Drawing her future

After being accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design during her junior year, senior Gabby Gillespie started taking college art classes.

Olivia Dowell, Writer

After receiving an early acceptance into the Savannah College of Art and Design, senior Gabby Gillespie is beginning her college experience.

“I first heard about this school when I was researching colleges that have good animation programs,” Gillespie said. “I visited it my sophomore year. I just really wanted to go somewhere else besides Kansas for college.”

To get accepted into SCAD, Gillespie said she had to apply like any other college, but SCAD required additional material since it is an art school.

Gillespie participated in Rising Star, a multi-week program that happened the summer of 2017 at SCAD’s main campus. Gillespie said participating in Rising Star gave her an advantage when applying to SCAD.

The classes at Rising Star were five credit hours each. Gillepsie finished both summer classes with a B average, allowing her to move online for the SCAD classes that she is currently taking.

To manage her online college classes, Gillespie said she chose an easier high school schedule, and is working to be proactive on homework while also focusing on her art.

Chris LaValley, an art teacher at BVNW, said even though SCAD is an advanced school, it is a great place to go for pursuing an art career.

I think Gabby will do very well because she is self-motivated and dedicated to what she does.”

— Chris LaValley

“We have actually had a lot of alumni go to SCAD,” LaValley said. “It’s a really prestigious school, and students do well after school there. The employment rate after graduation is very high and there’s a lot of companies out there that will look at SCAD for future employees.”

LaValley said to be an art student, one must focus on their art and work hard on succeeding.

“I think Gabby will do very well because she is self-motivated and dedicated to what she does,” LaValley said.

Senior Michelle Chung, who is an artist herself, said Gillespie’s artwork is unique because of her ability to use simple materials to create advanced art.

“She can use Crayola colored pencils to get some really good, bright colors,” Chung said. “Her style is cartoony but she can also create some realistic animals.”

Gillespie said her art is unique because of the contrast of her interests outside of art.

“My art is very fun, I like characters, I like things that are cute,” Gillespie said. “But then at the same time, I like things that are gross.”

For her most recent Portfolio project, Gillespie played off of the idea of a “rat king,” a group of dead rats caught in a trap.

Gillespie said the mediums, the materials used to create art, provide a unique effect that leads to a great finish at the end of her project.

“My favorite medium is probably ink and I love drawing in pen and using markers,” Gillespie said. “I also really love colored pencils and I use a lot of mixed mediums and mix a lot of those two together.”

When it comes to stylistic options, Chung said she experiments with coloring to invoke aspects of Gillespie’s style.

Gillespie said she has many aspects of art she would like to consider for a major when attending SCAD next fall.

“I want to major in animation,” Gillespie said. “But I also maybe want to have a minor in Visual Effects or Video Game Design or something along the more technical route along with art. I was also thinking about maybe doing visual reality or augmented reality as another thing I could specialize in.”

For her current art and continuing art career at SCAD, Gillespie said she has many points of inspiration for her art.

“The things that inspire me probably are the shows and the movies that I watch because those are art and they’re very collaborative,” Gillespie said. “I like the whole thought of people creating worlds and characters, especially in animation where you have to create every single thing.”

Through Portfolio, Gillespie’s current art class, she is able to expand upon her already existing body of work. LaValley, who teaches Portfolio third hour, said Gillespie is always eager to work on her art.

“She’s just very enthusiastic,” LaValley said. “She just always seems happy and just really wants to jump in and is just always really excited about doing her projects and what she can do with them.”

LaValley’s main advice for Gillespie’s future in art is to remember her personal aesthetic and inspiration.

“There will be a lot of challenges that can get a little frustrating, it can seem overwhelming,” LaValley said. “But stay true to yourself in artwork and where you think that should go.”