Unfreezing

Sorry about the unannounced leave of absence.  This majorly had to do with midterms — well, that and some health issues which flare up given a certain amount of stress, which can be relatively incapacitating.  (I’m still having a difficult time getting words out of my mouth.)  The good thing is that now midterms are over.  The bad thing is that there are only about 7 weeks of school left, so everything else is going to get crammed into about 15-17 more classes.

I’ve realized that if I do stay in school, I’m really going to want to register with DSPS, so that if I get too stressed and freeze up again, my saying that my symptoms are flaring up and that my motivation has temporarily disappeared won’t just be my word.  I should have evidence and my doctor’s authority to back me up.  This has come up more and more often, the older I get.  I think it happened last semester; I know it happened in the Library Science program.  The last time I was registered was about 5 years ago…before I was hired as a volunteer, which then led to my employment.

I was told by one of my counselors (not a school one, but a government one) to stop taking classes at that point to preserve my GPA so I could get into the Library Science program.  I should not have listened to that advice, or at least I should have investigated the nature of being a Librarian further, before beginning the program.  As it is, I now am a forgotten number of thousands of dollars more in debt (probably at least 4), and know fairly seriously that at least Public Library work is not a job I’ll love and want to stay in for the rest of my life.  It involves outreach, politics, and instructing and managing people, way too much.  That is, it deals with people too much.

There are several years in there, between the time I stopped my Community College classes and before I started the Library Science program, in which I could have been building skills which I put off because I thought I wanted to work in a library.  But thinking you want to do it and actually doing it are two different things.  It’s one thing to be a library patron enjoying a quiet and safe space; it’s another thing to be the guardian that ensures that quiet and safe space continues to exist.

The last portfolio critique for my Drawing class was actually not nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and because of that, and being exposed to some new patterns of working given by my prof. to the junior students, I’m considering taking Beginning Figure Drawing next semester.  I should have most of the implements already.  I’m hoping it will focus more on gestural drawing as versus contour or realism, as gesture is one of the things I missed in my first two classes.

Drawing can be difficult, and it can be stressful.  I’m trying to figure out how to make it less so.  And I’m thinking about aiming for skills and not Certificates, though as I look at this now — an Art Certificate is closer than I’d thought, should I take Beginning Figure Drawing and continue on with the series.  I’d then be 5 classes away.

I am also right on the cusp of attempting to figure out how to combine text and image…  It would be cool to be able to use that in my art pieces (as I did this go-’round, with a high degree of success).  Because of the nature of this, I won’t say more on that subject, for now.

So I know now that I’m not totally biased against drawing or Art, but that it is actually hard work, and that I shouldn’t go into it thinking it will be easy (just because it’s been easy when I’ve been playing at it.  Of course.  If you’ve drawn the same thing thousands of times, it gets easy.  Drawing new things isn’t necessarily so, though).  Something someone told me today did really resonate with me, though:  that learning and developing is fun and easy before you know the rules.

I was thinking of the time when I modified an origami paper crane to make the form of a dragon I’d seen elsewhere — I’d just made so many cranes that it was easy to modify the form.  I wonder if it’s possible to get back to that…to get back to the place where I play enough that improvisation comes naturally.  It happened with myself and guitar practice, as well…once one knows some chords and starts tinkering around with the strings, it’s relatively easy to write actual music (even if you don’t know music notation, you can use tabulature).  And at a certain point it gets soothing just to play around with the notes.

I wonder if that insight can transfer over…

“Independent Study”?

I haven’t been doing much art recently, or writing, though I’ve wanted to do both.  The problem is that I haven’t been able to work what I want to do into what I have to do.  Like I said, we’re on a new portfolio for Drawing class; I’m hating it all the way through disliking it.

