Bearing News

Artists of Rock Bridge: Joanna Yu

Which piece of art is your favorite?
This one is pretty neat. (Image on right) This was my first acrylic work and it was a Christmas present for my parents, about this big around (draws a fairly large rectangle in the air). It took quite a long time because I didn’t know how to use acrylic.

How long did it take you?
It took about nine hours. I would do it after they went to bed and I would stay up and work on it. I used a reference picture; I did a study of another painting, so it’s not my original work.

What memorable responses have you received from your artwork?
Well, usually for my friends birthday, I try to make them a piece of artwork or a sketch. It’s like a tradition of mine. It’s nice doing it for their special day.

How do you find time for art?
Usually I draw in between breaks from school work. I doodle a lot. If I have a creative impulse then I jot it down before I forget. But if I’m really busy, I know I can’t spend that much time compared to schoolwork. And for me, it’s an interesting case because I’m not in an art class. Next year I’m taking both AP Art classes though.

Do you enter your artwork in contests?
Not yet. I’m thinking of doing it next year. I want to keep working on my skill set for now.

Are you self-critical of your work?
Yeah. Since I’m self taught, I’m my own teacher. So I have to make sure I point out stuff I don’t like.

How do you teach yourself?
I look at other people’s art or any online references for anatomy studies or hand studies. It’s a lot of comparing to other artists to see what they are doing. Sometimes when I’m working on a piece, I don’t like it. I’ll despise it. I try to make it work but if it really isn’t working, then I’ll toss it.

Are there any artists you look up?
I follow a lot of artists on Instagram, so I get a lot of [inspiration] from there.

Professionally, what’s your goal?
Well, art started out as a hobby, just for fun. Then the more I delved into it, the more I realized I really want to do this later on. I’m thinking about going into video game design or something creative in that industry.

When did you become serious about art?
Well, I’ve been drawing when I was a little kid. I’d always draw. But the turning point in my life was in eighth grade because I felt like that was when I started to get pretty serious about art. I had kinda been drawing on and off in middle school but then in eighth grade I got myself a sketchbook and I committed to drawing in it and I filled the sketchbook really fast.

Another thing is that I started writing stories in middle school, and in the eighth grade I finally finished one. So in the stories, I’d always draw the plot for the characters and just draw the characters and plan out the scenes. I’ll think about it while listening to music and be like, “Wow, this could go in that scene!” or “This could be this scene!” Or usually I’ll doodle a lot from the stories I make.

What environment do you thrive in?
I prefer working isolated. It’s kind of intimidating when I’m working with people around because the initial stages of a drawing are really bad. I also like listening to music, as I mentioned before.

How does school influence your artistic flair or creativity?
I take 3D animation classes at the CACC (Columbia Area Career Center). You have to get used to the software. We use a program called 3DS Max. I think the main thing for animations is knowing how to tinker with the system, knowing what you get out of the presets available. In CAD (Computer-Aided Design), we do a lot of team projects. It’s all project based.

[3DS Max] is kind of like [Adobe] Illustrator. The program generates the shapes so you can tell it to make a box. You can drag out a box and you can pull out the corners. And then it’s a lot of modifications to the box, so this main body here was the main box that I adjusted and extruded faces out of. (Image featured above) And these are also cylinders that I extruded. These are still render shots..

This video is a collaboration between me and Dzung [Nguyen]. She modeled the houses and arranged where the foliage would go and our third team member made the lamps. I did the character and put in the bone system which allows me to move the characters. We slapped on a preset animation so he’s dancing.

What’s your favorite medium to work with?
I like watercolor. Coloring sketches with watercolor is something I really like to do. The portfolio I showed you has mainly digital stuff.

How do you create art digitally?
I have a tablet that I saved up and bought by myself. I think I got it in September. The program I’m using is Krita. It’s a free painting program because I’m cheap. (Image on left created digitally)

How long does digital typically take?
I’m still trying to figure out digital. I need to make sure all the proportions are okay. Maybe four hours, ish? It all depends on how motivated I am.

Do you play a lot of video games?
Psh, yeah.

What’s your favorite video game?
That’s a hard question. I guess one would be the first one I played which was Tales of Symphonia. I played that one in first grade when my sister got it back when I wasn’t close with my sister so we got to spend time with each other. It taught me a lot of morals about the world I didn’t know of, so that was cool.

photos and video courtesy and property of Joanna Yu

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1 comment

Emily Oba February 14, 2016 at 1:25 pm

I that it is really cool to self teach yourself something. Joanna’s art is really good and I feel like this is a good article for anyone who wants to learn something but doesn’t have someone to teach it to them.

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