Artist Spotlight: Justin Lee

By Atira Nair | Staff Writer

Irvington, with its prestigious arts magnet program, is a creative school filled with talented students whose talents range from artists, musicians, and athletes, forming a unique community. One student in particular, senior Justin Lee, is an exceptional digital artist who creates lively pieces brimming with color and imagination. Lee is currently in Ms. Parker’s studio art class and became interested in art during freshman year when he was first exposed to digital artworks, admiring the story and tone behind the art. At that time, he began taking classes in and out of Irvington and discovering his talent in digital art.

Lee prefers digital art over traditional art because of its versatility and favors Paint Tool Sai, a Japanese art program, for his digital pieces. When he does create traditional pieces, he opts for color pencils. Lee took art classes outside of Irvington and later on took Art 2, AP Art in school. He is currently taking studio art, rather than AP Studio Art, because it gives him more time and freedom to work on projects outside of school. What Lee enjoys most about art is the satisfaction he gains from working hard on a project and seeing the end result.

Lee draws everything and doesn’t have a strict preference for any particular style.  His art includes a variety of characters and props that show his mastery in multiple different art styles and subjects. He finds inspiration in pieces that focus on composition and use all the aspects in the piece to create a certain mood.  Lee’s art reveals how the artist has been able to create different tones and moods through the use of color, light, and costume.

Lee aspires to be a professional concept artist for a video game company in the future, an occupation that involves creating custom designs and art for animation, books, and other forms of media. Concept artists are common in animation, video games, and comic book industries.

At the end of the day, Lee believes that the most important part about creating something is personal gratification and enjoyment.

“Getting better at art really just comes down to practice. To me, art is something to work for.” said Lee. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Be proud of what you do and have fun with it.”

Justin Lee’s art piece for the PTSA Reflections competition includes color, dimension, texture, and lighting in a way that shows his unique and imaginative style.