Artist Profile: Isabel Wu


A collection of Isabel's pieces from AP Studio Art.

Sarah Avila, Reporter

Senior Isabel Wu has always been interested in art since a young age. Now that she is a student in AP Studio Art and is involved in other activities in the art field, she has had the chance to explore and develop her artistic skills. Here Isabel shares on her background in art and her thoughts for the future.


The Voice: How did you first get introduced to art? Was there anyone that influenced your interest?

IW: My mom; instead of having us watch TV or give us a lot of toys to play with, she gave us paper and we had to make our own things. But I think it first started with the library. There’d be these two shelves, and I thought that was the whole library. And these shelves were basically picture books, and I would try to borrow the entire shelf every single time I went there. I kept looking at the pictures, and it gave me a sense of art in general because there were always different artists and different styles.


The Voice: Are you involved in artistic activities inside of school? Outside of school?

IW: I do tech for theater. I did a few of the hallway murals, so I started with Guys and Dolls, and then I did Headcase, Chicago, and A Chorus Line. I’m also a student designer for the fashion show, so I make my own dresses for the student models. I’ve been doing that since freshmen year. Outside of school, I’ve never actually taken any official art classes. I’m mostly just self taught.


The Voice: Do you think you have developed a personal art style?

IW: I think it’s fair to say that I don’t have my own style yet. I’m focusing on realism, which is trying to make it look as real as possible. Overall, I’m just working on the fundamentals before I can modify it to my own style.


The Voice: What is your favorite art style or technique? Do you have a preference?

IW: Right now what I like working with is color pencil and colored paper, which is a nice medium to work with. One technique I like is gouch, which is like watercolor, but it’s less dissolvable. I haven’t experimented that much. My preference is doing sketches in pencil/graphite. The one I do the most is color pencil because it’s what I have at home.


The Voice: How do you find inspiration for your art pieces?

IW: It’s mostly just using photos as a reference, but even if the piece I’m working on is not exactly following a photograph, then I’ll use a combination of photographs put together.


The Voice: Is this a normal technique?

IW: Yes, because what happens is if you follow a photograph, you have to be really careful with copyright. So either you take the photograph yourself, or you can have a reference, but then you can’t be copying the photograph exactly. So I just took different pieces from different photographs.


The Voice: Do you have a favorite professional artist?

IW: No, but I like artists for different aspects of their work. All the artists I know are from Instagram. One artist I like is Kim Jung Gi (@kimjunggius). His art style is very stylized, so it’s like a comic book style. But what I love about his work is his perspective because it’s really hard to do a first person perspective. In your artwork, you’re looking at it, and it’s like you’re looking at what he’s looking at. It’s really cool because you’re basically seeing stuff from his eyes. Another one I like is a 3D artist named Johnson Tsang (@johnson_tsang_artist). He does really weird, surreal stuff, but it’s kind of cool. It’s so detailed and it’s wonderful.


The Voice: Do you see yourself pursuing art in the future?

IW: Yes! I want to learn design with a focus for fashion because even though I really like studio art, I do like designing. As a career it interests me more because you do have the art and designing on paper, but you have to make that into a physical object, which in this case is clothing. Actually, that was mostly what I did when I was little. At home, I would do design and draw figures.


The Voice: Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

IW: One piece of advice would be listen to critiques. Even though you may love your artwork, it does no good if you’re the only one who loves it. You can’t really be good at self expression if you don’t have the fundamentals. You need to self express, but you need to be able to absorb and learn from people around you.