I’m all arted out.
Can you tell? You probably can. This blog is usually my creative outlet. The fact that I’ve neglected it for so long means that my artistic energies have been directed elsewhere.
Where, you ask?
Yeah. In a last-minute, last-year-of-college panic, I decided to declare an art minor.
Therefore, I’m taking two art classes this semester. One is called “Conceptual Drawing”…
…and the other is “2D Foundations.”
This was going to be good. I already knew it.
The first week of class started out slow. The professors kept it basic. My conceptual drawing professor gave us this exercise:
Uh, sure. I know what that is. Just kidding, I’m a biology student!
Our first project was to use the marks we made and compose a larger drawing from them. Then, we brought the drawings into class. Each student was asked to explain their work, and then received critique from the professor and students.
Then, they got to me.
Ok, ok. If I’m going to do an art minor, I can’t keep using that excuse. But the truth is, I’m used to hearing people talk about supercoiled plasmids, or carbonic anhydrases, or, you know, the oxidation of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. I am not used to all this artsy terminology.
What I especially don’t get is how subjective all of this is. I need numbers! Formulas! I took a color theory class last semester. Our first assignment was to paint a color wheel.
It’s mostly this conceptual drawing class, really. For some reason, it just doesn’t compute in my head.
Thus, I tend to take the class too literally.
Another surprising part of art is how time consuming it is. I mean, I should know that better than anyone—a single blog post usually takes between 6-10 hours to make. The time I usually use to blog has been used for my art projects instead.
Honestly, it’s more time-consuming than studying for classes! You can often find me in the art studio of my university all day, regretting a particular design choice or composition.
It’s been crazy. I’ve been straining a completely different part of my brain, a part that I’ve barely flexed before. It’s a stretch, a challenge for someone like me.
And I totally love it.
I don’t know how to describe my feelings. Art is different, somehow. There’s the satisfaction of producing something that is completely your own. There’s the frustration of wanting to improve your skills, your ideas, your designs. And there’s the fulfillment of knowing that you made something beautiful. Something that can’t be explained or rationalized, but somehow still has value.
It’s something I’ve never experienced before, in all my years of studying biology—the sense that, for once, I’m doing what I was meant to do.
It’s not like much has changed, though. I’m still a biology student. I’m still destined to live in a laboratory, pipetting the same liquids into the same machines. Maybe I’ll even get to go to grad school one day, so I can memorize the theory behind enzyme-lined immunosorbent assays or the importance of bovine serum albumin.
But for now, I have the chance to grasp at what I wish I could be. I’ll learn as much as I can, for as long as it lasts.
So, if you need me, before I move into the lab—I’ll be living in the art studio, getting paint everywhere.
Want to see what I’ve been working on in class? Look below, and follow me on Instagram!