Bristlecone art profile: Details only love can see in student artist Dariana Corral’s work |

Bristlecone art profile: Details only love can see in student artist Dariana Corral’s work

Coal Ridge High School sophomore Dariana Corral unloads pieces of her artwork onto a classroom table Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Precision and passion is almost paramount to be a good artist, but compassion is not something people always make a necessity in art. 

For Dariana Corral, that seems to be where a lot of her passion comes from. 

“Most of my artwork I don’t have because they’re gifts,” Corral said. 

Her art shows an intricate attention to detail, but when she describes past projects, it’s apparent that a high level of her perfection is because she plans to give it away as a gift when she is finished. 

“What’s really cool about a lot of her work, too, is she makes them into presents,” Nicole LaRose, Corral’s art teacher at Coal Ridge High School, said. “She gets inspired by somebody in her life and then she makes them a gift.” 

Although flowers and butterflies seem to be her signature touch, her gifts are focused around the interests of her loved ones. Whether it is drawing the Joker perfectly like a comic strip, recreating a scene from Ricky and Morty or intricately quilling a bouquet of flowers, that attention to detail is noticeable. 

“I’ve always been interested in flowers, and I think it really helps to add,” she said. “If I’m gifting something, I can easily add their birth flower.”

Birth flowers are a specific touch she likes to add for people she cares for. 

Corral takes on a multitude of styles and inspiration, not because she is inspired by herself, but because she is inspired by the people she cares about.

“Since they are gifts, I tend to try being inspired more from what they would enjoy, and looking from their perspective,” she said. 

Coal Ridge High School sophomore Dariana Corral arranges her artwork onto a table Tuesday. One piece depicts infamous Batman nemesis, the Joker.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Gift giving is her main drive for a lot of the art she creates. She said she began with making art for herself to relax, but after more people started showing interest in her art, she now enjoys making it for others. 

Her excitement was most clear when she was talking about surprising her best friend for her birthday. 

“Okay, so right on Thanksgiving, once it was a little bit before noon, we got the cake,” she said. “I ordered a cake in the shape of an M because her name is Maribel, and I asked them to design it green because their favorite color is green. I made a box, a bouquet of flowers, and at noon I showed up at her house and we celebrated.” 

The box she created is another signature touch she has picked up as her favorite form of gift-giving this year. When other students were relaxing, or traveling for their holiday vacation, Corral was designing gift boxes to give to all of her loved ones. 

She made seven of them over the break and each of them are unique to the person she gifted them to. Her dad’s box has skulls and fire, because he loves skulls, while her mom’s box was a softer design with her favorite, butterflies. 

Butterflies are something Corral said she likes to add because she likes what they stand for: birth, life and beauty.

“I decorate the inside too,” she said, describing her gift boxes. “I add pictures of us, or anything that they really enjoy. And for my friends, I added a border of flowers and I included lights. Then I put in some confetti and it came out really nice.”

Creating is the best way to describe how Corral works, since she doesn’t use just one art form. She started with drawing, but recently she’s gotten passionate about ceramics. 

“Her craftsmanship on everything, like her painterly stuff, comes through on her ceramic stuff, she’ll take time to do the surface decoration, which is really cool to see her bring that into her work,” LaRose said. “When she would carve a piece it looked like she’d stamp it because it’s just so clean and beautiful,”

A recent project she found challenging, but called a favorite, was making pinch pots. 

For her project, she created the homes of SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward from the popular cartoon, and although she had trouble getting the top of the pineapple for SpongeBob’s home to work out, she got creative with the design and ended up with something she was really proud of. 

Coal Ridge High School sophomore Dariana Corral loads a kiln with her art teacher, Nicole LaRose, on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Another fun creation she has been working on was partially TikTok inspired, with the concept of painting on a piece of plexiglass by using a layering technique to make the painting look more refined and finished. 

Tattoo design is also becoming a popular hobby for Corral, having designed four of her own, as well as tattoos for her mom, her friends, her cousins. 

Although Corral shows a lot of artistic promise as just a sophomore in high school, her dream is to go to nursing school when she graduates. Overall, it seems that Corral is happiest when she is being there for others. 

“She donated pieces to our art auction that we had for Coal Ridge last year,” LaRose said. “She’s just so generous. She ended up helping us with the art auction last year and this year she didn’t donate a piece but she helped us the whole time.” 

Corral is currently running the student website and the school art Instagram. Her big project right now is finishing a giant dragon, and although she won’t be pursuing art school for college, she has learned a lot of helpful skills for her future.

LaRose said she is excited to have two more years to see Corral grow, not just as an artist but as a person, too.

Bristlecone Art Collaboration works to lift teachers and their students’ art and spotlight all of their hard work. 

Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at or 970-384-9131.

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