First and Foremost, I'm an Artist.
I only began to take art classes because I hated band. I was only in band because my parents wanted me there. Beginning in sixth grade, every year I had to bring my flute to school and play, and every year I hated it. Freshman year of high school, I made it through one semester before I quit. I quit. I had a disagreement with my director and I quit on the spot. Oh, it was so freeing. I no longer had to take band, and now I had extra space in my schedule to take something that I actually wanted to take.
To fill the extra space, I signed up for an art class-the beginner's art class. I remembered that as a child I had loved art. I had won various awards for coloring contests and art contests as a kid, so I thought I would enjoy the class. I more than enjoyed it. I had never loved something so much! It was like my soul had been asleep till that point, and now with art it was slowly coming to life. I poured my heart into every assignment. Every project meant so much to me. I signed up for the next art class starting at the beginning of my sophomore year. That year, in that class, my new teacher became very impressed with natural talent for drawing and painting. He wanted me to take AP art the following year, so he moved me up to Pre-AP art, skipping another art class just to prepare me for AP art. I spent the remainder of my time in high school in AP art classes painting constantly and winning awards for my works.
In college, I had thought to study studio art, but freshman year of college I was taking a required humanities class and fell in love with the art history. Every class period I was mesmerized by the beautiful works created throughout the centuries. I was constantly inspired by these great works of art and thought that if I had only seen these works in high school my art would have been so much better. I decided to study art history instead. I wanted to study the history of art, know the greats, and know what and who I wanted to aspire to, which was not something I was going to gain from studio time in art classes. Besides, I felt like schools train artists to paint all the same way and I wanted to paint differently, in my own way.
I continued to paint while in college, even though I was studying art history instead of art. I painted things that meant something to me. I also discovered my love of painting murals. Landscape paintings filling full walls. I tell you all of this, my history with and my love for art, to show the role art continually plays in my life, and when I take a photograph it is more than just a photograph but a piece of art, a continuation of my artistic training.