Character Creator | Sophomore’s paintings bring storylines to life

As only a sophomore, Claire Shaw is looking forward to all the opportunities the high school art department has to offer. 

“So far at the high school I’m taking Painting I, and I’m in band, but I’m planning on taking many more in the next two years,” Shaw said.

Taking a particular liking to art when she started junior high, Shaw said she enjoyed being introduced to all mediums of art in the seventh grade. As she’s grown as an artist over the years, her tastes have changed and her focus has narrowed. 

“My favorite medium to use would be watercolor because you can do so much with it,” Shaw said. “You can get very dark and intense depth, but you can also create a very light and fun dynamic with it. I also just love the way it looks in general.”

Putting down the brush and picking up the pen, Shaw said she loves drawing characters. However, the new techniques she’s learning in her painting class have swayed the way she creates them. 

“I like to design and create characters in a very stylized way, but recently I’ve enjoyed the challenge of more realistic drawings in my painting class,” Shaw said. “My characters I draw, I’d say, lean more toward a cartoon/fictional style, and over the years, the characters I’ve drawn have developed more detail in how I draw them.”

Beyond what’s seen on the paper, Shaw said she gives these characters life and purpose. 

“As I draw them, I sort of create a story to go along with them, so if this character is feeling happy, I’d try to express that in their face when I draw them, and a story makes it easier to develop what they wear or how they look in general,” Shaw said. 

Designing these characters is a great process for Shaw as she establishes a persona behind the faces. 

“I enjoy drawing characters the most because there’s so much freedom in how the character can look or what they’re wearing, and you get to come up with it all,” Shaw said.

Although she prefers the imagination and thought that goes into these elaborate characters, Shaw said art comes in many forms and can be created in more than one way. 

“The thing I enjoy most about art is that there’s so many different styles and ways you can approach it and so many different mediums to use, and it’s just so much fun to have the ability to create whatever I want,” Shaw said.

Shaw doesn’t allow herself to stress over her art; in fact, she does quite the opposite. Shaw views art as a happy pass time and a device of expression. 

“I’m an artist because it’s an easy way for me to pass the time or just relax and draw. I can express myself in so many ways through art,” Shaw said. 

Contributing to the creation of her characters, Shaw said she has an eye for the everyday occurrences. 

“I get most of my inspiration just in public when I see someone wearing an outfit with a color scheme I like, and then I draw a character or something that was inspired by that set of colors,” Shaw said.

Influenced by everyday sights, Shaw finds inspiration in the ordinary things that some people wouldn’t give a second glance. 

“The thing that inspires me most when I draw is just the colors I see every day. Usually when I see a specific set of colors that I like, it inspires me to want to create something using those colors,” Shaw said.

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