By: Julie Wilk
When Bonnie asked me to think of a childhood memory where I learned how to do one specific thing, immediately I thought back to when I first began to draw. I had drawn things before I was 5 years old but it wasn’t until I was 5 that I had fallen in love with the movie “The Lion King” and i desperately wanted to create my own stories related to that movie. So I began to draw some of the characters from the movie. I had a cool art set as a child where you could put big sheets of paper on one side, and a chalk board would be on the other side. It stood up like a canvas and I decided I wanted to start using the paper side. I was in the middle of watching my favorite movie and I took the VHS case and looked at how the characters were drawn. Immediately I began studying the shapes that they were created from, the movements they made in the movie, and their facial features. I remember it was in the evening and my mother was at work. My father was looking after my younger brother while occasionally checking in on me to see what I was doing. I told him I was going to draw the characters from the lion king while I was watching the movie. So I grabbed a pencil and took the paper on my canvas and started drawing my favorite character, Timon. There was something about him that I really liked—I liked how his expressions were drawn, I liked how he moved and I thought he had the cutest design. I also liked his personality and how he always told Simba “Hakuna Matata”–It means “no worries” and I thought that is exactly what I wanted in life–not to worry. So there I sat, drawing him as he appeared on television and as I was about to finish my drawing my father came in the room and saw it. I remember him saying how amazing it was and I told him”thanks! He’s my favorite” and then my father told me “you should draw yourself with him!” and immediately I was enthused. I knew I had to draw myself, and I did. After I drew the photo all I could think of was how to take this story I loved so much, and create something new. That’s immediately when I told my dad “I want to write a sequel”. And he was very impressed. My father had always thought I was creative and he urged me to use my creativity to help me in life—even when it came to my schooling.
Now I look back at that moment years later at the age of 21 thinking—I have created an entire movie script, and designed original characters and I have done SO MUCH artwork. I love showing people my artwork and people always urge me to do more. The creativity doesn’t stop at artwork however, I have applied my creativity to my schooling and my degree of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences . I have always wanted to create new things for myself, and once I found out about the Interdisciplinary Studies program, I wanted to create my own major from my own scientific interests. I realized how much I like both art and science, and while I still want to create my sequel to the lion king, I know I need to be realistic and make a decent salary as a scientist before I can travel out to LA and talk to Disney about my idea. I’ve always loved creating new original stories and works, so I thought that creating my own be just like that. Just like creating my own pieces of art and stories, I have created my own original degree so I can lead myself into a life of possibilities.