By: Taylor Fitzgerald
Perfecting a skill takes time, and Senior at McNary, Forest Imel, could certainly attest to that. He has spent the last four years doing just that.
Imel’s journey to excellence started freshman year. When asked why, he says, “I just wanted to get better.” He then relayed the amount of time and energy he has spent reading “boring” art books, staying up late to draw, and challenging himself over and over again to get where he is now.
Above all else, Imel wants to inspire others. “A lot of people who say they are trying to improve tell me I inspire them, I think that is really cool,” Imel said.
Mr. Kohley, Imel’s art teacher, could only agree. “When he’s in my class with Art 1 or Art 2 students, it makes them want to try more,” Kohley said. As well as fellow student, and artist, Belladina Starr, who when asked about Imel’s projects and techniques says, “He inspires me.”
Imel calls his style of art “realism or realistic.” To give you an idea of what that means, his current project is a large scaled drawing of the Joker, from The Dark Knight. But he has done many other super hero and comic book re-creations.
Kohley says he has been, “encouraging Imel to get some more training.” Although, despite his efforts, Imel says he is hoping to become freelance without extra schooling, since everything he has already learned has been self-taught.
Art can be many things: an outlet, a way of expression, a career, or maybe just something to fill up time. But to Imel, it’s a lifestyle. He draws and creates artwork from the time he gets home from school, until he goes to bed.
There are many perks to what he does. “I can sleep anytime I want, and make my own schedule. But the best part is working in my pajamas. Pajamas are definitely the best part,” Imel said.
There are, of course, a few negatives. The cost of his materials can be expensive, and being so committed to his projects puts a damper on his social life. Imel says, “I can’t socialize as much, I feel guilty when I do something else because I could be drawing.”
Although his artwork is great, others had some advice on improvements. Kohley comments, “He does a lot of things well, but should continue to experiment with more mediums using paint, using technology, more with graphics.” Starr couldn’t pinpoint where improvement is needed, but said, “I think everybody will always have room to improve– there’s always something in a project that can be better.”
Altogether, Imel’s work is well-received. Many pieces have been sold, or displayed. He even has his own Facebook page, ‘Forest Imel Artwork’.