Recovering:

I feel like I should write something here…I haven’t written in a week, and that’s largely because I’ve not had the energy or time to do so.  However, I’m cutting back on hours at my job, meaning I’ll now have five complete days to work on homework (and lectures, and other things) instead of four.

What happened is that I became so exhausted from the increase in work after Labor Day (Sept. 4th) that Thursday (the 7th?) and Sunday (the 10th?) were spent largely asleep — and that left me with two days (or 48 hours) to do a week’s worth of work for three classes.

Last night, I was up very late to get a number of assignments done by their deadlines.  I do have accommodations, but I prefer not to use them if I don’t have to.

So today, you know, I was catching up on work and found myself falling asleep towards the end of a lecture.  Actually, as I’m writing this, I’ve woken up from the second time I’ve fallen asleep, today (I had to take medication and brush my teeth, at least) — if you don’t count falling asleep around 3 AM last night to be “today.”  I then fell asleep once before dinner, and once after dinner.

On the bright side, I’m nearly caught up with everything.  I did realize, however, that I had been neglecting my Archives class…there weren’t a lot of deliverables there, so I worked on what I needed to turn in.  Accordingly, I think I missed an Archives lecture (I’m missing notes on it) — but I can deal with that.

I think the biggest takeaway from this is that I do need quiet study time, without the distraction of the TV or family.  I have been largely able to avoid playing around on the computer — this is because I know I only have so long I can sit here and not get spine issues.

Also…I seem to be settling around what I’ll do with my spare time…though it hasn’t panned out yet, because I haven’t had much spare time (other than time used for sleeping).

I’ve realized that I can create my own clothes, for one thing.  I feel relatively motivated on that level, because I’ve realized that I can do the same thing for my wardrobe as I’ve done with my jewelry:  make a bunch of customized stuff that I wouldn’t feel bad wearing.

As I wrote elsewhere…creativity may be my way out of the gender dilemma I’m facing.  I don’t, that is, have to rely on store-bought clothing and jewelry which doesn’t get across who I am.  And sewing — hand sewing, at least — does seem to calm me.

Then there is the fact that I still want to learn Japanese language.  I found a number of books on this which look fairly awesome — and I’ve realized that reading things in romaji (Roman letters), although it doesn’t help with character memorization, allows me to recognize words faster.  If I see something written in romaji, that is, I can easily tell if I comprehend the sentence or not (and most basic-level sentences, I do comprehend).  This recognition isn’t there when reading kana and kanji, though it is nice that the kanji give the meaning of the word — though they don’t tell you how the word is spoken.

And then there is graphic design research…making things, you know?  At this point I’m unsure if I want to go into Web Design (though that honestly looks awesome — except for the pay scale) or become an Adult Services Librarian with a tech component — say, in Virtual Services.  I have both paths open to me, now.  If I take the set of classes I’m thinking of, I could only have three more semesters of substantive work ahead of me, including Summer.  The semester after that would be devoted to Culminating Experience, and then I would be done.  There is a complicating factor here, of finances:  I will need to talk to people about that.  Actually, I should approach counseling on three fronts:  Academic, Voc Rehab, and Financial Aid.

As for the Art practice:  that’s pretty much just not happening, though I have an idea as to why, now.

I think my cognizance is burning out.  I should go back to bed.

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Distractions, distractions…

I have one day left to do my final assignment in User Experience, and I think the timeline has me freezing up, a bit.  Both today and yesterday, I was unable to go in to work; yesterday, because I was physically sick (any time I moved, I wanted to throw up), and today, because I was running a fever (higher than yesterday’s).  Most of today and yesterday has been spent in the bed.

Right now, I feel more capable of doing things without constantly sweating, and my spine is telling me that some time spent vertically would be a good thing.  Staying home, though, didn’t help me find out what I need to for the basis of my assignment…which, inconveniently enough, is based on interviewing people.  (Working with people is likely the most difficult part of both my job, and this program.)

After this next week, though, Summer Session will be over.  That will be a relief.  I think I should just try and do the assignment as best I am able, even knowing that I do not have the time or information to do things the way I am being asked to do them.

Design Thinking is an entire field; it is unreasonable to expect us to execute the assignment perfectly in one week based on material found online, especially when no lecture is given and we have only been introduced to it within that same week.

