Student Daily Planner Artwork ‘Switches’ Things Up


The student artwork on the cover of the 2021-2022 McQuaid agenda was inspired by a video game controller.

The cover of the new McQuaid student agenda, or daily planner, is an interesting one. Drawn by John “Jack” Leitten ’23, it depicts a large red object abruptly breaking up a serene landscape.

The inspiration behind the scene is actually the Nintendo Switch controller.

“It’s of a giant joycon in a savannah,” Leitten said, referring to the game console’s primary controller.

But what is a Nintendo Switch? Well, it’s a videogame console released by the Nintendo company in 2017, which aims to be both a portable and at-home device to play Nintendo’s games on.

Leitten described why he chose this console’s controller over others, saying, “I like joycons and Nintendo Switch. I was thinking of cool colored landscapes, and that one just came to mind.”

And he’s right: the landscape is quite “cool” in contrast to the alien controller, which dominates its composition.

Leitten described his process of creating art, including the agenda covering one.

“Start with a sketch, then choose your colors, do a little bit of a test on another sheet of paper. And then once you pick your colors, you do it in colored pencil until it looks right,” Leitten said.

Junior Jack Leitten’s sketch was selected as the front cover for this year’s student agenda.

Overall it is a straightforward process, but one that takes building up skills over a long time to master.

Leitten is usually more of a digital artist.

“I usually do [art] digitally, but in art class I have to do it on paper,” he said. Regardless of how he typically makes his art, his lesser-used style of artistry is still impressive.

Overall, Leitten’s inspiration for the piece was rather straightforward; he placed something he loves in a beautiful and imaginative landscape.