Throughout the rest of the piece, Bobby’s use of imagery brings his essay to life, with “black fingerprints and smudges” and “unsoiled whiteness” being used to describe his art.
He also uses imagery to illustrate the contrast between his organized, type A persona and the abstract art he eventually creates.
Apart from surface manifestations altogether, this realm was simultaneously one of austere simplicity and aesthetic intricacy, of departure from realism and immersion in reality, of intense emotion and uninhibited expression.
It was the realm of lines that could tell stories, of colors and figures that meant nothing and everything.
And I can't tell you exactly when or why my attitude changed, but eventually my own lines began to unabashedly disregard the rules of depth or tonality to which I had once dutifully adhered, my fervor leaving in its wake black fingerprints and smudges where once had existed unsoiled whiteness.
It was in this studio that I eventually made the leap into a new realm of art—a realm in which I was neither experienced nor comfortable.
Just as Bobby the new artist’s “lines began to unabashedly disregard the rules of depth or tonality,” so too did art slowly—from the playful light of Monet’s Impressionism, to the square faces of Picasso’s Cubism and the complete abstraction of Pollock’s expressionism—care less and less about how realistic it was and more about the message it conveyed.
In Bobby’s words, “It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.” Disclaimer: With exception of the removal of identifying details, essays are reproduced as originally submitted in applications; any errors in submissions are maintained to preserve the integrity of the piece.
One such example is “the whiteness of the background” on his sketchbook being “meticulously preserved” but yet “marred by the frenzied strokes of my instructor's charcoal.” Nevertheless, imagery alone does not provide the concrete, powerful narrative found in Bobby’s essay.
One of the most powerful appeals of the essay is that it represents a coming-of-age story that echoes the Bildungsroman literary sub-genre, in which characters evolve psychologically from youth to adulthood during the story.