Everyday Artists at UMich: Summer Nguyen

“My major in information science ties to people and how technology affects them, so even though I haven’t made art about tech, there’s definitely a link between how I care about people in my art and in my studies. I really like digital art, so I use a lot of digital software. I think it provides a lot more creative freedom.

One of the pieces I put the most work into was in my senior year of high school. It was a two part series about androgyny. In 2016, there was a lot of news about ‘millennial pink’, which steers away from the idea that only girls should wear pink, and I guess that was really interesting to me since I don’t really subscribe to traditional gender standards. I wanted to make a series that focused on that idea. I used the Pantone colors of the year: Rose Quartz, and [Serenity]. The style is realistic, but [they’re] bust portraits. If you look around the eyes, you can see drips; it’s fluid. It reflects that gender cannot be condensed or tied to one thing. 

Recently, I’ve been very interested in the value of art as a whole, especially expressing yourself through art. In contemporary art, it means a lot to the artist, but to an audience that doesn’t have a background, they maybe don’t resonate. That causes a whole cycle of like, do I understand art? Do I need to have a formal education in art to understand this? It makes me think a lot about artists on Instagram, like artists that mess around and do what they want because they can. I’m always thinking about, does art have to have value beyond aesthetics?” 


You can view part of Summer Nguyen’s 2016 series, as well as other designs and illustrations, on her website: https://snguyen.design/work/misc

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