Ana Magallon is a rare artist, one who immensely enjoys the grueling hours pencil-sketching before filling in with ink. She finds joy and contentment in using her hands to create good work.
Magallon grew up in a home of artists, hailing from generations of draftsmen, painters, and graphic designers.
“There were always art supplies around,” Magallon said. “I was always encouraged to mess around with them.”
The junior Illustration major recalls her parents encouraging her at a young age to draw all the time. “I’ve been drawing for forever,” Magallon said with a small laugh.
As her skill matured, she took on more of the advice of her parents by observing the world around her, studying other art and keeping her skills fresh by always drawing.
Magallon primarily uses pencil and ink to create her art because light and shadow are key characteristics of her drawings. People are the main focus of her drawings as she conjures stories and scenarios.
“When I’m drawing just for fun, there is usually a story behind those pieces,” Magallon said. “They’re the ones I’m actually inspired to do not just because I have to do it for class, and sometimes I don’t fully know what the story is, but I have this character in mind or this one scenario in mind.”
Magallon imagines her art as though from a movie camera. “Sometimes I don’t even know what the whole story is. I can just visualize this one scene,” she said. “That’s also why I get carried away sometimes and I realize, ‘Wow, I’ve been sitting here seven hours! I should probably move on to something else.’’’
For Magallon, creating art is not only enjoyable; it’s also therapeutic.
“Sometimes, it’s a way to vent,” Magallon said. “To express things. Sometimes I don’t know how to say it. I have something I need to get out . . . and that’s my way of expressing it.” It can be a means of direct communication about something emotional or pressing to Magallon.
When people look at her art, Magallon hopes people slow down their usually rushed pace to linger, focus and enjoy.
“I like things that keep you thinking for a while, whether it’s books or movies or paintings, so I work a lot of detail into [my drawings] for that same reason,” Magallon said. “So, if you just look at it quickly, you may not know what is going on because there are often things hidden.”
Purposefully meticulous, Magallon hopes that people will take a closer look at her drawings.
“You may look at something and think ‘oh, that’s cute,’ and then you look closer and go ‘oh, there’s this thing going on in this corner.’”
A self-proclaimed dreamer, Magallon desires to work in outdoor youth ministries, teaching children to surf or sail along the Pacific.
Peter Pohle, associate professor of visual arts, taught Magallon several classes over the course of her time at JBU. To him, Magallon is a clever student and a superb artist with an observant eye and a hunger for learning.
“She is a very talented and outstanding artist, one of the best that I had,” Pohle said. “As a student, as a person, I wish I would have more students like that. She’s positive, supporting, she makes it a joy teaching. If you have students like that, then teaching is easy.”
Magallon’s student art gallery opens Nov. 7. All are welcome.
Zeke Willcox – Opinions Editor