But I’m thinking that the lack of guidelines is meant to give some leeway in what we’re supposed to be doing.  The problem is that the lack of guidelines means that everything we’re doing is experimental and, so far as we’re concerned, untried.  I’m not sure if this is supposed to spur creativity or what; but I’m fairly certain that for a good number of us, it’s led to a creative freeze in relation to being too intimidated to start.  Not knowing what’s expected (or even what the module is supposed to teach us), I’m thinking, is the problem.

I suppose the only real cure in this situation is to start and if it comes out as trash, it comes out as trash.  I suppose that even if the work is a failure, one should be able to learn from that failure and why it failed and incorporate that lesson into future works…so the time spent working wouldn’t really be time wasted, even if it might feel like it.

I have most of my other homework done by now, and certainly after tomorrow night I won’t have anything else but my Art portfolio to work on for the next week — and I will have about seven days left; on three of those, I’ll be working.  The main problem there will be keeping myself out of bed (I tend to hide in bed when things get stressful).

And then, you know, I’m really thinking that I should use my writing skills and apply for a position which would utilize them.  In relation to this, I should get on reading that book on Writing careers, and likely on reading fiction again.  Things certainly aren’t going anywhere by my just sitting here thinking about it.  In relation to classes for Spring, I’m thinking that maybe I should take at least one Creative Writing class, just to give me some structure around getting back into the flow of writing.  I might well need to re-learn how to write while on medication.

I also may not need an Accounting class if all I want to learn is bookkeeping — I may be able to teach myself.

What is a priority for me now is to find a job that will foster more and different skills than what I’m learning in the Library.  There is a class that I’ve thought of taking which my Art teacher was advertising; it pairs us up with nonprofits so that we can put our visual skills to use for a practical purpose.  I…have really got to think about that, though.  It’s the most fitting class for my “grade level”, as I’ve already graduated; on the other hand, I have some hesitation because I’ve really only taken 3 Drawing classes plus Color Theory, and one of those classes was with an incompetent teacher who couldn’t explain the basics of perspective.  (not the present class.)

The classes I really want to take?

Drawing for Animation
Beginning Watercolor

This I could do while researching jobs which have to do with Writing.  (If I have to have only one, I’d have it be Beginning Watercolor.)  I just have to be careful not to overload myself, so that I actually do have time to work on my Writing portfolio and proceed with a job search.  Finding a job that I like and which can either sustain me or be a step on my way to independence is really the goal of this; not gaining Certificates (which are only really useful if they help me find a job which fulfills the above requirements).

So, at least if I continue to hold to what I’ve been thinking of today — work, writing, preparation for job search, and the actual search come first; with classes coming later, as just something to build my skills and enrich my life while I’m doing the work of trying to figure out what to do with myself.

So we have:

1) bookkeeping
2) writing portfolio
3) illustration/drawing/watercolor/comics
4) my current job
5) reading
6) seeking out what jobs are available with my background
7) applying for jobs

…and that all looks like it’s enough for Spring semester.  Maybe I can actually take some time off of school and use it to a good end.  I’d just need to find a way to organize myself and my time so that my self-directed Independent Study, in effect, remains viable and not me sleeping all the time.  😛

Writing and libraries…maybe I should make this portfolio easier on myself…

I have a little bit of time here, which I’m actually opting to use to write, rather than research a particular artist I was assigned over the weekend.

I haven’t been around this blog for a while, and that’s mostly because I’ve had a third class starting up — this is self-defense training, and it’s been fairly intense.  The good part of it is that I feel like I’m more able to face my own life, because what I’ve gone through in self-defense training was more harrowing than the everyday stuff.  I was even able to go on desk today and not have to worry about things that might happen but which I couldn’t control.

The part of this that has…really kind of thrown me is the time I’ve needed to calm myself and deal with emotions that have come up, and just kind of “process” it all.  So…I’m a bit behind in classes.  Particularly where it comes to my Art homework — I haven’t done much of it at all within the last two weeks, and accordingly have been having difficulty with motivation.

