My program of study requires a lot of really dense, theoretical readings that I often have difficulty grasping (and my inability to not totally grasp these things all the time make me feel like I’ll never “know” enough things to go to grad school—but that is a different story). Drawing was incredibly time-consuming, though oftentimes that was my own fault for picking rather ambitious projects, procrastinating, being too anal about my work, etc., but it was time well-spent in that I was able to exercise a different kind of thinking, looking, and interpreting from what I have to do most of the time. Although it was sometimes difficult to get through and finish a drawing, it was ultimately satisfying. It also felt fantastic to learn through practice and actually creating something that felt tangible rather than learning through absorbing other people’s ideas.
I had take art lessons and makings things since I was very little (I remember starting community classes while living with my grandma in Beijing at around age four as well as going to “Ron’s Art School” throughout elementary school and junior high). My mom used to tell me that art was the only thing I was good at. Up until about the midpoint of high school I had ambitions of eventually attending art school (Parsons was my dream school) but gave those up in favor of ballet, honors classes, and doing things that would prepare me for a more “proper” type of higher education. As a visual and media studies major, I’m happy to be surrounded by and to get to analyze really exciting, innovative forms of art all the time, but I also definitely missed the practice itself. If I could go back to my first year of college, I’d probably try to fit in a visual arts major or minor somewhere in my program of study. Overall, I think this class was how an arts practice class should be—frustrating, tiring, but ultimately rewarding.