The artist behind PA’s staff posters


Staff appreciation poster hanging in the gym hallway, one of several made by Alexa de Guzman. (Photo: Katherine Haden)

Katherine Haden, Staff Writer

 For the past few months, students walking the halls have been greeted with posters around the school featuring pen drawings of staff by an anonymous artist, celebrating the various staff appreciation weeks. 

Senior Alexa de Guzman, the creator of these posters, has made several posters recognizing PA’s bookkeeper, assistant principals, guidance counselors, and student activities coordinators. She first took on the role of the staff poster artist at a Love Run Poster Palooza when the SCA publicist noticed her art and asked her to make a poster for Principal Appreciation Week. 

De Guzman’s favorite aspect of creating the staff posters is “when it starts to actually look like them, and then I see them in person and they’re like, ‘Whoa, that’s me!’ and they don’t know I made it because I don’t sign it.”

According to de Guzman, the biggest challenge in illustrating the posters is making the portraits true to the staff’s appearance or “capturing their faces.” She uses photos of the staff as a reference for a pencil sketch, paying special attention to the distance between facial features. She then cross-hatches with a ballpoint pen “until it looks like them.” The process is extremely time-consuming, explains de Guzman. “It’s fun once it starts to come together, but [it] takes forever.” At first, each poster took six hours, but that time decreased with experience.

De Guzman working on the assistant principals poster. (Alexa de Guzman)

De Guzman began her artistic journey at a young age: “somebody told me that my [drawing of a] volcano looked good, so I just kept drawing after that.” She specializes in realistic traditional portraits, and she also works with gouache and oil pastels.

After graduation, de Guzman does not plan to continue art. “I don’t think I can keep this up long-term,” she explains. Instead, she plans to go to a four-year nursing school, work as a nurse for around two years, then pursue a doctorate to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).

Although de Guzman isn’t pursuing art in her future, she encourages others to continue their passions. “If you enjoy drawing, just do it. It doesn’t matter if it actually looks good at that point or if you’re not good enough compared to other people–it really doesn’t matter. Just do whatever is fun, especially if you’re not even doing it for a career. It’s just for funsies anyway.”


More of de Guzman’s artwork. (Alexa de Guzman)



More of de Guzman’s art can be found on Instagram at @alexas_doodle_dump.