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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSB chapter.

After a year of remote learning, it is refreshing to take a class that makes you enthusiastic about two-hour zoom meetings. Going into my first college-level art class, I was skeptical about how well I would do. I absolutely dreaded my art class in 7th grade because my teacher was a perfectionist and wanted our drawings to be at his level, but I, a student that never spent their time doodling on their notes, could not meet his expectations. I detest not being good at things on my first attempt and often give up on anything that I cannot master easily. However, this art class fulfilled a requirement for my major, and it seemed easier than theater.

painting pallete
Photo by Sarah Brown from Unsplash

During the first lecture, I thought the course did not seem so difficult, and at the very least, I knew that I could change the grading to pass/no pass. As the weeks went on, I was still unsure about my artistic abilities but became fascinated by the artwork we were learning about. I was viewing art that made me smile, laugh, and appreciate the vulnerability and rawness of art. During my section, I was able to see my peer’s artwork and learn a lot from people that I never met in person. There is something special about seeing people’s art because what they share through their work is an extension of themselves.

I have seen a lot of intimate and honest art that permits the viewer into a piece of the artist’s world. During this ten-week course, I tried to permit myself that same level of rawness and truth in my work. I felt inspired to dig deep and put what I could say or write in words into images. I have recently hit a low period in my life and gave up my writing temporarily, and this art class worked to get me back to creating. I spent a Monday afternoon sketching and drawing any idea that came to mind. I felt great allowing myself the freedom to think and draw without the idea of it not being good enough stopping me.

Person animating
Photo by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash

An art class that fulfills a general ed requirement is a great class to take because the professor and TA understand that students from different areas are taking their classes. I was uncertain about how well I would do, but I am glad I had the opportunity to partake in a class that let me be expressive. If you are in a creative funk or want to pursue your art in a class structured manner, an art class is a must in your schedule next quarter.

A special thank you to Kip Fulbeck and Lucas Murgida for creating a space that lets the students express themselves and explore their artistic abilities even when they doubt themselves.

Brenda is a fourth-year majoring in feminist studies and sociology and minoring in the professional writing program. She was born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles. If she is not studying or writing she is probably watching a romantic comedy.