By: Michael Miller
In a community of busy students, Lillian Chen stands out as one of the busiest. She swims, plays cello, creates art, fences, and participates in volleyball. Chen’s upbeat attitude enables her to flourish under the pressure of her busy schedule. “Three of Lillian’s best characteristics: optimism, determination, charisma,” said senior Apoorva Balaji.
Chen is passionate about art; she combines her love for art, fashion, and computers in both her academic focus and her extracurricular activities. As the historian of National Honor Society, Lillian will be decorating the doors for Teacher of the Month. Additionally, in student council, Chen manages most of the artistic asp
ects, from planning Homecoming decorations to designing her class’s T-shirts.
Chen is always able to take an interdisciplinary approach to tie art into her life. “I just piece everything together, so that it works well,” said Chen. This year, Chen is taking
Computer Art and Design, and AP Studio Art on top of her many other extracurriculars, deepening her understanding of art. For Chen, drawing is a very long and thorough process. When she receives an art request, she usually begins by taking notes on her phone to outline the specifics of the request. Afterwards, Chen uses the notes that she took in order to search for picture references as inspiration. Finally, she lets her imagination take hold and starts her creative process, putting things down on paper. According to Chen, this process helps her combine her own original ideas with what the person wants.
Looking towards college, Chen wants to pursue art. “I think I’m leaning to graphic design in fashion and a minor in business because I think that will pair very nicely in the future,” said Chen.
However, Chen has passion for many other extracurriculars beyond art. Chen has been playing cello since she was five years old and has played in Carnegie Hall three times. Chen played in North’s orchestra her freshman year, but as she became more interested in art, she dropped orchestra to follow her passion. However, Chen still plays the cello outside of school and is planning to continue the cello beyond college.
She also is very athletic, playing as an outside hitter in the school’s volleyball team. Her favorite part of volleyball is just being part of the team, working together with people who have become like her family. Despite taking on a heavy course load, Chen has always been able to maintain a balance between her extracurricular and academic careers, all while keeping a healthy social life.
Chen’s goofy personality is adored by all her friends. Senior Tianna Kwok values her time with Chen. “We [once] tried to have a normal conversation and tell each other funny stories, but the thing is, we both have terrible memories…so we kept forgetting where we were going with our stories. It just resulted in us laughing for the duration of the bus ride,” said Kwok.
Chen continues to accomplish everything she sets her mind to, staying positive the entire way. “She was always smiling and laughing—and she still is always smiling and laughing,” said Kwok.