Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication


Student uses art to spread joy

Student uses art to spread joy

Van Grinsven paints posters and postcards with inspirational Bible passages to send to her friends.

April 6, 2020

Elle Van Grinsven normally would be on campus training, lifting weights and attending meetings with her fellow volleyball players at Loyola.

Instead, she’s back home in Franklin, Wisconsin, training and conditioning on her own, and attending team meetings via Zoom.

The schedule of a student-athlete is rigorous between morning classes, afternoon practices, evening homework and weekend games. So Van Grinsven admits that she does enjoy a break in the routine.

“I have found myself with more time to rest and decompress in ways that I usually didn't have time for when living on campus with school and training for volleyball,” said Van Grinsven, a middle blocker on the Loyola team.

Van Grinsven, an Advertising and Public Relations major, is also an artist. One of the things she is enjoying doing between online classes and training is creating art, specifically in watercolors.

“I have a lot more time for art,” she said. “I create these watercolor postcards and send them to friends. I can’t be with them right now, but I can send them a little piece of myself.”

Van Grinsven also espouses her Christian faith by turning Bible verses into watercolor posters.

“I’m pretty open about my faith, and I hope to encourage people to keep the faith during this time,” Van Grinsven said. “I think the Bible passages help remind people that God has a plan and you need to trust in Him.”

Besides training and conditioning, Van Grinsven enjoys cooking and baking and reading for fun. She also goes on bike rides and family walks along the Lake Michigan shoreline near Milwaukee.

Van Grinsven enjoys taking family walks along Lake Michigan near Milwaukee. Here she is with brother, Jansen, mother, Beth, and father, Michael.

“It’s nice to have the time to see the lake and appreciate nature. We’re so used to seeing it, we take it for granted. Now I appreciate it more,” she said.

“It is so easy to have thoughts of negativity – that this season of life is hard and unfair. But each day I wake up, I’m grateful to be alive and thankful to be with my family,” Van Grinsven said. “It is all about perspective and your attitude, because you are the only one who can control that.”