Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Newell

Paper scraps scatter the whole room as the hypnotic tap-tappity-click of a typewriter hums. After a long day of school, dance practice and homework, senior Elizabeth Newell finds solace in arts and crafts.

In fact, throughout her entire childhood she had found peace through art.

“[My mom is] a graphic designer, so I guess that has a lot of influence on me and that’s what I want to go into. It’s a lot more about layout and stuff, but she has a strong background in drawing and painting and calligraphy,” Newell said.

But Newell never really pursued art until her junior year, when her friend, senior Ellie Ecker, leader of the Art club, invited her to attend.


“I went to support her and I did this one piece. I made this face and instead of using pens or pencils, I drew it all with makeup and then this year I finally started taking art classes. I did a lot of sketchbook stuff last year in art club,” Newell said.

Some of the sketchbook ideas Newell gets are from old magazines she gets from garage sales.

“I’ll find images that are visually interesting and I like collaging them either with poetry or other visuals, to just make something that it wasn’t intended to be,” Newell said.

Newell also gets ideas from Chilean artist Federico Hurtado.

“He does the cut-out stuff, and they’re very witty and whimsical and he does it on the back of old book covers that he rips off. I did that once, just cause I liked what he did,” Newell said.

However, Newell strongly believes there is a difference between plagiarism and inspiration.

“Do what you want to do, kind of develop your own style and also look at other people’s art. You can get a lot of ideas from that. It’s not stealing if it’s your own. It’s natural. It’s figuring out what other people said and figuring out how you wanna say it in your own way of communication,” Newell said.

Newell expresses herself through a variety of creative classes.

“Right now I’m taking Digital Design, Drawing II, Photography and Art History. My other three classes fit into language classes, so it’s nice. I did [Creative Writing] last semester, and then I have English IV, +Spanish V and Yearbook. It’s very tailored and it’s very nice,” Newell said.

With all of these art classes, Newell wants to study art in college.

“I’m planning on going to KU, because they have one of the best state design schools in the nation,” Newell said. “I’m excited about that, but yeah I have to submit my portfolio at the end of the month, along with essays and stuff, and we’ll see!”