Viviana Zamarripa has always had an interest in art and she had the opportunity to further explore that interest during the state-wide school shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic this semester.

Zamarripa, a student at Hoopeston Area Middle School, took on several art projects while learning from home during the shutdown.

“I’ve been interested in art since I was little,” she said.

Speaking with The Chronicle via Zoom last week, Zamarripa said that she’s explored several different mediums for her art ranging from watercolors to sketches and oftentimes her projects start from doodles and grow from there.

“I try to find things to paint,” she said. “Sometimes I just doodle and just see if I can find things to do out of it.”

Zamarripa said she took on two or three art projects during the shutdown, but the one that stood out for her was her sketch of a human eye.

She said it was her first time trying to draw in that style and working with shading.

“It took me a while to do, but, in the end, I was proud of myself that was I was able to do it,” she said.

Zamarripa said she took on the project because she wanted to challenge herself and showcase of her own talents.

The project had been on her mind for a while, Zamarripa said, and working on it gave her something to do during the shutdown.

Another project she took on during the shutdown involved a cow-print painting on a small canvas.

Zamarripa said she’s been interested in cow print so she sketched out it out first onto the canvas and then painted it.

A separate project Zamarripa took on came from an idea presented on Pintrest involving multiple pieces of construction paper.

The project involved drawing several lines and then doodling within them.

Zamarripa said her art project often grow from doodles she’s done on various pieces of paper.

“Sometimes I try to doodle on regular paper and I tend to make random things out of that,” she said. “I can cut it all out and glue them on a piece of paper and just see what I can work with.”

Zamarripa’s been interested in art since she was four-years-old and hopes to continue to develop as an artist as she grows older.

Zamarripa said her art teacher helped her find new inspirations for art projects during the shutdown by sending her examples of art from sites like Pintrest and encouraging her to take on new projects.

Zamarripa enjoyed working on her art projects at home rather than at school, feeling more comfortable working in her own space and with her own materials.