I do think that I would be better off working in Graphic Design than I would be working in Design Thinking, that is.  That said, it is good to at least be introduced to the latter concept (and to where to learn more if I so desire).

That said, here are the succulent babies I was talking about last time. 😛 Please forgive the color-fill background; I took this photo at a weird angle, then had to rotate the image…did I crop this before rotating it?  Hmm.  Got to remember that for next time…

succulents-w

I’m still unsure as to whether to claim my off days as sickleave…though as it is Summer, and I spend more money during Summer and Winter breaks (excluding clothing) than at any other time…(during Semesters, I don’t have time to work on Art), I’m thinking about it.  Right now I’m wondering if I got sick because I briefly touched the neck/cap of my water bottle with an unclean hand, and then drank from it later.  (I thought my mouth did not touch what my hand touched.  Maybe I was wrong.)

Anyway, that’s past.

One of my coworkers brought in some graphic work the other day, as well:  I’ve got to ask them what kind of markers they used!  From the looks of the color blending, I would think they were Chartpaks, but I’m not deep enough into markers to tell.

I am thinking of getting some new Chartpaks and seeing how they perform now (the ink may not be the same, and mine may be so old as to be drying out — they’re streaking, now, but when they were new I could not make them streak):  I got the idea for a graphic art piece dealing with the story that is in my head and not yet solidified enough on paper (or in bytes) for me to have a formed idea of what it will become.

But I was motivated enough to work on it in charcoal, earlier.  And I hate charcoal.  I haven’t photographed it yet because it’s nowhere near being done, and I really dislike working in black and white, anyway.

It is a given that if I work with the Chartpaks, I will have to do it in a well-ventilated area; I’m thinking the garage, or outside.  I’m not sure if the fumes will be strong enough to ignite via the furnace…if this is an issue, I may be better off sticking with Tombows or other water-based markers, and just making heavy use of a blending marker, or brush and water — I don’t know what the difference is, in water-based markers.  (I wonder if charcoal/pastel blending stumps dipped in water would work, or just turn into mush?)

I also have Copics (alcohol-based), but my co-worker and I have been fairly underwhelmed by the markers, at least.  (I like the fineliners.)  I haven’t yet tried using the blending marker, though.  The Copics I have, streak; though I’m not sure if that’s because of the quality of nearly every paper I’ve used (I think translucent marker paper helps, particularly Borden & Riley), or if it’s because I didn’t saturate the paper with solvent (from the blending marker).

I should try blending the Copics first, before going to the Chartpaks, though…the solvent of the latter is definitely something you don’t want to be breathing in for any length of time, or in a confined area; and when open areas have open flame in them…I don’t want to set the house on fire.  I think I could use these, though, in an actual open space — if I taped down the paper I was working on to protect from wind.

At least when I first began to use the Chartpaks, they were formulated with xylene as a solvent, which is carcinogenic; then they reduced the amount of xylene to a level where the markers no longer carried a Caution Label.  Obviously, though…if you can avoid xylene…it’s just one of those things that’s best not to come into contact with on a frequent basis.  I was already used to the smell from using watchmaker’s cement (G-S Hypo Cement, which also uses xylene as a solvent, and which I’d gotten plenty of, on my fingertips:  not good!).

But the Chartpak AD markers (I’m not referring to the Chartpak Spectra AD markers, which I just found tonight) blend and bleed beautifully, or at least they used to.  Like I said:  when my (old formulation) markers were new, I could not make myself get streaks, so what I used them on looked more like animation cels, than anything.

And then, there’s the possibility of using colored pencils and liquefying them with a blending marker or Gamsol, or of using aquarelles.  The negative thing about the latter that I immediately land on, however, is that it’s like using grainy (and sometimes dull) paint.  The aquarelle layers just don’t dissolve all the way, unless you use a really light touch when applying the crayon (I’m thinking Neocolor II) or pencil…which I might try, at least if the only other options are Tombows and Copics.  The exception to this that I can think of are the Caran d’Ache Supracolor aquarelle pencils…which liquefy beautifully, with intense colors, but which are also top-of-the-line for watercolor pencils.  (They are priced accordingly.)

