By Shawn Kirkpatrick
Her portraits are so well sketched and life like, they seem like a photograph. But they’re not. They are painstakingly drawn by Opelika High School (OHS) Senior Tiffany Boutdy. The 18-year-old received 2nd Place in the 2018 State Superintendents Visual Arts Exhibit (Grades 11-12) and 2nd Place in the Opelika City Superintendent’s Visual Arts Exhibit. Just last week, she received 2nd placed in the 3rd District Congressional Art Competition.
Boutdy first found out she had a passion for art in elementary school. “The teachers thought I stood out and performed a little better than the other students. I wasn’t really good on my own (without a teacher’s help), it was decent, and then in 10th grade, I took Art 1 with Mr. Conway, and that’s when my drawing got better,” Boutdy said.
She said she started submitting her portraits last year after becoming a junior and taking Art 2.
“There was more freedom (in Art 2), I could choose my assignments, and I worked on those in class and at home. Then, I would give them to Mr. Conway, and he would submit them to competitions.”
OHS Visual Arts Teacher Jeff Conway said each year he gets a diamond in the rough, and Boutdy was one of those. “She is very articulate and detail oriented, and she’s gained confidence over time. She pushes the things she knows she can do,” Conway said. “She doesn’t give up. She has a lot of perseverance. That’s why she has garnered success.”
Boutdy said she doesn’t participate in sports or show choir, but identifies with art. “I like drawing. I like using a pencil because you have more control,” she explained. “It’s more detailed and precise. I really like drawing people. It’s peaceful to work on my sketches.”
This artist added she also loves the medical field. Boutdy is in Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) at OHS. She is also an OHS Ambassador for her school. Boutdy is heading to the University of Alabama in Birmingham to study medicine, but she said she isn’t giving up art. “I plan on drawing in college, and I hope as an adult, I still find time to draw.”
You can see Boutdy’s award winning portrait “Blake,” in the latest OHS “Perspectives” magazine. It goes on sale May 22 at the high school for $10. You can preorder a copy right now for $7 through OHS.