The wizarding world of Blair Yu

The assignment

The first class threw a fun twist into the ‘get to know each other’ session by giving us an assignment to create a gift for our randomly assigned partners. After school, we spent time with them and got to know them better, so we could create something meaningful and useful for each other. 

Getting to know our assigned partners a bit more personally through this assignment made for a fun and engaging conversation outside of the classroom!

The wizard- Blair Yu

Originally from China, Blair moved to Vancouver a few years ago, and also did her undergrad from Emily Carr! She has a cute little 4 months old puppy named ‘Xiangxiang’ which translates to ‘sweet scent’ in Chinese. Xiangxiang also accompanied us in the zoom call wearing a dress specially designed and crocheted by Blair herself! 

In this short span of time knowing her and talking to her, I found Blair to be a very cheerful, fun loving person who brings everyone together. Yes, it is Blair who took the initiative of creating an Instagram group of the MDes and MFA 2024 batch on the very first day of orientation!

The zoom call

Image by pch.vector on Freepik

Blair and I organized a zoom call after chatting with one another on Instagram for days, to just talk to each other, understand how the other person is and ask any questions we have in mind for one another. We ended up talking about a lot of different topics. What food do we like, where do we like to travel, are we a mountain or a beach person etc. were just some of the topics we talked about! 

Story behind the gift

While talking to each other on zoom and over Instagram, I got to know that Blair decided to ditch the Disneyworld and instead go to the Universal studios during one of her trips in the USA. At first, I thought it was because of the adventure rides because she loves adventure, but later on, I got to know that the main reason behind the visit was her love for Harry Potter. She has read all the books and watched all the movies till date! Such a Potterhead!! This was my hint at making a gift for her which involved the magics and powers of the wizarding world.

Harry Potter Vectors by Vecteezy

As I am someone who has never read a single Harry Potter book or never watched a single movie, I had to do some research on what could be the perfect gift for a fan. I did some Google search and asked a few Potterhead friends, and got to know about this term called Patronus, which is a very sacred and important charm in the magic world. 

What is a Patronus? 

As Professor Lupin told Harry in Prisoner of Azkaban, the Patronus is ‘a kind of Anti-Dementor – a guardian which acts as a shield between you and the Dementor.’ It is usually the spirit animal of the person, and acts as a guardian.

The gift

I made her a digital painting which depicted Blair as a wizard, who is creating her Patronus using her magic wand and her special power of crocheting. The spirit animal that I chose for her was none other than her puppy Xiangxiang. 

A digital painting of Blair in Universal Studios’ Diagon Alley

I wanted the gift to be an open source for Blair. I wanted her to use the gift as she likes- print it out as a physical painting, or use it as a sticker for her laptop, or even create a book cover out of the illustration. So, I presented her the gift in its digital form, and shared it with her using the Airdrop tool.