Yeah, maybe I’ll try that.  Maybe…I will.  I have some aquarelles I can experiment with, here already.  Maybe I just need to use a light touch.  This — and/or actually using paint or acrylic ink (how could I forget all those FW acrylic inks I have?), seem like better options.

I was probably just wowed by my co-worker’s marker art.  🙂  I forgot that I’ve been building up to this, for a while.  I got out of trying to use markers because it’s so expensive to just increase a dilution level of the same ink, whereas with paint or bottled ink, you just add a little more water.  (It’s been a very long time since I used ground sumi ink.)

I had begun to get into the technique of utilizing transparent watercolor as a ground color for other colored-pencil work, on top of a fineliner drawing; it shouldn’t be hard to lay down initial colors as watercolor (with the option of using acrylic ink, instead), then layer aquarelle and then regular colored pencil over that…though the opacity of those colors is something to pay attention to.  I could wipe out my initial linework, if I’m not careful.  But then I might also be able to wipe out opaque colors on top of linework as well, or redraw them with ink and a brush…(regular colored pencil, being wax- or oil-based, can clog the nibs of fineliners and markers, so I’ve heard).

I’ve also gotten wowed with Derwent Graphik Line Painters, some of which I may have initially ruined in my attempts at use:  I mention them here because they look awesome on top of watercolor, and as they have Japan (hollow) nibs, I have less of an expectation that they will clog.  The problem I’m having is having depressed the nibs too far into the barrels; this means some of them (the ones I tried to use before I knew better), will leak.

I recently found a Strathmore Mixed Media paper (it almost feels like illustration board:  the latter of which I don’t know how to use properly with water-based media, by the way), which I want to try out…and all of this might work well, here.

Yeah, I think it’s time to break out the aquarelle pencils!  After, that is, completing this last assignment…gah…

Dealing with design work

Well, it…at least feels as though, it has been a long day.  Although I’ve been monitoring what’s been going on with my class, I haven’t really been participating, today.

What I can say is that I feel like I’m relatively prepared to work with Graphic Design.  Relatively speaking — which means, as compared to people who have no experience in either Art or Design (which seems to include most of the class).

I don’t have a degree in Design, and I only have an AA in Art; but that training allowed me the experience of critiquing the work of others (over and over again), so I have some grounding on which to base my opinions.  I also have experience working with computer graphics tools…and with how to note down design ideas in the middle of the night.  (The latter came from being kept up with story ideas in undergraduate work; the former came from taking Digital Imaging courses, plus one Graphic Arts course.)

This meant that the exercise we recently undertook in my UX class — redesigning a couple of signs — was fairly easy for me.  I had thought of working things out by hand, like I did in my Intro to Graphic Design class, but I actually had the tools I needed so that I could manipulate elements digitally.  It vastly speeds up the process, and makes it easy to place color fills and gradients, and work with type.  And quickly change the font, size, spacing, placement, and color of that type.  I was actually kind of amazed at how easy Photoshop makes these things — and I’m not even working with Illustrator, or InDesign.

I’m hoping that the MLIS program will give me the background knowledge to make functional Design, as versus Design which looks nice but is nonfunctional (due to a lack of consideration of the end-user’s experience).

We were introduced to the idea of “personas” as used in marketing, this semester — which seems as though it draws off of creative imaging skills.  I have an abundance of these, but I was never told that I could work in Business in a Marketing department, utilizing the same skills I had used in Creative Writing.

Aesthetics seem to be placed below functionality, so far as Design is concerned in the classes I’ve been in, in the MLIS program.  I can’t help but think that this is the case, however, because people have been taught how to make things look nice, but not how to make them usable.  And I’m not sure I would fault the Graphic Designers for a lack of overall consideration of the user (although the Graphic Designers seem to take the blame — is this why they don’t get paid as much as others?).  It seems as though someone isn’t doing their job…and I’m not sure if it is the Graphic Designers, that is.

I’m almost wondering if the MLIS program will help me progress more in my chosen career path, more than a degree in Design would help me.  I’ve heard Design dismissed offhand in the Art world (most notably, as “selling out”), but in reality I think that even though both Art and Design utilize skill in working with images, visual communication, and fine motor movement, Design is a totally different category of activity, than Art.  They’re not anywhere near being the same things, and it becomes extremely apparent when you’re dealing with things like user research (which seems to utilize Social Science techniques) and usability, among other concepts which are hard for me to name right now.

