Artist Interview

Week 3 – Artist Interview – Tidawhitney Lek and Juliana Bustillo

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This week I saw some great art by CSULB’s art students. Above, is Juliana Bustillo (left) and Tidawhitney Lek (right). Juliana is from East Los Angeles and Tidawhitney is from right here in Long Beach. These two first met in an intermediate level class for art but it wasn’t until the upper division classes where they became very close. They spend a lot of their time together, in the art department, sometimes staying overnight, working on their master pieces. They described the of balance school and art as a struggle because they have to finish all their school work and usually by the time they’re finished and ready to start on their art, it’s already past twelve. Nonetheless, their art is amazing, vibrant, and eye catching.

This 48×72 inch oil piece is called “I Don’t Understand” by Tidawhitney. She explained that this work resembled how her life was last semester, in which her and boyfriend had broken up. This was a difficult point in her life and wanted to express and channel her emotions on the canvas. When starting this project, she used brighter colors but she had so much anger and confusion that she added more dark and intense colors to convey her feelings. As she was explaining her piece, I noticed her eyes were watery, and I assumed that this work has a real emotional attachment. I thought that was amazing to see an artist be so passionate about what she had to show her viewers. It wasn’t just a project but it was a time in her life portrayed by a painting. I think this oil piece is abstract because anyone can interpret what’s going on and I think after hearing the story behind it, it’s even more beautiful than the first time looking at it. I also think Tidawhitney is very brave and inspirational for displaying her art especially with the emotional story behind it and having to explain it over and over.

I’m really glad I got to meet these two artists. Other than the whole interview aspect of the activity, I really enjoyed our time together. They’re very easy to talk to and anyone who talks to them can tell that they’re really close friends. I hope their aspiration of going to the east coast after their time in Long Beach takes off and that their support from the art community grows stronger throughout their career.


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