As many of you know, I get asked from time-to-time by painters and artists to use my photography as the inspiration for their work. I have written about this before. And though it gives me pause when a professional artist wants to mimic a scene I witnessed first-hand and then sell it as if they were there too, I never hesitate when a student contacts me and asks to use one of my photos as the basis for a class project.
That was the case recently when I was contacted by Rocio Flores, a student at Sioux Central High School in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. She emailed me and politely asked if she could use my photograph of a spiral staircase inside the Octagon House in Watertown, Wisconsin as the inspiration for her charcoal drawing. I'm not sure if she did that on her own or with the urging of her teacher, but whatever the case I was very please. She and/or her teacher obviously respect the work of other artists and Rocio didn't just copy something she saw online.
I told Rocio I had no problem at all with her using my photograph...so as long as she sent me a photo of the final product when she was done so I could blog about it. Rocio was not the first student to ask me to use my photos for a project, but it was the first time a student ever followed through on their promise to me. Today she sent me some photos and an update on how her project went. So for that reason alone Rocio is my new favorite young and emerging artist. :)
Above is the result of the Rocio's work. You can also check out my original black and white photo by clicking HERE. She tells me her teacher was very pleased with the results and told her it was so good she should enter it in a local art show, which she did and she was elated to tell me it was accepted. So kudos to Rocio all around.
In an economic climate where schools are cutting funding for arts and music classes it's good to know that at least in this one instance arts studies are still alive and well at Sioux Central High School and the Sioux Central Community School District. Rocio may never go on to become a professional artist--a very hard way to earn a living indeed--but she may become a graphic artist someday....or a doctor, or an engineer, etc. The point is that arts and music studies are every bit as important as those other subjects. Not because they necessarily teach a student a craft or a trade, but because they teach them so many other life lessons. And pride, too, I think.
Pride all around.