Sophomore Benjamin Goldstein expresses his passion for architecture through drawing

Sophomore Benjamin Goldstein works on his latest colored pencil sketch during A lunch. This piece was part of a larger portfolio he made for both his art class and his own enjoyment.
Sophomore Benjamin Goldstein works on his latest colored pencil sketch during A lunch. This piece was part of a larger portfolio he made for both his art class and his own enjoyment.
Ava Thomas

The artist opens his notebook, putting his pencil to the page as he begins to sketch a world of skyscrapers. With his hands swiftly moving across the paper, he draws earnestly as a picture of a cityscape forms. Every line of the drawing is made with care and precision and soon enough, buildings can be seen towering over one another. The page has been transformed into a city, the architecture of which sophomore Benjamin Goldstein is completely fascinated by.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is home to many artists, all of whom succeed and prosper in their own ways. While many choose to engage in art forms such as music and drama, others have found that creating art through mediums such as drawing and painting has allowed them to best express themselves. Goldstein sees his art as a gateway to his career as well as something fun to do in his free time.

Goldstein has been drawing and sketching ever since he was little. When he entered Westglades Middle School, he joined art class and has kept the course on his schedule ever since. Over the past four years, he has found himself improving his craft.

His most frequently-used mediums are pencils and alcohol markers, which he mainly uses to sketch. He has sketched everything from fictional characters to his dog, Ivy, as well as landscapes and buildings. He has taken on numerous different mediums for his art class, as well as 3D modeling on the side.

Goldstein’s art is inspired by many things, ranging from aspects of nature to the architecture of cities. He takes note of everything he sees and learns from it.

“I think art lets me notice a lot more about the natural world as well as learn a bunch of really neat stuff like how color is reflected,” Goldstein said. “It has led me to get distracted easily by drawing or thinking about stuff I want to draw… but honestly in a lot of those situations I don’t mind as I’m just doing something I enjoy myself.”

Goldstein is particularly partial to online artists who share their work on platforms such as X and Instagram. One of the artists he is most fond of is Alariko on X, who sketches architectural buildings and landscapes. Goldstein has even modeled some of his own art after theirs.

Traveling is something Goldstein loves, and he often sketches the places he travels to. Currently, he is working on sketches of states, with his most recent one being Oregon. A scene from each state, encompassing its attributes, is mapped out on a page. For example, his sketch of Oregon depicts a forest scene featuring a beaver.

When he looks back at his art, Goldstein has found that he fails to have something that many artists take pride in: a favorite piece.

“I don’t think I have a favorite, finished pieces don’t really feel very personal to me,” Goldstein said. “I mostly just like looking back at a lot of the random sketches of buildings and random doodles I’ve done and taking them all in together. It just feels more real in that way.”

After college, Goldstein’s dream is to become an architect and if not that, a historian.. While he sees art as only a hobby, it is largely inspired by his dream career. Like history, art is something that he is generally fascinated by.

“Nothing exactly inspired me to start it [drawing], I just found doodling really fun and it sort of progressed from there.” Goldstein said. “Though with the art of structures themselves I just find it fascinating–all the different styles of buildings there are, especially just in ordinary places like a city, and I really wanted to capture how cool it is to me.”

Sharing his art with his friends and teachers, Goldstein keeps his work closer to home as opposed to using it for commercial purposes. Numerous people have even asked him to commission 3D models for them, but he always declines the money, doing it for free rather than having others pay him for them.

Goldstein’s 3D models are usually very simple. He cares most about the texture work, as he tries to work things into something reminiscent of a PS2 style. Originally a quality of the Playstation 2 console, artists employ this heavily pixelated and retro style to add a unique touch to their art. This medium, according to Goldstein, has become more popular recently.

On many days, Goldstein can be seen doodling or sketching in the courtyard or at lunch. Last year, during his study hall, he drew a new image every day on the whiteboard before erasing it and starting on the next. For Goldstein, it is always about his next piece.

“Ben has really good art,” sophomore Alexa Yale said. “Every day I see him doodling in his journal and they always come out super good.”

Goldstein plans on continuing to pursue art for as long as he is in high school. Art and architecture have inspired him in many ways and shaped his life experiences. For him, art serves as a unique means of self expression that both he and others can enjoy.

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About the Contributor
Ava Thomas, Multimedia Editor
Ava Thomas is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She plays guitar on the weekends and is an officer of Marjory's Garden Club and TV Club.
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