Tian combining online community with artistic freedom


Anette Varghese

CHS9 student Ivy Tian sketches a figure in Coppell High School art teacher Michelle Hauske’s classroom after school on Feb. 14. Tian often draws inspiration from fandoms she follows and creates fan art incorporating emotions she faces in her daily life.

Maya Palavali, Staff Writer

Hand moving deftly from years of practice, a character comes to life on the blue tinged screen. Art is all about skill and experience, both of which CHS9 student Ivy Tian possesses. 

Entering freshman year, Tian enrolled in the Art 1 Honors program offered in Coppell ISD. Her use of artistic education from a young age and pure talent has amazed her peers.

“I really love her way of working with colors,” CHS sophomore Laura Jiao said. “She always finds pleasing combinations that blend well with the concept that she’s creating.”

In school, Tian expresses her creativity freely in the ways that she likes best. She has been able to become comfortable in her environment, thanks to CHS9 art teacher Elsa Reynolds. 

“Mrs. Reynolds will let you draw what you want,” Tian said. “She also gives tips that are really nice.”

Her love for art predates her enrollment into the school art program. Starting classes since age 5, Tian has been surrounded by the proper art education to help hone her skills. The steady foundation she built at a young age has allowed her to branch out as an artist.

“In fourth grade, the [art] teacher made us draw people kicking soccer balls,” Tian said. “I didn’t like that. I wanted to do my own stuff, and so I did.”

Her passion for art grew as she entered middle school.

“I didn’t get into it until I was in sixth grade,” Tian said. “I was drawing my friends and I was like ‘I want to get better’.” 

The little moments in the very beginning of her academic artistic career are what have helped her maintain her love for the craft. In an age with such advanced technology, Tian and her friends have used telecommunication to their advantage. 

“My favorite memory of doing art was probably when my friends had a group chat for art,” Tian said. “We used to draw each other’s favorite characters.”

Her love for digital art was found in the walls of Coppell Middle School East and a couple of apps.

“[My interest] started in sixth grade when they provided us iPads,” Tian said. “I started with Paper 53 and graduated to Sketchbook.”

Tian began drawing human figures by looking to her friends for ideas. From drawing people in her classes to making fan art for the people close to her, Tian creates many works with different styles.

“Before, I drew people I knew in real life a lot,” Tian said. “Now I gravitate towards drawing characters; they have more unique designs.”

With the realm of creating fan art being completely new, Tian looked to her favorite show at the time to help guide her. Reflecting back on fond memories, Tian realizes how she would like to revisit her previous interests.

One of these interests is anime art. 

“I used to really like to draw Jujutsu Kaisen art,” Tian said. “I want to get back to it someday.”

Every artist has a source of inspiration; Tian being no different. Looking at social media, she was quickly drawn to digital artists displaying their passion through fan art. 

“What got me into it was when I started following artists on Instagram that were [in the fandoms I am part of] doing fanart of characters they like,” Tian said. “I see other people’s art and I want to put that in my own art.”

Digital art and sharing pieces virtually have a special place in Tian’s art. Art provides Tian peace in a sea of obligations. 

“It’s not stressful if I [make art] for fun and because I like it,” Tian said. 

Tian has the flexibility to explore her interests and create pieces without worrying about making it uniform with her previous works.

“I want to have a specific style someday,” Tian said. “Right now, I’m fine with just doing whatever I want.”

Tian’s personality is reflected in the beautiful concepts she constructs.

“She is actually quiet and reserved,” Jiao said. “But, once you get to know her, you come to realize her demeanor is very charming and she’s full of funny quips.”

Tian makes sure to keep her art bright and optimistic.

“I try to put my personality into it, so it won’t be all serious or gloomy,” Tian said. “I’m not that type of person.”

Through her years of experience in art, Tian has been able to learn some valuable lessons she hopes to pass on as advice to others.

“Don’t worry too much about constantly improving,” Tian said. “Just have fun and enjoy school.”

She wants to take her love for art and use it to help herself and others. Tian is currently open for commissions to improve her skills and make a profit at the same time. She plans to use her experience in her younger years to help her create a path for the future.

 “I want to go down the digital path with 2D animation or have a job and do [art] on the side,” Tian said. “I know for sure that in the future I’ll continue doing art because I don’t want to quit.”

Follow Maya (@mvpalovalley) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.