Student Spotlight: Sunny He ’12

Visual artists often gain renown for one specialty, but this is not the case for Sunny He ’12. She has been tackling new media since she was a toddler and continues to experiment in the arts, impressing her peers at PA. He has a talent for painting and drawing as well as a creative eye for fashion design. Last summer she explored her passion by creating 101 colored pencil sketches of dresses with names ranging from “Spring Bloom” to “Salsa Anyone?” At PA, He has experimented with photography and is excited about expanding her artistic range even further. Her only problem is that there are too many choices but not enough time. He discussed her love for the visual arts in an interview with The Phillipian: Q: How long have you been interested in art? A: I’ve been interested in art since I could pick up a pencil, which is, like, from age two. Q: How did you develop your talent in so many mediums? A: I [have been taking] art lessons since second grade. My teacher had this process where we first started out with black and white sketches, then we moved to colored pencils and then to pastels, oil painting [and other mediums]. It’s mainly free-style, but [my teacher] gives you the basics and lets you develop a lot on your own. Q: So what is your favorite type of art? A: Drawing and painting are my favorites, but right now I’ve been interested in a lot of photography. Q: Where do you get inspiration? A: I’m usually drawn to drawing flowers and birds…Drawing people isn’t as fun as drawing nature. Q: Can you tell me about your experience in fashion designing? A: Over the summer I did this album…called “101 Dresses.” I took inspiration from the children’s book 101 Dresses, and I drew 101 different dresses. It came to me in little periods. Sometimes I’d draw one dress, and sometimes I’d draw 20 dresses in a row. Q: Where do you get your ideas for fashion? A: I go to the mall and just window shop and look at the mannequins. I’d think of how the mannequin would look better if they wore this thing or that item or that pair of shoes. Q: What do you think of the art classes and programs available at PA? A: There are definitely a lot of choices, and I’d really love to do all of them, but I can’t because time is valuable. I’ve already done the basic one and photography. I probably plan on doing something like painting. Q: If you could try another form of art that you’ve never tried before, what would it be? A: I’d definitely try pottery. Q: What other artists do you admire? A: I really like Thomas Kinkade. He’s done a lot of those peaceful cottages in the woods and flower gardens. I really like his paintings because they’re kind of inspiring. They give you a sense of hope. I’m not really too much of an artist-fan, because you’ve got to be independent [and] not always look at other people and try to copy them. You have to have your own style. Q: Is art something you would want to do in the future? A: I’m still kind of unsure about my future. I’m interested in biology, but the world of fashion is really interesting, too. Q: What advice do you have for people who are interested in pursuing art? A: If you want to pursue art, don’t be shy about it. Even if your drawings aren’t perfect you have to accept that and accept criticism to get better because that’s how you learn. Just draw what comes out from your heart – don’t just copy.