Artists of DV: Vineep Brar

Anika Garg, Features Editor

Senior Vineep Brar is a self-taught cartoonist who has overcome adversity while developing his unique style.

Brar has been part of the DV art program for several years now. He is currently in AP Studio Art, having completed Art 2 and Art 3 at DV as well.

“[The art program is] a really great experience for people who want to major in art, because you spend a lot of time building up a portfolio. You try a lot of different mediums that you don’t really have the funds or time to do anywhere else, so I think it’s a great opportunity to figure out what you like,” he said.

Brar describes that he focuses on cartoon work, having been inspired by the cartoon shows he watched growing up.

“Cartoons like ‘Dexter’s laboratory,’ ‘Gravity Falls’ and ‘My Life as a Teenage Robot’ really influenced my style. Although they were all cartoons, most of them had very different and distinct styles. I really admire that, and it’s what I wanted to do with my art too,” he said.

In his pieces, Brar primarily uses pen and marker to emulate this style. When asked about challenges he has faced throughout his art career, Brar just laughs and asks, “Do you want the long version or the short version?”

He recounts his experiences from Art 2, in which his art teacher was a long-term substitute who disapproved of Brar’s unique style, preferring realism.

When given an assignment to draw a tree, he decided to add some flair by using complementary colors (like blue and yellow), which was met by his art teacher with a resounding “no.”

Finally giving up, he downheartedly completed an assignment exactly the way the teacher wanted, until his friend wrote “realism is for suckers” on the simple mug he’d just drawn. “I turned it in, I didn’t stop her,” he says. “And when I got it back, the teacher just said, ‘that was interesting…’”

He has had to deal with many people, including his mom, who have similar attitudes toward his style.

“That [experience] really killed my art vibe, for almost two years. I was still drawing, but not as much. But Ms. Wengel’s return last year revived it, because whenever I asked, ‘is this ok?’ she said, ‘Ooh! Yeah!’”

He also struggles internally because of this, feeling like he isn’t quite measuring up to other artists in his class. Due to the time he puts into art, Brar also often falls behind on schoolwork.

“Because of my cartoon style, I always feel like I’m a little behind. All of my peers do realism, and I can’t really do that well, so I’m always trying to play catch-up. I just keep going forward, without knowing where I am, so I kinda lose track of the other subjects I have to focus on in school,” he says.

Brar adds that, as much as he dislikes it, he hopes to improve on his work in realism in the future. He says that he’d “also want to improve on line variation. If I added that to my work, I think it would make it look a lot more fluid and dynamic, since right now all my lines are the same size. Considering how simple my style is, line variation would add much more depth in general.”

Recently, Brar participated in Inktober, in which artists are challenged to draw one doodle every day of the month. Aside from this, he is also working on a concentration piece for class: “It’s focused on an original character, and I wanted to incorporate a magic element into it. It’s a little witchy, and my concentration is on a goth aesthetic,” Brar describes.

As for the future, Brar has been applying to art colleges to pursue further education in the field.