An EPISD student artist is flying high after earning a top spot in the 2017 Concurso de Dibujo Infantil: “La Mariposa Monarca y su ciclo de vida en Norteamérica.”
Noelly Cobos, a fifth-grade student at Burnet Elementary, was one of only 12 winners chosen from hundreds of entries from all across the world for the drawing contest hosted every year by the Mexican Consulate. Her artwork will be on display at the Papalote Museo del Niño, Mexico City’s largest children’s museum, starting May and is featured in the 2018 IME calendar, which is distributed worldwide.
“I was really shocked because I didn’t know I had been picked,” Noelly said. “My mom was really happy. She was tearing up because she was proud.”
Two representatives from the consulate came to Burnet earlier this month to present her with an iPad, books, a copy of the calendar with her artwork, as well as an art print by Mexican-American artist Nicole A.S. Pellegrino.
The theme focused on the life cycle and migration of the Monarch butterfly — the only butterfly species that migrates during the winters. Monarchs can travel up to 3,000 miles from the United States to the Mexican state of Michoacan.
Noelly put her own twist on the theme, opting to incorporate her style and love of manga — a Japanese style of art that is akin to comic books — to create her drawing.
“I really like drawing people, so I wanted to incorporate a person in my drawing,” she said. “I drew a butterfly on her face and made a cocoon dress with butterflies coming out.”
Art teacher Heidi Gutierrez was over the moon when she found out Noelly has been chosen. This is the second year her classes participate in the contest, but the first time any of her students have won.
“I was so excited I almost cried,” she said. “One of my objectives it to provide students with as many opportunities as possible to show them what they do matters.”
Gutierrez built a lesson around the contest, teaching the students about the Monarch butterfly to get their creative juices flowing. She picked five student drawings from her classes to submit to the consulate.
“The more I talk about it, the more creative they get,” she said. “I chose the students based on their creativity and completeness because some kids have good intentions, but they don’t complete their work. I want to show them they have to finish a project and set those expectations.”
Noelly took several weeks to complete her drawing, which features detailed pencil and watercolor work.
She hopes to continue building her drawing skills and growing as an artist.
“I like the artwork, but I have improved a lot, so I see parts of it I would change now,” she said. “You need to practice every single day and look at other people’s art and get inspiration.”