jenny xia : blog

part 2.

Piano cover of Hana-bi, by Joe Hisaishi

There are so many incredibly beautiful things in this world, it makes my heart swell. I want to see it all, paint it all… 

Sketches from a couple weeks ago at the jazz festival. I was sitting on some steps by a platform where people were mingling, and a couple people came and sat a little bit above me. I looked up after a bit and the man sitting above and to the right of me had his iPhone tucked under his armpit and was taking pictures of me LOL. I would be creeped out, but I was doing the same thing to the people mingling - capturing them (albeit in a less exact form.)
Lunch break sketch from a couple days ago. I started drawing clockwise from the pterodactyl and ended up cutting out a chunk of the room accidentally. It’s interesting to see how failed drawings turn out too.
More sketches from the  #disTRILLery# district. When you  draw in public, you become a sort of tourist attraction… less of a human, more of a mascot. On this particular day I started to feel a kinship with the brick buildings because people took photos unabashadly of us both. The courtesy of asking for a photo is easily forgotten when the subject appears to be “performing.”

Why aren’t you “going into art”?

I’m a high school student, currently in grade twelve. As such, I get questions about what I’ll be doing after I graduate all the time. It’s used as a conversation topic when things get dry, an introductory question when meeting new people, and it’s just something that adults are really curious about (for obvious reasons). At my school, my reputation as a painter precedes me, so when people assume that I’ll be going to art college and then find out otherwise, there’s always a fair amount of… shock?

It’s pretty weird. It makes me uncomfortable sometimes, because people will say “Why aren’t you going into art?!”, with an accusatory tone. Or they’ll say “What a shame…”, and act as if they’re disappointed in me. So after being hammered with these kinds of reactions for months, I’ve decided to blog about it, so people can read my reasoning if they really want to know.


I love art. I can’t imagine living without being able to draw, paint, play the piano, play the erhu, and so on. I have the bone deep knowledge that I will continue to do art, no matter what happens to me. I will paint, even when I’m old and wrinkly. Even if I lose my limbs, I’ll find a way. (but If I lose my hands I’ll probably lose the will to live for a while haha)

I know that I know how to paint. I know that to improve, I need to keep practicing and observing the world around me. It doesn’t make sense for me to go to university or college for art, because I know these things, I know how to apply them, and I know I will apply them. 

The reason I paint is not to please anyone but myself… It’s a release to me. I don’t care if I sell my work and I’m completely content to have my paintings live in my basement. If I go to art college, I’ll basically be paying other people to tell me what they want my art to be. If I have to rely on art as my income, at some point or another I will probably have to compromise my artistic integrity in order to eat and to live.

Considering that I also love science and other subjects, it literally makes no sense for me to pursue art as a career. If I never discovered painting and other art forms, I would have gone into sciences and have been completely content with it. People always say to follow a path that will allow to you enjoy your job, and honestly if I went into art I may actually end up resenting it. Going to an art high school has been proof enough for me… The waves of opinions and the presence of the “art world” is so superfluous. I don’t care if there are people that think my art needs more deep meaning, or less, or that it needs to be something this that this that just not-what-I’m-doing, because that’s not the reason I paint.

I have so many things that I like to do and am interested in. Art is an interest that I can definitely do outside of school or on my own time. I won’t be able to ‘do physics’ as a hobby. There are things I can learn on my own but my understanding would be so much less comprehensive than if I go to university for it. I want to learn and grow as much as I can before I die.

So yeah. That’s why I’m not “going into art.”

A bit from Hanabi. When I get fixated on a certain piece I basically have to beat it to death, play it, transpose it, etc, until I finally get sick of it. I’m still going strong with this one though.

A couple of today’s sketchbook pages. I average 6-10 pages a day (except for dry spells)