Artist’s feeling for art expands from passion into a potential career
When starting a new piece, the first step is always slowly sketching the idea out and cleaning up any flaws she sees. Once she is satisfied with the sketch, she moves on to the base colors of the figure she drew, starting with the face. After finishing those two steps, she colors in the background and completes her painting. With these seemingly easy steps, Sara Fang (10) creates astonishing artworks.
For as long as Fang can remember, art has been a part of her life. Every day, she would take at least thirty minutes to work on her art piece, some days even continuing for several hours without taking a break.
“I’ve done five to six consecutive hours [of drawing] before. I had bad wrist and neck pains the next day,” says Fang.
Like people always say, time flies when you’re having fun. While focusing on her art and enjoying the creation process, time quickly slips past her hands. In the beginning, the reason Fang drew was only because she liked to; it was just a hobby and nothing more. As she grew older, she started to take technical classes, and this is where she got serious and passionate about art.
After putting in a lot of hard work and time into all of her creations, more and more people slowly started to take notice of her art account and what she posted on Instagram and Reddit. Iris Chen (10) from James Logan said that on a scale of one to ten, with one being the worst and ten being the best, she would give all the paintings Fang posted on Instagram a ten without any hesitation.
“You can see the little details that she drew for each and every drawing/painting which somewhat shocked me when I saw [her Instagram account]. It takes a lot of talent to produce such a good drawing,” stated Chen.
Almost everyone who saw her art left behind positive words for her awe-inspiring artistic skills.
“The bright color she uses on the paintings for watercolor really grabs my attention, and this was the reason why I decided to follow her on social media. I actually look forward to what she draws in the future,” Chen said.
Every art piece Fang posts have followers commenting on how much they like it, but loyal fans like Divya Ramaswamy (10) would go beyond typing a good comment.
“Her arts have always been good, [so] if I had the money I would probably buy her art. Her shading skills are amazing.”
Fang’s art journey goes beyond posts on social media. In fact, Fang also teaches at a daycare center called American Chinese School at its After-School Program. At this place, she teaches students like fifth-grader Ethan Zhang from Parkmont Elementary School all her knowledge on how to draw and how to paint. Fang teaches kids from a range of third graders all the way to seventh graders.
“Her art class is very nice. Before, I was pretty bad at drawing, and I would say that I have gotten much better after a few classes [with her]. Learning all of the techniques and how to draw the base of a picture along with her jokes make the art class enjoyable,” says Zhang.
Take a look at the pictures Photo 1 and Photo 2. The one on the left is what he drew before taking classes with Fang, and the one on the right is his most recent drawing. During the interview, Zhang mentioned that he only started taking lessons this year. Compared to before, his drawing has greatly improved under Fang’s guidance.
“As a teacher, I would say that she is hardworking, confident, and kind,” stated Zhang.
Now, what did she do to receive such high praise from this student?
“Hard-working because she told us that she takes time off from her lunch to make examples for us to draw. Confident because she is never nervous to teach. And kind because she doesn’t really care if we do bad and she encourages us to de better,” explained Zhang.
All the effort she puts into teaching is seen clearly by her students.
Fang slowly draws a path for her career in the art industry, but she also mentions that art would be her side career. One of the reasons for this decision was because of the fear her mom, Ada Fang, has for this career path.
“Art-related jobs [are] not the best career choice. No one can be sure that people will buy every painting Sara paints. Being an art teacher is not any better either. Not everyone wants to learn how to draw; she might not have enough students to open a studio.”
Throughout the years, any career related to the art industry has been greatly avoided because of its unstable income. Being able to produce a good drawing and painting is one thing, but being able to sell art is another story.
“I’d rather have Sara choose art as a side career and not [as] her main one. I would still support her to continue to draw, but I don’t want her to choose this as her main source of income.”
Many people also think that investment in art is a waste of time and money. We are in a world where education and business are viewed more highly than art. Sara may be stopped from choosing this as her main job, but she is completely supported if she chooses to continue to draw and paint in the future. Not only does her mom support this decision, but her cousin at Berkeley High (11) also strongly encourages her to do so.
“I believe that Sara is capable of using art in many of its intended forms, and that is something very few artists can actually do. She [is able] to use it as a hobby, as an outlet, as a business (making and teaching), as a form of appreciation, and most importantly, she is actually good at it,” said Iris Lei.
Art is something that plays a huge role in Sara’s life. It started off as something she liked to do for fun, and it slowly developed into something that could be an asset for her potential business.
“I would wholly support Sara’s choice in doing art as a side job. She would be brilliant at it with the knowledge she’s already got,” stated Lei.