As an Art History major, one of my major requirements was to take a visual arts class—something I was less than thrilled about. I struggled with which class to take, but ultimately decided on drawing because I liked to doodle and have neat handwriting, so figured there was a possibility that I would unlock some untapped potential. I also was interested in how actually practicing some sort of visual art would enhance my appreciation of it in my studies. However, as I quickly found out in the beginning of the semester, my artistic abilities are pretty limited.
Drawing definitely didn’t come easy to me. I enjoyed the still life drawings a lot, however. I found that I was much better at drawing still life objects, and found it peaceful and relaxing. I also enjoyed drawing in my sketchbook—I like to doodle and like drawing with big fluid motion and sketching a bit. Drawing landscapes, however, was much more challenging. I realized that it was more and more difficult to make things look realistic and found architectural drawing really tough. Straight lines and proportions are not easy I have learned! I found it really frustrating that I would spend hours and hours working, to only have a finished product that I deemed merely mediocre. Some of my drawings I would be pretty proud of until I got to class and we started doing critiques. I would get to class and immediately realize how much less skilled I was than the rest of the class, and felt shame and embarrassment about my beginner’s work.
Over the course of the semester, I have learned to accept that I am a beginner and in general, not the most talented artist. I have really enjoyed getting to look at my other classmates’ work and appreciate their talent, and I was able to get over my anxiety of sharing my work with the class. I have enjoyed parts of this class a lot. Sitting outside and drawing has been very relaxing, and I liked getting to unplug from my usual schoolwork and do something different for a change. Overall, I found that I have a new appreciation for drawing, and while I probably won’t do it again, I find that I have learned a lot.