Fandom Painting with Stephanie


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Around the time of the #IWantMyNerdHQ campaign Stephanie’s art had come to my attention. She had painted Zac Levi and I remember the painting on Twitter going viral! All I can remember thinking at the time was damn this girl is talented! Since then I’ve followed her on Twitter and Facebook, which you can find the links to below, to keep up with her artistic progress. And now I’ve finally asked her if she’d be so kind as to have me interview her, so without further ado…

My name is Stephanie Arnwine. I’m 28 years old and live in Edmond, Oklahoma. Originally from Tallahassee, Florida. I have been drawing/sketching ever since I can remember. I would always draw anime characters or people. I started painting about 4 years ago. I never went to school for art or took any art classes. My friend Paul, who is an amazing artist taught me everything I know about painting. It was something I was able to pick up on quickly and has stuck with me ever since.

What inspired you to start painting film/tv inspired pieces?

I have always loved cinema and the creative process that goes into making a movie. Movies, music, and people interest and inspire me. When I see something or someone that’s beautiful, I want to recreate that with a blank canvas and paint. I want to capture what the camera or a photographer captured with my hands.

What goes into picking an image to paint?

I usually surf the web on Google, or find stills from a movie to paint. I save the image to my computer, blow it up on my screen and sketch away. Then I apply the paint. It always depends on my moods, and what or who I feel like painting. Sometimes I’ll see an image on Facebook or Tumblr and it’ll pull at me until I give and paint it onto a canvas.

What’s your favorite piece you’d ever painted?

One of my favorite piece’s that I have ever painted so far has been my “Brother’s of Asgard” Loki and Thor two piece set. They’re both 30″x40″. Loki took me about 3 months to paint, and Thor took me about 4 months to paint. They were a blast to paint! The Loki painting has also been signed by the actor who played him, Tom Hiddleston. So that piece in particular, is special to me.

What was your most challenging?
The most challenging piece I would have to say was my full-size Iron Man painting (pictured above with Stephanie). That piece was 24″x48″ and very tedious. I painted every detail and piece of his armor. That took a lot of patience and time. I think there was a point where I had to take a break and come back to it. That was also the painting that set the bar high for me. After that, I pushed myself to be even better.

What piece has gotten the most response?

There were actually two pieces I did that I would have to say were about even as far as getting the most response. Firstly, the “Brother’s of Asgard” set and secondly, a painting I did of Tom Hiddleston as “King Henry V”. Which I later had the privilege of hand delivering to him. A lot of people responded well to those piece’s and have been requesting prints of them.

How long approximately does it take you?

Each painting is different. It’s hard to say exactly how long it takes me to do a piece. My creative flow and moods can vary from piece to piece. If I’m really into it, and get into my groove it can take less than a month. If I’m feeling kind of into it or not as creative it can take several months. It also really depends on the size of the painting and how much detail and time I’m willing to spend on it. I’m a perfectionist so I’ll spend forever on one spot if I have to. Sometimes I have to force myself to stop and call it good. Haha!

If you could be any character you’ve ever painted who would you want to be?

I don’t know that I’d want to be any character that I’ve painted but myself. I will say, If I could hang out with any character I’ve ever painted I would want to hang out with Loki. He’s one of my absolute favorites! He has such a tragic and misunderstood back story that I would love to sit and have a cup of black coffee or Earl Grey tea with the guy. He would probably then sew my mouth shut or kill me so I’d never tell a single soul. But that’d be ok I guess. 🙂

What’s some advice for someone looking to start painting?

Ah. This is a good question. I was very fortunate to find someone who not only is a dear friend of mine, but who is patient, intelligent and very talented when it comes to art and teaching me everything he knows. I’m still learning and will always be learning as I go. I would have to say, patients is key. I expect my paintings to look exactly how I see it in my head right away and that’s just not how it works. It’s a process and it’s what you put into it. I get frustrated with every piece, but you have to keep working and pushing through it. If you feel like you’re in a rut, take some classes, go to an art museum, YouTube some video’s on how to do something. But never give up. Take creative licence and just roll with it. Lastly, always be opened to critique and advice. Don’t take it personally, learn and grow as an artist.

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Michelle L. Jensen
Blogger, fangirl, cosplayer, and most importantly, a nerd. She's also the creator of Nerd Out.
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