BA Capstone: Characteristics

Illustrated animals and figures on a colorful background

UNCP B.A. Senior Capstone Exhibition

On View: April 12-21, 2023

Reception: Friday, April 14, 5-7 p.m.

Featuring:      Preston Coker, Nairobi Lewis, Ashton Locklear, Mackenzie Jenkins, Kristen Price, Evan Rector, Amrie Lynn Turner, and Raya Silvia

UNCP senior art students presents their exhibition “Characteristics”.  The following are artist statements from artists featured in this exhibition:

Kristen Price

I have been doing digital art since my mom got me my very first drawing tablet, which was many years ago. Digital art is the main medium that I work in, however, there is not just one medium that I like to work in. Other than digital art, I like to work with paint, charcoal, graphite, and I plan to dip my hands into other mediums as well. And I typically just draw whatever comes to my mind at the moment, because of this for the longest time I never really thought there was just one thing that I liked to draw, but then I realized that I really like character drawing. I grew up on a lot of Disney movies and cartoons, and whenever I got bored, I would just get out a piece of paper and draw random characters from whatever cartoon or movie I had recently watched. As I got older, I eventually got around to creating my own characters, and I still do to this day. Whether it be a human or an animal, or even creating a fictional species, creating a new character is just a really fun process to go through; I get to create their personality and their life story through either a single or a series of drawings, and based on that character I can create an entirely new world around them. The amount of fun I have making new characters and new environments around them is one of the main reasons why I’m really interested having a career in anything related to drawing characters, whether it be concept artist, character animator, comic book artist, or even illustrator.

For a lot of my work, the only process that I have is fairly simple. When I get an idea for a new art piece, I usually just start off with a sketch, and then I move on to fully adding line art, color, and any other detail I feel like would fit with what I already have. However, I never really use just one specific technique with my pieces, because to me just using one technique would feel monotonous. The way I work fully depends on what I feel like doing at the moment, and I’ll even experiment with different techniques while creating something new. For inspiration, a lot of it, as mentioned before, comes from watching older Disney movies and tons of cartoons, but my main source of inspiration comes from the person who got me into drawing in the first place. Before his passing, my dad was an artist, and I remember him doing art for most of my childhood. He would make pictures for my older sister and I; I loved watching him draw and paint, and a lot of what he drew involved characters too. I remember for a long time, I only ever drew because I wanted to be just like my dad, but now it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do, but I still thank my dad for getting me into art in the first place.

To me, for every new character that I make, and every new world that I create around that character, it means an entirely new adventure to me. For my current work, when coming up with multiple ideas for a single character, I am constantly asking myself “what” and “how” questions during the sketching process: what if this character had longer hair, what if he was a bit shorter, what if her face was a bit rounder, what is this character’s personality, how would this character react in this situation. These are the types of questions I ask myself in the beginning phase of creating a brand-new character. From there, I usually create different iterations of the same character before picking the one design I think fits the type of character I’m trying to go for the best. The process of creating an entirely new character- from the conception to the sketching, and even down to picking out what color or style you want to draw in- is a long process that can last for days, or even months. It may seem tedious to some to spend so long focusing on a single thing, but to me, the journey to the finished product makes everything I’ve done up to that point beyond worth it


Evan Rector

My name is Evan Rector. I'm a 2D digital artist practicing realism art for my concept art, background, clothes, etc. I have also made logos for advertisements and merchandise. I wanted my art to be enlightening to my audience. I created my art to be motivational around people who are having a rough time in life. I wish for my art to help people to strive forward, continue trying, and keep moving on so they may reach their goals. I also want to help my audience to grow and mature from the influence of my art.

So, I want my art to be the absolute thrill that will help my audience see the light of day again, as it did for me. I went through depression and once had a mental meltdown. But my goals and inspiration have helped me move on and not dwell in the past anymore. I felt transcendent and mature by making the right choices in my life, with my art supporting me through and through. Now, if others' art can help me strive forward, so should mine. I want to help my audience make the right choices and help lift their heads when times are down.

