SB Artist Spotlight


Feature Editor & Staff Writer


There are many talented artists throughout the San Marcos community. Two individuals who particularly stand out for their stunning and unique artististic abilities. Mia Franco is an art student at San Marcos who has won numerous awards for her paintings and is going to attend a four year university next year to take her passion to the next level. She is known for her broad style that mostly features people she loves. The other artist that stands out is Luke Shurmer. He is known for his unique cartoonish sketches from trees eating mushrooms to post-apocalyptic landscapes. He plans to carry on his talent to Santa Barbara City College and transfer after two years.

Mia Franco:

What is your preferred medium?

I’m still exploring all the different mediums, but I’d have to say my favorite so would be ink, watercolor and oil paint.”

How are you going to pursue art in the future?

I’m going to art school for sure, right now I am about 90% sure I’m going to the Cal school of the arts in Oakland, but I might end up going to RISD in Rhode Island. Whatever school I go to I’ll end up doing the same thing. I really want to be in illustrator, so I can illustrate children’s books, while at the same time doing concept art. I want to design characters, or worlds for an animation company. I’ve also looked into teaching art as well to younger kids, but that would be many years in the future. I’m not completely sure what I want to do, but there are so many possibilities. That’s what I want to do at art school, just to try new things.”

When did you start painting and when did you realize you were good at it?

I’ve pretty much been drawing and making art my whole life. My grandparents on both sides of the family were artists. I learned to draw on my own, but they taught me to paint before I came to San Marcos. I also took art classes all throughout junior high and all through high school, but it’s always been something I’ve just really enjoyed and thought I was good at. In elementary school drawing dragons was my thing.”

What is your favorite thing to draw/paint?

I really enjoy painting people, because that’s what I’m best at. Human figures and just the human body I guess are what I draw the most. That’s what I enjoy doing the most, but I really want to learn how to get better at other things, like animals and nature.”

What are your best skills & what do you want to get better at?

I want to get better at loosening up when I paint, being more abstract and finding my own style. Right now I have just been painting a very realistic style. A lot of my work is all over the place, but I really want to focus on finding my own style and something I’m happy with calling my own.”

Luke Shurmer:

What is your preferred medium?

I prefer to use a graphite medium pencil for the majority of my sketches. I also enjoy using an assortment of water colors. I’m still experimenting with other mediums, but those are the ones I have most experience with.

What is your favorite piece that you have painted?

Last year I painted Mr. Dave O’Donnell. I was quite proud of how it turned out. I also painted the San Marcos garden using my unique psychedelic style. It looked really awesome and I plan to do something similar in the near future.

Who is your favorite artist and inspirations?

I am most inspired by critic Simon Cowell, but if I had to choose a favorite artist I would say it is Alex Grey. We have a similar style and mindset to approaching a painting.

How are you going to pursue art in the future?

While I’m attending SBCC, I will take a bunch of art classes to get a broader range of techniques. I have not taken an art class at San Marcos in two years due to the structuralized material. I like to do my own thing as my work is all spontaneous.

When did you start painting and when did you realize you were good at it?

I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a pencil. I realized I had a talent in elementary school when all my teachers said I was skilled.

What is your favorite thing to draw/paint?

I enjoy drawing landscape scenes, and usually include mushrooms and trees in my artwork.

What are your best skills & what do you want to get better at?

I am best with just a simple pencil. I want to get better at maybe using charcoal and other unique drawing techniques. Recently I have been using acrylic paint and splattering it onto a canvas and putting saran wrap over, then letting it dry. It looks really cool.


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