Artist Chat with BA student Mercedes Settle

Exploring style and aesthetics with the artist

The reasons that artists make art differ for each individual, and through this new and ongoing series, we want to explore them all. The Omega is interested in talking to diverse local artists at TRU and across Kamloops to discuss the complexities of art, why people make art and how it affects the artist and the viewer.

With the Bachelor of Fine Arts program coming to an end, artists are searching for a way to maintain an artistic presence on campus. Mercedes Settle is a Bachelor of Arts student at TRU with a major in English and a minor in visual arts who has offered some advice to students who want to continue to pursue their creative dreams while studying at TRU.

Settle has experimented with her style throughout her time in the visual arts program. Initially, Settle wasn’t sure what her style was, but through her journey, she has begun to understand what feels right when making her paintings, telling the Omega that she’s starting to discover what visual style most represents her.

“I’m only starting to identify my aesthetic now,” Settle said. “For the longest time, I was able to tell what [looked like] my stuff and what didn’t, but I didn’t know why.”

Recently, Settle has started to enjoy using a surrealist colour palette and wants to experiment with it more in the future. She enjoys experimenting with bright and unique colours on her canvas.

A piece of advice Settle wanted to pass to other artists is to not stress about finding the perfect style before entering art into galleries, showings and exhibits. She said that in the past, she worried about displaying her works as she wasn’t sure if her style would change. Eventually, she realized that everyone’s art changes throughout their lifelong artistic journey and will undoubtedly continue to change in the future.

“You [should] put yourself into as many shows as you can… and don’t be afraid to get involved. Don’t worry about finding your aesthetic yet,” Settle said.

Settle fears that the creative presence on campus will begin to disappear with the end of the BFA program. She wants to encourage other artists to continue to make art, value art, and share their art with the community.

“It would be very nice if people just [kept] making [and] valuing art. It’s often undervalued until it’s needed, and then [people realize] just how important it is,” Settle said. “If we make a culture on campus of embracing fine art then it will likely stay alive here even in light of everything.”

Settle doesn’t want people to forget the importance of art. She said that art isn’t only about creating for the sake of creating; it’s also found in everything. Art classes’ skills can be applied to many other skills and job fields. She encourages students to take art classes as electives regardless of their main study area.

“For me [art can be] about practical skill honing, marketing, graphic design, technology, learning aesthetics and how it will appeal to people, but I also do art for fun,” Settle said.

If you are a local artist or would like to nominate an artist who would like to talk about the arts, please contact the Omega’s Arts Editor, Augustus Holman, by email at or by phone at 250-351-9676.