Random November update

I decided to check in here after a while of browsing social media, which we all know is a time sink.  Today I realized that enrollment for Spring 2016 was open, and signed up for my classes.  🙂  I’m set to take Digital Printmaking, as the one I have a choice over.

What happened on Tuesday, though…

I had to get a replacement ink cartridge for my printer (so that I could print my readings), which meant a trip to a local office supply store.  One of the people who worked there was trying to be really extremely helpful to us.  D says the guy was flirting.  🙂  I didn’t have a problem with it, because it was respectful, cute flirting, of the sort one does when one sees a pretty youth out with her father.  (Of course, I am generally estimated to be half my age; an effect magnified when seen with parents.)  Anyhow, though…

I was taking a look at the large-bed scanners.  I saw two of them which were interesting, to say the least.  They’re both around $200…and can accommodate scans up to 11″x17″.  This is 4x the surface area, and the correct ratio, to a 5.5″x8.5″ page — half of a standard letter sheet.

That is:  I would scan big, shrink down to sharpen and preserve details, add text on the soft copy, print.  I mean, holy #&%$, can you imagine what a Copic 003 Multiliner’s line would look like, at 1/4 the size?  (An 003, if I’m correct, has a nib width of .03 millimeters!)  I can barely see 003 lines as it is!

I’m thinking that with the Black Friday sales coming up, the prices on these scanners may be slashed, by a lot.  I’ve been trying to figure out — if these things suddenly became less expensive, would I buy one?  I already kind of need to get a new printer because the ink supply for mine seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs…as in, replacement ink is getting hard to find.

Of course, though, next year I’ll need to upgrade Photoshop and start using Windows 10.  Not to mention that we’ll need to update some of the other software, too.

*sigh*

But in accordance with the graphics tangent, I have my cute little proto-illustration-thing which is represented by the blank illustration board…which I really want to get working on, but am having a hard time picking out just one topic from my mind, to work with.  I am scarily aware that I do have the entire kyriarchy tangent brought up by Kate Bornstein’s update, My New Gender Workbook, but realistically, I haven’t read much of that since I first got it several weeks ago.

(This is probably what people mean when they say you can’t be a good writer, without reading!  A lot of tips as to what I could write about, come from my reading, as I can see holes and unaddressed gaps in thought processes, and things I just generally disagree with.)  I really don’t want to be another didactic, self-righteous “what you should do with your life” political author like a lot of people I’ve seen around online, though.  (Like I know what you should do with your life?  How can I know that when I don’t even know what to do with my life?)

There are two other books on my altar table right now.  One of them, I may have mentioned before:  The Heart of the Revolution by Noah Levine.  The other is Vegetarianism:  A Buddhist View, by Bodhipaksa.  All three of these are speaking to changes that can be made in real life, now, towards a better present and future.  With what has been happening with my bodily system recently, though, I have some doubts that I might be able to survive very well without animal protein.  Even though I know I hate the factory farm system, it’s just generally a reality that eating humanely-raised animals is pretty costly, and might be said to be a luxury (which tie economic/income disparity/poverty and class issues, which then tie gender and race [and reproduction] issues, into what would otherwise be an easy choice, granted that one’s body could actually function without meat [not everyone’s, can — look at HH]).

I seem to have a system which is sensitive to sugar inputs…I did speak to an Advice Nurse today.  I’ve been told to try and eat “good fats” and proteins, and reduce refined sugars, so that I might be able to tolerate an 8-9 hour work day without feeling like I might pass out, toward the end of it.  However, that might also just be straight dehydration that I’ve been dealing with; I don’t like to use the bathroom at work, and I’ve been trying to use it as little as possible, meaning I haven’t been guzzling water.

It’s kind of complicated, but maybe I’ll try drinking more water tomorrow and see how I feel.  The lightheadedness usually hits around 15 minutes to a half hour after lunch, and lasts for about 30-45 minutes.  I haven’t been sure of what’s been causing it — blood sugar problems don’t make a lot of sense, because I will have just eaten.  Dehydration makes sense, though drinking black tea at lunchtime also helps…possibly by raising my blood pressure.  (I still need to drink water, though.)  I suppose that low blood pressure can be caused by dehydration…and I’m known for having low blood pressure, normally.

