Humans of Walnut: Drawing his future

Whether it be doodling in notebooks during math class or curating an elaborate portfolio for Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art, students have a vibrant artistic presence on campus. For junior Dirk Tabunar, an enduring interest and passion for art has contributed to his decision to pursue it as a major.

Tabunar began dabbling in art at an early age. Although most people begin their artistic career in the traditional setting of a classroom, Tabunar found inspiration from the glowing screen of the television — characters from shows like “Steven Universe,” “Fairly Oddparents,” “Attack on Titan,” “Sailor Moon” and “Boku no Hero Academia.”

“I grew up with a bunch of cartoons. I was interested in, ‘How will that work? Oh, this looks really pretty, and now I want to draw it,’ and I guess it’s just stuck with me ever since,” Tabunar said.

Throughout middle and high school, Tabunar has enrolled in classes such as Fundamentals of Art and AP Studio Art to improve and develop his skills as an artist. These classes have opened a way for him to engage with different artistic mediums, such as digital and watercolor.

“There are specific pieces at the time that I actually did feel proud of. It was a digital painting of Eijirou Kirishima from ‘My Hero Academia,’ and I was trying out new digital brushes, like super textured brushes,” Tabunar said. “That was the most proud I’ve felt about my art.”

Tabunar began to consider art for a major after visiting museums and listening to the stories of other artists. Finding a way to combine his passion for art with a viable career option is a prospect that excites him. But for now, finding inspiration from the world around him — be it cartoons or people — continues to drive him to push his artistic boundaries.

“I have a ton of drawings of my friend. He’s very quiet, very funny and a really good dancer,” Tabunar said. “When I see him dancing, he motivates me to push my art forward and practice movement and anatomy, the two things I’m terrible at, [and I find it] very lovely.”

By Milo Santiago, Staff writer
Photo by Daniela Marquez

Behind every person is a story. Through Humans of Walnut, the Hoofprint staff is dedicated to telling the stories of students, aiming to capture the spirit and community of Walnut High School in the process. Inspired by Humans of New York, our writers randomly select students and speak to them extensively about their passions and life experiences. These are their stories.