Friday, January 08, 2010

Drawing lesson

The first week of my last term is over. Classes are seem good so far. But of course I'm trying my best not to have my traditional early term panic attack due to the amount of work I have. This term my panic is mostly rooted in the drawing course I'm taking. I always worry about visual arts classes, despite the fact that this is my major and I should be technically good at it. Perhaps it's odd that I'm so anxious about this. Or maybe even a little resistant to taking this course in the first place. So I wonder, why do we do things that scare us or that we don't want to do in the first place? I mean, if I stress out about drawing so much, why do it at all?

On the first day of my drawing class, my teacher emphasized that the class is all about a slough of practice and assignments - hard work. 4 mini drawings a week, a sketch book, and 3 major projects. AHHH! I couldn't help to hearken back to my drawing class in first year, which I still have nightmares about. My oddly eccentric and outwardly slack professor drove me crazy, and she was also a tough marker. The haunting memory of this sent me off into a bit of a mental frenzy. Failure on the horizon. Oh no! When the class was over, I found myself trying to calm my mind. I'm uncertain if I was actually talking to myself out loud as I walked down West Mall (Side note: If I was, and you saw me, now you have an explanation. Don't judge).

In spite of all this madness, the next morning I got back from the gym and sat down to complete my first mini drawing. I sat in the total silence at my kitchen table with a cup of tea and a photograph of vintage suitcases I was going to replicate. After an hour and a half, I got up to stretch. I felt so at peace. My mind was quiet and I was (*shock*) relaxed. It came back to me then. This is why I like drawing.

Today I was reflecting on my panic attack, or rather the questions I posed earlier. Thinking more generally about my life, I often do plenty of things that I would rather not do. Not only at school, but also at work. At the end of the day however, they all serve the purpose of enriching my life in some way. In the case of work, I have learned a great deal of patience. But drawing is about something else, which occurred to me earlier today. I'm not taking this course because I'm already great at drawing. I'm taking it because I want to learn. I am not afraid to improve. Epiphany? Most likely. I suddenly know what it is to look my fears in the face and say, "I am afraid, but that's not going to stop me." This is the kind of mind set I've been after for years! And folks it's this experience, from doing things I might be hesitant about, that is going to take me places this semester, and throughout the year. And possibly carry me through life.

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