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As a child, when we all took multiplication tests in third grade, I would try to finish as early as I can to try to draw comic strips on the back. I wanted to create multiple worlds, especially with superheroes. The ability to create topics like that from scratch is such a fun and interesting experience for me. I could create myself as anything, even like the superhero comics I would read daily when I got home from school. My art has been relatively fluid since then, as not only am I looking at a comic-based art style but I am taking up painting. Creating and blending colors, to me, relieves my stress and I always like what the outcome might be in the end, since it takes a while for them to be completed. Art has ALWAYS been a part of my life, like many others. It's inspirational, it's what I grew up on, whether it be in video games, comic books, or even TV. I wanted to grow up to be a great artist, but I never thought of the challenges I would face if I wanted to take this seriously.

As a sophomore now, years later as a graphic design student, it isn't easy. It's not as simple as creating comic book strips as before. When I started my college classes, it gave me so much more of an opening to what the art world is like, especially in design. There are so many elements and principles contributing to art, such as movement, emphasis, contrast, etc. At the end of the day, what message are we hoping to achieve in our project? How do we want the audience to feel, and what was our thought process behind it? Admittedly, I've always started my personal artwork on a whim. To start to think back and take the process slow definitely grounded me into seeing what more I could do instead of just working under pressure. Besides some photography work in high school, this was a big step in taking many challenging levels of art classes, especially showing my work to everyone where they can see it.

To be a design student, it's crucial to take criticism. When I was younger, I found it extremely hard to. I recall in elementary school when we were supposed to show our teacher our writings, I always made sure to keep moving to the back of the line to avoid confrontation. I was afraid of being judged, and it took me a long time to realize that in criticism, there's no judgment at all. Criticism is what helps us improve, to listen to other people's perspectives. Sometimes work won't go as well as you planned, and that's ok. Another one of these pros is that while you are the artist, you have a say in what goes and what doesn't. Maybe, with a little bit of fixing in your artwork, what you got criticized for might have a miracle of working way better than before. Either way, it creates change, and it let us think more about how we want to approach a art style, or a art concept. AsI have heard a design professor say, "Don't be married to your idea." That comment changed how I viewed my art. I've always wanted my work in a precise way growing up, and never messed around with different ideas. Looking back now, it's funny how it's changed.

Recently, in one of my classes, we are creating a poster for an event, and I chose my path in the poster to try to be lighthearted and humorous. Many of my peers thought differently. The message was strange, the colors were too blended in together and it was hard to read some of the text on a big screen. As I got back to my seat, I had many of them come up to meet and give me helpful ideas that can put me in another direction. Because I created something that didn't land well, that doesn't make me a bad artist, and that has been a new mindset that I've been happily having. I can still try again, and I did. I came back to the class with a more interesting concept, playing more with color and shapes. It takes a lot of thinking and experimenting, but the more you put thought into it and have fun with it, the art starts creating fun styles and patterns along with it.

I'm happy with the experience of art I had during my pre-college years. But I'm also happy with the design skills I am learning right now. They are very different from each other, yet exactly the same. It's taught me who I am, and what I want as an artist. Sometimes I wonder if the Molly who wrote on the back of multiplication tables, who lived in her own little bubble, would like who I am now. But I have to remember; If I'm following my passion and just creating art in a way that I want, she will. And for artists wondering the same about their past artist selves, I am absolutely sure they do too.

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Molly Desmond

Winthrop '24

Winthrop University Sophmore; Visual Communication Design
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