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ARTS: Q&A - Grade 10 student Yibo Daniel Zhang '23 discovers passion for digital art

Q: What inspired you to start making digital art? When did you start?

A: I started to draw (by draw, I mean drawing good) when I was 12, and I got in touch with the world of digital artwork when I was 14. My first animation lesson was another new door opened for me in the artistic world.

Q: Do you have a theme for the art you make?

A: Yes, indeed I have. I spend most of my time drawing tanks, aircrafts and weapons. There were only a few attempts that I drew humans, but that went horribly wrong. Recently I started to watch a show called My Little Pony. I know it sounds childish, but I did learn a lot of drawing techniques from it. For example, how to draw bodies smoother, and it's how I learned to colour something properly.

Q: Did you teach yourself how to create digital art?

A: Yes and no, yes, I do look at a lot of wonderful videos from Youtube and sometimes will watch them over and over again until I can draw them on the paper first. Then I will move onto the digital drawing on my drawing tablet. Q: What is your favourite piece of art you created? What inspired it, and why is it your favourite?

A: My favourite piece of art I created was “Under the Aurora." I was inspired by one of the game modes in the game Heart of Iron 4, which was using the story of My Little Pony, Equestria at war. It is about the loss of harmony, a few ponies of different races, and different parts of the Equestria who stand up together to fight the rising forces of the Changelings.

Interestingly, the background took the most time for me to paint because of the style of the aurora. It was Bob Rose's style, and I loved his work so much that I tried the way to draw auroras on this artwork.


*To see Daniel's favourite piece of art, Under the Aurora, it is featured at the end of the Q&A

Q: Do you apply skills you learn from your visual arts class at Grammar to your art? If you do, which skills?

A: Yes, indeed, in grade 9, Ms. Silver taught me how to colour and shade objects, other than just painting them with random colours that won’t look too good. Also, I would like to thank Ms. Fainshtein for challenging me in art class to keep improving my art skills and not stay inside of my comfort zone.

Q: Do you have any goals/dreams for the future with your art?

A: I hope to develop an interest in art studies, such as animation and 3D modelling. For now, I do commissions online, and people pay me to draw stuff that they want to see. Q: Do you combine digital and more traditional art styles?

A: Yes, whenever I am planning to draw something on my PC, I always draw on the paper first, then I take a picture of it as I trace what I draw on paper onto my pc.


Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

A: I would like to acknowledge Ms. Fainshtein for her to keep pushing me to do artwork that is waaaaayyyy out of my comfort zone, Ms. Fainshtein, you really have a lot of creative ideas to get us doing some fantastic work! And thank you Grammar for the awesome chance to let my artwork be in the school newsletter!


Below is Daniels favourite piece of art he created, called Under the Aurora:



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