By Kiara Hagan
Brynna Strader has grown up in Winchester and watched Shenandoah University evolve to the place we know it to be today. When her mother started working at SU, she began to spend time on the campus and since then has never strayed away. Older than the little girl who used to ride her scooter on SU’s sidewalks, she’s now developed into her own person and is known for her art.
After speaking with Brynna, she said that she creates “Fan Art”. “Recently I’ve been doing Fire Bloom which is a game series by Nintendo”, she said. Brynna doesn’t plan on stopping there, “I want to go into making comics specifically web comics, it’s basically like a graphic novel but it can be in color because it’s digital and that keeps cost down for production. She said this type of art is most interesting to her because “it’s easy to get out to people and various websites support creators like that”. She said that she wants to get published on these websites and eventually earn an income.
In Brynna’s case, art isn’t just a hobby to her, she said that it helped her with her self-identity. “My art changed because of my sexuality. I started drawing things like two men and two women because I realized that I myself am gay”. She says that art was a good outlet to express her sexuality, but also her friends and her community also helped her come to terms with her sexual identity.
Brynna said that she’s a self-taught artist, she learned most things herself or watching videos on YouTube. All the practice that she put into her art is paying off because she now sells her art for commission. I asked her if she could give any advice to a younger Brynna, what would it be? “Practice, practice, practice”, she said.
Spoken like the words of a true artist.