Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thoughts on Drawing - Sam Toffler

I have always been intrigued by art and drawing. When I was in elementary school, I would constantly collect and learn from how-to-draw books. Even as early as the first grade, I can remember my friends asking me if I wanted to be an artist. When high school finally came around, I really wanted to get involved in art classes but none of them fit into my schedule. It was frustrating at the time, but I decided that taking a dedicated visual arts class would have to wait until college.

Now that I have finally taken a real class in visual arts, I couldn’t be happier. Drawing 199 exceeded my expectations in more ways than one. One of the things that surprised me the most was how much time I needed to dedicate to the class. Bill suggested spending roughly eight hours per week on drawing and now that I have finished the course I think that that is an understatement. In the beginning of the class, I would not have said the same; my drawings went rather quickly. But as the semester progressed forward and my schedule became more free, I realized that creating impressive artwork requires a ton patience and a ton of time. Given that I was pledging, I wish I was able to devote as much time and energy to the projects during from the beginning of the semester as I did to the projects at the end of the semester. Along with this patience and time commitment, my skills naturally improved tremendously. To see evidence of this, simply compare my earlier sketches to my later sketches. It never felt like I learned one new revolutionary technique at any given time, but there is still an astounding improvement.

After taking Drawing 199 at Duke, I really want to continue pursue classes in visual arts. At the current moment, I would like to at least complete a visual arts minor and perhaps even a major. Being creative is unique, fun, and relatively relaxing, and the courses that the visual arts program has to offer truly sound interesting. Even this summer I am heavily considering taking classes at the Art Students League of New York. Given the improvements that I made this semester alone, I can only imagine where further studies might take my abilities.

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