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High of Independence

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Q&A with Anna Lee

Interviewed by Skye Patton

What kind of artwork do you create?

I like doing mixed media; I’ll implement drawing techniques into graphic design or sculptural and 3D techniques into my paintings. I don’t really have a preferred medium. It’s a lot more fun exploring different ones!

What made you decide to go into art?

It's the one thing I have been continuously doing my whole life and really the only thing that interests me. Whenever I’m doing art, time goes by a lot quicker than when I’m doing other things, which is a good sign that I’ll continue to enjoy creating in the future.

There is sometimes a stigma surrounding students majoring in fine arts, how were you able to push past the pressure of being an art major?

I know there are other degrees that will give you more cushion or reassurance but I feel like as long as you put in the effort, any degree will get you anywhere. It doesn’t matter the degree that you do - what matters is your experience and your skill set. So I didn’t really mind the comments.

You said art makes time slow down for you, was there a particular moment when creating art gave you a euphoric or high feeling?

You know when you’re writing a research paper and you have all those tabs open? And when you’re done you can delete those tabs? It's like that but 10 times better because I created something that I enjoy. Every single time I finish an art piece, it's somewhat sad because the experience is over, but also super satisfying because it took so much time and effort. Now I can just enjoy this piece.

What's going through your mind when you anticipate what your artwork is going to become?

It depends on if I’m creating this artwork for fun or for class, since those two can have different motives. If it’s for myself, the whole process is really relaxing because I can just take my mind off of things. But if it's for a class, then it's a little bit different. No matter what, whenever I’m creating art, I just go with the flow. Even in my process, I don’t have a set idea to initiate or finish. It's about a desire to create, and then as I spend more time, I’ll change directions and follow wherever the art takes me. It's usually relaxing and stress free.

How would you describe that high feeling?

When I finish an artwork, the pressure is just off, so it's really calming and safe. I can just view the artwork I just created and there's a sense of a high after you achieve something. You feel good about yourself. It's a physical thing I accomplished so I visualize my success.

Have you ever experienced very negative emotions with your art?

I only feel like that when I’m creating within someone else’s guidelines. I’m a really conceptual person and I like to formulate and execute my own ideas instead of someone telling me what to do because art is a way to express myself. So, whenever someone instructs me about how to create my artwork, I get super stressed out because this is for me, why am I doing this for you? My only negative experience with art is when I can’t pursue my own ideas and I have to create what someone else wants. If it’s a commission then it's fine because you're sharing that with someone else and getting paid, but if it's my own ideas then I don’t like anyone touching it.

Do you like to show off your artwork? Or do you prefer keeping it to yourself? How do you go about your artwork after?

If I make an art piece for myself, then I like to keep it to myself and just enjoy that for me. If it's for a class then I’ll show it. I usually just put my artwork away, I don’t really hang it up or display it. I just go onto the next project.

Anna Lee is a sophomore, double majoring in Graphic Design and Media Sciences at Boston University. She is originally from California.

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