Look at This!

Featured NASH artist Zoe Ky.

Deeksha Rachupalli, Staff Writer

AP Studio Art student Zoe Ky’s artistic journey has taken many turns, but from her early childhood creativity, Ky has used her talent for other hobbies beyond art as well. 

“I have always enjoyed creative activities like drawing, crocheting, and other crafts.  I would start projects and move onto the next hobby leaving the last unfinished,” Ky said. 

During this journey, however, Ky emphasized her passion to develop a style uniquely in line with her personality.

“I would say I didn’t become an artist until this past year, but I’m finally taking the time to complete real art pieces that I’m proud of. Before I was simply making art, but now with the amount of time and work I have spent, I think I can call myself an artist,” Ky said.

Ky’s journey in the arts has been deeply involved in how she has viewed herself as an artist. Early on, disappointing feelings often hindered her progression in the field. 

“At the beginning of high school, I didn’t take as many art classes or do many art-related things because I didn’t see a future in it,” she said. I thought I wasn’t good enough, and I had no motivation.”

However, regardless of how she viewed her skill, Ky shifted from her previous perspective to a new one. 

“Last year I realized that I can still be an artist even if it’s not my career. I also realized that I had missed the creative outlet I once had, so I decided to take Honors Art and start doing the things I had once enjoyed.  Even though I still don’t see a future in it and I know I’m not as good as others in the class, I don’t care because I enjoy being an artist,” she said.

One of the biggest reasons for Ky’s change in mindset was her greatest inspiration. 

“Art like the type Stephen Wiltshire does [inspire me].  He creates massive pieces in ink of landscapes, cities, and architecture.  He was the first artist I began following and was one of the artists that inspired me to start making things again,” Ky said.

Along with being inspired by Wiltshire-type art, Ky is quite free-spirited when it comes to creativity. 

“For all of my pieces now, I would say I’m most inspired by what I see. When I’m not working on something for class, I like just drawing someone I see in class or a building I thought looked interesting,” she said. “I don’t have a specific ‘muse’ or inspiration–rather, I go with the flow and just draw what’s in front of me.”

Ky’s art style has evolved over time and when she found her style, she stayed with it. 

“If you had asked me this [Ky’s style] 4 years ago, I would have said painting and using bold colors. I prefer black and white line art, staying away from bright colors and all things painting,” Ky said. “Though I have dabbled in different mediums and techniques in the past I always come back to classic paper and ink.”

Ky’s portfolio not only reflects her style but also her artistic process. 

“My portfolio deals with games and how they are played, so watching other people and hearing their thought processes helps me plan my art,” she said. 

Zoe Ky

The idea behind this piece is the aspect of random chance aspect of the Game of Life. Each quadrant is completely different from the ones next to it, showing that each character is living a different life,” Ky said. “Each house, job, and moves are blindly chosen.  The stump in the middle is supposed to represent the wheel on the board, being as this is the biggest decision maker in the game.”

This specific piece holds more significance to Ky because it represents a stepping stone within her journey. 

“This one is my most abstract in thinking so far and probably my favorite of my whole portfolio. It is also typically bigger than I would usually choose.  Therefore this piece was a big change for myself,” she said.

Her second piece shifts focus from chance to choice.

Zoe Ky

“While my game of life was more about the idea of chance, one is based on choice,” Ky said. “The game for this one is Scrabble. Depending on the letter they choose, the score of the game changes.”

Her final piece puts both chance and choice together, which is representative the complexity of how art goes beyond the eye.

Zoe Ky

“This last one again deals with chance and choice with the game being poker.  The idea behind this one is more simple. You never know what cards everyone has, yet you also get the choice of whether or not to go all in,” she said.

Ky’s artistic journey has helped her hone her skills, but it has also shaped her mindset on the outside world as a whole.