Designing her Future


Senior Grace Daniel uses many mediums to express herself through her art, including oil pastels. Daniel has been involved in the school’s art program since her freshman year. Photo by Elizabeth Tran

“It means making your mistakes look beautiful,” senior Grace Daniel said. To Daniel, art is not about perfection, but about taking risks and making beauty out of errors.

This sort of bump in the road comes to her often, as with most artists. When she was drawing a portrait, she could not get the eye to look the way she had hoped, so she ended up making it into a hat, completely changing the portrait. In the end, the final product was a video game cover. The way she altered the painting by adding shading and light brought a depth to the piece that was even more than Daniel expected. She now considers it her favorite piece.

Art runs in the family

    Daniel discovered her passion early in life.

“I was out in the front yard drawing and my mom was like, ‘Normal kids are out playing, and I didn’t think you even knew what an easel was,’” Daniel said.     Even though her newfound love at the time was uncommon for her age, she hasn’t let anyone stand in her way of making her dream a reality.

Daniel said that her family has always been her biggest support system. For birthdays, she is always given new design software or painting supplies. Whenever she finishes a new piece of art, her family members are always the first to say they love the piece and share it on Facebook with friends and other family members.

A large amount of her interest and talent in art comes from her older sister. “I was always angry because [my sister] was always better than I was,” Daniel said. She said she has always been competitive with her siblings because they are so much older than she, making her want to be at their level of talent. She is unique in her family, however, because she is the only one who is interested in pursuing art as a career.

Full-time artist

Her time at North has given her a background with a variety of mediums. Having explored all types of art through the various classes she’s taken, she is focusing on web design. After thriving in her graphic design classes, Daniel knew that was the right place for her. Her talent has earned her distinction, especially from her teachers.

Daniel’s Graphic Design teacher, Sharon Fate, sees a potential in her that is uncommon for an adolescent and admires her work ethic. “I know she’s passionate. She was working every minute and it was almost hard for her to leave class,” Fate said. Fate believes that Daniel will flourish throughout her art career, and is already very successful. “She’s gone farther than any kid I’ve had in Graphic Design,” Fate said.

Looking to the future

Although the field is difficult and competitive to enter, Daniel hopes to one day enter the world of video game design to design the covers of the games. “My favorite piece I’ve created is a cover for a fake video game I made on Photoshop” Daniel said. The piece was a cover for the game “Casting Shadows.” The cover included a detailed and extremely accurate portrayal of one of the game’s main characters.

Daniel’s pieces have an intricacy that even some professionals haven’t accomplished. Her inspiration comes from the little things she sees in her everyday life that most people overlook. Simple things like the way light hits objects are most interesting to Daniel, and she tries to accomplish drawing simple yet complex aspects of life.

“The way that other people ignore those little things make them interesting and beautiful to me,” Daniel said.

Although creativity seems to come easily to Daniel, it is sometimes difficult to make people see what she sees.

“It takes inspiration and imagination to make something not look mundane,” Daniel said. To accomplish this, she tries to challenge herself by mixing styles and taking simple projects, like painting a bowl of fruit, and making them unique by experimenting with the color scheme or bringing in new dimensions. “[Those aspects] make you look twice at the painting,” Daniel said.

From her art, Daniel says she wants her audience to connect with her pieces in a personal way.  “I want people to think of their own story from what I draw,” Daniel said.

– Erica Richardson (Entertainment Editor)