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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
Tampa Preparatory senior
Unfortunately for me, when we delve into how I make these pieces, we learn of my less-than-stellar work habits. The procrastination, the periods of staring into space, and the endless number of things that distract me along the way.
They start with an idea, or a moment that only I can see in my head. I sometimes sketch things out, but that’s less of a road map and more of a set of guidelines. When I do get into building something, I run into problems with structure or conflicting textures that require new ideas that can sometimes drastically change what I am making. When it is not a pain in my neck, it does give the piece a bit of life to it, like I can provide a container for it but it’s allowed to move about. Really, until you open the kiln, it is Schrodinger’s “Dinosaur.” Glazes can turn out colors you never expected, sometimes animals with tails that were lying flat come out spontaneously writhing, so at least to me, it can come alive. Maybe that’s an unhealthy God complex I should talk to someone about . . .
I grew up in my mom’s studio and have always done some sort of (art) medium. Printmaking, drawing, painting and papier-mache were my childhood pastimes. When I came to Prep, I never got a chance to enroll in an art class freshman year, which drove me to the brink of insanity. At the end of the year I approached the art teacher with my sketchbook in the hopes that I could skip maybe a semester of basic classes. Much to my surprise she placed me in an AP sculpture class that I have now been taking for three years as I build my portfolio.
Through all of that I have had the pleasure of meeting and becoming friends with some fantastic people. Everyone should have some sort of creative outlet and should not feel intimidated to enter a new environment of thinking, clay, painting, singing, dancing, drawing or anything that lets you out for a moment and make something that is entirely your own.
Right now I am putting the finishing touches on a mother Oviraptor philoceratops and her nest. When she is complete it means another few hours of staring at another lump of clay while listening to Bruce Springsteen, and that prospect could not make me happier.
As told to Kate Fueyo, Tampa Preparatory