Mosaic / February 13, 2019

Student uses art to cope with anxiety

Sophomore Phelix Sefic shows off their art work. Sefic designed the stickers in this year’s Catch books. (Ali Olejniczak/TKS)

Sophomore Phelix Sefic can still remember sitting in their desk in elementary school nervously as their teacher marched toward them. To the teacher’s surprise, when she opened the desk she found an army of small paper people living in the world Sefic had created.

“My friends now still sends me photos [of the paper dolls]. Like, ‘I still have this,’” Sefic said.

Growing up in Denver, Sefic has always had a passion for art, though they didn’t find their true passion for it until they were able to enter Advanced Placement art classes. Before then, their classes were mainly focused on whatever arts and crafts the teacher had brought in that day, often paid for out of their own paychecks.

Despite this, Sefic always found support for their craft at home. Their mother was also an artist, and they often crafted together from a very young age.

“I’ve always done art, as long as I can remember,” Sefic said.

They start with a general sketch with two different colors of pencils and then outline the piece in dark outlines. Once it’s been outlined they go in and decide what colors would fit the piece best. The rest they will free hand, letting their creativity run wild on the page. For them, this process is incredibly therapeutic. It’s a space where all of their emotions can flow freely.

“I often start with a really anxious feeling and then draw that,” Sefic said.

Like many artists, Sefic often struggles with choosing a medium. Their two preferred mediums right now are sculpture and illustration, both digitally and by hand. Though they love illustration, they find physical sculptures have the power to create experiences in a way that illustrations are limited.

Though Sefic uses many mediums, their style always remains the same: loud, fun colors, with big bold outlines. One of their biggest inspirations has been “Adventure Time.” The TV show’s art style has been influential on Sefic’s style.

“I have a cartoony style, but I don’t make cartoons,” Sefic said.

However they’d be open to working on cartoons in the future, namely as a storyboard artist. They gravitated toward this style because cartoons have always been a place where Sefic felt comfortable.

“Cartoons have always leaned more toward queer acceptance for me,” Sefic said.

As an art and education major, Sefic wants to share the joy of art with younger students. Artist Keith Haring and his mission has had a great deal of influence on them and reflects a lot of their own desires as an artist.

“I feel like teaching others and giving others the ability to express themselves has more impact,” Sefic said.

Their long term goal as an artist is to provide kids with an environment where they can create art and express themselves, though they’re unsure whether they want to be in the classroom. Art is an important part of Sefic’s life and they hope to share that with others in any way they can.

“I get very anxious if I can’t do art,” Sefic said.

With the help of friends, Sefic is in the process of doing this at Knox, as they work to bring the art club back. Outside of this, they’ve also had the opportunity to work with other organizations on campus. If you look in the back of the winter edition of Catch you’ll find an assortment of colorful stickers all created by Sefic.

Sefic is also part of a thriving community of artists on Instagram. There they find other artists with styles and experiences similar to theirs. You can find Sefic under the Instagram handle glitter.cowboi you can find a wide array of art in the many mediums Sefic works in.

Jessica Beckman

Tags:  Artists Color creativity phelix sefic Profile

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