The Oracle: How did you first become interested in art?
Sam Chen: I started going to child art classes in kindergarten, but it was my parents’ choice, not mine. I always liked to doodle when I had the time. Art was a big part of my childhood. When I was in fourth grade I started taking more formal classes in a private studio. At that time I also made some small comic books with my friend and we attempted to sell them to our classmates. Although I have loved art since I was a little kid, I never realized how important art and creativity was to me until I came to America in the ninth grade. I had a fun time doing art at the Fang Art Studio in Cupertino, and it was there where I finally realized that I was dedicated to art.
TO: What intrigues you about art?
SC: I like art because it is interesting in many different ways. Everyone’s pieces are unique and individual. It can show one’s personality and ideas. Art is the thing that is really your own, and you can do whatever you want with it.
TO: What has art taught you?
SC: Two things art has taught me is to always follow the belief inside my mind and to stay creative. I believe that these things are what keep drawing and everything else interesting and enjoyable.
TO: What is most difficult about painting?
SC: Earlier this year, I learned about charcoal drawing and print making with mixed media, and they have since become my favorite form of art. They are perfect for representing emotions and senses of movement, and there is a lot of freedom in their styles and compositions.
TO: From where do you draw your inspiration for your art?
SC: Usually I get ideas from things of everyday life. The source can be a film I like, a book I’ve read a while ago, some articles in a magazine, or some African sculptures I saw in the museum. Everything that touches my mind can be my subject on the papers.
TO: What is your proudest piece?
SC: I always want my next piece to be better than the one before, so I haven’t created my proudest piece yet.
TO: Are you considering a career in art?
SC: I am looking forward to becoming a designer—someone who can make imaginations into reality, and share ideas with everyone.
TO: What part of art is most difficult for you?
SC: I would say learning a new technique is the hardest part for me in art, but it is nonetheless a fun challenge.
TO: Is there a message that you are trying to relay though your art?
SC: Actually, there is not really a special idea I want to present in every drawing. I usually just put whatever I am thinking in my mind into my drawings. Right now, I am trying to create a set of drawings about the relationship between society.
TO: How has art given you a different outlook on life?
SC: that life is full of cycles of new things and old ones. There are always new events, ideas, styles, and movements coming up just like art, and one day they will eventually fade away. Art has taught me that I should always move forward and keep a open mind about things around me, so that I won’t be left over in the past.
TO: What is the process you go through when you draw?
SC: I usually came up with simple concepts first, and most of the time they were just random thoughts I had. Sometimes I did sketches and drafts just to see the compositions, but I usually changed them on the actual drawings. I liked to complete my ideas during the drawing process, because there were always unique, crazy, and fresh thoughts popping out when I was drawing.