UCLA student Raina Markham finds spontaneity and flexibility in unconventional art – Daily Bruin | Candle Made Easy

This post was updated on July 10 at 8:13 p.m

With a sharpie, paper and napkins, Raina Markham makes her mark on the art world.

The aspiring third-year music education student said she’s found solace in a variety of art styles, including hand-drawn graphics and visual scores and collages made from everyday materials such as newspapers. Markham posts her work on her Instagram page and uses her platform to showcase her interest in drawing across a variety of mediums, which includes her custom clothing shop, where she sells ready-made clothing with hand-drawn designs.

“I feel (for) most of my artwork, I don’t think about what I’m doing before I draw it. I just start drawing,” she said. “I just can’t stand not drawing on something when I have a pen and something to draw on.”

Markham, a violinist, said she originally created her Instagram to share her art and development in a no-pressure environment that works much like a sketchbook. While Markham said she sees both music and drawing as a means to relieve stress, drawing has a different sentimental value for her as it is not academically valued, unlike making music.

While Markham said she grew up surrounded by music, the COVID-19 pandemic has given her more free time, which led to her newfound interest in drawing. She said her house is always filled with art supplies due to her mother’s influence as a musician and artist. Markham’s sister, Czeska Markham, said Raina Markham brings paper and a pen wherever she goes and looks for unconventional places to draw on, such as restaurant napkins.

“She just does what’s on her mind,” Czeska Markham said. “She’s very creative and her art feels very spontaneous, which is something really special[about]her.”

Five multicolored prints are spread out on grass. With tracks featuring phrases like “Trust Your Eyes,” Markham has found ways to combine her artistic and musical endeavors, whether by adding lyrics to her pieces or creating graphic scores. (August Suchecki/Daily Bruin)

[Related: Graduate student uses undervalued art forms to create meaningful art]

Regarding her creative process, Raina Markham said she often works regularly across different mediums, thoroughly exploring a particular style before moving on to the next. By experimenting with different drawing surfaces, such as newsprint and fabric, Raina Markham said these stylistic shifts provide energy and creative fulfillment. In addition to creating both vibrant and black and white monochrome works, her pieces often also feature phrases and text rendered in boldly drawn fonts.

In addition to her spontaneity in creating art, Czeska Markham appreciates the flexibility Raina Markham exudes as an artist. Ezra Hapner, an aspiring third-year ethnomusicology student and a friend of Raina Markham, said Raina Markham tries to create art from materials she finds in her daily life, be it to-go containers or flyers from Bruinwalk.

Additionally, Hapner said that Raina Markham integrates her art into the events happening directly in her life, which allows her to actively engage with the play. He said when they go out to eat, Raina Markham will draw on the snack boxes, a creative outlet that shows how she’s interacting with what she’s doing in the moment. Similarly, Raina Markham also has a hobby of drawing people she meets and creating non-permanent tattoos, he said.

In early June, Raina Markham posted on her Instagram account a graphic score — a piece that fuses one of her visual works with a drum score by Hapner — which Raina Markham says was originally an assignment for one of her classes. Hapner said he improvised the drums score based on his interpretation of the visuals, as Raina Markham wanted the musician to play how the artwork made them feel.

The graphic — which includes four chambers with different patterns and quotes like “See yourself” and “Be very present” — helped Hapner create the accompanying score, he said. It took about half an hour to an hour to create the visuals, Raina Markham said, drawing the piece with a Sharpie without tracing or pre-sketching it.

“I definitely Not beginning out combine art and Music,” said Raina Markham. “I’m Also to play With a a lot of more persons as I Second hand to for years, so I think to have the connection With persons and the connection to music is Also Change how I make art and combine music and Art.”

[Related: UCLA student uses creativity, graphic design skills to create zines]

In the future, Raina Markham wants to learn how to professionally draw tattoos and print her custom clothing designs, says Raina Markham. Raina Markham said she often encourages those around her to make art as it is an outlet that gives her greater clarity. She said she would usually do this by offering her arm for people to draw with a sharpie – find it moves when the person realizes that they could make art out of the experience.

“I like to think of (art) as something that everyone can do equally,” she said. “There is no such thing as bad art.”

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