Why I Write Final Draft
I consider myself to be a visual artist. It’s how I express myself and contort imaginary ideas into something visible, touchable, and relatable. I started drawing at a young age, guided by my parents, who are both artists in respective ways. As a child, art was a way for me to stand out amongst others, a way for me to feel a sense of confidence and pride. We would have “art competitions” every week in first grade, where kids would vote on their favorite classmates drawing. Whomever got the most votes chose a sugary treat from an ample bag of candy the teacher kept locked in her desk drawer, and somehow my cat and dinosaur crayon drawings I did every week won me quite a few cavities. My reward was not only the candy, but respect amongst my classmates, and a sense of belonging. In high school I picked up painting. I would create obscure pieces, like faces melting into birds flying over waffles and clock towers. Classmates began reading into my work, trying to decipher the hidden messages and meaning. Art became a way for me to not only express myself, but stir up the curiosity and interest of others.
On an afternoon I spent in the art room my junior year, my teacher, Mrs. Stephenson, comes up to me and says: “You know, Melania, you should really try creative writing sometime. You would really appreciate poetry.” I wouldn’t say I was immediately intrigued by the idea. Writing is a chore, an assignment. Why would I want to do that all the time? For fun? I especially didn’t like the thought of speaking about my writing or ideas in front of the class; I tended to be more of a quiet, watchful person. I thought at the time the only way I could possibly express myself was through my quiet, to-myself, artistic work. Even so, I enrolled in Advanced Placement English and I found myself learning the basic formatting rules of poetry. I don’t know why I decided to do so; maybe I felt obligated by Mrs. Stephenson’s word, or possibly curiosity for the unknown.
It didn’t take me long to realize that poetry, or basically any writing, is a form of art in itself. Writing is a method of unveiling, you build it and tear it down, you add more, then take it away. Words can be bended in ways that allow a complete visualization, a scene painted in the mind almost as potent as one seen on a canvas. Compositions are formed; style and format change the way it’s perceived. Even the action of writing, handwriting script, is an art form, and the fonts used on computers are created by artists. By drawing this literal connection between the two, I was able to understand why my teacher suggested I give writing a try.
At this point in my life, after taking many english and writing classes in both high school and college, I can easily say that writing has improved many aspects of my being. I’ve become a more articulate speaker, I’m no longer afraid to lead discussions and talk openly in a classroom as I once was. When discussing my art pieces in class critiques I find myself more confident and comprehensible. While writing artist statements, I can create a clear, representation of what I am conveying in the piece. When writing my blog, writing emails, sending messages, talking to people: overall I feel more confident in myself and my language, wether spoken or written. I’m able to create writing work that contrives imagery, vibrant colors and forms within the black and white text, as well as writing that has a defined, well-organized argument.
I’m no fantastic writer, there is always room for improvement and elevation. However I could argue that my writing has advanced incredibly over the past few years, and has found a place in my artistic career path as well. Similar to how I began drawing scribble-cats and dinosaurs in first grade with crayon, I’ve started to write with a mind that has room to grow and expand. Writing is of genuine interest to me, just as how art was to me as a child and is today. It’s a new genre of art, a new medium to explore and attempt.
Writing is a very useful skill to have on a day-to-day basis, and is also extremely useful in any career path in my opinion. In the future I believe a writing minor will help me obtain a job, and excel more profoundly in it than I would without the knowledge or experience from my writing classes. I hope that by pursuing a minor in writing and by continuing to write, I will amplify and evolve my already growing writing skills.