• Issue 5

Recent Class of 2020 graduate Mason Ross’ passion for art dates back to a young age. As an only child, he recalls having to busy himself and with both of his parents working in creative fields, art supplies were all around the house. Rising Lancer senior Lydia C. naturally found her passion for the arts. She was never the kid who would color inside the lines but colored over them, making scribbles and doodles as she went along creating her own pictures.

While their introductions to art differed, both Mason and Lydia never viewed art as a field of study or a possible career until they became Lancers at Kennedy Catholic. Learn more about their journey throughout high school and their aspiring futures in the field of art.

What inspires you about art?
Mason: What’s inspiring about art is that it’s a visual expression of an idea or feeling. You don’t have to read; you don’t have to write; you can just look at an art piece or a design and feel the emotions the artist or designer intended to evoke.

Lydia: The possibility to improve is what inspires me most about art. I’m inspired by the work I see in games, animated movies and pieces done by other artists. I often think “I want to be able to do that someday,” or “I’m going to try that technique next.” In art there is always room to get better and try new things.

Is there an art piece that you created that you are most proud of? What drove you to make it and why do you love it so much?
Mason: I did a drawing last summer at a three week car design course at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where I will be attending school in the fall. For the project I worked on, we were challenged to use multiple techniques like marker, pastel and pencil to make a ‘render’. When we showed our renders to industry professionals at the end of the course, I remember receiving positive feedback, and that meant a lot to me.

Lydia: There are a few pieces I’m proud of, but the piece I am most proud of is one I made at Kennedy Catholic my freshman year. It’s painted on one of the large cabinets in Mr. Dolejsi’s art room at school. I had never created a piece like it before and really enjoyed the challenge. I hardly ever used acrylic paints and loved the colors and the motion I created.

What art classes have you taken at Kennedy Catholic? Which class was your favorite and why?
Mason: I took two years of drawing and painting, two years of photography and a year of computer-aided design. While I learned something new in all of my classes, I have always enjoyed drawing and painting the most because it’s a great environment to experiment creatively.

Lydia: I took studio painting and drawing for a year and a half. My favorite part of the class was the freedom of each assignment and the support Mr. Dolejsi gave us. It was a unique experience to have an assignment you need to make but be challenged to go your own way about creating it. Mr. Dolejsi was always very encouraging, helping me improve my art. He still does, and I always find time to visit the studio, even though I’m not in his class.

How has being a Lancer inspired your passion?
Mason: Being a Lancer has helped me find a way to apply my art skills in the real world. Without the work of both core academic and art courses, I don’t think I would be nearly as prepared for a future at a design school.

Lydia: Being a Lancer has inspired me a lot in terms of support. People like Ms. Montstream, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Dolejsi helping me find art opportunities and colleges that fit my interests. Mr. Dolejsi has helped me a lot in making connections with artists and supported me with advice. Altogether, teachers have always been very kind and encouraging of me and my passion for art.

What opportunities have you had to explore a career in art and what have been your biggest takeaways?
Mason: Outside of school I have had the opportunity to participate in a summer design course at the College for Creative Studies, in Detroit where I will be attended school in the fall. That course helped me learn techniques specific to car design as well as design in general. I worked side-by-side with professionals and peers to create car designs and models from scratch. At the program I was lucky enough to build scale clay models, tour professional design studios and learn the techniques used by professionals in the industry. It was extremely influential in my decision to pursue design as a career.

Lydia: The greatest opportunity I had to explore a career in art was working with the artist Marela Zacrias. I got to work with her team on the commission she revived from the SeaTac airport; five massive sculptures that are beautifully painted and will be hung in the new international wing over the baggage terminals. Going down and painting two days a week for three hours after school from October to February, I found an appreciation for the amount of work art can require. I learned a lot from the team and admired their journeys as artists. My biggest takeaways were to keep going and never give up. The experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Every time I go to the airport, I’ll see the sculptures and I can say that I helped create them and know who made them! It’s crazy to think that thousands of people will see them.

What is your dream job in art?
Mason | My dream job is to work as a lead exterior designer at a high-end or exotic brand such as Mclaren or Ferrari, but I would be happy working as an exterior designer at any major brand. The opportunity of doing what I love as a career is alluring in itself.

Lydia: My dream job is to be an animator or artist at Pixar or similar studios. I would enjoy working on designing characters, landscapes or animating cut scenes. I know I can get there if I work hard, and I look forward to the challenge.

If you could pass along one message to an aspiring artist what would it be?
Mason: Something I learned that I think is important is to know the rules before you break them. When I was learning to really draw, I thought I could just do whatever I wanted, but nothing ever turned out the way I expected. It wasn’t until I learned the basics that my art started to really be what I intended.

Lydia: Compare art, but never compare and judge art with your own work – it's far too easy to become discouraged. It’s challenging to compare in the aspect of learning new things and seeing how other artists went about using a certain technique and style. It’s simple to see somebody’s else’s work, compare it with yours and suddenly think it’s not good or that you’re not good at art. Which in fact, is just wrong. It takes time to develop and learn new skills and become better. Art is something that you do not master overnight.

A few pieces by Mason R.:

A few pieces by Lydia C.:

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