Artist, daughter, sister, friend: Remembering Violet Briggs

Violet Briggs was a freshman at App State before dying Oct. 1. She was 18 years old.

Courtesy of Ashton Wells

Violet Briggs was a freshman at App State before dying Oct. 1. She was 18 years old.

Jenna Guzman, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s note: App State’s Counseling and Psychological Services are free and are available to those seeking support or guidance. The center can be reached at 828-262-3180 or by visiting Miles Annas Student Services Building during their hours of operation.

Eighteen-year-old Violet Briggs, an App State freshman, died Oct. 1 in her dorm room.

Violet, also known as “Vi” to family and close friends, is described as cool, charismatic, bold and as a lover. She was an artist, a friend to many, the youngest in her family and always wanted to be around others.

“She was just really special, she made you feel special,” said Isabella le Beau, Briggs’ older sister. “She just made people laugh and she included everybody. She never wanted anyone to feel like they were left out.”

Briggs was from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was born Dec. 31, 2003. She would have been 19 this December. 

Le Beau said Briggs always made people feel important and her friends said she was very accepting and always saw the good in people.

“She never dragged me down. Even if she was drowning she would still push me up,” wrote Ashton Wells, a close friend of Briggs. “Vi always made it a point to get to know a person deeper than the surface.”

Wells knew Briggs for about four to five years. He wrote that Briggs was “an old soul” and was very passionate about things.

“Violet was the type of woman who would illuminate whatever room she stepped into,” Wells wrote.

Adalid Araiza and Linden Clemens are also close friends of Briggs. They said they met each other in the fifth and sixth grade, and became close their freshman year of high school. They have been a trio ever since, and had sleepovers “almost every single weekend.”

“I just felt so much unconditional love from her,” Clemens said.

Araiza said it was a very specific type of love that Briggs gave to others. 

Clemens said his favorite thing about her was the fact that she didn’t care what other people thought of her, and is a lesson she taught him.

“She just did what she wanted to do,” Clemens said.

Briggs is also described as “really really smart,” clever and “so much more intelligent than she gave herself credit for.” She had a “good grasp” on things and if she didn’t understand something, she would try to figure it out until she did.

“She was a great student, and basically got all A’s throughout her whole school career, and just, like, outsmarted everybody else in the family,” le Beau said. 

In addition to being academically smart, Briggs was very hands-on in the fine arts world. She was a studio arts major and had been doing art almost her entire life.

“Oh, she was a good artist,” Araiza said. 

Le Beau said when Briggs was younger, she would paint her family pictures and give it to them as gifts.

“She used to do that almost every Christmas for all of the people in our family,” le Beau said. “It was really special and it was very, like, personal to each one of us, and it was really a nice, nice, thing that she did for everybody.” 

Briggs was also a musician. She played the guitar and sang.

Clemens said one of his favorite memories of Briggs was when she sang and played Dolly Parton and The Velvet Underground songs for him and his family during a family trip.

Le Beau said similarly to her giving family members paintings as gifts, Briggs would ask everyone in her family what their favorite song was, and she would learn it and play it for them during the holiday season as their Christmas gift.

“She was probably one of the most creative people I’ve ever met,” le Beau said.

Briggs’ family and friends said she was really funny as well. She often made funny faces, did silly dances, quoted “SpongeBob Squarepants” a lot and had inside jokes with her friends.

“She always had her way of making a situation lively and fun,” Wells wrote.

Briggs was a person who enjoyed being outside and sometimes went hiking with friends.

“I’ve had a lot of great memories with Vi but I think my favorite is the time me and our friends went hiking,” Wells wrote. “That was the first real time I got to learn more about her and it always brings a smile to my face thinking about it.”

Briggs also loved skateboarding, too, and her friends and family said she was “really good.” She did it a lot in her free time. 

“Back home she’d just go skating all the time for hours and listen to music,” le Beau said.

Araiza said one of their favorite memories with Briggs was when she taught them how to skate. Araiza said they rolled their ankle when skateboarding for the first time, but Briggs encouraged them to “walk it off.” Araiza recalls it being a funny memory.

Araiza and Clemens said her fashion style was also a notable part about her. They describe it as colorful.

“She made statements with what she would wear,” Araiza said. “She was a baddie.”

Araiza and Clemens said she had a lot of plans for her future, such as getting tattoos and having “lots of places to go.” Le Beau said Briggs was starting to learn the piano.

Growing up, le Beau said she and Briggs were not that close due to their seven year age gap. However, the older they each got, the closer they became. Le Beau said she was looking forward to that part of their lives together.

“She taught me to be kind, and to remember that everybody’s story is different, and everybody goes through things that you have no idea about,” le Beau said.

Wells wrote that Brigg’s will have a “long lasting” impact on his life.

“She helped me through so much, and made me realize a lot of things,” Wells wrote.

A Meal Train was made to raise money for Briggs’s family.

“The hearts of the App State community are with Violet’s loved ones during this very difficult time,” wrote Megan Hayes, chief communication officer for the university, in an email.

According to Hayes, “App State’s Counseling and Psychological Services is fully operational for students who need support. Staff are also available 24/7 for students with urgent mental health concerns.” Students are encouraged to visit the Counseling Center during hours of operation. In the event of an emergency, students should let the receptionist know or select the option to speak with a counselor on call. 

More information is available on the counseling center’s website.