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Student Spotlight on Andy You

Andy You, a Year 13 IB Visual Arts Student has been making the most of the twilight hours and putting in the studio time to really develop and hone his artistic skills.

As you can see from his artwork featured, his perseverance and efforts have really paid off! Andy has become very accomplished in a range of Art Media and particularly with paint.

But he is also aware that he wasn’t always as good as he is today… and has been taking time out from the studio to inspire our younger students in the school. From answering curious questions from Year 7 students, to showing our youngest students in Early Years how to start with basic shapes to draw Super Heroes, Andy has really been making a difference and inspiring others with his passion and commitment to Art and Design.

We decided to ask Andy a few questions to see where his love of Art came from and if he had any advice for students aspiring to produce work as accomplished as his…

When did you know you were interested in the Visual Arts, was there any particular incident that sparked your interest?

Art has played a big part in my life since I was young. Inspired by the interests of my father and uncle, my father’s dream was becoming an artist and my uncle is an architect. I was taken to many galleries and art exhibitions from a young age. My interest has been steadily developing since then. As I grew up, a simple hobby became the most important subject for me in school. When the time came for me to make subject choices to decide my future career, Art & Design came in to my brain and was the only whole-hearted option for me from the start.

What inspires you to create artworks and is there any meaning behind your pieces?

My experiences in the Czech Republic and South Korea made a big impression on me… these experiences greatly influenced my daily life and my artworks as they have evolved. In South Korea and the Czech Republic, I had easy access to the natural environment because of the mountains and national parks near to where we lived. Naturally, my interests were sparked about the relationship between nature and animals; the unintended beauty of nature, the sun and the moon which are in the cosmos full of mystery, the communion with animals and the harmony created from those three factors. Looking at those connections, I realised what my ideal world would look like and felt the desire to create artworks inspired by humans’ relationship with nature and animals.

Are there any artists that have really inspired the creation of your artworks and if so, how?

I have been quite inspired by the techniques of American figurative painter, Cathy Hegman, whose artworks also portray the spiritual communication between nature and people. With the rough and smooth touch of a pallet knife, her artworks have a mysterious atmosphere and this really stole my heart and grabbed my attention with her vivid use of colours and energetic painting techniques. Her works have inspired me to experiment with media and develop my Fine Art painting skills.

Are there any personal qualities or characteristics that you think help to make a good artist?

To be a good artist, I think the person should have the character of a dreamer. The ‘dreamer’ I am talking about is not the person who has a clear dream, but someone who has endless ideas and an active imagination. Someone who never gives up on something, even though the goal or aim may sometime seem impossible. Sometimes, when you are working on your artwork, you find a better solution, or came up with better work which is not what you were supposed or intended to do. Also, once the paint drops on the canvas, there is nothing until that the work is finished.

What advice would you give to younger students who might look at your artwork and think that they might never be able to do that?

To younger students who might think that they don’t have talent or are not good at art yet, I would like to say that no matter what you make, or how good you are at it, the most important thing is that you have created something. That you have actually started. The ability to create any kind of form that you want to, or to express an idea is the most valuable and important thing for any young artist, everything else just comes with practice!