For UAA students who have been to Campus Kickoff in the past, they know the Butt Sketcher. Lines lengthen across Cuddy Quad to get their backsides drawn by Pjae Naiima. Naiima has been coming to UAA for more than twelve years to draw butts for the students. Her boss Krandel Lee Newton, the creator of “The Original Butt Sketch” talks to TNL about how sketching has taken her around the world.
Are you the current artist or the one who created the idea?
I actually created the idea. I quit an engineering job (Mechanical Engineer) years ago to pursue art full-time. I showed my paintings – paintings of people, buildings and odd ends –on a street corner in Dallas. It was an attempt to do a painting of a parade scene – people from behind – that ignited the concept in my mind. After months of sketching people from behind, I coined the phrase: The Original Butt Sketch” and charged people based on their shape – if they were “flat, round or regular.”
When did you see yourself as an artist?
I began sketching and painting around the age of 9. I actually took painting lessons. After a few years, I put down my brushes to go play football and things like that. It was after I started my engineering career that I resumed painting as a hobby. I was soon engulfed with the passion of painting and then quit my engineering job after have practicing it for 5 years.
Where has your talent taken you besides Alaska?
I have maintained a federally registered trademark on Butt Sketch for over 20 years. We – I have a group of 8 artists –have traveled to Europe, Canada, Mexico and Asia. We have sketched celebrities and other luminaries.
Naiima will be at Campus Kickoff for those who are looking to get their booties drawn. Campus Kickoff starts August 22 at 5:00 pm at the Cuddy Quad.