Art History, Class Champion
We all excel at something
My name is Somaia Dorzadeh. I am an honors student, majoring in art history, and I am senior. I am from Buluchastan a province of Iran.
What made you decide to follow a career in the creative arts?
As an art history student, we are mostly doing essays and projects and so on. However, we have to take two courses in our undergraduate where there are studio classes. So through those courses I managed to learn a lot about design and being creative in my own way. Also, especially being an honours student and doing my ELP, which is Experiential Learning Project on something related to art, like embroidery, was something huge for me, because it taught me that I am more than just an art history student in VCUarts Qatar.
So, you majored in art history?
What does art history mean? It is basically studying the history of art; however, we concentrate on Islamic art as well as European art. And see how they are connected with each other. We connect the art world, from the East and the West. And we try to question things in our own way and research to come to a conclusion, however, it doesn’t have an end.
We studied what they painted, the styles they painted in and, the methods they use to paint: the whole thing. The period and the artistry. And we also study, in our survey classes, how did they use the brush strokes, the colors. So, we go very deep in what we study.
When we look at a painting, we don’t just say that this painting is from this person and was created of this year. We talk about the brush strokes. We talk about the colors that were used. We talk about the society that made this painting. We can see a commentary on a society that existed around the painting at the time.
I am also a student employee at VCUarts Qatar. I work in the library and admissions and also, in Student Affairs. They made me see the outside world and made me prepared.
And going to the internships, it wasn’t hard for me. I just had to adjust to how people actually are in the real world. At VCUarts Qatar, it’s very different.
It’s like your family and you’re working and you’re having fun at the same time, but then going to the internships, it made me feel that it will make you see how the real world is. You know, like the way that people see you, the way that you have to be, your work ethic, it should change from maybe family to like something else.
My two passions are being creative, with embroidery because I did my honors project on embroidery. I want to use embroidery in different ways where it won’t be just on clothes. For example, if you will see embroidery, most of the time, it is not considered Art. It’s more of “it’s beautiful”, but I want to make it something huge.
And my other passion is research and writing. I got this passion from my not being a good writer and from the beginning, at VCUarts Qatar, I remember my professors used to give me an F just to make me write, because my background is that I come from an Iranian school and I taught myself English.
I didn’t go to an English school. I taught myself English from listening to music. Just talking or speaking in English, it’s very different than writing. So, I had to develop that and from where I was to where I am now, it’s two different stories. So that is why I want to still like continue with my research and at the same time, be creative. You can see it in my ELP. I wrote ten pages of the essay in the proposal. But at the same time, I made something out of my research. So, it’s like I combined my two passions together.
To me, Class champion is more than what it says, like just a c=Class champion. I feel like the reason why I became the class champion is because of what I did throughout my four years, which is not only focusing on just being good at academics.
I have been very active with everything at VCUarts Qatar. I am also the VCU woman’s basketball team captain, and being an honour student on top of all that, I would have liked extra or liked more creative homework and so on.
So, I feel like all this shaped me to be who I am and the Class Champion that they chose me to be, because I don’t think that it’s just about being a good student.
I have a lot of things that I want to do. One of them is helping woman, and my community. I had like this idea of creating a business where I could help women, who want to learn embroidery, to create work/products. I would then sell these and they would share in the profits.
I also want to inspire people and my culture to like, pursue an education because most of us, we’re not educated.
I come from a family of 12 but only two of us were able to finish school and then come to university. So, I really want to encourage my community, and woman, to believe in themselves and not go with what our society says about women and how they cannot achieve much. I want to change my community’s negative perspective of education and how it can change one to something else and do good, in the world or create something for themselves.
To her 12-year-old self
The RAW Talent