When I graduated highschool (seven years ago, yikes!), I was under the impression I was going to be an artist. I felt like it was expected of me and so, like the good kid I was, I went for it. I poured out the artwork like I was some kind of machine. I never once thought I was particularly blessed or talented. I just had the time. I was fueled by some sort of teenage turmoil. Goodness knows I wrote my fair share of relatively shitty poetry. In the summer before my senior year, I was even accepted to Vermont Governor’s Institutes for the Arts. Because of a severe lack of confidence, I gave my coveted (seriously) spot to a friend. I don’t regret it. I never will. Anyway, lo and behold, the portfolio I painstakingly put together somehow managed to impress some admissions agent or another and I was off to Boston in the fall of 2003.
I attended Massachusetts College of Art for one year and realized that it wasn’t for me. Actually, I realized it wasn’t for me the first few weeks in. I am not an artist. I’m just a girl who happens to dabble in little bits of everything, including various art forms. Sometimes. When I want to. I loved academics and I loved not being an asshole. In art school, neither of those things were taken very seriously.
So I quit.
I started attending UVM a couple years later and after getting over the initial weirdness, I was a million times happier. I threw myself into learning. I was buried in the library, reading about Sino-Japanese relations and honey bees and air rooted plants. I had outstanding professors that I will forever be grateful to. I studied in China. I made friends with some amazing, nerdy boys. I graduated after three years, with a degree in Asian Studies and Art History (because those MassArt credits were good for something and I actually do find Art History incredibly fascinating).
So that brings me here, where I am in the midst of applying to graduate school for a degree in Museum Studies. I have not produced any artwork whatsoever since about two years ago, when I was mentoring with Burlington City Arts (which was incredible). It bothers me a little, because I do like it, but most of the time, I would rather write or read or bite my cuticles off or bake cupcakes.
I’d like to take photos, maybe, or learn to knit or refresh my Chinese, but I really don’t have any particular desire to paint or draw. People still seem to be under the impression that I have some kind of talent with these things. I tend to disagree. I have very little actual talent in anything, truth be told. Sometimes it’s a little disappointing. Sometimes I would like to be able to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush and not want to stab myself in the eye after five minutes, but I can’t. Occasionally I am inspired and confident enough to do a tiny collage or sculpture, or maybe a little craft project here and there. If I do manage to do any drawing, it’s almost always for other people. I sometimes make teeny tiny paintings on paint chips.
Now that I’m twenty-six and fairly grounded (and not seventeen and batshit insane), I feel pretty darn good about the choices I made. I would not have been a successful MassArt graduate. Hobby versus lifestyle. I never had that in me.
I had a whole lot of other great stuff, though.