Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reflections on Drawing - Jason Calixto

I’ve always considered drawing to be something I do when I need to get away. Transitioning to an academic setting was actually quite difficult for me. I definitely learned a lot from this course, but I think I work in a much different manner when it comes to how I express myself in my drawings. At this point I’m pretty sure everyone in my class is aware of just how much I dislike realism. I have the utmost respect for artists who can work well within that realm, but I think my upbringing exposed me to a different side of drawing. I didn’t have any expectations when it came to this class, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the observation-heavy side of drawing. I grew up with a particular fascination with comics and cartoons, specifically The Hulk, so when it came to learning how to draw, I did not fit in well with the rest of the class. There’s a certain phrase in jazz music that states the importance of learning all the rules so you can break them so I understand the importance of learning drawing from observation, I just have a rebellious attitude towards it all. I’ve never taken an art course in my life, so to be exposed to drawing in this manner was honestly a big shock. To me, drawing is about humor. I’ve always had that attraction to drawing. I love the ability to make someone laugh just from a simple sketch. I’m also a huge fan of minimalism, which I know is very apparent in my sketch book. I don’t want to make it seem like I didn’t enjoy this class at all (because I most definitely did), I just wish I could express more of my aesthetic in the work in class. I also had the opportunity to meet Bill Fick (honestly, my favorite professor up to this point at Duke) who works a lot with screen prints and other artists in the Durham area who I respect very much. I look back at the last 14 weeks having taken this class and I’m honestly amazed at how far I’ve come when it comes to drawing. Most of my drawings before this class dealt mainly with typography and very rough sketches of abstracted objects. Having been forced to work within the realm of observation, I started combining my own aesthetic with the assignments in class. I’m very arrogant when it comes to my art, but the fact that I had someone like Bill giving me input and encouraging me to find my ‘way’ throughout the entire semester absolutely helped me find confidence in a class that was lightyears ahead of me (in terms of technique). One thing I absolutely did not like about the class was the number of students who had obviously already studied drawing in an academic setting. At times, it did feel a little discouraging to even try. I know this is mainly just a personal problem, but the structure of the class sometimes left me feeling like I wasn’t trying (or that my efforts were not worth much). Regardless, I had a lot of fun exploring this side of drawing and being exposed to a lot of different techniques throughout the semester. And of course, I can’t express how lucky I am to have met Bill. I’m very excited to hopefully do more work with him throughout my experience at Duke. Not to mention the fact that I know have an art portfolio now! I plan on continuing to explore my artistic side, but I don’t know if I’ll find myself in an academic setting when it comes to drawing. I seem to like the more laid-back side of drawing, which I don't think is a bad thing. Or so I hope. 

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