Artist of the Issue: Naomi Tomlin ’19
Naomi Tomlin ’19 has always found herself gravitating toward the pen and the page.
Ever since she was a little girl, Tomlin could be seen sketching, drawing, painting, or writing. Frankly, Tomlin flourishes in anything creative that she can get her hands on.
Besides her appreciation for— and work within—the visual arts and literature, Tomlin has a vast respect for music and theater. Tomlin wears many hats on campus. In her six years at Hopkins, she has set the field ablaze as Varsity Field Hockey co-captain and goalie, is one of the editors of the Hopkins literary magazine Daystar, and is an active member of the Equal Rights Respect and Opportunities club. Tomlin is also the winner of the Smith Book Award, which honors outstanding young women in local communities.
At the tender age of 13, Tomlin realized what a pivotal role art played in her life. As she said, “I’ve written and drawn for as long as I can remember.” Tomlin recalled a time in her life where she felt lost without her craft: “When I first came to Hopkins in seventh grade, something felt off for the first few months. It took me a while to realize that I’d stopped drawing in order to focus on school. Once I started drawing again, things felt a lot more comfortable. It’s something I can take with me everywhere I go.”
Tomlin’s artistic process is one of extensive discipline, passion, talent, and commitment. She practices, and preaches, consistent application of writing and drawing. Tomlin emphasized that “I like to draw or write something every day. I’m not the best at sticking with that, but I think consistency is a really important part of improvement.”
When Tomlin described her work, she pointed to the odd nature of her style. Tomlin enjoys paying homage to the more niche and underappreciated aspects of the human experience. Whether it be a haunting short story or an abstract and thought-provoking sketch, the media Tomlin produces is unique in execution. In Tomlin’s opinion, she simply portrays what she sees. In regards to her art, she stated, “Observation is the backbone of my artistic process. I love to notice little things and give them attention.”
Over the summer, Tomlin was accepted into and attended the Iowa Young Writers Studio, the highest honor for young adults interested in literature. The Iowa Young Writer’s Workshop is a summer residency for creative writing students at the University of Iowa. Promising high school-age creative writers have the opportunity to spend two weeks studying writing. Tomlin said, “I’m really proud of being accepted to Iowa Young Writers Studio. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I’m forever grateful for the time I had there.” In order to earn her spot, Tomlin endured a rigorous application process of submission and anticipation. It was there Tomlin joined other young writers to expand her talents and appreciate the work of others in what she describes as an unforgettable environment.
Balancing the intensity of a demanding Hopkins workload with the responsibilities of being an involved member of the community is a challenge in itself. Attempting to add a full-time commitment to drawing and writing is no easy conquest, but Tomlin delights in the challenge. “Writing and drawing make me really happy, I cannot imagine my life without these art forms in my life.” If you want to catch some more of Naomi Tomlin’s writing, check out the upcoming edition of Daystar, debuting this spring!