Art On Campus: Jeff Louie

By Trilby Goouch
Blogs Editor

QJBlogs is introducing “Arts on campus” — a series profiling student creativity at Queen’s. To kick off our series we sat down with Jeff Louie, a PheKin ‘ 13 student-come-artist. Whether he’s photographing his latest dinner or sketching super heroes, Jeff takes a contemporary and fun approach to art.

QJ: When did your interest in art begin?

JL: Being the cool kid I am I would always sketch Pokémon because I thought they were fascinating. From then on I would take up a small art project here and there… Later in life, say high school, I discovered the beauty of photography; my dad taught me the fundamentals and I carried on my way taking horrible pictures – it was from those experiences I figured out what to do properly. I rarely shoot in anything but the manual setting because I enjoy having control over how my pictures will turn out.

QJ: What types of mediums do you typically use?

JL: I’m no professional, just a kid with a hobby. I love simply drawing on a piece of white paper with a mechanical pencil, but I have tried watercolour, melting crayons, acrylic paint, and so on. I also found out that canvases are pretty cheap so I figured I might as well see what all the hype was about.
For photography I have used amateur dSLR cameras including the Nikon d80, the Canon Rebel series, and recently the Nikon d600. I started with an 18-70DX standard lens and an awesome 70-300FX zoom lens. Buying a 50mm prime lens was a great decision because I love the ‘bokeh effect’ or out of focus layer in a shot.

QJ: How often are you able to sit down and get creative, given you’re in fourth year and school takes priority?

JL: I usually get creative when I’m bored. Once the ball gets rolling, however, I’ll do nothing else but finish it because I can’t start something without completing it. Being from Vancouver, I decided not to drag a camera out to Queen’s, but I regret that decision. If I had a nice dSLR out here, I’d be snapping pictures and filming short videos like none other.

QJ: What do you turn to for inspiration?

JL: I’m a Redditor, and most of my inspiration comes from seeing other people in the world do amazing things. I never seek out anything in particular for inspiration, I just happen to come across it. For example I am subscribed to a page on Facebook called Street Art Utopia, which I highly suggest, and they just fill my newsfeed with genius artwork.

QJ: Where do you see yourself in 10 years with your artwork? Have you considered blogging or putting it on display?

JL: In 10 years I see myself in the exact same place, investing time and effort into my hobbies and trying my best to be a well-rounded person. I think artwork is a great way to wind down and relax, it gives you a lot of time to think to yourself – plus on top of it all you will have a finished product you can be proud of. My Facebook acts as a sort of portfolio, along with other things, so for now I don’t see myself running a blog. My housemate is on the Queen’s Ultraviolet Magazine board and suggested I submit some photography, and luckily enough one got chosen and was printed off and everything – pretty exciting. All in all, I encourage people out there to try out new things whether it be art, photography, music, cooking, or sports – as a student you have tons of freedom and a lot more time than you may think.

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