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Sawyer's success shines through artwork

SUN. | 10-16-22 | FEATURES

     The lingering smell of acrylic paint in the air. Eraser shavings resulting from many trials in a sketchbook. Splotches of color left behind on a table.

     Many people picture this scene when they think of an art classroom. However, not all art requires physical materials. Digital art is a growing platform for artists to express themselves beyond traditional art-making. Senior Peyton Sawyer is one talented artist who has expanded her skills through her digital artwork.

     Sawyer believes that art shapes her style and affects her daily life. She dedicates a significant


Photo by Maya Swaggerty

amount of time to creating unique characters on her computer.

     “I focus on figure, anatomy, I really like drawing… really big eyelashes and fun hairstyles,” Sawyer said. “I give them bright colors but I also like using the color black a lot, so that’s in every single one.”

     Recently, Sawyer had the opportunity to complete the five week summer program at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). She decided to focus on her digital art within the program.

     “I took sequential art and illustration,” Sawyer said. “Sequential art was more comic book style, and illustration is book covers and posters.”

     The program offered many new experiences for Sawyer. She was able to enhance her art through tips from helpful professors and peers within the program.

     “The courses are really interactive and all the professors are there for you,” Sawyer said. “They’ll give you critique if you ask for it, they know what they’re looking for.”

     During her stay over the five weeks, she was able to get a feel of how it would be to attend SCAD as an art student.

     “It really prepared me for college courses and the level of rigor that it was going to take and all the effort that I needed to put in to be where I needed to be,” Sawyer said. “It was the best part of my summer.”

     After the program ended, Sawyer found out that she was offered a SCAD scholarship for half off tuition. SCAD was her top college choice, so receiving this incredible news meant a lot to her.

     “I was really excited because that meant saving a lot of money for my parents,” Sawyer said.

     Sawyer has come a long way since her kindergarten days, when her love for art first developed. Her skills have certainly flourished not only through practice, but also through the support from family, friends and teachers. 

     “My friends have really been a huge encouragement,” Sawyer said. “My parents are a huge influence on my life and have given me the opportunities to pursue this as a career.”

     Art teacher Randall Leach has been one of the most influential people to Sawyer. Last year, Sawyer took AP 2D Studio Art and Design with Leach. He has seen Sawyer’s personal growth firsthand.

     “Her digital work literally started less than a year ago,” Leach said. “Just everything that she’s done, she’s worked hard to do it.”

     Sawyer’s drive and hard work has led her to be able to study at a college that is known for its students to be employed with big companies. This aspect of SCAD will help make Sawyer’s dreams a reality.

     “I want to work as a character designer for Disney,” Sawyer said. “Disney is the dream, but even if it’s something like a video game developer, then that’s still cool too.” 

     Sawyer already has a plan for how she will work her way up to designing for corporations. She intends to start by doing commission work and freelancing for businesses, then build on her experience to achieve greater goals.

     “My dad has a cousin that is an attorney for Fortnite, and they said they could get me an interview there and an internship,” Sawyer said. “So, I could start there, making characters for them, and eventually that would get my name out there.”

     With all of the successes Sawyer has already attained, she is motivated given that she will have the opportunity to pursue her artistic endeavors in the future.

     “I’m looking forward to just getting my degree and hopefully getting as many internships as I can, interviews and getting into as many galleries to put my work out there,” Sawyer said.

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