I’m not sure if people in the Art world realize this (or if Clement Greenberg — the person I am thinking is most responsible for the current idea that money corrupts art — knew enough to realize this), and nor am I sure I’m totally up to picking them apart, at the moment.  It is a question that has continually been in the back of my mind, though.

I haven’t been writing so much recently because I’ve been trying to see what it is like just to live, without recording my life for several hours a week (each of these sessions is more than an hour long).  It’s apparent that logging my experiences is useful, but I don’t think I should do it out of a sense of obligation.  At this point in my life, my thinking is cohesive enough that I don’t really need to work at drawing it all together the way I had to, say, four years ago.

What I really do need to do, though, is keep some kind of practice where I put thoughts into words and into text.  It’s a great strength which declines when I don’t write.  That doesn’t mean I have to write about what I have been writing about…or in such volume…but I need to write.

I’m getting pretty tired right now, so I should log off:  though I had wanted to write about moving back into my toned paper journal.  But I had wanted to look at this from the perspective of considering Design to be a creative activity in which the message I’m communicating is somewhat predetermined.  I’ve been dealing with a lot of trouble starting because of not knowing what to communicate, or what to draw, etc.  Maybe Design can provide that for me, but really it does feel like …a puzzle.  Like creating a solution to a problem which just happens to be functional, useful, and beautiful.

I think I’ll leave you on that note, right now, run and brush my teeth, and try not to collapse before I get to bed.  🙂

Notes from earlier: Design, Ceramics

Well, it was a good thing to be at work, today.  I think it’s called, “networking”?

I received two valuable responses from colleagues who have both worked in Art & Design.  One of them was to informationally interview people in the field I was interested in, in order to get a sense of what the work was actually like — this is in regard to Graphic Design.  The main drawback that I can see to this, at this point, is that I do not carry the responsibility for the direction of the work…and that’s what my old Drawing teacher directly warned us about.  (I’m writing this stuff down now so I don’t forget it.)

Given that — that this is a main downside to working in commercial art (that is, that it appears that people who want work done want it done by someone who isn’t human — kind of like how I rail against people most highly valuing stones which look mass-produced [yeah!  let’s look just like everyone else!]), I started thinking again about pottery.  I did ask one of my co-workers about this; he recommended jumping in to what I wanted to do, in order to see the day-to-day reality of what it is like.  This is so I don’t get overwhelmed with worry and fear about what things “might be” like.

Something that also came up was the possibility of apprenticing to a potter.  That actually sounds like a really workable — and interesting — idea.

Right now what I’m thinking of, is:  No matter what grades I get at the end of Spring semester, I’ll plan to go back into the nearest community college I know of which deals with Ceramics (this is, unfortunately, a 45-minute commute; although I may be able to find a closer school, it won’t be in the same cultural enclave as the one I’m used to).  I can see, then, if I still like it.  I will also, this way, get to know students and teachers, who may be able to help me find a suitable Master to work under.  Come Fall…I am uncertain what will happen, but I will again be able to take Ceramics classes at a closer college.

My desire to work with clay has not decreased since I was able to use the cup I bought…it feels really nice in the hand, and it’s aesthetically pleasing to look at.  I’ve also realized that cafes and restaurants are likely good places to sell to (I noticed the cups in the drying rack of a nearby cafe, today) although this may mean that it will be most practical to make things…that look mass produced.

(?!)  Well, what the market demands, you know.  There was also a place (Heath? Ceramics) which is based in Marin County which provided the hot-cups used at the Honolulu Art Museum.

It would be interesting, though, to see what opens up if and after I learn to speak and understand Japanese language, better…I wonder if anyone would teach me how to make ceramics in an Eastern style…

Alright, I’m still awake…

I was able to finish A View From the Studio Door by Ted Orland.  I had about 40% of the book remaining, but after all the academic reading I’ve had to push through, this was nothing.  I finished it after dinner.

Now, I have broken back into The Complete Watercolorist’s Essential Notebook, which will likely have me doing things differently where it comes to watercolors.  In addition there is Design Elements:  A Graphic Style Manual, 2nd ed., which should refresh my knowledge of basic design.  (I can no longer remember how long ago I took Basic Design…)

In any case, I’m actually–! all ready for bed (more than I can say, having accidentally dropped off to sleep, in days past), and find myself not-tired.  Seriously?!  It’s 2 AM here!

