Color my world

Gazebo staff artist Anna Kate Alford drawn to draw


“Do you really need to buy four more shades of the same color?”

That question often pops up when I’m shopping at Michael’s. The answer  is always yes.

Anna Kate Alford

Since the beginning of the school year, I have had the honor of having my weekly cartoons published in the Stratford Gazebo.

I have doodled all my life. In elementary school, I obsessively drew cats, dogs, babies and fairies all over my light blue composition notebooks. I started getting serious with drawing around seventh grade and have improved immensely since. Experience is the best teacher.

From seventh grade to ninth grade, I mainly drew characters from cartoons, books and comics. I copied the original style and used reference pictures online. Obviously, copying did not help me see my whole potential.

Around 10th grade, I began to create my own characters and poses. Each character has their own stories, which fit together. Almost all of them have names that are alliterative and based off of a periodic element, like Cody Cobalt, Anya Argon and Kai Krypton.

This naming motif has little backstory, but surely helped me in Chemistry.

When I began my first semester in journalism, I felt as if my drawing skills were not improving. I decided to take a hiatus, which was short lived.

One day during class, my journalism teacher, Mr. Ed Grisamore, came up with the idea for “Stargaze.” It is a weekly feature full of fun and entertaining sections, including a staff-drawn cartoon.

A knot formed in my throat. I didn’t feel confident in my art at the time, having only practiced drawing people, flowers, fish and birds

I volunteered to be the weekly cartoonist, and it was the best decision I’ve made all year.

The first cartoon I drew for the Gazebo was a caricature of Mrs. Ferrari in a Ferrari. I ran into a few problems, like not having adequate markers for certain skin tones, hiding some really sloppy and crooked lines I made during the final inking, and drawing the car itself.

Ever since the first few cartoons, my skills are already on the path to major improvement, not to mention my confidence in my skills has risen.

I’ve taught myself how to draw various things like a Starbucks coffee cup, a bass drum, Pokemon, expressive eagles, parachutes, football helmets, and a dinosaur costume. I’ve learned how to use copic markers and bought eight new markers to expand the pallet.

I always look forward every week to seeing my work posted on the wall outside of room 129.

I am excited to not only see how much my skill improves, but also how my style evolves.

Anna Kate Alford is a junior and a staff writer and artist for the Gazebo.