Student Spotlights: STAR artists Eddie Blake and Robbie Geiss

Robbie Geiss, a Sonoma County native, is a junior at Sonoma State who has been doing illustrations for the STAR since fall 2013. 

Geiss explained that he enjoys doing illustrations for the STAR because “they’re fun and quick and they’re on current issues” that offer him an opportunity to practice his work. 

While drawing for the STAR, Geiss has become experienced in working with other people. He explained, “[For art] you have to work with clients to get an idea, so with [cartooning for the STAR he is] given that concept to work with. It’s good to be able to look at something in a certain way to represent some concept that can be super literal or sometimes laced with metaphors,” said Geiss. 

He first became interested in the arts when he was a child. His father was a molding engineer when he was younger, so he would help him draft out his work which began his art career. 

As an art major, Geiss is interested in digital art and would like to work in the digital industry after he graduates from SSU. He hopes to find an internship that will help him further his art career or get a Master’s degree in art. 

Geiss has been interested in art for his whole life. “As kids, we all made those paintings where you squirt paint on paper and I guess the only thing is that I just kept doing it. My parents were like ‘Well you like it so keep doing it,’” said Giess. So he continued his journey with art. 

He enjoys doing digital art with Photoshop and 3-D modeling, which he had been learning at the junior college. He believes it is a lot cleaner than drawing on paper. “Now when I work in 2-D I try to rotate it and it’s just not the same,” said Geiss. 

Similar to most artists, Geiss finds inspiration all around him. Specifically from the music he listens to. Geiss explained that rappers like Childish Gambino, Kanye West and Tyler, the Creator motivate him to go out and do the things he loves and is interested in. “They’re out of the vain of visual fine arts but they do so many different things. Seeing people motivated to go out and do the things they want to do” said Geiss. 

Geiss finds interest in the world around him and hopes to continue to learn new things and continue his art career. 

“It’s good to focus on your interests because to make a job out of it you have to be good at [it], so I’m trying to focus on art. But it’s hard because the world is so cool.”

Eddie Blake is a junior in his first year at Sonoma State who has been doing illustrations for the STAR since fall 2013. Blake is majoring in human development and got his associates degree in art from a junior college.  

While Blake is not taking art classes at SSU, he has been interested in art his whole life. 

He is interested in many different mediums and loves to draw. 

Blake said he would “spend a lot of time by [himself] with music and [he] ended up getting hooked on drawings and pictures that tell a story,” which led him into being interested in art. 

One of his inspirations is Juan Gris, an artist that works a lot with cubism. Gris, a Spanish painter and sculptor born in Madrid, was closely connected to the movement of the artistic genre of cubism. 

Blake also enjoys music and has started a disc golf club on campus, which is like regular golf but played with a Frisbee.

Blake says that the reason he started drawing for the STAR was because he saw a flyer and thought it would be a great opportunity. 

“[I figured] being a published cartoonist helps you later if you want to get a job,” said Blake. 

For his career plans, he hopes to do marriage and family therapy and maybe art therapy, which he believes will be “a nice bonus” since he has such an interest in art. 

Blake hopes that having his illustrations in the paper will come in handy and help him with his future.