Art has been an important part of my identity ever since I was little. From the various summer camps I was enrolled in at a young age to the high school art intensives I have completed in recent years, art has shaped me into the person I am today.
There is often copious amounts of self-doubt and comparison that comes along with tackling something new. It is the determination and willingness to continue that makes the entire experience worth it.
To be honest, in the beginning gaining attention motivated me. But it was when I started sitting at the dining room table with a mess of supplies working, determinedly, that I knew how much it meant to me.
The self-doubt, however, never leaves.
The class critiques, a stroll around the class or simple social media posts, make it easy to view your art as much less than everyone else’s. That hasn’t changed the meaning though, in fact it has pushed me to stay with the hobby.
The fight between self-doubt and an inspiration to create battled against one another as I entered high school ready to take every possible class and work my way towards becoming an AP Art student.
As senior year approaches I am getting ready to start my journey into AP Art and think further into how I will incorporate art into my college experience.
Despite art launching me into a whole new creative space, I believe that taking an art class can be beneficial to any student at our school. In fact, I highly recommend enrolling in a course before you graduate.
The course catalog offers both 2D and 3D art courses that progress in level and content as you continue. Not everyone considers themself to be artistic or driven to create more art, making these classes not seem as interesting or not the right fit for them.
Why should you take an art class even if you aren’t super creative or want to pursue a career in art? Recent research has shown that involvement in the arts leads to both academic improvement as well as increased social emotional development and motivation. However, the benefits of partaking in art should not be the only reason to sign up.
Art is an outlet. It provides a social environment to develop a skill and receive feedback from both peers and a teacher. Every project offers the opportunity to employ your own artistic ideas. An art class can also allow you to meet students of all different grades and interests that you otherwise never would have the chance to talk to. One of my first art classes at the highschool was taking Graphic Design 1 second semester freshman year. I remember distinctly how intimidating it was to sit next to a senior or even a sophomore. I truly feared upperclassmen.
But, with the help of that class I came to chat and receive feedback from all different types of students. This class was the beginning of my Adobe obsession and hours I spent researching fonts to complete individual projects. An eye for design is important and has propelled me further into understanding how I want art to translate into my future.
There is an art class for everyone. In fact, many skills developed in such art courses apply further into other classes. Whether it’s photography, drawing, ceramics or graphic design, everyone has the ability to apply their creativity into a new course.
The most important part of anything is balance. Balance for me is going from writing analytical essays and memorizing signal transduction pathways to obsessing over drawing a cartoon panda bear. I have found a lot of value in letting myself breathe and simply take a project prompt as it is.
No class comes without its struggles. Almost every semester I find myself struggling with different projects or prompts that set me back in how fast I create.
I have focused on three areas of the art department and advanced to level two in drawing, graphic design and photography. My experience in each class has helped me to hone my artistic interests as well as build a portfolio of my experiences. Taking a class that sparks a little excitement in your mind, or causes you to walk a little faster to the classroom during passing periods is the right choice.
High school is a chance to see what you love and maybe never want to do again. It is about discovering what may be a lifetime passion or simply a class you completed and moved on from.
For me, there is a lot of comfort to be had in sitting perched on a stool in the drawing room listening to the buzz of the classroom while simultaneously blasting a new recommended album. It is all about trying, so go sign up for that class.