Sean Kearney surrounded by his art that is inspired by the surrounding world.
Sean Kearney surrounded by his art that is inspired by the surrounding world.
Maya Mueller

Sean Kearney: inspiration is everywhere

Sean Kearney ‘26 is a talented artist who enjoys multiple forms of art including music and drawing.

While most artists excel in one area of art, Sean Kearney ’26 excels in many. He is a very talented artist and musician. He has accomplished a lot in both drawing and music. Kearney takes art classes and is in the West High Jazz band. He also does photography in his free time. 

It all started with drawing at the age of five when watching horror films with his dad, which sparked a creative interest in him.

“My dad would show me all these strange horror movies, like really disturbing stuff. I was like, ‘Man, I gotta draw this,” Kearney said. 

Horror movies were where his inspiration stemmed from, but he has moved on to getting inspiration from other artists. He pulls inspiration from artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and from the world around him.

Creating his own art has allowed Kearney to use different art styles. He loves to use whatever is lying around to make art. 

“I just get a canvas and I use oil paints, acrylics, watercolors, sometimes Sharpies. I’ve been getting into stitching into the canvas and I sometimes burn the canvas and light it on fire.” 

His favorite piece of art he has made is a drawing of his dog that he poured a lot of time into.

Sean Kearney’s drawing of his dog.

Another of his favorite pieces is inspired by Macbeth, which he read in his English class. The picture is one of the three ghosts shown to Macbeth by the witches. 

This year, he is being featured in Grapevine, which has yet to be published. He is very excited about the opportunity to showcase his art.  

“In one of my paintings, I have everybody that comes to my house, like signed the picture at the bottom. So I think all their signatures will be featured in that too. But that was another reason I put it in that one.”

Most artists create their best art when they’re in inner turmoil. Kearney creates his best art when he is happiest. 

“It’s always when I’m happy when is when I create the best stuff which is funny because I think there’s an entire thing like the depressed artist, but I mean, that’s when I paint my worst stuff. It’s just like, man, what am I even it makes me even sadder,” Kearney said.

When asked about the intended purpose of his art, he said, “I do art for myself, and if other people like it too then that’s cool.”

Kearney expresses himself in multiple forms of art, including music. He plays multiple instruments like the piano, guitar and percussion. He has composed albums and then created covers for them. His art and music are similar in the sense that they are both chaotic and detailed. 

Kearney was in piano lessons for eight years. He has had a love-hate relationship with the piano. It wasn’t until he found what music he liked to play that he truly started to enjoy playing.  One of his piano role models has been Erroll Garner. Garner was an American jazz pianist and composer during the 1950s. Kearney likes listening to pianists with distinctive styles.

 “I do art for myself and if other people like it too then that’s cool.” 

— Sean Kearney '26

Kearney loves to play blues and jazz music. He has even started to begin composing music. He then puts it onto his laptop and begins layering and playing around with digitizing the music.  Kearney’s style is very hip-hop-influenced. He describes it as a 90s sample hip-hop.  

“I love creating compositions and stuff for small jazz combos or like some hip-hop thing.”

Kearney will forever have art in his life. He doesn’t want to pursue a career in music or art, but he will always keep it near and dear to his heart. 

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About the Contributors
Maya Mueller
Maya Mueller, FOJ Intern
(She/her) Maya Mueller is a sophomore at West High. This is her first year doing journalism and she is an intern. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, going on walks, napping and spending time with family and friends.
Anna Gibson
Anna Gibson, FOJ Intern
(She/her) Anna Gibson is currently a sophomore and this is her first year as a FOJ intern. Anna loves to play volleyball and hang out with her friends
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