Creating a Portrait With Only a Pen- Q&A with Lily Cooper, Winner of Black History Month Art Contest


Winning artwork submission of Friday, February 5th submitted by sophomore Lily Cooper

Margaret Holmes

Lily Cooper, a first-week winner of Black Student Union’s Black History Month art contest, shares more about the inspiration and the development of her pen drawing. Responses have been edited for clarity.

How long have you been drawing?

For about as long as I can remember. I would just do doodles and sketches, and it wasn’t really until around sixth grade when I started drawing seriously.

What made you want to submit your drawing to the contest?

I thought, why not submit one? I already had one ready and so I just did. It’s kind of nice to get out there and just get the word out there. I didn’t really expect to win, so I was kind of shocked.

Why is Black Lives Matter important to you?

Just equal rights really. I think we really have to work on that, especially as a society. And as someone that’s white, I thought that I could use my voice for the Black community, if that makes sense, and kind of just use my privilege to bring awareness to Black lives and equality in society.

 How did your drawing idea come to you?

Originally it wasn’t going to be like a final artwork. It was going to be like a sketch for future work, and I got really into it, and I like just kept adding detail and just working on it. And it turned into one of my favorite pieces and my teacher’s, too.

Is there a reason why you decided to not include any color?

No, not really. I wanted to limit myself to just using a pen to see where it could go. It was kind of inspired by an Australian kind of style. I think it looks more professional.

View other winners of the month here.