23 March 2021

A pupil’s love of portraiture has caught the attention of an American actor. Klara, who is in her final year of studying a GCSE qualification in Art and Design, uploaded a detailed drawing of Cory Michael Smith, known for his roles in TV series Utopia and Gotham, to social media and the actor replied within half an hour, saying he loved her work. 

“Klara's love and enjoyment of portraiture is obvious,” said Ms Markham, Head of Art. “It is a subject matter with which she has excelled, particularly over the past year. Her work is beautifully detailed with a wonderful observation of light and shade, resulting in a series of drawings of exceptional quality.”

We thought we’d find out about how being creative helps Klara and the inspiration behind her work.  

When did your interest in art begin?

As far back as I can remember I’ve enjoyed making art. I found an old drawing from year 1 and although it’s not exactly something to behold, I think it shows that I’ve been creative from an early age. I’ve also grown up in a creative family which has definitely inspired me. I started taking art more seriously, especially pencil portraits, in high school after I found it was something I enjoyed, and now I’m drawing almost every day.

From where do you draw inspiration?

A number of places, but especially for portraits, I tend to find myself drawing people who have made some sort of impact on me. This is why, for my GCSE art project, I chose to base it on feminism and draw women who really inspire me, like Frida Kahlo or Carrie Fisher. Other times, (like my drawing of the man with the bleeding face), it can be completely random; a concept pops into my head and I have to jot down as much of it as I can remember before I forget it. In terms of what motivates me to draw so much, I think it’s the knowledge that each piece counts as practice, and is helping me improve my skill.

How does being creative help you?

Being creative helps in so many more ways than just making art. I’ve found that even in problem solving, being able to think outside the box is so important and, as someone who might be looking to become an engineer, creativity will really help me in that area. At the moment, drawing and creating art is something I find very therapeutic, and helps me, especially during exams, to handle the stress. During the second lockdown, I spent a lot of my time drawing, which really helped me to clear my head and keep me focused and productive.

Tell us a little bit about the recent portrait of an actor you drew and his response.

I did a portrait of one of my favourite celebrities, Cory Michael Smith, who is an American actor on a TV show I watch. I posted the drawing on social media, and when I checked my phone in about 20 minutes, he’d replied which was unbelievable. It was definitely very special to have one of my idols compliment me and I’m very grateful that he took the time to respond.

Do you plan to study art at college and beyond?

Of course! In college, I wanted to continue with at least one creative subject, which is why, along with Maths and Physics, I chose to study Graphic Design. I’m hoping it will inspire creative thinking, and it will be a fun change to study more digitally focused art. It’s too early yet to know if I’m going to take it further in my career, or do something else, but I know for a fact that it will always be a hobby of mine, and something I’m going to be passionate about for the rest of my life.