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MINI SPOTLIGHT: Natalie Herrera

Natalie Herrera’s successes and passion for art paint her pathway
MINI SPOTLIGHT: Natalie Herrera

From using colored pencils to fill in drawings her dad made her, to using colored pencils on pieces she sells for $200, senior Natalie Herrera finishes high school with academic successes while thriving at art. 

The art department consists of many talented students, Herrera stands out as she has maintained a 4.6 GPA with 15 AP and honors classes while still focusing on art in and outside of school.

The origin and love for art stemmed from her dad who is an artist and digital/web designer. 

“I remember when my dad would hand draw me things and I would be amazed by what he drew. Then I would color it, perfectly in the lines. I’ve always been a perfectionist,” Herrera said. 

Growing up with an artist influenced her as she saw the amazing pieces her dad would make. She started drawing as soon as she could pick up a crayon. Her dad would let her use his art supplies and they bonded together through art. 

Art started as something fun for her but when she won her first award, it changed everything. 

As she got older, she started winning more and more awards for her art. One of her earliest in middle school being the Martin Luther king art  contest where she placed first, later winning a couple Arte de Tiza awards. 

She currently works at Studios in the Park downtown where she can showcase her art. There, she has gotten various offers for her art because people wanted to buy them off of her. Some pieces mean a lot more to her than others, she sold one of her most memorable pieces for $375. 

“It makes me happy when people want to buy my art because they connected with it and I made them feel something with it.”

Herrera was one of the faces behind the Art club. She helped start it in 2023 and now in 2024 she has become the president. She plans fun events to welcome anyone at school to have fun and relax with crafts.

With the help of her favorite teacher to guide her, Clarisa Wilson, (art teacher) says she met Herrera her freshman year when she took an art class. Since then, Wilson says Herrera has spread positive in every class she has with her. “She’s an amazing artist and truly a great person. Natalie always puts her best into everything she does, down to the last details.” 

Herrera also uses art to voice her opinion on certain issues which struck the idea for her junior year art portfolio. “I was feeling kind of disappointed and upset with the way society has brought up women in general and with that emotion I was able to express it through my art and make a statement with that”.

Last school year. Herrera focused on highlighting the struggles and issues women face. She drew about the war on reproductive rights, trans women, women of color, disabled women, the systemic problems women face, and beauty standards. She interviewed these women and read articles to represent these issues accurately. She worked on her portfolio for six months, earning a score of a 5 on the AP art exam. 

Herrera will be following her passion of art at Southern Oregon University as an art major in the Fall.

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About the Contributor
Michelle Rosas
Michelle Rosas, Carmesi Co-Director

Senior Michelle Rosas is in her third year of Crimson. She is taking on her first year as a Video/Carmesi director. She hopes to continue to shine a light on important and pressing issues and students' voices, as her last year in this program comes to an end. Before departing from this program, she hopes to inspire other students from different cultures to bring their culture to the program. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, drawing, going on long walks while listening to music, and being outside in nature.

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