By Meredith Crockett
Hidden within the halls of West Jessamine lies a myriad of artist, adventurers, and those on a quest for personal success. Senior, Gabby Long profoundly exemplifies all of the aforementioned attributes. Born in Milwaukee, WI, Long has resided in Wilmore since 2007 and has attended public school since the eighth grade. In her free time, Gabby enjoys running, hiking, drawing, drinking Yogi tea, and telling hilariously terrible jokes. She is also a valued member of the West Jessamine cross country team and competes as a varsity runner.
Growing up, she always knew she had an affinity for art but it wasn’t until high school when she realized that it was something she could pursue professionally. “The summer between sophomore and junior year, I was making cards for as a fundraiser to help fund a mission trip to Colombia. When the Colombians were able to recognize their native species and appreciate my work, I finally realized that this was something I really enjoyed.”
This past summer, Long was able to push her talents to a whole new level. After many months of drawing, scanning, and editing, Gabby published her own book of drawings called “The Swanky Animal Coloring Book.” It is 40 pages of cute and creative drawings, straight out of her sketch book. Though the publishing process was grueling, she hopes that the community will enjoy all the hard work she put into her coloring book. I purchased my own copy of the book and I absolutely love it. It’s professional, funny, and I have thoroughly enjoyed naming and coloring all the adorable animals of Gabby’s mind.
When she’s not running or drawing, Gabby also enjoys traveling and exploring new worlds. Since high school began, she has gone to Colombia, the Dominican Republic and even found herself visiting a friend in Turkey this summer. There she visited several ancient buildings, cathedrals, ruins, and attractions. Similarly, she also spent several weeks out West hiking, camping, and adventuring through The Badlands in South Dakota.
As Gabby heads into her senior year she has many plans for her next exciting adventures. Wherever Gabby goes, there’s always an adventure in store. She isn’t quite sure when she wants to go for college or what she will study but with her talents and gifts, she will certainly go far. She is a one-of-a-kind, West Jessamine, gem and I highly encourage you all to check out her work and support this local artist and friend!