Q&A: What is it like to be a student pursuing the arts at MVHS?


Anjini Venugopal

18554835_1885172915072746_1125872400_nPursuing the arts isn’t exactly the first thing people think of when they think of MVHS. In a school that is considered STEM focused, practically everyone knows someone who plans on studying computer science or engineering, someone who wants to be a neurosurgeon or researcher. The arts path, although not uncommon, isn’t talked about much. Junior Cheri Zhou, who is planning on studying the arts in college and pursue a career in graphic design or animation, shared her plans for her future.

El Estoque: What career are you interested in pursuing?

Cheri Zhou: I’m not sure yet. I’m looking [to go to] a college [for] a foundation, so I can really get to see what I’m actually interested in. But as of right now I’m thinking somewhere in animation or graphic design or illustration.

EE: When did you realize this path was the one for you?

CZ: About like end of freshman year. That’s the time when everybody starts realizing what they want to do, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I felt really left out and I was just like, well what am I good at and would I really like doing? Then I was like, oh, I really like doing art so I think I’m gonna pursue that.

EE: What is your process for creating your portfolio, and where are you in that process?

CZ: I have not started making my portfolio yet, which is probably really bad but I’m planning to make my portfolio this summer. I’m planning to make my portfolio very college oriented — according to what colleges I want to apply to. Generally most people start making their portfolio sophomore year. I know a guy [who] started making his portfolio sophomore year and it’s a really good portfolio and he got into a lot of good schools. A portfolio is not something that you spontaneously decide to work on. It’s something that you build over a period of time. A portfolio is anywhere from 20 to 40 pieces, and it’s all of your best work starting from junior to senior year, some people put in some sophomore work pieces.

EE: Do you feel like your high school experience has been different since choosing this path?

CZ: Well especially for art, you have to start preparing your college application very, very early and it’s something that you have to know you want to do and unlike STEM, I don’t really have to take too rigorous classes or too many APs because it’s not really going to help me. It’s pretty much easier classes, but you have to [start] preparing earlier on.

EE: What fears do you have going forward?

CZ: I’m scared that I’m not going to be able to put as much into my portfolio as I want to. [As of] right now, I’m kind of searching for [a] theme to go in my portfolio because that’s what most people do.

Zhou will be working on her portfolio over the summer and applying to colleges in the fall and we will be following her through the process.