Honing the Artistic Process

Tiffany Choi is a Year 13 student in the IB Arts Programme at YCIS Beijing. Check out her recent student blog as she explores her motivations for creating visual art, the complexities of the artistic process, and how her love of hamburgers inspired her favourite piece of art.

What does art mean to you?
Art has always been my favourite hobby and subject. I never thought about my life without art. When I am feeling happy, depressed, or bored, I’ll always take out a blank piece of paper and a pencil and start drawing. Everything I do is related to art. Without art, my life would be tedious.

Why did you choose IB artwork as one of your subjects?
Visual Art in IB helps students to talk about art. Being able to talk about and understand art is important because through understanding and talking, audiences can feel the emotion of the artists and the meaning behind the work. To be able to talk about art and understand art in more depth, I chose Visual Art as one of my IB subjects.

What do you think your future with visual art will be? Do you plan on pursuing artwork in college and your career?
My plan for the future is to learn more about art and acquire new skills in the subject, which will help me to get a job related to art. I am interested in learning more about graphic design and learning how to create artwork using the subject. Hopefully, I will be able to use this knowledge and skill in a company.

Do you have a specific artist whose work you particularly like? How has their style influenced your own work?
Sandy Skoglund is one of the artists who has influenced me. Her artworks have a story and she has narrated this story in her artwork using form, colour, objects, and other techniques. “Revenge of the Goldfish” is my favourite artwork of hers. The piece depicts a nightmare of goldfish coming to life and a young boy being unable to escape from his nightmare. After seeing this, I also wanted to narrate a story in my artwork and allow people to narrate my story in their own way. Now, I concentrate on the composition more than before so that my artwork fits the story. By doing this, my artwork has developed a step further.

Please describe your favourite piece of artwork that you’ve created. What inspired it? Why is it your favourite piece?
The title of my favourite piece is “My Chinese Hamburger”. This piece captured the first-person view of eating a hamburger. A hand holding a hamburger is painted with acrylic and the form is sketched with the line once more on top of the acrylic. I decided to paint this piece because I am interested in how people are connected to each other with their hands. In this piece, I have connected myself to the audience by sharing my emotion. I love eating hamburgers. For me, the best moment when eating a hamburger is as I watch the hamburger come towards me, about to have a bite taken out of it. Because most of my friends agree with me, I decided to share my excitement with people who are looking at my art. I personally feel that this piece was very successful, and therefore, it is my favourite piece.

What kind of visual artwork do you most enjoy? What do you find most rewarding about creating artwork? What do you find most challenging about the artistic process?
Personally, I find developing the ideas most challenging. Every time I finish a piece of work, I start planning the next piece. During the planning phase, I think my ideas are very good and I get very confident. Once I start with a new piece, I face a lot of problems. Sometimes the problem will be related to taking photos. Other times, the problem will be related to the media I am using. Most of the time, I will not be satisfied with my artwork because it is different from what I had planned. Then, I will start searching for ways to develop my piece so that I can be satisfied with it. Most of the time, I will take new photos, practise using the media, develop new skills, and look for the good aspects in my artwork. Once I do this and recreate my artwork, the piece will start to look better. Once I am satisfied with my work, I feel confident about my artwork and myself. This is the most rewarding aspect of creating artwork.

How has YCIS Beijing’s art programme helped you develop as an artist?
YCIS Beijing’s art programme has helped me to develop as an artist by giving me opportunities to use a variety of media for my artwork. Before, I only knew how to use pencil and water colour to draw. However, YCIS Beijing allowed me to use alginate powder, wax, oil paint, graphite sticks, charcoal, acrylic paint, and other tools. Also, our school has good teachers who help us develop as an artist by helping us to reach our goals.

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