OH my gosh.
All right, so I now have one day–! One full complete day to make more than two Christmas cards. I would have worked on them today, but M had other plans, and told me to clean my room. I can see her point. Sure, I just cleaned it a week ago, but there was still a layer of dust over everything. And when I put my paper pad (the gigantic Sketch one I got in 2002 as a freebie — I know, it can be hard to keep track of all of them) down on the floor to dust the desk, I found an ant (! WHY?!) crawling on it when I went to pick it up. So then at least I realized that yes, I did have to actually clean, because the stupid ants are looking for warmth and food, and we have to make ourselves too discouraging to invade.
The ants have been just sporadically everywhere, even where there is no food to be had. It’s really irritating. And like I said before, they had found their way into the pantry, which was also annoying, because then a bunch of food had to be thrown out.
But ANYWAY…! Anyway, I was messing around online when I was supposed to be cleaning (hey — I did vacuum, change my sheets, straighten up, and dust, along with letting light and air in, and I did start my laundry), and I found one input on social media which caused me to believe that following their articles can be a VERY VERY GOOD thing. I find myself inspired to continue on with the Art, now that I see where it can lead.
I also realize that the Nicolaides text that was recommended in one of my classes may be not a great fit for me at the moment. This was a book called The Natural Way to Draw, which basically is like preschool for artists. It’s a manual which takes a year to complete if one draws for three hours a day. Crazy. It was also published in 1941, though, so…I’m thinking that maybe it could be…well, not the best guide, in my particular case. I’ve read that one can learn the same skills more efficiently without following his method.
The author wants one not even to read ahead in the book, which means that you’re undertaking three hours of practicing building-blocks of drawing a day without actually knowing what it is you’re building toward or whether you can really trust him when he claims you’ll draw better at the end. OF COURSE YOU’LL DRAW BETTER. That’s what happens when you draw for three hours a day. Kidding me?
The question is, is his teaching method actually efficient (do you have to un-learn less), and are you going to like the drawings you’ll be able to make after that 1095-hour period of investment? If not, it’s nobody’s fault but your own, because it was you who trusted him in the first place, and have now spent 1/8 of your life (3 hours/24 hours) for a year building to some place which you probably have no concept of when you start. So what is the goal? What is the drive? Do I have that much faith in this teacher that I’ll trust that his way is the only way?
If you’ve read my backposts, you’ll see that I do actually have issues with trust…in trusting everything and everyone, even myself. I don’t think that’s a bad way to be, though, as long as I can hold it in check. But I don’t think I’ll be able to hold it in check for a year.
In any case, that book was discouraging me from drawing, so I’m thinking it’s best that I avoid it for now. I have no problem building up 1095 hours of drawing, but I want it to be enjoyable and productive and not entirely made up of throwaway sketches.
I checked the book out of the library so I could read it before I bought it, and I’m very glad I did. The danger of a book of that sort is the implied or direct statement, “my way is the best and/or only way, and you’re wasting your time otherwise.” I did read something to the effect that budding artists would be wasting their time otherwise…at least this, unless it’s like the time I tried to read Orlando by Virginia Woolf and remembered, accurately or not, that it began with a very distasteful image if one were not white. I really don’t know if I dreamed it or if I read it. It would be easy enough to check out, but it was so enraging that I haven’t gotten stalwart enough to confirm it. I don’t like being an angry person.
ANNND YEP — I didn’t imagine it. Just checked.
But then, I did just run across a copy of The Mikado recently and saw — from the cover, even — an example of someone in the past writing about something which they knew nothing about and were unashamed to know nothing about…but I don’t really want to get into that either, especially since I now know the name of Koko the Gorilla may have been a (racist) Gilbert & Sullivan reference, possibly flattering to neither of the Ko(K)os.
But yes. I don’t like to be an angry person. This is why I left my first University.
WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS WONDERFUL, WHY!?
Okay. Back to the Art thing. I switched into a Renaissance Art History class for next semester, away from Beginning Watercolor. This is largely because it was recommended to me from multiple sources that I take Art History courses along with Studio Art courses. It cleaned up my schedule, and since I’m taking Beginning Figure Drawing, it’s topically on-target, at least judging from what I have seen. I should also probably stick with Drawing for now, because painting — especially watercolor painting — is probably on an entirely different level. It would be best to work in acrylics or oils first, at least.
What I am unsure about is my reasoning behind taking Photoshop II. Of course, I’d need to clean up my images to provide myself a substantial and attractive Web presence, even if I didn’t work in Digital Imaging. And, of course, my last Photoshop class was at least six years ago. But for a lot of people there, I’m thinking that their last Photoshop class will have been last semester. I am not sure of the extent to which my skills have become outdated, and nor am I sure that the thing to do is to jump to the higher-level class, instead of attempting to repeat the lower-level one. I’m sure CC is much different than CS3, and I’m concerned that things will be disproportionately difficult for me in a Photoshop CC — Level II class.
Of course, though, there’s also the possibility that there will be a lot of people like myself who have trained on older versions of the software and just want not to become obsolete, which is the entire demon in the door so far as things go. Yes, I can train on digital media, but in 10 years, will my skills still be current? Will I be trained on the new software on the job, or dumped for a fresher skill set?
This is why I’m opting for a straight Fine Arts emphasis to my training rather than focusing exclusively on Digital Media; I doubt anything is really ever going to replace a handworked drawing or painting (even if it is possible to print-to-canvas).
And that’s something that, unlike within my Jewelry foray, can’t be duplicated by mass production overseas. I’m already familiar with the possibility of the show circuit, from my time when I thought I’d be a Jeweler. It’s just that I need to be doing something unique and difficult-or-impossible to emulate, if I’m going to make a living as an artist, and not be priced out of living in the U.S. Unless, that is, I work for a company as a Graphic Artist. Also a possibility, but a less intriguing one from here. The advantage would be, overall, what would seem to be a more financially stable life. But I’d be doing someone else’s work, by definition, not my own.
And then there is the entire possibility of an MFA in Fine Arts, which could prepare me — if I were serious — for a career as a showing artist. I hadn’t really even thought of it until M mentioned it while I was waiting to see the Academic Advisor. I should check to see whether the University I’m looking at has requirements that I didn’t fulfill with my BA…
But I should take these classes and see what I can do with them, first, rather than trying to decide on a career path when I don’t have enough information on which to base my trajectory. There’s always the possibility of working in Advertisement, which may be boring and possibly inane (if my disagreements with what I’ve seen as Marketing mindsets carry through and are more true than not — namely that it’s way too easy in Marketing to see cultural aggregates and the ideals people are told to hold, not actual people), but it gets the bills paid.
But what I’m actually looking at — is being an Illustrator, as things go now. I think that could be way more culturally helpful than working in Advertising. The thing is, just, I’m probably too rebellious for Disney-types. But maybe some opportunities will crop up…
P.S. OH! And how could I forget the Graphic Novel aspirations? Things to think on…