According to her mother, Patricia Chong, sophomore Taryn Chong has always been interested in creative work. She officially began her art journey in elementary school when she saw her sister sign up for basic drawing classes and decided to do the same. Since the beginning of her art journey, she has explored a number of mediums, including drawing, sketching, digital art and animation. Now, she draws in her sketchbook every night before going to bed.
Taryn gets her inspiration from topics that she encounters visually, as well as artists she follows. Some incorporates ideas from the Renaissance, or concepts from the ideas of religion and sin. While some of the ideas she works with, such as sin, might give off a darker connotation, Chong describes her art as generally “playful,” so “even if it’s black and white, like a darker concept, [her art] still has a playful tone to it.” Most recently, Taryn has been interested in concept design for film, which she describes as “what goes into creating characters and the backgrounds and the setting.”
From being open to Taryn taking classes to driving her to San Francisco for events and even having conversations about design and art with her, which she finds “refreshing”, Taryn’s mother has been heavily involved with Taryn’s art journey. She describes how even though Taryn still has the same interests as a teenager, such as socializing, she is rooted in what she wants in art and tends to “cherish her alone time” to nourish her creative processes.
“She’s constantly trying to improve her visualization of the human body [and] I see her doing lots of free hand sketching of different poses, of fingers, of feet, of hands, of ears,” Patricia said. “Just different parts of the body. Also playing with depth and dimension, she attends profile art sessions, where you [sketch a model in different poses].”
For Taryn, art has developed her personality and perception of the world, feeling as if it is a medium for artists to express their personality. She describes how it has made her more introspective because it has encouraged her to question ideas and she has the viewpoint that everything that you see is designed by artists “because everything has to be visually appealing.”
“Art is really free,” Taryn said. “It’s not like politics or law — you can do whatever you want. And since you’re part of a community that’s so inspiring and welcoming to each other, it just changes you as a person and how you see the world. I think art and illustration [help] you think about yourself and your feelings and since art is universal; it makes you empathetic. You’re not thinking of everything logically; it’s more of a creative viewpoint.”
One of Taryn’s friends, sophomore Nabeeha Ahsan, experiences a different, unique feeling when looking at each of Taryn’s works.
“I just get a relaxed feeling when I look at her art,” Ahsan said. “When we’re sitting at tutorial and she’s just doodling, I feel relaxed when I look at those … I think she definitely does it because she loves to do it and I see many people who do things like drawing or playing piano or something because their parents forced them to do it, but Taryn really enjoys doing art.”
In the future, Taryn hopes to pursue concept design for film, mentioning that producing content for Cartoon Network or a project similar to the Netflix film “Klaus” interest her. This past summer, she attended a pre-college summer program at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles where she took an illustration and life drawing course and found the overall experience “motivating and inspiring” because she was producing art everyday.
“[In] illustration I learned more about how to communicate ideas, through pictures, and what I learned from it is that whatever you draw or paint, it’s specific to your personality and it communicates whatever you’re trying to say,” Taryn said. “In life drawing, it was the first time I did nude model drawing and it was a lot to learn and I think it was really important. Overall, I think learning stuff from the college students there and the friends I made, it was just really good for me.”
Patricia describes how knowing her commitment to art early in life helped Taryn dive deeper into the field, as well as start seeking opportunities that have helped her grow throughout school and beyond.
“[Art] provided more direction so she’s a little bit more mature in that sense,” Patricia said. “She as a person [is] more channelled in understanding [her surroundings]. For example, if she is being given an opportunity to participate in activities or going to the movies or anything of that sort, she probably has a different lens now. She sees things from a different perspective.”