Yeah…I need to pack some sunflower seeds, tomorrow, talking about “good fats.”  This could also be a subliminal reason as to why I keep getting ice cream after work — butterfat is considered a “good fat,” now.  Of course it has sugar, which isn’t good.  But the fat in the cream has the effect of stabilizing blood sugar levels.

I have some more to say on where the final portfolio for Drawing is headed, along with posting the images from last portfolio and working on my portrait painting.  I was seriously trying to do anything but homework today, though.  I got a day off yesterday, and was only able to complete my homework for Drawing today, by spontaneously waking up at 5:30 AM, and then getting up at 6:30 AM to work on it for an hour and a half.  (It works a lot better than trying to stay up late!)

I’ve also been rather happily spending money — new Winter coat, new Winter boots, and an extra toolbox so that I don’t have to dump everything out when I needed (today) to use the little one which carried all of my acrylic paints.  It would be nice not to have to carry so much, yeah? but, I suppose that they are art classes, and we don’t have enough space, for lockers…

I’m thinking that I actually do have a lot to offer an employer.

Actually.

I’m actually really glad that I’ve been working through this book, You Majored in What?  No, they aren’t paying me.  But I’m actually seeing themes coming up as regards who I am, and what is important to me.  The premise of the book is based on Chaos Theory; basically, that things look disordered from close range, but back up far enough, and order begins to be able to be seen.

What it actually means is that 1) I may not actually need Library school, but if I don’t go, I need to orient myself somehow, somewhere, so that my skills are being put to use instead of being dormant or unused.  It also means that 2) it isn’t the end of the world if I try for the Master’s and don’t make it.  The point is to try, because it will give me options down the road that I won’t have if I don’t.

But it isn’t the end of the world to not be able to be a Librarian.  I can still try for something else.  I do have an identity; I am talented; I have high integrity…which is what has kept me from excelling more at my present job (I try and tell people the truth, as versus say something which I’m not sure is true for convenience).  If I don’t make it with Library Science, I can still try for something art- or writing-related (or art and writing related).

I already know that I’m good at Art, and have proficiency at Digital Imaging.  I also know that I don’t want to have my works wholly produced upon the computer.  If I don’t get a job at the Library, Digital Printmaking and Digital Imaging are both tracks which could lead to a job (though, I’m thinking, probably not a steady job, at least for a while — unless I work for a Graphic Design firm).  Or I could be a staff writer, while I build my skills in Art.  As things stand, once I find groups I’d like to work for, based on my own interests, it should be easier to see where to go from here.

And I should note that my last entry will work very well for a portfolio piece.

I do also note that I know a lot of people who are underemployed…

I think I’ll get offline now and work some more in this career book.  It’s already 9:30, and although I don’t have to be out early tomorrow, I should start settling down…

Using digital proficiency to support fine art…the computer is a very useful tool.

Work on the mandala project has been proceeding slower than expected.  In large part this is due to having had the greyscale painting due, last week.  Because I’m still a little skittish after having posted my initial one or two mandalas and actually inspiring people (it was kind of scary, I’m not kidding), especially with the copyleft thing, I’m going to keep what I’m working on offline, at least for now.  After I submit it, I may post it; that should be in two weeks.

What I can talk about, though…there are a couple of things that came to me last night, which I probably should split into different posts.  As things stand, I won’t be able to speak about them all tonight.

The mandala I’m working on is…interesting to me, kind of content-wise and process-wise.  Last night, I finished the inking on it and erased the marks of the Saral (in my case, graphite transfer) paper away.  I nearly started to fill it in with graphite shading, then remembered the incident with the acrylic painting I posted a day or so ago:  that is, not having a record of the most basic stages of composing an image.  So I erased the little bit of shading that I’d started (I used a relatively new Prismacolor kneadable eraser, though I really like the General’s brand better — they’re just harder to find), and got my camera.

