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Interview with June Aarsen

June was also interviewed as zip06's Person of the Week. Check out the full article here.

By Lily Paine

June Aarsen, a senior at Daniel Hand High School, the Junior Board President and a graphic design intern at the Shoreline Arts Alliance (SAA), has developed a strong connection to art that fuels her aspiration to continue her creative career after graduation.

Aarsen has loved making art ever since she was a child. “I’ve been drawing probably before I could even walk,” she says. As art was the hobby/activity that she loved the most and frequently practiced during her childhood, she always knew that she would want to continue creating art in the future. “Art fits into my life as both a way of expression and also as something that I hope to use in my future career,” Aarsen comments.

In the beginning of her art career, Aarsen primarily used acrylic paint, pencils, and charcoal as her mediums. However, after being exposed to other mediums like printmaking, she has discovered new artistic styles. “I realized that I had only been using those mediums because they were most accessible to me and not because my style was most adaptive to that media or because I felt a strong connection to it,” she reflects. “I also think I had a limited idea of what it meant to make ‘good art,’ and so now that I’ve deconstructed that and started to appreciate my own style as an artist, I would say that printmaking [screen printing and drypoint], as well as ink drawing, are my favorite mediums.”

Aarsen takes inspiration from many different sources: her own life experiences, events happening in the world around her, and from history. She elaborates, “I love to take all these fragments of all these things and put them into a work of art.” Additionally, some of her most recent art pieces over the past year have reflected her passion for women’s rights.

Aarsen, now an active member of the art community with the Shoreline Arts Alliance, was first exposed to this opportunity through the organization’s student-based art show, Future Choices. She participated for many years until she was eligible to apply for scholarships in the arts as a junior after being given the Director’s Choice Scholarship in visual art. Unfortunately, she was unable to apply for the youth ambassador program, but she was invited to join SAA as an intern and is now an integral part of the SAA intern team.

When asked what she plans to do with her art in the future, June Aarsen aspires to always use creativity in her career even if she is not solely an artist. She looks forward to pursuing a Bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts with a concentration in graphic design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where she will begin her college experience in fall 2023. “I may work as a freelance graphic designer or try to explore the tech industry and user interface designing,” she says. Regardless, she will continue to make art and possibly sell pieces on the side.

In terms of what her art has done to help the community, Aarsen strongly believes that “just participating in art shows and helping to keep the local arts scene active is the greatest impact that one can have with their art, especially as a teenager.” Aarsen feels like most of her art has meaningful messages that can definitely have an impact on an individual, but she believes that the most impactful thing she has done with her art is showcasing it to the community and exposing herself and others to different mediums, designs, and styles. “It’s fun to add my own style into art shows,” she comments.

or the young artists developing their own style and growing within the art community, Aarsen says, “keep trying new things with your art, and get involved with the arts locally.” A leader in the art community herself with the Shoreline Arts Alliance, June Aarsen is an excellent role model for young creative minds looking to develop their art skills or pursue a future of creativity.

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