Artist of the Week: Cameron Stanton


Artist of the Week: Cameron Stanton

November 20, 2023

How fun! We get to begin this Artist of the Week feature with a big “Happy Birthday” to the subject of this week’s column, Sanfordville Elementary school second grader and talented illustrator, Cameron Stanton! 

We sat down with Cameron in the picture book section of the SES Library to talk art, from influences and inspiration to technique.

“I want to be an illustrator,” said Cameron, surveying the stacks of titles and all of the striking cover around him. “I want to draw crazy things, like time travel, outer space, aliens, robots, and definitely scientists. Maybe I can make picture books! ”

Cameron shuffled through a collection of his own most recent artwork on the table in front of him, and pulled out a single comic book-style frame showing two characters spiraling through the cosmos.

“So, that’s me and my friend Brian. Yeah, we were time traveling,” narrated Cameron.  Where were he and Brian headed?

“Oh… back in time to visit Mary Shelley.”

Warwick Valley art teacher, Sunwha Gil, first experienced Cameron’s unique capacity for storytelling and drawing when she was his kindergarten teacher at Pine Island Elementary. Ms. Gil is Cameron’s teacher again this year at Sanfordville.

“As a teacher, it is so satisfying to see his curiosity of art and his passion for art,” said Ms. Gil. “He’s an exceptional child who expresses his own ideas visually, and believes in his own make-believe world. I always love seeing his drawings and having him share his stories in class.”

Cameron’s illustrations utilize a variety of media, but he enjoys utilizing Sharpie markers, especially for creating the strong outlines and deep silhouettes that are hallmarks of his style. We asked Cameron what he thinks has helped him develop such notable visual storytelling and sketching skills at such a young age, and he said he has basically learned by looking at pictures and “just figuring it out” himself.

He also shared that he has been “drawing pretty much all the time” since we was only four years old, in preschool. His interest grew as he graduated into kindergarten, and has only continued to grow since. Nowadays, he even dedicates time outside of school to attending Art with Ms. Lisa, a class he goes to once a week to sharpen the skills he’s already picked up and to explore new techniques and media.

Cameron’s classroom teacher, Katie Caswell, has also watched his artistic talents flourish. She said that Cameron typically enjoys drawing according to the seasons and where we happen to be in the holiday calendar. 

“His favorite subject area seems to be Halloween, though,” said Ms. Caswell. “Cameron is such a bright boy, and he’s an amazing artist.”

Ms. Caswell also said that Cameron is an avid reader, and can often be found absorbing the works of creators like children’s picture book author Jory John, known for applying dark humor in his stories, and movie maker Tim Burton.

“That’s true! Tim Burton,” said Cameron, pulling a handful of his own impeccably drawn, Burton-inspired sketches of Nightmare characters Jack Skellington and Sally, along with some set pieces from his collection. “My favorite movie from him is this one right here… The Nightmare before Christmas!”

Ms. Caswell said she’s seen Cameron’s interests in subject matter changed over the years.

“You name it, he’s drawn it. Captain Underpants, the Peanuts gang, so many great scenes from The Nightmare Before Christmas, SpongeBob.”

At home, Cameron keeps an updated Art Wall in his playroom/studio, where he hangs up his latest, favorite works. One that may soon appear there is another of his multi-paneled cartoons about an adventurer (it’s Cameron) searching for, and being outwitted by, wild bananas.  

Take a virtual tour of some of Cameron’s Art Wall pieces in the gallery below this story!

“This one’s called Bananas in the Wild,” Cameron laughed, pointing out key descriptive details like the wiggling steam lines depicting tropical heat. “Here, [the banana] is being incredibly sneaky. You can see he can hide quite well behind that tree. And I’m like, where’d he go?!”

Besides art class, Cameron said his favorite subject to study is science.

“It’s just kind of too bad I can’t use beakers yet,” he said.

Cameron loves science so much, he wants to create stories with heroic scientist characters, and he’s clearly really looking forward to the hands-on “character research” he’ll get to do once he starts having science labs! We look forward to enjoying your stories, Cameron. Keep up the great work.



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