Page 1: Art’s therapeutic, Complex meanings in artwork

Ariana Nguyen and Alyssa Lai

For junior Audrey Nelson Craig, art is more than a hobby. It’s an oasis.

“When I was in fourth grade, I was put in foster care and turned to drawing in my free time,” Nelson Craig said. “Drawing and painting is a way for me to relax and forget all the stressful things going on in my day. That’s why art is so important to me. It’s an escape from reality. I can focus on my passion and nothing else.”

Nelson Craig isn’t alone.

“Art just makes me feel free,” freshman Yen Tran said. “I’m not thinking too much when I do it. It’s a great way to release some stress.”

Art isn’t simply about personal expression, though.

Art has opened many doors for junior Meghan Whitman.

“It has allowed me to meet new people and be introduced to special opportunities that I wouldn’t get if I didn’t like art,” Whitman said. “It affects the way I see the world and life as a whole, how I interact with others. and how it helps me along where my social skills are seriously lacking.”

Senior Miaka Rivera’s artistry even resulted in getting a commission to work on a video game’s concept design.

“It was super cool to work on something like this,” she said. “It feels great to be able to create something that other people will see.”

For an artist, inspiration can come from anything.

“I take inspiration from my surroundings,” Rivera said. “The people, places and music around me can do that. Inspiration is kind of spontaneous, so I can’t really point out anything specific. But I do listen to instrumental music since I’m in band. I really feel like instrumental music just fills up the corners of my brain with a lot of feeling, so I like to put all of that on paper.”

Whitman considers herself a perfectionist when it comes to her art, and she tends to be hard on herself.

“I have to be gentle with myself and learn to turn my mistakes into an opportunity,” Whitman said.