Art is Her Gravity: Ava Ditzel

Children grow up with different passions in their childhood. Being able to  find a favorite passion and developing it into a career is a life-time blessing that is not often given to every child. Here is Ava Ditzel, an artist in making, who reflects gratefully on her journey as an artist.

Sketch of a young girl wearing glasses and sipping on her drink through a straw.
Sketch of a young girl wearing glasses and sipping on her drink through a straw. Original drawing by Ava Ditzel

Ava Ditzel is a young passionate artist who calls art  a “monumental part of life”. She is only 16 and she already feels that art is an inseparable part of her life. With no exaggeration, it can be said that she has been playing with her pencil and sketching ever since she was a child. Her hands never get tired working with a pencil.Her art resonates such beauty that she must have been born with the ability. And it turns out, Ava’s mother is an artist herself. Ava recollects that her mother’s love for drawing magnetized her into the same passion. Ava Ditzel identifies her mother as the prime inspiration of this journey. 

Visual and digital art forms are Ava’s forte. Uniquely, she finds a sense of liberty in cartooning, as it is much fun and light compared to ideologically loaded art forms. She prefers cartoon sketching to reference pictures or realistic drawing as the  former is relaxing and simple. From all these reflections, we can say that Ava is a bundle of talent who lives in simplicity and not in boasting. With success comes pride to many, but it is humility that she chooses, as an artist inching towards success  at this young age.

Beyond  personal likes and dislikes, Ava Ditzel says that she wants her art to portray optimism. In her images one can see very few sharp edges, filled with pastel tones and colored line arts. This is a pure reflection of the joy that Ava attains while making the art. She is very  aware of the impact that art could create in the viewers’ mind and she wants it to be nothing but pleasant and happy. This is why Ava says she  prefers lighthearted topics. An artist can influence the world with their tools and Ava’s tool is optimism. 

Now, as a recognized artist, Ava looks back at her journey  toward becoming an artist for nearly a decade and she feels so grateful. Her inspirations include her mother and her art teachers. She also expresses that her high school studio art program has been a nourishing experience to grow mutually with friends . Now, look at that attitude of a young artist who says, “We support each other through mutual love of art, we critique each other’s work, while also building each other up.” To grow, to live, to flourish are equally important as to let others grow, live and flourish. Amazed, Ava Ditzel! “Amazed” is the right word. 

Optimism is in her  blood. Fortunately, that is what other children of her age had in them too. She recollects one of her experiences drawing a contour still life for an assignment. With little experience drawing interesting scenes and purely working with a pen, she could not make it her best. However, due to the positivity that she holds, she attracted the same from her friends. Her classmates highlighted the noteworthy points about her work and also stated the areas that needed attention. She points to this experience as the one that boosted her confidence.   Remember, the nourishing high school studio art experience that we spoke of earlier – this is it – nourishing! To critique is easy, but to make it without breaking one’s confidence is a challenging process. Anyhow, it comes with ease to these young artists. 

Pencil sketch/drawing of a busy street with cafes, storefronts, and cars.
Pencil sketch/drawing of a busy street with cafes, storefronts, and cars. Original drawing by Ava Ditzel

Art can influence and artists are influencers. Here is the conversation we had with Ava Ditzel herself on interesting questions and meaningful responses. 

  1. Can you describe your experience and contributions in the Battle of the Teal?

My first entry to the Battle of the Teal was three pencil portraits. These portraits were very important to me as I think they were the first pieces I had created that really resembled the source material. Although I did not win, I felt as if this experience really helped me learn about the significance of showcasing your own work as an artist. 

  1.     What has art done to you as a person?

Art has really allowed me to appreciate the more overlooked parts of life. Such as the small details in the figure I’m drawing. It also allowed me to meet many friends who all share the same appreciation for art as I do. Overall, it has given me many opportunities to learn and grow.  

