Courtroom Artist Wins County Award

Kayla McArdle, Staff Writer

That Rio did not repeat as Mock Trial champions this year may have been luck of the draw. That Elizabeth Meyer won the title as best courtroom artist was definitely skill of the draw.

The seeding of this year’s competition pitted the varsity and JV teams against each other in the quarter finals. While the JV team won, they were narrowly defeated in the next round.

Meanwhile, Meyer went to claim the title as best artist.

The Mock Trial competition simulates a trial-level proceeding in which students portray the roles of pre-trial counsel, prosecuting and defense attorneys, witnesses, court clerks, bailiffs and jurors before a single presiding judge and 2-3 scoring judges. It includes the Courtroom Art competition, in which artists from participating schools create courtroom sketches during the competition.

“At the very first meeting in my freshman year, I joined the mock trial,” Meyer said. “I didn’t know that they had a courtroom artist when I first joined, and my next year,

I decided that I wanted to be the courtroom artist too.”

Since then, Meyer has drawn mock trial courtroom scenes while they progress using dry art mediums, specifically using colored pencils and regular drawing pencils.

Unlike many courtroom artists, Meyers is a member of the team, and she said that may give her an advantage. She traveled with the team to scrimmages to hone her skill.

“Santa Barbara was where I learned both more in mock trial teams and as the courtroom artist,” Meyers said. “We spent three days there and it gave me a lot of time to develop my skills in arts and had a lot of fun.”

Artists are usually inspired by famous people like Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci, but Meyer’s inspiration came from somewhere else. The art in her house since she was young was done by her cousin who is an animator. “Other inspirations are Mary Blair, who designed ‘It’s a small world’ ride and heavily influenced the designs of the

‘Alice in Wonderland’ animated movie,” she said.

Art for Meyer takes up most of her life, and makes her happy.

“Art just gives me a good way to express myself and it gives me something to do with my hands.I love to do stuff that makes other people and myself happy.”

Art comes in many ways to artist, and during the Mock Trials it comes a different way for Meyer.

“I look for scenes that have a lot of action and emotion in it, and I like to find colors that draw the eye in to help me focus on a certain character or element of a scene,” she said. “I’m usually supposed to draw the courtroom background; there’s the flag, the judge’s desk, witness stand,and at least a character in the room. I like to draw at least three, which are the judge, an attorney, and a witness.”

When you love something, you go to college for it.

“I’m going to major in mechanical engineer or robotics, and from there, I am going to hopefully be an imagineer at Disneyland and design the animatronics. I programmed the robot in the robotics competition, which is furthering my future career towards animatronics.”