Mitchell Bagnas

ÁNI Art Academies Waichulis

(b 1995) I was raised in a small town in Northeast Pennsylvania. As a kid, I was never good at anything. School and sports just were not for me. However, I always found myself drawing things from my imagination. I did not even think I was good at it, I just enjoyed drawing as a creative outlet. Fast forward to middle school; I remember sitting in class and watching a fellow classmate draw a portrait of a man. At the time I thought it was the coolest thing I have ever seen. After that, I started drawing a lot more. Then I would find myself drawing things from lifelike animals, people, and buildings. That was the start of my love for art. My parents saw that I was taking interest in art, so for birthdays and Christmas, I would always receive sketch pads and (how-to) draw books. Fast forward again to my high school years, I was still drawing a lot. At that point, my parents and teachers started asking me what I wanted to do in the future. All I knew is that I loved to draw, and I could not see myself doing anything else. During this time, I did not have too many friends, so in my spare time, I would watch drawing videos on YouTube and do research on different artists. I loved looking at work from the Renaissance. I would tell myself all the time that I would find a way to get to that level. So, every day I would draw, and draw, and draw. As lame as it sounds drawing would help me come out of my shell. I would make new friends because people would take an interest in what I was sketching. After high school, I enrolled myself in the local community college where I studied Painting & Illustration. My plan was to obtain my associate degree and attend a university soon after. However, after doing some research I could not find a college that was going to teach me the things I wanted to learn. That is when an instructor told me about a world-class painter who takes on apprentices. That is when I learned of Anthony Waichulis and the ÁNI Art Academy apprenticeship program. Without any hesitation, I applied, and Anthony took me on as an apprentice. It is here that I hope to truly grow as an artist.