A passion for art

Junior Sam Madigan takes her artwork very seriously


Junior Sam Madigan creates a digital drawing using her Wacom Intuos Draw tablet and computer.

For some people, art is just considered a hobby, but for junior Sam Madigan, art has become a passion.

Madigan said she started drawing as a hobby at a young age, but as time went on, she started to take her art more seriously. 

“I’ve been drawing ever since I was a little kid, but I started taking it seriously around 2016 after I started making fan art for some games that I was really into at the time,” she said.

Madigan says that ever since she started doing art, she has begun to feel a sense of accomplishment as her art progresses.

“I’ve been doing it for years and it’s allowed me to feel like I’m constantly growing and striving to be better. When I look back at drawings I did in 2017 I get a sense of accomplishment because I know that I was able to improve and better myself and that feeling is really important to me,” she said.

On the Christmas of 2017, Madigan was given a drawing tablet by her parents for Christmas and at first, it was difficult for her to use since she had never drawn digitally before, but after coming back to it later on, she eventually got the hang of it and she is now more comfortable using the drawing tablet.  

“It took me a pretty long time. The drawing tablet wasn’t very intuitive to me and everything felt more difficult with it at first. Because of this I got frustrated and didn’t do much digital at all for the first 6 months after I got the tablet. However, I finally revisited it in the fall of 2018 and now it feels as intuitive as drawing with a pencil and paper,” she said.

She has even come to prefer using a tablet to draw over the traditional way of drawing with a pencil and paper.

“I’d say that overall I prefer digital to traditional, although both have their pros and cons. The reasoning behind my preference is that I’m able to color drawings much more easily digitally than traditionally and most of my digital work ends up looking much cleaner than my traditional work,” Madigan said. “One of the best advantages of digital art to me is the undo button. It seems simple but it’s incredibly useful and there have been many times where I wished I had it in traditional art. Additionally, even though drawing tablets cost much more than any traditional supplies, you only have to pay for one once. Traditional supplies need to be purchased over and over again as you run out, so digital ends up being cheaper in the long-run.”

Madigan says that she had started to become interested in digital art by seeing different uses of digital art across social media platforms such as Youtube and Instagram. After seeing the art of different influencers, she wanted to be able to use that kind of art to convey her own stories and concepts. 

“Honestly I admire too many to name (I follow ~900 people on Instagram, most of which are artists), but the one that came to mind right away was Gabriel Picolo, a comic artist who drew two Teen Titans comic books for Marvel recently. I admire his art style and I love comics, so his work inspires me quite a bit,” she said.

She now uploads her own art onto her own social media pages.

“I’m most active on my Instagram (under the name Pantalimon) since that’s the most image-friendly social media app out there, but I also have a Twitter that I update occasionally,” she said.

Although she is not certain, she has also considered pursuing a career in art.

“I’m not entirely decided yet but I’m leaning towards going to school for illustration or animation and then looking for an industry job in the arts, ideally at a studio that produces shows, games, or movies, like Dreamworks or Cartoon Network,” she said.

Madigan has even taken several different art classes here at South High including drawing 1 and 2, figure and Portrait, AP Studio Drawing, and Painting, all of which were taught by Eric Ludlow. She is also a part of the National Art Honor Society (NAHS) and has been since she was a sophomore.

“I’ve taken lots of art classes at South, although AP Studio Drawing has to be my favorite since it gives students complete freedom to draw what they want to as long as it fits with their theme.” said Madigan, “All of the art classes that I’ve taken at South have been taught by Mr. Ludlow, so I owe a huge part of my growth as an artist to him. Thanks, Ludlow!” 

Madigan utilizes several different tools for digital art including a Wacom Intuos Draw tablet with a tablet pen and her laptop as well as the drawing program Paint Tool SAI 2. Although she prefers drawing digitally, she also keeps a sketchbook that she still draws in regularly as well as occasionally doing watercolor pieces.

“Overall digital is a great medium to work in, and I hope that anyone who wants to has a chance to try it out! And if you’re just starting, don’t give up! Digital can take a lot of adjustment to get used to but it’s well worth it in the end,” she said.