Growing up, I was always surrounded by art. My father was a biotech researcher by day, self-proclaimed artist by night. The walls of our apartment then were always full of his Chinese-style paintings of bamboo, chrysanthemums, chicks and roosters that symbolized good luck. I adored those paintings as a child. I couldn't get over how he could start with a ball and end up with a chick, or how individual segments that looked like bones,when put together with a few additional seemingly carefree but deliberate strokes, so remarkably resembled bamboo. It was my own personal form of magic.
While my father's pursuits piqued my interest in art, it was the painting class they enrolled me in and the various art classes I took henceforth that really helped my budding intrigue bloom into passion. I got my parents to buy me sketchbook after sketchbook, to fill my desk and drawers with countless colors and weights of pencils, colored pencils, markers, paints, and pastels. I absolutely loved going to art supply stores, and could spend hours in them fantasizing about what I could do with the materials inside.
Yet over time, art lost its grasp in my life. It wasn't that I had lost my passion for it. Other things just started taking precedent. Schoolwork, extracurricular activities to boost my resume, sports. Hanging out with friends. Art is time-consuming, and as a middle schooler and high schooler, I didn't want my friends to leave me behind just so I could draw. But that didn't mean I didn't miss it.
That's the reason I took this course. I wanted to bring art back to my life. I enrolled thinking it would be fun and a destressor, a nice break from all the papers and problem sets of my other classes, and it was. I thoroughly enjoyed all of my assignments in this class. However, this course also reminded me just how time-consuming drawing can be. There were a couple of nights where I just couldn't see the end of a piece of work, where I wanted to just toss in my towel and withdraw. I was overloading after all, and with classes that weren't exactly light in course load. But I found that persevering helped me as grow and ultimately I am thankful for this class.
This class taught me to go out of my comfort zone. I had never drawn on such large canvases before, and was skeptical on how they would turn out. By dedicating the time to figure that out, I regained my love for drawing, for creating and recreating what I saw as beautiful. I also had shied away from creating my own art in the past. My sketchbook helped my get over that hump. Through my sketchbook I was able to explore things that I had considered a weakness. Drawing trees and faces, the human body in general. But also the ignoring the impulse to make everything perfect. I dedicated a number of my sketchbook pages to Sharpie drawings. I wanted to work with something that I couldn't erase so that I could slowly learn to deal with the fact that my drawings were imperfect. That way I would in general draw more, because one of tree main things holding me back is how long it takes me to complete a drawing because of how much I nitpick over details.
Overall, this course has taught me that I can make time for art in my life. It may have taken me over half a decade to come to this realization, but I am determined to hold on to it.
Thank you Professor Fick!