Sydney Becraft. You may or may not be familiar with her name, but if you’re a Desert Mountain student, you are definitely familiar with her work.
If you wander past the glass display case in front of Ms. Wilkins’ room, chances are you’ll see Becraft’s work. And those iconic Chaparral shirts (you know the ones–”Kentucky Fried Chap”?). All Sydney.
The Desert Mountain senior has a passion for art. With every movement of a pencil and stroke of a brush, she expresses her bold personality in each of her pieces. Spending hours upon hours each week designing and creating, her unique talent can be found scattered everywhere in school through numerous mediums. From designing shirts for Wolfden, painting portraits for display, or doodling custom designs on Vans for students, Becraft is always busy.
For Becraft, her artwork’s massive, school-wide popularity is still “surreal”.
“It’s really weird to see people walking around with a design I drew,” she said. “It feels really good, but it’s also like ‘that’s crazy!”
Becraft has been an art student for all four years of her high school experience, and as more and more of her pieces have been hung in the glass display case of the main mall, she has gained recognition from both students and staff for her dark yet eclectic style of art.
“Where we go when we die”, “grief”–Becraft admits her motifs and themes are “heavy”, often detailed with wilted flowers and skulls. The inspiration for these works, Becraft said, comes when her anxiety is at its worst.
In fact, Becraft grew up struggling with anxiety and turned to art as a form of comfort.
“My anxiety has been really bad my entire life. But I’ve also really enjoyed art, drawing, and painting my entire life,” Becraft said. Through her teenage years, she has been able to combine the two major aspects of her life, which has both created some incredible pieces as well as aided her in controlling stress. “In class, I get major anxiety,” she said. “it stresses me out. So when I’m in class, I’ll just doodle on my paper”
From these doodles, Becraft is inspired.
“My anxiety makes me feel a bunch of different ways,” she said. “Normally, it does make me feel very upset because I feel like I can’t do normal things like a normal person can… from that, I make a lot of my artwork based on the struggles I deal with in my life… making one big piece about something I am going through can make me feel a lot better…
“I can kinda put my ideas on paper, and not have to sit with my thoughts.”
Because of art’s great impact on her life, Becraft has decided to further her career in art and has already committed to studying production design at her dream university, the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Becraft is currently working on her AP portfolio, which focuses on the grieving process and “all the sensory overload feelings that [she] felt” while in the midst of it earlier this year. Her collage, much like her other works, will be displayed in the glass showcase in the main mall once completed.
Being an artist is one of the most crucial parts of Becraft’s identity.
“People don’t realize how influential art can be,” she said, “and how much it can heal you.”