I’m thinking, really, of dealing with the art homework by making comic-book-type layouts — especially as my goal is to work in Comics — and just forgetting about trying to reach into it from a Fine Arts perspective.  We’re into a new portfolio, which has to do with mapping.  Obviously, time → linear → line elements can be key in a map…but even with the second assignment I haven’t really known what I was doing or what was meant by “map,” so I’m just kind of out there right now.  I have a little less than two weeks to finish it all, but I already bombed my speech for the other class, so I should have the time.  🙂  (I have no aspirations to become a Communications MA, so I think I’m fine.)

I am really thinking I should go into Writing as a vocation now, though.  This is something that has not (yet) died.  I’m even leaning into doing the Animation certificate, as it stands.  I know I go back and forth a lot, but I’m thinking it’s my nature.  This is also the same reason I chose to be employed by a public library — a library is a repository of information; and particularly public libraries are not topic-specific.  Like Writing; it’s a medium, not so much a specialization (as I think of the term, at least — it’s not like Physics, though it is about how to find what you’re looking for).

The main problem I’ve experienced while working in a public library has been the odd patron who comes in and attempts to overrun everyone’s boundaries, though at this point I’m not certain whether this is a neurodiversity thing or an intentional power/control-related thing.  This is the major reason I’m in self-defense class.

Like I’ve been saying, I don’t think I want to stay here for the rest of my life, but right now I’m wondering about taking on a paraprofessional program just so that I can become a Library Assistant and earn enough money to survive on my own.  LAs make almost as much as Librarians in my system — they just aren’t as high-ranking and can’t move up without a Master’s in Library and/or Information Science. I don’t think I’m committed enough to go through with the Master’s, but a paraprofessional degree is a much lower cost to me, and feels lower-risk.  I’ve also been advised that maybe I want to go for the straight Information Science degree, not the MLS or MLIS.

After all, with the way information technology is changing the playing field — along with E-books which can be read on tablets, obviating the need for physical paper books — it’s not even a sure thing that libraries as we know them today will continue to be around for much longer.  There is the very salient issue of being a community gathering place, though beyond this?  Beyond that it’s providing a safe forum and helping people access the information they need to access, which is increasingly going to be computer-based.  I have little desire to be either a security guard or a computer docent (again).

I do think the future of information is going to be online, at least until we find something better.  This calls for a curatorial role — sorting out what information sources are most valuable and which to recommend to any particular user, depending on their information needs — but I’m thinking information services as they exist now are going to drastically change, especially with a new generation of digital natives.  And I’m thinking that a Master’s in Library Science…could become outdated very quickly.

I’m feeling a bit better now, though I still don’t want to do my homework.  I’ll try anyway…

The reason why I’m even so on about the Art

I did broach this topic in class today, among my cohort.  It is integral enough to the reason this blog exists to speak about it here, as well.

You’ve probably read the backposts where I’ve mentioned the fact that I have a relatively serious illness.  I am by no means exaggerating — when I was 23 I didn’t know that I’d make it to 30, and couldn’t see life past 30.  I’m not going to be really as open about my illness here as I would be in person, because, after all, this blog is searchable, and may in the future be found by or referenced to potential employers.

Isn’t the internet great?

A couple of years have passed since the time at which I expected no longer to be here.

Because of the combination of my illness and my medication — despite being very high-functioning for someone with my condition — I’m still not as high-functioning as at least I thought I was, before medications.  In particular — I majored in Creative Writing.  In the middle of my writing training in University, I was put on a medication to help me think more clearly.

At the time, I was scaring myself by considering testosterone administration.  If you’ve never met someone who was out to you as a transgendered man — and had been on testosterone injections for a while — you wouldn’t know the drastic effects it can have.  At the time I thought I might have been a trans* man.  This was influenced, however, by my having fallen pretty hard for the first trans* man I ever met who was out to me as such; and having lived in a male gender role for about a year.  (This was after I found out that I wasn’t actually lesbian:  the crush on the above trans* man and my own knowledge of lesbian community as not necessarily gender-variant, helped with this.)

