Some day, designs by Kyle Brooks may grace the skyline of a city or town near you. In the meantime, one of his designs is in the running for an international prize.
Brooks, a seventh-grader at Gold Hill Middle School, created a poster for the Lions Club "Peace Begins with Me" poster contest. His poster took first-place honors for his school and for the Fort Mill School District. Brooks is still waiting to hear how it did at the region level. From there, it could go to the state level, national and international levels.
"The day after it was assigned I started working on designs," Brooks said. "I started with the circle of flags and the dove and went from there."
The poster was an assignment in his art class at Gold Hill. He spent about four weeks on it. He sketched out landmarks like the Roman Colosseum, The Sydney Opera House, Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, even a stone face from Easter Island then colored them in with an array of Sharpies.
"I love Sharpies because they bleed together and you don't get the lines of colored pencils," Brooks said.
In the center of the poster, an array of international flags surround a globe. They are accompanied by a dove carrying an olive branch in its beak and a hand raising two fingers in a "peace" sign. Around the central figures, examples of massive building projects from throughout human history are arrayed; All of them took human cooperation to complete. The notes of "Amazing Grace" hang on a rainbow scale running across the middle of the poster and across the bottom is four children holding hands.
Brooks has been drawing since he was a small child. He plans to continue taking art classes next year and into high school. His ultimate goal is to become an architect.
"He's always been real creative, he loves to build things and he draws floor plans," his mom, LaVisa Brooks, said. "He has a great eye for color."
As a child, Brooks built cities with Lincoln Logs and Legos. Now he uses software from "Better Homes and Gardens" to lay out floor plans and Google SketchUp to create buildings.
Brooks takes inspiration from architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and the classic builders of the Greek and Roman empires. He's a big fan of modern and contemporary forms. He draws buildings and landmarks he's seen when traveling and others he's found photos of online.
"Anywhere we've been, he's looked at the buildings," LaVisa Brooks said. "He's always had a knack for structures, how they are put together and why things work the way they do."
But he also creates images solely from his imagination.
"A lot of times it comes from my head," Brooks said. "I'll think about shapes and how they fit together."
"He loves detail," his mom said. "Even with his floor plans, they're always really detailed."
Brooks plans to attend Clemson University to follow his dream of becoming an architect.