Looking back at the writing tangent…

I’m writing now because I haven’t written in a week (I just checked), and it’s getting to me.  The first two finals are out of the way and relatively well-done.  The third is coming up on Tuesday…this is the Figure Drawing final, which I haven’t started on yet because I was working on the prior two finals.  We have to draw a figure in perspective and in an environment.

Actually, my teacher wants us to turn in four separate things on Tuesday, but I’m cutting some @*#% out.  I’m really considering not bringing anything for either of the two potlucks that day, unless I’m not the one cooking them.  I’m also considering not turning in the copied drawings from our textbook.  Because — because why, you say?  Why Haru, why are you so frustrated?

Because this last assignment is worth 22.5% of my grade, while potluck *#@% is not worth anything.  The drawings from the textbook are not worth 22.5% of my grade either.  The final Powerpoint presentation comes second, after the frigging last assignment, and I’m not even sure that’s graded.  I need to pass this class to get my Foundation for Animation certificate, although at this point I don’t think I want to be an animator.  It’s just that I’ve applied, and all, and I try not to fail at anything.  Even community college classes.

The positive thing — well, there are two of them.

First, M found an art book which I thought had been sold, which shows images of poses I might be able to riff off of (while letting the teacher know I’m doing this, of course).

Second, after next Tuesday I have virtually nothing else to turn in besides, perhaps, photos of my work and my critiques.  One of those is almost ready to go — I have the raw materials for it.  The photos just need to be prepped and the work typed up.  The second won’t be possible to be done until after class on Tuesday, so there’s no use stressing about it, now.

I think that the wall I’d been coming up against as regards this final project has been that I’ve been thinking in terms of realism, not in broader terms of art.  So if I make the situation dreamlike or abstract, then yes I can do a figure in an environment, relatively easily (or at least two figures, is the actual assignment).  Will I do a figure in an environment in 4-point perspective like my teacher wants us to do?  Probably not.  But even getting a D is still a whole lot better than getting a 0.  And I probably shouldn’t worry about nailing 4-point perspective, as we’ve only been introduced to it within the last two weeks, and she didn’t really teach us much about how to do it; she only provided readings (the main one of which is dense in the sense of being idiosyncratic/cryptic and overly brief) and told us to copy images (same source).  And she gave us some web links.

The other thing I wanted to talk about is this writing thing.  I’ve decided to pick up a book on writing careers, as when I was pushed to craft an Artist Statement for my Painting class, I realized that mine was likely by far the best statement.  (This is even though I read it poorly because I was kind of ashamed of being deep, and because I read things quickly when I already know what they say.)  I attribute this to my Writing degree and practice.  In turn it is apparent that I do have other skills, and do not have to depend wholly on my art skills in order to make a living.

The major thing about this is that, well, I will need to read a lot more if I want to be a writer, but that is not hard.  It can be extremely frustrating, but it isn’t hard.  I spoke with my supervisor at my second job site about this today; she was saying that when one reads a lot of different authors, one gets insight into the minds of different people.  (This contrasts with my desire for realism in writing, which is something I need to get beyond, both in writing and art.)  I’m thinking that maybe, at this point, my avoidance of reading fiction stems from a screwed-up English education from English teachers who were noticeably conservative.  Hence, I got exposed to a lot of twisted minds (I don’t know how else to put it) in my readings, which were the stories that the conservative English teachers thought were worth our time.

The Creative Writing department was much more broad and less restrictive, but the English department…was Eurocentric and Christian in its focus.  If one wanted to read writing by authors who were not of European descent or Russian (I think there were two or so authors of African descent in there — probably Chinua Achebe and Ralph Ellison, both of whose required texts, I’d read before), one had to look in the Ethnic Studies department, and the literature classes there focused more on identity politics, history, and social phenomena than literary analysis.

So, maybe in the same way as the Creative Writing department discouraged me from writing creatively, the English department discouraged me from reading (by feeding me too much of the same kind of twisted propaganda that caused me to think that all writing — including my own — was twisted propaganda).

And it’s commonly accepted that we’re better off with a University education…only so if the professors are worth listening to (which depends on who’s hiring them), and you know which of their opinions to edit out of your brain.  Because of the location of my school, I’d been hoping that the English department would be a bit more metropolitan, but I guess not.

The flash did just come to me that if I’m into Art History enough, I can write books on Art History, and thus combine my artistic and verbal abilities…

Or I could write graphic novels instead of illustrating them.  I checked out a kid’s book today because I ran across it and it looked like the type of thing I’d want to do — it’s kind of a mashup of graphic novel and literary novel.  But do I really want to illustrate 150 pages of story?  Really?  I mean, the book is beautiful and everything, and I do like to have that kind of glowing visual component to my work.  This book is illustrated so well that I think even adults would buy it, just because it’s really pleasant to look at (and the story is a bit compelling).  But I don’t have to do everything — I could be paired with an artist who would do the illustration, leaving me to write the 400+ pages of script which would be condensed down into the 150 pages of illustrated story, you know?

400?  Psh.  I’ve done that before.  Not well (because my project management skills are awesome and MS Word is perfect for novel writing…not), but I’ve done it before…


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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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