If you have been in the school recently you might have noticed the new murals. Sonya Bitz, a former employee of AGSD and freelance artist, was the creator of this new piece. She does incredible artwork - as you can see from the big painting in Auntie Helena's and the pieces at Fast Eddys. She would also put on personal Paint Nights in the community.
Sonya is a professional artist but mainly works with acrylic paint and digital work. She says, " I also love working with watercolor. I do most of my work on commission which means that clients will come to me to discuss what they want and I then create their artwork. I also create artwork to sell at local businesses and online. I have made stickers, cards, prints, and canvas paintings and I have even made tote bags and designs on shirts before!
"My story begins with doing an art contest for "recycling" in fourth grade where I won the contest. I was so stoked. Fast forward to high school art class where I fell in love with painting. My art teacher was amazing and really an inspiration to me. She was fun and bubbly as a teacher and she really allowed her student's creative freedom with their work. I have been creating artwork ever since and I remember selling my first painting at a flea market for $5 dollars! Talk about a starving artist! I went into art in college where I got to learn so much and take so many cool art classes such as pottery and fiber arts. I really loved my art classes."
Sonya was approached by the principal, Mr. Larrabee, and asked to make "something fun". He wanted to go for a graffiti style that was also Alaskan. This project was not fast - she needed a couple of months to get the sketch right before presenting it to the ASB. The mural is beautiful, and adding berries and fireweed was an excellent touch.
When asked if she had any advice for anyone wanting to pursue art, Sonya said, "Create, create, create and then create more. Who cares if your art is ugly to someone else or to you even. Just keep doing what you love and eventually you will develop your style. It doesn't come overnight and it may not be found for years but just keep creating. There will be times when you feel down on yourself and want to quit but just keep trying to get one thing creative out a day. Creativity can flow like crazy or it can trickle like a stream and there will be times when it's both. Remember that you love doing what you do and keep that passion in your heart."
Sonya is honored to have been the person to do the mural and hopes to bring inspiration.