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Cottrell confirms Design Academy is an enriching creative experience

Blot+photo+by+Sydney+Foo+Siam.+
Blot photo by Sydney Foo Siam.

Blot photo by Sydney Foo Siam.

Blot photo by Sydney Foo Siam.

Isabella Cavazzoni

The transition from middle school to high school is one brimming with change and potential. Each year, approximately 80 freshmen enter CHS with new stories, ideas and experiences to share with their peers and add to the school community. Yet in their junior year, a handful of students join the Design Academy, leaving their home high schools with two years under their belts and embarking on a new journey at CHS.

According to the CHS website, students enrolled in Design Academy must have “a strong interest in art, print and design with the goal of enrollment in a post secondary art program.” For senior Justin Cottrell of Neptune, that artistic curiosity that prompted him to apply for Design Academy blossomed in elementary school, when he began drawing Hotwheels cars at his grandmother’s house.

Now at the tail-end of his senior year, Cottrell disclosed that he was uneasy about the shift from Neptune High School to CHS.

“My friends encouraged me to apply; admittedly, I was hesitant. After a while, I thought it’d be an interesting change so I just went for it,” Cottrell said.

Far from the cars he drew as a child, Cottrell’s work and creative fervor have flourished at CHS, despite his initial reluctance. Still, artistic growth is only one positive aspect of Cottrell’s participation in Design Academy. Cottrell cites the friends he has made during his time at CHS as “blessings.”

As any high school student, managing extra-curricular activities and avocations is turbulent at times. In Cottrell’s case, this particular challenge comes in neutralizing his creative inclinations with schoolwork and assignments.

“Balancing the artwork with schoolwork is both easy and difficult, depending on the time,” Cottrell said. “Sometimes the workload gets in the way, and I have to take breaks. Other times, I can make art freely without the constraints.”

As his time in Design Academy dwindles, Cottrell plans to pursue art in subsequent education, though he is unsure where. He describes himself as having a “colorful perspective” on life, which necessitates pursuing art in college.

“Art has given me the ability to see things from a different, more creative view,” Cottrell said. “Maybe I sound like I prefer my imagination over reality, and in some cases it’s true. But being without art is boring, and living life without imagination is just so plain.”

 

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Cottrell confirms Design Academy is an enriching creative experience