Practice makes perfect: Aimee Yang’s (10) artistic journey

Jiya Chatterjee, Contributing Writer

“Visual aesthetic is very important to me, and I think most of my inspiration stems from hoping to capture a perfect, beautiful piece,” Aimee Yang (10) said. Recently, Yang’s artwork has captured the attention of not only her art teachers, but also that of the school’s community through her contributions to the HM Community Gallery. 

Yang has been fond of drawing her entire life, but during the past two years, she has begun to explore various mediums and put extra time and effort into her work to become a more serious artist, she said. For Yang, the summer of 2020 was pivotal for her growth. “I drew constantly and was able to develop my personal style,” she said. 

As Yang has grown as an artist, her work has become characterized by its complexity and her ability to merge multiple styles and concepts into one cohesive piece, art teacher Kim Do, who teaches Yang in Drawing and Painting 3, said. “She’s incredibly skilled, and that comes from a combination of talent and a lot of practice” he said. 

Creating art is a therapeutic process, Yang said. Her art includes repetition, which makes it thought-provoking, but too much repetition will make it monotonous, she said. While Yang’s preferred medium is digital art, which allows her to have more control over the colors and textures she uses, Yang also appreciates that her style is constantly evolving. She enjoys challenging herself by exploring charcoal, acrylic, and ink on paper and canvas. 

When starting a new piece, Yang usually considers one of two roads depending on the medium with which she is working. If she chooses to work with physical materials, she relies more on sketching the outlines of her subject first and then uses the right techniques to produce the perfect final product, she said. “Visual art, especially painting, is all about the edges — where is there a sharp edge, where is it blended smoothly, what does that indicate?” 

However, creating digital illustrations requires an entirely different approach, Yang said. While it is easier to control the outcome of the piece because the texture and other physical imperfections are no longer an issue, platforms for creating digital art have so many techniques and tools that Yang can find it overwhelming. Digital art involves more manipulation and rearrangement of separate digital frames, or layers, which together create a proper image, she said.

Yang’s favorite pieces that she has created are a set of acrylic paintings titled “Baby Brother, All Grown Up,” the subject of which is her younger brother. Expressing herself through art is special because art can be used to represent beautiful themes without words, Yang said. In “Baby Brother, All Grown Up,” Yang tries to convey a theme of nostalgia, she said. 

Yang’s artwork tends to have a liveliness to it, said Emma Chan (10), a friend of Yang’s. Most of Yang’s art is defined by its colorfulness, and usually has some sparkle to it, she said. “One thing about Aimee is that she has a very positive and bubbly attitude, and I definitely think it is reflected in her artwork.”

 Yang’s illustrations can take her anywhere from four to 20 hours of work, depending on the subject’s complexity and level of rendering, she said. Megumi Iwai-Louie (10), who worked with Yang to draw a three-page graphic novel, said that Yang is an extremely hard worker. However, Yang said she tends not to push herself to work for too many consecutive hours if she can help it to avoid creative burnout.

Yang typically draws inspiration from mangaka, illustrators who draw manga, such as Takeshi Obata, whose most famous manga is “The Death Note,” and Junji Ito, a well-known horror manga writer.

Yang is always looking to improve her work and has found that taking Drawing and Painting 3 with Do has given her the space not only to create art regularly, but also to receive feedback from teachers, which she said is “incredibly useful for improvement.” In the future, she hopes to establish a more defined style of her own, as well as improve the pace at which she creates art to achieve higher quality and beauty in her work.