Proctor inspires and finds love in art


Natalie Proctor’s Instagram page

By Andi Fox, Harrisonburg High School

In October, senior Natalie Proctor created an art instagram page,, so she could share and spread her artwork. She initially didn’t want to make one, but after encouragement from her boyfriend, she decided to give it a try.

“I thought there was no point [in making one] if only 20 or 30 people followed, especially if those people were the ones who saw my art regularly anyway. But my boyfriend convinced me, and within the first day I had over 400 followers which is pretty impressive for an art account,” Proctor said. “I like sharing my artwork but I get really afraid of gaining followers because more followers means more customers, and sometimes I have a hard time saying no when it comes to people asking me for favors or commissions. An extra hundred dollars is nice, but sometimes I want to spend time studying for a test.”

Proctor has taken art 1, 2, and 3, and is currently taking AP Art 4. She has also participated in the Fine Arts Academy all four years of her high school career. Her skills have improved greatly through all of the practice she has gotten through the art classes offered at HHS.

“It wasn’t really as much hard work as it was patience and understanding of the techniques and materials [for me to get to where I am now],” Proctor said.

A lof of the art Proctor does is focused around portraits and people.

“People fascinate me. I like how we all have noses and eyes and teeth, but they are all different. I feel super awkward when I stare at someone, and they see me and I have to act like I wasn’t looking at their face, but I’m just thinking of how I would draw their face and where the highlights and shadows would be,” Proctor said.

Proctor doesn’t have one type of material she likes to work with; she enjoys exploring new mediums and working with different types of art in order to further her experience and skill set.

“I love sparkles and glitter, but I don’t use it often because it’s one of those things where too much becomes tacky very quickly,” Proctor said. “I like discovering new materials so I don’t want to say I have a favorite yet, because I’m not sure if I’ve found it. At the moment, I like prismacolors, pencil/graphite, charcoal, acrylic paint, and basically anything I’ve worked with.”

Proctor’s love for art began at an early age. Her parents bought her and her sister kid’s craft sets, and they would have fun exploring them.

“We would always start out making one or two of whatever the kit was bought for but then our imaginations would take over and we’d take the materials and start making our own little art pieces. They were terrible, but the imagination was what made them spectacular,” Proctor said.

Proctor hopes her art will influence children and students.

“I want to do something with my art, like, help people, inspire children to create and that multiple choice tests aren’t everything. One of my favorite teachers, Mr. Goble, said, ‘Remember, there aren’t multiple choice tests in the real world.’ Kids are stuck in their desks and I want to change that through art. Not everyone learns by sitting in a box at a smaller box with a lecture talking about thinking inside the box. I want to help people find peace through art, whether that be globally, locally, or just helping myself. I want to do something bigger with it,” Proctor said. “[There is a] business that is helping abused or trafficked women become independent and provide for themselves. The workers make jewelry, handbags, etc. but the business is partnered with about 26 countries around the world. They are also partnered with local police departments to offer local women jobs as well as those over seas. It’s a non-profit and it helps so many people start over, I want to do something like that. Small but big.”

Read the original story here.