This image is on 14″x17″ paper, so it was too large to fit on my scanner.  What I did that night was photograph it, upload the photos, then copy the easiest photo to edit.  I found the “Skew” tool in Photoshop and was successfully able to use it to even out the slightly odd camera angle at which I took the picture.  This was actually really great, because it’s still hard for me to get a flat-on, nondistorted shot.  What I was able to do was use Skew to un-skew my image.

I then cropped the image, and probably straightened it out (the crop area can be rotated by hovering near one of the corner crop marks).  Today I had to do some work to avoid “Snap to Grid” happening at the crop marks (which is what it’s called in MS Excel; I don’t know what it’s called on Photoshop), by expanding the canvas size to a slightly larger number of pixels and then cropping.  After this was done, I saved the image as a separate file to avoid damaging anything else.  (Today, when I retried this with better light, I used the smallest grid size to center the image as perfectly as I could — something I was concerned about because when I copied this image over by hand, I wasn’t thinking of using the whole page.  Then, later, I wanted to — when it started to grow beyond its bounds.)

Then I started playing around with Levels — I had not ever worked with the individual color channels the way I did last night.  The black point and white point are best set at the very ends of the graph curves illustrated, and I did this separately for all three channels (R, G, and B), and then tweaked the default grey points to achieve the most neutral tone I could.

After that was done, I could tweak the main channel (RGB) and make sure the image looked OK.  I ended up screwing around with this for a while, trying to eliminate excess color on the white background.  After a while, I just stopped and moved on to Brightness + Contrast, which enabled me to darken my ink marks and try and lighten the remains of background color as best I could.

Save again.  Different file name.

Then it was time to resize the image.  I set this to 600 dpi (dots per inch; a print variable, or a resolution variable where it comes to ppi [points per inch] — they’re the same thing, but print and web resolutions are vastly different), and resized the image (under Image Size) to just under 8″x10″ (though I forget the exact dimensions).  “Image Size” resizes the entire working area.  “Canvas Size” resizes the viewing area.

After that, I saved again.  Different file name.

I believe that at this point, I modified the Printer properties to “Best” quality and to print in Black and White using black ink only, and printed.  AMAZING.

AMAZING.

I had used a (heavily used) Micron 005 pen to ink the finest lines in the center of this image, with my heaviest lines being a (non-broken-in; it matters, I found) Micron 5 at the edges of the page.  I didn’t think they would turn out to be as freakin’ delicate as they did when I ended up resizing the image to fit on an 8.5″x11″ piece of paper.  Remember, this is something like 14″x17″ sized down to nearly 8″x10″, so it’s really appreciably shrunken.  Everything looks more delicate.  My inking looks more precise.  You can’t even tell that the Micron 005’s tip is widening with use.

Though I should note, that I also realized that inking just to one side or another of a line does influence how the finished line aligns with the rest of the drawing, without showing (at least at this point) how much any misplaced lines were edited at all.  I’ve been concerned about incised lines (from tracing on top of my original, through the Saral paper, with a 2H pencil) showing up in a final colored pencil drawing, so this was something I was watching for.  But even the slight misalignments (from my paper shifting during the transfer process) were really not visible once I’d downsized the image.

As I said above, I tried this again today with natural (filtered, evening) lighting, and it turned out better, for some reason…the focus of the camera was different.  The image was sharper.  I’m using my camera on “Auto”, and did not think to check which mode was being used when the picture was taken.  In any case, the image was much clearer, especially around the edges.  After altering the Levels and Contrast + Brightness and then printing, it was also apparent that even with the remains of color that I saw in the background (I couldn’t eliminate them all…I might be able to, though, if I mess with the Levels enough — I wonder about Curves, but can’t remember what they do), the daylit image is much sharper and a little brighter than the artificially-lit one.

At this point, looking at what I can do this way with linework, and having seen the outcome of my most recent attempts at using transparent black watercolor to create a monochrome, shaded image (which may be called “grisaille”, but I’m not sure), I’m really thinking that I could work at this if I wanted to make a ‘zine or comic, draw it large-scale, then photograph it and tweak it in Photoshop, then print and bind it at 8.5″x11″.  It’s this that has got me thinking about taking InDesign next semester, which would replace Modern Art History for that one open slot.  I have experience with both Photoshop and Illustrator, but not InDesign, and I’ll need all three of them if I want to make a ‘zine and not make it hard on myself.

