Olivia Moon: The artist behind this year’s Homecoming shirt


Courtesy Nicolas Betancur

Olivia Moon is a Los Altos High School sophomore whose art is featured on the 2022 Homecoming shirt as part of the new, student-involved approach to Homecoming shirt design this year.

It’s 11 p.m. and there’s one hour until the deadline. Sophomore Olivia Moon grabs her Apple Pencil and iPad, and opens Procreate. She starts to sketch. A cornucopia of monsters pour from her mind, each one showing a different aspect of her art. Straying from traditional Halloween colors, she goes for a Luigi’s Mansion color-palette: greens, blues, purples, whites, and blacks. She sweeps across the screen, hands moving like wind, sketching all sorts of shapes. Blues and purples swirl together, she dots white and finally outlines each figure in sky blue. She takes a step back. It’s done. 


And thus the 2022 Homecoming shirt design was born. The design? A haunting depiction of ghouly ghosts, flying across the screen, eyes wide and soul-stirring. You can almost hear the screams.

“I speed ran it,” Olivia said. “I think that’s the beautiful thing about art, you can do something really quick, but if it comes from your heart, it doesn’t matter how long it takes.” 

But it was only recently that Olivia really began connecting with her art. 

“Before, I was drawing for the sole purpose of, ‘Ok my teacher told me to draw this,’” Olivia said. 

Olivia has gone to three art schools over several years. The first two, a neighbor’s art class and another art academy in her area, both felt restrictive in a way where she wasn’t drawing for herself. 

After Drawn2Art, Olivia transferred to a new program, Rainbow Art, where she has more room to experiment with other art concepts and ideas, specifically her ideas.

“At that point, my art teacher at Rainbow Art pushed me to draw something that I wanted to,” Olivia said. “That had never crossed my mind. It was like, ‘Woah, my art belongs to me.’” 

Olivia shares her art on Instagram (@olivia.yeji), and she’s particularly proud of a piece titled “misery loves company.”

“I’m so hyped about this painting… because it’s the first piece that’s felt really genuine to me as an artist,” Olivia wrote in her Instagram caption. 

This year, ASB changed the system of selecting Homecoming t-shirts to be more inclusive of the entire LAHS community. In previous years, only ASB students had a say in the design, but the new process allows any LAHS student to submit their own design. 

“There are a lot of students with amazing artistic ability, and we thought it would be great to let people submit some designs,” junior Lauren Holm said.

ASB then narrowed it down by choosing designs that were simple, easy to print and inexpensive. Finally, the top six were sent out in email for a school-wide vote. 

The new system of choosing the design had more positive feedback than its predecessor, and it allowed for a shirt that would have more widespread popularity.

“Most of the other designs were just basic white shirts but [Olivia’s] was different,” Lauren said. 

Although her art being recognized is a confidence-booster, Olivia also feels the pressure to define her reason for making art.

“There’s just this looming sense of ‘you’re winning art contests, but why are you doing this?’ For college or for fun?” Olivia said. 

Right now, Olivia feels more connected to her art than ever before, and that is her reason to keep drawing.