Mock Trial Artist Placed 2nd in State


Ella Ochoa next to her award winning art

For this edition of Channel Islands Artist Spotlight, we’re covering Channel Islands’ very own Ella Ochoa! 

This junior artist placed 2nd in the state Mock Trial competition for the Artist Category. 

Ms. Monica Adrian, who is Ochoa’s Mock Trial coach, explained how the competition works. She said, “The Mock Trial team has three categories students can win in. Courtroom artists draw what they see in a courtroom. There are three rounds to compete in; after the third, the artist picks the one they want to enter the contest.” 

Ochoa has been an Artist for a long time and her love for the practice began at a young age. 

“I’ve been drawing since early elementary,” she said, “but as for when I was trying to improve my skills in art, probably 5th grade.”

But what inspired this accomplished artist to begin drawing? Ochoa responded, “My older brother was a big inspiration to me when I began,” she added, “but later it became artwork by YouTubers and in Anime.”

Ochoa’s artistic skills were enough to get her on the national stage. She said it felt surreal to place 2nd in the entire state. “It was like it was a prank call or something,” Ochoa said, “Later it hit me and I just felt excited and happy.” With all this recent success in her career as an Artist, Ochoa went on to credit her family, but most especially her mom, CI English teacher Ms. Valarie Ulrich. Along with the impact of her mother, she also credited her middle school art teacher.  

“My mom has been the biggest influence; she always encouraged me to aim higher while giving me the tools to reach this point.” Ochoa said, “My family in general have always been supportive. Outside of that, my middle school art teacher, Mrs. Nichols had the greatest impact on teaching me the skills that I have today.” 

We concluded our interview with Ochoa, by asking her what her plans and goals are in the future. She confidently stated, “I plan to continue to pursue art as a career. I’d ideally like for art to always be part of my life.”