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— 2020
45° 32’ 17.38” N
122° 40’ 18.715” W
23 alumni
920 days
Today’s date:


digital art
comic art
narrative art
color pencil
portland illustrator

Sasha sits in dramatic light, gentle unsmiling gaze forward

Sasha Firpo is an artist that delves into the well of her experiences in order to explore, process, and heal. Working digitally she incorporates intuitive color, mark making, and texture. Firpo creates narrative imagery that connects with her audience on a visceral level.

Sasha sits in dramatic light, gentle unsmiling gaze forward
Sasha sits in dramatic light, gentle confident gaze forward, lit by a bright blue light on the left side of her face
Sasha sits in dramatic light, gentle gaze to her left, eyes cast slightly down unsmiling, right arm bent with hand behind her neck
Sasha sits in dramatic light, pitching forward laughing with eyes closed, arms crossed with hands at lap holding chair
Digital painting of a woman in black dress, back to viewer, dark figure against pink background, with white painted flowers blooming from the back of her dress branching to upper left

What or who inspires you?

Sasha: In a separate browser window, I keep tabs open for artists I am constantly looking at—and these artists are working in the field, constantly updating their websites with more work. I love to see artists from all over the world create dynamic, full-to-bursting scenes and images that feel personal and fantastical. I cannot make without music, and I cannot make without the support of my fellow classmates, friends, and family. I am inspired through many things.

Is there anything you wish you had known when you started school, that you know now?

Sasha: I was pulled aside by a professor who told me “showing up is the most important thing you can do, because if you show up, I can help you.” It was a huge shift for me; often, when I would get stuck, when I couldn’t complete something to my own high standard, I would have rather been absent than show up and face the shame of showing something incomplete. But when I showed up and owned up to my mistakes and my struggles, I realized that everyone I showed up with was willing to help and work through it with me, and the things I could create with that help were much better than what I tried to make on my own. It helped me be more transparent about my process, and learn not to hold myself to an unrealistic standard of perfection. Process through collaboration has always elevated my pieces.

I create because it creates a calm in me nothing else does … like a dream I’m bringing to life; something vivid in my head I’m trying to recreate.

How does design/illustration relate to other creative work that you do?

Sasha: As I create narrative work, be it scenes or comics, it coexists alongside my writing—which I have been cultivating as a skill for just as long. As my writing is character- and dialogue-driven, my illustrative work often reflects character and dialogue as well. My goal is to combine my writing and my art in order to create more personalized stories.

Why do you do what you do?

Sasha: I create because it creates a calm in me nothing else does. It’s not as much passion as it is a focus, the world melting away to be nothing but an image or a word, a scene or an environment. It gets really quiet and it’s just me and the thing I’m creating, like a dream I’m bringing to life; something vivid in my head I’m trying to recreate.

What do you collect?

Sasha: I collect a few things. I don’t buy video games digitally—I still have the compulsion to buy them physically, and keep all the cases—and I collect heart-shaped rocks. Most notably, though, I collect every letter written to me. On my desk, I have my mom’s birthday cards to me from the past five years. Even if the letter doesn’t have a lot to say, or it’s basically the same as the one from last year, I like collecting personalized messages to me. I like physical sentiments.

Digital watercolor illustration of a yellow bat against a blue background, with small purple and yellow flowers surrounding it, loose petals drifting out Digitally painting of two man in greek/roman dress, left woman sitting on ground reaching up to the second woman standing over her, reaching in a gesture of concern or help Pencil and watercolor sketch of woman in flowing dress walking with back to viewer, looking over her left shoulder with three shark toothed circular heads with vacant white eyes Digital bright neon colored painting of winged girl playing trumpet, blue stream flowing from trumpet with purple ghosts flying around the page Narrow horizontal digital painting of a girl looking worried, surrounded by computers and other electronics Digital illustration of a woman from the shoulders up wearing a visor with hair in long flowing ponytail, 4 smaller people gathering in the lower right corner by her shoulder, shrimp and seafood around main figure Digital comic sketch in black and white, a woman greets a man in three panels, text says 'took you long enough...nice to see you… even after all this time, you still dress like a slob' Comic illustration in purple hues of woman and girl in a tense conversation about the appropriate nature of girls meeting up with boys Digital painting of a girl from the shoulders up, filling page, crying while holding a bunny close to her, blue snake like swirls circling them Narrow horizontal digital illustration of a figure walking into a dense forest on the left half with another figure holding a torch in an open field under the sun on the right half

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