Jackie Huang Essay


This is the essay I wrote in high school when applying for colleges.  I still feel it expresses why I chose art as a career and is a great reminder of what I hope to accomplish.

A cold breeze rushed past me as a loud bell went off as the door closed. A wonderful array of gifts lay before me. The smell of “new” diffused in the air as my eyes scanned each shelf. An abundance of book and pictures poignantly presented themselves. I picked up a book and headed for the check out counter. I paused and looked down.

My friend and I had spent the day at the art museum visiting an exhibit. We decided to finish our trip by stopping in the gift shop. I reached for my wallet and slid out some money when something had caught my eye. A small packet of stickers that I had never seen before called, “Creative Quotes, Note to Self…” lay before me. A specific quote on the cover had captured my attention immediately, reading: “Every child is an artist,” by Pablo Picasso.

Although I knew what I wanted to do since I could hold a crayon, that quote reminded me how much I loved doing what I do. I have always dreamed of producing art “when I grow up.” The question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” no longer applies, but rather the question, “What are you going to do with your life?” For the short time I have existed on this planet, I understood the extreme importance in “finding something you love and getting paid for doing it.” I found what I wanted to do since I was young, but don’t mistake me for being narrow-minded. I have had the argument many times with my parents about art as a “non-practical career,” especially since I have succeeded at other things. Why couldn’t I have picked a more practical career that would allow me to use my other skills? Because nothing satisfies me or brings me more joy and freedom than to create art.

It was, and still is, the magic of art that envelops me. That is why I have nurtured my dream and have done everything I can to make it come true. Each time I studied art at camp or privately, I have always gained new knowledge. I developed my skills, but more importantly I developed my mind. The more I experience, the more I do, the more I grow. Even as I grow and mature, both through art and in life, I continue to hold onto my dream. My dream gives me motivation and perseverance. I don’t plan on dramatically changing the world through my art, to begin the next major art movement, nor become the next Picasso. I do plan to show people the “truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed- love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice,” as William Faulkner has said. I want to remind people of hope and dreams, but I will not hide their faults and failures. I want to do it through art.

I bought those stickers and stuck them all over my room. I specifically placed the Picasso sticker on my mirror, so when I see my reflection, I glimpse the quote and can’t help but smile. Growing up is inevitable, no matter how much I sometimes wish I could stop, but art has always held me captive like a child, dazzling me with its creations and emotions. It hasn’t been easy getting where I am and I don’t expect it to get easier either. However, I have proven to many others, and myself, I am not easily shaken and I won’t give up. I may not be a child anymore, but I still am and will always be that child like artist, bedazzled and hopeful, driven to obtain her dream.

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