Tabitha Gonzalez’s senior art show Beauté consists of numerous portraits, both photographs and charcoal drawings, of female students here at Graceland University. The portraits started as photographs, which she had asked some of her fellow students to model for starting last spring. After choosing a selection of the images that stood out to her, Tabitha used those photos as the basis from which to complete her drawings. When asked why she chose her subjects she replied by saying, “I don’t really know, but drawing eyes has always been something that I’m just really fascinated with, and the same goes for faces.” The sharp contrast of black and white images is also something she has always been drawn to. “I would always look for black and white images to reference for drawings when I was younger, I guess I just really like the look of it.”
For Tabitha, drawing was always something that had come naturally to her, even more so than photography. Whether it was on a napkin or a sheet of homework, she could always remember herself drawing whenever she had time, but even being experienced with drawing from a young age couldn’t keep her from feeling self-conscious about her art. “Whenever I would be working on something, a new drawing or whatever, I would try to cover it up or hide it so that no one could see it.” That self-consciousness was something that she hadn’t been able to shake until coming to Graceland. It wasn’t until she started taking art classes in college, and having to talk about her work in critiques that she began to feel more comfortable with her work and recognized herself as a talented artist.
Tabitha’s interest in photography stemmed from her experimenting with different mediums. Her mother works as a photographer, and it was from her mother that she received her first hand-me-down camera. In high school she used the camera to take photos for the yearbook, but it really wasn’t until college that she started to use her camera for artistic purposes. Her skills with a camera have really grown over the years, and now her photos have the distinguished look of someone who has a keen eye for both formal elements, like composition and lighting, and the more subjective elements that help constitute a personal style.
When asked about what she plans to do after graduation she said she still hadn’t really made up her mind, photography or illustration would be ideal, but all she really hopes for is to end up somewhere in the creative field. As of right now she has a part time job working for Smith and Associates, whom she had a creative internship with over the summer. During her internship she was able to practice a lot of skills, such as doing illustrations for comic books and logo expansion that allowed her to become more proficient in the Adobe Illustrator program. She’s still unsure if she’ll continue to work with them in the future, but hopes to be able to continue to utilize those skills in whatever field she eventually finds herself in.
Tabitha Gonzalez’s show Beauté will be open in the Helene Art Center from October 13-24. The artist reception will take place on Saturday the 18th from 6:00-9:00 pm.