Aditi Shankar develops unique style without traditional art experiences


Contributed by Aditi Shankar

Aditi Shankar made one of her favorite pieces of art with Crayola markers that her teacher had in class one day.

A haphazard arrangement of materials glides over a blank, white paper, layering and filling in gaps to form a pink squiggle. Then a colorful flower. Then a woman’s multicolored face.

Senior Aditi Shankar has been creating art her entire life. She went to a preschool that motivated students to be creative and had parents who loved art. Although Shankar has been creating art for a long time, she has never been in a traditional art class. She distinguishes herself from other artists with her lack of traditional artistic experiences.

Shankar said she’s always found herself doodling and drawing the people around her.

“I’ll just see a random person in the school. I’ll try to draw them, and fail spectacularly. So I end up making a caricature of their most prominent features and make it into a cartoon,” Shankar said. “A lot of people’s insecurities are what make them look more artistic.”

Senior Raquel Olsen Velasco, a friend of Shankar, said that Shankar is a very talented artist and is extremely hard working.

“Aditi as a person is very unique, and I think that you can see that in her art,” Velasco said.

When Shankar starts drawing, she has no idea what she is going to make. She starts scribbling and then her works begin to remind her of something. She said that her art doesn’t happen structurally; it’s a process that doesn’t start with much.

Shankar said she used to feel a certain pressure to conform to the standardized types of art she’s seen in the media but then learned to grow into what she liked to draw.

“I’ve just learned to grow into myself and really just do whatever I want instead of paying attention to what’s good and what’s not,” Shankar said.

Senior Erica Weinrich, a friend of Shankar, said that she has never seen art quite like Aditi’s.

“It’s really unique. It almost looks like she is just doodling, but she does it in such a beautiful way,” Weinrich said. “She’s the kind of person that will always be drawing. She’s always doodling on something,” Weinrich said.

No matter what job she ends up pursuing, Shankar said she wants it to have an element of creativity and wants to be able to make art on the side.

“Maybe I wouldn’t pursue art as a career, but just any job I’m in, I would incorporate art into it,” Shankar said.

Shankar has never taken an art class elective. She said that part of the reason is that the classes have always been full, but mostly because she thinks art classes are too structured.

“A lot of artists get kind of killed in art classes because they’re taught such a specific, methodical way of drawing and painting, when art is just anything that you can think of,” Shankar said.

Shankar said that she doesn’t think art classes would benefit her because of the specific methods and techniques they require of students.

“I know that if I went to art school, I would immediately fail. I just don’t like drawing in a standardized way, it’s just fun. It gets your feelings out and it makes you feel better,” Shankar said. “I think anyone can be an artist. Honestly, all art looks good in a way, which sounds like a kind of foolish thing to say, but it really does.”