PrideTime Senior Editor
At McMahon, we hear about different artists and their paintings. However, we don’t really hear about artists that focus on sculptures, more specifically, in this case, cardboard sculptures. Garrett Acuna, a senior, started his work last year. His sea turtle sculpture, featured in last year’s art show, won second place and was actually his first piece.
When did you start working on sculptures?
AP studio art is my first art class so it’s weird. I did a sculpture for fun and Pierce told me I should keep doing more. Then I heard the Maritime Aquarium was closing down (rumored), so I wanted to make cardboard sea creatures to respect the endangered ones.
What was your first sculpture?
It was the giant sea turtle. It was from last year’s art show which won second, I think. It’s an old one though, the actual one is at school because of how big it is.
How long did the sea turtle take?
It took half a year. I didn’t have any art classes and out of spite, I started it. I spent all my free time in Pierce’s when I could work on it. I started with an image in my head and tried to sketch it.
What do you mean by “out of spite?”
It was out of spite because I kept trying to get into 3D media and it never worked out. She said it never fit my schedule but I would always get a study hall when Pierce teaches that class.
Why did you start with a sea turtle?
As a kid and now, I love sea turtles. I would drag my mom to the Maritime Aquarium so I can see their exhibit and watch how they swim. I would buy puzzles about the animal and even little plushies.
Can you explain the process?
I started with an image in my head and tried to sketch it then after once I have a horrible drawing, I would get a picture from the internet as a sort of guide. Then I add my own twist to it. For the shell, I cut out panel by panel so it shows how each square is different because nature isn’t perfect. Even the most imperfect animal is beautiful. I started with the shell and added the head arms and legs after. I was thinking of adding a tail but I decided not to. I later hot glued the pieces and added supports.
What did you work on after that?
Well, I took a break after it and then once I got into AP, I started the hammerhead shark. There was a brief period where I made a baseball bat wrapped in fake barbed wire.
What really inspires you?
Well, I don’t know what exactly inspires me. I look around and see what people made and how they did it and I just love the idea of an image in your head becoming a reality on simple cardboard or plaster. Plus, it’s just how the people I love just motivate me to keep doing more artwork and make more out of what I do no matter how big or small.
What are you working on now?
I’m sketching out two little metal figures: a small dog and a man playing the viola. I’ve also tried expanding for plaster and much more mediums.
Acuna continues to work on building his pieces to gain experience. Even though he says he started that piece out of spite, he now really enjoys sculpting and continues working on other sculptures.