Zia Terry: Student Feature

Zia Terry: Student Feature

Kegan Stringer

Park City is known for attracting talented people from all trades and walks of life, and some of the most gifted ones are right here at Park City High School. There are incredible and unique talents walking the halls every day. One particular student is Zia Terry, a senior. Her skills are focused on physical art and drawing.


Zia has been creating art for 16 years, “I like to joke and say I’ve been doing art since I could hold a pencil,” said Terry. “I really love the journey art has taken me on.”


She claims these years have been filled with ups and downs, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Terry has matured her style and artwork over time, but she had potential and talent from the very start.


“Ever since I was little [my parents] have both been very encouraging about art, and they often don’t act like the parents who worry about ‘the mess’ associated with art,” said Terry.


With the encouragement and support from her parents, who are both professional artists, Zia was able to uncover her talent and pursue it when entering elementary school. Since elementary school, she has received help from her parents and teachers, but she has also taught herself some skills.


“Zia’s artwork has continued to evolve and mature in the areas of process, skill and concept,” said Mark Elliot, the AP art teacher at PCHS, “Even as a 10th grader, she could draw very well.”


She has been taking art at the high school for the past 3 years, starting as a sophomore. Now she is in AP art and is a teacher’s assistant for lower-level art classes under the advisement of Mr. Elliot. They have spent a lot of time together over the years, and learned to inspire each other creatively.


“Over the years, we’ve discussed expanding her concept to help her communicate more clearly and easily what it is she is imagining,” said Elliot. 


When her imagination takes control, nothing can stop her. Zia’s passion creates a healthy competition between her and her previous work; she is always trying to do better than her last piece.


“Since it’s a visual medium, you can actually see if you’ve been improving. You can see mistakes and parts you really like about your art,” said Terry.


As an artist, her work is focused on the little details. From shading to harsh lines, her work always includes some aspect of spikes or thorns. Her pieces stand out by having very controlled linework, clearly conveyed ideas, and a obvious understanding of the fundamentals of anatomy.


This attention to detail sets her apart from other artists and helps viewers identify all of Zia Terry’s pieces. Terry would describe her style as horror or gore with an underlying sinister element.


“You can always tell it’s one of Zia’s because, no matter what, it will have a little something… prickly. A scorpion or spikes or even just some well placed dark values,” said Elliot.


She loves to see what visceral reaction her artwork invokes from the observer. She wants to shock the audience with something that might make someone say, “that is horrifying,” or “disturbing,”. In her opinion, these are the best compliments she can receive, because it means her intention of making the piece has been accomplished. 


“I haven’t necessarily put a lot of work into developing a very specific style, but through all my years of doing art, I ended up having one anyway,” said Terry.


She constantly finds herself creating monsters, weird creatures, and various animals. She has mastered the anatomy of humans, felines, canines, and equines throughout years of practice.


Anything and everything inspires her to create. “Whenever I see something that catches my eye, I will kind of put it in a mental library of cool stuff,” said Terry. She loves to take google images and make them her own. Her other two primary sources of inspiration are gory images and the music she enjoys.


When inspiration strikes, she creates. She draws every single day. “Sometimes it’s just a little doodle on my schoolwork or on a sticky note,” said Terry,  “sometimes I get really engaged in a piece and I end up doing a 4-8 hour piece in one session.” She also paints and does sculpture work.


Besides art, she keeps herself busy with school and other hobbies. She in on the enduro mountain biking team and the PCHS cross country mountain biking team.


As a senior, Terry is faced with the question, will you continue your passion in college and pursue art as a career? Well, she’s got it already planned out. 


“I want to go to a school called the Art Center College of Design, and I want to go into entertainment design,” said Terry. Her mentors are incredibly confident in her skills and believe that she can pursue her passion later in life.


“I can’t imagine Zia as a person who isn’t constantly creating something,” said Elliot. Since she has progressed so much in the past couple years, Elliot strongly believes she will continue to grow and strengthen her skills for years to come. 


Terry has put significant thought into the next stage of her life and is very interested in many different types of work. She would love to be a concept artist, costume designer for movies, receive a degree in welding and do that on the side, or even illustrate for medical textbooks. She is very open when it comes to her career path in the future, but she hopes that it will relate to art.


So students of PCHS, look out for Zia Terry’s art in the case beside Mr. Elliot’s classroom, and definitely listen for her name after graduation. She’s got a bright future ahead of her!