I can’t really recollect when exactly I fell in love with art. All I can remember is that as a child, I have always enjoyed making things with my hands. Starting from a young age, I have been hand-making gifts for all of my family members’ birthdays. Gradually, the simple crafts that I made became more and more detailed and delicate. I started to paint and draw on top of these small objects in order to make them more visually appealing. Fortunately, even though I grew up in a traditional Chinese family where my parents pushed me to attend an overwhelming number of extra courses in Math, Chinese, Science, and English outside school, they have been very encouraging when it comes to supporting my passion for arts and crafts. My mother actively found me teachers of traditional Chinese paper-cutting and painting. Through the variety of classes that she allowed me to be exposed to, I have enjoyed the process of absorbing the knowledge and skills, as well as seeing my own progress in making art works. Nevertheless, I never got a chance to receive formal art education in school. Therefore, coming to Duke, I have always wanted to find the opportunity to take an art class here.
Senior year became the prime time for realizing my passion in art. I am taking both this Drawing class and a Photography class, through both of which I have gained so much happiness and skills that I will be able to carry with me in the future. I truly appreciate this valuable opportunity. Knowing that this class grades based on our own developments has made me less stressed about the outcome. Rather, I have become more obsessed with the process of art making. From the study drawings in the beginning to the fictional drawing at the end, I have been constantly challenged by these assignments. However, I learned to calm myself down and just enjoy the drawing process that I love. Sometimes, it would already take me hours to come up with a good idea for the assignment. The drawing process itself would take up to twenty hours. But drawing to me is no chore. I would find a lazy morning, brew myself a cup of coffee, turn on the music, and just immerse myself in the world of art unfolding before me on that Bristol board. Though I can get really tired after hours and hours of drawing (manual work!), I also feel a sense of fulfillment and pure enjoyment seeing my own creation. The fact that I am now able to draw all these figures that I had no idea I could draw just a few months earlier made me become extremely proud of my growth. I am grateful that I have chosen to take this drawing class at Duke. If I have the chance, I wish I can participate in more art classes in the future.