Student Spotlight: Amy Li

Carina Liu and Olivia Phongsa

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  • Amy Li, a junior at DVHS, explores the mind and imagination in this piece of her sustained investigation.

    Amy Li

  • Amy Li, a junior at DVHS, explores the mind and imagination in this piece of her sustained investigation.

    Amy Li

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Sustained Investigation: “How do our minds construct the world around us?” 

In my sustained investigation, I drew a person who’s putting up their paintings on the walls. And the other drawings and sketches are coming to life, because that shows imagination.

To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was going to do most of the time, so I just ended up choosing a theme that I felt like I could work with. I wanted to do fantasy settings, and I felt like creating a world around you. 

I’m just a really imaginative person. If I look at reality for too long, I get really bored and then I just automatically start daydreaming. So whenever I think of a theme about creativity, I’m like, yes, yes, yes.

I originally started with a really weird sketch on paper: the original thought was like “Hey, I just want to try a cool perspective out and I just wanted to draw/sketch.” I wanted to do a swirly perspective, where you look at the objects and then you look at the person.

As I’m the person putting in the pieces, I wanted to do studio museum lighting. So the lighting is top down-ish, and usually museum lighting has light around the pictures. The dragon has some incomplete spots. That’s because sometimes, when you do not like your drawings, you just erase it and leave it there. So, I just wanted to keep it like that. The other little blobs don’t really have meaning… you know, when you just sketch for fun. 

Originally, the constraint* was charcoal. So for the little people, I wanted to make it look like charcoal. The little people are the storytelling part; there’s a bit of little stories of how they keep going to a telescope, as it contrasts to the other drawings outside which don’t really have meaning. They’re just kind of looking because, you know, they’re just like there.

My theme was “how do our minds construct the world around us?” So, I guess, physically, the construction would be the paintings, and then mentally, it would be all the little things on the outside. 

*constraint: A specific medium or technique required in a sustained investigation art piece; each piece must use one constraint