Kristen Tortora, a student at Shoreham-Wading River High School, had never heard of Teen Ink magazine until she joined its “mystical creatures” competition.
His painting of a dragon in acrylic ink won him first prize in the magazine’s art competition.
“I really like drawing dragons and things like that,” Kristen said. “I loved drawing dragons in middle school, I felt like it was a good chance to try inks.”
His artwork was featured in the December 2021 issue of Teen Ink.
Teen Ink magazine is all about teen writing, art, photos, and forums, according to their website. Along with its large national following of more than 460,000 users, according to their website, the digital magazine also has an international following, according to editor Noelle Campbell. bidders,” she said.
Kristen’s artwork was chosen from about 30 entries, according to Ms. Campbell. It was her use of color that made her stand out from the crowd, she said.
“She had an amazing use of color,” Ms. Campbell said. “There are only a few colors on it but instantly the red and gold pops out… it has a good fluidity, a good movement in the image. Every time I look at it I get some kind of emotional response, which is always great with artwork.
Kristen is a member of Shoreham-Wading River High School’s arts and literature magazine, Cymbals. There are about 25 members and the club meets once a week after school. She is the first member to win a contest like this, according to club counselor and creative writing teacher Jennifer Nazer.
Ms. Nazer said Kristen’s talent has always shined and she is happy that it is being recognized.
“We always knew she was incredibly talented,” Ms. Nazer said. “And I’m really, really excited for the rest of the world and the community and everyone to see what an amazing artist she is.”
The contest was found online by Ms. Nazer and her colleague, Sara Trenn, who runs the school’s magazine and club with her. They introduced the Teen Ink contest to Cymbals members as an opportunity for club members to bring more exposure to their talent.
“We know the talent of our children and we want them to have a wider audience,” Ms. Nazer said. “That’s really what motivated us to do these competitions,” she said.
This experience energized Ms. Nazer and Ms. Trenn to continue motivating their students to show their talent and enter more of these contests.
“It really inspired us to encourage our artists, writers and performers, to share their talent and have confidence in their abilities.” said Mrs. Nazer. “That yes you can win these things and yes you are so talented,” she said.
Kristen hopes to pursue an artistic career after graduating from Shoreham-Wading River High School.
“I want to eventually do art professionally and really do whatever it takes to make it happen,” she said.