I suppose I really can’t discern my future direction from here…there is too much undone, the results of which would help me determine whether I’m more of a writer or artist. I need to get reading, and I need to get painting and writing. Experience is key, here. I’m not going to get anywhere (or know where I want to end up) just by thinking about it.
I’m fairly certain that doing both writing and art professionally/half-time, while being a Librarian half-time, will be too much. I came across a post by the Public Library Association yesterday (an arm of the ALA) which mentioned that most new jobs in public libraries are part-time/no benefits, and this is at least a nationwide trend. It is a good thing, then, that I have other occupations to fall back on, though I think that both with Library work and with Art, over half-time may be taxing.
With Library work, my social skills are stressed, though as I’ve stated, the social realm is my weakest point. What I didn’t realize until yesterday, though, is that even though social skills are my weak point, they may still be comparatively strong. I doubt it, but I’ve been measuring myself against myself, not against other people.
In Art: let me say that this last semester was really intense. More intense than I would have liked; and I was only at seven or eight units (I’m no longer sure). It was seven or eight units in three production classes, though. Granted that one of those classes was my capstone class, which should have been classed as four units itself…but I was also in Continuing Figure Drawing, which…was not easy.
I’ve learned that in general, although Art comes more easily to me than it does to the majority of other people (whom I’ve known, who have tried it), it’s still hard…and it’s hard nearly all the time. The only time it isn’t hard is when I’m playing around with doodles and two-dimensional designs. But observation, and recording that observation using fine motor skills? There’s a constant process of noticing inaccuracy and self-correcting; which can be hard if, like me, you struggle with perfectionism. This is not to mention the apparent necessity of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone over and over and over again.
This is intense enough to somewhat push me away from trying to work on these skills, although I love color: color interactions, color mixing, just seeing — and may love it enough to keep working at this. Generally, I reach a point some way in when I get, “in the zone,” and I’m so involved in what I’m doing that the difficulty level doesn’t faze me anymore. I become so engaged as to forget about how hard it is or why I don’t want to do it, because I’m committed. I think if I could let up on judging my own work, it would be (a lot) easier.
Art could be something that I keep doing as an avocation, to just try and balance myself; but I’m not thinking that it fits with my main skill set…
Yesterday, I asked a co-worker about how Reader’s Advisory works. Short answer: I’ll have to read, a lot. Something else that I’ll have to read a lot for: Writing. Not to mention, an alternate career path: Editing! My BA prepared me to be an Editor within the Publishing field, but silly me: I never took an internship (I couldn’t drive, at the time, and felt guilty about asking M to drive me everywhere). Writing, Editing, and Librarianship, at least, apparently go together.
I already have the compulsive writing bug (something is missing when I don’t record my thoughts in language), so there is no worry, there. The major issue is how to survive on one or two part-time jobs (depending on whether I can swing freelance writing, editing, or illustration) and/or how to make it as a writer while working two part-time library jobs simultaneously (which may well be Library Assistant jobs for at least 2-3 years after graduation; and yes, this is the paraprofessional level).
How painting will factor into this is something I haven’t yet devised, though of course there is the possibility, as stated before, of becoming an Illustrator. The exact line of illustration I’d go down (Children’s books? YA graphic novels? Adult graphic novels?) is something I haven’t definitely found yet (as I haven’t tried writing or illustrating any of these, yet — well; in recent memory), but I do display traits in my work which are illustration-style, already. To test whether I actually want to do this, it could be interesting to just try to write + illustrate a short work.
Speaking of which: I did pick up a small journal today in which to start my next project. What I’ve been thinking on has been the creation of several (at least…several) autobiographical essays which stem from my life experience. I had been thinking that it could be interesting to print each on a paper of a different background, but then we start clearly getting into self-publishing/’zine/print-on-demand/art work, because the cost of printing would be prohibitively high for a major publisher.
I ran across some method of creating a ‘zine out of one piece of paper (which I believe can be scaled up to something like my 18″x24″ sheets), a long time ago. I’m not sure if I can remember the link now, though I do remember something like the basic design. If I’m self-publishing, maybe I’d want to go this route and have a printer print out, basically, oversized image files; then I could cut and fold these for distribution. (This might work for a comic project, as well.)
Interesting; at least as a project to practice my skills on. I have a feeling InDesign would help with this…but I still don’t know how to use it. There’s also the option of just printing the things out on cartridge paper and binding them by hand (or at the copy place), too. Depending, that is, on whether what I write is high-enough quality to publish, in the first place.
And then…we start to get into Graphic Design work, which I’m not sure is the place I really want to end up. So we have some options, here:
- Library work (could include new job titles)
- Freelance writing
- Freelance illustration
- Graphic Design
And, if Library school doesn’t work out, I still have Writing, Illustration, Editing, and Graphic Design as paths I can go down. This is, at least, some form of direction, even if it is vague…