A love for the arts seems to have been genetically passed down in my family. Both of my grandmas had an exceptional mind for creativity and an eye for visual inspiration, expressing their interests and opinions through painting, drawing, and needlework. My parents are also propelled by the visual beauty of things, and express their artistic abilities through designing accessories. This is probably why they enrolled me in art classes at the age of 6… Since then, I have always shown great interest in the arts, which has sparked my creative mind in various subjects throughout my life.
As I previously mentioned, I started taking art lessons when I was only 6 years old. My first projects included paper mache, finger-painting, and tracing photos with translucent paper. However, as I got older I started learning more intricate techniques relating to drawing and painting, such as blending and textures. While most of my art classes revolved around painting, I also did plenty of artwork on the sidelines and in school, which allowed me to develop my drawing skills. When I was younger, my favorite images to draw were flowers and pine trees. As I got older, I started drawing more complex landscapes and still lifes. One of my biggest struggles throughout my artistic career was my ability to draw people, which I endure even to this day.
While I enjoy drawing on its own, the creative edge it entails has been hammered into my mind and has come into use throughout my life. Art, in general, has enabled me to think outside the box, to connect not-so-relatable concepts and make sense out of them, and to come up with ways to view topics or principles in a new light. For instance, throughout my academic career, I have conducted several scientific research experiments, such as the effect of a particular mutant cancer gene on brain tumor progression. At the beginning of my project, I had issues with the amount of time it took for tumors to progress and the amount of time I had in the lab. I therefore had to think of ways to enhance the progression of tumors while still getting effective and realistic results. While I of course needed a scientific background to conduct this project at all, my artistic background and the creative thinking it required enabled me to more easily propose a protocol that hadn’t been worked up before. In general, having engraved a creative mindset from such a young age has helped me think of new ways to connect factors and form a relationship between them.
While I have been able to sneak in a couple artistic assignments for my science classes every now and then, one of my biggest struggles when I came to Duke was the lack of time I had to designate to drawing and painting. With the heavy load of classes and requirements I, and the majority of students, had to fulfill over the course of my Duke career, I hardly had anytime to draw or paint on the sidelines. This semester, my final semester at Duke, I finally had the opportunity to take an art class and remind myself before I enter the real world how much I truly love and enjoy art.