Squiggly pairs of antennae, eyes facing in all sorts of directions, limbs coming from places they shouldn’t… I drew “New York City in Mars,” the first piece that fostered my initial love for illustration during our Kindergarten Art Exhibit. The work featured diverse aliens of all different shapes and sizes tightly packed together on the 8.5 x 11 pastel page. As I watched the teachers’ and parents’ reactions to my work, I got excited. Art became a platform to express, tell stories, and evoke emotions.

When I was the head of my middle school Art Club and under the direction of our art teacher, I was tasked to select a team of student artists to help conceptualize, design, and create a backdrop for our school’s Winter Musical Extravaganza. During this time, there was a political chasm about building a wall between the U.S and Mexico. Some saw this as a symbol of discrimination, and as such, we wanted to send a message of solidarity and hope to those affected. Our team came up with “Art and Nature Know no Borders,” an illustration of colorful, three-dimensional Monarch butterflies flying freely, representing the back-and-forth migration between the two countries. Using craft paper, charcoal, and oil pastels, we drew hands joining together as a symbol of support and unity. It was an enriching experience because it gave us the freedom to express and raise awareness through art during our annual school event. Students and teachers alike were moved by the design.

My artistic journey progressed when I took an apprenticeship under a renowned local artist, Sheri Alimonda. I was taught the basics of oil painting, composition, shading, texture, color theory, and more. My mentor also taught me about the business side of art; she guided me, not only on how to make art, but also how to become a commercial artist. Apart from the technical side of art, she enlightened me on self-expression and how art can have a voice that brings people together.

One of my ambitions at my high school is to kickstart an artist’s collective with other school friends and creative minds with similar aspirations. The collective would be a creative outlet made to fuel each other’s motivations. We plan on combining our knowledge in art and media to produce films, artworks, and multimedia projects under the same label.

High School of Art and Design
Spielberger-Spanierman Scholarship- 2022

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