If you’ve ever walked into Room 111, you’ve probably seen the doodles on the whiteboard. You’ve probably admired the details, or tried to figure out whose signature it could be.
I’m here to inform you that junior Marshall Smith is the Expo artist behind the drawings on the whiteboard. Even if he has told you otherwise.
When Marshall first started drawing on the whiteboard his freshman year, people would question who the mysterious doodler could be. “People ask me about it all the time,” he says. “Mostly when I first started and people weren’t sure who was doing the drawings. People would walk up and ask if it was me, and I would always deny until Mr. Hyde gave it away.”
He decided to start doing these pictures during his freshman year with Mr. Hyde. “I really enjoyed his class, so I left black and white pictures of his dogs on the board just for fun. Then he didn’t erase it, so I started adding some random cartoons.”
The drawings continued all through sophomore and junior year. Marshall used to draw on the boards as a way to “keep in touch with Mr. Hyde during sophomore year, but now, it’s Dr. Henderson’s room and she really enjoys seeing them.”
Recently, if you walked into Room 111, you would see a drawing of Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Marshall says he chose this picture because “Dr. Henderson has taken quite a liking to them [the doodles], so I chose this last one, Jack Skellington, just because I know she likes the movie. I thought she’d get a kick out of it.”
But usually, Marshall just pulls up pictures of characters on Google and just chooses from there. “It’s fun just to do cartoons and fun things,” he says. “It doesn’t take me that long, and people like seeing them.”
Finding time to draw is probably the hardest part. “Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes, and sometimes it takes me an hour and 30 minutes,” says Marshall. “If it’s shorter time, sometimes I can just do it during lunch, but I get to school around 7:08 so a lot of times I sneak in the classroom and draw then.”
However, outside of the classroom, it can take Marshall hours to finish one drawing. “I draw all the time at home, but not really at school,” he says. “If I’m drawing, I can’t focus on anything else, so I kinda gotta keep it to a minimum at school.”
Marshall used to take Foundations in 8th grade, and then Advanced Drawing his freshman year, but there “weren’t any other mediums that [he] was interested in learning, and Lovett doesn’t have another level of drawing class,” so now Marshall just draws at home and posts his favorites on Instagram.
Marshall’s passion for drawing developed at a young age. His mom is an elementary school art teacher a couple hours away. “I grew up with it,” he says. “I just recently won an art contest up where she lives, and sometimes people commission me for portraits of dogs or something like that.” Although Marshall doesn’t necessarily want to do it professionally, it’s fun for him and a good de-stresser.
His favorite thing to draw isn’t actually characters (even though he can draw Fred Flintstone from memory). “I actually like doing figure drawing the most,” he says. “Like different poses of actual people because there’s just so much shadow and whatever it looks like, somehow it always looks right even though the poses can be so weird.”
One of the people he looked up to was Stan Lee. “When Stan Lee died, I did a large picture of him and Spider-Man that covered up the whole board,” he says. “A lot more people saw it and enjoyed it, so they would walk up to me and compliment it.”
His drawings have really started to circulate the school. Students and teachers look forward to seeing new pictures (I know I do). Just this year, I’ve seen Pocahontas and John Smith, which related to an American Studies topic, and then Jack Skellington.
“It’s really blossomed into something I just like doing,” Marshall says. “Some people actually end up complaining when I take too long to add something else to the board.”