by Fei Chen
I was pretty artistic and creative as a kid - my mom always enrolled me in drawing classes, and I spent hours upon hours drawing, writing, painting, designing clothes for my Barbies. When I moved in fifth grade, my teacher gave me a sketchbook to fill. But as I got older, other things became priorities - prep school applications, AP classes, extracurriculars, SAT prep, college applications - and art was a hobby that didn't make the cut for my busy schedule. I'm glad that my senior year of Duke, I was finally able to take a drawing class, not to fulfill a requirement or to boast about it on my resume, but simply because I thought it would be fun.
I enjoyed this class because it reminded me of how much fun it is just to draw. This class also taught me that art and drawing is a labor of love - the more time you put into it, the better a result you're going to get. I used to think that people were borne with artistic abilities and that this was an impossible skill just to learn. While I still believe that in a way, this experience also taught me that patience is the most important asset to creating a good drawing. It is impossible to cram for a drawing or rush because the difference between a drawing you spent 3 hours on and one you spent 10 hours on is stark and noticeable. I'm not sure what role art will play in my life after I graduate, as I'm sure other career-related priorities will once again get in the way, but I'm grateful that I had this semester and this class to force me to devote at least a couple hours a week to drawing.