“There’s always the whole ‘starving artists that can’t pay the bills’ ideology that floats around everywhere and, honestly, it’s true to an extent,” junior Emmie Lee admitted. “The art world is hard to thrive in and a lot of people depreciate the effort it takes to create art.”
In middle school, Lee decided to take art more seriously. However, Lee also considered quitting at times.
“I really realized that I have to enter college, choose a profession, and hopefully make a living,” Lee said.
She also said that in her experience, middle school is a black hole of insecurities and though she almost gave up, she persevered.
According to Advanced Art teacher Jennifer Norman, Lee’s ability is tremendous and “everything she creates is gorgeous.” Norman said Lee is very passionate about art and one of her greatest strengths is her close attention to detail.
“Emmie’s natural skill level shines like the first bright star in the sky at night,” Norman said.
Junior Lonnie Kem has known Lee for five years and said Lee is hardworking and has inspired Kem to do her best in every aspect.
“She is very diligent with every piece of work and I extremely admire her for that,” Kem said.
Lee’s 19-year-old sister, Crystal Lee, said she is an amazing person with a caring personality, who treats everyone with respect.
Lee said she enjoys using watercolors and inks. By using multiple techniques, Lee can achieve classic watercolor effects using wet paint on wet paint, create depth and opacity with wet paint on dry paint, and can also fabricate organic shapes with the effects of bleeding and spreading ink on wet watercolor. Lee also uses ink on dry watercolor to outline and shade.
Kim Jung Gi, a South Korean artist, is by far one of Lee’s favorite artists. She discovered from his drawings that he doesn’t need to sketch prior to inking.
“His talent and use of ink has definitely inspired me to continue drawing and improve my art,” Lee said.
Lee, who is Chinese, can understand Cantonese and a bit of Mandarin. She has taught herself how to read and write in Hangul, the Korean alphabet, and has picked up a lot of Japanese from anime.
“From listening, I can understand about 75 percent of general conversation in the standard Japanese dialect,” Lee said.
Along with learning new languages, Lee likes to experiment with makeup, explore music and watch anime.
“Honestly, everything else I do always involves art somehow,” Lee said.
Lee, who is not involved in any school-related extracurricular activities, chooses to devote her time to art. Lee does not know what particular college she wants to attend, but she definitely wants to pursue a career in art or an art-related field.
From Lee, Norman has learned that patience is a virtue, and one that results in deep quality.
“I tend to rush, and Emmie has an enormous amount of patience, as is evident in her work. Her patience pays off in leaps and bounds and it’s a wonder to observe and an honor to be a part of,” Norman said.
Out of all of Lee’s paintings, the one she is proudest of took 12 hours to finish. She said that she is very satisfied with how it looks, but also thinks her work can always be improved.
Norman hopes she can help Lee develop a broader range of skills. She also wishes for Lee to excel in her current mediums and beyond.
“I have no doubt about her success as she exceeds my expectations time and time again,” Norman said.