“I was always drawing. When I was little, I used to watch these little YouTube tutorials about cartoon characters – the ones with big eyes and little bodies. I would draw and follow along.
And then I got into 4-H, and my projects were just drawing.
I’m not sure what 4-H used to be, but I’ve been in it since third grade, and you can do anything as a project. Some people do rockets. My sister does bead dots; they turn out to be pictures but start as all these sparkly diamonds. You can decorate cakes.
I’ve started moving more toward the realistic route with my drawing. I’ve been doing animals a lot more recently. I want to start on my first portrait, but I’m scared to. Animals are a lot easier to draw than humans. If you mess up, it’s not that noticeable.
My school, Goshen High School, has its regular, everyday emails and bulletins. I’d seen [the call for storm drain artwork submissions] there. I said, ‘What’s this?’ I’d never done an art contest before – something competitive where you have to be chosen – and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll give it a try.’ So I submitted a few ideas that I thought might work for their design purposes, and one of mine was chosen.
Saving the environment, in general, was the theme. And when you think of the environment, you think of the world and how it’s all in our hands. That’s how the hands came into play.
It took maybe four hours to complete. The only thing that made it difficult was the wind. It was really bad that day, and the helicopters from all the trees kept falling down. It was hard to keep them away.
The day they were showcasing the storm drains, I was at a wedding, but people did go on their own. They said that they liked it. Just having a piece of my artwork in the community I grew up in is meaningful.
I’m going to school for radiology. I’m excited. I want to take an art class in college. I think that will definitely be different compared to middle and high school art projects.
And it’s my last year in my 4-H group – I’ll be a 10-year member – so I’m working on a piece to be submitted for the fair right now.
I’ve started on it a little bit, and I think I’m going to do a ballerina.”