Featuring: Creative Minds at Jenks

torch art and writing

BY Charlotte Suttee


The Artists

“I like me some ink. I like the way it drip.”


That’s the voice of senior Jesse Holt describing his favorite artistic medium: ink. Jesse’s dark, dream-inspired “drip” drawings are so twistedly realistic they seem to breathe.

The inspiration for Holt’s nightmarish drawings mainly comes from his dreams.

“[Ink] is it’s own being. It’s alive… I’m not telling it exactly what to do. If [the ink] wants to go over there a little bit, that’s okay. It’s like a compromise.”


Sometimes the process of making art can be more momentous than the finished piece itself. The ink Holt draws with represents his philosophy about how little control people have over their lives. Holt learned one of his most important life lessons while drawing.


“I realized some decision making is being taken away from me,” says Holt, “and [drawing with ink] teaches you to commit to things.”


Holt’s not one to commit to any future plans, but he acquired an interest in tattooing when a fan took a huge interest in his art.


“Someone online saw one of my pieces and said ‘yo, can I get a tattoo of that?’ Like a week later he sends me a picture– he got a tattoo of it. I was like ‘dude, epic!’ He done did that. It’s going to be on his arm for the rest of his dang life! It’s like the biggest compliment, honestly.”


Jesse’s drawing in tattoo form.


Holt’s friend and AP Art classmate, senior Lyric Sellman, has a different approach to her drawings and has not had requests for tattoos.


“I really like [to use] anything just working with my hands.”


Sellman works on a colorful portrait.

She usually works with pencils or pens, but Sellman’s personal goal to work with as many different mediums and styles as possible to give herself as much opportunity as possible.


“My main goal has been to get money with art,” says Sellman. “Whenever I first got my first job, I remember one of my friends said ‘I’m going to quit. I want to do something that I enjoy.’ I’ve never considered a minimum wage job to be something that I could enjoy.”


An accurate depiction of Jesse Holt and Lyric Sellman doing art stuff.


Whether practicing art on the side or making a career out of it, Sellman and Holt know that they want drawing to be a part of their future. 


The Writers

There is an equally diverse group of writers as there are artists at Jenks High School. Even though there are no classes specifically for her craft, junior Eliza Fitzhugh writes poetry.


“So way back in the old days of middle school,” begins Fitzhugh, “I mainly wrote poetry like a lot of people do: for cathartic reasons… I used to write the dark thoughts I had on paper and leave it alone and never get back to it.”


Even though she doesn’t consider these early writings good poetry, she chooses not to revisit them and just keeps writing on. She becomes more confident with every poem she creates.


“I really like what [AP English Language teacher] Mr. Williams said about how a lot of people give up in the beginning because they know they aren’t writing great things, but if you stick with it for a long time it will evolve.”


Fitzhugh has written at least 200 poems since last December. She wants to get something published or win a contest, but she does not want to pursue a career in creative writing.


“I want to be a mother in the future, and I think that could be a good opportunity to keep [poetry]  as a hobby and teach my children through it, too.”


Eliza laughs at Power of Story teacher, Mr.Williams, as he interrupts her poetry reading for some quality comedy routine.


Unlike poetry, screenwriting has a class of its own. Although senior Jon McNamara writes poetry like Fitzhugh, working on screenplays (scripts for movies) is a whole different story.


“The [writing] I go back to revisit are very select poems or songs,” says McNamara, “whereas when I have a story and plot and characters [in screenwriting], I constantly go back and work on that.”


McNamara invests a lot of time in his scripts and sees his career steering down the screenwriting path. Fitzhugh he wants to write poetry on the side because poetry is more than fluff and feelings.


“A lot of poetry can be super introspective,” says Eliza, “and it can help people realize something about life or themselves they didn’t know before.”


Besides future plans, all artists and writers have a unique attitude about sharing their work. Some students are more excited about the idea than others, like Sellman.


“I’ve always been really excited [to share] even if it’s really bad because I’m like ‘look at it!’” says Sellman.


Others are more hesitant, but are working to overcome their fear of sharing their work, like McNamara.


“When I’m writing something I got this air of confidence like ‘oh, wow, this is really great’,” says Mcnamara, “then I’m reading it, and I’m like I should so this to– no, that’s not such a great idea. [The confidence] goes away when I think about sharing it with other people. And that is one thing I will have to overcome but its not as hard as it used to be.”


Whether you want to challenge yourself or if you have an art or writing piece you want to share, email it to jhstrojantorch@gmail.com, and we will probably post it on the Torch Art and Writing page, a section of the site dedicated to showcasing the creative works of Jenks students.


jesse sequence
Jesse retreats into a portal to the 32nd dimension.

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