Introducing– the winners of the Winter Contest!

Art by Nicole Xiong.

Nicole Xiong (12)

What was the inspiration behind your artwork? 

“Strangely, I was inspired by my trip to Hawaii. I was there for winter break and was surprised at how a place can be so warm and thriving with nature in the middle of winter. This was why I chose warmer tones and an outdoor setting for this piece.”

What is the message you are sending people who view your artwork?

“I hope this piece can remind people that winter doesn’t have to be the freezing, home-bound season that some people think it to be. It can be a warm time.”

How did you feel when you heard you won?

“I was surprised. I wasn’t confident about winning because I started it later than expected, so I felt I could have done much better if I had more time.”

When did you begin pursuing art?

“I remember in second grade, I was assigned to do a presentation on my dream job. I brought a palette and paintbrush, so I guess my interest in art began very early on.”

What art style is your favorite, and do you do any others?

“I like the cute, sketchy art styles often found in children’s books or movies. I find them nostalgic and comforting. Although I recently have been making more digital graphic work, the traditional graphite and acrylics are always nice too.”

Do you hope to do anything with your talents in the future? 

“I hope to do what makes me and others happy. I just want to make sure of the more important things in life.”

Poem by Baihe JIn.

Baihe Jin (11)

What pushed you to enter the Winter contest?

“The reason why I decided to join the contest is because I wanted to exercise my inner poet. I have always thought of poetry as a creative way to express myself; it does not even need to be long.”

What is the deeper meaning behind your poem? 

“I think winter is a really good theme for me to write about, because I am just way too familiar with it, being that it’s my favorite season out of the four.”

When did you begin pursuing poetry, and what motivated you to pursue poetry? 

“I started to pursue poetry back in elementary school, when one of my classmates published her diary into a book. I read it and decided that I can do better and maybe one day also publish my work. I chose poetry as my literature because it’s pretty and generally perceived as ‘hard to understand’, so I thought to myself that it would be pretty cool if I could understand and write such things.”

Who are the poets that inspire you and your poetry?

“The pieces of my life inspire me to write poetry.”

When do you find yourself writing the most poetry?

“I find myself writing the most poetry when I am in deep thoughts when I ponder upon the world and every bit of it. Sometimes things as small as being able to smell the fragrance of beef rice coming from the microwave inspire me to jot some.”

Photo by Myra Li.

Myra Li (11)

When did you begin pursuing photography?

“I would not say I pursue photography, I have done it as a hobby ever since I was younger and had access to a camera. If I saw something cool and had a camera, I would take a picture of it.”

What are some other meaningful pictures you have taken?

“Other meaningful pictures I’ve taken are of times I’ve spent with family, whether that be during trips and celebrations or moments in day-to-day life. I do this in consideration of my future self and how I’d feel looking back on those moments.”

What advice would you give people who want to start pursuing photography?

“Advice I’d give to people wanting to pursue photography is to just start and not overthink. ask for help and actively/explicitly express interest in it. People in general like to be helpful and useful, so don’t be afraid to make an effort and put yourself out there.”

Do you hope to do anything with your talents in the future?

“In the future, I hope to continue documenting cool moments in life to compile and look back on. I mostly do photography for myself, so it was a new experience sharing a photo with PPW (Paw Prints Weekly).”

What photos or ideas bring inspiration towards the photos you take?

“Taking inspiration from pretty photos of nature/landscape and those sentimental photos that remind me of past memories and incite feelings of nostalgia motivates me to continue with my hobby.”

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