Every blank wall has the opportunity to be a canvas, and senior Olivia Jobbe has proven that.
Jobbe has expressed her love and talent of art through the hallways of LPHS and has recently created a beautiful mural to Schultze Hall.
The idea of painting a mural in Schultze Hall occurred last year when Jobbe was assigned a project that counted as the final grade in her junior AP English class. The goal of the project was to spend 20% of time in class working on any project that piqued student interest; that is when painting a mural came to Jobbe.
“I looked around the school and scouted out a couple of smaller walls that I thought would be a challenge, but nothing overwhelming. I wrote up a proposal outlining the process, the timeline, the concept, and why I should be allowed to take on the project. After making a rough sketch of my idea, I sat down with Mr. Tonagel with my portfolio, my artistic resume, and the proposal to discuss my request,” Jobbe said. “He seemed kind of unsure, but after Mrs. Lebo assured him I could do it, he decided that Schultze Hall would be the location.”
Jobbe wanted a challenging project, but the 34 foot long wall was more than she anticipated. She had to measure the wall, make a scale drawing of the mural, project the sketch on the wall, trace it, hand mix all the colors, and begin painting. The project ended up taking an entire year, but she is more than thrilled with the outcome of the mural.
Art has been in Jobbe’s heart since she can remember. As a kid, she loved painting and drawing. She specifically recalls scribbling often. Even when kids were learning to color “in the lines,” Jobbe found it fun coloring outside of them.
“I even remember scribbling with crayons when I was in preschool, and when the other kids made fun of me for scribbling, I confidently stated that my scribbles were, in fact, abstract expressionism,” Jobbe said.
Before Jobbe fully understood the type of art she preferred, she thought she would strictly create 2-D art. As time went by, she found opportunities to experiment with other kinds of art.
“I didn’t start to really experiment with different mediums until I took Ceramics last year,” Jobbe said.
She became extremely interested in clay, but that love for clay carried onto other materials. She ended up finding a new interest in sculpting; however, her first loves–painting and drawing– are still exciting to create.
A major goal of Jobbe’s is to be accepted into the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but it takes a ton of strong art to squeeze into one portfolio. She is hoping to study Fine Arts, receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and to sustain herself off of her artwork.
“That [living off of her artwork] is not really seen as being too realistic,” Jobbe said. “I disagree, but until I can get to that point, I’m sure I’ll have to get some type of job in the arts.”
Jobbe is undoubtedly going to thrive into what environment she is thrown into, just like she has at LPHS.
She takes pride in her efforts as a student at La Porte. She has been able to keep her straight A’s, work hard, and create her own artwork, but she has learned something particularly beneficial this school year.
“Most of my time and energy this year has been spent on creating artwork, and I’ve been enjoying every second of it, so what I’ve learned in high school is that I have plenty of drive, but traditional academics are not what I want to use that motivation for,” Jobbe said.
High school is different for everyone, and Jobbe appreciates finding the few people she genuinely connects with. She found those people in peers and even teachers, and she is thankful to have had them for good days and even better conversations.
Jobbe has met tons of incredible people, but she has done all of the great things because of her inner motivation within herself.
“I would be doing what I’m doing regardless of support of staff or students, which is usually what happens,” Jobbe said. “That’s not to say that the support of other students, whether I knew them or not, when they saw me carrying my latest project class to class or when they finally saw the final product wasn’t gratifying.”
Jobbe didn’t expect that she would ever be supported to the extreme that she is now.
“Friends of mine and even people that I don’t know come up to me to ask how some of my projects are going. They ask about what I’m doing or to see how they turned out,” Jobbe said. “I think it’s cool that people are interested in what I’m doing. It showed that even when people don’t really understand what I’m doing, it’s evoking a reaction. That’s what I like to see.”
Jobbe strongly believes in being yourself despite what society expects you to do, especially in her artwork. She hopes that other artists follow her lead because it has been incredibly beneficial to her.
“Creating artwork is about making a statement, not about making a pretty picture. Sure, visual appeal is important, but if you aren’t saying anything, it’s just an object,” Jobbe said. “If you’re anything like me, the statement that you are trying to make and the means by which you will achieve that are not always what everybody wants to see or hear. Don’t let that stop you. If what you are making is relevant to you, chances are, it will be for someone else. Even if it isn’t, it’s your voice and it’s your right to use it.”
The world, not just a wall, is Jobbe’s canvas, and the Slicer family can’t wait to see what she creates.