At this point I know that things are more complex than simply masculine/feminine, male/female; I identify as gender-fluid, and have no set gender presentation.  I’m probably more comfortable with my body being female than male, and I’m just lucky that my setup already provides for that.  It just took me a while to figure out why it was that I would identify with trans* women…even though I was coming from the other direction.  Did that mean I was a cis woman?  Not necessarily, but possibly close.

My gender identity…takes place somewhere other than within the known bounds of binary gender.  I can translate it into binary Western terms, but that really obscures the issue more than clarifying it.  (If you want to know why I’m so spiritual, it’s because spirituality afforded me a way of thinking about my gender identity which did not break me into small pieces and scatter me across the landscape.)

After starting the drug to help clarify my thoughts on this, however (which have only really become clear within the last 4 years), I found that it was suddenly much more difficult for me to write than it had been.

I’m not entirely certain why this happened — was I thinking too much?  Was I too attentive to grammar and structure and what I did and did not know?  The medication targets neurochemicals and their receptors, so far as I know (that still doesn’t tell me much, as I don’t know what particular neurochemicals do) — but my brain somehow no longer worked in the same way.  I had to learn a new way of thinking, with what felt like a new brain.

So I can write now, clearly, in nonfiction.  I still have a bit of a phobia around fiction, however.  I wasn’t the healthiest person when I undertook it in the first place — I did not then and still do not have a clear and firm dividing line between “fantasy” and “reality” (I’m not sure I even want to use those terms), and I don’t want to go back to that place again.  This, however, leaves me having paddled out to the middle of the lake in my canoe, having lost my initial destination, and unsure of which shore I should paddle to.  I don’t think I can stay out here forever.

I’m not really an anti-psychiatry person.  I’ve known someone who ascribed to that philosophy, but she wasn’t a great role model.  She was also an artist, and told me to go off of my medication and stop listening to my doctor (because of her personal principles, which don’t apply to me).  It’s not that I don’t want to go off of medications; it’s just that I know that things were in a state of entropy before then; I was in decay before then; and I know that I am not a person who is now proud of who I was then.  I don’t want to go back wholly to the person I was before, because the person I was before was obviously disabled.  But I could write.

I’m not sure it’s fair to say that it’s all I could do, but it was certainly the only constant.  You’ve seen over the last few months, how many different places my mind has jumped to in search of a shore to land on.  It’s hard to focus on now, but that’s what I have to do.  And focusing on the now is difficult.  Art is difficult.  It’s challenging.  And I find myself wondering whether I should invest time training in Art, as an auxiliary to writing, or try and change medications or reduce medications and see if my ability comes back.

My life somewhat fell apart in college.  By the time I graduated, I was a wreck.  If I had to do it over again now, I might take a decade to do what I did then in 5 years.

The salient point is that I took the brain I knew, majored in something I knew it was skilled at, and then was put on medication to assist with other areas of my functioning — which inhibited the portion of my brain which had to perform well for me to take up the role of my major.  What I majored in is now something at which I feel handicapped, though on the bright side, I have more of a will and reason to live now.

If I did want to cut back on medications — which would only be the psych meds (I’m pretty happy with my birth control, which has mitigated a good amount of my own gender dysphoria) — there are a number of things which would help.  I’d need to eat better (more whole and fresh plant-based foods, more protein, more healthy fats, less sugar and carbs, no uncooked cow’s milk), sleep better (a regular 8-9 hours a night), exercise (at least 3x/week), and meditate (every day).  Any one of these things alone helps immensely.  Doing them all together might give me the boost I’d need to cut the medication I’ve been speaking of, by half.  I might be able to cut the other by 1/3, which would eliminate the necessity of the fourth medication (which is there to counteract drowsiness caused by the two other non-hormonal medications).

