Student Spotlight

Jessica Cabe
Colorado Rocky Mountain School junior Audrey Smith
Audrey Smith |

Colorado Rocky Mountain School junior Audrey Smith has tried out all kinds of artforms: sculpture, jewelry making, pottery and more. But her favorite means of expression is drawing.

The 16-year-old has drawn for as long as she can remember, sketching out the images of characters she and her friends made up at recess, and now drawing portraits of anyone who asks her to.

While Smith is not considering a career in art, she said drawing is a hobby and an outlet that she’ll keep at throughout her life.

Post Independent: Tell me a little bit about what or how to like to draw.

Audrey Smith: I’ve done many forms of art. I have worked in 3-D art like sculpture, jewelry making, pottery, etc. I have always preferred drawing over everything, mostly because it comes the easiest to me. It’s a way for me to show the ideas or images in my brain to other people through the pen, which is more like an extension of my hand. I love to draw in pen — I understand pens, they flow well and make my art unique to me. I tend draw realistic portraits of my friends for practice (plus, they constantly ask to be drawn), and the pen makes my classical style look more hip and modern. I cross hatch to shade, and it gives my art that cool modern look I talked about.

PI: What’s your earliest memory of drawing?

AS: My oldest memory of drawing is hard to recall. I remember art classes in elementary, but not ever drawing. I suppose it would be in class; I used to draw all the time and space out, which didn’t help my grades but improved my art tremendously. I did this from kindergarten to about seventh grade, then I learned how to draw and balance grades/work. I used to play what my friends and I called “creative games.” We would each make up a character and a setting and then make up a story from there while pretending to be our characters. Once recess was over and our joy was taken from us, I would go inside and draw the characters that we just came up with. They were always unique. I look back at those drawings now and wish I had the same imagination as I had then.

PI: What do you like about drawing?

AS: I am finally content with my skill level. As artists, we have all experienced “an artistic brain fart” where we seem to be really progressing in our craft and then all of the sudden we think we suck. It lasts about a month in my case and then suddenly I’ll be progressing again. I feel as though I have finally gotten to a level where I won’t judge myself for not sketching as well as I did a week ago. After all, we are all our own worst critic, and what’s the point of giving yourself a hard time when you could just be proud of the skill you have.

PI: Have you taken any drawing classes in school? What about other art classes? How do you think having the opportunity to take these classes has affected you as an artist and just as a person?

AS: Throughout my life I have always taken art classes. Freshmen and sophomore years of high school I was a visual arts major at Denver School of the Arts. I believe my art progressed so much in those two years, not just from spending two hours in a visual arts class a day, but from being with other kids who were as good if not better then me. My peers taught me so much, and I loved watching all of them grow into their own personal styles as I recognized myself doing the same thing. That was the most influential school for my artistic skills; I grew so much. However, I wasn’t very happy there. I think that if you are a person who is committed to your craft above all else, then an art school is right for you. But if you’re more like me and have other aspirations that you value just as much as art, then follow what makes you happy.

PI: So do you plan on pursuing art as a career? What about keeping it in your life as a hobby?

AS: I don’t plan on being an artist when I grow up. Before art school I thought about becoming an artist, but now that I know what it’s like through the experiences that I’ve had, becoming an artist is not my priority. Art will always be one of my hobbies; it’s a form of meditation for me. When I draw is when I can connect with myself. When I draw, I’m in a different mind set. It refreshes me, and I love the process and product of drawing. I love making art, I just have other things that I am passionate about that I would also like to pursue in life.

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