“My journey to RISD CE began in 2020 when I was a rising sophomore in high school. I am now going into grade 12 and have taken Advanced Program Online courses for three summers.

The thing that surprised me the most while taking courses at RISD was how unique each class was. Each one taught me a different way to approach challenges and ideas. They offered me a bit more truth, and expanded my view of the world. I’ve found that with every course I took, my knowledge, creative skills, and ability to question the world around me has advanced. Not only do RISD’s Advanced Program Online courses help improve your fundamental art skills, they also make you think deeply about global problems and your identity as a growing artist.

I clearly remember the RISD instructor who has impacted me the most: Her name is Yevgeniya Baras. There is one thing she taught me that I will never forget: ‘There is power in not understanding things and that it is okay to not know.’ So, anytime I am feeling doubtful of my abilities or rushing to figure out where I am headed, I recall Yevgeniya’s saying and I feel much more comforted in that moment of unknowing because I still have a lifetime to figure myself out.

I’ve been staying inspired by trying to do everything I can to keep busy: looking at art and news on social media, reading books (from biographies to graphic novels to science fiction), exploring different places in my neighborhood and city with family and friends, and creating (from doodling in my sketchbook to planning out bigger pieces using new materials). I’ve also just started swimming again after a two year hiatus due to Covid. When I am underwater, it is like the whole world is silent and I am giving time for my brain to simply float and think freely…I tend to get inspired by my most interesting thoughts when I am not forcing it.”

—Claire (Kexin) H., RISD CE Advanced Program Online student

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Gallery of Claire’s artwork