Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Thoughts on Drawing--Marisa Penn

All my life, I've known that I was good at math and science. I excelled in those classes and developed a passion inspired by these topics. I knew I wanted to be a doctor ever since I was 12 years old and since then, all of my extracurricular activities, courses, and even employment choices have been specifically aimed at reaching that goal. I maintained my interests in the STEM field and invested little resources, both cognitive or monetary, towards uplifting and developing any of my artistic passions.

I was fortunate enough to complete all my pre-med requirements fall semester of my senior year. This left my schedule open enough to consider other courses that interested me, outside of STEM. I decided to take a drawing class simply to try something new! It was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to push myself to develop my talents and studies and invest some time in my own artistic development as well.

Learning techniques and practicing drawing this semester has been difficult, especially for my STEM-major-Type-A-perfectionist personality. I think one of the biggest take-aways I've gotten from this class is that, while prominent and successful artists definitely have talent, art is just like any other field in that it requires concentrated study and practice. I always assumed that I would never be good at drawing because I did not possess some innate talent. While I may not be the greatest artist now, I realize that it is a skill that requires patience, study and practice and with hard work, great work can be done.

In my own experience, STEM majors tend to stay away from art classes, but I think that it helps to develops a more well-rounded student and learner for I've learned skills in this class that I would not have learned in others. Overall, I'm really glad that I decided to take a drawing class at Duke. I feel as if I've learned a tremendous amount about both the art and technique of drawing, as well as about myself as a student and as an artist. I feel as if I've learned skills that will continue to help me in my career goals, including a greater sense of proprioception that will be immensely useful for my future goals of being a surgeon! 

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