Senior pursues passion for drawing, painting, wins regional awards

Artist develops online presence, creates website, Instagram account to advertise pieces


Commissioned painting of a cat that Aimee Rounds ’22 created for a family friend (photo courtesy of Rounds).

Abraham Morales, News Editor, Multimedia Editor

Aimee Rounds ‘22 started drawing as soon as she was old enough to hold a pencil, she said. She would spend hours in a tiny room in her basement filled with craft supplies to create artwork for her family. As she got older, her passion for drawing only grew more, as did her skills.

“I used to do this thing called Artapalooza, which was basically this camp offered at my church, and each time they would teach us new art skills,” Rounds said. “It’s one of my most vivid memories from childhood, and I definitely found a lot of my passion [for art] from camp.”

In middle school, Rounds started to take art more seriously, she said. She invested more time, and bought extra supplies to elevate her paintings and drawings. In June of 2018, she created an Instagram account (@rounds_art) dedicated to all her artwork. Through her account, she was not only able to share her work, but also got commissions for custom pieces. 

“I love painting and drawing because of how therapeutic it can be, but being able to take this hobby and make some money out of it is mind blowing to me,” Rounds said. “The fact that people have reached out to me asking for a custom piece is really rewarding and motivating.” 

Over quarantine, Rounds had a lot more free time to paint and draw, she said. She took advantage of that and spent between two to four hours each week working on various art projects. With the addition of all this new artwork, she decided to create her own website to use as a portfolio to store all paintings, portraits, and sketches. 

“When I have a creative spark, I have to sit for hours upon hours straight and just create something,” Rounds said. “When that feeling hits, I zone everything else out, and only work on my art. Quarantine created the perfect environment to have these creative sparks frequently.” 

Commissioned pieces range in price based on size. Larger canvases will cost more, while smaller canvases cost less. On average though, a small canvas usually costs around $50. Rounds also does commissioned pieces for calculators and notebooks. Both are priced anywhere from $10 to $20, and take a couple weeks to paint, depending on the complexity of design desired by the customer. 

“One of the things I love about Aimee’s art is how she’s able to expand her idea of a canvas,” her close friend, Grace O’Malley ‘22 said. “She takes her art to another level and uses calculators, notebooks, and vinyl records as canvases. Each piece is always so personable and captures a moment in her life perfectly.” 

In 2021, Rounds submitted various pieces of artwork to the Chicagoland 4×5 art exhibition, a regional art showcase highlighting small scale artwork, as well as the Regional Scholastic Art Awards, a national organization showcasing all forms of art. The two paintings Rounds submitted in the 4×5 art show won honorable mentions. In the Scholastic Art Awards, she won two Gold Key awards for her online portfolio and painting, three Silver Key for her mixed media art, second painting, and printmaking, and two honorable mentions for other paintings and mixed media artwork. The painting and mixed media art, which won Gold Key awards, will advance to a national competition in New York, where they will join selections from across the country. Results for the national competition will be released on March 17.

“I’ve known Aimee since seventh grade and she’s always been into art,” O’Malley said. “She’s incredibly talented and I’m so happy she’s winning all these awards because she’s worked so hard for them, and really deserves them. I’m very excited to see where her amazing artistic abilities take her in the future.”