EDMONDS — Tina Masoum, 17, is a self-taught artist whose paintings are displayed outside the Frances Anderson Center. She will be a senior at Edmonds-Woodway High School next year, and is in the school’s academically challenging International Baccalaureate program.
Question: What made you want to become an artist?
Answer: I’ve been painting and drawing since I was really young. I was inspired by my dad because he is an amazing artist, as is my sister, so I just wanted to be like them.
Q: You learned how to paint and draw realistic-looking pieces on your own?
A: Really, it’s just going through the internet and finding pictures I really like and thinking, “Oh, I bet I could draw that.” So I just … find images that really inspire me and spark something in my head.
I just try things out on my own until I figure out how to do it. … Everyone is different in their methods, so I think it’s important to teach yourself rather than figure out what others do.
Q: Have you taken any art classes in high school?
A: No. I took a photography class, so I guess that’s kind of cheating. It really helped me with art in its own way, because I got to learn about color theory and how to set up a really nice image. … I also did take an art history class this year, which taught me a lot about human form and anatomy.
Q: Why did you decide to display your artwork on the fence outside the Frances Anderson Center?
A: Well, I can probably thank the International Baccalaureate program at my school for that. We’re supposed to do something called the CAS Project, which is creativity, action and service, so we’re supposed to choose two of those aspects. I chose to do creative and service. I thought if I did an on-the-fence project for the Edmonds Arts Commission, it would be really cool.
In terms of the subject of the paintings, we were kind of stuck on what we wanted to do. We asked around and did some research, until one of my good friends from elementary school told me that bee decline is a huge issue that’s happening around the world. If there are no bees, there are no humans. So we looked into it, and it’s true. About 250 bees die a day.
Q: Is the fence project at Frances Anderson Center something they do regularly?
A: It’s something that the Edmonds Arts Commission always has up for students or artists to do. I believe every two to three months they’ll have a new piece on the fence.
Q: Do you think you’re going to keep learning about bees?
A: I think so. It’s an important topic. I know people don’t really stress it that much, but if you really get down to it, it is a problem. I think maybe in the future instead of just advocating for it, I’ll try to do things to protect our bees.
Q: You asked a couple of friends, Lukas Mraz and Hannah Wechsler, to help on the school project. Why’d you choose them?
A: I know Lukas is a photographer. I thought he’d know aesthetics, which he did. He’s really great at it. And I chose Hannah because she’s just a really dedicated hard worker, and I knew she could get it done.
Q: What were each of your jobs?
A: I lead them and showed them how to fix it if there were any mistakes. They were a huge help. They painted the base and some of the details, but for the most part I gave them the job of making (the project’s) website.
Q: Do you hope to continue making art?
A: I think about this a lot. I’m not sure if I want to go into a career with art. But I really love doing it. I think as a side job selling prints, or original pieces for commission would be super fun to do, but as a main career I actually want to go into nursing.
Q: Why nursing?
A: My dad suggested I take on nursing, and after looking into it I think it’s so fun, so interesting. My sister is studying nursing at the University of British Columbia in Canada. She’s having an amazing time, she loves it.
Q: Where do you think you’d like to go to college?
A: I want to go to a college in Canada. Preferably the University of British Columbia.
Q: Why there?
A: We’re Canadian citizens. We live here on my dad’s work visa. I think tuition is cheaper there … but also I think that Vancouver is an amazing, amazing city. I’ve been there so many times, I just love it. I don’t know why but I’m just drawn to it.
Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; email@example.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.