UT student organization builds, passion, confidence and community through art

Sierra Quarzaza

Although creative projects can be done alone with the right resources, sometimes it’s better to have two brains on a project than one. That’s the foundation of Collaborative Artists.

Collaborative Artists is a student organization providing an outlet for students to demonstrate their artistic abilities and team-up with others. The space is for collaboration but the members have made it into a social area for students of all majors.

According to Virginia Chen, psychology senior and the club’s president, Collaborative Artists served as a space to get creativity in her life, although she originally took no interest in art before joining the club.

“I originally joined on a whim,” Chen said. “After being in it for a while, it made me realize how important art had become to me.”

For Chen, keeping the social and community aspect in the club is important for its open and inclusive atmosphere. She said the club is not designed solely for artists but for anyone who wants exposure to art and its many forms of presentation.

“I think it’s really important to know someone’s name and say, ‘Hi.’ I believe it makes it easier to come together that way,” Chen said.

The community provides a space where members can take critiques among peers to improve their skill. Breye Perkins, rhetoric and writing senior, said she overcame her fear of critiques through Collaborative Artists, and the organization has made her passion for writing stronger.

“I used to do my art alone,” Perkins said. “Collaborative Artists allows me to hear critiques and I would not able to grow as much if I didn’t have someone to critique me.”
Perkins said that even though she still has a lot to learn, she is more motivated than ever to continue pursuing her more creative goals.

Neuroscience sophomore Yohannese Lakesane said he is confident in his dreams involving art. Although he is studying a field that uses the opposite side of the brain, his passion has always been animation, and he said he hopes to become an animator someday.

“I have learned through this club that I am solid in my medium,” Lakesane said. “It just makes me want to pursue my goals even more.”

Lakesane said that being a member of Collaborative Artists has forced him to take his animation more seriously and see it as a future career path. He said he learned a lot from his fellow students and that the organization is open to teach everyone that comes to their meetings.

“You don’t have to know how to draw,” Lakesane said. “You can come in and we would be happy to teach you.”