Katelyn Parrott ’21 rekindles passion for drawing

July 6, 2020

Sometimes a passion for a hobby can be rekindled in the most unexpected ways. Just ask Katelyn Parrott ’21 who, during the spring 2020 semester, rediscovered her enjoyment of pencil and paper drawing in a foreign language course. 


Emilia Hazelip drawing by Katelyn Parrott ’21.

For her final project in IB Spanish I, Parrott chose to create a digital banner portrait of Emilia Hazelip, a forgotten Spanish gardener pioneer who developed synergistic gardening. Hazelip studied in California in the 1970s, and later lived in Italy and France before passing away in 2003. Parrott’s finished work was posted on the online publishing platform Medium. 


Parrott said that she has been drawing with pencil and paper for as long as she could remember, but chose to pursue music at CA. Last fall, however, New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka visited campus as part of the Center for Writing’s Visiting Author series. His message spoke to Parrott. 


“It really touched me and invited me to introspect upon my own relationship with art and, during quarantine, I was really able to rediscover my love for drawing,” reflected Parrott. “…I think I’ve breathed life into an old (hobby); one that’s always been precious to me, but one that definitely needed some dusting off.” 


Parrott learned the pencil and paper medium by visiting tutorial websites and reading articles. She begins by sketching shapes, before following up with more detailed linework and coloring. Because she had never completed a digital portrait, Parrott’s challenge with Hazelip’s picture came from having to use the graphic arts application Procreate. 


“This was essentially my first time using it and doing digital art,” she said. “I didn’t have a crystal-clear idea of the end product going in, as I wanted to feel everything out and have some fun with it.” 


Now that she is back into pencil and paper drawing, Parrott is looking forward to dedicating a part of her summer to refining her artistic abilities by studying anatomy, the human form, environments, lighting, and landscapes. “I have all these cool ideas,” she said. “I just need to figure out how to make them come alive in really cool and powerful ways.”