In turn this would mean that I’d no longer have to worry about weight gain caused by my medications, or the increased risk of high blood sugar and diabetes.  Plus, I’d probably feel great.  But I’d still have to hold down a job — unless I went on Disability, which I know is an impoverished life — and right now I don’t know exactly what job would suit me.  I just know, at this point, that public service is not a good path for me.

The good part is that I no longer have to worry about exorbitant health care costs.  It’s still expensive — maybe too expensive for me to go an entrepreneurial route — but I don’t have to worry about being locked out of access to needed medical care.  Before the ACA, I had to hold onto my insurance at all costs because once I dropped it, I might never have affordable access to it again — from any provider other than Medicare, at least, and I’m not sure if I would have qualified for Medicare…

Water under the bridge, right?

I’m looking at Art because it’s one of the other fields I’ve really enjoyed, other than writing.  Both of these fields have been related to storytelling, or at their very core, expression.  Of course, Art is more difficult now; and I’m not sure if this is because I’m into hardcore practice now, or if it’s because of more medication issues.  My friend who told me about how people advertising Psych drug trials would target art schools…well, what can I say about that?

I have a hard time doing something and not being as good at it as I want to be — but that’s a perfectionist tendency.  To a certain extent it can be a motivator, but taken to an extreme it will lead to avoiding practicing the very thing I want to do, when practice is the only way of building skill.  In that way, it can be self-defeating.

And I also should remember that I’ve avoided practicing Art for this long because I felt that I wouldn’t be able to be employed in it…which is the reason my skill levels are where they are now.  There are jobs out there.  But they require that one put in the hours to become really good at what they do, and it’s hard to do that without either loving the process, or having faith that skill is built through work, and that the more one practices, the more clarified one’s vision — and translation of that vision — becomes.

Finance classes more useful in my situation than Art?

This post minorly goes over what I got out of comparing and contrasting the courses I wanted to take as versus the courses I thought I should take.  It also references the fact that some of the classes which might help me most on a day to day basis, are classes I’d rather not do.

The latter are majorly from within the Business department, and largely have to do with finance and accounting — which I’d need if I were self-employed, say as a freelance writer or graphic artist.  I think I’ve reached the point where I’m okay with not being a Jewelry Designer.  I still have not yet reached the point where I’m okay with giving up the Graphic Novel aspirations.

Nor have I reached the point where I’m okay with not writing fiction, though this…is somewhat looser, given that I’m practicing writing so often that I don’t really have to worry about losing my skill.  Neither have I actually written fiction in a very long time, though, so this…is potential I see, but not a fruiting one at this moment.

I did just return a slew of library books which I will be requesting again, having to do with finding a job after having majored in English.  I basically wasn’t looking at them and didn’t even know when they were due.  I do think it would be a good idea to look at those books now, though.  I should probably just get 2 or 3 at first so that I don’t overwhelm myself.

I’ve reviewed some of the tasks listed under “Technical Writing,” in the classes I might be taking, and I think that it’s probably too “technical” for me.  I also purchased about $30 in metalwork magazines which make it clear that I don’t really care to make jewelry enough to invest in being a silversmith — or so it seems from here, as I view other peoples’ designs.  The biggest issue I face on that front is how to avoid having things look “machined,” which I really don’t like (even though I can relatively easily obtain it).  Nor am I advanced enough yet to know how to avoid what I see as an “industrial” look.

Outside of metal clay and casting, in my country we’re working with metal sheet, wire, and tubing.  It is an unusual artist who can get the sheet, wire, and tubing, not to look like sheet, wire, and tubing.  🙂  And I’m not particularly in love with metalwork, even though I like to dream up things which can be created in metal.

My first and major love where it comes to jewelry is beadweaving, but …that is a very time- and labor-intensive craft which creates pieces with normally low value where it comes to parts; but high value in craft and design.  I suppose that maybe it’s like Ceramics — one takes something very low in value and through skill and artistry and process makes it into something beautiful and valuable.

