For the first time since seventh grade, I have a class where the teacher gives you points just for showing up before the bell resonates and waiting until passing period to go to the bathroom. Most assignments are in class, and the only criteria for obtaining an ‘A’ is following the project’s loose instructions and taking into consideration the occasional critiques the teacher gives on her slow laps around the room.
Usually, easy A classes are mind-numbing, required-for-graduating nap times that quickly devolve into a daily ignore-teacher’s-droning-and-cram-for-next-hour’s-test time. Drawing 1 is an exception.
Effort isn’t explicitly required, but I find myself putting forth much more than I ever did in my last blow-off class. Perhaps this is because instead of filling out painfully mundane busy work like ninth grade Civics or seventh grade study skills (yes, that was a required class at my junior high), I have the opportunity to create practically anything I want, and I have incredible resources at my fingertips. Friday, for example, I used a combination of chalk pastels, charcoal pencils and high-quality markers to add to the aesthetics of my blind contour drawing. Before this semester, I had only worked with Crayola crayons, colored pencils and whatever other writing utensils happened to be lying around. Now, I have an entire room with all sorts of art supplies I didn’t even know about waiting for me to experiment. Also, art class has the best glue sticks. Like, seriously. They are 12x better than those Elmer’s ones in the big buckets at Walmart.
I almost didn’t take art because I was already planning to have a full 2nd semester of real classes. Fortunately–although it felt unfortunate at the time–I could only get into AP US history zero hour and into Spanish seventh hour. That left an empty slot for my second hour. When I saw Drawing 1 still had availability, I jumped at the opportunity, not necessarily because I wanted to take art, but because it sounded better than the other option: an introductory business course.
Before this semester, I hadn’t had a chance to take a fun class in high school. I took art in junior high, but my seventh grade art class did not fit my definition of “fun.” I have pushed my memories of junior high art class back into the dark recesses of my brain. Spending hours replicating pre-painted landscapes. Crying during in-front-of-class critiques. Struggling with lopsided sketch proportions. Almost getting a ‘B’. I still get chills.
When I have free time, I draw. When I don’t have free time, but I’m too stressed to get anything done, I draw. I always have. Art class really works with my schedule because now with drawing homework, I at least have justification for my coping mechanism. I’m not an artist as far as talent goes. At best, I’m an absent-minded doodler. Why does my blog post on art not have any accompanying photos of my masterpieces? Because I don’t want to embarrass myself. Being Picasso is not a qualification for appreciating and creating art, but it might be for publishing said art and shoving it in people’s faces.