Freshman Erik Brenner brings color and creativity to the halls of Santoro with his incredible whiteboard art
~Taylor Vigil, Photography Editor~
While dorm door whiteboards can often be found scattered throughout residence halls, freshman Erik Brenner took the form of self expression to a whole new level. Brenner began this artistic endeavor at the start of the fall 2020 semester as a way to help brighten the halls of Santoro and make the pandemic college experience a little more interesting for his peers. His first piece, Space Whales, brought fellow Santoro Hall residents knocking on his door with compliments and comments on his talent. The success of the first whiteboard art creation led to the creation of a second and third, and from there, Brenner continued to create and experiment with various artistic styles.
Art has been a passion of Brenner’s for many years, but whiteboard art has been an entirely new medium he has been exploring. “I’ve always loved being creative, ever since I was little” Brenner commented. “It was only sometime halfway through middle school that I thought ‘wouldn’t it be kinda cool if I got kinda good at drawing?’, so I started doing more sketches”. Since then, Brenner has taken art classes in high school and here at CNU, continually looking for new inspiration and artistic styles to draw from.
The inspiration for his whiteboard art comes from many different places, including creators on social media, existing franchises, and various styles of art. Brenner’s personal favorite, Into the Spider-Verse, for example, allowed him to experiment and replicate the specific animated artistic style present in the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Creating each whiteboard piece is no small task. On average, it takes between three to five hours to complete one whiteboard drawing. Additionally, Brenner only works with about six whiteboard marker colors to make the incredible array of colors used in each illustration. “With the markers, it’s a lot like using a paintbrush”, Brenner explained. Taking the ink and mixing the colors with each other and water, he is able to blend the colors he has to create every color imaginable.
This semester, Brenner created the Instagram account @cnu_whiteboard_art as a way to catalogue his creations and share his art with the rest of the CNU community. Featured on the page are pieces such as crowd favorite CNU Great Lawn, which Brenner created at the end of last semester to serve as a nice send off as classes moved to the online format. Brenner plans to continue exploring the bounds of what he can do with a whiteboard and markers this semester while adding color and creativity to the halls of Santoro.