My worst art class experience has to do with the man who taught the class. He always wore black–he loved his black turtlenecks. He was your typical annoying artist, the stereotypical artist that I believe Lisa and I are attempting to prove does not exist the majority of the time. But, a stereotype does stem from an ounce of truth, so there you go.
So, I am not the world’s greatest drawer, nor will I ever be. I have improved a bit since college, but still do not really enjoy it. I was in my Figurative Drawing class at Oregon State University struggling to hide my self-consciousness from everyone else who seemed to be humming along with all of the assignments. I HATED this class. And to make the situation even worse the professor, as you might have already guessed was super ego-driven and never stopped talking about himself. He even made us buy his book. yuck…
I know, I know, some professors are like the only ones who have the appropriate book for what they are teaching because it’s specialized. This was a figurative drawing class, not an upper level graduate class specifically centered around the symbols of Mayan culture from the 6th century–it was a figurative drawing class.
Can you sense the bitterness? I’ll get over it someday.
On with the story. So, like many days in this dreadful class I was giving it my all to draw the naked man that was interestingly positioned in front of me. I had been drawing for about an hour and a half when the professor began to make his rounds.
“Please don’t notice me, please don’t notice me…”
Sure enough he decides to stop at my station for a bit of close examination.
HE ERASED MY DRAWING. It happened really fast. He just took his hand and starting at the very top of my charcoal drawing he swooshed his hand straight down to the bottom. It was gone.
An hour and a half of my sweat gone in an instant. I wanted to punch him in the face. And then a second later I wanted to cry. He scoffed at me and told me it was wrong. It was wrong? Since when were there rules to this game of art, I was asking myself. The problem I figured out later was that this guy was one of those teachers that did have rules. If you didn’t draw like him you were wrong.
Of course some of my bitterness stemmed from jealousy because he made it look so damned easy. But, he was the quintessential asshole of a teacher. I have hardly drawn since then. I just did as much as I could to pass the class and handed in my drawing tools when it was all over. If I need something drawn, usually I trace it. Lately I have been getting a bit more confident with my skills, both as an artist and a drawer. I don’t care as much about “what my teacher might think or say,” because I don’t have them anymore. I think I will always have a little man sitting on my shoulder telling me I’m not good enough. That is why I’m working really hard to create a kick ass girl who sits on the other shoulder that will flick the little guy away anytime he tries to chime in.