Watching the TV show "Project Runway" and reading Vogue magazine was all it took for Brainerd High School senior Karissa Janacek to decide she wants to enter the fashion world.
"I'm into costume design or high fashion," said Janacek. "It's wearable art that someone created. ... It's different."
Janacek has already been working on finding creativity to put into her fashions. This semester, Janacek is taking three art classes - artist books, advance portfolio and Design II. She was named Fine Arts Student of the Week for her work in these classes.
Janacek's art advisers wrote, "Karissa is an incredibly creative student whose artwork is always a delightful surprise, as is she. Karissa is capable of applying technical skill in unique ways to produce artwork that evokes a 'wow' response. We as her art teachers are confident that she'll be very successful in a career in fashion design."
On Monday, Brainerd High School senior Karissa Janacek worked on her artist book for one of her art classes. Brainerd Dispatch/Jennifer Stockinger
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Following is a question-and-answer session with Janacek.
Have you created any fashion designs?
"I've done a few Halloween costumes. I made a scrub hat for my 'Grey's Anatomy' costume and a tutu outfit. My mom helps me with the sewing. I need a lot of help with that. I break a lot of needles. I'll be better at designing the costumes than making them.
"I've also designed a few dresses, weird dresses. I'd watch 'Project Runway' and do one of their designs and modify it. I've done a dress made out of Hershey candy and another one made out of denim."
Where are you going to go to school for fashion?
"After high school, I plan to first go to Central Lakes College to (study to) be a nurse and then I'm planning to go to Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for fashion design.
"I want to be a nurse first because my little brother is handicapped and I want to be able to take care of him better."
When did you get interested in the arts?
"When I was little, my mom would doodle all the time and I'd copy her. I started drawing in seventh grade and painting in 10th grade.
"I painted a going-away present for a friend who was going to college in California. The painting was a collage of things that she liked. I thought it was all right. I looked at the picture again recently (because she's home now) and I thought how amateur it was."
What's your favorite art medium?
"Painting with acrylic paint, because I like how the colors blend, especially on canvas."
What do you like to paint?
Art focus: Art.
Art activities: Artist books, advanced art portfolio and Design II.
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Being named Fine Arts Student of the Week.
Artist most admired: Colleen Atwood.
Favorite TV programs: "Project Runway" and "Scrubs."
Favorite movies: "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Benny and Joon."
Favorite book: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling.
Favorite song: "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.
Favorite food: Chopstick chicken.
Parents: Bruce Janacek and Kristi Schardin of Brainerd.
"Really weird things. I like to paint symbols on abstract, non-objective stuff."
Talk about your three art classes.
"In artist book, we make books out of different materials and right now the book is an identification book about yourself. My book is 16 pages long and I have two done. One page is about Caribou Coffee and the second page is about 'Grey's Anatomy,' things I love.
"(In) advanced portfolio, we have about nine projects and four or five concentrations to do. I just finished a self portrait that I painted and I really like it. Half of my face is yellow and the other half is green. I like focusing on colors and how it affects your face rather than using the natural face. Many people will look in the mirror when doing their self portrait, but I took a picture of myself. One of my concentrations was on a fashion editorial in 'Vogue.'
"In Design II, we're doing tessellations, where you make a shape, repeat it and then create something inside it. We also just finished making shoes out of cardboard and paper."
Where do you get your creativity?
"From movies. I watch a lot of them and then I take the ideas and elaborate on them. When I start a project, sometimes the ideas are clear and other times I have no idea what to do."
What's your biggest strength in art?
"Water coloring. The colors just run together and I can't control it."
Art you're most proud of?
"My self-portrait, because it resembles me and I'm not good at faces. It was a lot of work; it took me two weeks to do it."
How has art helped you grow as a person?
"It helps me understand that whatever you do, it matters to you, not others. People may say you can't do something, but I don't worry what other people say. It has helped me build up my confidence."
Dillon Tscheu, sophomore, concert band: Tscheu's band director said, "Dillon has shown a very good effort in personal performance and has helped others achieve their best."
Amanda Patrick, junior, speech: Patrick won third place in serious prose interpretation at the Staples speech tournament.
Brian Ashburn, sophomore, mock trial: The mock trial adviser said, "Brian is a witness on the mock trial team and in a recent competition he received the highest witness scores for playing his part with accuracy and emotion."
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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