“Autistic people are also artistic”: Muchin Student Colin Moy Shares His Art and His Thoughts

Photo shows Colin Moy, a senior at Muchin College Prep, in his art class. Text on the photo reads "Meet Colin Moy, Muchin senior and artist

From beautiful Chinese dragons to sea creatures, Muchin College Prep senior Colin Moy lets his imagination run wild and free in his artwork. His art has been featured in Noble student showcases, and this year, his Chinese dragon-themed artwork was featured in the CPS Senior Portfolio Virtual Exhibition.

Colin is a student with autism* and is part of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. As Autism Acceptance Month just finished up this April and AAPI Heritage Month started this week, we wanted to take this moment to highlight him and his awesome artwork.

* Editor’s Note: There is a lot of debate within the autistic community around using person-first language (ex. Person with autism/who has autism) versus identity-first language (ex. Autistic person). At Noble, we will always defer to how our individual students, families, and staff prefer their identities to be talked about. You can learn more about this issue here.

Colin’s Dragon Portfolio

Colin completed this portfolio for AP 2D Art and received college credit for it! This was his artist statement to accompany it:

I chose Dragons as the Theme for my Project. Dragons are part of the folklore of Ancient China. Being Chinese, I am interested in my Chinese culture. Dragons are also used in modern video and animation such as Dreamworks “How to Train your Dragon” and video games such as “Spyro Reignited Trilogy”. 

Because there are no real dragons in the world, I can let my imagination create the dragons in my mind. I started with simple almost non-color drawings of dragons. They were just drawings of basic dragons that I had in my mind. As the project progressed, I added color to my dragons along with more details such as the texture of the dragon’s skin. My dragons finally came to life when I added shading to the drawing to make the drawing three-dimensional instead of two-dimensional.

I used watercolor paper for my sketches. With watercolor paper, I could sketch the dragons in pencil, and add color at a later date with either color pencil or watercolor paint. The watercolor paint allowed me to make the dragons three-dimensional.

Colin says he likes to draw dragons because they are “one of the wisest creatures” and give good fortune and luck. He also says it makes him feel more connected to his culture.

About Colin and His Artwork

We had the opportunity to ask Colin a few more questions about him and his artwork:

What are some of your favorite things to do?

“My favorite things to do are spending time with my family and drawing pictures.”

How long have you been making art pieces and why did you start?

“I have been making them for the last 12 years since I was a little kid. It’s because it will help to get my career after high school.”

What piece of art are you most proud of and why?

“The piece of art that I’m most proud of was the value and shade part of the Chinese Dragon. It’s always been in my heart when I look up the sketch. I want to put it up in an art museum, so many people will see how it turns out.”

What advice would you give to other artists who are on the autism spectrum?

“I would encourage people who have disabilities to explore different forms of art. Art can be about performing in a theatre or creating images as I do with my sketches and painting. As long as they are happy with what they are doing, happiness is their reward.”

What do you wish other people knew about your culture?

“I wish people would know that China has a rich culture and is not an enemy of America. That the pandemic was not developed in China, just like the swine flu was not developed in America.”

What do you wish other people knew about what it is like to be a student on the autism spectrum?

“Autistic people are also artistic. People sometimes have different autisms, but for the most part, we are just people like everyone else.”

Colin plans to attend college for art and get a career in the field.

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