Daniel Young has a gift. Currently a sophomore at Highlands Latin School, Daniel has attended since kindergarten. He is a member of the Art Club and serves on the set crew for Drama Troupe performances. His greatest contribution to the drama productions, however, may be his exceptional artwork.
Mrs. Teresa Boling, the Drama Troupe director, approached Daniel in 2017 and asked him to create a poster to advertise the upcoming performance of Sherlock. She had already heard about Daniel’s talent. Within a week, Daniel completed the requested artwork. Since that first poster, Daniel has drawn the promotional materials for The Curious Savage, The Music Man, and most recently Anne of Green Gables. Daniel’s admirers noticed that his artwork for the drama productions uniquely features the likenesses of HLS students in their various roles. Daniel said he was always interested in adding real people to the posters, and he felt confident enough in his skills to portray the actual actors and actresses in the cast starting with The Curious Savage. Mrs. Boling commented, “We love the artwork Daniel creates using the images of the students involved in the show. It makes our shows’ posters unique and cherished. He is not a man of many words usually, but he speaks volumes through his art and we are all left speechless.”
“I’ve probably been drawing for as long as I can remember,” Daniel said. He realized his talent early on when teachers recognized his drawings’ quality far exceeded the capability of most students his age. In fourth grade, at the encouragement of HLS art teacher Janice Murdoch, Daniel began taking Louisville Visual Art classes on a weekly basis. While a variety of classes are offered, Daniel focuses on drawing since he wants to hone his skill in colored pencils. Currently Daniel’s kitchen table serves as his art studio because he appreciates the natural light of the room.
Daniel has received several public accolades for his artwork. At the 2018 Kentucky State Fair, Daniel won third place for drawing in any medium and placed fifth for crafts, sculpture, and 3D objects. He also earned awards for pieces submitted in previous years to the Kentucky State Fair.
Daniel said his friends in his grade have supported him in his art by offering advice and encouragement. His favorite thing about HLS is that “you know everyone … at least in high school, I can point someone out and tell at least one characteristic about them.” He also noted the unique influence of the teachers at HLS on his artistic pursuits, in particular Mrs. Murdoch and Mrs. Boling. When asked about his future plans, Daniel said, “I definitely want to keep on doing art. I don’t ever want to put it down.” He hopes to pursue marketing or graphic design and creating movie posters or other advertisements.
Daniel’s developing talent and bright future are summed up by Mrs. Murdoch. “I have had the privilege of seeing Daniel’s artistic talent develop since first grade,” she said. “His primary and lower school artwork was indicative of his innate talent, and in sixth grade his Jan van Eyck triptych and Mrs. Mangione teacher sign for the art show were ‘Wow’ and ‘Amazing’ exclamation points. From this point onward, Daniel has been wowing HLS with his amazing poster work for the HLS Drama Troupe productions. His future as a successful artist is his for the taking should he choose it.”