From the time that I was able to hold a pencil in my hand, I have been drawing. Art has been a part of me my entire life, even through there were times when I wasn’t sure if it would just be a hobby. When I decided that I was going to pursue it as a career, I started to look at colleges where I could pursue a degree in Art. I learned of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where they offer a summer pre-college workshop for high school students to earn college credit and experience college life.
For two weeks I lived as if I were an actual student at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I lived in an apartment with three other girls. I studied painting as well as drawing. Other students studied animation and comic art.
I have never worked so hard in my life on a daily basis. Each morning, everyone began drawing class, where we studied various elements of design such as line and composition. We drew pictures all morning. In the afternoon, I went to a liberal arts class called Text & Image. I learned how people are affected by art and how I could be a better communicator as an artist. As a class, we discussed many controversial issues such as pornography in art (is there such a thing?), what makes art, and how people react to art. Every afternoon I would go to painting class. For five hours I would paint still-life and nude model subjects. In high school I have taken many art classes, however I have never been so frustrated with the amount of dedicated time that my work required. This was my first experience with nude models, and while it wasn’t what I had expected, I learned a lot about the human form and how important it is to study as an artist. I also had never been involved with a group critique, where other students in class would evaluate and give their opinions and suggestions on my work. I learned the value of others’ opinions while staying true to my own ideas and style. The rest of my day was spent in my studio, a small cubicle where I worked independently on my homework until late in the night. The next day everything would start over again.
I have never lived away from home before and was unsure if I would get homesick or overwhelmed with city life. What I discovered about myself is that not only am I certain of my intentions to pursue art in college, but I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself and I know that I want to live in Minneapolis.
As much as I learned academically, equally important to me are the friendships that I developed. Thankfully, I met many other great artists whom I got to spend time with. It was daunting yet exciting to be able to watch other artists equally talented as I am create pieces that were unlike anything I had ever seen before. I learned from them and I hope that they learned from me.
While others might not consider this a ‘trip’, I feel that this is one of the best things that I have ever been able to be a part of and it has changed my life forever. I will take with me new techniques, a better understanding of my work and myself, as well as memories with new friends that will last a lifetime.
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