Editor's note: This story was written as a part of the Observer's Explorer Post program, which gives high school students the chance to learn about journalism.
“She has a lot of motions and messages conveyed in (her artwork) that she tells me after I’ve seen them, so not only do I see it as ‘Wow this is really good,’ I see it as, ‘Wow this means something really good, too,” Brandon Ruiz said of a classmate of Jewel Ham.
Ham is a sophomore and an artist at Mallard Creek High School. Her art includes paintings, sketches and sculpting. She loves to try new mediums, and she creates whatever her feelings guide her to.
Ham first began drawing in middle school. She says she always knew she was “a bit artsy,” but didn’t begin practicing until sixth grade. She started off by drawing sketches of people’s faces. Now, she has entered art contests on state and national levels, and she teaches kindergarten students how to paint.
“It’s pretty sweet to know that I might inspire them to be more interested in art, and plus I see so much of how I was at that age in them, it’s really amazing,” she said.
Aside of drawing and painting, Jewel designs shoes, backpacks and T-shirts for her classmates. Her other hobbies include painting and sewing. She recently began working on creating her own fashion line.
“Her art reflects her personality very well because it’s vibrant and fun and extra loud and like in your face. It’s awesome,” said Ron Stodghill, another classmate.
Ham’s parents support her art work as long as she does her school work first. She hopes to go to college in New York and study art there.