A Stellar Flare of Young Adult Writing and Visual Art
BY AMARANTHIA SEPIA GITTENS-JONES
Artist Name: AmaSepia
I’ve been experimenting with iPad art programs like Brushes and SketchbookPro since I was 11, and trying to find ways to improve my digital art skills. I had a hard time understanding layering and manipulating techniques until I did a class project in 7th grade. In the class project, I had to work with multiple students on a music video, and we decided to use the app, Brushes 3, on my iPad. One of the students taught me multiple techniques on layers and how to use them to create more details. I took this and decided to test it on some of my own comic characters from my WIP fantasy book, “Whimsy”. I was using it for designs of the characters for the graphic novel version, and my digital art immediately started improving. I decided to apply it to my favorite animal: foxes. Throughout ‘the Kitsune series’, I manipulated the colors of the backgrounds on the foxes, and their shape and form. The first one I did, “Shintaro Fox” is a character from my first comic series I created at 9 years old. After doing this one, I realized what I could do with other fox drawings.
Kitsune in Japanese folklore are seen as sacred creatures who protect the land from “kimon”, or demon gates. They guard the demon gates to the northeast of Japan to ward off evil beings. They are messengers of Inari, the god of foxes and rice. They protect the god’s shrines and whoever works,lives near, or comes to the shrine for help. They are full of honor, but have minds and morals of their own. The significance of kitsune and their beauty and backstory inspired me to create the “Kitsune Series” as well.
This series marked the beginning of my spirit fox series. I love the magic, mystery and mythology that is part of the fox ‘Kitsune’ folklore of Japan. I find it very inspiring and soothing. I lived in Japan from 4-7 and the stories about foxes or ‘Kitsune’ keep me connected to wonderful times and great memories. I even opened an Etsy store Foxes and Things to share my love of the mystical Japanese Kitsune.
“Ghost Fox” was previously published at Teen Ink and “Fox Shintaro” was published on New Hampshire’s Concord Public Library’s tumbler page. “Ghost Fox” was donated to The Friends Program. This is the first time the entire collection has appeared as a whole.
Fifteen year old Amaranthia Sepia (Eternal Brown Flower) Gittens-Jones is a homeschooled artist. She attended Pal International School and Nischimachi International School, Tokyo, Japan 2004-2006. Currently, Amaranthia is homeschooled in the USA. Amaranthia gave herself the artist name ‘AmaSepia Chan’ at age eight and declared her purpose: to become an artist. She has been on a focused and disciplined mission to achieve her goal since then. Her artist name was a combination of part of her first name and middle name. She adopted ‘Chan’ from the Japanese language. The honorific title is usually used for girls. Amaranthia now uses ‘AmaSepia’ or ‘Sepia’ as her signature. She has studied with acclaimed artist Ian Torney and teacher Sylvia Brofos of Kimball Art School, Concord, NH. She is currently taking illustration classes with Australian artist and teacher Kim Roth. Amaranthia was awarded a full scholarship at Kimball Jenkins at age twelve. She attended art classes, including adult classes, since then. Amaranthia is a monthly guest blogger for I Am That Girl a non-profit organization for the empowerment of teens and young women. She makes yearly art donations to help individuals and charitable organizations. Her store Foxes And Things on Etsy was opened in March 2015. The ‘fox themed’ store was inspired by her love of Japanese ‘foxlore’ and mythology. Her entire collection can be viewed here.