Dylan Neal designed cover art for the James Clemens yearbook. (CONTRIBUTED)
Dylan Neal designed cover art for the James Clemens yearbook. (CONTRIBUTED)

Archived Story

Neal’s yearbook cover receives local, national raves

Published 2:06pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013

MADISON – Dylan Neal’s cover art for James Clemens High School’s first yearbook not only captured the Jets’ outlook but also received national recognition.

Although all students could submit designs, “nobody seemed to take it seriously,” Neal said. “Eventually, I decided it would be absolutely amazing for my design to be the cover of the very first James Clemens yearbook, so I went for it.”

Yearbook advisor Clay Combs specifically asked Neal to participate. Neal was enrolled in Combs’ Writer’s Studio class. “Dylan is one of the most creative, artistic and hard-working students at James Clemens. He has been a critical piece in the success of James Clemens’ first year,” Combs said.

“Through Dylan’s writing and other creative endeavors, I knew his concept for the cover would be amazing. He did not disappoint,” Combs said. “To be known as one of the best covers in the country is an honor, especially for a first-edition yearbook.”

Art teacher Liz Vaughn said Neal, a junior, has been exploring different mediums this year. “He is particularly enamored with pen and ink and likes the look of a watercolor wash over his drawings,” Vaughn said. “It’s understated and adds an element of self-restraint.”

Vaughn describes Neal as “a fantastic student. I’m really looking forward to working with him next year.”

Before finding his final choice, Neal drafted several designs. “Even then, I went through some pretty harsh changing while creating the final product,” Neal said.

His cover art depicts a pair of hands coming out of water with Jets colors as background. “James Clemens is rising from nothing into an amazing and prosperous school — rising above expectations placed upon it by the Madison community,” Neal said.

While Neal is never 100 percent pleased with his work, everyone tells him it’s “amazing. I’m just going to go with it,” he said.

At James Clemens, Neal also participates in the National Art Honors Society and Zen Club, along with playing in a local band.

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