Drawing away tension: Artist finds release in her work

Mar 12, 2018

PANTHER 2017 fall mcom 441 profile destiny sumter by bradley harris

(Panther photo by Bradley Harris)

Passion, pain, calmness, soothing, inspiring. All emotions are released when Destiny Sumter’s pencil strokes the blank paper.

If you look closely, the different strokes tell a story of the days passed, and what is to come.

Drawing is a way that most people kill time. Or it serves as entertainment for others. But it has a much deeper meaning for the freshman business major at Claflin University.

Behind each stroke is a significance, a story of the days passed and all of its emotions, and what is to come.

“Whether the previous day was good are sad, there is something that can make the next day better. Whatever I feel can make the day better, I draw it out,” said Sumter, who views drawing as a release.

She began drawing at the age of 7 after being introduced to pen and paper in art class. After she finished her first drawing, she connected with her work on a deeper level. That deep connection led to her drawing at least twice a week.

She did not realize how good her drawings were until her artwork was posted on the walls of her elementary school. Before then, drawing was just something she did.

“It was interim night and my parents were with me visiting all of my teachers. We were in the art hall and my dad was looking at the artwork on the wall and he saw my artwork. My teacher did not even tell me that she displayed my work. I was excited,” said Sumter, who still draws to this day.

Once her parents realized her potential, they asked her if she wanted to enter art competitions. She had no interest in competitions because they can become intense.

“I didn’t want to compete because I knew it would change the meaning of why I draw. I didn’t want that to happen,” she said.

The older she became, the more life experiences she went through. Her drawings were something that allowed her to ease her tension.

She began to draw with a purpose. That purpose has not changed since she was 11 years old, and has followed her into young adulthood.

“When I draw I am stress-free, and I have no cares in the world. Everything around me disappears. I draw out my feelings. If I want something to happen the next day, I draw it out,” Sumter said.

Sumter does not plan to stop drawing. As she has grown older, her schedule has become more hectic, but she still finds time to draw.

“It allows me to let go of everything and be free of the pressures of life. Drawing is and will always be my release.”

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