Zhu Takes Art to Higher Level

February 13, 2015


“The rest of the stuff that I do, like school, there’s a certain amount of conformity that you have to stick to. When I do my art I can just do what I want based on how I want it to look,” junior Pingyi Zhu said. 

She is now president of the Art Honor Society and taking AP Art, but has been working toward these achievements since she was three years old.

“My mom decided to send me to art lessons when I was little because I was scribbling on the walls,” Zhu said. “I don’t really know what inspired me. I was just kind of an all over the place kid and my attention span wasn’t really the best. So it was just more of my internal energy.”

Today she is putting her energy toward the 24 art projects required by the AP curriculum and to her personal projects, adding up to about six or seven hours a week spent on art.

However, Zhu said that finding inspiration for all these pieces is the most challenging thing for her. “The way I do art is that I can only do it when I feel like it. I just have to be in a certain mindset and I can’t force myself to have that mindset,” she said. “I guess inspiration is just seeing something I will be satisfied with after I’m done.”

Art teacher Karen Singel helps to encourage Zhu and other AP students by giving them homework assignments designed to help students learn about art in different styles and to mimic those styles to broaden their horizons. “That’s where Pingyi got some of her skills in architecture and water colors,” Singel said.

Zhu would describe herself as a technical artist. “I like having things be as precise and as realistic as possible,” she said.

Singel agreed that “she really seems to strive on making realistic pieces, that’s her strength.”

Figuring out what to draw is a difficult process for Zhu. Just drawing what she sees doesn’t mean she will be pleased with the end product. “I might do some doodles, but then I can’t see myself enjoying the process of making that,” she said.

“I browse the internet a lot and I go on ‘DeviantArt’, which is one of the main communities online where people from all over the world post their art,” Zhu explained. “I see something and it’s like ‘oh this looks really nice, I’m gonna try it’ or my friends influence me, or just whatever is happening in my life.”

Although she doesn’t intend to pursue a career in art, she wants to continue it as a hobby throughout her life. Zhu hopes to remind people that “art is subjective. You can’t say that something is good or it isn’t. All art is good. If you like it, you should do it.”

“I’ve heard a lot of people tell me that they want to get better, and I think that is something they should strive for, but it just depends on what the definition of ‘better’ is,” Zhu said. “I wouldn’t tell people that they should make it look good, because it already looks good based on what the artist thinks is good, it’s just whatever satisfies you as an artist.”

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