Many high school students wait tables or scoop ice cream to earn extra cash, but not Kyle Hobratschk. He sells his artwork.
Kyle, a senior at Cave Creek’s Cactus Shadows High School, has earned about $5,000 from his craft in the past two years.
He sells his art — mostly oil and watercolor paintings of landscapes around Cave Creek and Carefree — online and in local bakeries. He’s also done a few commissioned pieces.
That business sense is leading him on a slightly unusual path for an art student. He plans to study both art and business when he goes to Southern Methodist University in Texas next year.
“It’s really hard, especially in this day and age, to live the life as a bohemian artist. That day is past,” Kyle said. “I don’t want to be an artist that just paints and shows it somewhere.”
So while Kyle said he will always create art, he envisions a primary job in advertising or marketing.
His teacher, Cactus Shadows art department head Robin Ray, wishes him success.
“I’ve never had a student like him before,” Ray said. “A lot of art students just do what they like to do and balk at following instructions from the teacher.”
Kyle, on the other hand, seeks out teachers. He follows suggestions for different techniques, tries mediums from painting to sculpting, and has learned how to market his work from local artists, Ray said.
And in the 10 years Cactus Shadows has offered Advanced Placement art classes, he’s the first one to score the top grade of 5 on a portfolio, Ray added.
To be more precise, he’s submitted four portfolios to the AP board. He’s scored a 4 and two 5s and is waiting to hear back on one.
Outside of art, Kyle is graduating as valedictorian, participates in track and cross country, helps document local history through the Arizona Heritage Project and is involved with the National Honor Society.
He’s also traveled a bit: His family lived in Saudi Arabia for a few years and is going on a cruise to Russia this summer.
Kyle plans to bring a portable easel on that trip.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot on the artistic side,” he said.
School: Cactus Shadows High School
GPA: 4.78 (weighted)
Parents: Allen and Celeste Hobratschk
• First place in painting, Congressman John Shadegg’s Artistic Discovery competition
• Grand prize, Phoenix Sister Cities themed art competition
• Multiple first-place awards for art at the Arizona State Fair
• Honorable mention from Phoenix Home and Garden magazine
• $12,000 scholarship to Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts
• $1,000 scholarship from the Sonoran Arts League
Online: To see Kyle’s work, visit www.kylesfineart.com