I don’t think, though, that I could charge what the pieces even cost to make, without being challenged by buyers for the cost being “too high,” especially given that there is such a market for beadwork patterns now, and many newbies don’t know what skill in beadwork looks like.  There’s also the possibility that they wouldn’t even be able to recognize it, because they don’t know that it exists (given the myriad variants of “my 5-year-old could do that”).  What I could do is make patterns and write/draw them out, and sell them.  This gets around the issue of the high per-hour labor cost and makes things attractive in terms of the low barrier to entry (that is, the relatively low cost of glass beads).

I’m not sure of the viability of that though, either, given illegal file-sharing.

But anyhow, that’s not what I meant to write about.  I have listed here five classes which will clear me for four certificates.  There are five more which would be very helpful if I wanted to go into business as an artist, but this is not including Accounting or Financial Management.  I don’t really want to take the Accounting series, though it is only two or three classes (depending on which path I take).

I just see things as managing the entire cash flow (excluding marketing, or acquiring clients) from fees (knowing what to charge), through budgeting (planning/bills) and bookkeeping (records), to knowing how much I have left to spend, and when.  Then there is what to pay for with cash and what to pay for with credit, and how to keep credit from spiraling out of control.

That set of skills is eminently useful.  It is even possible that I could become better with money than my parents, who now manage my money.

It’s just when I read back over my past note saying that over half of multimedia artists in the U.S. were self-employed in 2012, it makes me think that this is something I need, even if it’s something I don’t want to have to do.

Maybe I should just keep the plan in mind and not worry about the Certificates too much?  I could well become employed in a field which utilizes my Writing skills, and not Technical Writing skills.  I just need to know what those fields are.  Business classes should help me no matter what my eventual field becomes.  There is even the possibility that Art skills won’t factor into my job at all.  And I’m only four classes away from four certificates, not even counting Figure Drawing (which is irrelevant unless I go into Animation or Graphic Novels, the latter of which is unnecessary if I write a literary or sci-fi/fantasy novel, which is more in line with what I was actually trained to do).

Maybe I should be working on a concept and script for a Graphic Novel.  That way, I can figure out whether I’ll actually even want to do the thing, and if not, I won’t have to worry about certain classes (like Drawing and Watercolor, which I at least think I want to do now), and can reorient myself in a Multimedia Art + Design direction.

Aggh.  It’s kind of hard, working on this.

Maybe I’ll take Watercolor I this Spring.  I really want to do it, and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay in school.  Then I can take General Accounting, since I’m giving myself the gift of Watercolor, and I can delay in Figure Drawing and take it later.  Instead, maybe I can take a Digital Media class — I have two lined up.

Of course, this all depends on when these classes are given, but the above is…just a hypothetical example.

I think I’ve written myself out…

Drawbacks

All right,

So I was up last night listing the classes I’d need if I wanted to become a professional Jewelry Designer.  What I found is 1) I don’t need an Art Certificate (which majorly covers breadth of exposure, not mastering any skills in any one medium); 2) I will find Digital Photography and Contemporary Color necessary, and may have to retake classes in the Photoshop series if allowed (or hey, just subscribe to Photoshop CC, buy a book or three on it, and mess around with it); 3) unless I go into business as an entrepreneur, I probably won’t need the Accounting series.

This actually clarified things for me a good bit, as now I can take the list of classes as needed for the set of certificates I was originally out for, and cross-reference it with the classes I actually want to take.  I’ll still be able to gain at least two or three Certificates, mostly within Multimedia Arts.  I’d just be short the Business and Fine Arts Certifications, but I’d have strong skills in Drawing, Watercolor, Writing, and Multimedia.

There are some classes within the Art Department that I know I want to take and which I know will help more than others (particularly finishing the Drawing series and working on Watercolor Painting, plus Art History courses), but which aren’t required for the Certificate.  I can also get out of taking an entire slew of Business classes if I’m not going after a Certification — and also, there is at least one of these classes which I think I may well need (Integrated Marketing Communications), which does not count for any Certificate.

