Growing up, I had never really considered myself 'artistic'. I was always good at math and science. I did not think of myself as very creative, always having a hard time coming up with ideas for writing assignments and projects. But in ninth grade, I decided to take a visual arts course, and I loved it. I loved being able to make things and express this whole other side of me. I also thought it was such a great break from my other classes. A main focus of this visual arts course was drawing. I did not consider myself a great drawer, but I just tried it, and I realized that when I put the effort in, I could do it. I could draw. This first experience drove me to take some more interest in art and led me to explore ceramics and photography.
While studying at Duke, I feel like I've lost sight of my artistic interest a little. I have focused a lot on my science classes and research. At some point last year, I realized this and decided to make myself get back into art through this drawing course. It had been a while since I had really done any drawing, but I knew I would like it if I could really get into it. Sure enough we're at the end of the semester, and I am absolutely appreciative of this opportunity. This class has forced me to take the time out of reading textbooks, memorizing Chinese characters, and working in the lab to sit down and draw. It gave me an outlet, a way to clear my head and do something different for a little while.
While I am glad that I took this course, it has definitely given me some challenges. I struggled with not being able to get my drawings exactly perfect. I sometimes would get agitated with how much time I had to put into a drawing to get it to look even decent. But through all of this, I've learned a lot of new techniques like subtractive drawing and using negative space (which was my favorite assignment by far, I loved thinking this way and putting everything into a different perspective). I really liked drawing Duke's campus. I think it's beautiful, and I'm extremely happy to now have drawings of some of my favorite places.
I really liked getting to see other students' work. It was really cool to see what people would choose to draw and how they would draw it. I have been impressed countless times with others' work, and it has shown me what's really possible.
Overall this course has shown me a lot, thanks for a great semester Professor Fick!