  1.     How do you see your growth as an artist from childhood to teenage?

I look back at a lot of my earlier pieces and see how timid I was to commit to making any significant change in my work. I would always avoid working on the more bold parts of the piece in fear I would mess up. But now I know that mistakes are part of the process of creating art and my work now always looks more complete. 

  1.     What were your preferences to draw during your childhood and how has it changed now?

When I was very young, I would always really enjoy drawing cartoons. But I would always grow frustrated if my work didn’t look exactly like the reference, which it never did. Now, I prefer to come up with my own ideas, as well as study some of the masters of art. 

  1.     Do you think that art plays a monumental role in people’s life? How?

I really think art is more present in most people’s lives than most may realize. It constantly surrounds you wherever you are. Whether you are an artist or not, most people use art on a daily basis to relax and return to the really important things in life through creativity.

  1.     What is art according to you?

I believe art is anything someone created. Whether that be through painting or dance, as long as someone puts the time and effort into creating it, it is art. 

  1.     Describe one of your best experiences as an artist.

I think the most important experience for me was when I took an art class as a child, and we displayed work in a gallery. Despite it being a children’s program, seeing my work on the gallery wall really boosted my motivation to create art for others to see. 

  1.     What drives you to draw? Your motivation?

I find motivation in pretty much anywhere I look. I see my surroundings and try to picture how I think I would translate that into a drawing. I’ve always had this mindset and it allows for an endless number of new ideas.

  1. What do you wish to convey to the world through your arts?

I really wish to convey the feeling of happiness through my drawings. I want my art to be an outlet for myself and others to see. I always try to do this through bright colors, and simple line art.

  1. Describe your feelings in words, on completion of a work of art.

Hopefully I feel proud of my work, but a lot of the time I tend to focus on the mistakes I’ve made and where I can improve. Although this mindset can be frustrating, I fully believe it helps me to grow as an artist and improve. 

  1. Where do you see yourself as an artist in the future?

I know for sure that I will continue to create art into adulthood. I hope that I can build upon my skills and learn to scrutinize my own work less. As an artist, I also hope to continue building up my fellow artists in their own art journeys.

  1. What are your current projects?

This semester, my art class is focusing on oil painting. It is a medium that I am not very used to, but I am working to make my work the best I can. It is also a medium that allows you to greatly improve in all areas of your art journey as it requires a lot of focus. 

  1. What are your project plans for the future?

I really want to start working on more digital art. I’ve really only ever created traditional art, but seeing what other creators have been able to make really inspires me and I hope to expand my abilities this way. 

  1. According to you, what is your dream plan of being an artist?

I would love to make art my career. I’m not fully certain which area I would go into, although I am very interested in animation. But, I’m very open to everything. 

  1. Where do you draw inspiration from for your paintings/drawings? (Reference)

I think drawing from life is the most beneficial way to create art. But this technique does not always work, especially when cartooning. So, I try to create my work by remembering some of the basics of the way clothes fall, or the general positioning of the facial features. 

  1. Do you have any inspirational artists whose art forms you follow?

I’ve had a variety of inspiring role models throughout the years. But, right now as I am focusing on oil painting, I really think Georgia O’Keeffe’s work has been a heavy guidance. I find the bright colors and simplicity of most pieces very inspiring. 

  1. What according to you is the greatest achievement for an artist? Fame and name or soul-satisfaction? Why?

I think soul-satisfaction is the greatest achievement an artist can reach. Art isn’t about your work becoming famous, instead it really is an outlet for your own creativity. This may lead you to become famous, or it may not, what really is important is that your art is something you are happy to share with the world. 

I know we are all baffled with the kind of maturity that this artist holds and we stand in awe towards her perspective of art and life as a whole She is an artist who is growing more each day. What is more satisfying than seeing a young artist grow wildly with her passions but with all humility in this extremely competitive world that runs behind fame and name. Ava Ditzel, the artist herself and her modesty in her growth gives an immense hope  in the future generation and the potentially beautiful world that talents like hers could create.

Ava Ditzel, you are amazing!




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