My name is Jen, and I go by any pronouns. I’m from Maryland (shoutout to Montgomery Blair High School), and I’m a rising junior in the Computation and Neural Systems option, an admissions ambassador working with both the blog team and the social media team (follow us on Instagram!), and the current secretary of Dabney Hovse. In my free time, I’m also a freelance illustrator! I mostly work on commissions and/or fanart. You can find my work on Twitter or Tumblr!
To expand on my major a bit, Computation and Neural Systems, CNS, is kind of an interdisciplinary thing– it includes some amount of computer science and some amount of neurobiology, and that’s pretty perfect for me, personally, as someone who was undecided between psychology and computer science. Having grown up hand in hand with both the scientific curiosity of a STEM-focused education and the wonderful expressivity of self-taught art, I love thinking about how the brain allows us to develop the ability to draw– how practice leads to improvement, how skills and technique sometimes stagnate, how everything we see out of our own two eyes is something our brain can somehow reproduce with our own hands. It’s a slow going process learning all the mechanisms of the brain, but it brings great excitement nonetheless.
Though Caltech makes it a bit difficult sometimes to juggle schoolwork and hobbies, I somehow manage to keep drawing consistently throughout the year. Usually, this is motivated by whatever piece of media has most recently captured my attention– for the past few years, it has been Genshin Impact, and for the few years before that, it was Kirby. A little-known fact about myself: I actually wrote one of my Caltech application supplementals on the lore of the Kirby games and how it fascinated me beyond end that such a simple-looking game often marketed towards children could have so many Eldritch horrors as final bosses. For about 4 years now, I’ve often revisited different concepts of Kirby characters designed as humans, because for all that they are almagamations of spheres and shapes meant to look like something alien, Kirby characters have so much humanity in how their stories are written. More recently, I’ve greatly enjoyed Trigun Stampede and Link Click! If you enjoy any of the shows or games I’ve mentioned, don’t hesitate to reach out!