Last class was unexpected. I was prepared for a deep discussion that would require a lot of thought and understanding. It was a refreshing surprise to find out that we would be playing games (and I love games since I’m the most competitive person). It felt like a time meant to forget some of the things I was worrying about and just have a laugh (those moments seem scarce lately).
By the time there was only 20 minutes left, I realized that there hadn’t been much discussion, which frankly I was okay with. It was in those last few minutes that Alicia just hit us with all the things that I find myself constantly thinking about. It’s not like I hadn’t heard these things before either. It just felt different hearing it from someone who has experienced everything we are going through and recently. And it’s the whole phenomenon where you realize, oh, I’m not the only one who thinks about this stuff constantly. But let me tell you what stood out to me the most.
*DON’T BE SCARED* Sounds easy right? No. It’s actually so hard. My mind thinks all the time about what I am going to do once I graduate (which is looming ever closer) and how I’m going to continue my life as an artist. Reality is, I don’t need to know right now. I just have to take it one step at a time. Work through what’s happening now and keep on keeping on (which leads me to my next point).
*DON’T STOP* Being a hardcore perfectionist means being extremely dissatisfied with a lot of my work. I get to that point where I think, well since it’s not going to work out, why bother making it? Well, let me tell you why. In a perfect world, everything you make will be exactly how you imagined it and everyone will fall in love with your work. Just because a piece of art doesn’t work as a whole, doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be aspects that you will learn. It’s all part of the process. And this is something that I struggle with every day. So often my ideas don’t even leave my sketchbook or even the contents of my mind.
*MENTORS* I can’t stress how important this can be throughout your life. I can say that I have lacked mentors in the past and have watched from afar as others grew in different areas of life because of the people pouring into them. You NEED to find those people who share your ideas or have the way of thinking you want to acquire and get everything you can from them. But more than that, I believe that we have a duty to reach out to others and be a mentor to them. I see people going through the same things I did when I was younger and wishing for someone to tell what on earth was going on. I think there is always something you can teach someone else.
And so, to conclude this much longer reflection than I had anticipated (I guess that means this class impacted me), being an artist is difficult and there are a lot of obstacles that can get in the way. But since when did anything happen just because you willed it to (never thats when)? You just have to trust that all your hard work will pay off and never stop making work. This is what you love and wouldn’t it be worth it to do what you love for the rest of your life? Also, look around you! You are probably surrounded by all these other artists who are thinking about the exact same things. So talk to them! They understand you like no one else can. I know that having my friends has been one of the most important things that I obtained from my time here. Being in an art program has so much to offer so take advantage of it (seriously)!