PHOTO COURTESY OF TIANNA DUONG. Caption: Senior Tianna Duong practices traditional art with anatomy studies. With this piece, Duong depicts a common eating disorder, anorexia.

Duong’s devotion to design

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Gripping onto a brightly colored marker, messy scribbles stained the lightly colored living room walls. She knew beforehand that she would be lectured by her parents. As she took a step back, the punishment was forgotten as she was astonished by the colorful blobs and squiggles inked onto the walls.

Senior Tianna Duong recalls that as her earliest memory of drawing at three years old. Although many of her drawings at the time were messy scribbles on walls and paper, she began drawing anything that would interest her and caught her attention. The pastime hobby made her love and dedication for art continue for years.

“My kindergarten class had a school trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific [where] we were assigned to draw one animal we liked,” Duong said. “The best drawings would get hung up for the month. I clearly remember drawing a dolphin and it got hung up. Little me was so proud of herself that she started drawing animals and plants for fun.”

Duong spent much of her elementary school days drawing plants and animals, but advanced to practicing human anatomy sketches and scenery drawing in high school. Duong always kept drawing as a way to pass time. However, during high school, she began to take art seriously as she enrolled in classes revolving around entertainment design.

“I took the Entertainment Design Summer Intensive,” Duong said. “It was a rundown of what the entertainment design industry is like. I sat in class for six hours listening to lectures on designing characters, backgrounds, vehicles and props, graphic design, and learning Photoshop methods.”

With new skills learned through practice, experience, teachers, and peers, Duong decided to enter scholarship and Medibang competitions. More recently, Duong entered the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards with her creations. Although she did not win any of the awards, Duong felt grateful for the experience.

“I have a love-hate relationship with art,” Duong said. “I love it because it is an outlet, a brain dump for ideas, or a place where I can let my emotions run rampant. I would hate it when I show my art to someone, and they say they like it. But, mentally, I can point out all the mistakes I made and haven’t fixed. [However] I would try to remember [what]  Bob Ross once said: ‘We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.’”

As of now, Duong has picked up many art styles, from traditional, digital, pixel, and photography, to ceramics. Duong has turned her lifetime hobby into her future profession. Duong has decided to major in entertainment design with her goal to be accepted into CSU Fullerton for their program.

“Art is what the artist wants it to be,” Duong said. “Don’t let anyone else tell you what art is because what people see is different from what you see. So don’t let others discourage you from creating what you love.”

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