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Kirstie's drawing visual arts inspiration from her reality

This article appears in: Creative and Performing Arts
Kirstie Scullen Work in Progress

Dreaming of a career as an artist? See how Kirstie Scullen, a Visual Arts graduate of CDU, made it her reality. Read on to find out what motivated her to follow her passion, her influences, and how she grew creatively through her studies, life experience and perception of the world. 

All children are born artists; the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up - Pablo Picasso

Kirstie Scullen Graduation

What motivated you to study Visual Arts at CDU?

I have a love and passion for everything art and I wanted to experience visual arts on a fundamental level. My goal was to get a hands-on experience to develop my skills in the practical field of art. I got a deeper understanding of drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture through studying a vocational training certificate in visual arts and then went on to study a bachelor's degree in creative arts.

Why did you decide to continue your studies with a bachelor degree? 

Pablo Picasso said that "all children are born artists; the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up". I have always been creative and I wanted to grow my creativity at a deeper level. By studying creative arts, I learnt about critical thinking, reflecting on society and the world around me.

Studying has opened my mind to opportunities, like travelling the world, meeting wonderful people, challenging myself, and having my art in exhibitions both at the university and nationally.

I learnt about critical thinking, reflecting on society, and the world around me

With CDU, I was able to learn and talk about a topic I'm passionate about, hearing about what other people have to say, and learning about their different perspectives on art, life, and the world.

What has been the most challenging aspect of studying for you?

Balancing life, study and meeting financial obligations is difficult; but with self-awareness and organisation, I was able to see when I needed to start an assignment, and never leave anything to the night before.

It was hard at times not looking at the mountain that was in front of me, taking each step to complete an assignment and having the confidence in myself. With determination, passion and faith, I have worked tirelessly to get where I am today. 

This artwork is an artistic and scientific illustration of what is happening to the artist’s brain before, during and after an epileptic seizure.

Kirstie Louise Scullen, Fragmented Perceptions of Self, 2017. Photo credit: Kirstie Louise Scullen. 
Kirstie Louise Scullen, Fragmented Perceptions of Self, 2017. Photo credit: Kirstie Louise Scullen. 

 

Tell us a little bit more about your autobiographic work, Fragmented Perceptions of Self

I had my first epileptic seizure on my fifth birthday. I now create mixed-medium installations, exploring how light and shadow interact with form while uncovering the complex neurological disorder that is epilepsy.

Epilepsy occurs when a particular part of the brain’s electrical activity explodes and spreads throughout the brain resulting in an epileptic seizure. This artwork is an artistic and scientific illustration of what is happening to the artist’s brain before, during and after an epileptic seizure. When I have a seizure, I lose all human perception, senses, and consciousness; I cannot hear, see, smell, taste, feel temperature or pain, and everything stops. It is only after a seizure that I first get my hearing back, however it is broken.  

I draw inspiration from my own experiences and perceptions of the world. Enjoy every moment because your time at university will go very quickly.

Kirstie Scullen - FRAGMENTED PERCEPTIONS OF SELF
Kirstie Louise Scullen, Fragmented Perceptions of Self, 2017. Photo credit: Kirstie Louise Scullen. 

 

Do you have advice for aspiring creative arts students?

CDU is a small community, so take advantage of your small class sizes create lasting relationships with both the people around you and your lecturers. Don't be afraid of talking to your lecturers and asking questions. This time is about your learning: learning about your field but also about the world and the society you are living in.

Apply for any scholarship and if you don't get it the first time, try again because scholarships will take off a lot of stress financially giving you more flexibility to study. Study overseas because it will open your eyes up to the wonderful world we live in and give you a new perception of the country you are living in.

Make sure to you take advantage of learning support programs offered by Student Central to help you with referencing. Make sure that you read, read and re-read your assignments. Never leave your assignments to the night before; your lecturers can tell you haven't put much thought into your assignment. Study a degree that you want to do, study for your future and finally, enjoy every moment because your time at university will go very quickly. 

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