Art, music welcome distraction from stress for junior


Photo provided by Veronica Ostrin

Ostrin’s drawing of large Legos was displayed in the hallways at school. This was her first drawing to be displayed during her freshman year.

Anushka Ravi, Reporter

Waiting for someone to fill the awkward silence of her English class, she needed a break from the monotony of virtual learning. She picked up her new instrument and plucked the tines with her thumbs, and the soothing soft melody from the kalimba helped her relax.

“My dad collects a bunch of instruments, and during quarantine I came across the Kalimba and I decided to learn it for fun,” junior Veronica Ostrin said. 

Ostrin grew up in a school and household filled with art and music. 

“I went to Johnston Middle School, which is actually a school that focused primarily on fine arts,” Ostrin said. “I was known as the art person in my group of friends because I painted while most other people played an instrument or danced.”

Veronica Ostrin on the beach with her pet hedgehog, which she got two years ago. Her hedgehog’s name is Igel. (Photo provided by Veronica Ostri)

Growing up, Ostrin loved to draw and paint as much as she could. 

“In middle school, all I really wanted to be was an art teacher. I used to take extra classes over the weekends and be a part of art summer camps just to be as good as I could at art,” Ostrin said. 

Ostrin considers her artwork different from ‘typical, everyday art,’ as she describes it. She makes recycled art and DIY art projects. She also loves watercolors. Ostrin likes the fluidity of watercolors and has used it to paint countless paintings of inanimate objects like houses and scissors. 

“Sometimes, the art department hangs up their favorite artworks throughout the year. I was pretty happy when I realized that two pieces of my artwork were actually hung up last year,” Ostrin said. “I immediately took pictures, and I felt proud of my work even if it was just hung up in the school hallway.” 

Ostrin is also interested in music, which serves as a large part of her family life.

“Growing up, I always knew I had a pretty unique family,” Ostrin said. “We are really close and I find out new things about them everyday. Recently my mom randomly told me that my dad used to be a sitar player, but now he just plays guitar.”

Most recently, Ostrin’s interest shifted from art to academics. She always knew her education was important but decided to focus more on it during junior year. 

“High school helped me realize that I want to do something related to science in the future, maybe an optometrist, so I am actually taking three AP science courses this year and it’s been pretty stressful,” Ostrin said. While art and music are still big parts of her life, Ostrin wanted to do something that excited her and challenged her. 

“Even though school can be difficult, it’s something I recently became more interested in it, ” Ostrin said. “I still occasionally paint, and I like being involved in music, but I’ve had a kind of big shift in my goals for the future.”

Ostrin is now balancing academics, music, art and other clubs, and she finds solace in her art and music when she feels stressed or overworked.

“Even though I haven’t been as into art as I used to be, I’ve definitely been using art as a distraction from school,” Ostrin said. “It helps me not stress over school all the time and I never wanted my only focus to be school. I’m glad that I have something to fall back on, and I also think my pet hedgehog keeps me sane.”