Diary of … a biology major turned artist

Ursalina Aguilar is a senior art major with a concentration in graphic design. Recently, some of her art was featured in the Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition (winning Dean’s choice award) and was also selected for publication in NSU’s Digressions literary magazine. She also received a performance and visual arts grant for the 2014-2015 school year.

I started drawing at a young age. My mother sent me to the Young at Art Museum when I was about six years old, and, ever since then, I have had a love for art. When I first started at NSU, I registered as a biology major and graphic design minor, but I was torn between art and biology. I decided in my junior year that I should double major because I spent so much time on my biology degree that it’d be a waste to throw it all away, but as time went on, I became more and more interested in my art classes rather than my biology classes.

One day, I was in a meeting with one of my biology professors, and she asked me, “Are you even interested in this class?” I said of course, but with a slight doubt in my mind. I later told her about how I am a double major; I majored in biology because I wanted to become a veterinarian, but art is my passion. She told me “You know, it’s never too late to go after your dreams.”

That day, I went home and seriously thought about my future, my degree choices and what I wanted to accomplish in my life. That very night, I decided to drop my biology major and become a full-on art major.

Because I simultaneously took art and biology courses, the change in majors will not prevent me from gradating on time. At first, my mother was against my decision. But, eventually, she noticed that the quality of my art was improving, and she began encouraging me. Now, as an art major, I can focus on improving and learning new skills that will help land me a job when I graduate.

Speaking of job searching, I can’t emphasize enough how many times I hear “You’re an art major? Good Luck.” To me, this statement is ignorant. People who say this should take a step back and look around. Just about everything is designed by an artist, from the labels at grocery stores to the very shirt and shoes we all wear. Do you ever stay back to watch the credits after a movie? Next time, check out how many different types of artists worked on the film. It’s not all just computer graphic artists; there are scenic artists, custom artists, makeup artists, character designers, set designers, graphic designers, background artists, visual development artists, and the list goes on.

Designs do not just appear out of thin air. Someone has to envision them and then have the skills to create them. This idea brings me to my ultimate goal. I want to become a visual development artist, the type of artist who develops the feel and look of a film. They can create anything, from the characters and backgrounds to the colors, lighting and props. Basically, these artists create the world for the movie’s story to unfold in. This is my ultimate dream, and it is the reason why I am now an art major.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of U. Aguilar


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