Sean Smolen hosts his piece “Fish” in this week’s student art showcase. “This picture is something I sketched while I was thinking about my novel, [which] I’ve been writing for a couple years now.” said Smolen.
He said the picture depicts a pivotal scene in the book when the main character watches the evil fish store owner killing his fish. “I don’t want to give away the whole thing but it’s mostly about this guy who grew up in Austria in the 50’s and eventually discovers a love for the oceans and fish in particular. After his father dies, he uses his inheritance to buy a boat ticket to Venezuela so he can become a fisherman. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy in Venezuela, and the book is mostly about his struggles, as well as the connections and bonds he forms with the locals and with the fish.”
When asked how long he’s been an artist, Smolen said, “I never really considered myself an artist. Writing my novel is my passion, but I’ve found that drawing the scenes really helps me to get into my characters’ heads and understand where they are coming from.”
The inspiration for his novel came from a dream he had as a child. “I was walking through a pet store after closing, looking at all the fish. I turned a corner and saw a massive tank with just one beautiful fish. The whole tank just seemed to glow. That memory really stuck with me.”
Smolen has been at BCC for three years and has yet to take an art class.