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It’s All in the Family

Artist of the Month Brandon Knap follows in his mother’s footsteps

by Published: Mar 1, 2012

Artist of the Month: Student Artist of the Month Brandon Knap is a Ferris sophomore in the graphic design program and has a knack for drawing. Photo By: Grace Seymor | A&E Writer

“Stick-to-it-ness.”

According to Brandon Knap, Student Artist of the Month, this is the aspect of art that is hardest for him to master.

Knap, FSU sophomore in graphic design, has been drawing and doodling for as long as he can remember. Now he strives to match his natural talent with perseverance.

“I’ve had so many times where I think it’s not going to turn out, and then you stick through and you see it start to come together,” Knap said.

Knap can’t really put his finger on the instant he knew art was his passion because he just always had a natural inclination to art.

“I’ve always been kind of known as the kid that draws,” Knap said. “I draw in class to kill time. I guess I got it from my mom a little bit.”

Knap has been surrounded with art from a young age, as his mother is a professional artist and muralist. One childhood memory Knap has is of his mother painting him sweatshirts. Watching his mother paint as a child was influential in the development of his own creative process.

“A lot of times she would paint on canvas in our living room. I would be sitting there playing with toys or watching TV, but would always see her paintings from start to end. We would go someplace and she’d point at the wall and say, ‘Hey, that’s something I painted.’”

Knap was originally studying electrical engineering at Muskegon Community College, but didn’t feel it was the right fit.

“I wasn’t liking where that was going, so when I was up here, I decided to jump straight into graphic design and go for it,” Knap said.

Instead of sketching just for fun, Knap has taken his skills and used them to turn a profit. He draws custom-made pieces of artwork for customers. Once, Knap was drawing a poster for a friend to give to her boyfriend for Christmas. Knap did not know the boyfriend personally, but at a concert Knap attended with some friends, the boyfriend was a lead singer for one of the bands.

“I couldn’t say anything because it was a surprise present. I was shaking his hand thinking, ‘I have your Christmas present in my basement.’”

His dream job would be in interactive design, such as designing websites, as it would be a good mixture of hands-on art and graphic design.

“I’d like to get more into illustrative things, pretty much any kind of job that could incorporate the hands on stuff into the computer knowledge and somehow mix it all together,” Knap said.

The most important thing Knap has learned is to trust himself through his creative process.

“I’ve learned to trust my design instinct and be confident in what I design,” Knap said. “You know you’ve learned a set of skills; you just have to use them.”