Sophomore Olivia Williams finds herself through her artwork

Sophomore Olivia Williams finds herself through her artwork

Little drawings all over the place– all over homework, random papers, and sketchbooks. Sophomore Olivia Williams practices her skill whenever and wherever she has the time. The inspiration for art can come from anywhere. For Olivia, the sparks for her works come from seeing other artists draw on YouTube.

“For me, I’d always liked drawing, but I didn’t really get into it much until I started watching more YouTube,” Olivia said, “and then I kind of wanted to draw scenes that I saw people create from videos they did or stuff like that.”

Finding a unique style through watching others draw on the Internet was not a difficult task for Olivia; she took what she already knew how to do- anime-style drawings- and turned them into something that reflected her own individuality.

“I started off in anime, but I kind of pulled away from it more,” Olivia said. “It was not as fun to draw, and it was kind of harder too; I kind of wanted my own style. [I focus on] more cartoon stuff [now].”

Olivia became seriously interested in art when she was in eighth grade. Currently, she isn’t taking any art classes due to her full schedule. But when she has more room open up during her junior and senior years, she plans on taking as many as she can.

Although she is only a sophomore and still has time before she has to make any final decisions, Olivia is currently thinking about attending Kendall College in downtown Grand Rapids to pursue a career in either graphic design or illustration.

Olivia’s drawings are not only something she does for herself, but her talent impresses people all around her, including English teacher Ken George.

“[Mr. George] was walking around when I was reading, and I had my bookmark just out on the table,” Olivia said. “He was looking at it, and then he asked for my sketchbook, and he looked through it.”

A lot of her current sketches pertain to a short story that she is writing for George’s class. Along with drawing, Olivia enjoys writing stories and illustrating characters that go along with the storyline.

“We’re doing the short story project in George’s class right now, and [my drawings] are actually characters from it,” Olivia said. “I draw [out the characters I’m writing about]. That is kind of my way of visualizing, and then putting it into words.”

Because of her cartoon-style drawings, Olivia is drawn to the idea of being an illustrator for children’s books. The thought of entering one of her works in Art-Prize has also crossed her mind, but she is waiting for the right idea for an entry.

Olivia has been working hard at growing as an artist for years now, and she knows she has grown a lot from where she started. She knows that hard work is the key to success and draws as much as she can to get better every day.

“It’s not really a skill that you can just kind of get into,” Olivia said. “You can’t just draw something for the first time and [assume] it’s going to be perfect; it’s something you have to work at. I try to draw every day, even if it’s not in a sketchbook. I’ll draw on my homework sheets or random pages I find.”