Some people find their passion and work hard towards it, when I was young, my passion was art. Drawing came easy to me in early years and I loved it, then years later I learned to love to paint after I was taught all the basic techniques, Part of my battle with painting was not having enough confidence in myself. Whenever I had my doubts I would remember a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Believe you can and you’re hallway there.“ The artist in me came out on a sunny Monday morning at Margate Elementary when I was in the first grade My teacher, Ms. Lintz told the class, “I have something very special planned for you guys today”. Every six-year—old in the room began rattling their brain trying to figure out what she meant. Finally, she took us out to the parking lot next to the empty playground. Where there was an old Ford Model A. Everyone looked at each other with confused looks on their faces.
Then Ms. Lintz said, “The whole first grade is having a competition; the student who can draw this car realistically wins.” Immediately I‘m wondering “How am I supposed to draw this car?“ It‘s a full car, not a pretty flower or tiny delicate butterfly-like I’m used to drawing, All I knew were simple ideas and simple figures. Throughout the years I have had a lot of experience drawing butterflies for my family and until this day I have never even attempted to draw a car, especially as complex as this one with all these weird shapes. We are given a piece of paper and told to begin. Ten minutes in, [look at my drawing and I’m not worried anymore; things were for the most part proportional and even more importantly, it looked like the car sitting in front of me. I quickly throw out my last sketch marks as Ms Lintz calls “Times up!” Each person in the class gave their drawings to Ms. Lintz and she said we would know who the winner was by the end of the week.
Days passed and the excitement of finding out was killing me finitially, friday came around and she announced that I had won first place. This drawing competition taught me how to draw with my eyes and have enough confidence in myself. As the years progressed, i knew that art was my passion, but this passion wasn‘t going to make the money that i needed for thy life. With college coming up fast, 1 had to find a major that would really work for me. Sophomore year of high school I started to look into other fields that had the design of art but the pay of a doctor. After many tnonths of looking, 1 fottnd architecture. Architecture is all about design so this field only seemed to make sense for me. That following year i decided l was going to apply to the School of Architecture at UNC Charlotte. I soon found out that I had to submit a portfolio of all my works, but I had to put one together first. immediately ] started looking through every single piece of work had ever done. if it showed any sort creative design, I put it into my portfolio. Once l was finished compiling all my work, ] had a pretty big portfolio. The application process to the School of Architecture was very intense.
First you had to apply to the university, then the School of Architecture. The school of architecture had a much more labor intense process though. There was an application, where you had to write three essays and insert a picture and write an essay on the picture you chose. After this was done, i got an email for an interview; this interview was the nerve wrecking part. The interview was a full day thing where we could bring up to twenty piece to It wasn’t until high school that I really picked up art again. In my four years there, I leamed a lot of new techniques and tricks to become a better artist, My high school art teacher was a big part of that progression. His name was Mr. Meier, and although he was a tad crazy and forgetful at times, he knew what he was doing. He taught me to go past my boundaries. I took his art classes from sophomore to senior year.
Sophomore year was a lot of hand drawing, junior year was a lot of abstract paintings, and senior year was all up to me. Senior year was, without a doubt, my favorite. That year, unlike the others, my seat was in from of a huge window instead of in a cubicle with my other classmates. With it being my senior year, there were many classes that I needed in order to graduate, but I knew one of them had to be an I couldn’t fit the class into the spaces I had available, so I talked to Mr. Meier and we worked it out as I would take the course independently. Normally doing a course like this would worry me, but with it being art I was actually more excited. Taking this course independently meant that I would be in one of his classes but in a different area taking the course by myself. This worked out better for me, as I was able to get more input on what exactly he was expecting in my work.
About a month into the school year, Mr. Meier told me he had an assignment for me, that he knew I wasn’t going to be too fond of. He told me to pick any piece of art from a famous artist and do a master copy. This was the thing I have been dreading about. All of my friends have told me “It’s difficult to do, but in the end it makes you a better artist”. I knew he did this to make us learn different art forms and to use the techniques they did, so I tried to look at it with a positive attitude I browsed Olga’s gallery, an online database, for something that stood out to me. Olga’s gallery had every single artist going back to the sixteenth century and all of their works. The whole time this was happening I kept saying to myself, “No not that one, too realistic, too easy, too hard,” Until I finally saw a painting thatjumped out at me.
It was a Paul Signac’s portrait of Felix Feneon, Paul used pointillism in many of his other works as well. This particular painting stood out to me because of the bright abstract colors with a hint of realism The background contained a spiral that had many different shapes and colors in each section. In the center of the piece was a man in a yellow suit with a yellow top hat and a cane who looked very much like Abe Lincoln. Starting out, my sketches were difficult. I found it easiest to start with a grid so everything lined up perfectly Mr, Meier made me do at least 5 sketches that were to scale and a color study. Doing all of these made me very familiar with Paul‘s work. Once I started to sketch the drawing onto a canvas, I got so excited that things were finally coming together.
I thought doing pointillism would be fun and not extremely challenging, but I was wrong Pointillism proved to be the most time consuming technique ever. The hardest part was getting the perfect point to dip into the paint and to get the right rhythm for the process. As I finished the background and started to work on the foreground of the painting, my painting style had to make a switch from abstract to realism. Once I finished the man in the yellow suit, I was done with my master copy I turned in my painting and Mr. Meier complimented me on picking up these new techniques and executing them so well. This literacy has made me what I am today. Coming from just a simple competition in the first grade to now being an architecture student at UNC Charlotte I have learned many things along the way and have the support of many people as well.