The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



SLOHS Junior Celia Lober Talks Shop on Quarantine Art


  Trapped in their houses with endless hours to fill, San Luis Obispo High School students are increasingly turning to the arts—and to arts and crafts—to fill their time. And no one is doing that most consistently and more impressively than junior Celia Lober, who identifies as a choreographer, dancer, painter, musician, and, most importantly, a newspaper editor. Expressions interviewed her to find out more about her artistic proclivity and to learn any tips she might have for emerging artists. 

Expressions: What creative endeavours have you undertaken during this break?

Junior Celia Lober: Mostly it’s been painting and working on building my portfolio. I would like to do more 3D art with clay and stuff but I don’t really have that at my house, so I’m stuck with mostly painting. I’ve also been trying to choreograph a little bit as well as playing guitar; music is also an art form, of course, so I’ve been working on that all around. 

Expressions: Where do you get your artistic inspiration from?

Lober: Well, I really started to get super inspired to explore painting further after I saw a bunch of work from this artist named Soey Milk. She’s a Korean-American artist who got me really into painting figures and combining figures with more abstract shapes and textures—making it like a collage, almost. 

Expressions: So what subject matter do you try to capture with your paintings, generally?

Lober: Mostly people. Right now I’m working on a digital portrait of Julian Casablancas, who is a singer in one of the bands I like, but I normally don’t paint men. I think that’s some of Soey Milk’s influence. 

Expressions: I know you talked about choreographing ballet earlier and making music, do you try to accomplish the same things in those art forms as you do with painting? How do those fit in with your creative flow, I guess I’m trying to ask. 

Lober: I mean they’re all different forms of expression, with painting it’s more like trying to reflect something, or show off something, that you think is really important, or something you like. And so you can paint a picture of something and people will pay more attention to it because it’s a painted picture, because it’s something you created, as opposed to a photograph. Not to put down photographers, but I feel like sometimes people pay more attention to things when they are created from nothing. 

With dance it’s just like, I don’t really know—I couldn’t put it in a whole separate category, but it’s like you think something is this beautiful so you want to show people how much you love it, if that makes sense. When you make your own choreography, you change the music into your own music, almost; that is why I like choreography. I think George Balanchine, who’s a great choreographer—not a great person, but a great choreographer—said, and this might not be exactly it, but something along the lines of ‘no movements are created, they’re just pieced together from what you already knew.’ And that’s what choreography is, you’re creating a story or a feeling or a scene out of familiar pieces. And you’re using people as a medium to paint, which I think is really beautiful and powerful. 

Expressions: When you’re doing choreography, is your first concern the visual element—how it looks—or are you thinking at the story you want to tell and the message you want to send? Which one of those things comes first, and how do you balance them?

Lober: It depends on what I’m choreographing. A few years ago, for example, I got to choreograph for my studio and I wanted to do a story ballet, so I wanted to find music that I could hear the story in—the horns would be one person, etcetera. Really, for that one, it started with the story and I built movements around it based on what feelings within the story I wanted to show. Right now, though, I’m working on one that won’t see the light of day until next year, and it’s very different.  

Expressions: What is it?

Lober: It’s based on this piece of music called “Jupiter the Bringer of Jollity” by Gustav Holst, it’s part of his “Planet Suites.” It’s just a really strong piece of music, and so for that one there isn’t much of a story I want to tell—just the emotion and the cool shapes and wavy lines that I want to show. I want it to be visual, first and foremost. 

Expressions: What’s your process when you’re creating these things? How do these ‘wavy lines and shapes’ that you talk about get turned into an actual ballet?

Lober: Sometimes it gets frustrating. I’ll listen to the music over and over, and sometimes I’ll just dance around in my room to plan out the motions, but there are times when I’ll do something I really like but when I go to write it down I can’t remember what it was. It’s mostly just listening to the music though, and drawing what I feel based on the music.

Expressions: Is drawing out the movements literally drawing them out? Is this where your other art skills come in?

Lober: Drawing it out is not so much about actually drawing the movements—it just shows where the people are and where they move. I’m not sure if you’ve seen a football playbook, but it looks more like that than actual drawings. 

Expressions: Are you going to continue to do art like this in the future?

Lober: Yes, I want to keep choreographing for sure. I’m also looking at a lot of art schools, especially the Art Institute in Chicago. I like that one because they don’t force you to concentrate on just painting, or just sculpting, like other places would. You can learn all those things, and you can take courses about the art business and about preserving art. 

Expressions: What tips would you give to people who are trying to bring out their creative side during ‘rona season?

Lober: I would say just try everything that you have time to try, because why not? You have nothing better to do. That sounds kind of blunt, but you really don’t, so you might as well try something. For example: the other day I kept looking at videos of, like, crochet? I think it’s called crochet? I think that’s what it’s called but that might be wrong. Anyway, I was watching all these different crochet videos and I was like ‘Hey, I should try crochet, because what else can I do with my time?’ And so you might catch me crocheting soon. 

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    AnnApr 25, 2020 at 9:38 am

    So awesome! Way to make the most of this time, Celia!