Paper in the Form of Art
Jodie Chen, Division 2, 9th grade #ws17e-s2d2

The way I take to the palpable paper, in a not so seemingly conventional usage, draws out the deliberately tucked away attribute of my character. I take to its outward nature. Its smooth evenness elicits the greeting and the forthcoming union of colors into its flat plane, secreting willful emotions and consciously drawing them out onto its surface. I take to the gratifying feeling of envisioning the numerous level forms it accepts into its restricted frame. The outlines of every amorphous heap of colors welcome distinguishable figures into sight, gradually forming into a discernible figure. I relish in the triumphant feeling of the resulting product it makes. Defined figures of light and color unite and dance hand-in-hand among its sharp corners, its tracks taking on the precise final product envisioned in my mind. I credit the paper for bridging and reinforcing the gateway that led me to discover my once dormant passion: art.

In the initial stage of every blooming field of interest, like all, intrigue presents itself first in the underlying influences of past experiences. And indeed, I modeled that; the manifestation happened much early on in the face of my childhood memories. My youth was spent on those carefree days where pre-existing phones had yet to conquer innocent minds. In those days, the unconscious action of attending to certain habits was commonly placed in the utmost regard by the simple minds of toddlers. And in most instances, they show in the form of drawing, where it presented nothing more than an activity to idle time away. Being the toddler I was, I was inclined to a narrow scope of interests. So naturally, I fell victim to the standard yet nonetheless holy to my eyes, paper. The most eminent of my childhood memories circled around it; those nostalgic days spent on that one favored crayon bunched in my hand, eager to pierce the paper and map out the perfect image in mind. Paper after paper, hour after hour, day after day, my head inclined in that one fixed angle, I drew whatever fitting that came to mind. Drawing soon became a daily routine, something of a childish habit I grew to faithfully adhere to, and over time, it became an unyielding marker that recorded the comings of every day and night, a tentative reminder for me to cherish the fleeting moments in my short-lived childhood, and unbeknown to me at the time, a flourishing portfolio of my cumulating interest in the pursuit of art.

But of course, at the tender stage in my life, my imperceptive mind failed to recognize the simple bearings between the subjects of a habit and a passion; how the word “habit” could sometimes bear a rather pleasant connotation in the likes of, say, the word “passion”. And so, I continued this “habit”, one that refused to halt even as I approached the onset of my middle school years. While many had grown out of their childish ways into the new light of the smartphone era, I continued to affix to that time frame of my youth, hands never ceasing to make for another piece of paper, as if out of habit. My failure to break away from this childhood practice of mine struck me initially as the raw truth that I was still inevitably a child; a foolish habit akin to that of a toy an infant is too fond of to bear to break away from. Thus, to extricate myself from the harsh truth, I deemed it necessary to escape from my child shadow that tailed me relentlessly all these years; to shrug off this inane habit of mine that shadowed me and in the long run, step into the new light in the footsteps of a newly refreshed and mature person. And with the shaky transition to middle school, just a shy stage from high school, I felt all the more need to do precisely so; to tentatively slip into the latest trend and imitate the paradigm of a teenager: head permanently dipped to align with the lowered eyes that never see quite past the rim of a flat screen. But alas, this was not feasible to do as a piece of paper was never quite far enough to escape from my needy fingers. Like a shadow that never fails to keep up with my hasty stride, a piece of paper never fails to diverge from my line of interest. Entranced by it, always, I would constantly find myself drawing, my pencil scraping away at its flat plane, hurriedly sketching to match the contours of the object conjured in my mind in that short-lived moment. My failure to break away from the norm, I now know, was unworthy of night-long laments, because I finally realized that this was not simply a recurring habit unrelenting to the void of neglect, but ultimately, the promising birth of a passion.

My passion for art stemmed from an unconscious habit attained from my toddler days; the days where in the eyes of children, a mere sheet of paper could easily steal the spotlight in a matter of seconds. A habit that proved to not outlive my youth, I have the existence of paper to thank, an old technology, one could say, that never fails to furnish me with its copious amounts. Fortunately for my part, it took form as a savior in the midst of my strain for conformity; a changing tide that finally took me head on and forced me to recognize my childish ways as not a habit to desperately break away from but rather a passion I should continue to pursue despite its residence as an outlier in the norm. It was the sole source that pounded through a slim crack of leeway for my creativity to slip in to conquer my intrigue; an unremitting beam that continues to bolster my passion for drawing to this day.
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