A bit about her work...

Dara Leah Corvus (Van Strien) is a dedicated illustrator whose career is marked by a growing wealth of achievements and qualifications in the realm of visual arts. Currently pursuing a BFA with a focus on Illustration at the prestigious Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, she showcases her commitment to continuous learning and artistic growth.

Her artistic prowess extends across multiple mediums, including acrylic paints, watercolors, charcoal, and digital painting. Her creative inspiration is deeply rooted in the wonders of nature, animals, landscapes, and the creatures that dwell in the depths of the ocean. These diverse sources of inspiration culminate in her ability to craft captivating animal-themed drawings, pet portraits, and enchanting landscapes.

Her body of work is a testament to her artistic versatility and commitment to her craft. Dara is not only dedicated to her craft but also to the local arts community, tirelessly working towards building a more artistic community by sharing her inspirations, skills, and knowledge through events and lessons. Her journey at the Academy of Art University further solidifies her dedication to achieving excellence in the field of Illustration. With a focus on continuous learning, Dara is eager to make a lasting impact in the world of art, where her creative expressions continue to captivate and inspire.

A bit about her...

Dara Leah Corvus (Van Strien) was born and raised by the unschooled method until 17 years old. She struggled with social skills, learning, and clear communication. As a result of this setback, she immersed herself in the arts during her early years to make up for her awkward speech and lack of reading confidence. She was certain that her only skill was in creating art, but she wasn't sure if she could be successful at it because of mental setbacks. She had trouble with fundamental abilities and wasn't sure she could manage on her own, so she decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force.

Since she needed documentation of her education, she studied and received her General Education Diploma in 2012. In February 2013, she enlisted. She spent 6.5 years in Security Forces. While serving she received an associate degree in criminal justice.

With the chance to study and develop through the resources made available to her through the military, she learned how to perform better throughout her life. But the military also had some unintended consequences in addition to the growth. She acquired several problems, including chronic pain, drinking, depression, and anxiety. She received a medical release in October 2019. She was secluded by Covid19 and stressed with the transition to civilian life. She was in pain and utterly bored. Her depression grew constantly and more intense.

She made the decision she needed extra assistance just as her life was at its worst. The start was mental health counseling, for years, and through numerous counselors. She acquired a wide range of abilities through training, counseling, and self-help. She began to know herself, her experiences, and her trauma. It was a gradual recovery.

She discovered a passion for gardening and used it as an additional pain and mental health management technique. She was able to appreciate the beauty and variety of nature. Allowing it to be unique. The garden became a sanctuary, to contemplate life and actions. She was no longer influenced by the military, her interest in the world had grown, and she had decided to learn how to create (again). Her spouse, her family, and her friends encouraged her to pursue her passion for art professionally. In the spring of 2022, she decided to enroll in courses at the Academy of Art University online with the use of the G.I Bill. She is now pursuing a bachelor's degree in the study of illustration to create art that reflects her skills and interests. While studying, she joined the Visual Arts Guild of Mountain Home. She was encouraged to display at the local show art show hosted by the library. The success of the show significantly boosted her confidence. So much so, she coordinated the following year's with great success.

Dara is still learning about life and the natural world, through classes and observation, and processes the best way to depict it on 2D surfaces. Her love of gardening, animals, and nature frequently serves as the inspiration for her creations. She also finds the vastness of the ocean, deep-sea creatures, and space fascinating. She paints everything from pet portraits to landscapes to depictions of Memento mori in pictures. She prefers to use acrylic paints, but she is also proficient at charcoal and digital media.

She believes learning and growing never stops and we should all enjoy the process in our unique ways.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou