Tess Breeden: artist and model

Isabelle Pala

 Whether quilting in the basement art room of Lafayette Elementary School or creating large and intricate oil paintings in the basement of her house, art has always been a part of senior Tess Breeden’s life. Distance learning gave her the time and space she needed to become fully dedicated to her craft. 

Breeden draws her inspiration from a myriad of things, but explains that she finds a particular kind of beauty in serenity. “The quiet makes me almost hyper-analyze my surroundings, making me want to recreate the aspects that I find extraordinary.” 

This had led her to create surrealist-inspired works as well as realistic depictions of still lives, people, and places, often painted with bold colors or drawn with fine pen. 

Breeden explained that her goal is to make immersive art using a variety of mediums. “I want to explore combining all mediums to enhance the audience’s experience and art school is where I intend to learn from,” she explained. 

Breeden plans on going to art school to help her pursue this. Though she hasn’t decided on one yet she has offers from many. 

This fall, Breeden was scouted for DNA Models, a high fashion modeling agency, which requires her to travel a lot on short notice. In order to be fully devoted to art school when she starts, she has decided to take a year off. 

This will allow her to take advantage of the modeling opportunities she was offered in New York City, before fully immersing herself in the art school environment. Being in NYC, she will also be exposed to a plethora of creative outlets and on this year off, she plans to stay with other artists to expand her scope while also working on the fashion opportunities she was offered there.

As a high school student, it’s been a challenge to access large-scale materials and spaces. Because of this, she’s been confined in the mediums she is able to explore, but she is “eager for next year and for art school where it can be so much more convenient and immediate to create.”

Though she’s known for a long time that art was her passion, she’s faced her own doubts and uncertainties, just like any young artist. 

“My main obstacle is getting into my own head,” Breeden said. “It’s really easy to compare yourself to other artists when the world is filled with so many raw talented people. But, at the end of the day, you just have to be proud of what you’ve created and take a step back from those minor details and look back at why you created what you did.”

For students also looking into a future in art, her advice is to “do what you want. If art is really where you see yourself like I do, then go for it. Applying was not too difficult of a process and my main advice would be to be diverse with what you submit to your portfolio to show that you are capable of all areas of their checklist.” •