Senior Spotlight: Astrin Hail


Senior Astrin Hail.

Gwen Touney, Journalist

Though we had known each other since middle school, there was still the initial awkwardness of phone call introductions. But afterwards, the insight I got from Astrin only confirmed my confidence that it was the right decision to interview them.

By friends, family, and other Capital artists, Astrin is known for their creativity. “I’m really passionate about making art, painting, learning how to do tattoos, and just expressing my feelings through art.” they said, without much hesitation. Throughout their time at Capital, Astrin has taken various types of creative courses, but the piece they are the most proud of was a product of the Ceramics class. “I think my current one is this little clay piece that I made in junior year- I think- and I had wanted to make since freshman year. It’s Wall-E, like from the movie,” they expressed, when discussing the art piece they were the most proud of. “In freshman year, we made these clay boxes, and I had this idea like ‘Oh, take this base and make it like Wall-E,’ and I thought that was super cute. I didn’t really have the skills to make that until junior year, and so now I have this cute little sculpture of Wall-E just sitting on my bookshelf,” Astrin laughs as we talk about the creation of Wall-E. “I love him! He’s adorable, and 3D pieces are a lot harder for me, because I’m so used to painting and just doing 2D things, so I’m pretty proud of him,”. When talking about art, even over the phone, I could tell art was something that ran deep through their veins. 

Their favorite art piece they created, a Wall-E clay sculpture.

When doing anything, but particularly art, one usually has their influences. Someone who inspires them to keep creating. “I grew up in Chicago, which isn’t as important, but I lived with my grandparents and my mom… My aunt was a few years younger than her, she was more of a teenager… Her room was there, and she was an artist, and she was around how old I am now. Her room was just filled with art, her ceiling was painted with these blue swirls, and there were these glued CD’s on the ceiling, and I just thought that was so cool- I was like 6 years old- and I just wanted to be that and I wanted to do that, and so that was definitely my inspirational moment.”

In contrast to their evident zeal for visual arts, something others might not know about Astrin is that they are planning to take a gap year after graduation. “It’s appealing to be able to have a job and not also have to balance school. And just not doing school for a little bit, just taking a year to breathe, do more art, and experience more, without school schedules getting in the way.” Being able to take time to save money, work on yourself, and take a break from academic stresses was appealing to approximately 40% of graduates in 2020 alone. Though gap years present many benefits, the purpose of them is to be temporary. Luckily, Astrin is prepared. “But after the gap year, I’m done with my job and I’m ready to go on to college, I’ll go to SPSCC… I want to take ASL classes there, because it will be a more in-depth class than I had at Capital. Also, take some art classes, possibly some psychology classes. I don’t know specifically what path I want to take, so I’m hoping while I’m at SPSCC I’ll get a taste of what college is like and what I want to follow as a career,”. Even though Astrin is unsure of their definite path, when asked, they had some ideas. “My main ideas right now are being a sign language interpreter. I want to be a tattoo artist or a piercer, but I know that’s not stable, because it’s so popular, and it’s hard to get into the industry. But with sign language, it’s something that’s a lot more needed, and it pays pretty well, and it’s still something I’m passionate about.”

Though they have a plan for a future that includes plenty of time for their passions, Astrin is feeling conflicted about graduating. “I thought I would be excited, and I am, but because of COVID, I’m actually really disappointed, because we haven’t had enough time in in-person classes. So, when I was in freshman year, I was really jealous of the seniors getting to leave a week early, and now I wish I had as much time as everyone else did. Even just a week, I really wish I had that time to be in person, and be in class, especially my art classes, and just hanging out with all my friends who aren’t seniors. I’m pretty bummed actually, but I am looking forward to going into my next stage of life, but I need a little more time.”