A Work of Heart (and Hands)

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From left to right: Jessie Zhou, Daniel Bogs, Peyton Kennedy

Emma Barishman, Staff Writer

Peyton Kennedy: 

    Interested in art for as long as she can remember, senior Peyton Kennedy is exploring her future career through Graphic Design.

     “I’ve always loved shapes and color,” Kennedy said. “But I never began to think of it as a career until junior year.”

     The class has taught her how to use the programs professionals use. They have made designs for PISD, made cartoon characters, and designed game day t-shirts.

     “It helps people get accustomed to the different software programs,” Kennedy said. “People learn at their own speed and we get a lot of freedom with what we create while still learning the same basic fundamentals.”

     Kennedy’s interests span a variety of art mediums. She has created charcoal drawings as well as her graphic designs.

     “My favorite is a drawing I did of the bassist in my favorite band,” Kennedy said. “I’m really proud of that one.”

     Kennedy finds her inspiration in a variety of people, places, and works of art. Her favorite artists are Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Salvador Dali.

     “I love anything modern and abstract. I love bright colors and any art that most people don’t understand,” Kennedy said.  “I really like playing with different shades and values of colors.”

     For other people considering a future in art, Kennedy offers some advice.

     “There is no right or wrong way to do art. Make it your own.”

Jessie Zhou:

     For senior Jessie Zhou, art was a lazy way to get through the dreaded elective requirement in middle school.

     “I chose art because it was easy,” Zhou said. “Then I saw myself improving and decided to continue.”

     Now Zhou is in AP Art Drawing and is considering art as a career. Zhou wants to double major in art and biological basis of behavior.

     “It’s a type of neurological study major,” Zhou said. “My family is supportive of my choice because it’s a double major. At first they were worried about majoring in art because they were afraid I wouldn’t make any money. But I persuaded them.”

     Zhou draws inspiration from not just other works of art, but from her classmates as well.

     “There was a girl last year named Emily who did a great portrait of another girl in our class,” Zhou said. “She really improved her work throughout the year and in the portrait, the eyes really stood out. They were just really pretty.”

     Zhou is currently finishing up a charcoal piece and beginning work on a graphite self-portrait. Last year she completed a 14-piece collection of self-portraits.

     “It’s very easy to do self-portraits,” Zhou said. “You don’t have to go out of your way and find the right person.”

     Zhou is proud of her artwork and the achievements she has made through her work, such as the still life she entered in the Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE)  last year. Zhou won at the regional level.

     “I really liked it because I feel like I spent a long time on that one and it turned out the way I wanted it to,” Zhou said. “It’s done in a Michelangelo or Caravaggio style.”

     Zhou’s favorite style of art varies, depending on whether she is creating it or watching it be created.

     “My favorite medium is water color because it’s fast and there’s a lot you can experiment with,” Zhou said. “I like to look at abstract art though, which is weird because I do detailed stuff. I especially like watching other people create abstract art because their thought process is so different from mine.”

     If anyone is interested in pursuing AP Art as a class next year, Zhou has advice.

     “If they’re considering pursuing art through AP they have to understand that it’s a lot of work,” Zhou said. “They need to put forth all of their effort. The AP requirements are really fast-paced. You have to finish one piece every two weeks and pieces overlap. But it’s also really fun and the class is really chill. It’s challenging, but rewarding.”

Daniel Bogs

     Junior Daniel Bogs began art at Vines. The projects in Art I weren’t his best works but his teacher saw potential and recommended him for Pre-AP Art.

     “I never even finished my first clay project,” Bogs said. “It dried out before it was done. But my teacher liked it and said I should continue art.”

     Now Bogs is in AP Sculpture, the same class his older brother took a few years ago.

     “I figured I should just follow that line,” Bogs said. “He’s better at clay sculpture but I’m better at carving.”

     The class is working on a carving project right now. Bogs has been planning his piece since before the project was even announced.

     “About a year ago, I started drawing this eye,” Bogs said. “My friend had shown it to me and I just kept on defining it. One day I just thought, ‘This might make a good sculpture,’ so the carving project was a good opportunity to show it off.”

     The process to make the carving takes time. First the plaster must be poured over a cardboard base. Then the cardboard is pulled away and the artist can begin carving. When that is finished, details can begin.

     “I’m planning to paint the giant eye,” Bogs said. “I also want to add some feathers for eyelashes.”

     Prior to making the giant eye, Bogs’ favorite work was the one that took him to the state level last year.

     “It was a king with a cape and staff, sitting on a rock,” Bogs said. “We used cloth and a special drying glue to make the cape, so it had a nice flow to it.”

     Despite his success, Bogs is not sure he will pursue art as a future career.

     “I just want to see how this year goes,” Bogs said. “I may go into it, I may not. But if I don’t go into it as a career, I want to at least take one art class in college.”

     Bogs offered some advice for students who want to take art in school.

     “Appreciate the time you’re given in Art I, even if it’s not your favorite type of art,” Bogs said. “And most of all, stay focused.”