Dobyns proves artistry in science, diving


Photo: Huiling Wu/Iowa State Daily

Marley Dobyns, junior on the ISU diving team, shows off her drawings on Thursday, March 29, in the Terrace Room of Friley. Dobyns enjoys drawing and dance as well as diving.

Caitlyn Diimig

Climbing the ladder to dive off the 7.5-meter board for the first time, junior Marley Dobyns felt a rush of adrenaline through her.

Dobyns competes for the ISU diving team and has learned to deal with the terror that can come with diving from that height.

“I’ve kind of had to learn to turn that from fear into thrill,” Dobyns said. “It’s terrifying in an exciting way.”

Dobyns said she just has to trust herself when diving. Similarly, she must do this with her art.

Dobyns is majoring in animal science on the pre-veterinarian track, but she used to also major in biological and pre-medical illustration. This major teaches students how to draw anatomical illustrations.

“You have to trust your skills,” Dobyns said. “Our art teachers have always said people like to draw in pencil first because you feel more confident with pencil because you know you can erase it, but you have to feel that confident when you draw in pen.”

Dobyns began to feel the stress of being an athlete and a double major. She eventually dropped BPMI, which came as a shock to her roommate and ISU swimmer, junior Sarah Norris.

“It was a complete surprise, but it’s not like she didn’t want to do it,” Norris said. “She just wants to do everything well and being a perfectionist, it’s hard when one suffers.”

Dobyns said being a perfectionist makes her work very slowly and it was hard to budget time for her art projects.

This perfectionism not only can get in the way of her artwork, but also in diving.

“She studies what she does in diving,” said diving coach Jeff Warrick. “Watching herself dive, she analyzes that. She’s a perfectionist. Sometimes because of that, she can be hard on herself.”

Dobyns said her perfectionism gets in the way of her seeing the improvements she has made.

But when it comes to Dobyns’ anatomical drawings, her perfectionism is a good trait to have.

In the spring of 2011, Curtis Youngs, associate professor of animal science, hired her as an intern to show the proper ways to dock lambs’ tails through illustrations when he was developing class materials.

“One of the things that impressed me the most was just her very positive attitude,” Youngs said. “She’s not the type of person who just wants to go through the motions — she wants to do a quality job.”

Dobyns said she believes people do better when everyone has the same positive attitude. One of the reasons she dropped BPMI was because she didn’t think she was contributing to that attitude.

“If somebody wanted a buddy to stay up all night and work on a project with, I wouldn’t be the one to step up and say, ‘Let’s work together,’” Dobyns said. “I’d be like, ‘I’ve got practice in the morning, I’m going to bed.'”

Dobyns said like diving, the students in BPMI are a team because they support, critique and compete with each other. Dobyns didn’t feel as if she was being a team player to her BPMI peers.

Although she finds herself missing drawing, Dobyns doesn’t regret putting in all the hard work only to drop BPMI.

“I’ve learned about myself as a person, how I draw, and I can relate that to how I study and how I dive with the perfection and having to trust myself,” Dobyns said.

Dobyns has turned illustration into a hobby instead of a career. After graduating in the spring of 2014, Dobyns plans to attend veterinary school.

She also plans to partake in new athletic adventures, such as running and ballet.

“I’ve always been envious of ballet dancers,” Dobyns said.

It seems Dobyns will always have a love for the arts, whether it be illustrating, dance or diving.