Abigail Dahl, a homeschool student from Everett, is a talented artist with plans to pursue a career in animation. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)

Abigail Dahl, a homeschool student from Everett, is a talented artist with plans to pursue a career in animation. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)

Homeschooled Everett teen tries to capture feelings in art

Her work is on display at the Schack Art Center and she hopes to become an animator.

EVERETT — Abigail Dahl, 17, is a homeschooled student who has been able to follow her artistic passions from her own studio as well as the studios at Everett Community College, where she is a Running Start student. She won a Gold Key and two Silver Key awards in this year’s Scholastic Art Awards. Last year, one of her animations went on to win a National Gold Medal and be ranked among “the most outstanding works in the nation.”

Question: Have you always been homeschooled?

Answer: I can’t even remember being in a school, since like in preschool. I think I went to a Catholic preschool or something but that was it. So that made starting Running Start classes quite the jump for me, but I like it.

Q: Have you liked being homeschooled?

A: It was good for me, because it gave me a lot of opportunity to explore what I was interested in without the influence of a lot of other people around me, and it gave me a lot of time and space to explore. … It hasn’t made everything super easy. But it’s all I’ve ever known. And it’s made me who I am, and I like who I am.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: Right now I’m taking French 2, Art 116, which is Drawing II, English 101. At home, I’m taking a government course and pre-calculus, and a history course too.

Q: You draw, paint, make videos, and play piano, guitar, flute and ukulele. Do you have a favorite art form?

A: I would say animation mostly because it’s a combination of everything I love.

Q: Have you always wanted to be an artist?

A: I always assumed everyone wanted to be an artist until they found they weren’t good at it. Then I heard a lot of stories of artists and how hard they worked at it. I realized I could really do it if I put in the effort.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration?

A: It’s hard to put a pin in one exact source of inspiration, but much of my work tends to come from me trying to define a particular feeling that I have a hard time articulating verbally.

Q: Your favorite piece at the moment is a 4-by-2 oil painting called “Swimming Pool Sun.” Tell us about it.

A: One of my most vivid memories as a child of light was being in a swimming pool and at night really bright swimming pool lights shining through the water. I wanted to capture that.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I’m in my senior year right now and I’d like to go to an actual art school. My first choice is CalArts. It’s really competitive.

Q: Do you have anyone who has inspired or mentored you?

A: I tend to look to great artists and famous people as inspiration. … Right now my art professor, professor Linda Berkley, it’s been really neat working with her because she can give me personal advice and tell me things I could never have found out on my own.

Q: Do you have a dream job?

A: I’ve always kind of wanted to be in the animation field, either the storyboarding part or character development, the visual design part. But I think I’d be happy as long as I’m working on something I like.

Q: What is it like to see your work on display at the Schack Art Center?

A: It’s kind of weird, because I’ve been staring at it for so long. So seeing it next to other pieces on the wall, I see it in a different way — kind of as an outsider, which is always a different experience.”

Q: We don’t know about this year yet. But last year you won a national Scholastic Art award for your short animated film “The Proper Care of Sprouts.”

A: I got invited to Carnegie Hall and got a medal for that. It was fun.

Q: What else do you enjoy?

A: I’m an avid music critic. I love listening to podcasts on music and learning what’s new.

Q: What’s it like at this stage of life?

A: I think it’s exciting. It’s full of possibilities. The great thing about being an artist — as long as I’m making things that I love, I’ll be happy.

The Regional Scholastic Art Awards exhibit runs through March 4 at Schack Art Center, 2921 Hoyt Ave., Everett.

See more of Dahl’s work abigaildahl.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Craig Hess (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
Sultan’s new police chief has 22 years in law enforcement

Craig Hess was sworn in Sep. 14. The Long Island-born cop was a first-responder on 9/11. He also served as Gold Bar police chief.

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Representative Rick Larsen speaks at the March For Our Lives rally on Saturday, June 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Larsen: ‘Fractured caucus’ of House Republicans is ‘unable to lead’

Following removal of the House speaker, a shutdown still looms. Congress has until Nov. 17 to devise a spending plan.

Spada Lake is seen from Culmback Dam on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, near Sultan, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Helicopter crash in Copper Lake sparks environmental, health concerns

Rangers hadn’t heard of fly-in tourism in the area — which can harm the wilderness and people downstream, advocates say.

Man charged with dealing fentanyl pills that led to Arlington overdose

Prosecutors charged Robin Clariday with controlled substance homicide. He allegedly handed Bradley Herron the pills outside a hotel.

Seattle woman identified in fatal Highway 99 crash

Elena Mroczek, 74, was killed Sunday in a crash involving a 19-year-old.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Rival gang members charged with killing Everett boy, 15, at bus stop

The two suspects are accused of premeditated first-degree murder in the death of Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15.