Artist Spotlight: Janaki Menon

Junior Janaki Menon is an incredibly talented artist, but her talents don’t stop there.

Caroline Pope, Staff Writer

The Saint Stephen’s art department has been inspiring students and faculty members for years and years. On the SSES art-world horizon is a bright star,Janaki Menon. Menon is a junior here at Saint Stephen’s. Since her arrival, she has been a key member of the art program and has inspired many students with her art work.

Janaki was born in Tennessee, and she has lived all over the world including Indiana, Florida, Texas, London, and India. She first started attending Saint Stephen’s at the beginning of her sophomore year.

She has many artists that inspire her. “A large amount of my work is inspired by Monet.” Monet has a very similar art style to Janaki. His art style is very natural and inspired, much like Janaki’s. He is known for his landscape pieces and is the founder of impressionist painting. Impressionist art is a 19th-century art style that consists of small, visible brush strokes with muted colors and an emphasis on light.

Since she arrived at Saint Stephen’s, she has been working with the art department to strengthen her skills. She is currently taking Art 3 honors and “wants to learn to be the best artist she can be.”

Along with her goals in art, Janaki has high goals in STEM. She plans on becoming a doctor, and she is currently volunteering at the Suncoast FabLab, a science lab that helps children grow their interest in STEM. This allows her not only to explore her other interests but also grow as a person. She says that volunteering there helps her grow her passion for science. Her interests in STEM is what fuels her career-wise. She has stated that she “would like to pursue something in STEM, where it’s more logical than creative and has more of a set schedule.”

Control has been a huge part of her art career as well. She says that when she was first starting out as an artist she liked to draw more because it allowed her to have more control over the outcome. Now, as she has grown as an artist, she feels as though she can dive into painting. Painting can be hard to control because the brush isn’t as precise.

Being an artist can be difficult if you don’t have many supplies. It can cause you to adapt to other forms of art. Janaki told us she “prefers watercolor and oil, but I don’t get to oil very often because I don’t have a studio and to do oil you need a ventilated studio; so I enjoy watercolor more because it does not require ventilation.”

Janaki was first put into art classes “because I had really bad ADD. I used to paint all over my walls and dance shoes. It started as a distraction and turned into a passion.” A passion for art is something that she believes she will have for the rest of her life. Janaki tells us that she owes her art passion to her 7th grade art teacher. “I absolutely loved her and she helped me realize that I actually really love art.”

Janaki is not only an incredible artist but also an incredible person. She dedicates much of her time to volunteering with children and can’t wait to spread her wings in STEM. We are happy to have her as a part of the Saint Stephen’s family.