Like most 11-year-old girls, Kayla McCormick likes to draw. What's not so typical, however, is the level of skill she's developed at such a young age.
"I remember the first time she brought me something that she'd drawn," said Kayla's mother, Teresa McCormick. "I was like, ‘Wait. You did this, Kayla?' It was amazing."
Kayla McCormick said she's been drawing seriously since she was nine, but has always enjoyed coloring and being creative. Her skills are entirely self-taught, and everything she does is freehand.
"I have a lot of imagination," she said. "I just come up with things, imagine what they should look like and put them on paper."
Much of her artwork features exaggerated features and stylized characters. She often draws inspiration from popular science fiction franchises, such as Monster High Dolls and the "The Hunger Games" novel by Suzanne Collins.
"I like those types of characters because they're not normal," said, McCormick, who is in the fifth grade at Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School. "I like drawing things that are different."
In addition to replicating contemporary pop culture icons, McCormick also designs her own characters and creates storylines and personalities to accompany them.
"She's got all these great ideas in her head," said her father, Joseph McCormick. "She's so young, but she's broken through all these barriers and just does her own thing. There's only one Kayla."
McCormick said she spends several hours a night drawing and has completed thousands of sketches in the last two years.
"She draws all the time," said her mother. "She doesn't go out a lot because just wants to stay home and draw her characters."
"I just think it's fun to be creative," said McCormick, who also sings in her school chorus. "And I don't like reading, so what else am I going to do in my free time?"
Both of her parents are proud of her accomplishments and her dedication.
"I know she's special, and she has an amazing talent," said her mother. "I would love for her to take it somewhere, and we'll support her in whatever she wants. I just know that the sky's the limit, and she can do anything she sets her mind to. "
McCormick, who will be entering middle school next year, doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up, but she knows that her art will be a part of it.
"I want to be famous for my art one day," she said. "It makes me feel good when people like my art and think I have a real talent."