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Art has always been very special to me throughout the years of growing up. It has shaped me into the person I am today and has helped me overcome many struggles throughout my years. I make art because it gave me confidence, it became therapy for me, it helped me to go into the zone, it helped me concentrate, and it showed me what I was capable of creating. These are many of the reasons why I make art.
Back in middle school I suffered through many of my classes and never thought I was good at anything. My academic classes never grasped my attention as a child. I always wondered why I had so much trouble during middle school while most of my friends found it to be a piece of cake; this bothered me. I tried studying more and more to help improve my academic ability but nothing seemed to work.
Almost everyday I would come home and all I wanted to do was doodle and color; therefore, I would sit there for hours doing so. My sisters and I would sit at the kitchen table and just color in our coloring books together, but I was always the last one standing. My sisters would get bored of it but not me. I would take my time and make sure I got every white spot and make sure I stayed in the lines. I only had concentration and desire for drawing and just coloring away, so I finally came to realize why I struggled in my academic classes during middle school. All of those classes never involved any kind of art, creativity, or imagination, three of my strengths that I long for. Art and design have always been my passion; it’s what I’m good at.
It wasn’t until I entered high school that everything started to make sense and fall into place. During my sophomore year I took a class called multimedia and graphic design, which improved my computer skills and made me feel like I wasn’t in school doing boring work; it felt as if I were home doing what I loved to do. During junior year I took Art 1 and Fashion Illustration. Realizing I had a talent for art, I started to develop a positive attitude. During these classes, my teachers held onto some of my projects to use as examples for incoming freshman. It was always a wonderful feeling to get compliments on my work from my teachers, fellow classmates, and outside sources. It boosted my confidence and made me strive to do even better. As a result, my high school held an art show and three of my drawings were placed in it. Art gave me the confidence I needed in myself, something I was lacking of for a long time.
Making art became my therapy; it helped me heal in ways I couldn’t on my own. During my last two years of high school I became depressed and everything in my life slowly started to shatter and change for the worse. I would walk into school and there would always be people who would call me terrible names for no reason. The bullying would also follow me to high school events such as prom, where people threw mashed potatoes at my dress and would just laugh at me. The bullying got so bad that people would actually come and throw eggs at my house and write terrible things about me on my driveway. I was a very shy person in high school and pretty much just kept to the five friends I had, so I never understood why I was always being targeted. Therefore, I really struggled through high school and thought things would never get better. Art was my ray of hope; it was something that interested me. Everything in my life had turned bland until I started making art. Art became my sun, my water, my food and my happiness. It energized me so much that I felt alive again; it made me forget about all the terrible things that were going on and everything that has happened to me. I started to fall in love with art and how it made me feel. Finding my passion for art changed me to my core. I finally had a chance at healing to become well, and because of art I became a different person.
While I was attending County College of Morris I realized that going into the zone while I was making art helped me in a way I never thought it could. I was suffering from migraines for about four years and never thought they would ever go away. I ended up in the hospital many times because of the terrible pain they caused me. One day, I realized that if I were painting, drawing, or designing, my migraine would go away because I was so focused on what I was doing that I forget about what was going on with me. This made me completely forget about the pain I was in. So whenever I feel a migraine coming on, all I do is work on some kind of artwork and I start to feel much better.
In the fall semester of 2016 I took a packaging class at William Paterson University. I never thought I was good at packaging from past classes and was never really interested in it. Once I took that class, it became my favorite class of all. I completely fell in love with packaging and found another avenue of art that I’m extremely interested in. What made me love packaging so much was how my finished product came out. I never knew I was capable of making such beautiful and successful pieces. It is such a wonderful feeling seeing what you are truly capable of creating.
I also love designing abstract art because it is open to interpretation, and that is one of the beautiful things about it. Abstract art doesn't just jump out and declare, "this is what I'm all about." Instead, abstract art requires you to have an open mind; you must enter the artwork and see where it takes you. In abstraction you must be open to change and surprise along the way. You must truly let go of outcomes. You need to have a plan and a direction for what you hope to accomplish, but you also need to be open to not getting the exact outcome you hoped for. This is what’s exciting to me about abstract art; you get unexpected results that are often better than your original plan.
Art has helped me in so many ways when I never even thought it had the power to do so. I wouldn’t know where I would be without art and this is why I’m extremely thankful and glad that I welcomed art into my life.