Artist / Director, girl.xu Studio
Bachelor of Visual Arts
She has loved painting since she was a child, says visual arts alumna Sandy Xu who came to AUT to complete a Bachelor of Visual Arts in painting.
“When I was growing up, I would read those artist picture books or articles, and there was always a strong voice talking inside me, saying ‘One day you will be one of them’.
“A few years later, when it was time to decide which university to go to, I chose to come to AUT because I knew that it was the place that would teach me to fly and turn my dream into reality.”
Finding herself as an artist
She found herself at AUT, Sandy says.
“I got to know myself better throughout my studies. I didn’t just develop my skills during my three years of study; AUT also taught me about the kind of abilities I have and the many possibilities I can create through art. I enjoyed all the presentations, the talk weeks and the exhibitions I did at AUT.”
Doing her very first presentation in front of the whole class is a moment she still remembers today, Sandy says.
“That was a big moment for me, but I didn’t feel nervous at all. I felt my energy clearly when I was talking about my art – all the ideas, experiences and thoughts kept coming into my mind. I felt really good doing that, and that was the first time I realised I was good at this.”
Sharing her passion for art
Today, Sandy is the director of girl.xu Studio in Auckland’s High Street and loves everything about her career.
“There’s so much to see and discover in the world, and I feel so lucky about what I’m doing now. As an illustrator, I draw for clients, but I’m also a teacher and we run painting workshops in the studio every week. My goal is to provide a space for individuals who are interested in art; an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to collaborate and explore the essence of life through a creative lens.”
Being able to inspire others is what she is most proud of, says Sandy who graduated from AUT in 2016.
“Since I graduated, I had a book published, have given interviews for magazines and even had my own exhibition. But if you ask me about the thing I’m most proud of, I think it’s when my students tell me after class how surprised they are because they never thought they could draw.
“Helping people find confidence is what I’m most proud of in my career. I always believe that art is a method or medium to help you improve your life, and you can always give and receive through art.”