Mood: Big Grin
Listening to: Flight of the Concords
Reading: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Watching: nothing. NO TIME FOR TV!!
Playing: nothing. NO TIME FOR PLAY!!
Eating: whenever I have the time.
Drinking: waaaay too many energy drinks daily.
Okay, I keep trying to compose a journal entry and then I either realize I should have been in bed hours ago and then go to bed or I should have been in bed hours ago and my brain has nothing intelligent left to say. So, I'm going to improvise here and see what happens.
School is back in session! You can tell by my sudden and extended absence here on DA. This is the first semester I have taken 4 studio classes, and it didn't take me long (maybe a week) to realize why most students are advised not to do the very thing I am doing. It is so much work and so many projects that around week 3 I really thought I might not get them all done in time. Seriously, for every credit hour on the books, you have 2 actual hours in class. On top of that, it's best to estimate that for every hour you spend in class, you need to try to spend another hour outside of class working on your projects. To boil it down simply: 1 credit hour = 4 actual hours spent per week. I am scheduled for 12 credit hours, so do the math and you'll see why I can't have a job right now. I'm finally adjusting, though, and am nearly on top of all my assignments at the moment.
One of the new things that I encountered this semester was a bad critique. I'm pretty sure the words "poorly drawn" were what sent me over the edge and caused me to cry a little bit. It was upsetting but, all around, a very good experience. I feel that negative criticism is an inevitability for any artist. No matter how much you are committed to perfectionism, no one is perfect. Truthfully, it shook me out of the two week slump I had been in at the beginning of the semester. Up until this fall, I had been able to skate by in my foundation courses. Generally I chose not to slack off and put everything I could into every project anyway. That's not how it is anymore. There is less free time and all that extra effort I put into going above and beyond the last two semesters is now requisite for maintaining the grades that I want. It took the emotional punch in the stomach from that critique to shake me out of my "I don't have to try that hard" mindset and kick me into gear. As I said before, though, things are finally starting to even out and I'm finding my groove again. I'm going to have to work hard not to lose that groove over semester breaks, too, because the next three to four years are going to be... interesting... or maybe hectic is a better word. I'll explain...
Today I had my BFA Drawing review to determine if I would be excepted into the program. I'll be honest in the fact that I was pretty sure I was going to make it. I know that's not very modest, but I believe I can draw pretty darn well. What I was mostly nervous about was the fact that I was going to have to talk about and explain things about my work. Public speaking was a breeze for me. I have stage fright, but when I'm talking about issues outside of myself, I get over the fear quickly and am actually quite good at engaging a crowd (quite good for an introvert, anyway). When I have to talk about my art, which I view as an extension of myself, it get's much more difficult. I know that my art is not me, but it is a mirror that reflects parts of me and my view of the world. To judge my art in a negative way is to judge parts of myself that I've hidden away because they can be hurt easily. I'm getting better about it, though, so I'll move on to the point.
The head Illustration adviser was part of the committee that we chose since I will have to go through a slightly similar process for Design next semester. In his words, given what he saw today and what I have been producing in my intro to Graphic Design class (the class he teaches), I would likely be offered the dual Graphic Design and Illustration major. This basically adds at least another year on top of my 2016 graduation goal. I'm not too worried about actually learning for another year, but the problem lies in government funding for students. As of Spring 2016, I will have reached the lifetime maximum Pell Grant allowance and will no longer receive free funding. I'm pretty sure I will still get my Stafford loans, but it will be a significant enough decrease in assistance that I'll have to try find a way to make enough money to pay all my bills. Both my Drawing adviser and the Illustration adviser made it clear that there would be plenty of ways they could inform me about to make and set aside money between now and then so that I could afford to continue going to school. That being said, I will probably accept the dual major if I am offered it, but I will have to go full time (maybe more) non-stop for three to four years. I'm talking minimum 12 hours per semester, maybe 15 if one is an Art History course. Like I said, it's going to be hectic. The awesome thing is that if I can do all this and graduate by 2017, I will basically have completed 3 degree programs in just a little over 6 years. I can handle it just for that fact.
That's the last 6 weeks of my life in a nutshell. I've made a couple of friends, which is nice. Sometimes the age gap and priority differences between myself and traditional students makes it difficult to connect or, in some cases, even communicate with my peers. I'm getting better about it, though. For now, I have to stay on top of things. I'm holding my breath for fall break next weekend and shooting to be caught up enough so that I can spend at least half the break doing things of no consequence without any guilt. Ha, I'll probably have to use the entire 4 day weekend to catch up on the color theory project that is due the following Monday. I'll try my hardest to avoid that.
Regardless of how crazy things may get over the next few semesters (or even just the nest few weeks), my future appears to be bright and full of promise. Oh crap, I'm not about to die am I? Sorry, I have a fear that once I finally find my place in the world that it's going to get taken away. That's good though. I believe that it is only when you truly feel alive that you become afraid of loss. I guess I'm feeling pretty damn good then.
That's it for now. I'm going to finish this beer (which you cannot see) and take a nap. Sleep is good, and I haven't been getting enough of it. Until next time!