13 Things No One Tells You When You Take an Art Class
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13 Things No One Tells You When You Take an Art Class

What every unartistic student should know before taking an art class

13 Things No One Tells You When You Take an Art Class
Daynah Singh

I think we all know the struggle of having to do something artsy but having no artistic merit. I can’t draw a tree to save my life and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So, when faced with monster most commonly known as the fine art requirement, I had my sights set on something simple, like Art and Culture or Survey of Jazz. What I didn’t know, however, is that I would find myself stuck in a real, in-person art class. Going in, I had no idea what to expect. Yet, this art class that I wanted to hate ended up having a huge impact on my life, so much more than Survey of Jazz or Art and Culture ever could. Here are 13 things no one tells you when you take an art class.

1. You don’t have to be artsy to take an art class

I know this is a cliché but you shouldn’t let your lack of artistic ability overwhelm you. There is a good chance that everyone (who isn’t an art major) feels the same way you do. If anything, you'll find yourself becoming more artistic as the semester goes on. So, don't freak out. You are more artistic than you think.

2. Get ready to be uncomfortable

This class is going to force you outside of your comfort zone and you have to be okay with that. Creating artwork, presenting your art to a group of people and participating in performance art around campus is just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll discuss pieces of work that outrage you, make you cringe, or just confuses you. Embrace what makes you uncomfortable and dive in.

3. It’s OK to zone out

If you’re like me and never really paid attention to art before taking an art class, you will zone out and that’s okay. If you make an effort to minimally discuss art history and doodle to stay awake you will survive.

4. It's not as hard as you think

Even though you can’t draw or sculpt doesn’t mean that taking an art class will be hard. As long as you try, ask questions and listen to your professor you’ll be just fine.

5. But at the same time, it’s important to do your best

You are given an outlet to say whatever you want with your artwork so use it. Chances are, you’ll end up realizing what issues in life are the most important to you.

6. When in doubt, turn it in anyway

Even if you personally don’t like your artwork, there is a good chance that someone in your class will. Sometimes we critique ourselves more than we would ordinary people. If it’s something you worked hard on turn it in, no matter what.

7. Don’t get too attached to that shirt

I know this is common sense but still, if you’re painting, find an apron or wear something that you don’t mind ruining. You don’t think you’ll get paint on yourself, but paint is smarter than you no matter how careful you think you are. But, if you do end up getting paint on yourself it’s not the end of the world. For me, at least I have a shirt and a pair of jeans to wear the next time I paint something.

8. No one ever knows what’s going on outside of the art building

I cannot tell you how many random things I have seen outside of the art building. People setting up audio equipment, large structures that are up for days, and large random panels of wood are just a few of the things I’ve seen and most of the time when you ask no one knows why they are there either.

9. But if you see something interesting, go for it

If you see large groups of people heading to the art building, chances are something exciting is going on. There might be an artist lecture, a ceramics sale, or a new exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum. The events around the art building are always surprising and the only way you’ll know is if you make the effort to check them out.

10. The required museum visits are not that bad

When the syllabus said that I had to visit two museums, I was dreading it. Art had never appealed to me, so I was not thrilled about going to these museums. What I didn’t expect was how much I enjoyed seeing all of the artwork and the messages behind them. I walked in thinking I was going to suffer and ended up spending over an hour just looking at the artwork.

11. The people you meet stick with you

Art brings people closer together and by the end of the semester, my art class was essentially split into five different cliques as we worked on our last project. The final project group chat that I swore would end by the end of the semester still buzzes.

12. You do things you never thought you could do

If you told me at the beginning of the semester that I would be participating in a fake pineapple pizza protest outside of the MSC or that I would be a part of a parade promoting the first amendment, I would have laughed in your face. There are so many things I would never have done if it wasn’t for my art class and these experiences have made some of the best (and cringiest) memories.

13. Art is everywhere

I know you’ve probably heard this before, but now you’re trained to notice. I’ll be at a restaurant, driving, or just walking around and I’ll notice Van Gogh’s Starry Night in the background or elements from Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa. By the end of the semester, your scope will adjust to seeing art all around you, whether you like it or not.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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