Artist of the Month: Sarah Parks

Caroline Bernstein, Staff Writer for Spokesman

By turning everyday subjects, such as people and trees, into works of fantasy, senior Sarah Parks creates truly enchanting artwork that is both playful and captivating. “My favorite has always been fantasy art … I’m a fan of manga and anime,” explained the May Artist of the month. “I prefer art that is based in reality and then augmented to be just a little different from reality.” It is this unique spin that sets her apart and makes it distinct.

“[My first memorable piece of art,] the one that my family always jokes about, is when, I think I was three or four, I made a drawing of Bilbo Baggins because my dad is really into Lord of the Rings,” recalled Parks. “He’s the main person I get my love of fantasy from.” Ever since she was young, Parks has been interested in creating and designing works of art, beginning with her childhood sketches and watercolors. “I started taking classes in high school last year, but I have been drawing … well, since I was a little kid. It’s always been one of my favorite activities!” she gushed. It is clear from the look in her eyes when she talks about her art that she is truly passionate about the pieces she creates. “If you are feeling inspired, it is much more likely that [your art] will work.”

When asked about her influences, she responded without hesitation, “[Fine Arts teacher] Mr. Hirniak, has helped me so much in my art – even just over these past two years. I would not be where I am without him. He’s a great teacher because he’s always very encouraging no matter where you are in skill level, and he is also not afraid to be honest with you.” She appreciates how he does not sugarcoat his comments and instead tells you what he truly thinks. Her favorite medium that she has explored this year in Fine Art has been pen sketching. “I really like it because there is a lot less pressure to make it a perfect picture because when I use pencil I know I’m able to erase whenever I need it and I get a bit picky with it,” she said.

Because of her strong love of the subject, Parks’ senior project will incorporate art. “I’m working with [Garden Coordinator] Pam Flory to create a book celebrating the PDS garden that sort of combines my interest of the outdoors and my interest in art. I’ll be doing illustrations, cover art, and poetry for it,” she explained. A project that she can do at school enables her to attend her multiple AP classes. As for her college plans, Parks remarked that although she is not going to a solely art school or planning on majoring in art, she still wants it to be a large focus in her college curriculum. “I want art to be a major part of what I study,” she said


Favorite Movie: The Secret Life of Kells Favorite Class: Poetry

Favorite Artists: Meredith Dillman, David Christiana, Tomm Moore

Favorite Place to Eat in Princeton: Naked Pizza