This I Believe

kerin - wellington, Florida
Entered on October 9, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in being stranded in confusion. I believe in the typical teenage years. I believe in making wrong choices, and I believe in making the right ones.

The doors open to the fresh start of a new school year, and I stroll into my AP Portfolio class with the highest of hopes. After the first class, I was already beginning to feel the stresses of my senior year with the constant reminding of Deadlines, and competitions, homework, and most of all portfolios. I kept an optimistic outlook nonetheless, and submitted my work to the upcoming competitions. Also, with a research class on the schedule I was excited about getting even more work done than necessary.

The following week I entered the drawing horse filled room of portfolio class yet again to turn in my latest assignment. After a couple of days I finally got back my first graded work with a surprising C on the back. In my curiosity and sadness I went up to my teacher in order to find out what was lacking in my piece. Apparently, I wasn’t experimenting enough with both my materials, my concept, my perspective, my lighting. Nothing seemed to be right. After much dismay, I worked back into the piece and resubmitted it; getting a B+. B+?

The following week I had my first one-on-one jury with my teacher, and she told me what I was good at and what I needed to work on, and attempted to approach my work with this new outlook.

Later on, I found out that my work wasn’t accepted to either of the competitions I entered, and I couldn’t figure out why some pieces were chosen and others weren’t. I liked my work. I enjoyed myself. Teachers kept telling me to put more of myself into my art, but if I was truly enjoying what I was creating and doing shouldn’t my work naturally express who I truly am rather than having to do it consciously? All of my built up frustration seemed to be stemming from one class. I knew my faults. I knew that I was lazy and I needed to work more. I knew that working with a focused light source would give my work higher contrast and perhaps a more interesting feeling. I knew that my perspective may have been off in some of my pieces, but if masters can be appreciated for those same types of “mistakes” then why can’t I? After a week of stewing in my own frustrations, I decided to take all of the criticisms on my work in stride, decide what to take and what not to, and perhaps even apply some of their criticism into some of my pieces.

Now every time I go to a frustrating class, I attempt to use these frustrations and transform then into inspiration. That day, I made a resolution to believe in myself even in times when people are resolved to change me.