Artist of the Week: Isabel Sheehan
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Not unfamiliar with pushing boundaries in fashion, senior art major Isabel Sheehan focuses her knowledge of fashion with a minor in curving industry cliches. Her senior project, as part of the senior art major showcase opening April 4, show seeks to avoid luxury, trend, and comfort, the three common themes of the fashion environment. Sheehan is in the process of designing five dresses which reflect different emotions using various materials she transforms. An inside look at the project shows one of the pieces involves shredded skateboard wheels. Two other dresses, which Sheehan is currently working on, represent confidence and anxiety.
One of her proudest accomplishments was creating a dress made of artichokes. Darling Magazine, an independent print that empowers women, posted one of her collages to their Instagram page. Sheehan had followed the magazine on social media for a while, so it was surreal for her to see her own work on their page getting recognition. Another favorite accomplishment was her solo show “The Street Style” last semester. It was her first show opening and also her first non-school project. She had done art projects before becoming an art major, but they were all smaller projects that often were left uncompleted. Even so, these small projects laid a strong foundation to build on future endeavors.
After becoming an art major at the beginning of her junior year, Isabel found that the structure of the art program allowed her to push creative boundaries and see projects through to completion. However, there are drawbacks to being an art major. “It is really tricky to be an art student and also devote time to other classes. So many times it’s choosing between doing really well on a project or going to class.” Another complication is the workload in relation to the time given to complete assignments, but Sheehan knows how to deal with this. “With art, if you start to soon, it takes the joy out of creating. I’ve found success in waiting until I have it, and then going in for 14 hours and doing it all at once.” Overall, she has enjoyed Westmont’s art program and is excited to explore the fashion world after graduation.
Post graduation, Sheehan is looking forward to having the freedom to focus on creating, rather than having to deal with other engagements. “It’s kind of debilitating because you have to choose between art and success sometimes. I’m excited to graduate and find a marriage between art and success, but just having this studio alone has really helped with my productivity, as well as having my professors around to help with questions.” Looking to the future, Isabel Sheehan wants to work in the fashion industry, regardless of what position she starts off with. Writing for a magazine, organizing shows, or designing are all possibilities she is considering. When asked where she wants to end up, she said: “I don’t want to jinx myself and say NYC, but I’m going to jinx myself and say NYC.”