Battling Climate Change with Brushstrokes


Photo Credit: Tegan Garrison

Our first cover artist of 2020, Olivia Taylor, drawing in her natural element.

Sydney Wold, Reporter

  As the Boise Highlights rings in the new year, we have taken inspiration from this past decade for our January theme, The Decade of Decisions. For this month’s issue, Sophomore Olivia Taylor has taken an insightful approach to illustrating the problems which plagued the retrospective decade. More specifically, climate change.

From the Australian and Amazon Wildfires to Greta Thunberg-led school strikes and the Green New Deal, Taylor believes decisions regarding climate change were fundamental throughout the last decade and will continue to be so during the 2020’s. “Some factors of the Decade of Decisions theme are politics and climate change. For me personally, climate change is a big one… In my English class, we’ve done a few readings about climate anxiety… my sister, myself, a lot of people I know struggle with the idea of a future… because of climate change.” 

Taylor utilizes a digital medium, Procreate, in her piece which portrays a post-climate change world. Symbolization-wise, the darker blues help to portray a somber yet urgent atmosphere. The more concrete objects in the picture, like the girl and the iceberg represent people across the world and climate change respectively. 

According to Taylor, “The girl is swimming in a sea of change… the changing climate is one of the biggest  [changes]… People don’t like change so they pretend like it’s not happening. They put up an umbrella, but even that won’t stop your shoes from getting wet.” 

 Taylor first became interested in art after being inspired by her older sister, whom Taylor is close with. Before coming to Boise High, she took all three years of art at Hillside Jr. High, where she considers she improved. Now, she takes a multitude of art-related courses, such as drawing and painting. 

As for the future, Taylor has set her ambitions toward a career in art, especially animation. 

Ever since deciding this, she says that her aspirations have “Steered me towards art classes and bettering my art. I’ve spent most of my money on art supplies and such. So many sketchbooks.” 

Despite issues such as artist’s block and money, art has given her the freedom to express herself and has allowed her to meet new people.

Taylor’s main influences when it comes to her art in general range from Instagram artists and cartoonists such as Rebecca Sugar, Pendelton Ward, and Hiekala to her friends and family. She considers those close to her to be her greatest influences.