Photo by Victor Beck ’20 | Justin Loo ’19 works on upcoming piece transforming from original medium to animation.
By Victor Beck ’20
Justin Loo ’19 is an aspiring artist and comic illustrator who finds inspiration in telling stories through his work.
Loo’s artistic expression ranges from small doodles, to custom denim jackets, to large canvas comic book installations. However, accompanying these projects, problems often arise.
For example, Loo describes the difficult situations that come from drawing without the use of references.
“It’s a lot harder to draw something when it comes from imagination, even if you are drawing something that is original. If it’s inspired, it’s a lot easier to come up with a plan in your head because it’s more substantive,” Loo said.
Despite obstacles like this, Loo loves art and pays homage to Mr. Marc Kelly ’87 for introducing him to the depths and complexities of art his freshman year.
“I doodled, but I only really started drawing after my humanities class with Mr. Kelly, which was really great. I’ve been taking art classes every year at Brophy, largely in thanks to him. Before Mr. Kelly, I haven’t had many great experiences with art teachers, but he’s been awesome,” said Loo.
When it comes to generating a piece from scratch, Justin emphasizes the importance of planning and teamwork.
“The big comic piece I’m doing needs a lot of planning. You can’t just take out a big canvas and just start working on it,” said Loo.
Loo commends Avery Hodge ’19 for giving him second opinions on his work and assisting him with his character anatomy studies.
“I’ve been very glad being able to help him. It’s very give and take. For example, I’ll bring in an art book and we’ll look at it; he’ll bring me an art book and we’ll look at it. He’s got some really cool stuff and interesting views on things–exactly what an artist needs,” Hodge said.
Hodge credits a shared love of comics to bringing him and Loo closer as friends.
“I met him in AP studio art class and he came up to me and said, ‘I have these comics’ and in response I said ‘let me see them’. He’d been doing a page per day for the last month over the summer. He’s in insanely hard worker and reaches out to people,” said Hodge.
Hodge describes Loo as inspiration to watch while Loo works on his art.
“He knows what he likes and he’s willing to study and apply it into his own work. It’s been really inspiring for me to see,” said Hodge.
“It’s been interesting to see how the stories he’s interested in telling have changed. He definitely adds variety to the studio art class,” Hodge continued.
Loo is in the process of creating a large comic installation that is still in the process of being finished.
“It’s very challenging to do something that big. For some people it’s worth it, for others, it’s easier to work small,” Hodge said about the piece.
Additionally, Mr. Marc Kelly praises Loo for growing as a person and exploring his talents through the arts.
“He’s an extremely talented artist and a super positive guy with some really good ideas about art and the nature of creativity. I’ve seen him develop over the last four years into a person who is just curious about art to a guy killing it in AP Studio Art. And it can all be credited to just four years of dedication and self discovery, understanding what he is capable of doing, and taking that to the next level.”