A.P Draw, Paint, Print Senior Spotlight Interview: Miranda Doro

The AP Drawing Portfolio is an intensive course, requiring students to produce art at the college level. Students compile a portfolio of 15-20 original artworks demonstrating mastery in composition, technique, and concept. They pursue the WHY behind their own artistic process and participate in weekly critiques of classmates’ work, as well as submit completed pieces approximately every two weeks.

What is the central idea of your concentration?

My concentration revolves around the idea of manipulation within the healthcare industry. The 21st century exploded in multiple scientific advancements, yet in this era, with progress came corruption. There are industry payouts to providers, growing partisan divisions over how to treat illnesses, and disparities in the quality of care depending on region, race, and economic status. Some parts of the healthcare system are no longer solely relieving the suffering of patients or maintaining health. Yet, in each piece, just like reality, the beauty of humanity and the horrors of the medical industry coexist.

How does your work demonstrate the exploration of your idea?
Throughout my concentration, I have incorporated warm colors for the people (the ‘victims’) and cool colors for the background and objects. Additionally, I paint with foreshortening to emphasize how often power and influence take the main stage while people are left looking small. Often, I add in symbols that can represent both sides, like a piggy bank, which represents both the juvenile/innocent and greedy aspects of modern healthcare.

How has the idea evolved over the year?

At first, I wanted to do charcoal, and because it was my favorite medium throughout my Draw, Paint, Print career, I felt safe doing that. But, before Rona hit, Ms. Hoadley taught me the beauty of oil painting outside of class. I fell in love with the vibrancy of oil, the ease of mixing colors, and the messages one can convey with those colors. Now…changes related to my idea. In the summer, I was inspired by the protests against and for COVID-19 restrictions. Initially, I had hoped to explore the politicization/polarization of medicine in America (my first piece relates to that idea). However, I soon began to think about other, more powerful aspects of medicine that have failed my family and hardworking people across the globe. Much of the failures arise from those in positions of power, like the government, Big Pharma, and large investors. So, I finally landed on covering the universal manipulation and corruption that exist. 

Can you explain your artistic process? Where do you gain inspiration?

I find inspiration in books, like America’s Bitter Pill by Steven Brill, on television, like Grey’s Anatomy (there are actually lots of good examples of my concentration there!), reading the news, and my own experience with a surgery that cost thousands more than it should have. For each piece, I take reference photos of myself or friends for the human aspect and find a mix of reference photos that I can photoshop together for the buildings, papers, et cetera. 

 What do you hope the viewer will see in your artwork?

I hope that anyone looking at my art will see or continue to be aware of what happens in our world, often under our noses. At the same time, I want them to understand that healthcare is not all horrible and corrupt, but there are some aspects that must be fixed, whether it’s through advocating for equal care or enacting real policy to force fixed prices upon pharmaceuticals globally. Most of all, I also hope that the viewers can recognize the tons of love and research I pour into each brushstroke. 

How long have you been making art? And when did you start to feel independent and like you were truly making your own work?

I have been making art for as long as I can remember! Albeit, I was actually pretty horrible until I began with Ms. Hoadley at Episcopal, but it was still something that was always a fun stress reliever and hobby. It wasn’t until sophomore year, when I drew a charcoal version of Dwight Schrute from The Office with a pumpkin stuck on his head, that I began to believe I could actually create great artwork. Independence and confidence boomed throughout my junior year when I could see actual improvement. Growth and exploration are my favorite parts of creating pieces!