It’s not all me, anyway, though.  Right now I just have to figure out what to do…and maybe rest my wrist.  I think it’s a little sore from writing all those papers…

I will need to go out tomorrow.  I wanted to refresh my Process Yellow FW ink (the one I got had mold or something in it), plus look for the Ultra Micro and Bold Signo 207 pens in black…though I don’t need them.  I can see that now.  I just need to use the Microns, and depending on my technique, I probably won’t need those for painting, just for drawing.

Line and wash is just one of those things that…well, I suppose it is traditional, but it’s kind of traditional in the way pulp fiction is traditional.  🙂  It’s not regarded as the highest art.  The book I was reading wanted me to make shapes with the brush, not draw first and color-in later (the latter of which, I’m really struggling with, so I can see why they would say this).

I do want to get a book on Notan.  Notan is basically the strong use of visual space, including (most obviously) negative space.  Of course, this is essential in watercolor, regardless of the fact that the word sounds like a 19th-century Western invention attributed to the Japanese.

I have an e-book on this aesthetic, accessible — now that I’m thinking of it — through Kindle and the Cloud Reader, but having a paper copy would likely be easier and less harrowing.  Water and electronics don’t mix.

And ah, right.  I should pick up a roll of brown Kraft paper on which to practice brushstrokes.

Coming up, when working in grisaille (greyscale underpainting), I think it would be a better habit for me to mix my blacks and greys.  This will bridge me straight into using color, as then I can add more hue to the mixture, bit by bit, until I get to the most saturated colors.  It’s tempting to want to go and buy a grey and a black, but I think I’ll have more fun — and learn more — the other way.  🙂  After all, I was trying to get to black when I discovered a Burnt Sienna-type hue…

Gah.  I really need to play with color mixing!

(Yes, Fall 2016 is now over…hurrahs may commence)

Hehehe!  I am officially done with classes (for a month, at least)–!  Though there are a few things I can still pick up, there’s no rush to do so (with the exception of my painting, tomorrow).

Now, I get to do things that I actually want to do!  (Once I can remember what those are…)

I expect there to be a few days in which I don’t know what I’m doing, or how best to use my time.  It happens at the beginning of every break.  Usually, there’s a long rest period, then I start to explore what I can do, then I start to do it, then the next semester starts up again–!

No, I mean, like, really.

I do have a lot of books which are available for me to read, which I didn’t have time to read while I was working on schoolwork.  In particular, I have a couple of books on Design, well– actually, three books, at least, on Design (focusing on Graphic and Web Design), and at least one new book on Watercolor painting.   And lest I forget, I do have three in-progress books on art practice.

Plus, I have my guitar–! though I will only be able to practice with that 30 minutes maximum today, before my fingers get too sore to continue.

And then, I also have plenty of art materials to play around with.  In particular…paints.  And inks.  Lots, and lots, of things that I can apply with brushes.  Which reminds me, that I really want to experiment a lot more with color mixing with those FW acrylic inks, given that even the neutrals seem vibrant…

There’s a lot about color mixing that I just wasn’t taught.  It seems to be different, as well, depending on media:  so whereas when I was painting with acrylics, it would be normal for me to mix from 5 or 7 base paints to get the color I wanted, apparently that’s not something done in watercolors?

I’ve found that when working with transparent watercolors and gouache, it may make the painting look disjointed to use too many different pigments to start off with.  This is, at least, unless heavy mixing is going on where you’re using differing proportions of most or all of the paints, in each color you’re laying down on your painting.  I was indeed doing that with my acrylic paints, but watercolors are just prone to getting contaminated, due to the way the paints disperse in water.  In addition, I tend to reuse my dried watercolors — at least, the transparent ones — so I am apparently concerned when the teacher turns my Aureolin well brown (it’s supposed to be yellow).  :/  (and Aureolin isn’t a cheap color!)

