I Knew I Wanted To Major In Visual Arts When...

I Knew I Wanted To Major In Visual Arts When...

"I wanted to capture memories that you couldn't physically go back to."

Jordan Battey
16

I knew I wanted to major in Visual Arts when I realized it's the only career I could pursue.

As a Visual Arts major, I want to become a photographer and a painter.

Besides having a lot of knowledge as well as being interested in beauty and makeup from watching YouTube videos, art and photography are really the only things I consider myself good at.

From first grade to twelfth grade, I was never even close to being a straight A student. The only times I received good grades were in art and gym classes. I was, and still am, a student with a learning disability. More specifically in math, but I also have difficulties comprehending things.

While sitting in the non-art-related classes, all I wanted to do was escape from those lectures. English, Math, History, and Science — no matter how good my notes were, I couldn't understand and remember the information I was learning.

The information never stuck in my head. I would always zone out because I knew I couldn't understand anything, and the material became instantly boring to me. Nothing in those lectures sparked an interest. But art did, and later on, so did photography.

I remember when I was younger that I would always have some type of art utensil in my hand, no matter where I was. The Crayola crayon colors and names intrigued me, and how the company thought of names that could perfectly describe the colors. I was also fascinated by how the crayons were made. I wanted to work there.

When I was in early elementary school, I remember waking up early just to color in my coloring books or draw something on computer paper. My hands had all different colors on them by the time I got to school.

One time in first grade, we were given a blank picture of a teddy bear. After everyone colored theirs in, it would then be showcased in the school's art show. My mom had said that everyone's bear was the same brown color. Mine, however, was the most artistic. My teddy bear had every color of the rainbow, and I made it into a pattern around the entire bear.

I remember going to the beach and I would just color for hours in the shade with this travel art kit that every kid and their mother owned. Art has always been there for me. It sparks an interest in my heart and mind. It keeps me alive.

Photography came along during middle school. At different times, I had owned a few point and shoot cameras — the ones where people would take with them on their vacations. I wouldn't say I was the best, but I was just a beginner. I had an eye for some things, and I wanted to capture memories that you couldn't physically go back to.

I started out taking travel pictures and pictures of my friends, and the original "selfies." Taking those types of pictures turned into taking pictures of other things, such as nature, food, fashion, products, places, etc, and eventually back to people once in a while.

When it comes to photography, I would rather not stick to one subject for the rest of my life. I have an eye for details, and having a very creative and imaginative mind, I want to share my perspectives on any subject that I can with the world through an image. An image that was captured at the perfect time. An image that tells a story. An image that makes you feel something.

Being a student photographer, I am still trying to figure out my "Theme." With freelance, I can capture just about anything I want. Except I want the pictures to all flow together, and to have different subjects that all somehow relate to one another.

On my photography-specific Instagram, I've been posting pictures from abroad and other pictures that I've been taking recently. I haven't yet figured out that "Theme," but I know it will eventually come to me.

In high school, I didn't take as many art classes, and in my opinion, I felt like they weren't helping me as much. The teachers are good at what they do, but everything was so specific. I felt like I wasn't getting the experience I had expected and wanted.

Some of my projects came out well, and some didn't. All art teachers teach at different levels with students who are also on different art levels, so I had always felt like my skills weren't good enough compared to others.

Entering college, students are still at all different skill levels and are good at one thing more than another. But I enjoyed these college art and photography classes much more. In my classes, we would have projects with guidelines, just like high school, but in a sense, I had felt like I had more freedom. Most of the projects, we could paint whatever we wanted and they had to be abstract.

Abstract painting and drawing are one of those things that I don't mind once in a while. Even if you have to paint or draw with a certain technique or a set of colors, you can let your mind run wild. You can paint what you're feeling or something you've been wanting to put on paper for awhile. Something original.

Everyone has their own style with different types of art. After going abroad recently, I realized I don't like a lot of texture on my paintings. Although I find it cool-looking, it drives me nuts if something doesn't look perfectly neat on my artwork. I appreciate others who do it, but I just can't apply it to some of my ideas.

Overall, college art and photography classes make me feel more free. Not to mention, I have been able to experiment with all different materials for painting, drawing, 3D art, photography, etc. Because of that, I now have more knowledge and choices when it comes to creating pieces.

Art and photography majors can be fun and all, but it all comes with hours and hours of work. Some say that art majors "Have it easy," and "Don't you just have to paint a flower or something?" and "Well, I mean you just have to take 100+ pictures of different items in two days, it can't be that hard."

Never, ever say that to any art or photography major. We can get very frustrated by those comments.

Art can be very fun, but it's not easy. You have to work really hard just like any other major. The number of hours we put into our projects is the same, if not more than what you put into your major.

For my Three-Dimensional Design art class freshman year, with my own two hands, I made a pineapple completely out of wire, and it took me about fifteen and a half hours total. In class and out of class, during my free time throughout the week and on the weekends. That also came with sore hands, cuts, and blisters.

Despite using materials that I'm not used to working with, I find art to be a huge stress reliever. Art and photography both play a big role in my life. If I wasn't interested in these subjects, I would personally find myself being overly stressed, and my day-to-day life wouldn't be as interesting and exciting.

My mind overflows with creative ideas 24/7, so to have it not be like that, it would be awful and boring for me. It wouldn't have made me who I am today.

I knew I wanted to be a Visual Arts major when I realized I couldn't live without art and photography.

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