In honor of the upcoming Rome Masters, self-diagnosed Rogerholic, photographer and GTT contributing writer Kathy Woodward is interviewing artistic Roger Federer fans who use the tennis Maestro as Muse. Today Kathy concludes her profiles with Carina Tang, a talented fan from Sydney, Australia who captures Roger’s likeness in pencil. Our gratitude to Kathy for recruiting the artists and our thanks to the artists for sharing their work. Enjoy! -F.F.
As a kid, drawing was a natural interest for Carina. Cartoon characters were her first love but she knew then she needed and wanted to be able to create realistic drawings too. Now as an adult she also enjoys computer/digital art and would love to master charcoal someday. Living in Sydney, Australia, her focus in college is museum studies. She prefers the styles of Art Nouveau and Traditional Chinese and finds Edward Hopper’s art “scarily engrossing”.
Q: Tell me why do you prefer pencil over other media?
Carina: I love that pencils are such humble and basic mediums, yet can produce such diverse and mind blowing results.
Q: How long does a portrait take to draw?
Carina: I’m a big procrastinator when it comes to drawing and can end up not touching a portrait for weeks. But in defense, it does help me look at it with totally fresh eyes before continuing. Minus the time-wasting, a week would probably be the amount of time I spend on a portrait. I’m in awe of those artists who sit and produce fabulous portraits in one sitting.
Q: When did you begin following Roger’s career?
Carina: When it came to Roger, I arrived really late in the game: Australian Open in 2008.
Q: Describe what it was like the first time you saw him play.
Carina: It was against Santoro during the 2008 Australian Open. There was a lot of smiling and joking going on between both guys, especially for a grand slam match. That’s probably the main impression I got from Roger then and there – how much fun he had playing.
Q: Have you seen him play live?
Carina: I saw him play live at the 2009 Australian Open.
Q: Why is Roger a preferred subject?
Carina: I get a lot of enjoyment from drawing subjects I’m passionate about. It really contributes to the inspiration/motivation needed to start a drawing, and the satisfaction after it’s finished.
Q: What about his features are appealing to draw?
Carina: Despite his cool and calm expression, his facial features aren’t very subtle…which makes things extra interesting.
Q: If Roger was an artist what kind of artist would he be?
Carina: I’m sure many would agree that his tennis can pass as a performance art.
Q: Does Roger have any of your drawings?
Carina: I’m glad to say I was able to give him a drawing during the 2009 Australian Open, thanks to the incredible fellow Aussie fans I befriended there. It was one of him and Mirka (above). Hate to admit it, but I miss my drawing!
Q: How do you choose what to draw?
Carina: If you’re talking technically, a photo has to have enough light/shadow contrast to be appealing enough as a drawing. I’m not interested in drawing bodies, nor am I any good as a result. When it comes to choosing a photo reference, I strongly prefer ones that focus on the face and are intimate enough to reveal some of the subject’s character. It’s most important to me that I get the face as ‘right’ as I can.
Q: Can you explain how Roger’s game inspires you in your work?
Carina: Aside from a few Michael Jackson drawings, realistic portraiture wasn’t an area I had spent a lot of time in. Roger’s game inspired me to challenge myself further, whether it meant paying more attention to details, or *gasp* drawing more than one face in a portrait.
Roger Federer above and beyond all players of this era plays the sport of tennis so beautifully and artistically one wishes there would be a finished canvas after each of his matches. I hope you enjoyed being introduced to his talented fans who are so inspired by his creativity they continue to challenge themselves in their work as he does each time he steps on court.
By Kathy Woodward