Mercer artist: writer and painter Charlotte French

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Charlotte French
Charlotte French

Charlotte French is a freshman journalism major with a creative visual arts background. She began pursuing art when she was younger, and was influenced by her father, who graduated with a degree in art. Together, they began doing art projects, and he served as her first art teacher before she ever took a formal lesson.

French took her first art classes in elementary school. In middle school, she pursued her interests further by joining an art club. Instead of going to a regular public or private high school, French went to a specialty-programs high school, Savannah Arts Academy, dedicated to the performing and visual arts.

The school offers specialized programs including high school majors in communication arts, dance, theatre, visual arts, piano, chorus, band and orchestra.

While at Savannah Arts Academy, French chose to pursue a high school major in visual arts. When asked why she chose to pursue a degree in journalism at Mercer, French said, “My two passions are art and writing. The art school I was interested in attending was very expensive and I was able to get better scholarships for writing. I also felt that I would be happier in the long run if I pursued a career in writing.”

In addition to sketches and paintings, French has a passion for fashion and design such as seen in magazines. French believes that her inspiration comes from nature as well as fashion illustrations. Her goal is to eventually take her writing to a level where she will be able to write for a fashion magazine.

Seeing her creative thoughts come to life on paper is what French enjoys most about art and its creation. “I really enjoy seeing my ideas on paper and art is a great creative outlet. I guess I am a perfectionist, so I like being able to work on a piece over and over until I get it right, unlike performing arts where you have to produce the best version immediately,” says French.

French’s preferred medium is watercolor and acrylic paint. “I actually love the way the watercolors are much more transparent and run together and I love the vibrancy of acrylic paints,” she explains.

French’s favorite artists and role models are all individuals who value art or fashion as much as she does. “Monet is one of my favorite painters, mostly because I really admire the impressionist style. My favorite fashion designer is Alexander McQueen, because I think his designs were some of the most unique I have ever seen,” states French.

To French, illustrating and painting serve not only as passions to her, but also as forms of coping and relaxation. “Art definitely helps me cope with stress. When I draw, paint, or make dresses, I concentrate solely on my art and it is easy to forget about the stressful things in my life,” says French.

Right now, French’s current goal with art is to keep herself on track and to maintain her skill level despite the fact that she is not currently enrolled in any art classes.