Junior Sophia Gard is October’s Artist of the Month


Sophia Gard

This acrylic painting is a self-portrait by October Artist of the Month, junior Sophia Gard

As a preschooler, junior Sophia Gard experienced her first memory of art.

“My mom used to go to Costco and buy those thin-line notebooks, and I would just fill those up,” said Gard.

In elementary and middle school, Gard tried to find inspiration in art, however her art class was less than encouraging.

Said Gard, “It would just be like gluing paper to paper—that kind of thing. I wasn’t that excited by it, but we got a better art teacher, and [otherwise] I’ve kind of taught myself using the internet and reading books.”

Gard entered Jesuit High School in 2018, and finally felt motivated to focus on her artistic talents in Danielle Chi’s Art I class. There, she honed her portraiture skills, and rekindled her love for the pencil sketches she would create in the lined notebooks she had as a little kid.

When asked what her favorite medium was, Gard said, “I love using pencil. Graphite is nice, and I love using colored pencils, too, but they’re a lot harder. When I want to go for something quick, I go straight to my mechanical pencil.”

As an artist, Gard mentioned that she won a Silver Key her freshman year in the Scholastic Art Contest, and illustrated this year’s planner cover. But Gard says her greatest art achievement is not a piece of artwork at all. 

“My mindset has gotten a lot more positive recently, and I’m really proud of that. I still compare myself, but when I do, I’ll tell myself, “I’m doing so good right now,” and, “I think I can push myself,” rather than, “I suck.”” said Gard.

Art I and II teacher Danielle Chi said of Gard, “She came into Art I with a good deal of skills and experience, and has continued to seek feedback, experiment, and grow as an artist. When challenges come up in life and in an art piece, Sophia does not give up.”

Juniors Cayte Worthington and Theron Abel, both members of the Art III class this year, describe Gard as innovative and undaunted, but sweet.

“I remember in freshman year when we were decorating our portfolios, I drew a couple things relating to Vine references and a few TV shows we liked, and she got so excited that it made me want to draw even more.” said Worthington. “She’s always happy to give me tips and insights when I’m having trouble finding what I need to add or how to start my drawings.” 

Both Worthington and Abel are also aware of how friendly and welcoming Gard is towards her peers.

“She’s very humble, and I really respect that. I think as a person her greatest strength is just being there for her friends,” said Worthington. “She’s always willing to be a friend, and is always making sure that you’re alright.” 

Abel also says that Gard is everybody’s friend, conversing with students in art class and making them feel comfortable.

Said Abel, “Sophia inspires me to trust the process and always be open-minded. Things might not always be going the way you want them to, but she is always there to help you keep going.”