Passions: Michelle Lin


Nichelle Wong

Michelle Lin (10) enjoys digital art and experimenting with other forms.

Hello, my name is Michelle Lin and I’m a sophomore. Like every Asian person, I got sent to these school classes when I was younger, and art was one of them. That kind of stuck, and I feel like it’s because I have a condition called aphantasia. It’s where you can’t imagine things. It’s like how other people can visualize an apple inside their head, but I can’t. It’s hard to describe. It’s like asking, ‘Hey, how do you draw while being able to visualize?’ 

Because of that, I just like art a little bit more. I can create things and see them with my own eyes. It’s sort of like imagining for me. At first, I didn’t even really notice the condition. Now, I just kind of work with it. 

I started when I was just 5 or 6, so about 9 years ago. When I was younger, my parents didn’t like me drawing anime stuff. They’re like, ‘Drawing should only be for like, oh, real drawings, you know, like those professional things.’ I learned digital on my own. I started off using a free program, and then I switched over after I won Scholastic National for digital. My parents were like, ‘Okay, you can have an actual program to draw on and like this actual program.’ I use Procreate to draw now. 

Digital is better because you have a lot more options. It’s also cheaper in the sense that you don’t have to keep on buying more materials for it. You only need to switch it when whatever device you’re using breaks. Digital gives you a huge range. You can also have texture brushes, so you don’t have to draw every single detail, and you don’t have to learn all those crazy techniques. But I feel like a pro of traditional drawing is that if you just let it work the way it works, then you have more interesting techniques to work on. 

I like drawing faces. I like really pretty people. You know, sometimes when you walk down the street, and you see this really pretty person, you’re like, ‘dang, that’s a fine face you have there.’ I guess a lot of people think it’s hard to draw faces, but actually, I think they’re really interesting. You can use a lot of different textures and compositions. 

I do a lot of different art styles, I think. I do semi-realism when I’m painting, and I draw more on the anime style side because of weeb things. I’ve also drawn political cartoon styles before. Honestly, I’m willing to try out basically any other style.

When trying art styles, it’s a little like if you’re in the library and you’re looking for a book. ‘Hey, look at this book cover. Which one do you like the best?’ ‘Oh, I like that one.’ And then you just try it out. Ask yourself, do you like drawing it or was that fun to learn? What did you learn from drawing from that style? 

If you want to learn art, just go ahead. I feel like everyone draws, right? If you feel like drawing just draw and try it out. If you want to draw anime, go for it. If you want to draw realism, go for it. And if you want to get into it, Google some tutorials and then draw whatever you want.