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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Remarkable art

If you ever find yourself on the second floor of the library, you may find freshman Brandon Doak drawing on a whiteboard, with a marker in one hand and his phone in the other.

“I’m from Mathes Hall and we have a whiteboard that people would doodle on,” Doak said. “So I started and people told me how cool my drawings were and I thought, ‘Hey they have white boards in other places I should start drawing in other places too.’”

Since fall quarter, Doak has been going to the Hacherl Research and Writing Studio to draw.

“I thought it would be a good place to start doing something big. I was ready to try it for an audience,” Doak said.

Doak likes to spend his time drawing “Star Wars” posters on whiteboards since he is a huge fan of the movies.

“I have done four posters of all of the movies in order, except for the prequels because I don’t like the prequels,” Doak said.

Doak has different themes for his drawings depending on its location.

“You can really see his passion for it. It’s a lot of dedication for a whiteboard, because it can be erased.”

Cierra Johnson, freshman

In Miller Hall, he only draws Van Gogh paintings, and in Academic Instructional Center West, he draws comic book characters. In Mathes, he draws Disney characters, his latest being “Beauty and the Beast.”

Doak spends an average of six hours on each of his drawings, using the time to pay attention to detail.

“I prefer a whiteboard versus paper because of how unique it is and I like the challenge it involves,” Doak said.

Doak said the whiteboard markers only come in 12 basic colors, limiting his color range and forcing him to get creative.

“I have to blend the colors a lot to try to make it look like I have more colors than I do,” Doak said.

Doak picks out the colors he thinks are the easiest to blend and then makes those the main colors he works with.

Brandon Doak with one of his drawings Monday, May 1. //Photo by Rachel Postlewait

“For instance, for the ‘Star Wars’ posters I have been doing, I have to leave the characters faces white because I don’t really have any colors for that. I have to use the closest color, which is yellow, for other stuff in the background,” Doak said.

You can find Doak’s work on other whiteboards throughout campus.

Doak has been drawing since he was 5 years old. He plans to apply to the design major next fall and wants to focus his career around art.

Junior Nadya Sharif, a writing studio employee, said she didn’t know what to think when she first noticed Doak.

“It was really cool, but I also was very confused and wondered why he was doing it,” Sharif said.

She said people in the writing studio will often take pictures of Doak’s drawings after he’s finished, and ask whose work it is.

“It’s different, not a lot of people would pick a medium [whiteboard] like that,” Sharif said. “At first, we didn’t know he was just going to do “Star Wars” here. Now it’s really interesting to see the recent one versus the very first one.”

Sharif and the other writing studio employees have gotten used to Doak spending all his time there on Tuesdays.

“I have a shift from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., and go back for my 5 to 6 p.m. shift later that day and sometimes he’s still there,” Sharif said.

Sharif said she would be sad if Doak stopped coming to the writing center because he gives her and her co-workers something to look forward to every Tuesday. She said people will stand behind him and watch.

No one from the writing center dares to erase his work from the whiteboards.

“No one wants the responsibility or guilt of erasing his work. So he comes and erases it, as if it’s nothing, and we all say ‘Ooh that hurt me a little bit,’” Sharif said.

Freshman Cierra Johnson, a friend of Doak’s, said it’s really exciting to watch him draw.

“You can really see his passion for it,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot of dedication for a whiteboard, because it can be erased.”

Johnson likes Doak’s drawing of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” in Miller Hall the most.

Brandon Doak in Mathes Hall Monday, May 1. //Photo by Rachel Postlewait

Freshman Kaitlyn Fischer, a regular at the writing center, sees Doak drawing all the time and said he seems really dedicated.

“He is there almost constantly. I am here about twice a week and I see him all the time,” Fischer said. “My initial thought was that he comes to the writing center as creative outlet to put his work out there.”

Doak only draws on whiteboards, but will take requests and make high definition prints of his artwork.

He also has a Patreon page where people can donate to support his drawings and purchase high definition prints in multiple sizes.

The cost for the smallest print, 8×10 inches, is $15. Depending on the size, the price will go gradually up from there.

Doak signs all of his art with his contact information. He plans to continue drawing and hopes to expand more throughout campus.

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