*Written on 2/29/2012
Just recently, I decided to become an art minor. This was a very big decision in my life. It took a lot of courage to make this change. Let me give you a story behind this decision.
When I was young, I was introverted, and my little bedroom inside my mom’s apartment was my “shell.” I enjoyed drawing imaginary friends and creating background stories for them. Anyways, I actually started drawing before I started writing. Walls were my paper, and any stick figure that I can pick up with my hands became my pencils. Shortly after I reached into puberty, I was BIG on anime: Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Naruto, and so on. Many people, even myself, thought I was just a dork and nothing more. I looked like a classic wimpy nerd at that time of life, wearing plain school uniform, big circular gasses, braces, bowl cut, and a greasy face covered with acne. My confidence at that time was drained by my poor physical appearance and academic performance. As a result, I shunned social activities and never showed anybody my drawings or writings.
Around 9th grade, when I was preparing for the High School Entrance Exam at a library, I grabbed a different book other than school text book to read casually I read about an artist.
His name was van Gogh, a passionate artist who went through a living hell. Even though he was with a kind heart, his emotions were unleashed and overwhelmed by his own imaginary world. Never was there enough love in his life. He and his little brother, who was Van Gogh’s only support, only customer, both died at a young age. Van Gogh was his own murder. After a bullet went through his belly, and after all his letters were published, he became famous. Yet, Van Gogh himself was never here to see his success. He recognized himself as a failure at the call of his own demise. The photographs of his paintings, which I saw at the time, impressed me to tears. Van Gogh’s vivid spirit overflew like thundering water. His brush strokes brought even the slightest object to a fire-like movement. How was he able to bring life to something sitting so still? At that moment, van Gogh’s painting inspired me to look into a different dimensions of the art world that’s not the traditional black ink on white paper comic.
After I moved to the U.S., I finally out-grew my nerdy appearance and improved academically. As my confidence grew, I opened the doors of my creativity and invited visitors in. I was no longer afraid of criticism and I see fellow artists as a source of inspiration instead of competitors. Many of my friends encouraged me to take art classes and develop an alternative career in the field of fine arts. In high school, when I picked up a paint brushes and started dragging the colors over a canvas for the first time, my teacher recommended me to take an upper level art class. I took Advance Placement Art, and my teacher really encouraged me to continue my art talent throughout college. Having such a compliment and recommendation from my teachers were such an honor; however, I didn’t believe any art career would bring fortune….looking at van Gogh’s case. I have never won any noticeable art awards or entered any competitions.
“There are better artists out there, how am I able to stand out in front of them?” I asked myself constantly.
After going to college, I took ART 1121. I learned that artist do not compete, but instead they learn from each other! This might sounded something like honestly obvious; but to me, it was a great discovery. I should not take it personal about how people would judge my work. All I need to remember that I am happy and confident when creating an artwork. Fine art is just like my personality: it’s free, it’s limitless, and it’s ever-changing. No other academic subjects has these features. I realized that I need to continue to develop this potential and– so what? If I can’t make big fortune from my artwork, the joy of composing an artwork and the inspiration is already priceless.
As a result, I changed my minor, and started to hang around in Washington Hall more often.
Slowly, I also learned that I need to work hard and study hard not just for the sake of scores or money, but to better myself for my well-being. Art has no true definition of- successful or unsuccessful, good or bad. Art is a free, unsophisticated expression of an unique human mind.
My art works can be found Here.