The Wrangler

Viviane Nguyen: A Triple Threat

Sophomore Viviane Nguyen shows us her portfolio of penicl drawings.

Sophomore Viviane Nguyen shows us her portfolio of penicl drawings.


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Some people can play an instrument. Others prefer the paintbrush. Even others can make simple words take on a life of their own, filling people’s thoughts with intricate ideas and elaborate new worlds. In rather rare cases, some people possess all or more of these abilities, as in the case of sophomore, Viviane Nguyen.

Nguyen is an artist, a writer, and a musician. She began taking art lessons last year at Artist Alliance in Sugar Land. Though she has only recently become interested in art, she can already see the improvements she’s making.

“I started out with little knowledge of contrasting shades and how to make things look real, but as I grew as an artist, I started gaining skills,” said Nguyen.

As of now, she specializes in pencil drawings, which she describes as “using a pencil to create different shades of contrast to a picture that was once multi-colored.” In other words, she takes black-and-white pictures and uses different pencils to replicate them.

Instead of just drawing a picture any which way, she has been learning specific techniques in the last year to help her develop a more sophisticated way of looking at a drawing and replicating it.

“In one exercise I had to duplicate the side of a face inverted on the other side. I’ve also had to copy pictures upside down,” she said.

She does this so that instead of drawing things from her mind, like a hand or a tree, she is forced to copy them exactly like they appear. When they are upside down, she has to actually look at the picture rather than subconsciously using her own mental images of hands or trees. Nguyen believes that her experience in art may help her in a future career.

“I plan to be in the designing business,” she said. “I’m thinking about industrial design. That’s where you design the outlook of a product; not all the mess on the inside.”

She is also an aspiring novelist and is taking the creative writing class this year. People who know Nguyen would be surprised as to what she enjoys writing about.

“It’s ironic because I like cliché romantic novels, but I like to write twisted stories, things that wouldn’t happen in the ordinary world,” she said. “I write things from adventure to crazy kidnapping schemes, things about death, the apocalypse. I’m afraid [the teacher] will report me to the counselor, so I try to keep it not too weird,” she said.

To top off her artistic abilities, Nguyen plays the piano- something she has been doing since third grade. While her writing revolves around more morbid topics, her favorite piano piece is called “Butterfly Waltz.” Her style of writing and her style of playing piano are two different things.

“It’s really unheard of, but it’s a contemporary, flowy song. It makes me feel like I’m dreaming,” she said. “It sounds really lame, but I actually sway when I’m playing it.”

Music is her way of expression, something that she can channel her emotions through. At the same time, she’s creating beautiful music.

“Okay, here’s a secret,” she said. “As much as on the outside I tell people I hate piano and how I cringe at practicing, in some ways it’s my only method of calming myself. So when I’m upset, I just play.”

For Nguyen, playing piano is just one of the ways she can choose to express herself. Being talented in the arts and in writing, she will definitely go far.

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Viviane Nguyen: A Triple Threat