Personal Narrative Essay

Since I was a child, my mother wanted me to try out different types of activities so I could have experiences with varieties of fields as I grew up. From ballet to taekwondo, violin to horseback riding, and painting to golf, I grew up taking different lessons which I very much enjoyed. Although I was eight years old, my schedule after school was full of lessons after lessons. Thinking about it now, it would have been hard to swallow everything especially at that young age, but I do not remember being restless.
Even after trying out all different kinds of fields, I was not able to develop a passion for any of them. For instance, I did horseback riding when I was 12 years old, and every time I got on a horse and galloped, I could just feel my stress and anger blow away and I really enjoyed this activity, but I just didn’t love it. Maybe because I thought I was not actually good at it and I also lacked confidence in everything I did. A question that I always asked myself as I grew up was “What should I be when I grow up?”, and “What am I good at and actually like it?”. Until the beginning of college, I was not able to find the answers to the questions I had since I was a child. However, soon after I came here, to VCU, I realized every time I am either eating, doing my homework, or just going through Tumblr, a part of me wanted to either draw or paint. Most of my day, I will be imagining myself making an abstract drawing of objects I see in my room, or having my own gallery full of my artworks. Even though I am not talented like the art students here at VCU, I developed a liking and an attachment to art.
Out of the several activities that I have taken in my life, the one thing that truly brought me to it was art. I took my first official art class in France, at that time I just took the class for fun so I did not put much effort in it. I remember, I used to draw a christmas ornament by just slapping my brush against the canvas, just because I could and I did not care much about how people saw my art works. As I moved into high school, I started to compare my art works to my classmates, and that is when I realized my art skill is no better than a middle schooler. I did not improve at all since the first time I took an art class. While it took me about three weeks to complete a 8 by 8 canvas, my classmates were done painting on a 24 by 30 canvas which my art teacher drooled over, while she only gave me criticisms on mine. I had no motivation to continue on drawing, because I knew thousands of people were talented and way better at it than I was. I would be drawing a rose thinking it would be the best painting I would be doing, while others are drawing a portrait of George Washington, or painting a whole forest that looks just like a photograph because it is that well painted.
Even though I had no confidence on continuing to draw, to fill up my classes I took art until senior year. I believe that was the best decision I have made in my life so far. Although my art skill did not improve drastically, I was able to get my confidence back with my friends who has encouraged me and developed a passion for this field. I took baby steps and stepped out of my comfort zone by using a media, like charcoal, that I have never used before and started to draw someone’s face. It was the hardest thing to do for me, after a lot of effort and time, I managed to finish the piece, and for the first time in 4 years, I was able to be proud of myself for making a decent artwork. Since then, I slowly began to gain confidence, and see some progress in my art skill. Also, I was also able to stop caring so much about my art teacher who threw criticisms at me like it was her job. Through out my high school, my confidence level was like a roller coaster, not planning to stay at one stop but constantly going up and down. Thankfully, nowadays I am able to control and handle myself.
I liked the idea of drawing and expressing myself through my artworks. I felt content whenever I finished one of my pieces, and loved the fact that with art, there are no shortcuts. If you don’t spend as much time or put much effort in it, it shows in your piece right away. Also, the freedom it came with it seemed like such a big advantage for me, because whatever you want to draw or any idea you have for your drawing, you can just do it without getting judged by your peers. This was one of the biggest reason why I was able to develop a passion for this field.
My passion continued and I decided to apply for the VCU arts program, but I was not accepted, probably because of my poor art skill and procrastinating until one minute before the deadline. This just made me become motivated to draw more and improve, so I could apply again next year and get accepted to this program where many people dreams of being part of.

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