QU student creates life-inspired art

Jessica Simms, Managing Editor

Satine Berntsen, a first-year 3+1 film, television and media arts major, has been drawing for about three years since he first noticed art on the internet and wanted to be able to create something equally beautiful himself.

Photo from Satine Berntsen

“I got so frustrated as I felt like I couldn’t create something so wonderful and gorgeous and create the things that I have in my head because I had so many ideas, I just couldn’t put them on paper,” Berntsen said. “I was like, ‘How do these people do this? I have to learn.’”

In order to be able to learn how to draw the things Berntsen saw in his head, he kept trying, though he said it was “the most frustrating thing in the world.”

“I think that’s the beauty of art,” Berntsen said. “There’s a lot of emotions that go into it, good and bad. I kept trying.”

Berntsen started off drawing on paper using a pen and then moved on to creating digital art by saving up to purchase an iPad. This took him about a year, and he uses the app, Procreate, to make his digital art.

“It was a learning curve, but it was basically the same as traditional, just pen and paper,” Berntsen said.

Berntsen said that drawing traditionally is typically reserved for personal projects, while his digital art is more fun, but still heartfelt. He also makes art out of other materials such as acrylic paint when he gets inspired.

Satine Berntsen uses an app called ProCreate to draw on a tablet.

“For digital, I have a lot more fun with it. It encompasses all of my feelings. I have a deep connection with my digital art,” Berntsen said.

“Life in general” is Berntsen’s muse for creating art.

“I go around and I walk around and I see something that is absolutely beautiful and I’m like, ‘I want to create something beautiful today,’” Berntsen said. “I just think of what I could possibly draw. It’s usually motivated by whatever I’m liking at the time. I spin it in my mind and I try to think of how to show this in a really nice way. Then I just go ahead and draw.”

Berntsen takes about 10 to 15 hours to create bigger and more detailed pieces. Other pieces he can make faster in less than five hours.

“They can take quite a long time,” Berntsen said. “Also, because I’m not as experienced so I don’t know as many shortcuts .”

Even with pieces that take longer, Berntsen never expects his art to be perfect.

Satine Berntsen experimented with acrylic painting before finding a love for using his IPad to create art.

“The fun thing is it isn’t perfect, none of the pieces are and I don’t aim them to be because they shouldn’t,” Berntsen said. “They should be viewed as who I am, and I’m not a perfect person. So if there is a flaw every once in a while, I embrace it and that is probably my favorite part of it. Sometimes, I incorporate it into the art because I’m, ‘Oh well, look at this.’ This is a learning curve, this is showing I’m learning and I’m drawing.”

Berntsen said he enjoys when people reach out to him via his art Instagram account, @moonsirenart, for commission work. Since it is something new for him, he doesn’t have a price sheet created yet — rather, he prices his art out individually when someone reaches out.

“Right now since I don’t get too many (commission jobs) because I am new, I don’t have that much on my Instagram,” Berntsen said. “I’m a very new artist, so I don’t expect to have somebody be like, ‘Oh, I love your art. Here, let me pay $1,000 or something.’”

If interest in his work increases, Berntsen said he may consider creating a proper pricing sheet, but for now, he is taking individual requests.

Since making art isn’t something Berntsen plans to do for his career, he does not feel pressured to have to create something every day. Instead, he reserves it for when inspiration strikes.

“I adore (making art) and I love it with all of my heart, but I don’t plan to draw for a living, so I don’t feel that same pressure and I don’t usually feel that pressure for much if anything,” Berntsen said. “… So if I have a day where I have schoolwork to do and I do really want to draw, it’s unfortunate … I keep those ideas and I keep pestering them in my mind and they tend to be better when I do have time because I get so excited for them and I have so many ideas for them.”