Then there is the issue of going to different districts for different classes.  For instance, there is a Drawing for Design course, which would be highly applicable to Jewelry Design (which my dad says I can have as an avocation — what, drawing and jewelry design and fabrication as avocations?! maybe I should just draw jewelry, right), but it’s given at a different location in a different county system.

I’d think that skipping around between districts would cause me not to be able to have classes from one district transfer over to the next.  Obviously, that would handicap me if my goal was to get a Certification.  If, however, I don’t need the Certificate but am instead after job skills, that is an entirely different animal.

I did ask, and was told that the only way to use Art skills to make a living, as things stand, is to work in Marketing and/or Advertising.  This is not a great situation for me to be in; it’s not a secret that I dislike having to participate in capitalism to have a good quality of life, but it’s extra ironic that this has pushed me to want to be an entrepreneur in the past.  What I can do is offer to work for companies who I can stand behind, as versus those I see as corrupt.  Of course, if the economy tanks again, I may not have that option.

But actually, now that I look at this, I would have around 4 or 5 certificates given that I follow my initial path.  And is selling Art skill to gain money unethical at its root?  I’m not sure.  (on that note, is selling food to gain money unethical? this could go into a whole debate.)  In any case, I’m in a position now to clarify and cross-reference what I came up with before, which I hope I can try and do now.

Feeling like I “should” like what I’m doing — exploring an alternative path

This post has to do with Art having been something I’d do since I was a young child…being familiar with it, having skills in it, being praised for it (at least initially).  I do still get excited about art and art materials, especially, but there is also some part of me that really regards this as “work,” and so it is made more difficult to love.

And then there is the question of how it is that one would take any class, including an Art class, and think that it will not be “work”.  I suppose it is called Art Work, isn’t it?

There is also some part of me which feels like, “why is this so hard?” and that, because I’ve liked doing Art in the past, I should like it now, too — regardless of my actual feelings on the subject.  Despite the apparent view of most of U.S. society, Art is not easy.  The jadedness around this seems to be magnified where people majored in Art because they thought it would be easy, and it turns out not to be, both in terms of the difficulty of work, and the societal value placed on Art, which ultimately translates into financial terms.

The bare fact is that this art class is very challenging for me.  I’m having to depend on a part of my brain which feels like it hasn’t been truly engaged in years, and in some sense I kind of feel like I’m jumping out of a plane and sewing my parachute on the way down.  🙂  Which might not be a big deal if I were used to it, and could trust myself.  But I have trouble trusting most everyone, including myself, as I think I’ve mentioned.

And figuring out whether I really do want to use the Art skills to make a living…when I haven’t been practiced for a very long time…

I just remember having loved it as a kid, but as a kid I was very naturally creative.  I mean, I had a tendency to make drawings all over the white spaces of my notes and in the backgrounds of my papers and stuff.  Of course these would likely have been mechanical pencil and ballpoint or roller-ball pen.  But I was often understimulated in classes as a kid (AP Physics notwithstanding), so drawing was a way to keep myself occupied.

What I find now is that it takes all of my attention on a drawing to be able to execute it properly (much like it took all of my energy and focus in Spanish and Physics and Honors Math to be able to keep up).  This is likely the reason why I feel so much better after I do it — because it really is an exercise in Mindfulness.  As such, it’s essentially a grounding exercise; something that can bring me back to full participation in this world, even if it is at the same time as I’m directing my hand to channel the vision in my mind.  In this sense I literally am acting as a bridge between two worlds:  the world of ideas and the world of physicality.

One of the things I don’t fully understand is where the visions in my mind come from, and whether they’ll still be there if, for example, I go into commercial art or design and the soul is stripped out of or replaced within my work.  However — I’m listening to some music right now — part of it being music from Ghost in the Shell:  Stand Alone Complex; and it certainly doesn’t feel like the soul has been stripped out of that!  However, GITS:  SAC was not an advertisement or marketing pitch.

