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Artist of the Issue: Daisy Fey

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Some artists only master one art form and boast perfect control over their execution and inspiration. Daisy Fey ‘18 is the exact opposite: a Renaissance girl. Daisy paints, draws, sings, tattoos, and writes. Rather than looking for inspiration, Daisy lets it find her, aiming only to “draw the energy” of what captures her attention.

Daisy says that the visual arts, particularly painting and drawing, have been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. She admits that most of the art classes during her early childhood were mandatory, but she enjoyed them and actively pursued them when they did become optional.

“My first voluntary art class was in the sixth grade, when I went to a town summer camp for drawing,” Daisy recalls.

Paint quickly caught her eye because she loved working with color. However, during middle school, Daisy’s art teacher pushed her out of her color comfort zone and urged her to try working in pencil to develop depth and light perception. Daisy remembers feeling uncomfortable going from color to black-and-white, but she is thankful for the more technical aspects of her art that have resulted from her work in pencil.

When asked about her source of inspiration, Daisy says, “I don’t look at it as inspiration but more the mood I’m in.” She believes her artistic attention sometimes  wavers, though; some days, she just doesn’t feel confident in her skills. However, when she’s in a creative mood, Daisy says she’ll notice odd lighting and little things out of the ordinary, especially in people’s expressions.

“I think facial expressions are the most important things to focus on. They’re so detailed,” Daisy says. Whenever she stumbles across one of these expressions, Daisy takes a snapshot of the moment with her phone as a reference for later. The piece she is currently working on is based on a photo taken last Thanksgiving, where Daisy’s mother sits with “a very pensive expression.” Daisy describes her artistic style as spontaneous; she never asks people to pose, but rather prefers to let her muses act candidly.

A prime example of Daisy’s artistic spontaneity is her work with stick-and-poke tattoos, which involve using a sharp point and ink to make semi-permanent designs on the skin. In her fourth form year, Daisy remembers that she and her friends were drawing on each other when they decided to get tattoos. Daisy had mentioned that she had done stick-and-poke tattoos before – a simple design of three dots on herself that she has since transformed into a crown – and her friends asked her to tattoo them. The following Surprise Holiday, they bought ink and needles, and Daisy gave tattoos to several of her friends.

Besides her tattoo designs, Daisy’s art evolution continued on the Circle. Sarah Meyer, a former art teacher at Groton, was one of her mentors, having taught Daisy in Third Form Visual Studies and Drawing Workshop. Daisy said she responded well to Ms. Meyer’s teaching style and advice, and listened to her suggestions to experiment with other media, including charcoal and oil paints. Although Daisy dislikes working with charcoal, she admits that it is one of her better styles and a medium with which she continues to experiment.

In addition to branching out into new visual art styles, Daisy went to a different type of art entirely: vocal. She joined choir in her fifth form year. “My whole family sings from my mother’s side,” Daisy says, “and I was kind of assumed to join choir.” (She could not join it sooner due to scheduling conflicts.) However, despite her limited tenure in choir, Daisy has fallen in love with the program and now serves as a prefect. She says that “singing with a group of people is something really special.”

Daisy has also started working on the more theatrical side of arts. Last spring, she wrote “Table 12,” a short play about a young man trying his luck at speed dating, “Table 12” was a hit when it was performed at the One Act Festival. Daisy says that “Table 12” was the feature of many of her college essays, and that it helped her recognize her passion for a career in the arts. “I want to do screenwriting, directing, and writing short stories if I can,” Daisy says, “and maintain visual arts as a hobby.”

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