Artist Spotlight: Lawrence Spurlock


Madeline Steward

Lawrence Spurlock

Madison Gomez, Reporter

While listening to teachers talk in class, senior Lawrence Spurlock found himself drawing on the margins of papers. Continually finding a medium to create art, he developed more skills and techniques without help from a class. Spurlock’s art caught the attention of  former Robotics coach Mike Taylor sophomore year, and he encouraged Spurlock to join Robotics as well as express the “weirdness” that was in his art.

“I like to work with weird stuff, the weirder the better,” Spurlock said. “If it’s not weird, it’s not good.”

He came up with a definition as to what he said was weird, because that’s mainly the kind of art he makes.

“Dark, gorey, strange, anything that would make the general populous uncomfortable,” Spurlock said. “… I don’t intend to (make the art weird), I do it because it’s what I think is nice.”

Most of Spurlock’s inspiration comes from Taylor, saying that he pushed him to be artistic “as humanly possible.” He wasn’t an art teacher, but he showed Spurlock new pathways into art, new ideas and embracing who he was.

Although his favorite art style is painting, Spurlock also makes 3D art figurines, bottle cap pins and drawings on post-it notes, SHS fiber arts teacher Breanna Bierod noticed. Since this is her first year teaching, she had never met Spurlock before, but he made an impression on her when he came to class already having artistic knowledge.

Bierod says Spurlock is a kind student with a good sense of humor who helps out others when he can with a good attitude towards them and art, and he can calm the class down and get them to be respectful when the time calls for it.

“When we were presenting baskets, there was one kid who’s really shy and (Spurlock) stepped up and asked questions to help the person talk,” Bierod said.

Spurlock has not taken an art class since elementary school, so the fiber arts class that he is in now with Bierod is his first formal experience with learning art at SHS. Spurlock has enjoyed it so far, as he’s been able to express his creativity through the class but for a grade instead of doodles on the sides of papers. He never expected to get as good as he is without an art teacher, so he believes that he became self taught by drawing the same thing over and over again, slowly building up skills.

Taylor was the one who pushed him to keep making art, so when he left, it “horrendously depressed” Spurlock. The two still keep in contact, they made a lasting relationship in the year that Spurlock had spent with him and he says that they talk as often as they can. Taylor gave Spurlock a 3D printed pendant with Taylor’s new robotics team number, and Spurlock decided to wear it as a necklace to remind him of how he got to this point in his life, the person who pushed him to get to the point of doing art.

Spurlock gave Taylor a painting, a side profile of Taylor’s face with a blank expression with flowers framing him. The symbolism of the flowers was supposed to convey that he was sad about Taylor leaving, but he knew, as flowers blossom, they move onto bigger and better things, like Taylor did when he moved schools.

“A lot of things that I grieve over, I incorporate into my artwork,” Spurlock said. “Especially things that I wanted to say to people but never could, so I put deep emotional stuff into my artwork.”