Aspiring artist overcomes challenges to pursue career in the art field

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Aspiring artist overcomes challenges to pursue career in the art field

Nina Chung draws with extreme focus on her tablet, where she does majority of her art.

Nina Chung draws with extreme focus on her tablet, where she does majority of her art.

Viveka Kurup

Nina Chung draws with extreme focus on her tablet, where she does majority of her art.

Viveka Kurup

Viveka Kurup

Nina Chung draws with extreme focus on her tablet, where she does majority of her art.

By Viveka Kurup, Carlmont High School

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Never in a million years did Nina Chung think that her artistic abilities might lead to a career in the field. 

Chung, a senior, began drawing and painting at a very young age. At the time, her parents wanted her to attend law school. However, deep down, she always knew she wanted to be an artist. 

During middle school, she decided to put a hold on art until high school. High school proved to be a huge artistic turning point for Chung. She was having a tough time mentally and decided to channel her energy into her artwork. 

“I had an eating disorder and struggled with depression. My art was an escape for me,” Chung said. “I also honestly just missed it. I love the different colors, and my favorite part is the satisfaction of finishing a piece. I love watching all the hours I put into the piece come together.” 

Although the rekindling of Chung’s passion proved to be essential to her mental health, she also faced other obstacles in her path on the way to pursuing an art career. 

“When I first started art, I had told my parents that I wanted to pursue it. They were not for it. I ignored that for a while and just went on drawing without telling them, but I wanted to go to this prestigious art school to improve myself. I begged my parents to let me go, and my mom said that unless I got into the highest level at that art school during auditions, I had to quit art altogether,” Chung said. “I was so nervous, but when the time came, I managed to place at that level. My mom reluctantly accepts my art, but we still have issues regarding it.”

Chung’s best friend Jaylena Lara, a senior, supports Chung unconditionally and pushes her to do the best she can with her art.

Chung and Lara have been best friends and drawing partners for five years. Like Chung, Lara is also trying to chase a career in the field of art. They draw together to keep one another company. For a change in pace, they often like to switch up styles and explore other ideas. Lara believes that Chung’s immense passion for art will allow her to pursue any career she wants in the art field. However, their other obligations limit their ability to explore their passion. 

“Aside from art class at school, we don’t have much time to draw together. That also means we take any chance we can to do so. There was one time we spent days together just drawing for hours, and I would do anything to be able to stop time and do that again,” Lara said.

Chung’s current art teacher at Carlmont High School, Cynthia Hodges, also admires Chung’s talent and how much she has grown as an artist.

“Nina is good at coming up with successful color schemes and compositions. She also works in the process of building layers, which comes from her understanding of digital, drawing and painting mediums,” Hodges said. “Nina is extremely proficient for a high school student, and she picks up concepts easily and quickly.”

Chung exhibits her proficiency in her pieces that are displayed in art festivals such as the Lascaux Academy art show, which was held on Sept. 7, in Twin Pines Park in Belmont. 

Hodges believes that Chung can be successful as a college art student.

College has been a very stressful topic for Chung and her family. However, she is very set on her plans for the future.

“I hope to become an art director, where I can lead a team to work for a common goal in the artistic field. I am applying to a lot of colleges, but the main ones are Parsons School of Design, New York University, and Pratt. I am still deciding on what major I would like to pursue, but I’m most likely to go into graphic illustration,” Chung said.

Many of her friends and peers admire her work and talent and believe that despite the struggles she has faced, she will be successful in the future and be able to help others develop a passion for art.

“My personality allows me to ignore everything and work hard to get what I want. Being able to strive and push past the differences lets me embrace my art,” Chung said.

This story was originally published on Scot Scoop News on September 17, 2019.