As a first-generation Vietnamese-American student, and the first in my family to attend college, I decided to follow my gut feelings and attend art school rather than a more traditional course of study.
I decided to apply to the College of Visual and Performing Arts because it offers students the BFA rather than a BA for the undergraduate degree. This was an important factor for me, because the extra studio time was essential to become the artist I am today.
In my hometown of Springfield, MA, there was little funding for the arts. I began creating at a young age, teaching myself to paint and draw by copying the styles of other artists and eventually developing my own style. I pursued a degree in Illustration as a way to express story-telling and narrative through my art, incorporating my own aesthetic and style.
The theme most prevalent in my work is creating a narrative that integrates the human body with nature in a surreal environment. I explore the duality and the divide between the inner consciousness, the mind, and the vessel that is the body.
Working mostly with the thin medium of watercolor paints, I try to achieve bright colors to create dramatic intensity. By allowing areas of the pure white of the paper still show through, I am able to create areas of extreme value.
Knowledgable, passionate faculty
I really enjoyed the illustration department’s mixed media class, as I learned about creating different types of illustrations in different types of media. It was an amazing experience to share my thoughts with the well-rounded and sensible educators who were as passionate about their work as they were about teaching their students. Working with the knowledgeable professors within CVPA helped me discover my own style and develop my ideas to their fullest extent.
I was especially pleased with the opportunity to participate and speak at the Junior Design show in 2017 at the CVPA campus gallery. Here, I talked about my work and how there is a thin line between photography, graphic design, illustration, and digital media. These departments are so alike yet so different, as they all share information to better influence and create new works.
After graduation, I plan on finding an internship or job related to my major. I am also considering working as a freelance artist to gain some experience.