Fifth period rolls around and I can finally let out a sigh of relief. After a long day of strenuous class work, my schedule now allows me to relax and paint. I always look forward to art class because it is a comfortable place for me. However, it is not the same type of comfort I feel in the academic classroom. When I am in actual class, good grades come natural to me. I never find myself studying more than just the night before yet my report card almost always comes out spotless. However, in the art room, I feel comfortable simply because I enjoy it. Occasionally, though, I worry if my work is good enough to been seen by the other girls in the class who make it as though their paint flows effortlessly from their brush. Because of this, I would often shield my work from the rest of the class, always wondering if my it is worthy of praise as my A+ paper. Nonetheless, I still enjoy sitting at my art desk painting away, hoping one day to see improvement. As I walk into class, my teacher is stacking work from last night’s art show. I began to think about the piece I selected to be displayed in the show; it perfectly portrays my style as an artist but flaws and tiny blemishes cover parts of the work. Twenty minutes into class, my teachers approaches me and says “Oh, Courtney, I almost forgot to tell you, right before the art show ended last night, a faculty member approached me and told me something very sweet. She said that out of all the pieces in the show, your selection stood out to her the most and she could not stop thinking about it all night. Apparently it was so perfect, it looked as though it belonged in a prestigious fashion magazine.” In that moment, as I soaked in the approval, I realized that our society is based upon judgement and perfection that requires no effort.
It was perfect. Someone, whom I have never met before, said my work was perfect. Not only was it just perfect, but it was thought-provoking enough to make her think about even after she saw all the other pieces. Mine was perfect. Well, if it is so perfect, then why was I not proud of it before. Why did it take a random faculty member to fall in love with the piece before I could? Everyone knows the creator is is the harshest critic of themselves, but why? I think the root of this question falls back on judgement. People are scared to express their true selves because our society is quick to point out flaws and failure. Maybe if I was not worried that my classmates would judge my work, I would have been proud of my piece from the start. The new trend that has been buzzing around social media is to “be yourself.” But if you “be yourself” too much, then you are considered strange or not cool. Everyone cares what other people think. Obviously, I could not even appreciate my own hard work until someone appreciated it for me. Ironically, now I love my piece, and it hangs in a golden frame in my room for me to admire everyday. If only I could have trusted my work from the beginning. If everyone would stop worrying about being the same type of different, our society would be a new generation of confidence.
According to our society, in order for something to be considered a talent it must come naturally. Is hard work even put into consideration anymore? Because our society puts down failure, it is almost as if your work is not talent if trial and error was used to achieve that goal. I always thought that the only thing I could ever be good at and poliety show off is my grades because that is something that comes naturally to me. However, I see now that good products that come from hard work are much more valuable. Maybe if our generation would focus on empowering each other, rather than putting each other down, hard work would get the recognition it deserves.
If our society did not constantly remind people that they have to be approved of before they are considered good enough, maybe I could have appreciated my art at a younger age. Now, I am not afraid to be spontaneous and try new techniques with my work, and because of this, I found a pastime that I truly love. Imagine all the artwork, books, and music that would exist if our generation was not based upon judgement. Our world would be full of life and energy if people were not afraid to expand their horizons. Yet people still judge. Girls judge each other’s looks. Boys judge each other’s strength. And in the end, the world cannot advance because our society pretends that we are a culture that appreciates difference. However, everyone’s version of different seems to be the same.