The Merionite: In what ways are you involved in the arts here at school?
Izzy Coopersmith: I have taken at least one art class every year of high school: ninth grade Art, Art 1 and 2 and now AP, and I’ve also taken Metal Arts. I was pretty involved in the art and fashion club InsideOut but not so much this year with COVID. I try to spend most of my frees painting too or doing other art things.
TM: When was the first time you can remember being interested in art?
IC: I think I’ve always been pretty crafty and I went to Main Line Art Center camp I think in middle school for a summer, but I didn’t start getting really comfortable in my art until the end of freshman year. I think seeing my own progress only made me more interested in improving.
TM: How has that interest developed and changed over the years?
IC: I learned that it’s not about doing as much as possible. For example, at the end of the year when we had to display an art board in the hallway for the art show, I felt like I didn’t have enough so I drew something really fast and Mr. Hazel was like, “that looks bad.” I give him a lot of the credit because he was not going to waste anyone’s time lying and saying something was good when it wasn’t (He did say good things too, just about other stuff). This was my first time in a real art class setting and I learned about being critiqued which is really important in the art world. The first thing you put down on paper is not going to be a Monet but it’s about learning the technique and how to interpret your own art and others so you can improve. And since art is so personal, the only person you can compare yourself to is yourself and the only way you can get better is by putting pencil to paper. So that motivated me to keep going and I wanted to look back at my freshman year and watch my hard work pay off.
TM: How did your time in clubs like InsideOut impact your work and feeling of art?
IC: I was most involved with photography as an underclassmen. I learned a lot from the upperclassmen who were running the club. For me, it was more of a place to collaborate and create ideas. I think it’s really important to be surrounded by other artists because it’s really helpful and interesting to see how others think. I grew as an artist but more so in attitude than ability I guess.
TM: What are your goals for art in college?
IC: I really want to improve on my own personal style, find more time to sketch, and create full pieces that have some more meaning to me.