Apr 2022

Generational talent: Morgan Bates uses art to unlock creativity

Editor's Note: World of Art is a regular series featuring different artists at Sierra High School. The series will also spotlight the many forms of artistic expression.


Communication By Design

Art comes in various forms: painting, music, drawing, digital art, and many more. Each piece has a different way of expressing emotion and feelings. People use art for many different reasons.

Morgan Bates, a senior at Sierra High, uses her art to get creative and let go of all worries. Bates loves to paint, sketch, and use watercolor, and has even used pastels/charcoal. She explains how she would end up hiding in her room with a paper and pencil to create magic, a way of relieving her stress.

“My favorite part of art is being able to get creative and let go of the day’s worries," she said. "Before taking a proper class, art was more a stress relief for myself. I would hide away in my room, crack open my sketchbook, and then stop thinking. I filled up a good number of pages that way.”

Bates has always been artistic. She doesn’t know the specific start, but art has been prevalent in her family for many generations. Her great grandfather was a painter and painted many different mirror/windows for the holidays, but Bates believes she got her inspiration from her aunt. Bate’s aunt also paints mirrors and has painted an entire room filled with Disney characters.

“Art has stayed with me as a constant," Bates said. "All I need is a pencil and paper to do what I think art is most adept at: express myself. When doing art for yourself and your own enjoyment, there are no limits. By adding something or omitting it, the artist gets to test the bounds of their own mind, and I find that fascinating. My art is unique because I made it. Even if I derived the idea from another source because I created it, it is unique to me.”

Bates gets the urge to just create. She will see something on social media or a scenery and will make it come to life. The desire to just pick the sketchbook and finish the piece. Bates has many different art pieces, her absolute favorite piece is the one with a saxophone covered in pink and white flowers, music sheets and a pumpkin in the middle. It took her about eight hours to complete. In this piece she got to play with colors and use aspects of her life into making one of her favorite pieces.

“A cubism piece for my art class that integrated my saxophone, music, and flowers into it. However, what makes it my favorite is how I played around with the colors," she said. "It was a piece that I don’t regret pouring my time into. It turned out incredible and I’m super proud of it.”

Why is art important to Bates? Art lets Bates express herself. When she has art classes, Bates finds it silly how art teachers will mark the tiniest thing on a project. Art should be done for yourself and your enjoyment not for it to be marked down. Art shows who we really are. People use art for coping mechanism; to calm the mind and soul. Bates does, too. In fact, she takes it very seriously. Her work isn’t something that stresses her out. Instead it takes her away from her problems, to a place where she can have only her music and art.

Through Our Lens: Sierra High senior Morgan was inspired to pursue art by her aunt. Bate’s aunt paints mirrors and has painted an entire room filled with Disney characters. Below, Bates showcases some of her favorite pieces of art. (JASLIN KATARIA/Communication By Design)