Drawing for me has always been a fun activity. At a young age, I would spend spare time drawing random things, ranging from swords to stick figures to dragons. Basically any time I got bored at school I would start doodling to pass the time, and positive reinforcement from my parents kept me doing this for quite a while, probably through middle school.
In high school, however, I stopped doing this. Throughout my previous drawing career I had never compared myself to anyone else at all: my parents, brother, and classmates never drew anything at all. So the first person I compared myself to was my cousin, who is really really good at drawing and is currently enrolled at the art school at Washington University in St. Louis. Her drawings were so much better than mine that I thought that I was really bad at drawing, when in reality she was just really good. Because of this, I stopped drawing in general because I thought there was no point if they were all just horrible in comparison to the other drawings that I saw people make. Furthermore, when I switched my form of note taking from a notebook to a laptop and had reduced free time from having more work, sports, violin, and other more “mature” activities, I lost all of my opportunities to draw.
This changed for me when I went to Spain during summer after sophomore year. Here, I took notes on paper, and with daily 3-hour classes I would inevitably get bored (as Ernie can attest to). With no phone service or laptop, the only way to pass the time was to draw, so that’s what I did, as well as pretty much everyone else in the class. Although Ernie’s drawing were a lot better than mine, I realized that I wasn’t as bad as I had previously thought, both due to being more mature and having better perspective as well as receiving compliments from sources outside my family. Although their support is endless, I always take their opinions towards me with a grain of salt, since they sometimes refuse to see faults in things I do, as many parents do. The new support I got from this made me think to myself, “Hmm maybe I’m not actually so bad at drawing.”
Because of this, I was very intrigued with the prospect of taking drawing at Duke, and ended up taking it this my fall of senior year (Fall 2014). Although my drawings still aren’t top notch here (there are a lot of talented artists in the class), I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. Drawing, along with music theory, are the only two classes I’ve taken at Duke where I would do homework when I got bored to pass the time. Although I don’t necessarily love doing the projects, I have spent a lot of time in my sketchbook this semester, taking as long as 75 minutes to do a some sketchbook drawings. As a result of this, I have gotten a lot better at drawing, as some of my friends have pointed out to me. Although I may not be the best at it, I’m very glad I took this drawing class because it has made me realize that I really enjoy drawing to pass time and express myself.
I likely will never take a drawing class again in my life, but I’m glad I seized the opportunity to take one when I got one. Looking back upon my life in a few years, it would have likely been be a big regret of mine if I hadn’t.