artist

Valeria Lelong, a junior world languages major from France, enjoys spending time working on her artwork. While Lelong enjoys doing all different kinds of art, currently she is really into painting abstract art. 

“At the end of high school, I started abstract art...I think because I used to be very perfectionist and I didn’t like when it was messed up and at the end of high school, I took an art class and I started to not care about what I was doing. I was like ‘Okay I’m gonna try this,” Lelong said. 

Lelong has been drawing all of her life and is not 100 percent sure where her love for art came from. She enjoys drawing people, but not anime. Lelong said that when drawing people, she draws them very cartoonish. 

When she first started, Lelong was self-conscious of her art and what people would think about it, but she has recently decided that she doesn’t care what others think. 

“I remember when I was so ashamed a few years ago I was so stressed when someone asked me ‘can I, can I see your art, your work?’ and I was like ‘no,’” Lelong said. “I kinda used to be private and recently I just put it on public and it was such a big step for me because it’s so awkward. I think now I don’t care. I used to be very conscious about judgment and didn’t like when people analyze me.” 

As far as her family life, Lelong said that her family is supportive of her artwork. “They [my family] don't really care, like it's normal because they are used to me paint[ing] all the time and they don’t think I am going to do this as a career and I don’t either. I just really like it,” Lelong said. 

For a career, Lelong is not sure what she would want to do, but she is interested in politics, though she thinks she is not yet confident enough for politics yet, and writing. 

Since Lelong is only at Valpo for a semester for her study abroad, she is pretty far from her family who lives all the way in France. 

“Recently I painted something and I didn’t think anything when I painted but someone told me ‘what does it mean’ and I was like ‘I don’t know maybe the ocean.’ And he just analyzed me and was like ‘oh maybe because you are away from your family and because you have a whole ocean between,” Lelong said. “I don’t do it on purpose but sometimes I paint stuff that happens to me. I don’t know its weird.”  

She also mentioned that when she is painting she doesn’t think about the reason why, but a month or two later when she goes back she says ‘oh my god, that's why I painted that. It’s so weird.’ Art for Lelong serves as a stress reliever, as does writing. 

One person in the art world that Lelong looks up to is Jackson Pollock. “Him starting to do dripping, it's a unique painting technique, just put paint everywhere, it's pretty cool,” Lelong said when asked why she looks up to Pollock. 

To see more of Lelong’s artwork, you can visit her Instagram page @vavadessine2.0. 

If you would like to nominate someone for an artist spotlight feature in The Torch, please contact torch@valpo.edu.

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