Photos provided by Amber Esquivel and Jake Kiernan

Seniors Amber Esquivel and Jake Kiernan have been escaping the doldrums of the quarantine through creating art.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: The Art of Distraction

Amber Esquivel and Jake Kiernan are using their art to stay busy and sane during quarantine

Most students would say that having hobbies is essential in order to maintain balance within their lives. As we start to settle deeper into quarantine, students are relying on these hobbies, both old and new, to keep themselves busy and help them cope with the idea of being stuck at home. Seniors Amber Esquivel and Jake Kiernan have all found their niches and are leaning greatly on them during this pandemic.

Amber has been focusing on her photography during quarantine: “At first, I was doing it for fun to de-stress, but now I’m working on a project for school.” She has won many awards for her photography skills, her most impressive being a four-time first place winner of Loveland Photography Society awards. She has recently made her work more professional over the past year, creating both an Instagram and a website to display her work. While she has been taking photos for around five years now, Amber has found that it has been an especially great outlet for her recently.

Photo courtesy of Amber Esquivel
Senior Amber Esquivel captures the beauty of light in the midst of darkness, doing just as she advised everyone else to do with the uncertain times we are in.

“Practicing my photography skills helps me emotionally through this all. It’s a way to express how I’m seeing things through my eyes in this confusing time.” She also added, “My favorite part about practicing photography is having an escape from reality. When I look through the viewfinder, it’s a whole new world for me to be creative and do what I love. Everything outside the viewfinder seems to disappear.”

Jake Kiernan has also been focusing on his music and artowrk which have turned less into hobbies and more into his lifestyle. He told me, “Music has been my main focus during quarantine. I’ve had more time to work with my father on our music project. Also, I have started to get back into drawing and painting little by little.”

Photo courtesy of Jake Kiernan
Jake Kiernan provided us with one of many art pieces that he takes pride in. He tells us that he is slowly starting to get back into his art.

While Jake has been pursuing music for the past three years, he has been an artist “all his life.” He first started drawing when he saw his own potential and told me, “I believe I still have the potential and I would love to pursue a serious artistic study someday.” Jake also stated, “As far as music goes, I became interested in playing bass for several different reasons. My top reason is that I saw an opportunity to make a difference.” He then added, “I have considered being a musician more seriously than an artist. It sounds like fun and I believe it would be a better way for me to inspire a wider demographic of people…I would love to be in a band, but as I have come to discover more things about myself, I have learned that I like to do things my way. Therefore, being a solo artist is definitely the path I want to take.”

During quarantine, these two talents have helped Jake to stay sane: “Doing these things helps me more emotionally and spiritually than anything else. Being able to express something without words is the best release in the world…Whether it be through art or music, I always get to explore myself deeply.”

Art comes in many forms and can undoubtedly be one of the best ways to cope with stress or skepticism. Both of these students have utilized their talent in the midst of all that is going on in the world. With that being said, it is the perfect time to find an old hobby or talent that you can focus on during this time of uncertainty. In the words of Amber, “It’s okay to feel uncertain during these times, but you can find beauty in the darkness and turn it into something that inspires you.”

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