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In high school, I was in a state where I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future, and drawing was convenient and therapeutic. Over time, drawing became a method of escapism for me, because I never really felt “passion” for other subjects. By the end of high school, I think my interest in drawing expanded to art as a whole. Additionally, I think I owe a lot to art teachers I learned from while I was attending a private art school; they introduced me to various artists and artworks and broadened my vision for a possible career in the arts. At home, my parents have been supportive and encouraging throughout my pursuit of the arts. That’s not to say they didn’t have their fair share of criticisms and worries. I had to make significant compromises to convince my parents that I actually wasn’t getting a degree in poverty. Most notably, my parents didn’t want me to go to any school that didn’t have a well-established liberal arts program, inevitably ruling out a lot of arts-focused schools. Initially, I thought these terms would limit my artistic progress in various ways and got pretty frustrated, but, gradually, I realized that I am the only person responsible for my own artistic growth.

—Tristan




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