A work of art

Junior earns profit from bringing visions to life through artwork


Photo by Angela Valle

Junior McKenzie Brown morphs clay into the shape of a head with precision for an art project.

Story by Jhovany Perez, feature editor

The paint brush glides across the small crevices of her artwork as she adds every detail possible. Her imagination soars as she interprets someone else’s idea, an idea she turns into a masterpiece. Junior Mckenzie Brown began in middle school doing commissions for people who desire an art piece and henceforth began a mini-business.

“I started doing my first commission in 8th grade,” Brown said. “My first piece for commission was a colored pencil drawing of my teacher’s baby.”

Although painting all started as entertainment, her passion manifested into something else. 

“I began doing commissions as a hobby,” Brown said. “I love art, and I myself could never think of topics to paint, so it was nice to paint what others envisioned.”

Brown makes sure that her work environment is always in optimal conditions, so that every art piece is made to her best ability.

“The amount of time I spend on a piece is always different,” Brown said. “It depends on the amount of free time I have, the access to good lighting, the motivation I have to work on the piece, and most importantly what it is I am drawing or painting.”

Even though most of her pieces seem to be simple and straightforward, there is a whole process in which the artwork goes through that is anything but simple.

When I approach a piece, I start with brainstorming sketches. I decide on what ideas work and ones that don’t. The hardest part of every artwork is getting started.

— McKenzie Brown

“When given a new commission, I am typically told to take the person’s general idea and make it my own,” Brown said. “The people want their ideas out on a canvas, but they don’t know how to display it, so they use me to show that. When I approach a piece, I start with brainstorming sketches. I decide on what ideas work and ones that don’t. The hardest part of every artwork is getting started.”

A job can be associated with stress, but Brown doesn’t have this issue with her commissions, it’s rather quite the opposite. 

“I generally enjoy commissions,” Brown said. “I am taken out of my comfort zone when I am given new topics I have never encountered, and I grow as an artist because of that.”

With school and another job at Chicken Express, Brown has been working on commissions more slowly than usual. 

“I have done around 20 commissions. It is hard to fit them around my busy schedule so I have not done as many as I would like,” Brown said. “I think that due to my busy schedule I won’t have as much time as I initially planned, but I will always find free time to make art and hopefully profit from it.” 

Brown loves art, but the real world sadly doesn’t value art as an occupations. This has led Brown down a different path.

“I’ve always wanted to be a tattoo artist, but I think being a nurse practitioner is more practical. Nursing will take up much of my time in the future” Brown said. “I love art and I feel it is very benefiting to me, but I don’t think it’s what’s going to get me through life.’