plain jane kim
need visual things”
still trying to figure out what i need.
I haven’t really gotten a chance to sit down and reflect on my time in Korea or the start of grad school. I’m hoping to do it in small chunks.
I take four classes for my art therapy program (history/theory of AT, materials/media in AT, counseling techniques, psychopathology) which I take with other AT grad students. Then, my fifth class is a studio elective, and I chose to take a figure painting class. I am one of the only grad students, and the other grad/postbac students have concentrations in painting. So, I was pretty nervous/self-conscious about my lack of experience and skills. We showed some of our past work and began to paint on Monday. The other students’ pieces are amazing. I am literally the worst painter in that class, haha. I felt really embarrassed at first, but then I realized it’s okay. I don’t need to be good, and my goal for the class is to acquire painting skills I never formally learned and to gain confidence. I feel lucky I get to be painting with some of the best artists in the country. In 10-15 years, they will be the ones showing in art museums!
After the critique, our assignment was to paint self-portraits from memory. My professor and some other students laughed when they saw I painted myself smiling (everyone else had that pensive look). It was pretty fun (and exhausting) to be painting for five hours straight. I am still getting to know oil paints (found myself looking at what other students do with their paints/brushes) and I got a headache from the paint/solvent odors, but I think this class will be fun. My professor seems awesome and helpful. She wore a half length neck tie and a pin that said her name. :)
Art school has such a different culture from Duke! Understandably so, but I’m still shocked whenever I compare the two institutions. For example, the library is tiny here (maybe half of the first floor of Perkins…not even), and no one is there during weekends (everyone’s in his/her studios I suppose). I see lots of tattoos and eccentric hair colors. There is also always a group of people smoking in front of the entrance to the school. These are funny to me, haha. I think it was easier for me to be “artsy” in the Duke setting because not a lot of other people were. Here, I’m still trying to figure out who I am as an artist and how I fit into this community. I’m not not an artist, but I do feel inadequate at times.
Schoolwork so far has been manageable. The readings and quizzes are a lot but not difficult (at least not yet). There are other parts that are harder for me: participation, academic writing, practicing creativity regularly, introspection.
Still finding it unbelievable that I’m here! :)
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