Holden Griskey-Watson, a junior at Orcas Island High School, is known for many things, ranging from his skills as a mathematician to a musician, but perhaps most notably for his phenomenal artwork. His eye-catching pieces depict surreal sci-fi and fantasy scenes, which he describes with a laugh as “odd.” In general, Holden likes to work in pencil or pen as well as digitally, though he frequently and confidently branches out during his art classes with teacher Corey Wiscomb. He is currently taking an AP art class in which he is working on a realistic human bust, and he is loving every second of it. When asked if his practice or style has altered over the years, Holden replied that his style has not changed, but he is certainly developing new skills all the time. It is no wonder, then, why crowds of students and adults gather around his table in the art room to admire his work and analyze his well practiced methods.
When asked to describe a piece that he is particularly proud of, Holden relayed that he is very proud of a sketch that he drew of his own hand as a seventh-grader. “It was my first drawing that I ever thought was good,” he confessed. As a child, Holden was greatly inspired by a picture of a Velociraptor by artist James Gurney. “I remember looking at it as a little kid and being fascinated by the lighting of the picture and how realistic it looked,” he muses. Holden has always had a huge imagination, and has been able to captivate viewers with both realistic images and the production of whimsical subjects, such as purple walruses. “When I was young I always wanted to draw what I imagined, but it never turned out very well. I’m still not there yet, but I’m getting closer.” Holden’s work largely encompasses a quote from Scott Adams: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”