For Julia Patrick, a wild imagination is a beautiful thing.
"My imagination is what inspires me most throughout my art," said the Aledo High School senior.
"I find myself most often stuck in a rut when I am not daydreaming and just... imagining. When I dream and lose myself in my daydreaming are when I come up with my best ideas."
She dreams a lot, and they are filled with beauty.
She recently had some of her art chosen to go on display at the Texas Educators Association building in Austin after it was shown at the Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards Fall Conference Exhibit. It is the first time a student from Aledo has been so honored.
Patrick said she first became interested in art out of boredom.
"I first became interested in art when I was in classes at school with nothing to do," she said. "Since I can remember I have always doodled and sketched when I was bored and that habit just bloomed into something that I took on as a hobby and began to love doing.
"I have been drawing since I can remember, but I do recall not taking art seriously until I was in about eighth grade. My parents enrolled me in some private art lessons and I fell in love with the media."
Patrick moved to Aledo in time for her senior year. She had been living in Virginia for four years.
"This past summer I was accepted into an art program called the Virginia Governors School for the Visual and performing arts where I studied art for six weeks, taking class at Radford University with their art professors," she said.
"It has gotten me very excited about art college and my future in art."
Patrick does not come by her talent via a family history. She is a natural.
"My father used to doodle and airbrush t-shirts, but that’s about it," she said, chuckling.
Her favorite art form is watercolor painting, but she likes having some diversity in her talents.
"I think that I am strongest with watercolors and drawing, but sometimes I like to indulge in pen drawings as well....something about pen and drawing patterns and designs with pen on watercolor just draws me into the painting," she said.
"I’ve been told that it takes a lot of discipline and patience to do what I do, but to me it’s all just fun."
One might think it takes a lot of preparation for her to do what she does – and for some, that might be true. However, she sometimes takes a lighter approach.
"I know that it is a bad habit in the eyes of most teachers, but I do very little planning. Most of my work are ideas I put straight onto paper and simply rolled with," Patrick said.
"My competition pieces, though, are very thought-out. For example, it took me about an hour of moving drawings on tracing paper around a sheet of watercolor paper to find the composition I was happy with."
Most of her work has been designing T-shirts and bumper stickers, along with entering a few competitions – in which she’s obviously had success. She is, however, thinking of expanding her competitive resume’.
"I have high hopes for entering the scholastic competition as well as the Fort Worth Stock Show art competition this year," she said.
And what does she consider her best work of art?
"I think my best piece so far is one of my most recent pieces. It was originally a typography assignment but I decided I was more inspired by the embodiment of the word," she said.
"The word I tried to embody was Goddess. I took everything I envisioned to be otherworldly and ethereal and put it into a painting of a woman haloed with a wreath made up of different pieces of colored paper."
And while she does have a special talent, just like an athlete or performer, there are things she does to "stay in shape."
"There are definitely things to do to stay sharp, such as gesture drawings, one-line drawings, color studies, etc.," she said.
"One of my personal favorites is drawing from life without ever looking at the paper. You find something you want to draw, put your pen on the paper, and draw without looking at the lines. Most of the time I end up with warped figures, but the more I do it the better I understand how to take something 4-D and make it 2-D."
Patrick plans to pursue art as a major in college. Her top schools are the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art.
"Either one would be a dream, and I am applying very soon with the hopes of getting a good scholarship to help pay for crazy art school tuition," she said.
"I do want to make my living as an artist. I can’t imagine any other career I would be happy waking up to each and every day."