What’s your name and where are you from?
Hi My name is Marissa Asal and I’m from Southington Connecticut
How did you get started?
I’ve loved drawing for as long as I could remember. Art was always my favorite class in pre, elementary, middle, and high school. I started taking it seriously Sophomore year of high school though. The yearly art show was my favorite time of year. It would make me so happy to see others smile and be blown away by my work. Drawing was always a hobby for me until I started my art account on Instagram in 2013 and started sharing my work worldwide. Everyday I saw how happy I was making others, even inspiring them, and I just wanted to keep making more pieces to share. I’ve always loved drawing people so I started drawing celebrities, that way people could connect more. I’m a complete perfectionist, so photorealism naturally came to me. Over the years, I’ve become more absorbed into the idea of hyperrealism – not only do I try to make my portraits look like a photograph, but a try to take it a step further by making it look better than a HD photograph. Where it’s almost 3D.
Who or What Inspires you?
One of my biggest inspirations is the human form. I love drawing the complexity of humans and their emotions. Every face is unique and has a different story and it’s important to capture that. I’ll always choose to draw a person over an item, landscape, etc. It’s different being able to recreate something (someone) who has the ability to feel emotion and express it as well. It’s also a challenge to draw a face that resembles the person. It’s quite easy to draw a branch on a tree wrong and still make the tree look perfect. Copying someone’s features has to be exact in order to be recognizable. I’m constantly inspired by the professional portraitists floating around Instagram. It motivates me to raise my work to the level of intricacy and hyperrealism they’re able to achieve.
What are some challenges you have faced and what advise would you give?
The biggest challenge I face is probably selling my work. I either end up liking a piece I did so much that I don’t want to sell it and I’ll just put it up in my room or I finally decide to sell a piece but deep down I still don’t want to so I jack the price up so most likely no one will buy it. It pains me to part with my work, so I’ve been trying to convince myself that it could be in a better home than mine and it would be good to spread my art to different parts of the world and I need the money for goodness sake.
How have you grown and developed as an artist or creative person?
Over the years, I’ve become more aware of small details that matter in faces. When I started getting into portraits, I always skipped over them because I never fully noticed them. Now I look for every small detail from slightly crooked features to wrinkles to birthmarks. I scope out these things automatically now. I even notice myself doing it in real life to people I have conversations with and whatnot.
What is your creative process like?
I don’t really have a creative process since my style is hyperrealism. I do have quite a few styles/mediums I work with, so when I create a piece, the biggest question is “what medium would this look best in?” Once I decide on that, I move onto “what style should I do it in?” Like let’s say I choose graphite. I could shade the entire thing using vertical hatching, use layers of crosshatching so there’s slight texture, use graphite powder so it’s super smooth and blended, etc. It all depends on the emotion of the reference and how I want to portray that in my work.