Wow.  Okay.  Can’t believe I got all that out.  If you made it this far, congratulations.  I wish I’d done this before as regards the process I went through to make the original image, in the first place…  Right now, what needs to be done?  I’m in the process of shading in one of my printouts with graphite in order to create value placement (I needed something to do that was portable, today), and I need to decide what colors go where — and then put them there.

I still have my original master copy of the mandala that I traced onto the Wet Media paper (this is the large, 14″x17″ paper).  I’m thinking of working this one in ink pencil (permanent once dry) and watercolor pencil (not permanent once dry), turning that into wash, then going over the top of the washed areas with colored pencil.  The thing with the Wet Media paper, though, is that it really obviously buckles with too much water.  I can try to control for this by taping it down to a piece of hardboard…but I don’t know if it will work.

I’m thinking of taking my original and re-tracing it out onto the 12″x12″ watercolor block for hardcore work with watercolors.  But I really only have about 1.5 weeks to work on this, prior to critique.  As things stand, I may only have two finished pieces to critique, because so much of my work has been working out how to do the process, and how to get to the point I want to be at.  There is also the insane amount I was sleeping because of the sedation issue, about two to three weeks ago, as well…but I’m very certain my teacher understands.

As things stand with the medical stuff — I am really wanting to get off of the medication that’s making me gain weight (it’s the same one which is supposed to help me stay awake), and see if I can control the oversleeping via just taking my medication at, say, 7 PM instead of 10 PM.  Now that I know that there’s a world of difference between the two, it’s possible that I’ll be able to handle it by just not giving in to the urge to stay up late…

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…

Copic hoarding

Saa…today has been full, I guess.  I did spend more than I probably should have, given that I got a small paycheck this time because I was sick and because February was a short month.

I was able to get to the art supply store, where one of the employees recognized me and engaged me in a bit of casual, noncommittal conversation, which was nice.  I went in there and he was like, “you, again?”  😉  They are really getting to recognize me over there.  Moreso since school started… :/ hehehe.

I was able to fill out my Copic line in Cool Gray, which I know seems kind of silly since it is probably one dye or pigment (I don’t know which it is, but I’m guessing dye, given most markers’ fugitive color understandings) that is just diluted to different extents.  But the Copics seem to last, which is nice — I haven’t had one dry out yet.  The differentiation between each tone is much more mathematical than in other brands.  And I’ve found out that their marker lines either aren’t there, or they blur together on appropriate paper.  There’s also a “wash” effect which happens when they’re used quickly, which is really nice, especially now that I know how difficult it might be to illustrate using watercolor.

Not that I’m giving up on watercolor — but there is a lot of negative-space work where it comes to the transparent stuff, which is a bit advanced from my position right now.  This is especially when it comes to working with a brush and water, which is still relatively new to me.  Nor have I been using gouache in conjunction with the transparent colors (which might make my world a lot easier).  I’m also thinking that trying this out in the studio first would be better than trying it in the field.

But yes — filling out my marker collection cost approximately $45, as most of the tones I got were not in the Ciao line at my store — I had to go to the Original or Sketch markers, and actually got a combination of both.  Some tones just were not stocked with some models, and I didn’t even consider getting an empty Ciao barrel and some nibs and refill inks.  I did get effects which were so nice with the incremental tint variations in the lighter inks, though, that I figured it might be worth it to get the darker ones.

So I can play with these now — and figure out whether my scanner is advanced enough not to lose the value differentiations later.  I should be able to play around with Levels, though, and see if scanning materials with different settings on my scanner turns out to have the same image profile (if that’s the right term) under Levels in my graphics program.  In that case, I can do the editing on my computer and not worry about the quality of my scanner’s eye.  And actually, I should be able to test this without even doing a final drawing — just a set of test swatches should be fine for me to check the Levels.

