Featured Artist: Renny Argast

Paly sophomore Renny Argast stays true to her art amidst peer influence on social media

Art by Renny Argast

Artist and Paly sophomore Renny Argast opens Instagram, ready to share her latest experimental artwork with her followers. As she scrolls through her account, Argast can’t help but focus on the number of likes and comments on her old posts.

 “[On Instagram,] it feels like, ‘Oh, I lost 10 followers last night. What am I doing wrong?’ Or, ‘Oh, I only gained two followers from my last post,’” Argast said.

Argast finds it difficult to appreciate the positive aspects of sharing her art on social media because she feels vulnerable to the judgment of others.

“I wonder how it would be if I’d never actually made an Instagram,” Argast said. “A lot of the time, I’m making a piece and end up thinking, ‘Will people on Instagram like this?’ I don’t know if that negatively affects what I make.”

When she first started making art in sixth grade, Argast sketched cartoons, a style that she had been most familiar with. She swiftly moved towards trying out a variety of styles that struck an interest in her. Argast believes that, by branching out and trying different styles, her style is more likely to improve.

“If you can only draw landscapes or you can only paint the side of someone’s face, then a lot of times you won’t be able to improve,” Argast said. “Even if you practice one thing for the rest of your life, it’s not as rich an experience as drawing several different things.”

Art by Renny Argast

A lot of the time, I’m making a piece and end up thinking, ‘Will people on Instagram like this?’ I don’t know if that negatively affects what I make.”

— Renny Argast, sophomore

Argast also works with a variety of mediums, as they all have something different to offer. Over time, digital art has become one of her favorites.

“I think [digital art] is really wide and varied with what you can do,” Argast said.

When Argast works on digital pieces, she records the process and creates time lapses to share alongside her art on social media. 

“It’s so satisfying to me, seeing a piece come to fruition from just a sketch,” Argast said. “I think a lot of people enjoy seeing my process, or at least I hope they do, because it gives insight into what the piece is trying to say.”

Argast’s experience making digital art has also prompted her to try out neighboring art forms like animation. Argast is fascinated by the collection of techniques that go into producing animation. 

I think a lot of people enjoy seeing my process, or at least I hope they do, because it gives insight into what the piece is trying to say.”

— Renny Argast, sophomore

Art by Renny Argast

“I like that animation allows for a more direct way to convey a message because it’s often more engaging with the viewer,” Argast said.

Argast also tries to speak to her audience through the use of colors which play an extensive role in expressing the emotions tied to a piece of art. 

“I feel like colors give a really immediate mood,” Argast said. “I feel like colors are the first thing you notice when you look at a piece.”

Argast often features people as the focal points of her art. She believes that observing people is a unique experience because of the endless amount of components that go into drawing a person. 

Art by Renny Argast

I also just want to improve as much as I possibly can and take all of my ideas to the next level.”

— Renny Argast, sophomore

“When you draw a person, it feels like you get to know them a lot,” Argast said. “Like the way someone’s shoulders stoop or the way they have their hands.”

As Argast continues her art career, she sees importance in broadening her skills and staying true to the meaning of her artwork, whether it be emotion-filled pieces or ones featuring increasingly complex concepts.

“I also just want to improve as much as I possibly can and take all of my ideas to the next level,” Argast said.