Like most high school students, sophomore Rena Guo has an account on the social media platform Instagram. Unlike most students, however, she has over 40,000 followers.
To Guo’s drawing teacher and friends, she is known to be a creative, hardworking, confident and dedicated artist.
Guo’s passion for drawing began in 6th grade, when she began practicing by sketching with her grandfather.
“My grandpa came to America with my grandma when I moved to Brookline, around sixth grade,” Guo said. “He really liked drawing, so I think that was something that really rubbed off on me and influenced me. We would often sketch together and do calligraphy.”
Expanding her skills through this experience, Guo became more and more interested in drawing. Despite enjoying all types, Guo prefers cartoons, as they allow her to be the most creative.
“I like to draw unrealistic things, like cartoons, among other imaginative things,” Guo said. “I’m very interested in drawing anything that’s not real. Anything that is not sitting right in front of me; where I don’t have to look at it, in order to be able to draw it. I think the fun of it is creating it, making a drawing how you want it to look.”
According to Guo, her Instagram account started inconspicuously in 7th grade. However, when she began to post drawings, her profile generated a lot of attention.
“At first, my Instagram did not include drawing, but then I started posting pictures and people started liking it,” Guo said. “Then my personal account led to an art account.”
There is pressure that comes with the new audience she has gained on social media.
“Sometimes I feel like I just wanted to draw for the fun of it. I never intended for it to become an account or a responsibility,” Guo said. “I still feel joy in drawing, but sometimes I feel responsible, individually, to get better at drawing for all those people and to post frequently.”
According to Guo’s friend, sophomore Joanna Jung, Guo’s personality is key to her success.
“She’s a really caring person and detail oriented, so she always pays attention to people and her surroundings and cares about them,” Jung said.
Art teacher Donna Sartanowicz taught Guo last year, as a freshman in the drawing for understanding and field science class. Sartanowicz was impressed with how confident Guo was as a young freshman both in her behavior and skills.
“The thing that I noticed beyond her skill that she obviously has from the work you can see is that she had a great deal of confidence for a person that was just a freshman,” Sartanowicz said.
Sartanowicz believes Guo’s skills and overall personality will lead to her becoming a successful artist in the future.
“Her confidence and skills makes me think she will do great things, as she goes along high school and beyond,” Sartanowicz said.
Guo hopes to keep developing as an artist.
“Currently, I’m not completely satisfied with what I can do as an artist,” Guo said. “But I know if I keep drawing, I can get to that point.”