Jill Walker paints through senior year

For some people, art is just a hobby or something pretty to look at; for senior Jill Walker, art is the passion that has never left her. 

Ever since Walker was little, creativity has never abandoned her mind. “I’ve been drawing pretty much ever since I was capable of holding a pencil. My dad used to draw with me all the time because that was like the only way to get me to focus when I was a kid,” Walker said. 

Jason Walker, Jill’s father, was a major influence towards her love of art throughout her life. I would draw pictures of dinosaurs that [her brother] liked. He would color them, and then, as Jill came into the picture, she did the same thing… As they kind of progressed with their art, they started drawing their own, and very quickly got very better than me, quite frankly,” Jason said. 

Throughout her life, Jill’s art style has gradually changed to more accurately represent herself. “The best way to describe it is very whimsical, and even though I would love to draw realistically, I usually go for a more abstract style or more surreal as well,” Jill said. “My favorite mediums are painting and drawing and penmanship-I really love pointillism, stuff like that.” 

Jill has grown up within the non-profit art program called Art Trek for most of her childhood. Many of the workers, teachers and volunteers there, like Janice Wise, have had an ongoing experience watching Jill develop and grow as an artist. “She used to come to our camps and our different events, and she kind of grew up through the program and then became a volunteer.”

No matter what obstacles stand in her way, Jill always stands up to help the people around her enjoy art through volunteering at Art Trek. “Often we will have kids who are either autistic or just need some extra help, and Jill is always the first one to jump up and say ‘I’ll work with that child’…she’s not in any way intimidated or anything like that, she just has a really big heart,” Wise said. “She wants to make art accessible to everybody and has really internalized that message and worked hard to make art something that’s there for everybody and a joy for everybody instead of something that could be frustrating for a child.”

While she graduates high school this year and will attend UC San Diego, Jill’s passion for art will never leave her side. “ When I retire, I want to open up an art studio, kind of similarly to Art Trek, and start teaching lessons to kids because I actually really love teaching and I think that that would be a fun thing for me to provide to whatever community,” Walker said.