Young Artist Shares Tips on Creating a Winning Piece

Lexie’s parents brought up the idea of online education when she was headed into her first year of high school. As a family, they knew that traditional high school would not be the right fit for her, as she needed more independence in her education. Minnesota Virtual Academy not only gave Lexie the independence she sought but also allowed her to flourish in extracurricular activities like playing the piano and guitar and creating beautiful artwork.

Lexie says that “one of the best things that online school has given me is time. I used to have very little time to make art, but with online school, my technical art skills have grown exponentially. Now, I have the capability to practice my skills and develop a genuine love for art.”lexie

Practice paid off when Lexie entered K12‘s Tenth Annual Art Contest in 2015. She won in the category that covered the 2000s decade with her art titled “Phone Fallout.”

“As soon as I heard the theme ‘Decades,’ ideas for artwork started hitting me from every direction. I’m really fascinated by history, so the theme was exciting! I started researching different time periods and what would best represent them. My idea was to show a smartphone sucking some of a human’s best qualities right out of his brain.”

But, digitally-produced art is not the only form of art that Lexie enjoys creating. Surprisingly, her favorite kind of art to make has always been traditional pencil. She says “it’s the most natural and comfortable,” and she also thinks painting is “fun and therapeutic.” Her favorite piece of art that she’s created—so far—is a pencil portrait of her grandparents. She drew it with the intention of giving it to them as a gift, so she put every ounce of effort that she had into it. It’s special to her because she says it is “a real representation and reminder of the things that I’m able to do when I [try] my absolute hardest.”

By making art, Lexie has developed an eye for detail. Drawing realistic pencil portraits has opened up her eyes to details that she might have otherwise never noticed. Drawing has even helped her to learn in a way that speaks to her learning style. And creating lifelike images has taught her a lot about human anatomy that has helped her in other classes.

This year, the K12 Art Contest is asking students to share a creation using the theme “WHEN I GROW UP …” Lexie says she knows that when she grows up she wants to be an artist. “I don’t know what kind of an artist I’m going to be yet, but I sincerely hope I can find a career path that also acts as an outlet for creativity. I hope I can incorporate my artistic ideas into whatever profession I end up with,” she says. We’re looking forward to seeing what original piece she showcases next.

She advises students who want to become artists to: “Start now! What are you waiting for? The Internet is loaded with free resources like reference photos, tutorials, and artist communities. You don’t need expensive art supplies or formal training in order to make art.” She advises students who are interested in entering the 11th Annual Art Contest to “demonstrate your own artistic style, but make sure you follow the contest guidelines and pay attention to the judges’ suggestions, if available.”

Have more questions for this teen artist? Send them to Has Lexie inspired you to enter an art contest? Well, you’re in luck! You can show off your artistic vision now through October 31 by visiting and showcasing what you think of when you hear the theme “WHEN I GROW UP …”  Read the complete details and contest rules and enter today!




Related Articles

Join our community

Sign up to participate in America’s premier community focused on helping students
reach their full potential.