Preston Coker

Preston Coker, a senior for UNCP and an art major for the bachelor’s degree Program, will host his senior show Characteristics. Coker will present a animation with motion graphics video that incorporates a spiritual meaning of secret geometry, spirituality, which ties towards the elements of Afro-Futurism. Coker will also provide three concept prints that will represent his animation film. In the first print, Coker will establish a sci-fi, galaxy atmosphere with a male model placed in the center area for the foreground. Behind the model, will be a symbolic geometry called the “Seed of Life” which represents “Masculine” energy. In the second Print, Coker will create a female model that is also placed in the center of the piece, with a nature-like scenery. Behind the female model in this piece, will be the symbol “Flower of Life”, which represents “Feminine” energy. The third print will show a combination of solar and nature elements as the scenery with a three of life symbol placed in the center. For the animation, it will depict a slide show movement of symbolic geometry motioning in and out which the addition of the male and female model appearance. The goal and accomplishment for this animation is to successfully merge the two models together in one unit, while expressing some traits from the masculine and feminine aspects. Coker will use pencil on paper as his base design, he will apply those sketches into the digital software on this technical devices.

Nairobi Lewis

Nairobi Lewis, born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, is graduating senior and character designer. Lewis spent most of their time watching cartoons, anime, and playing video games, the main sources of their inspiration to be apart of character design. The characters created by Lewis also are inspired by astrology. Using their knowledge of design and their understanding of astrology,

Lewis developed designs for the astrological star signs based on characteristics of said signs, incorporating them into the very personality of the character from their outfits, to their hair, and their posing and understand that beyond the sun sign, we express the qualities of the signs throughout our birth charts, so these characters represent the inner parts of Lewis that they may not outwardly express, using the characters to express their inner world. Through the use of digital programs, 3d modeling, and printmaking, Lewis showcase the different technical skills to develop these characters. The design of the characters are also important to the exposure of black representation in character design, a representation that has been increasing in recent years. Lewis aims to create a world of uniquely design characters that are a representation for the black communities to see more of themselves living in a world, expressing their emotions, showcasing their personalities and to enjoying a magical and fantastical that is rarely afford the luxury of having.


Amrie Turner

Amrie Lynn Turner is a first generation German-American multidisciplinary artist living in North Carolina. At the moment, her primary mediums of focus are ceramics, sculpture, and painting – all of which are present in this exhibition.

Through the exploration of various mediums, I’ve given you an intimate look into the very characteristics that represent me. The Embrace is comprised of two abstracted ceramic figures which symbolize the innate desire one has for affectionate bonds and companionship and an homage to the comforting and intimate qualities of a hug. Warmth is a tradigital color field which radiates a soothing aura meant to allow a moment of meditation and self reflection. Accompanying this digital print, on either side, are parts I and II of Omas Bettdecke. These sculptural wall pieces utilize texture in combination with light and shadow to create imaginative spaces which echo the German bedtime stories of my childhood. Concluding the list of works in this show are abstract paintings, Abstraktes Bild #2 and Portrait of a Man (Portrait No. 1). Within every artist’s work is a self portrait and expression of themselves, I believe abstraction communicates oneself by means of deeper, intimate feeling. In getting to know me, you are also given the opportunity to know yourself.

My work for Characteristics serves as a love letter to my adolescence, my culture, and my upbringing.


Raya Silvia

Raya Silvia, born in Pinellas Park, Florida, is a graduating senior and mixed media artist, digital illustrator. Silvia takes inspiration for her work from cartoons, anime, comic books, past experiences and surroundings to create art that she feels emotionally connected to. Silvia's artistic process starts with an idea that she sketches and plans out in her head, which she then brings to life using a variety of materials. She often includes acrylic paint in her physical projects and uses wood as a structure for her sculptures, as it is sturdy and easy to build around. When creating digital art, Silvia uses an iPad, occasionally integrating her own computer with a drawing tablet. Silvia's digital work and background include animation, illustration and character design. While some of her pieces may not have a specific meaning, those that do are often influenced by personal experiences or things she has learned. When she becomes inspired to create a piece, Silvia becomes fully consumed by the process, often spending hours working on it without leaving her room until it is finished.