break off the nose then you have no nose. With clay, the medium itself is forgiving; you can easily fix things. You can add and you can take off things pretty much until the end.

What are you future plans with art?

I definitely want to keep sculpting and drawing. Next year, I’m planning to take AP 3-D Studio Art, and I’m really looking forward to that. I also have clay and tools at home, so I’ll keep working there. I’m not planning to go to art school. Although I like ceramics and sculpture, I also like math, science, English, engineering and the Classics, which refers to the literature of Ancient Greece and Rome. I hope to attend a liberal arts school so that I can have the opportunity to study those subjects, too. That said, I intend to take art classes in college and to continue drawing and sculpting.