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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Student artist devotes piece to his long-time pal

Although nothing lives on forever, art has the power of keeping memories

Tyler Fitzpatrick
Tyler Fitzpatrick proudly standing next to his work titled “An Old Friend”. at the Fullerton College Gallery on Tuesday night. Photo credit: Kristine Jaranilla

and simultaneous feelings stay alive.

That was the case for Fullerton College artist, Tyler Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick, art major, created a digital art piece called “An Old Friend” that is currently showcased in the student artist gallery. He decided to dedicate his piece to his German Shepherd/Australian Shepherd mix, Thunderpaw.

Fitzpatrick has had Thunderpaw since he was six years old (and even got to name him), making Thunderpaw almost 16 years old.

Fitzpatrick mentioned he realized his beloved dog was getting older and would eventually not be with him anymore, so in honor of his dog, he created a digital portrait of him.

There weren’t any other pieces that came to mind that seemed nearly as important to Fitzpatrick while thinking of what he would put up for display for the art gallery, making this particular work quite personal and close to the heart.

Fitzpatrick has been interested in creating art since he was a child and from there, it was an off and on hobby. Near the end of high school, he began to take art more seriously, and it has been a constant in his life since.

When he’s not making art, Fitzpatrick is playing video games. He noted that there are a lot of career options that come with digital art. He plans to take his love for video games and digital art and to someday design for movies or television.

Although he does not have any favorite artists to take inspiration from, he does not need to seeing how he takes from his surroundings – anything and everything is a chance to take inspiration from.

“I really like thinking of something in my head and being able to bring it to life,” Fitzpatrick said.

He particularly enjoys digital and traditional art. Had he been asked if he would be able to create “An Old Friend” five years ago, his answer would be no.

He went on to say how art is a learned skill and not many people realize that. Instead, most believe the majority of artists have always had that talent.

“Talent gives you a springboard, but it’s not going to carry you,” Fitzpatrick said.

When others compare their artistic ability to Fitzpatrick’s, they claim art has never been a strong side of theirs and mention how the most they can draw are stick figures.

Fitzpatrick’s response to those scenarios was, “everyone starts out drawing stick figures.”

As an artist, Fitzpatrick noted that there are a lot of stepping stones to get where someone is at in their artistic ability. Audiences never see the bad pieces – they see the polished pieces the artist wants displayed. Hence, why viewers assume artists have always been incredibly skillful.

Fitzpatrick recalled some of his experiences with art such as his difficulties trying to fill out a sketchbook for the first time as well as his teachers showing the class his tarot card sketches.

Art has been in Fitzpatrick’s life as long as his long-time furry friend, Thunderpaw, has – making this the perfect chance to integrate his love for one through another.

“An Old Friend” and a number of works by other students will be on display at the Student Art Exhibition until May 18.

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