Thursday, April 23, 2020

Being an Artist at Duke - Rebecca

             To be completely honest, my high school self might be a bit sad at the lack of art classes I’ve taken in college. My own high school wasn’t too big on art. Heck, there wasn’t even a club for it (if there was, then I wasn’t aware of it. That’s how small the art scene was there). I was fortunate that I had other means of learning art. I knew coming to Duke that I wanted to continue with art and even get an art minor, maybe even a major. And yet, I really didn’t start until the second semester of sophomore year. I feel like this calls for a trip down memory lane. I was so excited to take the introductory drawing class, but every time I tried to register for it there was never any space. I tried three times before giving up on it. Honestly, I was considering giving up on even trying to take an art class at that point. Luckily, hope prevailed. I was fortunate enough to be able to enroll in Figure Drawing and this is really where my collegiate art career began.
              I personally only had experience with graphite and acrylic before coming to Duke. After just five semesters of taking art classes, I’ve really been able to expand my horizons and learn new skills: from improving at figure drawing to learning how to screenprint. These are all things that high school me would never have imagined myself knowing. Who knew that I could make a jellyfish out of plastic cutlery, while inhaling delectable burning hot glue fumes? (In all actuality, I was really impressed with myself). Also, who knew printmaking could be so dangerous (luckily, the cut on my thumb has healed)? Despite all of the injuries, I haven’t had this much fun doing art ever. In fact, I think I’ve kind of fallen in love with the art making process again. Although, I still have a lot to learn, I’m grateful for having the opportunity to experiment.
              Unfortunately, one thing that seemed lacking to me, other than class size and number of class offerings, was the art community. In all actuality, I really only have a few friends who are just as interested in art as I am. Because of that, there wasn’t a lot of motivation to continue doing art outside of the classroom. Maybe this was just because of my introvertedness or just me not searching in the right places. But in the end, I think I’ve found my place. I’ve found great professors who really encourage creativity and not just completing an assignment for a grade. I’ve also found different art mediums to experiment in. I’ve learned that the only boundaries in art are those that I put on myself. I look forward to the future and to any future art endeavors I might attempt. The only thing I regret now is not taking more art classes. See you later, Duke. It was a fun ride.

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