By Asya Proctor

Vibrant, Cultured and Original all words used when describing the art style of Baltimore’s, 18-year-old, Claudia Newsome also know as @Dope_Viee via Twitter. Claudia is an upcoming Sophomore at Frostburg State University, pursing a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and a Minor in Illustration.

Claudia discusses herself and her art with us.

When did you start creating or getting into your art?

I started pretty young just like any other kid. Around age two I was finger painting by the time I was four I was drawing pretty well using “Dragon Ball Z” tracing books but I always created my own characters and designs. I kept going so I always loved art it wasn’t something I necessarily chose to do.

Why do you create your work?

Everything I make is now a figment imagination because I’m always thinking of new things to draw or paint. Without art I don’t know what I would do with myself because when I’m at the lowest points of my life art seems to save me. I happen to create some of my best pieces of art when I’m down but soon as I do I keep that flow going.

What is your biggest influence or what inspired you?

 I always have been into cartoons and since I always had a big imagination I just would make up a lot different things. At a young age Dragon Ball Z was definitely a show that caught my attention and even had the tracing book but reality always played a large part. Super heroes didn’t look like the typical to me I made them more up to date with clothing. As I started to get older I thought I would start drawing actual people which look terrible to me now but at the time everyone thought it look great. In 11th grade I started my signature look it was me and I knew. Asian Art definitely inspired me the most though from tattoos to paintings like The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Royal colors like gold and red. Mostly blue representing water or air.

Do you have any pet peeves when it come to your work or the process?

 Yes, definitely when creating I’ll envision what I want it to look like, when it come to the process I think aw this shit is ugly as hell! But it turns out just the way I want in the end. When drawing portraits, I hate not making the eyes the same because proportions are very important to me. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m a perfectionist though.

 Who would you collaborate with in the feature? Or who was your favorite person to collaborate with?

Umm I never actually did a piece with another artist honestly but I’ve done projects with DAFT (@DaftClothing) & CAN$ creative group I also let a friend of mine Ronisha style me for a female show. I would love to do a mural with my cousin Diarra he did half of the tattoo on my leg. Then there is Joccy Baker I’ve known him for while and his growth has been amazing.

What’s a day chilling with you consist of?

 (Laughter) Well if you chill with me expected randomness if I’m really comfortable with you. I say whatever is on my mind most of the time. I listen to music a lot because I love to dance around and sing. I smoke too so that’s always like an open option. You might just take a nap with me too because my ass be tired. Some days I also like to eat so I’m probably eating snacks ordering food or cooking but the college life a struggle.

 If you could go anywhere right now where would it be?

 I would love to go Tokyo, Shanghai, or Hong Kong. The atmosphere there seems like I don’t know, like a place I would love to be especially the night life because I rather be out all night

 Any words of advice for upcoming artist like yourself

 Well, any artist my age or younger just be yourself got damn nobody want to see a copying ass motherfucker because I sure as hell hate it. Just be open to criticism because it’s always going to happen. Don’t let other not liking what you make affect what you do.

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