Ask an expert - ROSIE SUN, ARTIST

What inspires you to create your art?

It isn't uncommon for sixth-grader Rosie Sun's teachers to return assignments with notes attached. But rather than suggestions or comments about her math or language arts homework, the messages often include compliments about the doodles she's included along the margins of the page.

Any blank piece or portion of paper is an opportunity for Rosie to create something new.

Rosie discovered her love of art at age 4 while living in China and continued to practice and learn when her family moved to Hinsdale in 2018. She celebrated her seventh birthday with an art party in the LyArts Gallery and has been expanding on her abilities ever since.

Some of Rosie's favorite creations are the subject of an exhibit now on display at The Community House. From a childlike painting of a snowman created at age 7 to a more recent, intricately accurate portrait of her older brother, the exhibit illustrates the artistic journey that Rosie has taken and the progress she's made in just a few years.

"It's really a retrospective, I feel like," said Gabrielle Tufano, art instructor at The Community House and Rosie's private art teacher.

Throughout her short but prolific time as an artist, Rosie has experimented with many media and genres of art. She's used paint to create landscapes, pencil to draw self portraits and an iPad to explore digital art. She's even tried sculpting, but soon returned to creating two-dimensional art forms.

Rosie said inspiration for her art comes from many places. Sometimes, she uses a photograph or drawing to guide her, while other pieces come straight from her memory or imagination. Rosie said her favorite subjects tend to be people. Whether it's a portrait of a real person, an image of a favorite anime character or someone she creates in her mind, Rosie said she enjoys expressing a subject's thoughts and feelings through her art.

"You can tell stories with the characters," she said.

Unlike some young artists who give up easily when something doesn't go right, Tufano said Rosie perseveres, learning from her mistakes.

"She just keeps trying something else," Tufano said.

It's a skill that Tufano said could benefit Rosie in whatever she chooses to do.

Rosie said she's considering a career in art, but of course, she still has plenty of time to decide. At 12 years old, she already is an international artist, having displayed her work in both China and the United States.

In China, Rosie created a mural on the wall of a motorcycle driving school.

China will no doubt see more from Rosie in the years to come, as her family prepares to return to the country in the coming months.

Tufano said Rosie will leave having made her mark on Hinsdale and The Community House. Rosie's show is the first solo exhibit by a Community House student, and Tufano said she hopes other young artists will see Rosie's exhibit and be inspired to share their own work on the walls of The Community House.

- by Sandy Illian Bosch

Author Bio

Sandy Illian Bosch is a contributing writer to The Hinsdalean