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more than just drawing and photos
2004-05-06

i had my first drawing class and photography class this week. wow what a contrast, not just in the classes but my reaction to them. firstly the instructorís styles are totally different which is to be expected. my drawing instructor, e, has been teaching art for as long as i was born and it kind of shows. she doesnít seem all that passionate about teaching art. i may not be being fair to her, it was only the first class. she has though developed diplomatic skills, which i was the recipient of. Ďthatís good butÖ.í, Ďyouíre on the right track, butÖ..í Ďgood effort butÖ..í. during the class iíd look over and sneak a peak at the peopleís pads next to me, wow they were good. iíd look back at mine and think Ďdoes that even look like a shoe?í but i didnít let myself get too discouraged, i know i am not good at drawing and my goal isnít to be the best in the class, itís to learn some techniques, so i sighed and took a deep breath, listened to what she was telling me and others and tried to implement her comments. the next morning i looked at my sketches and they didnít look too bad.

itís a reoccurring fault of mine, always comparing myself to other people. it doesnít matter that i know that these people play 3 games of soccer a week, or have been drawing everyday since they were 10, or that they have been obsessed with science even before i was born. i look at them and compare my skill level to them and think why canít i play as well as them, or draw as well as them, or have the same wealth of background knowledge of them. so i think my first drawing class has taught me to accept my current skill level and know that with practice it will improve. i also realised that the sort of sketching and drawing that i had been doing at home (in preparation for the class, so i didnít suck even more) is what we were doing in that first class. i started off expecting (as is my way) to be able to shade, get the perspective right, showing 3 dimensionality, stuff that is way out of my league, and i found myself getting very frustrated because i wasnít able to draw how i wanted. so i simplified things and just drew lines and represented contour with lines, and thatís what we were doing in class, creating forms with lines. it was kinda cool that i realised that on my own. there were still lots of people in the class that were heaps better than me, but thatís ok, betcha they donít donít know as much about polycystic kidney disease as i do.

as an aside, i had to chuckle at the brown noses in the class. maybe they werenít brown noses and they just wanted ti get their images right, but e would compliment them on their drawing and they would sigh audibly and say Ď i was trying to do this but i donít think it workedí. e would tell them it looked great and they would continue to push the point. if i had been told that i nailed my first drawing in the 2nd hour of the first class i would have had a huge goofy grin on my face,said thank you and told everyone i came in contact with the next day that i was goooood. aside, aside.

i was a little disappointed with how i felt after the class. i thought i would be inspired to go home and draw into the wee hours, but i wasnít. i was still kind of hung up on my skill level, or the lack of skill. that reaction was in total contrast to my reaction to my photography class. the instructor, s, is a lot younger, and that doesnít matter, but her enthusiasm for photography is contagious. she had passion for her teaching and photography. at one point during the class, she pulled out a bunch of photography books and magazines and asked us to look through them and pick a photo we liked, with the use of light in mind and then we had to explain why we liked the picture. it was very cool. i often look at photos and critique them, but only ever to myself. it always sounded so pretentious to me talk about someone elseís picture, what i liked and what i didnít when that photographer has years more experience than me. so thatís the lesson i think i am learning from photography class, i can voice my opinion, it may not be an educated opinion, but to a bunch of intro photography students it isnít pretentious (or at least i hope it didnít come across that way!). this lesson i hope will filter its way into the rest of my life. my opinion counts. i felt inspired in the class, i wanted to take photos right there and then. our first assignment is take pictures about light. on my way home i was looking at things differently, looking at the shadows of the street lamps, the light coming from peopleís homes, what objects headlights illuminated. it was great.

my bestest friend told me that i would probably do better in the photography class, and as it stands i think i might too, but i hope that my enthusiasm for drawing classes reaches the level of the enthusiasm i feel for photography classes. it was only the first week though.

if at the very least the classes help me overcome some of my faults, they will have been priceless.

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