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Escaping into her art How Lodi sophomore Kathleen Prince found therapy on a blank drawing page

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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 7:18 am

Being a high school student today can be hard. Social cliques, family issues, the loss of a loved one: Those are a few of the things that have led Kathleen Prince, a 16-year-old sophomore at Lodi High School, to turn to art. Here, she talks about her artwork and how it is an alternative outlet that helps her deal with tough situations.

“Art is my escape from the world. When I draw I can get away from the kids at school, I can ignore any pain or loneliness and I feel nothing but each stroke of my pencil on the paper,” Prince said.

Why did you start drawing?

I originally started drawing because I was interested in it and was often told I was very good, even when I was young. After my father died, I realized my reason for drawing became more about remembering or trying to forget. That increased after a friend of mine was hit by a car and killed within the same year of my father’s death.

What inspires your work?

To be honest, nothing really inspires me — most of my finer works are just busy work to keep me from thinking too much about the past. I have dedicated a lot of my work to the rock bands Black Veil Brides and Marilyn Manson. Because their music really helped me to get through hard times, I feel that I almost owe it to them.

What do you like about art?

You know, I’ve never really thought about what I like about art. I’ve just always done it. I want to say I like how it helps me express myself, but that’s not quite right. I like that when I draw, everything just melts away and it’s almost like being asleep; for example, I can listen to music when I draw but I would never be able to say what songs had played.

Who is your favorite artist?

Though I’m tempted to say Marilyn Manson because he paints with watercolor and has his work shown in brilliant galleries, I’d have to say my favorite artist is Stephen Gammell. His horrifying artwork filled my favorite ghost story books that I read when I was little, and I remember wishing I could draw like him.

Where have you shown your artwork?

The first time I actually showed my work was on April 5 at Hutchins Street Square. Other than that, I have pictures of my drawings on Facebook.

Having said that Black Veil Brides and Marylin Manson are two of your favorite music artists, are there any songs or albums you like in particular?

The Black Veil Brides recently came out with a new album and one of the songs on it is called “We Don’t Belong.” Some of the lyrics are: “Can you hear the march of the rejects / Line up a parade of the defects / Can I hear we don’t belong here” and “The church of F.E.A.R. / The church of failure / The church of fools / So call me a nothing / Call me a something / Treat me cruel. / We don’t belong here, we don’t belong / It’s the anthem of the underground / So get back up when they push you down.”

I feel a connection to this song and it helps lift my spirit if I’ve had a bad day. One by Marilyn Manson, “The Dope Show,” I like mostly for the lyrics. They pretty much describe what fame is like — “They love you when you’re on all the covers, when you’re not then they love another. We love your face, We’d really like to sell you, We’re all stars now in the dope show.”

I know that dressing in goth style is very different than your fellow students. Who inspires your personal style? Was it ’90s goth bands, or you favorite music artists or bands?

My style was started on my own. I have respect for the ’90s gothic bands, like The Cure and Christian Death. I like their looks, but I’ve always liked the goth style. I think all the black lace and silk looks elegant, if worn right, but I realize it’s not for everyone.

Besides being an artist, what other things are you interested in?

I’m not much different from most other 16-year-old girls. I enjoy music, but I also like hanging out with my best friend Caryn and my boyfriend Layne. Other things I’m interested in are reading, sewing, baking, gardening, Marilyn Manson, taking pictures and, of course, clothes.

What subjects do you like to take photos of?

Well I like to take pictures of my cat, but most girls with pet cats do that. I like to take pictures of whatever flowers that happen to grow around my yard and I make frequent trips to the Masonic Cemetery near Woodbridge to take pictures of the tombstones and trees, I’m not exactly a professional photographer though.

What was your father like? What did the two of you enjoyed doing together?

He had long blond hair, he smoked all the time and he didn’t live with us. He loved riding his motorcycles — that was something we enjoyed doing together, too. Every once in a while he would take me fishing.

My dad was in a motorcycle accident in 2009. He died in January 2010.

With another year of high school ahead of you, what plans have you made for college?

I plan on taking online courses for the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, majoring in fine art.

With a future planned in art, and a dream to be a tattoo artist, do you have plans of other careers that you could do with art?

My only other plan, so far, would be to become a fine artist, showing my work in galleries and selling prints or originals of my works.

Contact reporter Brian Ratto at



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