WHS senior Peter Costa is one busy guy. His current schedule is comprised of four AP classes, an honors class, and an art class. He works at Kelly's Roast Beef. And like all seniors, he's getting ready for college.
PC: I'm usually up until 1 AM on weekdays, then work usually Friday and Saturday.
PC: It's more than ouch, it's exhaustion.
Peter gave me a big list of colleges he's looking at, which included Caltech, NYU, UVA, RISD, and Brown. He's visited every school on the list, except Caltech and NYU.
PC: My sister went to UVA, so I didn't actually see it myself, but I know what it's like.
WÉ: I see. What major/minor you thinking of?
PC: Engineering for most, Computer Science for Brown, and Architecture for RISD.
WÉ: So would you say art is more a hobby than a potential career?
PC: Yeah. Architecture would be the most artistic thing I'd do.
I was a little surprised by his response, since art is such a big part of Peter's life. After all, his screen name is insanedoodle58. On his Facebook, he's drawn plenty of quality doodles for his friends with the application Graffiti. He has a page on deviantART. Did I mention he has his own website? See, this is why I put Peter down for Most Artistic Male. So did he, at first.
PC: I'm actually going to change it. Who will I put down? I'm going to put down Kevin Dwyer-Heidkamp. He's amazing at art, and has a unique perspective as well. In general, he's very inspiring when trying to draw weird angles. Ask him to see the sketches of cars, they're amazing.
WÉ: I put Caitlin [Lang] down for Female Class Artist. You too?
PC: Yeah, I feel as though she's going to get it. She does so much art that it's unbelievable. And she's amazing at it too.
WÉ: So, how long have you been into drawing?
PC: I've been into drawing for about as long as I remember. My parents always said that when I was little I had the pencil in the correct position, and was drawing on the walls. But I still find drawings today from when I was 3 or 4. Let's just say it's a blessing that I've improved.
WÉ: So, I'm guessing you watched a lot of cartoons way back then?
PC: Well, I grew up watching cartoons as a kid, but the main start of my drawing was when I started watching anime itself. I'd catch whatever show was on TV, but I do remember watching the Pokemon series as a kid, as well as Digimon. Both heavily guided me towards the anime/manga style.
WÉ: Did you get a lot of how to draw books and art kits?
PC: Actually, I despise the how to draw books, it ruins your own style. As for art kits, I assume you mean supplies. If so, then, I mainly got crayon sets when I was younger, and used my sister's supplies. She's the artistic one.
WÉ: So, would you say you've learned more in the school's art classes than say, a how to draw book?
PC: I believe so. It's more so getting critiques from other art students than from your friends. While your friends will sugar coat something, strangers won't. Also, a person is often more helpful than a book. I must add that I actually taught myself the majority of my artistic talents. A lot of it was from seeing other pieces of art and becoming inspired.
WÉ: Watching a lot of anime and manga?
PC: ...moreso looking online. That really sparked it. deviantART was a major factor, but watching anime and reading manga helped. Most of the American anime is bad though, so I download them instead. And I only started to watch anime and read manga about three years ago.
WÉ: Now, I'm not big into anime, but I've seen a couple Miyazaki movies, and I went through the same Digimon/Pokemon/DBZ phase everyone did a few years ago. Specific movies/series that had an impact?
PC: Okay, so first off, Miyazaki is God. His movies are awesome, and I wish I could draw like him. Ha ha. Now for series, like I said Pokemon and Digimon had an impact, mainly because they pushed me to think more. Now, as crazy as it sounds, I had seen a few episodes of FLCL when I was seven or so, something you shouldn't see at that age. I recently watched it, and it is amazing. I try for that style all the time. Bleach really inspired me to draw more action poses.
WÉ: Favorite deviantART artists?
PC: Oh, that's a tough one. I have a list of like 50 or so. Ha ha. Hmm, if I were to pick a few, I'd have to pick:
There's more, but those are definetely some of my favorites.
WÉ: Tell me what led you to designing websites and LJs.
PC: Well, actually, it's quite simple. My friend, Steve DeCosta, actually told me to try making a LiveJournal layout, which is like a design. So I did, and I enjoyed it. Slowly, it progressed, and I eventually entered a few online competitions, getting past the preliminaries, but losing in the first two or three rounds. I then formed a community with Steve to display our layouts [http://lookitslayouts.livejournal.com], and it slowly grew. Soon we decided to try actual web design, which is a lot easier if you've already had experience with LiveJournal, because it's mainly the same thing.
WÉ: What led you to designing the art department's page?
PC: Mrs. Batt asked in her graphic design classes if anyone had web design experience. I told her I did, and it went from there.
WÉ: What program(s) do you use for designing?
PC: It depends on what I'm making. If it's logos or cleaner images, such as the bookmarks I made, I use Adobe Illustrator CS2. Lately, I've been using OpenCanvas 1.1 and Painter 9.5, both for cartoony works.
WÉ: What [tablet] do you use?
PC: No, I actually don't have one. All my art is done by hand, scanned in, then everything from there on in is done with a mouse. I've looked into getting a tablet, but they were too expensive, and not probable for the amount of artistic income I make.
WÉ: So those tablets cost more than what Kelly's Roast Beef gives you?
PC: Uhh, no, actually, I could easily buy one with one week's pay check. I have other expenses though, and need to save my money. And I'd rather buy a domain for my website.
WÉ: Tell the readers a little about Project Elev3n. Exactly what is it?
PC: Okay, this is going to be hard. Project Elev3n is a story concept for a manga that I was going to make over the summer. It's based off the idea of genetically altered humans, kids actually, who possess superhuman abilities. They are dormant, until they are one day needed to help save mankind from evil robots and such. They are numbred from 1-77, using 1337speak to number them. For example, Jo1t, a teen who controls electricity, is number 1. Number 2 is Ra2e, a German foreign exchange student who has great strength. It then goes Sk3tch, 4rcher, Gho5t, 6ale, Hea7, 8east, 9uake, Cyc10ne, Chi11. Then there are others, Met41, Avi47or, 49ua, Im46ine, 61oom, Ro53, as well as others.
WÉ: Love it. Not to put any pressure on you, but, any plans to revive the project and release it sometime?
PC: Yeah, I actually want to have some pages done by the time Anime Boston 2008 rolls around, but I definetely want to release it. My main worry is that I can't draw backgrounds, and the pages will look bad. I'm sure I can come up with something though.
WÉ: Any advice for aspiring artists?
PC: Don't lose hope. A lot of people will look down on your art, but just keep drawing. Draw what you want to, not just so you'll fit in. It's really cheesy, I know, but, its true. Also, students should join the Art Club. I'm an officer, and its fun. Join it. We meet every other Wednesday.