Small fish in a big pond

Moving on from the world of high school art

Senior+Lucy+Harvey-Smith+hopes+to+pursue+art+as+a+career+after+high+school.+The+piece+she+is+holding+depicts+an+%22alien+college.%22+Harvey_Smith+enjoys+depicting+creative+scenes+in+her+artwork.
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Small fish in a big pond

Senior Lucy Harvey-Smith hopes to pursue art as a career after high school. The piece she is holding depicts an

Senior Lucy Harvey-Smith hopes to pursue art as a career after high school. The piece she is holding depicts an "alien college." Harvey_Smith enjoys depicting creative scenes in her artwork.

Skye McDonald

Senior Lucy Harvey-Smith hopes to pursue art as a career after high school. The piece she is holding depicts an "alien college." Harvey_Smith enjoys depicting creative scenes in her artwork.

Skye McDonald

Skye McDonald

Senior Lucy Harvey-Smith hopes to pursue art as a career after high school. The piece she is holding depicts an "alien college." Harvey_Smith enjoys depicting creative scenes in her artwork.

Samantha Swainson, Staff Reporter

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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when talking about artists? One could wax poetic about famous men long past, mention the bleak prospects associated with the lives of artists, or simply shrug.

For most, outside of the occasionally inspired or easy A art class, art is seen as something to be kept at a distance, an eccentric or whimsical option to constructive and real world problems.

Being a talented artist doesn’t mean you can’t be practical. The art of making art is a vulnerable process, skewed with fervent emotion and littered with insecurity. It’s been said that people lose themselves in the process and it’s difficult for a piece to satisfy them.

Senior Lucy Harvey-Smith has been making art for as long as she can remember and looks forward to her future in the art world. Of course, the jump to the post-high school art world isn’t easy, and opening yourself up to critics is harder.

“I’ve gone to several college-portfolio-type things,” Harvey-Smith said. “They come to see our portfolios and give us advice. It’s hard to not take it personally, it sucks. But with time it’s easy to see what they’re saying and consider it. I probably should, but I don’t always take the advice.”

Having the guts to face outsiders, men and women that are only there to see the outcome of sweat and tears, and having them run a critical eye over your paint strokes isn’t easy. Most of the time throughout life, the harshest critics we often face end up being ourselves.

“Seeing what’s on social media, it’s hard to not compare my own art to it and think ‘wow my art is worse than that, maybe I should stop,’” Harvey-Smith said, “but seeing art that is better than mine, makes me want to be able to do that good, so I have to keep practicing.”

Samantha Swainson
This piece by Harvey-Smith showcases her attention to detail much of her artwork, using small lines and ketch marks to add intricacy to an otherwise plain image a mushroom.

Of course, it’s hard to talk about artists without mentioning the struggle they often face to maintain a steady job. The tragic tales of broke artists litter hollywood movies and classic literature, making many adults and teenagers don’t generally see it as a viable path to the future.

“As a future as an artist, it’s going to be rough,” Harvey-Smith said. “But, I do like the idea of constant challenges, the motivation to do your job and get the job done.”

This piece by Harvey-Smith is the result of some creative experimentation with sketches of fruit and birds “just for kicks” Harvey-Smith says.

Broken down artists living in three-part tragedy isn’t the only option out there. There are a multitude of jobs for those who’ve honed their talent, ranging from art teachers to graphic designers to professional painters.

“For a while, when I was younger, I thought tattooing was a career where I didn’t need to go college,” Harvey-Smith said. “Now I’m definitely going to go to college and I still want to tattoo.”

Tattooing is an obscure art. Outside of the occasional frat tattoo and stick n’ poke, people with tattoos are rarely seen as the norm. It’s even more rare to hear of talented up-and-coming female artists in a sub-culture dominated by men.

With the controversy and uncertainty, Harvey-Smith continues to ponder her decision to pursue tattooing, “People have such specific requests, it’s inspiring to make such a direct impact on someone.”

With her mind on the future, college seems to take the cake. While working on her Fine Arts degree and navigating the murky transition from high school to college, Harvey-Smith is searching for a local apprenticeship and maneuvering through the waters of life.

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