Despite his quiet demeanor and soft-spoken manner, there is a rage of passion beneath Gentry Pack’s smile.
This passion comes out the strongest on his canvases.
Pack, a junior architecture major, is motivated through his art. His passion began in 2nd grade, when he used to draw on the back of his homework papers after watching Dragon Ball Z. His passion for drawing got him in trouble in fifth grade when his homeroom teacher, Ms. Care, decided she had enough of his cartoon doodles.
“It was in homeroom class and there were big name tags and I used to draw little cartoons all over it,” Pack said. “I came in the next day and all of it was taped up.”
Though Ms. Care blocked Pack from drawing with the help of three layers of tape, Pack continued drawing through high school.
“After getting into art – you see art everywhere. You see art in people’s clothes. You see art in music,” Pack said. “Tapping into it makes you think about things in a very simplistic yet detailed way.”
His interest in drawing and painting began to change his life, he said. He began to see art in everything, and he started to understand himself more.
Pack initially thought that Architecture would allow him to both pursue his passion for the arts and make his parents proud, but it ended up pushing him in a direction he did not expect.
“It inspired me but not in the way it was supposed to inspire me,” he said.
His frustration with architecture reached the point that his grades were negatively affected. Despite what people expected, he used his frustration to his advantage when he applied to the architecture studio program.
“I remember going in I had the lowest GPA out of every applicant. I didn’t even care,” Pack said.
Other students around him stressed out over getting accepted but Pack put together whatever he wanted with the intent to insult the judges with each piece.
“[From] that frustration from architecture, not liking it, I ended up getting in. I had the number one portfolio,” he said with a small laugh.
Pack declined the offer, much to the chagrin of professors and the envy of students.
He wants to make a statement with his artwork, he said. Each painting represents his talent and he plans on showing it off. Pack now plans on applying to the art studio program.
“I set a goal for myself, it’s a pretty high goal, but by [age] 25 I want to be one of the most influential artists on the East Coast,” he said.
A very difficult achievement, but Pack believes he is well on his way. He has 2360 followers on Instagram.
Pack also said he is already creating a presence for himself by taking commissions. Instead of applying for a job or internship last summer, he took commissions and ended up selling nearly 100 pieces.
Pack said his work shows who he is.
“It’s kind of an insult to people because a lot of times [when I was working on] my paintings I was supposed to be doing other stuff. A lot of people are going to doubt where I’ll end up and my paintings say that you can’t really diss this.”
In his apartment his art work decorates the wall. When entering his place, it is hard to miss the large canvas with a very detailed painting of Kanye West.
From drawing on his desk to impress girls in his class to scheduling commission requests because of the demand, Pack’s journey with his artwork continues. After graduation he hopes to incorporate his work into other industries like shoe or clothing design.
“Even though it sounds crazy and kind of cocky, I think it’s very possible,” he said with a smile.
Featured Photo Credit: Gentry Pack poses with some of his artwork. (Naomi Harris/Bloc Reporter)
Naomi Harris is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.