By ELISE RIO
The May artist of the month is Connie Chang (Sr.), a student of AP Studio Art Drawing and Advanced 2D Design. Chang is also the editor-in-chief of Odyssey, the University High School (UHS) yearbook. Though Chang has pursued art outside of school for a long time, she explained that she only started getting involved in the arts department at UHS at the end of her junior year. Initially, Chang focused on classical painting and drawing. Now, she challenges herself by moving away from classical art and trying to portray her creativity in new ways. Chang has enjoyed contributing to multiple art programs within UHS and has found some of her closest friends through art projects. She said that she loves “being around creative people and it’s very stimulating to be a part of Uni’s art program because it feels like [her] peers are always working on something new.” She explained that one of the challenges she faced in her art classes is learning self-motivation. She said, “I’ve often found myself getting sidetracked with personal projects and neglecting some responsibilities for in-class assignments.” However, she feels that her classes have been rewarding.
Chang recommends aspiring artists to get involved in the arts early and use summer as opportunities to explore art. She said, “There are many summer programs at art schools to immerse myself in an art environment, experiment with new mediums and produce a lot of work in a relatively short amount of time.” She added that taking these summer classes helped her to get exposure to the world of art outside of her immediate community. Recently, Chang won a prestigious award from the National YoungArts Foundation; she received a monetary award and attended the YoungArts event in Los Angeles to take master classes, go on studio visits and exhibit her work. She also contributed to the 2015 Vans competition by helping to create the “Local Flavor” shoes that represented Orange County. Chang will be attending University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) this fall to study design media arts and looks forward to using UCLA’s art facilities.