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Throughout the course of my high-school career, I always struggled with the concept of "Artist."  Granted, the very definition of Art is as variable as the viewer, but I have always wanted to be considered an artist.  To me, Art is more than simply throwing paint on canvas.  I like technically accurate drawings/paintings over abstract (a personal preference, to be sure) and as such much of my time during high school (and prior) was spent trying to make my drawings as accurate as possible.  During that time, I believe I became quite good; my shading depth could still use some work, but overall I could SEE and DRAW remarkably well.  Unfortunately, all of that time spent rendering things did not make me an artist.  Only through much trial and error, and much in terms of sweat/tears from Mrs. Scavio, did I begin to open my mind and be more creative with my compositions.  Even upon graduation, I still had much to learn.  ( I made the mistake of putting my pencils down during college; my insistence at beating my head against the proverbial wall in pursuit of a career in Biology took precedence over everything else, and I have little to show for it except mediocre grades and overall frustration with my chosen path.  I wish I had had the foresight to pursue a major that I actually enjoyed- Art, Anthropology, or some variation.  Despite my preference for accurate rendition when drawing, simply regurgitating facts on paper (and abstract theory, really) frustrated me to no end with my Molecular Biology classes.  I missed the passion that I experienced in my Anthropology classes, and the few Art classes that I took at the College left me just as frustrated as my biology classes did.  I can still hear my family's words in the back of my mind:  "You cannot do anything with an Anthropology degree."  "What are you going to do as an Art Major?  Serve coffee?"  I cannot help but wonder if I had pursued one of those two majors, if I would have had a much happier college experience in general.  I hate failing, almost as much as I hate changes;  I sought my biology degree with the stubborn relentlessness as a Zombie for brains (and with about as much enthusiasm).  Only now, as a sit and attempt to regain some of the skill that I used to have, do I truly feel frustrated that I didn't at least make some contacts in the art department at the College so that I would at least have a vague idea as to what I should be doing as an "artist in training."  Which brings me back to my point:  How does one define what an Artist is?   Is it the ability to make perfectly rendered drawings?  (If yes, then why not just take a picture?)  Is artistic skill becoming a thing of the past, with the advances in photo-manipulation software?  Hopefully I will be able to answer this question as I attempt to regain lost skill, or better yet, obtain new ones.
  • Listening to: Sensei Todd fuss at karate students.