An Artist of Many Names

Christine Skoczylas is a senior at Montrose Area Jr/Sr High School. She’s been taking art classes as an elective in high school since ninth grade but has had them since kindergarten. In 2014 she began making art outside of school.

“I love to work with just a sketchbook and pencil, but I do put colored pencils in there too,” said Skoczylas. A pencil sketch of a pelican she drew and shaded is her favorite piece she has done so far.

Jennifer Flaherty, an art teacher in MHS, said she has two favorites of Skoczylas’ art. “The first she completed last year in her Art 3 class. It was a landscape drawing done in colored pencil. The requirements of the assignment asked the students to create a drawing that worked from the theme of reflection. Christine's landscape drawing showed a lakeside setting with summer-like characteristics and colors, but the reflection in the lake features a winter scene of the same setting. The second is a drawing she just recently finished. It is a drawing of a cat. Both are done in different art styles and show Christine's versatility in her drawing skills.”

Skoczylas plans to use art in her future and hopes to get into the Academy of Art University. When asked what originally got her into art Skoczylas replied, “I’m not really sure what got me into art. I do know it was along the lines of me being extremely bored during a study hall.” Her favorite artist is “the creator of the webcomic SnaiLords” because she likes their art style. Skoczylas has a few different names she uses when signing her art. Sometimes she will use her first and last name, her first name, her initials, Kitty, or Kitty-Chan depending on how she feels it should be signed when she finishes.

When asked what Skoczylas’ art style is Flaherty responded, “That’s hard to say because I see her trying new things and ways of drawing this year. Previously her work took on more a pop art, stylized feel, but this year she’s been working with realism. I think her style is growing and evolving every day.”

Outside of art, Skoczylas is an anime fan with her favorite being any action-packed anime like Attack on Titan and Sword Art Online. Her dog Bandit is the only thing she would save if her house caught fire. Skoczylas volunteers at True Friends animal shelter in Montrose as part of her senior project. She loves to drink extra sweet tea to get her brain juices flowing. She has been described as “quiet, self-motivated, and talented” by Flaherty.

Skoczylas’ advice to younger artists is this: “If you really want to be an artist or just do art in general keep practicing. You will get better with practice. I suggest trying different types of mediums like painting, sketching, and oil pastels. Make sure you keep everything you made because you can look back at it in the future to see how well you improved.”

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