Hello, everyone! I’m Claire, the prose editor for Opus! 

This semester I am taking a few classes that are very much outside of my comfort zone. Printmaking and drawing– not really an English major’s cup of tea. But as an art minor, it seems like I should take a few risks and go out of my comfort zone. They are also required classes for my minor, but that is beside the point. The first few projects in both of these classes didn’t turn out exactly as planned, but they also weren’t exactly terrible. As the classes go on, I am learning a lot about the process and technique, but what I really have gotten out of the first month of classes is that you aren’t going to learn anything if you don’t challenge yourself, and you won’t get better without doing that either. Knowing certain things about art will help you accomplish a project faster, but what makes it a successful piece of art is taking risks, challenging your skills, and giving yourself room to grow. In art and in writing, there will always be a space between where you are, and where you want to be. If you do what you’ve always done, there will never be anything to fill that space. There are all kinds of ways to challenge yourself, but the first and most important step in doing so is deciding that you want to get better. Try writing something you don’t know much about. The research you do will lead you to new and exciting places. Draw something incredibly intricate, and see how it changes as you go. It might not be perfect, but it will be a step in the right direction. So this week, I challenge you to challenge yourself. Do something you’ve never done, and see what you can learn from taking a few risks. 

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