Growing up in an artistic family, Kaitlyn Xu, junior, admits that she initially did not enjoy painting or drawing. With her father and brother both being fashion designers and her mother being an avid painter, Xu saw her art classes as a kid to be a chore more than anything else and something that she just had to do. It was not until the start of high school, however, that Xu saw art as a great and effective way for her to express herself.

With the rise and growth of technology in our everyday lives, the use of electronics has exponentially increased over the past decade. This has caused people across the world to grow extremely attached to their phones and other devices. This shocking phenomenon is one that Xu took notice of and decided to use her artistic abilities as a way to convey a very striking message about the topic in hopes to influence others regarding the importance of taking a break from their materialistic objects.

By using Copic marker, pens, colored pencils, and high top white converse, Xu created her artwork “Dream While You’re Wide Awake” to express the importance of using one’s imagination. She initially was inspired to create such a piece when one day she was scrolling through her iPad and realized how seemingly addicted everyone was to technology. This revelation made her determined to use her art as a way to “transport the daily person living their everyday lives to a different dimension” and wanted to reflect “another type of world” that was far from the reality of which her audience lived.

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Dream While You’re Wide Awake

The dream-like nature of her drawing, Xu says, is meant to illustrate “an escape from present life” and to communicate that no matter “the attachment you have to materialistic objects, you have the option to ‘dream while you’re wide awake’” and let your imagination run wild. Furthermore, Xu desired to place a significant emphasis on daydreaming in her piece and thus created a whimsical universe with her design to exhibit that. She wanted to be able to convey the message that “you don’t have to be stuck in the boundaries of this time and age and only focus on the hardships you’re going through,” but that one can use their imagination to take a moment to themselves and “be at peace,” far from the influence of technology.



Photo Credits: Kaitlyn Xu