Michelle Arteaga

By: Monica Houltram | Mohave High School Journalism Program

Perhaps it was fate…but one of the driving, formative forces in senior Michelle Arteaga’s life was suggested by her very name: art. The early-blooming artist picked up on watercolor paintings, drawing and sculpting in elementary school, continued her art career in middle school, and is now a few month short of completing her high school career, and art has been a constant companion.

While many members of the public who stroll through art shows admire the talent on display, Michelle knows the secret story of the hard work, dedication, and practice required to get any given piece of art to its show-ready best. Those kinds of demands never diminished her will to continue trying her best.

Michelle gave a clear ”shout-out” of thanks to retired Mohave art teacher Mr. Mark Anderson for having had one of the greatest impacts on her art career: “He always motivated me to continue my work, even when I was close to giving up.” Mr. Anderson made Michelle appreciate the patience it takes to create a piece of art which all too often does not come easily: “You have to want it bad enough to improve,” she proclaims.

Like so many others, Michelle often finds herself hitting the proverbial “block” that confronts both artist and writer. When she hits these stress-producing obstacles, Ms. Arteaga looks for motivation in herself and in her peers, most notable of whom is MacKenzie Jackson; MacKenzie is the type of friend who has never let Michelle fall behind and is always looking to give her that extra boost.

After high school, Michelle plans on attending Northern Arizona University and pursuing a career in social work while her life-long companion, art, moves into the role of a hobby instead of a way to earn a living. That doesn’t, however, mean that art will ever be forgotten; as Michelle herself said, “If it pleases you, keep going.”