Leslie “Gabby” Carter began her journey at Mercer University as a nursing major, but her interests have since changed.
“I’m on the pre-med track, but I decided to do an art major because I’m really interested in art,” Carter said.
Carter is a junior studio art major at Mercer from Macon, Georgia. She said she has been creating art since she was four years old.
She attributes her talents to two things.
“I would say half of my skill comes from natural ability, and the other half comes from taking art classes in middle school,” Carter said. “That’s where I really learned the basis of shading and mixing colors.”
Carter said she is inspired by her favorite artist, Vincent van Gogh, and her favorite painting of his is “Starry Night.”
“I like his use of color and line, and I like his whole story,” she said.
Carter has won several art awards over the years.
As a Macon resident, she participated in a local young artist competition during high school and won first place.
Carter also won third place in a statewide art competition by Savannah College of Art and Design as a high school student.
At Mercer, she won first place in a show she participated in freshman year.
“Gabby is amazing. I sent her minimal direction after seeing examples of her work because I love her style and believed in her vision,” said Hugh Hunter, one of Carter’s customers. “She gave me two panels that are very distinct but tied together thematically. The detail of her work is immaculate. The way she blends colors together evokes emotion, and [I’m] unequivocally in love with everything she has painted for me.”
Carter said she wishes to someday have her own art show with a lot of publicity and a great turnout.
“Hopefully I can reach selling in the thousands like other many artists do,” she said.
After graduation, Carter plans to take a couple of gap years before going to medical school. During this time, she plans to pursue a master of fine arts degree in art, she said.
Carter said she believes it’s best to not follow the traditional path when it comes to life.
“I don’t feel like you have to be successful in a certain amount of years,” Carter said. “Take your time and coast along life . . . when you get there is when you get there.”
She also encourages younger artists not to compare themselves to other artists.
“It’s okay if someone else has better skill and technique than you. There are artists who are not the best but still sell their art for high prices,” Carter said. “Perfect your own craft and your own style.”