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Rachel Hawkins poses with some of her art at the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts at MTSU during June 2021.

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Seeing Through A Young Artist's Eyes

Local Student Draws Her World With Passion And Imagination

Artistry is often first recognized during a person’s younger years. Although it may be developmental and nascent in nature, true art talent cannot hide. It is only natural – artists are born to create and to share their creations with the world around them.

Locally, one such budding artist is rising Station Camp High School senior Rachel Hawkins. Although only seventeen, the quiet and unassuming Rachel is rapidly becoming known for her ability to create stunning works of visual art.

“I first became interested in art when I was around five years old,” says Rachel. “At first, my drawings were crude. However, as I got older, I began to study how human anatomy really looks, and I started to create drawings that were much more realistic.”

Like most artists, Rachel has experimented with different mediums to realize her creations.

“Originally, I used a lot of tools, including graphite, colored pencils, markers and pens – basically, anything that I could get my hands on,” says Rachel. “For a while, I dabbled in paint, but over time, I gravitated more toward digital tools for producing my art. Currently, I create most of my work on a computer using Photoshop. However, I do still use graphite and occasionally ink for when I want to work on paper.”

Rachel draws her inspiration from the world around her. She likes to keep her options open when coming up with new concepts.

“I get many ideas by listening to music, specifically the lyrics,” says Rachel. “I also like to draw inspiration from things that others have created, such as photographs, movies and even YouTube videos. I believe that the more interests that you have as an artist, the more inspiration you will be able to draw upon.”

From an early age, Rachel’s artwork has often been on display. At first, it was just in school classrooms for parents to view on open house nights. However, in recent years, Rachel has opted to participate in additional art shows that have expanded her work’s reach to new audiences.

“Since I came to Station Camp, I have entered many more art competitions, both at school and externally,” says Rachel. “Recently, my work was displayed in an art show in Nashville at Lipscomb University. I have even begun to sell some of my creations thanks to the exposure that I have received.”

During June 2021, Rachel’s burgeoning creative career soared to new heights with her selection to attend the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. Held at Middle Tennessee State University, the Governor’s School is a residency-based summer intensive program for gifted high school students. The school features an immersive program for students who are interested in visual art, music, theater, dance and film. Admission to the program is highly competitive, with over 1,400 students vying for only 230 slots each year.

“Getting selected for the Governor’s School was a real honor for me,” says Rachel. “At the school, I learned a great deal about the creative world at large, including art history and business. It opened my eyes to a lot of new possibilities.”

As Rachel prepares to begin her senior year in high school, she is already thinking ahead about how to build a future career in art.

“After I graduate from high school, I plan on attending college and majoring in some form of art,” says Rachel. “Currently, I am considering all my options, ranging from starting out locally at Volunteer State Community College to going directly to an art-specific institution. Like most seniors, I have a lot to think about.”

Post college, Rachel plans to pursue art full-time, although she is uncertain about what her final direction will be.

“Right now, I am thinking about going into character design, either for entertainment or illustration,” says Rachel. “I am also intrigued by the notion of becoming a self-employed artist, although I am concerned that might be too risky for me early in my career.”

When asked about the meaning behind her creations, Rachel has an immediate answer that reflects wisdom beyond her years.

“Art is something that is made by you – it is a product of your own passion,” says Rachel. “It stands alone and speaks for itself. It does not need to be spoken for.”

For those interested in seeing more of Rachel’s work, be sure to follow her on Instagram at:

  • Rachel Hawkins poses with some of her art at the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts at MTSU during June 2021.
  • Rachel Hawkins poses with Wendy Navarro, who purchased some of her art work that was displayed at the Governor's School.
  • Rachel looks up an idea for a new creation.
  • Rachel uses her drawing pad and Photoshop to create a new project.
  • Rachel's art often involves intriguing characters.
  • Like all artists, Rachel is happiest when creating her art.
  • One of Rachel's recent projects involved a new take on French mimes.