Distillation — no exact destination, but the direction is apparent.

No studying done today, but I have some developments on the idea of the track (or tracks) I might take forward as regards career directions, and what I need to do.

Regardless of what I do, I’m going to have to start looking at job postings again, sooner or later.  And I’m going to have to update my resume and get used to writing cover letters and interviewing again.  I also have done relatively nothing on the front of drafting a writing portfolio, which is necessary if I want to get a job in writing.

I’ve just got to find something I’m passionate enough about to pursue with academic rigor, regardless of a grade.  🙂  And…it probably shouldn’t be on gender identity, though for the right target market, that could be good.  Thing is, my life doesn’t revolve around gender identity and presentation in the same way as it did in my 20’s, which probably means I’m settling down.  After all, once you get to the point of realizing what your gender is, you can move on to discovering other aspects of being human, yes?

It should also likely relate to the field in which I’d wish to be hired.

In about a week, my scriptwriting class starts, so I will get a chance to see if I can weave stories without messing up my mind and life.  It is possible, after all, that those things just co-occurred, but didn’t have a strong causal relation (“correlation does not equal causation”).  If that goes well, then maybe it will give me some idea of what I can do as regards writing fiction — although, really, I’m not sure that’s a great way to pay the bills.  If it doesn’t go well, then I can pretty much stop worrying about making one or more literary or graphic novels.  I’m hoping that I’ll be given some kind of prompt to work with, but if I don’t, I’ll work on the bardo (space between lives) story I mentioned before.

For a business, though…I did take a business writing course, but without a reason to write, I’d have to make up some kind of scenario to respond to…which will probably be a bit…well, both difficult and also not worth much, because I’d be talking back and forth to myself in a situation I made up.  A cover letter to sell myself to an organization I’d like to work for might be a good one, though, and could be an edge in before anything else requested.  I had thought of using this blog as a record of my writing ability, but I’m not certain at this point that this is a good idea, given that I’ve talked about some not-positive aspects of life, here.

Also, there’s the wonky formatting thing that has stopped me from going back to edit postings, though largely the mistakes are just errors like forgetting to delete a word (though in all cases I’ve seen, it’s obvious that this is what has happened).  I’ve had the issue with the editor erasing some or all of my paragraph breaks when I’ve gone back and tried to edit/update something unrelated…so I became wary of trying to change things at all.

So…I have a year, yes, left until I can get my Art AA.  Right now I am kind of wondering if it is worth it, how I will fare after graduation, if it’s okay for me to be here if I am not strongly inclined to do it on my own anyway, if my heart is really in it or if I just like the feedback (no — I like seeing the thing grow and develop, I’m just scared to engage, and really scared to take it all the way.  That is, I like the outcome of the process, and the process scares me).

There is the option of going digital, though…there are so many digital art classes I could take that it’s kind of…bewildering?  Plus, there’s a kind of sleekness to art which is entirely done digitally that I find I don’t like.  The digital format, and I don’t say this to hurt anyone, but I’ve seen that it can cover carelessness or lack of skill.  The other option is to do things by hand — where errors are visible and the possibility of them ever-present — and then transfer them over to digital (raster or vector) format, which requires multiple skill sets, which is the reason we have a digital printmaking track.

There are four directions I could go in after completing the Art AA in a year.

  1. Graphic Arts/Graphic Design — a long program, followed by an apprenticeship.  I’ve been told that the AA alone is not enough to get a job in the field.
  2. Multimedia Arts — training could be short or long, it just depends on when I get hired — and I probably will get hired.  I might be able to enter a publishing company in Graphic Design with either this, or the above, given I learn InDesign or QuarkXPress.  I could also self-publish this way, or work in web design.
  3. Business — getting back into and deeper into Excel and Access, and using my creativity in a more abstract manner (to grow a business and affect the world, though I don’t want to supervise people, and am not a “people person,” plus Clerical work, as I’d be aiming for, is a pink-collar group with a glass ceiling.  I’d only do this as a second job to back up a primary creative calling).
  4. Book Illustration — though I’m not entirely certain now that I’m well-built for this.  I should know more in a year.  Plus, Multimedia Arts would also help with this.

I think it just depends on what direction I want to go — or what I really want to be doing, after I graduate.  Business would pay the bills and allow me the extra cash to pursue my beading, though…I just got back into this last night, and it’s just a hobby.  It’s very enjoyable, and people do like my work.  But I can’t make money at this full-time; I’d constantly be struggling to make ends meet, and possibly getting into lawsuits over copyright.

(Seriously, what qualifies as intellectual property in the field of handcrafts?  I have made my own patterns, and I know that I wouldn’t want anyone to rip anything idiosyncratic that I designed off from me, but there are other things — basic patterns like peyote stitch or, to get more complicated, St. Petersburg Chain or tri-chain — which fall more or less in the grey area between public domain and personal innovation…of course, you could say peyote stitch was ripped off too [from indigenous communities]…I’m just not sure where the line is between safe and not-safe, or if it’s all not-safe and people just do it anyway.  A reason why I migrated to macrame, but the problem is still there.  Does anyone own the knots?  [Though I suppose that is like saying “does anyone own the words?”])

I just recognized this place I’m in now.  It’s a place of having insufficient information to make a decision.  This is the kind of thing I used to deal with which I would spin stories around in an attempt to rid myself of the uncertainty.  But, there is one thing I have learned here which might save me some grief and some missteps:  I can’t force myself to know what I don’t know.

The fear I’ve had, in looking at jobs now, is that I might be offered a job and then have to choose between taking the job and staying in school.  I can probably finish the degree at a later time, but it will be with different faculty, and some classes might not exist anymore.  In a worst-case scenario, the program(s) will be disbanded before I can get my degree(s), or my skills will become obsolete before I can be hired.

What I can see is that I want to work in some way in the Publishing industry, whether that’s as a graphic designer, an illustrator, or an author.  I probably don’t want to be an editor, because even though I can edit, I don’t like to tell people things they don’t want to hear.  I understand job growth within Publishing is very likely shrinking due to the Internet, but as I said in an earlier post, that doesn’t mean that digital is always superior.

Hey, at least I came to some kind of conclusion tonight…


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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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