Student Arts Spotlight: Ruby Howard


Courtesy of Ruby Howard

For junior Ruby Howard, creating art, like this self portrait, has always been one of her passions.

By Emily Zhang, Features Editor

Featured in the congressional art show and WCHS’s literary magazine, junior Ruby Howard’s art is her creative outlet. Howard has been making art her whole life. From creating  watercolor paintings in preschool to now, she has always been a pseudo-artist and now hopes to become a professional one. 

Art is extremely meaningful to Howard. Her parents first motivated her to create art, but she has expanded her talent into many aspects such as music, dance and drawing. 

“My father is extremely creative and my parents always supported my creativity and my hobbies, and art has just always been a passion of mine,” Howard said. “To me, art is such a broad term that encompasses most aspects of my life. Most everything I do is to create art, whether it’s through music, dance, or drawing.” 

At WCHS, she has taken both advanced art and AP Art. Howard especially enjoys AP Art because it allows her to have complete artistic freedom to create what she wants. WCHS art teacher Dana Mooney commented on her art style and improvement from this year.

This year as an AP Drawing Portfolio student, Ruby has had to push herself to focus on one investigation. And her last piece, which is a print with feminine hands reaching up in front of a gold sphere, is a powerful piece,” Mooney said. “[It] is the type of piece that stays in your mind and truly expresses the content of her investigation.”

Howard’s favorite mediums to work with are those that let her to go back and make changes: pencil and charcoal allow her to erase, and digital art allows her to use the undo feature. 

“I am proud of Ruby and how she has explored so many mediums over the last two year, never straying from challenge,” Mooney said. “Her mind pulls ideas from all over the place to make original and thoughtful pieces. I’m always impressed by how Ruby’s personal drawing style works in so many mediums, from digital and paint, to softer mediums like charcoal and pastel.” 

For Howard, the finished product is definitely what she enjoys most about doing art. She definitely sees herself pursuing art in the future. 

“Looking at something you’ve made and created with your own hands and finished to completion is a serotonin boost that is almost unmatchable,” Howard said. 

Howard’s favorite piece is her drawing of rapper Tyler the Creator, as well as a linoleum print she created at WCHS. 

“[My favorite is a] drawing I did of Tyler the Creator because he is one of my favorite artists and I like the way the colors look,” Howard said. “At school, I like the linoleum print I made of hands dipped in red in front of a gold leaf circle. It’s very simple but I think it looks elegant and sends a message.”

Mooney stated that through the two years she has worked with Howard, she has most enjoyed talking to Howard about the rich literary and social commentary in her work. Howard’s art style is more on the more realistic side.

“The pieces that stand out the most of Ruby’s are her portraiture work where she truly captures the mood and personality of her subject and her expressive prints,” Mooney said. 

Howard’s major art inspirations are graffiti artist Jean Michel Basquiat and pop art artist Keith Haring. 

“They use art as a means of social commentary and create change through their art. Both of their styles are iconic and unforgettable,” Howard says. 

For those who want to start doing art, Howard advises to just start creating, as it is the best way to start. She also emphasizes that it is important to not compare your own art to others, even though this is hard to do. 

“Wiggle your pencil. It doesn’t matter what you create, what it looks like, how ‘good’ you think it is. Put your pencil to paper and start wiggling. Before you know it, one or hundreds of wiggles later, you’ve created art, and that alone is something to be proud of,” Howard said.

Art has definitely majorly contributed to Howard’s life. It has impacted her life in many positive ways. 

“It made me who I am today. It has gotten me through many of my challenges in life. My sketchbook has always been there for me,” Howard said.