This year, Arts for Learning launched it’s first Teen Advisory Board. Six Central Indianapolis high school youth serve as arts ambassadors, advocating for the arts and supporting our organization. Arts for Learning is highlighting each of these youth to showcase their own talent as young artists in the community.
First Artist Spotlight: Ella, Shortridge High School
Describe your art, its meaning, and style in ten words or less.
Symbolism, depth, inspiration, emotion, my values, word incorporation, and experiences
How have you been influenced in regards to your art?
Through my art, I have been able to utilize it as an outlet to ground myself. Even if I am just doodling or writing two lines of what could be a poem, art has influenced not only my ability to express myself but to stay calm through doing so. Art has shown me that there are diverse ways to tell stories and translate emotions. When I feel content with how my art translates my emotions or how it is portrayed, it’s gratifying because my mind often feels like an ancient foreign language that can never fully be transferred into a form of art.
Who is one figure in your life (that you know) who has been instrumental in making you an artist?
One figure in my life who has been instrumental in the making of me being an artist has been my mom. She has always put so much effort into making sure that I have been surrounded by art. Ever since I was little, I always had art supplies at hand, and still continue to. I was always supported and encouraged by both of my parents for my interest in art whether it be visually or in other forms.
What about your work stands out when compared to the work of your contemporaries?
I think the biggest thing that stands out about my work is how much meaning and symbolism are packed into everything I create. I most always have a reason or purpose behind every detail within my pieces.
Which artists do you think have most influenced or helped you craft your style?
I’m still trying to figure out what my “style” is, but one artist I love is Shepard Fairy. I specifically love the way he incorporates words within his art.
I wouldn’t say I’m big into writing poetry, but Rupi Kaur has shaped how I view my style when I do write. Not only do I admire her writing, but her illustrations as well. I love the daintiness, simplicity yet depth, and way the work emotionally connects to me for both her writing and illustrations.
When/how did you realize that art was something important to you?
I think around when I was in kindergarten, I realized that visual arts were going to be something I cared about. This realization was because I cared way more than my classmates did about how my art turned out. I continually wanted to practice and improve the way I drew. Also, my cousin was very good at drawing which motivated me to be better as well. Around that same time, I had this deep desire to play the violin. I’m not sure where it came from, but even just holding one would be a dream come true. A couple of years later, I ended up getting to play and did so for ten years more. Art has always seemed to be a love of mine ever since I can remember.
Why do you think us humans need art? Do you think society can exist without artistic expression?
I think we need art because it’s such a broad and valuable form of expression for so many. I don’t think the world could exist without art because it’s in our nature to create and enjoy it. So often people say, “I’m not an artist” or “I don’t like art”, but these people have no idea how much art they create without even knowing it or how much art they enjoy without realizing it is a form of art. It is embedded in all of our surroundings and it’s a universal language that has the power to unify us.
Poetry By Ella:
Through My Eyes
Masked angered waitin’ is “patience”
And everyone praises a fake
What’s under the passive aggression is eatin’
I search for the root cause,- it starves us both
Hungry for growth, trapped in suppression
Empathetic pain awaits every day
Two-way mirrors, I see you face-to-face
But for you, it’s not the same
I can’t just shatter glass and destroy paths
And I wish all that could change
Artwork By Ella: