TORRINGTON — Artist Jasmine Bailey has been given the 2020 Emerging Artist Award from the state’s Office of the Arts.
Bailey is a Torrington native and said that the city is a great place for artists.
“Torrington is a nice area and I wish people could give it a little bit more credit and believe in it a little more,” Bailey said. “We have a lot of really cool things around here, including Five Points, The Noelke Gallery, Coe Park, and The Warner Theater. I think it’s cool that I won something for my art because I used to win awards as a musician.”
Bailey said that she did not seriously pursue art until three years ago. Before then, most of her creative work had been in music.
“While music was the forefront of the first part of my life, art was always there,” Bailey said. “My art is inspired by nature, but growing up I played a lot of video games and I feel like the artists that I follow take a fantasy approach.”
Bailey said that she likes video games that have a unique and artistic voice.
“I like the video games that don’t look like the big title games that companies make,” she said. “I like the games that have an artistic touch to them.”
While she cites video games as an inspiration, Bailey said she is not a big fan of using a computer to create artwork.
“I enjoy using pen and paper to create art,” she said. “I like the tactile feel of it and I have a stigma against computer drawing. I feel like that when I can share my art with somebody I like to give them something I have personally touched. With a computer, you don’t have an original. It’s just a print of something you might give to somebody. If you are drawing with a pen there is no undo button. It goes straight to the paper. It’s more genuine.”
Bailey likes to create fantasy creatures and sometimes nature with alcohol markers, colored pencils, and sometimes she uses the gouache method with paints.
“When I create art there are two paths I usually take,” she said. “I am inspired by other artists and by some of the mediums I consume, like animated short films. So I see a scene or maybe somebody is using gouache in a really interesting way or marker. Or I will just take a piece of paper and start drawing some shapes.”
Back in 2019, Bailey drew the art for the children’s book “Zip, Pop, Buzz,” which was written by her school saxophone teacher Dave Noland.
She said that her future plans include diversifying the mediums she uses to create art.
“I am starting to bring my ideas from paper to life more in wood carving, through needle felting, through sculpting and making dioramas,” she said. “I feel like my next path is going to feature a little bit more of a 3D real-life tangible something you can touch rather than something that is a paper illustration. But I don’t want to lose that. So I will continue to make these sketch cards and smaller works on paper.”
The state’s Office of the Arts has also awarded Winsted artist Stephen Klema as a recipient of an Artist Fellowship Award. When contacted by The Winsted Phoenix, Klema refused to be interviewed for a story.