ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JANET HAMOUS
For Goessel High School art student Ryan Soyez, creating art is more a spontaneous process than a planned one.
“I usually never think about what I am going to do before I do it,” he said. “I start with a shape and just do it. I get a small idea and finish that, and then the next idea will come. It evolves.”
Soyez describes his art as “random.”
“Mainly, I do more surrealistic work from the subconscious,” he said. “I like the simplistic stuff. A lot of people don’t understand because it is abstract. But I like it because you can use your imagination.”
Soyez has been expressing himself through art since he was a child.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been interested in patterns and designs and have done drawings and doodles,” he said.
He said his greatest inspiration came from the work of renowned artist Salvador Dali.
“His work is so surreal and random, and you can really see something beautiful in it,” he said. “A lot of people don’t understand it, but it doesn’t really need to be understood.”
Soyez has lived near Goessel all his life and has been involved in the district’s art program since kindergarten. The advanced art classes he has taken his junior and senior years have been the best, he said.
“The last two years of art have been more free and more of what I want to do,” he said. “The first two years were more directed.
“You need a lot of freedom with your art or it becomes a job,” he added. “You can’t enjoy doing it to the fullest if it is work for you.”
Soyez said drawing is his medium of choice and he works primarily in pencil, ink and colored pencil.
“I have tried painting but I am not as good at it,” he said with a smile.
His favorite piece is a face that he stippled on scratchboard. Stippling is the practice of applying small strokes or dots to a surface so that from a distance they blend together.
The scratchboard starts as a black surface made of poster board that has been coated with black ink atop chalk. The image is etched into the scratchboard using thousands of tiny cuts with an etching tool, revealing the chalk surface underneath.
“The tool looks like a nib that you use for ink,” he said.
Soyez began the piece by drawing a face.
“Then I started adding designs to it,” he said.
He then altered it on a computer to create a more abstract design.
“This project was the most fulfilling,” he said, “and the one I spent the most time on.”
Soyez said it took 15 hours to complete the piece.
“I worked nine of those hours straight through,” he said. “I don’t think about getting something done; I just do it for fun.”
Soyez said he gives away most of his art to friends.
“I really don’t even know all the stuff I’ve done,” he said. “A lot of the time, during a piece I will decide someone I want to give it to.”
In addition to creating art, Soyez also enjoys writing poetry and music and playing the guitar.
He will attend Emporia State University next fall.
“I am planning on going into art therapy or teaching art to grade schoolers,” he said.
In the meantime, Soyez has plenty to keep him busy. He is enrolled in three art-related classes and spends a large part of his day in the school’s art room.
He is planning a one-man art show for sometime in May.
“His responsibility is to fill the whole art gallery,” said Goessel art teacher Brian Stucky. “Then we have an evening gallery opening where the moms will bring some punch and cookies, and we’ll advertise it and people will come. We make it like a professional art opening. It’s really classy.”
Stucky called Soyez’s work “very inventive and creative.”
“He’s on a roll right now,” Stucky said. “You know how artists kind of work in spurts. He’s really feeling good about a lot of stuff he’s done.”