My name is Mara Strang, I'm 17 and live in Dumfries & Galloway, southwest Scotland. My main passion and interest in life is art and cultivating my creativity. I’ve always made art of some kind and I’ve always found it relaxing and inspiring. During the pandemic, art has kept me sane and helped me to make good use of all the extra at-home time.
The drawings above are both done using coloured and graphic pencils
For me, at the moment at least, I’m drawn to lots of different artistic disciplines. I love working with paint and pencils, with ink and pressed flowers, and have even recently gained skills working with clay and ceramics! I've made jewellery, painted portraits, and collaged. And I've recently discovered a new passion for Digital Art.
This was done using acrylic paint and chalk, finished piece (left) photograph (right).
I'm currently in my last few months of high school, and at the last stage of my Higher Art course. Thinking of the future is both exciting and terrifying! I'm in a kind of strange in-between stage before leaving home. I’m planning at least one gap year before university and would love to study something like Intermedia Arts at Edinburgh.
These are my Expressive & Design Portfolio Sheets from Higher Art
Testimonial from my Higher Art teacher at Lockerbie Academy:
"Mara is an outstanding and talented student who shows an excellent attitude to her artwork. She has worked confidently and conscientiously and has gone from strength to strength throughout her time at Lockerbie Academy.
Mara draws with real enthusiasm, mixed with a natural ability to exhibit her creative flair, and display her highly skilled draughtsmanship. She is currently on target to gain an A grade at Higher Art and Design."
I’m going to be working some of my gap year in Argyll, and I’d also like to travel abroad if covid-19 restrictions allow it. I’d like to do some voluntary work in a foreign country, and I know I’ll continue to develop and explore my artistic side wherever I end up.
Whatever future I have, I'm certain that art will play a part in it, and I think gaining skills in Digital Art now will stand me in really good stead.
What do I need the money for?
A few weeks ago I applied to the Holywood Trust to ask if they would consider funding a high spec laptop with Digital Art capabilities, so that I could develop my skills in this area.
"The Spectre x360 is a 2–in–1 model that allows you to convert the display into a tab and supports the use of he HP tilt pen. For students honing their skills in digital arts, this device is of great use…”
The HP Spectre x360 costs £1199.
The Trust has offered me £500 on the condition that I can raise the remaining £500 from another source. So I decided to create this crowdfunder to raise the remaining money.
If I manage to raise the funds, I already plan to create digital art images to illustrate a children's book. My mum is a writer and she and I have talked for many years about collaborating on a children’s book. She has already written it and is waiting for me to get my act together!
For anyone able to make a big donation of £100 I'm offering an approx. A4 portrait of your favourite pet in acrylic paint as thanks (see above image of our dog, Kelpie!).
You'll need to send me a good quality colour photograph (standard phone camera is fine) of your pet. I will send the completed painting to you by post within a fortnight!
If I raise more money than expected, all funds over the £500 mark will be donated to a charity in Dumfries & Galloway. I am hoping to donate it to a charity that supports arts!
This was done using acrylic paint and coloured pencil (the painted sections are stuck on overtop in two rough torn pieces)