Sims brings style and skateboarding to art

Junior’s diverse portfolio reflects identity, interest in multiple mediums
Throughout his years as an artist, Sims said art has made him a more observant and perceptive person to the world around him. 

When I look at people Im looking for art, Sims said. I think Ive had appreciation for things other people dont take time to appreciate.
Throughout his years as an artist, Sims said art has made him a more observant and perceptive person to the world around him. “When I look at people I’m looking for art,” Sims said. “I think I’ve had appreciation for things other people don’t take time to appreciate.”
Josie Mullan

Junior Will Sims’ interest in art began in fifth grade and has continued throughout high school. During his freshman year, Sims discovered his favorite artist, skateboarding photographer Ed Templeton, who became a big inspiration and a reference point for his drawings.

“Templeton’s art does a lot of skateboard photography and injuries,” Simms said. “I love to draw a bruise. I want people to feel the way I feel about my favorite artists.”

In his particular style, Sims focuses on individuality and uniqueness. He often gains inspiration for his artwork from the people he meets.

I’ve looked at people with a less judgmental eye because I’ve always been able to find something I like. I don’t think ugly people exist.

— junior artist Will Sims

“When I look at people, I’m looking for art, and I notice the little things about them,” Sims said. “Like I have a friend who has weird ears, and I’m always like ‘I like your ears’ because I want to draw them.”

Sims also uses art to express affection for his friends and family.

“Any of my close friends [that] I really love, I appreciate them in my art,” Sims said.

Throughout the years, art has greatly influenced Sims’ identity. He said the experience of drawing a wide range of people over and over has made him a more open-minded person.

“I’ve looked at people with a less judgmental eye because I’ve always been able to find something I like,” Sims said. “I don’t think ugly people exist.”

His participation in the annual fashion show as a junior director also challenged him to create art in different contexts. Through designing posters and social media posts, Sims said the fashion show has given his artwork valuable exposure.

“I have to make it where parents can look at it, and teachers can look at it, and kids can look at it, so I have to work really hard to make it where it’s applied to everyone,” Sims said. “People have to look at it, and they’re going to have to send it to their parents, and eventually it gets to the right person.”

Senior director Cecilia Passos said Sims’ contributions to the fashion show improved the quality of their posters and graphic design compared to previous years.

“He has such a good sense of art [and] has made the posters a lot more interesting,” Passos said. “I like that he draws his passions because you can tell when flipping through a Will Sims sketchbook what he’s into.”

Despite drawing being his main focus, Sims has delved into many different art forms by taking painting and printmaking classes at McCallum.

“I got into printmaking because you can make prints really fast, so it’s sellable,” Sims said. “But the thing with printmaking is I always end up liking my plates better than the print, so I might get into woodcarving.”

Art teacher Sara Massey believes that Sims finding his own style at such a young age will provide him a leg up in the art world.

“I think [Sims’ style] is very fluid and fast,” Massey said. “Will has a style that is unique, which is very difficult to find as an artist. Right then and there, you know that’s always kind of a one-up on a situation.”

I like that he draws his passions because you can tell when flipping through a Will Sims sketchbook what he’s into.

— senior fashion show director Cecilia Passos

This summer, Sims is participating in the prestigious pre-college program at Pratt Art Institute in New York. Sims said he is very grateful to his parents for nurturing his future in art.

“My mom has only ever encouraged me.” Sims said, “My parents helped me get into [the pre-college program at Pratt] and go do it, and it’s so cool that I had that opportunity.”

In the future, Sims wants to mesh his passion for skateboarding and art into designing skateboards; however, he still wants to continue to create different types of media and not be restricted to one art form.

“I want to have my own company where I just work with everything and artists all the time,” Sims said. “I want to make posters, I want to make videos, I want to do animations, I want to create skateboards. I want to just do everything and get better all the time.”

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