Acrylics, however…you lay out a full palette of those colors, and that paint is basically gone.  You can’t re-use acrylics unless you use plastic wrap to cover them and keep them from drying out.  A spray bottle full of water to wet them down doesn’t hurt, either.  The issue is that they dry out, and when they dry out, they also cure, and can’t be reworked.  Because of this, it isn’t a big deal if the paint on the palette gets contaminated, as it’s all a loss, anyway.  On top of this, the contamination stays limited to a small area, at least if one is using heavy-body paints.

As for what to do with the acrylic inks, I’m just going to have to experiment…though I suspect that they are closer in behavior to high-flow acrylic paints than to watercolors.  Like other acrylic-based paints, I put out a few drops of this stuff and I can never use it again!  But, the amazing thing is how far a few drops (especially three drops of each base color), goes.  For a small, 5.5″x7.5″ test paper, it’s plentiful.

I was experimenting on a cheap little plastic palette with little cups, which showed me how intermixable these are — on par with my heavy-body acrylics — and also how permanent they are!  (I should probably take a picture of that palette I ruined, so you all can see it.  I wouldn’t be able to accurately tell the color of any transparent paints or inks I used in the painted cups, again.)

So now I know to use the disposable palette sheets for these.  It’s not like the drips are going to run anywhere, unless I pick it up.

I am thinking, also, of the entire Web Design tangent — hence the books I obtained for myself during the semester which I didn’t get the time to read.  However, I know that it isn’t an easy option, especially when dealing with people trips me out, anyway; and people who want Design jobs done may have much more serious problems than “make our website pretty.”  How do you say to people, over and over again, “I know you hired me to make your website pretty, but you have these fundamental navigational and structural problems which we can also fix”…?  Although, that doesn’t sound so bad…if you can fix them.

Now that I know that Design isn’t totally “selling out” as an artist; that it requires a different set of skills than someone solely a visual artist may cultivate, and that someone solely a visual artist may not know about; it may become a viable option.  This is in addition to any learning I get done as regards Information Architecture and User Experience, in my program, in addition to my main Cataloging focus.  Coming up, I should be taking a Beginning Cataloging course along with a course on Metadata, and Research Methods…though it’s without question that I do want to learn how to construct Web pages.

I’m just really, really glad that I don’t have to focus on public service, anymore–!  I mean, seriously…

I think I found it, yous.

Special Libraries:  Art Librarian.  This sounds like a very worthy target to aim for.

I was talking with a co-worker who has (apparently) worked in Graphic Design, about thinking of working my artistic skills into making a living.  Pretty much the first thing he said was that, “it’s all about pleasing the customer,” which…was the very thing that scared me out of Applied Graphic Design 1 when I sat in on my first session of it, years ago.

I’m good at making things nice; but not totally devoted to tailoring them to someone else’s specifications, and wary of bending my hand to fit someone else’s vision.  It’s hard, this; when I look at things from a crafter or artist’s viewpoint and not a designer’s viewpoint.  They all seem to be (at least slightly) different things, but those orientations may add up in the long run; particularly when my client’s desires run along the lines of making money and my desires may run along the lines of making money.

During lunch, earlier, I was able to visit my school’s website and click through some links I had never tried, before.  There is a lot up there which can help — if not bewilder — one, as regards career direction.  I took the chance to look under information related to Special Libraries…which I had not considered until recently.  Art Librarianship was there as an option.

I know that Nietzsche said that there was no inherent meaning to life, but given this, we are free to create our own.  (I don’t recall when or where I read Nietzsche [probably in University the first time], but the Existentialist thread has run strongly through my last 15 years, at least.)

My current chosen reason to continue to exist as this person is that I have a need to create verging on what I feel may be a divine drive.  This comes from a source I’m uncertain of, but — as with blogging — I feel a little sad when there is no one voicing what I could contribute.

My voice is pretty well almost unrepresented, and I can change that.  In turn, this may make life more tolerable for others like me who have little or no voice.  (Remember, I was nearly silent through most of my childhood and teen years — until I entered the TMI, “I’ll say whatever I want to say,” phase, followed by the “I don’t have to say everything,” phase.)

Because — at least according to the art critic Clement Greenberg — capitalism has a corrupting influence on an artist’s work (as then one is working more to please others than…well, from one’s own vision)…it would seem that making my living via information services in a center relating to art (such as a Museum) would be a route which would allow my vision to come across more purely.  I am wary of practicing in a way which would interfere with my vision, in favor of material gain (which isn’t even all that lucrative).

