Reminiscing on my relationship with art

Art can be an expression of creativity but also an approach to life and emotions

A watercolor piece of a four piece set, illustrating the steps of healing.

A watercolor piece of a four piece set, illustrating the steps of healing.

Selinna Tran, Life Editor

From the young age of three, toddler Selinna was scribbling and doodling on anything she could get her hands on. From old newspapers to junk mail, my means of fun was to create. And that’s not to say that these were illustrious or thought-provoking creations, but rather adolescent depictions of what my brain saw and translated to paper.

Now, as a 20-year-old, I still find myself filling up all of the blank space in my class notebooks and papers with random doodles and drawing. Art has always provided solace and comfort for me.

My favorite medium — which I discovered through my years of experimentation with various art forms — has to be watercolor. The simple strokes that result from a combination of concentrated pigment and water result in a relaxing and beautiful art medium.  Many people with childhood memories of the chalky, messy and muddled pans of watercolor that were given to us in grade school probably preemptively shy away from the medium. For me, I figured out the perfect combination of water and paint to create a smooth finish that fueled my love for the medium.

Many different artists that I watched on YouTube (Kasey Golden, Danica Sills, ashiyaart) were inspirations for me throughout high school as I learned different techniques from each of them.

I recall being pushed to explore and develop my passion for art in my own time, as a hobby. For me, art was never a means for ascendancy or success in life, only an avocation when I had free time. Still, I continued to pursue my love for art and tried to incorporate it into different aspects of my life. Even if it was not to become my career, I still pushed to further develop my artistic endeavors.

Another important aspect of art, for me, is being able to share and bring happiness to others with my art. My love language is showing people I care through dedicating time and energy toward creating and giving. As a result, I have always tried to use my love for creating to give to those around me, whether that be handwriting and drawing letters for the ZSR staff to thank them for their efforts, or illustrating portraits for friends.

Ultimately, though, art has been a way for me to reflect and grow as a person. My art has allowed me to explore the intricacies of my life and my experiences. From filling up sketchbook pages during times of emotional mutability to spending countless hours on a single piece that has helped me through tough times, art has been a place of amenity and peace for me. Art has also been a bridge for my relationship between nature and humanity — fostering the way I understand myself and the world around me.

As I develop and further my academic and professional career, I still want to hold onto my steadfast love to create and give, to further these notions of growth and life.