Name: Ariana Wescott
Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey
I wanted to attend an art school that had a good balance between academically-oriented students and creatives and to be able to incorporate other areas of study into my art practice. U-M and the Stamps School fit the bill!
You spent the entire semester drawing one comic a day. What was the assignment?
The project was for Beth Hay’s class, Methods of Inquiry. We were given the span of the semester to chose one thing to do for five to ten minutes a day (a minimum of five days a week) and pursue it.
Was the character for your comics something you had worked with before?
I’ve been messing around with stylized self-portraiture for a while, but she was created in a spur of the moment sketch for the original proposal of the project. The character is meant to be a self-portrait, though she plays with enough facial and bodily ambiguity that she can become applicable to the reader as well.
What surprised you most about the 5 min/day project?
I think the biggest surprise was how invested I would become in the project. I love comics and I make them often, but I had never really dabbled in such a clean pen and ink style and I sort of fell in love with the process. The five minutes a day was also a nice way to get myself to keep creating, the project functioned as a nice cure for any stress or artist’s block and allowed me to personally journal as well, which was sort of therapeutic.
Your diary chronicles your freshman year here at Stamps, at least for the winter term. Aside from the mindblowing winter, any thoughts so far?
I think I was most surprised by how open the curriculum is. I knew going in to Stamps that I would have a lot of room for exploration, but it doesn’t hit until you’re neck deep in projects spanning from traditional fine arts and material investigations to the third and fourth dimensions (digital and time-based work). I really learned a lot about myself as a creative when I gave myself the opportunity to play in areas and mediums I had never considered before.
Favorite Stamps speaker of last term?
Liza Donnelly, no contest!
You can see Ariana’s entire comic and more of her work on Behance.