Student Focus: Artist Edition

They say a picture is worth a thousand words—if you go by the talent and artwork of FLVS students Jaydon and Justus, you’ll see they’ve already produced volumes! In this edition of our Student Focus blog serieswe are pleased to showcase their incredible talent.

Fourteen-year-old Jaydon Souza has great passion for art—he even attends an art class in Brazil! Jaydon began taking courses with FLVS earlier this year, and said, “Because of FLVS, I am able to travel back and forth between Brazil and Florida for my art.”

The art school he goes to in Brazil has an annual art competition with more than 50 student artists vying for the school’s top award. Jaydon recently won First Place for his Aquaman drawing!

The 9th-grade student said drawing Aquaman was difficult because he wasn’t used to the coloring style. “On the final day to submit, I was still missing most of the background, but I focused on my goal and was able to complete it in time.”

Jaydon said he went a year or two without drawing but came out of his artistic break and completed the dragon (pictured below). “It showed me that no matter how much time passes, the skill is always with me,” he said.

When asked if he has a favorite painting or piece of artwork Jaydon said, “I love all my artwork, no matter if it’s good or bad, because every drawing I learn something new and gain experience.” He likes to use Prismacolor colored pencils and added that the picture of the Pug was his first actual realistic drawing that he had to do for his art class.

While Jaydon likes to learn about the fine arts and how different kinds of arts affect culture today, he also enjoys science. After completing school, he would love to find a job that involves animals, nature, or wildlife.

“I love Science, Chemistry and Biology, so I would like to do anything that’s related to those fields, and of course, to be able to work with my drawings in those fields of study.”

Jaydon said he is thankful to FLVS because, “Having a flexible schedule allows me to have the extra time to work on my artwork and still get my high school requirements completed.”

He also said he is grateful for his World History teacher, Mrs. Jamie White. “She complimented me on my artwork when she saw one of my drawings being posted on the FLVS Facebook page. This motivated and inspired me to work harder on my drawings. I love hearing people’s reactions and comments.”

Theresa, Jaydon’s mom and biggest fan, said, “He has an amazing personality, his own thoughts and opinions, and I celebrate his individuality and uniqueness. May he always know his worth and exactly how precious he is.”

Way to go Jaydon, we think you’re amazing as well!

Justus “Jus” Apruzzese is an FLVS Full Time High School student who is blazing his own artistic trail. He sells paintings through his Facebook page, Paintings byJus, and enjoys teaching art to preschoolers.

“I’ve had a lot of self-doubt,” said the 17-year-old. “You know the saying, ‘You’re your own worst critic?’ Ninety-nine percent of the time that was me. It wasn’t until probably the time I ended up selling calendars that the self-doubt wore away.”

Jus said his favorite subjects are Biology and Psychology, and that he gets a lot of his artistic inspiration from nature. “Knowing exactly how animals and the human mind operates is just part of that following I’ve had.”

He said he hopes one day to channel his art into company logos and individual designs that people want to call their own, and to “branch out into stuff nobody’s ever seen before.”

Jus is also a lover of photography. “I love experimenting with almost paranormal things like shadows, monotone, and pictures that have you believe something else is there when in reality it’s just one simple thing. Same thing with graphic design. I’ll have this idea for something in my head and I’ll sit there and draw it out on a computer or even on my phone.”

“Being an FLVS student has enabled me to simply go out and do things that people ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity to do. I go into work at a relatively early time and see coworkers still doing homework while they wait to start their shift, and it really just puts me into a certain mindset, that could have been me, but I opted for a more flexible path.”

When asked if there was a teacher he’d like to thank, Jus gave a shout out to Mrs. Kellie Shellenberger, his AP Psychology teacher. “She’s always been a massive follower of what I do regarding Art and was a huge help in where I am today as far as my understandings of people go.”

As for an accomplishment he is most proud of, the Class of 2020 senior said, “Breaking out and having the courage to do something you wanted to do is as big of a success and achievement as ever.”

So true, Jus.

FLVS is proud of these remarkable young men.

Keep illustrating your dreams and continue to reach for the stars!

Have a suggestion on a student to spotlight or have a comment you’d like to share? Comment below or email

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Post by Suzan Kurdak, former FLVS Communications Specialist

55 comments on “Student Focus: Artist Edition

  1. Athena

    Those works of art are amazing! I think my drawings are good but yours are so much better! My favorite is the dragon!

  2. Alondra

    Hi! My name is Alondra, I also draw, and I want to tell you guys that these paintings and drawings are incredible! I like them very much!!!!!

  3. Michele

    What remarkable talent shown here by both students! My brother and cousin were this talented and are now both successful Graphic Designers. I still marvel at their talents! Keep up the great work! Thank you FLVS!

  4. Eden

    I love Avengers and DC Comics, so that Tony Stark painting REALLY caught my eye :D!!! You both need to continue painting and doing artwork if it is really what you love.

  5. Chelle

    This art is amazing, I’ve taken art classes upon art classes and when i was finally able to do the type of work ya’ll are doing i left my art classes and started my own pace, and now i’m able to make shows out of my work and i’m working on a show called Florida Man, its about all the crazy things that us Floridians do.

  6. Prayse

    I am absolutely loving the scenery Justus. I hope one day I will find you too make my unique company logo for my business. Jaydon, you truly have a hand. Congratulations on your win. RIP Tony Stark

  7. Kaylea Nichole

    This gave me so much inspiration for my art work I’m nowhere near their level nor talent. Now that I have read their stories I’m determined to work harder. I hope that their stories gave others inspirations. I am only 13 and its hard to find artwork that I really love but I’m really glad that I was able to see their artwork my favorite is the hand. The realism really says something about how hard he worked on that piece, and its amazing

  8. Ana Rose

    Wow… these are so good!!!!! i wish i was as good as this. I took 3 art classes in public school and I wanted to do AP Art 12th grade year. Is there anyway I could get info about online art classes?

  9. Keren

    Wow amazing drawings! I love the Iron Man one, because I’m obsessed with superheroes. I’m also an artist, but you’re definitely better than me by a long shot.

  10. Hafsa

    GOSH, for real man, i can draw sketches but i am horrible at painting and you did an amazing job.
    Keep it up, Loving it up:D

  11. Allyson

    I love all of their art. I want to be an artist, and I have taken some art classes as well. I do not think that I am that good but I will keep going like them.

  12. Yana

    Love the work! I’ve been drawing/sketching and painting with watercolor and acrylics which looks pretty good, but it can’t come close to this. I hope I can be as good as you guys. . . Keep up the amazing work!

  13. Ellie

    Wow! amazing job! I love your Iron Man drawing Jaydon! I’m a HUGE Marvel fan. And bravo Jus! I love your hand painting the most, very beautiful!

  14. lexy

    wow your art work is amazing. my favorite is the one with the hand in the window. also were do you get the inspection to do such wonderful art.


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