Monday, April 23, 2018

Thoughts On Drawing

I've drawn a lot and loved drawing since I can first remember. In retrospect, I realize that this might have to do with the fact that I grew up as an only child with busy, working parents. I inevitably had to come up with ways to entertain myself, and I drew a lot in the basement which lay a very good foundation for my drawing skills. In elementary school, I was labelled the girl who was good at drawing before anything else, and this went on in middle school and high school (although the label of being one thing became less prominent). In high school, I even created a Facebook page where I could share my art with hundreds of other people--mostly friends and family.

During my first semester of Duke, I realized that I had barely done any drawing since fall of senior year in high school. I had been busy with college apps, and then I took a break from doing real work during the summer. First semester of college also hit hard. During winter break back at home, I began making small comic panels in pen for the first time I would work on these panels for hours, and it all began when my close friend who suffered from depression encouraged me to make a comic collaboration with her. She wasn't an artist kind of person when we were in school together, but she picked up the habit of making incredibly angsty, existential comics in lieu of more dangerous habits.

I realized how much I missed drawing, and how I would not just block out time for it if I wasn't forced to draw, so I decided to sign up for a drawing class. I did this as my 5th class, which wasn't very smart since I also chose a very rigorous schedule, and it kind of backfired. While I'm glad I've been able to practice my still-life skills, taking drawing also made me realize how much I don't like drawing buildings, landscapes, and objects so much as people. It also did not help that I fell behind a lot because I caught the flu, or the additional fact that the content we drew did not interest me as much. I also struggled a lot with figuring out myself this first year and in a number of my classes, so drawing became more of a task then what I had wanted to be -- a relaxing creative outlet. On top of that, I continued making comics to relieve my own stress, but the time I poured into the comics I could not translate to my 40 drawing sketchbook since I keep those in a more private diary form.  I do wish there was more space to draw things we were interested in during class, and that we did not have to always do a study drawing and a final because this would always feel extremely redundant and I would have liked to been able to simply pour all of my energy into one piece,

That is not to say to say that I have not enjoyed the class. I made two friends and it is also wonderful to get to explore the art community at Duke which is at first a bit harder to find. I also liked getting to work with charcoal, and I absolutely loved Maira Kalman's probing visit when we did the creative exercise of remembering our childhood and drawing "the first place we could remember." I'm glad I got to produce more works, and the class definitely pushed and improved my observation skills!

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