I am interested in communicating visually:  but as to whether I want to work for others using the skills I’ve been gifted with…there’s something about them that feels almost-sacred, if not actually sacred — and I don’t want to let monetary pressures subvert them.  At the same time, I need a job; or else all of this will come crashing down pretty quickly when my caretakers can’t help me anymore.

In any case — I have said before that being a Librarian for an institute such as a Museum would be one version of my dream job.  Today, I found the association for people involved in Art Librarianship in my region.  I’m wary of enabling easy access to it right now through a link (I’ve had the issue of clicking through to hacked association sites before), but it’s there.  And what a resource.  People doing exactly what I want to be doing.

I am just a little scared of actualizing this; as to become a full-blown Art Librarian will take more learning than just the MLIS.  I have an AA in Art, but that…only says so much.  I have a BA, which shows that I have learned how to learn.  As a full-blown candidate, I would likely need a second Master’s in Art History after the MLIS; though I do know of a couple of good places for that (like Cal, which I declined to attend twice as an undergrad [first because I needed distance from family; second because I wanted to be a novelist, and the Creative Writing program wasn’t there], but which may well fit my needs if I’m going into Art History.  I know two people who have been in the undergrad program — I can ask them about it).

The major drawback is that I’ll have to spend several years paying off loans and preparing to finance the second Master’s, before I can really have the MA.  However, it’s possible that by that time I will have learned enough on the job and through my libraries, not to need the second MA.  There’s also the distant hope that an employer could finance me; or I could work toward grants and scholarships.  There is a grant-writing class in my program.

And I should take advantage of advising services as they’re given by my present University…meaning likely that I’ll need to install some hardware and software before then.  I think I have three more weeks left until the start of the semester.  (!)  I also believe, though, that there aren’t many more classes I have fulfilled the prerequisites for, right now.

I’m still iffy on taking more than 9 units this semester, as I need to pass my technical course with a grade of B or better to stay afloat in the program.  Obviously, most of my attention will or should be going to that.  After that, my only core courses left are Research Methodologies, and my capstone class.  I shouldn’t waste time worrying about what I’ll do if my Technical course doesn’t work out — the time to worry about that is after it doesn’t work out, if it doesn’t work out; not before.  Because right now, I could be preparing to succeed instead of preparing to fail.

The generic/sample Special Librarianship track will push me to take 9 to 12 units a semester for the rest of the time I’m in this program.  I really seriously need to get into contact with someone at the school who can help guide me through the classes I would need to take if I wanted to become an Art Librarian — because I’m certain I don’t need all of the classes listed.  Special Librarianship is a very broad field, and they were probably just trying to cover all their bases with the sample itinerary.

The class which I’m not sure I’ll need — yet one of the only ones I have access to without my Technical course out of the way — is the Intellectual Freedom Seminar.  Yet this should be very useful in a Public Library setting, which may be where I can be employed (as a Library Assistant — if I can do that) until I can get the MLIS degree under my belt.  Right now I am not certain how many hours LAs are required to work…but if I take 12 units per semester, I should be able to be out of there in maybe two to two and a half years.  I could stay an Aide for that time, or I could move up.  I am just uncertain how much pressure being an LA would be, on top of my studies; and if that would require me to retake my first three classes.

I should note as well, though:  I am uncertain whether passing with a B or better the first time around means that I don’t need to worry about getting above a B- the second time around; or if I will have this requirement pop up at some later time when I’m much more invested.  I have thought that it might be possible for me to space these requirements out over multiple semesters, though I can’t be sure of that.  It’s something to ask about.

D says that I can do 12 units per semester; I will just have to cut down on distractions.  My only major distractions, though, are the internet and my art.  The blog is helping me practice my written skills, so that is OK.  My art would probably be OK even if I confined it to journals or projects…which don’t have to be done by any certain time.

It’s good to be close to your loves, though.

EDIT:  I forgot to mention something important, which is that I realized that I can take classes which I want to take (but maybe don’t need to take) which I have not been able to fit into my schedule, post-graduation in Special Session.  Special Session is like Continuing Education for people who already have Master’s degrees.  It’s beneficial to keep that in mind, when planning what is necessary and what isn’t.