Art student Robin Song works around colorblindness to keep producing independent-minded art

In Art, Artist Profile, Arts & Entertainment, Multimedia, Slideshows

One out of every 12 males in this country has been diagnosed as color deficient or colorblind.

Robin Song, a 21-year-old Cal State Fullerton art major, is one of these individuals.

While life without vast use of the color spectrum can be defined as a deficiency, Song has taken this f law and uses it as an abstract, creative advantage, which sets his art apart from its contemporaries.

Song did not declare a major during his first three years at CSUF.

It was not until he saw a speaker in his Theater 101 class in his sophomore year that Song discovered his serious attraction to art and design.

He admits, though, that his real passion is oil painting.

Song currently aspires to design skateboard, snowboard and album cover graphics.

After showing interest in architecture and graphic design, Song convinced his parents to allow him major in art.

Now in his second year since declaring his major, Song has begun to expand on his unique, signature style and essence embodied in his work.

“Building a style is really difficult,” Song said. “Art, it’s nothing new. Everything has been done already, so you got to make your s*** pop out.”

Song said his style is still in development, but notes that CSUF educators, particularly Professor Kyung Sun Cho, have undoubtedly bolstered inspiration and encouraged students to leave their comfort zone.

Cho, who is the program coordinator for drawing and painting, advised Song to follow artists such as Walton Ford and Gajin Fujito, who both incorporate similar styles found in Song’s work.

This would not only inspire Song creatively, but also help him develop a style of his own.

One of the artists who inf luenced Song was Rebecca Campbell.

Campbell received the Feitelson Arts Foundation Award, Werner Z. Hirsch Drawing Award and various other honors.

Song noted a piece of advice Campbell gave him: “Your art is supposed to be about what you think as opposed to what other people think.”

The main thing he took away from Campbell was to push the envelope and to be controversial about everything.

The business of an artist is largely dependent on the audience and how people perceive his or her work.

As Song furthers his knowledge and training, he is constantly reminded of the need to please others.

Song’s heavy inspiration from American traditional tattoos has led many of his peers to encourage him to become a tattoo artist.

After getting the addictive taste of ink at 15 years old, Song has accumulated 16 tattoos of his own.

The work done around his left wrist includes images that represent his future.

He said the tattoos are symbols of his nostalgic youth.

Photo by Valerie Schrepferman / Daily Titan
Photo by Valerie Schrepferman / Daily Titan

Located higher on his left arm are red roses that epitomize a very inf luential and expansional stage of Song’s life.

An eagle, located on the middle of his left arm, is a quiet respect of Song’s fight for privilege.

“I love tattoos but that’s not something I can see myself doing for the rest of my life,” Song said.

The artist draws many of his inspirations from images on Tumblr.

“Art is more about recreating stuff that has already been made with putting your own style into it,” Song said.

He emphasized that artistic substance comes from being able to take a particular piece of work and move it out of context.

Manipulation is a large part of Song’s process as he develops into his own style.

While Song is very much passionate about his work, he acknowledges that the process can be laborious.

His work tends to be challenged by his colorblindness.

As his artistic training and experience grows, Song strives to shift away from the safe zone of using basic, local colors on his palette.

He goes through a tedious procedure of mapping out his work before beginning a new piece.

Shadows and all color values are placed in a specific region. When all else fails, Song said he simply makes up the colors as he goes along.

Although Song has difficulty seeing reds, greens and nude shades, he is able to recognize certain characteristics of hues, including a decently accurate hypothesis of how dark or light a color may be.

“I give a lot of contrast in my work because I feel that without contrast, paintings will be dull,” Song said.

Clearly, Song’s art making process takes patience.

The most time-consuming aspect of his work is self-analysis and reconstruction.

A majority of time spent on his work is done without a paintbrush in hand.

Instead, the art major dedicates the bulk of his time to reinterpret and scrutinize the evolution of his project.

“Somehow at the end, it all just comes together,” Song said.

Song is in the process of finishing his largest first self-portrait piece.

Unlike previous art projects he has done, Song was delighted to steer his focus away from still-life images.

Song, who acquired a love for observational painting, said he pulls inspiration from images he encounters in life.

He recognizes that his drawing and sketching skills need much more development.

His self-portrait image began with a picture taken by one of his roommates.

After blowing up the photo and using the original as reference, Song proceeded to embark on his first painted portrait.

Included in the portrait are a couple of Song’s decorated and declared permanent art pieces.

Known to friends as the man who cheers to freedom, Song continues to actively pursue a life as a working artist.

“My philosophy is to work off of impulse,” Song said.

As an artist who emphasizes his love of a life uncharted, Song suggests, “Give less f***s on what people think and just do what you want to do.”

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