Considering an MFA?

M has hopes that I will take on an MFA.  Though I’ve been intending to end my stint in college with a Certificate in Fine Arts, I have been finding that I’m really competent when it comes to Studio Art.  It’s got me thinking that there actually might be a future for me in Art, and that maybe I won’t have to settle for being an Administrative Assistant or Clerk for the rest of my life.

What M and D have been seeing is that I seem happier when I am doing the art.  For me, it’s one of these things where I start out hesitantly because I don’t think I can do what’s being asked of me very well; then I begin and just plug away at it, and it ends up becoming something that I didn’t originally think I could make.  Nearly every time I complete one of these assignments, I surprise myself — especially given how much resistance I have to beginning because of fears that I might not be able to do it.

I’ve been getting lots of encouragement from M, which is really nice.  It’s also relatively unexpected.  I had been thinking that when my primary caregiver retired, I would have to both earn a living wage, and move out on my own.  Fledge, basically.  However, on a prompt from one of the professionals in my life, I asked them if this would be the case, instead of assuming so; and they said that I could continue living with them past the point of retirement.

That really changed the playing field.  It means that I won’t have to become a Clerk in the relatively near future, in order to support myself.  Right now I work about half-time and make a little bit above minimum wage.  Most of my money goes to paying down credit debt, art supplies, and food.  My parents support me in everything else.  It’s kind of crazy sweet how they have been willing to help support me.

One of my teachers last semester recommended a nearby school — my alma mater, in fact — as a good place to train in Art in an economically feasible way.  I have no resistance to going back there!  It was a good experience, as compared to what I went through with the first University I attended (which had terrible political issues).

I’ve also been listening in on conversations the students in my program have had, as regards the two main private Art schools near me (which are also prohibitively expensive).  From what I gather, there is a kind of elitist vibe in both places, and I’ve known students who have bailed from there and gone back to community college art classes, because they couldn’t stand the atmosphere at the high-profile schools.  Even my teachers…have said that art school wasn’t necessarily the most pleasant experience.

With my skill and my disability/race/gender/income combination, it’s very possible I could pull some scholarships or grants, for either a public or private college.  But I’m not even totally set on becoming a Graphic Novelist exclusively, anymore.  I’ve found there are ways to express narratives without depending on Graphic Novel conventions, and I really have rediscovered my love of working with color where it comes to the uses of paint.

I used to work that out by working with beads (mostly small glass seed beads), and using differing combinations of colors, finishes, reflectivity, textures, sizes, etc.  What I’ve found is that I can play with color in paintings and find those really wonderful combinations, very much like I found them in beadwork.  Only, beadwork is more sort of architectural and design-oriented (things have to fit together using pre-fabricated and relatively standardized parts), and painting has fewer limitations.  I used to get turned off by having to work in two dimensions, but I think Art History this semester has really opened me up to what can be done with painting on a flat surface.  It should even be possible to paint on a 3-D sculpture, though I’m getting a bit out there in the creative possibilities with that…

Anyhow, I think I’ll go and see what I can do with this.  Research, research…


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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