Welcome to the mystical world of Yolanda Chang. Where fantasy and realism collide, and creativity abounds.
Now in Year 9 at ACG Sunderland, the talented artist has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil. However, a lot has changed since her early days of scribbling stick figures on the walls of her family home. Over the years, the 13-year-old has forged a unique artistic style, one that’s steeped in the supernatural yet grounded in authenticity.
“I like combining fantasy with realism, and I mainly use colour pencils for my artwork,” explains Yolanda.
“I’m currently working on a realistic colour pencil drawing of a puppy with wings because I was feeling stressed about exams and wanted some time to relax and draw something magical. To make the puppy realistic, I’ve spent lots of time building up all the layers in the drawing. Deciding on the perfect colours for the shadows and highlights has been the most difficult part.”
Yolanda’s four-legged friends make regular appearances in her work – a dog painting she completed in Year 6 was published by Toitoi, a journal that celebrates young artists across the country.
“Getting my art into Toitoi is probably my greatest artistic achievement so far. They’ve published three of my artworks.”
With a mum and grandad who both like to sketch, an endless well of creativity to be discovered on Instagram, and an innovative and well-stocked school art department, Yolanda has no shortage of inspiration.
“I like scrolling through the art pages on Instagram because there are so many talented artists that I can learn from, and I find the creative classes at ACG Sunderland – like design technology and art – super fun.
At the moment, I’m learning a lot about using new media, like charcoal and even ripped up newspapers and books. Sunderland’s art department has much more media and equipment than I have at home, and most importantly, enough white paint!”
With glass painting, watercolour, and more sketching among her next creative goals, Yolanda has plenty to keep her busy. And in addition to her artistic pursuits, she still needs to save some time for board games, as the masterful teen is also an award-winning chess player.