Andrew Foltin: drawing a new path

Andrew practices his craft in the DLR. He tries to draw every day. “I would draw 24-7 if I could,” he said. Photo by Lyndsey Case.

Kalamazoo, to Tennessee, to Kentucky, to Colorado: picture coming home from school only to find out it is time to pack your bags, leave your friends and new school behind, and head off to another state, again. The life of a military child is never easy: “you gotta leave behind a lot of people that you’ve spent four years with,” states Andrew Foltin (9). Andrew has been a military kid his whole life, moving to four elementary schools, two middle schools, and his final destination: Portage Northern, having to adapt and make new friends every move.

His military sergeant father has had a heavy influence on him. “My dad is kind of uptight and strict, so it gets him riled up and excited when I decided to do something he wanted me to,” says Andrew. That something was wrestling, which his father encouraged him to start six years ago. Foltin has greatly enjoyed the sport, meeting friends Jaisen Craig (9) and Bradley Freemire (11). His coach, Chris Furlong, hopes that Andrew utilizes his full potential next season stating, “he has a ton of potential in the sport of wrestling, we hope that he puts in a lot of work in the off season to make himself a starter next winter.” Though his father had an influence on encouraging him to join wrestling, Andrew does not plan to follow in his father’s military footsteps, but rather, draw a new path.

Rather than striving to be the high school sports superstar like his father, who participated in baseball, football, wrestling, and track, Andrew draws graphite Manga and realistic drawings, focusing on people and cartoons such as Dragonball Z. He jokingly says, “I draw in almost every class every day, that’s why I get bad grades at this school.” Though his drawings may not help him in solving algebraic equations, his art teacher, Sarah Nott adds, “he does all assignments for my art class but does tons of his own, independently driven artwork on top of that.”

Andrew was mainly influenced by one of his old middle school teachers, Benjamin Worrell, who creates his own comics called Sheath Comics. Worrell reflects on his comics, stating, “my comic book is a great opportunity to share my passion for art with my students as well as my personal interest in superheroes and graphic novels.” Andrew plans to follow in his former teacher’s footsteps and write and draw his own Manga comics in the future; in fact, he has one that he’s already started now. Worrell is glad to know he is able to inspire students, stating, “I am glad to know that he is pursuing art and I hope he will continue to do so far into the future.”

With his talent for graphite drawing, though it is something that is a big part of his life, for college Andrew doesn’t necessarily want for drawing or design to be his main study. Instead, he says, “ I would like to find a job that pays a lot.” Though he is unsure of his future career, Nott states, “anime and manga style art seems to be his true passion in his life.” Whether or not this job will include drawing or whether his illustrations will remain a hobby, Andrew is sure to be found with a pencil and paper in hand, creating his art.

Below is a slideshow of some of Andrew’s most recent sketches. Some are based on series (such as Dragon Ball Z), but Andrew does have some original conceptions, many of which will find his way into his future graphic novels.