Student Reflections

"Art has never come easy to me. I find myself becoming frustrated when I am unable to draw what I want how I want it. Thus, I often give up on an art project before I even start. I was hesitant to take two art classes at Mercy since I find art classes to be difficult. After taking Art Foundations, art became easier and more natural to me. Therefore, thus far, my art classes in Mercy have allowed me to grow as an artist, while gaining necessary skills for creating good compositions of art.

Throughout my life, I have always considered myself left-brain dominant. Math and science classes have come easy to me, while art classes have been more of a struggle. After overcoming my fear of art classes, I took Art Foundations last semester. I found that Art Foundations was not as hard as I expected. I was able to gain the skills needed in order to create well-balanced, creative pieces of artwork. Learning the elements of art allowed me to realize how a good composition in is created. The main thing I was able to realize is that art is comprised on many basic shapes, not just one big piece. Looking at a completed piece of art would overwhelm me. I would only see the big picture, rather than observing the steps that were used in creating the piece. Once I was able to learn to look only at a section of the picture at a time, I understood how artists were able to create their wonderful art. It allowed me to see that each piece is not created in a few minutes, but rather created over a period of many days, weeks, or longer. With each project, I made sure to take it step by step in order to create my best work. By doing this, I was able to stay calm and focused on each line or shape, rather than becoming overwhelmed by the big picture. This has helped me this semester, because I have been able to work more diligently and stress-free, rather than under pressure from my constant worrying. It has also helped me to become a better student, because now with projects, I am able to look at each step, rather than the entire project, which would cause a great deal of stress.

Art Foundations and Graphic Design have allowed me to grow and develop not only as an artist, but also as a student. Taking these classes taught me to not always look at the big picture, but also focus on each piece. Much like a puzzle, school and art are comprised of many little pieces that fit together. In order to create the puzzle, one must work step by step, because the puzzle cannot be created in one step. Therefore, I have been able to use this strategy in keeping calm when working on a piece of art and also working on projects in school. I have been able to keep calm and not become frustrated when working on different art projects, allowing me to enjoy the class, rather than stressing out over it."

~ Emily '13


"Previous art classes were never very helpful for me. The teachers never really interacted with the students or taught us anything, honestly. Ever since I came to Mercy, I have been learning things every day and working towards forming my own artistic identity. Considering all of my Mercy art classes, my skills have improved and I have learned many different techniques that I can use later on when I am creating something on my own.

Specifically, I now view pretty much everything while subconsciously thinking of what type of element of art is shown. I’m not saying that I never did before, but now it’s much more obvious to me which elements or principles of design are being used by people or by nature. Taking everything I’ve learned so far in Mercy art classes into consideration, I can say that my drawing skills have improved more than I ever could have imagined. It shows, very much so, in all of the things I have drawn or created recently. I have Mercy art classes to thank for my artistic progression, along with my own hard work and determination, of course.

I have also noticed that my patience with art has increased. If I had a drawing that I didn’t like or didn’t think was right, I’d crumple it into a small ball and toss it in, or near, the trash bin. Drawing has always frustrated me because I have never been able to get exactly what is in my head onto the paper. I’m sure all artists have this problem at least at one point in their lives. I have learned to be more patient with myself and my drawings because I know that if I just take my time, then I can create something that is pretty close to what is in my head.

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home,” (Twyla Tharp). This quote is inspirational to me because it’s true to how I feel. I used to always feel trapped in my house, unable to go anywhere. With art, I can travel anywhere into the depths of my mind and pull ideas from places that I never even imagined that I had. I pretty much block out everything outside of what I am doing when I am working on a piece. My mother refers to this state as “the zone” and knows to leave me be until I finish. That has always happened to me, but after taking art classes at Mercy, I have had more opportunities to get into “the zone” because my skills have improved and I have become more inspired."

~ Emily '14