Sacrifice with No Reward

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Image by youtube.com

Hard work leads to success. I was told this repeatedly for years while applying to OCSA. If I spent a little more time drawing I would get in no problem. If I spent a little less time with friends I would get in. If I spent a little more time with a different medium I would get in.

I had a 5% chance of getting accepted. My chances were slim.

I sacrificed a lot of my time. I took three art classes. One in school, one through OCSA, one at an art studio. Six days a week, and one of those days I had two art classes. One was one hour, another was two hours, and the last was three hours. I might as well have had art classes eight days a week. When I came home from school all I would do was draw. My skills were improving immensely. The sacrifice of my time enjoying myself was paying off. I created five solid portfolio pieces and turned in my application.

I had been preparing for this school since 6th grade. I took classes and kept a sketchbook on me at all times  and bought art books and watched videos of people using different mediums.

My classes were rigorous. I would need to produce a portfolio piece once a week. These pieces would take up to eight hours of drawing to twenty. Sitting for hours at a desk studying pictures and drawing what I see (not what I know) was tedious. My posture has actually been forever effected because of art. Drawing became my everything, but it was also losing its value. 

I blocked out everything. Hanging out with friends more that once a month was seen as too distracting. My weekends I had too spend at LEAST six hours a day drawing something worthy. If I wanted to draw what I wanted, it could only be after I produced a worth while piece.

I love people. I love drawing people. My portfolio had to include a self portrait but no other pictures of people. Still life’s were the most important pieces in my portfolio and I despised this.

How can drawing three fruits and five different arrangements be entertaining? How can it be fun drawing something like this:

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Image by deviantart.com

I’ll save you the suspense, it can’t be entertaining. No artist is in love with their art, but every artist should be in love with what they are creating. I hated what I was creating.

Every week I cried. I’d come back from a class and wouldn’t be able produce any good material and cry about it until someone calmed me down and I could start drawing again. I had panic attacks if one of my drawings was criticized and deemed unworthy. On top of being forced to draw these boring objects, I was constantly having to throw away these drawings I worked so hard on because I “colored the wrong direction” or “didn’t draw dark enough.”

I was unhappy, but I continued to take intense art classes and improving my skills in  charcoal drawings of eggs and black vases.

And yes, I really have seen this fifty four minute long video on how to draw an egg.

A response from OCSA came weeks later. I was rejected. No tears. Relief swept over me and I immediately realized that I spent four years of my life preparing for this moment and failed, but felt absolutely no grief. If anything, I was frustrated. I sacrificed so much time and happiness with no results.

Its been three years since I applied and I still hate my art. All I can draw are pictures of silk  or sad small seashells. My sacrifice and effort destroyed my love for what I did possibly forever. Those years I can’t take back and the wounds it’s left on my talents will stay perhaps for my whole life. I’m glad now I didn’t get accepted. My friends now are perfect and I have found love for other things like music.

Sometimes sacrifice can’t lead to success.

 

 

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