I guess it is like the difference between writing creatively and writing User Instruction Manuals.  One can’t expect the latter to help with the former.  They use similar vocabulary (though this may not be the same when it comes to Fine Art and Commercial Art; one may use idiosyncratic/rewritten meanings; and the other, preformed and socially decipherable meanings), but the purposes and reason for existing are entirely different.

I have been at this Art/Jewelry/Beading thing for a while now, though.  Right now I seem to be going more into Design work, which I REALLY REALLY enjoy.  But can I make a living as a professional Jewelry Designer?  I’m not sure.  There’s a difference between sketching out random/imaginative earring designs once in a while and producing new and different/innovative designs around the human body regularly.

In addition to this, I think I have discovered the reasoning for there being so much clothing for women featuring pink, hearts, and flowers; and why some underwear, say, doesn’t come in any color other than pink:

Lack of creativity, and fear of risk-taking.

The clothing was probably aimed at a hypothetical target market, and the designers really didn’t know what would sell to that target market (for example, women 18-22 years of age) except for the tried-and-true/typical/stereotypical/only-available-product-up-to-that-point.

Maybe clothing design is something I should consider?  Eh, maybe not; I hardly sew as it is.  I could, however, work with some of the more progressive clothing companies, as a copywriter for their catalogs, or something.

And there remains the possibility of becoming a Jewelry Designer — I do know of a very good place to take a short certification course.  The amount of tuition would be the major thing holding me back at that point.  If I did decide on becoming a Jewelry Designer, there’s also the option of private schooling to train in silversmithing.  Then there is CAD/CAM, which looks like it is the future of lower-priced jewelry, as versus handmade craft or art jewelry.

I might want to ask around about the difficulty of getting by as a silversmith, though.  I know it is not easy when it comes to someone who works as a crafter.

But I just think of CAD/CAM because becoming a Jewelry Designer for a somewhat set-up firm is the logical alternative to hand-crafting jewelry, as regards working based in the U.S. in a global economy.  Plus, my drawing skills and aesthetics would likely come into very high use as regards a Design path.  Most of what I’d be paying attention to seems as though it would be decorative/to maintain interest/to ensure visual flow to a person’s being.  I don’t know about this, though…but beauty would likely be the main draw, and that’s been a big drive for me as things stand.  (From what I’ve seen, I do not think that beauty is a primary drive of a significant number of modern artists.)

I would very, very much be able to use Fine Art skills there, and I might not be sacrificing my own personal principles (though this is debatable where it comes to the use of gold or natural [as versus synthetic or lab-grown] gemstones).  I can try this out at a local trade school and then, if I find I like it, go on to the big school.  Again, I’ll need to figure out the cost of tuition; but it looks like much less than $180,000, so …perspective.

I wonder if Design is what I really want to do?  I have taken two courses in silversmithing, but that was…dangerous in some unnecessary ways.  The reason I haven’t gone back is fear for my health.  Therefore, I’d likely go private for lessons, which would basically be to gain a grasp of the process of construction, which helps with design.

And here I’ve gone full-circle as regards the metalsmithing?  If I want to do this, though, I’ve got to prioritize my time.  Fine Arts + Business + some Multimedia Arts would then be my path at college; I also might need to work to pay for private lessons — if I don’t go back to the community college Jewelry class which costs less but which I know is dangerous.  Maybe I could have two flux brushes — one for flux, one for yellow ochre, yes?  This would avoid my needing to touch the flux.  Maybe there are other workarounds I can make to keep myself as safe and positive as I can.

And here — HERE, the Business Certification comes back in full-force, as to be a Jewelry Designer, I may have to start up and manage my own firm.

I’m thinking I love this post as it is, so I’m going to post it now.  *^_^*  I can look back and see if it’s viable in the future.  🙂