Christine Yijia Xue

Christine Yijia Xue

Christine Yijia Xue

  • Student type: Domestic
  • Degree type: Double Degree
  • Year commenced: 2020
  • Degree(s): Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Information Technology
  • Specialisation: Interactive Media

The art of IT

I’ve always been very creative, with a particular interest in illustrations and graphics for games and other kinds of media. As an artist, I wanted to take it a step further into the digital world, to explore how art can continue to grow through new software and also as part of other IT-related industries. Further, intellectual property and digital law piqued my interest because I’m very aware of the risks involved in posting art online. For these reasons, I chose to pursue a double degree in Law and IT.

Something for everyone

The most attractive thing about Monash was its double degrees and how they take less time to complete compared to doing each course separately. The combination of Law and IT was also unique and complementary.

A major highlight of my course was the 3D modeling project from my 3D Character Animation unit where we learned all sorts of 3D skills that are usually considered specialist skills in the workforce. The project was time-consuming and frustrating, but the finished project – a fully-textured, rigged and animated character model designed from scratch – was a delight to see.

The hardest thing about the course has been the exams because we’re expected to code without relying on our software. Another challenge is the demanding workload. There is a lot to complete each week and sometimes you go into tutorials having barely understood how things are supposed to work. But I’ve found that help is available all around you if you reach out. Tutors are happy to answer any questions, and in your first year you get peer mentors who offer advice and support if you’re struggling.

Find your flock

During my time at university, I joined the anime club where I found many like-minded people with similar hobbies to me, such as drawing, singing and gaming. Engaging with fellow creatives and attending events held by the club have been enjoyable and a significant stress reliever, especially during the more hectic times of the semester.

Support at hand

I haven’t faced any major challenges entering the field of IT, although at times I feel like women, including myself, remain unheard during group projects. That being said, many of my favourite tutors throughout the course have been women, and being able to talk about experiences and struggles with them has definitely helped me a lot more in my studies.

While I haven’t looked into it, I’m also aware of the Women in IT program that Monash offers, where women students are mentored by actual women working in the STEM field.

Future plans

I’ve heard many times that this is a difficult path to follow, but I hope to become a creative jack-of-all-trades in the future.

Throughout my course, I’ve had a lot of fun learning to create websites, edit videos, 3D model and even audio engineer. I’d love to continue expanding my skill set and become an independent creator who creates meaningful and impactful work.

End art theft

As a hobbyist artist, my biggest concern has always been the protection of artists on the internet. While posting your work online has many benefits, there are also a lot of issues that surface – the biggest one being copyright. To break it down more simply, it’s how morals start to blur as more content becomes readily available online. And with the recent rise of NFTs, many artists have faced issues with their art being stolen and sold as NFTs without their consent or knowledge.

By becoming more adept in the field of technology, I hope to find solutions to the lack of protection artists have to their work, as well as learning how technology can advance while maintaining a high level of ethics.

Busy as a bee

Besides drawing, I also do covers online, gaming and puzzles. I also play the piano and the flute, and when I can, I meet up with friends. I like doing escape rooms with them. Occasionally I stream my drawing, gaming or studying too while chatting with other people. I also set up a lot of collaborative creative online projects.

I have an ironic tendency of keeping myself busy as a means of relaxing, but because I’m so passionate about creating collaborative projects and watching their progress grow, it also fuels my motivation when university work feels draining.

Pearls of wisdom for future students

Perfection is a fallacy; everything is an endlessly developing process, so understand that things may not always work the way you expect them to. New perspectives help, whether it’s for something as simple as coding or as deep-rooted as changing the way you study.

Don’t be intimidated either. The course is designed to give you a chance to pace yourself by beginning with fundamentals and then building on them. So even if things aren’t turning out great during a certain point of time, or if you feel like you’re falling behind, don’t worry because you will have the opportunity to push through and fix things.

Things may be hard, be it because of a global pandemic or because you’re undertaking a really difficult course, but know that there are always people who support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out when you need to. Remember that as important as doing your best may be, your health and wellbeing matters just as much.