Vanessa Stewart: Artistic Prodigy


Photo By: Natalie Wilson

Vanessa Stewart cracks open her notebook on her typical outside lunch table, showing me her favorite drawing. Taking only her about half an hour to do, she proudly displays her breath taking ‘mystery man’.

Rather than spending her time juggling honors classes, taming typical teenage-girl problems, and mastering her grip on a busy social life, Vanessa Stewart would give her eyeteeth to be tucked away in her creative world, leaving no stone unturned in the endless possibilities hidden in the depths of her sketch book. After all, a vacant page with no constraints is much easier to face than quadratic polynomials or a texting prattle that may just end in social suicide.

Vanessa is partial to thinking outside of the ‘expectation-box’ when it comes to art. Instead of drawing far-fetched euphoria, her art has consistently displayed a slightly Cimmerian point of view, as well as her personal appearance. With her raven-black, layered hair and arms stacked high with wristbands of her favorite rock bands, she just gives off that ‘rocker’ vibe.

She strives to expose the reality of her life, the pieces and fragments of honest truth society has hog-tied to her thoughts. With her drawings, an entire story is told of the wicked emotional-rollercoaster girls her age are enslaved to. Everyone can relate to those enlightening ‘flirtationships’, the skirmish of heartbreak and the infatuation to fit in with the popular crowd, but Vanessa is just more zealous than others to open her heart through her dexterity of paper and pencil.

I stumbled across ‘V’ one day during lunch as she sat outside with her posse of friends, paying more attention to her seemingly spiritually guided pencil than the inconsistent splatter of conversation. Intrigued to learn what makes her so passionate with her hobby, I popped a squat and cracked open my journal:

NW: So gorgeous Vanessa, has there ever been an outstanding inspiration in your life that makes you want to draw like you do?

VANESSA STEWART: Well, I have been sketching and doodling ever since I could hold a pencil in my hand. Over the years,  my skill has progressed, and I cannot stop. Drawing is a part of my everyday life. (opens her math binder to reveal prodigious sketches hidden behind the black hole of Accelerated Analectic Geography B)  See? I guess you could say that I inspire myself. Oh, and I also always listen to music when I draw, so that comes through as well.

What kind of music do you prefer when you’re creating your masterpieces?

I wouldn’t call them masterpieces! (giggles like a hyena, making her brown eyes sparkle behind her trendy glasses) But I mainly listen to the rock music from Memphis May Fire  and Bring Me the Horizon. Have you ever heard of metal-core ’? It is kind of like a mix of rock and punk genres… I also really like that. Just the lyrics and free beat are so relatable. It is like my story in song, you know?

Yeah I gotcha! So did you ever take any drawing classes? Any outside help?

Not really… I guess it has just been kind of natural. I used to be all about anime drawing, just plastering it out everywhere there was room. Then I decided to broaden my talents and venture to YouTube, which is where I learned how to start realistic drawings. It was not that difficult… All I really had to do was take the cartoony features out and I was on a roll.

What would you describe your new style as? Give me three words.

It is definitely more realistic now, capturing that fine line between my imagination and reality. I would derive the word semi-realistic.  Is that a word? Okay. I would also say a little gothic, but nothing too intense. And my last word will be gray-scale. That basically means just drawing in pencil and black chalk. I am not really into all of those colors… I feel like they take the spectators attention away from the realism and meaning.

True that. So V, have you got a favorite animal?

Umm… I would say alpacas. Why?

Why not llamas? Aren’t they pretty much the same thing?

Well llamas spit. They are like little devil spawns. What has this got to do with art though? You are not going to include this are you?

I might… Well thanks V! I appreciate your time.