Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thoughts on Drawing

I don't consider myself to be a very talented artist. I have very little skill with digital art, no skill with sculpting or photography, and minimal skill with drawing and painting. I cannot even begin to count the number of times that I have found myself frustrated by my inability to translate the idea in my head onto the paper. When I attempt to draw I find that my work looks like it took only half the time that I actually invested in it. I could only manage a 3 on my AP art portfolio in high school and when I told my parents that I wanted to pursue art as a career they told me that they wouldn't pay for my education. I did not have the opportunity to take very many art classes in high school because of this.

Despite everything, I think that owe almost all that I have now to drawing. Drawing, along with some mediocre costuming, was one of the few artistic activities that I was able to keep up during my middle school and high school years. Drawing is what fostered my consistent love of arts during the years when my parents discouraged it. Even when I was frustrated with my lack of skill I still loved the activity itself. It was because of this love that I decided to sign up for the Project Arts preorientation program my first year at Duke. During this program one of my advisers recommended that, based on my interest in costuming and financial aide opportunities, I should investigate a job with the theater department in the costume shop. It was this job that set me down the path to my current career, costume history, design, and construction. From this job I developed an entire program II around the academia and technical skills of costuming, utilizing classes from both Duke and UNC, research opportunities in Japan and Scotland, and on-the-job industry training and apprenticeships over breaks.

It is now that I find myself circling back around to drawing. Having enough skill to properly render designs is essential for the career that I am pursuing, even if I ultimately don't specialize in design. This is the reason that I took this class, so that I could have an opportunity to learn the basics and justify spending time practicing my art. I have not improved nearly as much as I need to but this was an excellent start. From here it is my hope to take the figure drawing class as well as to continue to practice outside of the classroom. I look back on everything that I have done since arriving at Duke, all the things that I have made, the opportunities that I have been given, and the jobs that I have been offered and I find that none of that would have been possible without drawing and the arts in general.

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