Xi’an in spring offers the opportunity to take your cultural experience and moment-capturing photography to the next level by introducing the unique element of history this city offers in abundance with the accompaniment of cherry blossoms and spring flowers in bloom. To take advantage of this backdrop, you may have seen locals walking around in traditional-style clothing in search of the perfect background to match the patterns and colours of the historically cultural fashion statement called “Hanfu”.
The choice to awaken and explore ones artistic side can be a doubtful, sometimes self-skeptical but exciting experience. With an iPad and technical pen beneath my palm, it was a year and a half ago when I attempted my first sketch line over an 11-inch digital screen protected by a matte cover. A couple of months later and countless flights down the rabbit hole of free online tutorial classes, I found myself exploring the textures of digital watercolor brushes on moody facial expressions as portraits. Later, the events of lockdowns and self isolation of 2020 hit hard and the emotional effects of extended solitude ignited a desire to attempt breaking into traditional watercolors.
There are a wide range of available paint mediums spanning between traditional and digital art styles and it has been recently debated whether the enhancements in technology and mobile devices have encouraged or hindered the practice of art and growth in the art community. Scrolling through social media, there was a public forum comment that triggered me, “Everyone thinks they’re an artist when they have an iPad.” Centred around the idea that the rapid evolution in new digital and paining drawing applications, technology has improved the ease of use and learning experience when it comes to teaching ones self sketching skills through previously considered taboo practices like tracing and have further blurred the line between artists opinions on respecting an art style and appreciating it.
Sitting in the teachers office, notebook in one hand whilst the fingers of the other feathered over the last page of questions I had diligently prepared the night before in an attempt to maintain a sense of professionalism and respect for the place I was sitting, I looked up to Anya, a teacher and the recipient of all my inquiries and confessed the interrogation was over. She smiled with a grin of curiosity and posed a question to me: What made you decide to visit here today?