Freestyle Academy proudly presents
Stars on Fire: A Aboriginal Dot Painting by Justin Sweet
2nd Place Winner: 2023 Los Altos Rotary Young at Art Contest
Stars on Fire: A Aboriginal Dot Painting by Justin Sweet

For this project, we were asked to represent our origin story through the traditional Australian Aboriginal style, while following certain requirements like including our spirit animal and star sign. I chose a koala as my spirit animal because I felt like it represented me well, and it also helps that they’re cute. Being born late in March makes me an Aries. This is represented in my piece by the constellation the koala is holding onto, as well as the ram symbol in the bottom left. Aries is a fire symbol, which prompted me to use the corresponding aboriginal symbol as the background. The stars in the top left and bottom right reflect the detail of me being born during the night. In the top right is the symbol for friends. I think that the people that we involve ourselves with serves as a basis of origin for who we become in the future.

The progress of this project was pretty slow due to the level of detail required. There’s a massive amount of dots, many of which have one or even two additional layers. It was worth it though, as the effect it gives off is very stunning. At the beginning of the project, I was just planning to leave the background as pitch black. I later decided to switch it to varying types of red, which really complements the green hues featured in the koala. Towards the end, when I had all of my symbols created, I was struggling with composition, but was able to settle on one I was pleased with by getting feedback from my classmates.

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