Since she was young, Maddy Attolini has known art was her biggest passion.
She didn't know she'd someday make it her career.
"It's just something I've always done," Attolini said.
Attolini is one of many 2007 Moffat County High School seniors who will don the cap and gown on May 26.
She will then move to Denver with her boyfriend, Dillon Herod, to begin her three-year bachelor's degree program at the Art Institute of Colorado.
"I'm pretty happy I'll be spending the next few years in Denver," Attolini said. "I like it there, and I have a lot of friends there."
In her four high school years, Attolini spent time drawing cartoons for the school's newspaper, Post Script, and swimming competitively for the school's team.
But most of Attolini's energy was focused on her art classes, taught by Tom Duncan. During freshman year, art was focused on understanding light in drawing. Now, Attolini said she has more freedom to experiment.
"Right now we can do almost anything we want," she said.
Art class was her favorite -- and math classes her least -- at MCHS. She'll miss some aspects of high school, she said.
"It's a place where all of my friends are," Attolini said, "and our (art) teacher lets us do whatever we want and gives us good ideas."
Attolini thinks her high school courses prepared her well for college-level classes.
So have some extracurricular artworks. Attolini has designed T-shirts for the golf team and Red Ribbon Week activities.
Attolini's favorite formats are pen drawings and acrylic paintings. Earlier this school year, Attolini painted, "Bert," which is a portrait of Bert McCracken, lead singer for the band The Used, with acrylics.
"I finally got to see him this year with my boyfriend because we both love them so much," she said.
At the Art Institute, Attolini will focus on media arts, which uses computer-generated animation.
"I don't know if that's what I want to stick with, but that's what I'm going into to start with," she said. "When I find out more about what kind of jobs I can get, I'll think about it more."
Born in New York, Attolini spent time in Italy before moving to Craig. She's excited to be on her own in the big city for a while.
"I'll be back to visit," she said of Moffat County, "but I don't ever see myself living here."
Regardless of where Attolini settles down, she's sure to keep art a large part of her life.
"It's fun to make anything out of my head that's not there," Attolini said. "It's just kind of relaxing."
Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or firstname.lastname@example.org.