Student Art Spotlight: Shannon Hu


Courtesy of Shannon Hu

Shannon Hu enjoys painting, as it is a creative outlet for her to express herself. This is one of the many art pieces that Shannon has completed in the past. She often likes to use a variety of mediums to create her art.

By Emily Zhang, News Editor

Charcoal, acrylic paint and digital- these are a few of sophomore Shannon Hu’s favorite mediums to work with when creating her spectacular pieces of art. For Hu, art’s infinite possibilities provided her the ability to express herself. 

Hu’s art journey all started when she was fairly young. Her passion for drawing was sparked from her fascination with horses. 

“I started art when I was 4 or 5, drawing various horses over and over again,” Hu said. “I remember being a huge fan of horses, and it snowballed from there.”

Her art skills have since improved, after branching out into different subjects other than horses. 

“Her anatomy knowledge has greatly improved over time, along with her technique. You can also tell she has improved her mastery of different art mediums throughout the years,” junior Alex Wong said.

She now is taking AP Studio Art without having taken any of the lower level art classes at WCHS.  

“She has really got a talent for art. Her art has been developed over time through hard work and she really has an eye for colors schemes. All her pieces have interesting concepts and her creativity shines through in every piece she puts out,” Wong said. 

Ms. Mooney commented on Hu’s portfolio of when she applied to join AP Studio Art.

“She presented a portfolio showing creative, original concept and advanced technical skill in multiple mediums and subject matters to be accepted into the AP drawing course,” AP Studio Art teacher Dana Mooney said. “In AP drawing, students need to create a portfolio of college level artwork investigating a personal inquiry. It requires creativity and dedication, both of which Shannon has exhibited in her work already.”

Hu really enjoys how art is so loosely defined. It is one of her favorite creative outlets, as it allows her to release her stress by painting or drawing. 

“Unlike maths or sciences, there is not any one answer or definition or one example of a style,” Hu said. “You are allowed to create anything and are not restricted to set rules.” 

She is a long time devotee of impressionism and post impressionism, especially for painting and  nature, but for portraits and gesture work she likes to work with a more realistic style. Each art piece made by Hu can vary in the amount of time she spends working on it.

“It depends on the art piece and how I am feeling,” Hu said. ” Sometimes it is an hour, other times it is days at a time because there are spots I want to do over and improve. Sometimes I completely start over because I grow disillusioned with the composition.”

Although her art skills have improved a lot from the past five years of drawing lessons and the art class she is taking at WCHS, she would say that her favorite piece of art is the impressionist painting she made when she was 12. 

“It is not particularly good or original, and definitely not my best work, but I think it marks a turning point in my development as an artist,” Hu said. “I like to look back on it to reflect on how much I have improved since I have made it.”

Her biggest art inspirations are Mark Tennant, Erin Hanson and Claude Monet because they all have very distinct and unique styles. In the future, she is interested in pursuing graphic and product design and architecture.  

For inspiring artists, Hu recommends practicing every day or as often as possible, as it is the key to getting into art. She emphasizes that art takes patience. Self deprecating your own art is counterproductive and will not ever help. 

“Look at your work, pick out parts that you like and define how it appeals to you,” Hu said. “Think about how you can improve parts you do not like and then try it again or do something new.Try again and again and again. You can never get good at art in a day, so do not be frustrated if it takes you awhile to get to a skill level you are satisfied with. Art is unrestrictive and allows for complete freedom, but it also requires incredible patience.”

This school year, she hopes to create more art and improve her skills. For Hu, art has changed her life for the better.

“It has taught me to be more resourceful and way more open minded to new ideas,” Hu said.