Student Artist of the Month: Margot Shumaker

photo: Severine Stier

photo: Severine Stier

Margot Shumaker ’15 is an artist who focuses on three-dimensional art. Starting with selling jewelry, she has since expanded her interest to 3D scenery and paper items. She currently takes Studio Art II (3D) at PHS and plans to take several art classes in college to continue developing her passion.

When did you start creating 3D art, and what prompted you to do so?

I have always been a perfectionist. So when I would draw, I would never be able … to make it look like [the subjects of the pieces] were popping out at you. And I always found that really, really frustrating. So after spending a bunch of time trying to draw perspective, I decided [to make the art] actually pop out. And [three-dimensional art] just seemed [like] the most logical way to solve the problem.

What are some memorable works that you have created?

My favorite pieces that I have created [are] … a 3D garden made out of cardstock … and then I also have mini paper dresses.

What are your inspirations?

I like things to be as realistic as possible. There are details in everything, and I think that’s where the beauty comes from. So I try to include as many of them as I can.

In high school there are always rigorous activities and academic challenges; how did you focus on and continue to create art?

Art class is a great way to [create art], so that’s a set 45 minutes every day that [will allow] you to think about art and do art. Also … there’s always free time. And if that’s just what you like to do, then you just make time for it.

Did you enroll in a lot of art classes or programs? Do you plan on furthering your studies with art?

Not as many as I would have liked. I’ve only taken art [classes] for two years in high school, just because of the all classes I had to take. I do plan on furthering my studies with art in college. I don’t plan on majoring in art or going to art school, but I do plan on continuing to take classes.

What classes did you take at Princeton High School? How did these classes help you?

I have taken 3D I, I am in 3D II right now, and in freshman year I took a semester of Mixed Media. [They] gave me a set amount of time every day where I had to work on art … I really wouldn’t make myself work on art [alone] … [The classes] made me use that part of my brain.

Do you enjoy any other art forms? If so, which ones?

I pretty much only [make] visual art. I enjoy listening to music. I am pretty tone deaf, so making music … is pretty much out of my realm of expertise. Performing arts are out of the picture for me, so it’s pretty much only visual.    

Do you do art for yourself or for others? What drives you to do this?

It’s mostly just for me. I think of art as mostly a challenge. I’ll come up with an idea and I just want to see if I can do it.

Does 3D art change your perspective on the world around you? How?

It makes you think about things a little differently. It makes you see the details that you probably wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. [You also begin to notice] how things fit together.

What goals do you want to achieve in art, and how are you going to reach them?

Basically how my art process works is I’ll get a hair-brained idea and be like, ‘Wow, let’s see if I can make this happen.’ [My art just] happens—it’s very spontaneous. [But one goal would] be making something I am 100 percent happy with in the end.

What do you do with the art when you have finished?

Well, as far as jewelry is concerned, I will sell most of it, and if it’s just a project it stays at my house, displayed.

Does your family enjoy art?

For the most part. Both of my grandmas were artists at point[s] in their lives, so both of them are pretty into it … Both of them got into art school in New York City and both decided not to go [because] they had to choose between family and school and they both chose family. My mom likes most of my art, and if she doesn’t, it ends up in the basement or at my dad’s office. And my dad paints a bit, but he is not that into it.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue art?

Just to go for it and try new things, because you’ll never know what you’ll end up actually liking.

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