Anna-Marie Zhang '21
What is a home?
When we think of a home, we often think of a space: the asphalt driveway leading to the garage doors, the rugged coir Welcome mat that’s been trampled on countless times, the worn leather couch sitting a few feet away from the TV. However, home oftentimes transcends a physical environment. Rather, it becomes a feeling: the warmth and assurance that naturally exists when you’re in your most comfortable state.
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. I don’t know when, where, or how it happened, but scribbling little creations as a toddler quickly became my greatest joy in life. My works weren’t masterpieces, but giving smiles and sunglasses to yellow suns and putting red apples on cloud shaped trees made me feel at home. Being introduced to that comfort motivated me to continue pursuing art. As I transitioned through middle school, inspired by Instagram artists such as Kristina Webb, I taught myself how to draw people realistically by watching YouTube videos. In high school [at PDS], I continued improving my technical skills and pursued large art projects within a studio space. I eventually began taking commissions, sketching pencil portraits and customizing shoes for my classmates. It’s also within this period that I began to discover and explore the intricacies of my artwork.
I’ve realized that “home” is an essential part of my practice. Beyond traditionally portraying physical spaces that are significant to me, I incorporate how the feeling of home manifests itself in different ways in my life. Home is the joy I feel when I am with my family and friends, making memories and enjoying traditions. Home is the solace I feel when I’m surrounded by a world of color, reminding me of the vibrancy of life. Home is the excitement I feel when I’m given an opportunity to practice the skills I have while exploring new mediums. So, throughout my pieces, I’ve sought to pay tribute to the joyous memories I’ve made with my loved ones and the cultural environments I grew up with. I’ve gravitated towards using bright color combinations to visually attract viewers. As contradictory as it might seem, I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone while experimenting with unfamiliar materials, whether it’s watercolors or LED lights. But above all, as I create art, I’m at home.