Cover Artist: Shay Harpole


For Shay, art is boundless and never-ending. It is a means of expression (Shay Harpole).

Sophia Chen, Managing Reporter

The incredible artist, Shay Harpole, is the creator of this month’s gorgeous cover art. Her painting’s centerpiece are  koi fish, and through the pretty painting, Shay skillfully captures movement in nature.  The thick brushstrokes and small details are breathtaking. It’s the fluidity of the water and the realism of the fish that help create such a dynamic painting. Vibrant hues and lively colors coupled with the tranquility of nature make the fish even more eye-catching. Behind this beautiful piece of art lies a story.

It was at the Botanical Gardens where Shay was inspired. Her sister had worked at the Botanical Gardens, and Shay could go wander whereever she wanted. This allowed her to observe the koi fish whenever she wanted. Although koi fish are often associated with a plethora of things like fortune, love, or friendship, Shay states, “if you watch them for a while, they never run into each other. They’re always so peaceful, and they show that you don’t have to freak out about everything. You can just go with the flow.” Observing nature can teach us meaningful lessons.   

Shay absolutely loves everything that art has to offer. Not only does she  paint, but she also adores playing the piano. She claims that art has shifted her perspective on life and that it has forced her “to not see things in straight lines [and] to see the whole picture”. She adds that words aren’t able to convey the same ideas that art can because art knows no bounds. Art “is a way to let out all that I want to say when I don’t have the words to say it,” she reports. Although Shay has been evolving her craft for her entire life, she has become more serious about art in the past few years.

Art class is a lot less rigid compared to many other classes which tend to be overly structured. She explains, “I have the complete freedom to do whatever I want and say what I want. Making art is very cathartic in that way.” Because art is highly subjective, there is never a right answer, and Shay is always competing with herself to improve.

Going with this month’s theme, Shay shares her thoughts on appreciation and motivation. According to Shay, “Making art and being an artist can be the most annoying and frustrating thing at times. I will always feel not good enough and be too hard on myself. But, at the end of the day what motivates me is that I can’t stop myself from continuing art, and can’t imagine not doing it.” Art takes immense amounts of time and effort, so it’s not easy to be an artist. But, Shay is a highly motivated and tenacious artist, and most importantly, she loves art with all her heart.