If worse comes to worse, I can see about taking the proofs to a copy store — or the Multimedia Lab — and having them reproduced there.  IF — and that’s a big IF — they are not just for rough drafts, with the final tones (if not the majority of the final artwork) being added or tweaked in soft copy, and then reproduced electronically.  (As versus the inking and final tones being laid down in hard copy, then simply edited in soft copy, then reproduced electronically.)

Now how the heck am I going to carry these around?  (Especially considering that I don’t use exclusively Copic products?)  I did get a pouch for portable illustration materials, but that pouch is pretty full right about now — to the point that I’d have to dump stuff out to figure out what is where.  There really do seem to be two different sets of materials in there, though:  one for working on top of some kind of colored ground; the other for a white ground, with black inking assumed for now (but not guaranteed).

I suppose I can see if either the Copic wallets or my colored pencil wallet will hold these markers, but I’m not hopeful on that front.  I suppose I could always sew a canvas roll to hold these, with a flap which folds down to keep things from flying out, and some kind of flat band to cinch around the outside…(two D-rings should hold it; I need this to hold 12 Copics, pencils, at least one stick eraser, and various fineliners).

Hmm.  I might even have the canvas…the question just becomes whether the old sewing machine is still operational.  And, well, I’d have to make sure the pencils wouldn’t poke their way through, too.  Good point, brain.  Reinforce the bottom flap with denim, right.  And maybe make it so that even worn-down pencils can be retrieved…ehh…that’s looking not so practical now.  Maybe forget about the pencils and just work with what doesn’t change length?  Or work with mechanical or drafting pencils, instead of the wooden ones.

Eh.  I’ll figure it out.

A lot of other things happened today, but I’ll put them in a different post (or posts).

Feeling more serious and happy than ever. Things are coming together.

(Advance notice:  apologies for this post being ill-placed in the Reader.  I just really felt the need to mark Categories and Tags to reference the mental state and direction I’m facing, now.  This post addresses life and career goals, getting college in line with them, and basically realizing how much I like what I’m doing now, and how I might get where I want to be, with an emphasis on what I can do now.)

I really should be going to bed about now, but I feel the need to post.

I was writing to my prof asking about office hours when I realized that I could see her more quickly by visiting during open Lab time.  Then I checked and found out that one more slot had to be filled before the district would keep the Lab — and I found that tomorrow was the deadline to both add and drop without a “Withdraw” status.  This class had been in development last semester and is experimental…I’d hate to see it go down and not be tried again because it needed just one more student.  Besides, the other 19 students will also probably be really happy, too.

I’m kind of feeling a bit bad about having taken up so much of my prof’s time already — I signed up for her section, so basically I think she’ll be familiarized with my work and process.  At least now, she’ll be getting paid a bit more for helping me.

I just kind of feel like I need the additional tutelage of the Lab, especially when I keep getting more serious about this stuff.  And I’m loving having these three classes anyway — I guess you can say it gives me hope of a qualitatively better and freer/more creative life.  The structure of having to get out on Mondays will probably also really help me stay out of bed and not waste my Mondays asleep.

My prof from last semester (the Department head) still hasn’t written me back with comments on my portfolio or self-evaluation, though she’s been meaning to.  I loved her class, too — I met her back sometime around 2007 when I had her for Intro to Art History.

I talked with my current prof about the possibility of taking Special Projects with the Department head and instead of following a kind of make-your-own-curriculum path, joining in with her Beginning Drawing students and basically re-taking Beginning Drawing.  Because the Beginning class I watched in progress last semester was very different than anything I’d done, and as the class is given as a basis for Animation (same as Figure Drawing), I feel like I need to brush up on or acquire skills I haven’t been directly taught, in order to be competent.  She told me to consult with my prof from last semester, and that maybe we could work something out.  That actually sounds really good; the class was very foundational in a way that showed me how much my own Beginning Drawing class had been lacking.

I was also able to alter the schedule I’d made…I’m now at 9 units, plus 19 hours at my job.  I’ve stopped trying to figure in the complication of whether in-class lab counts as outside work…I have 8 units without the lab; that means to expect 16 hours of outside work.  On the two days I have free afternoons, I have five hours each; three with daylight, two without.  On Mondays, I will have four free hours in the morning if I don’t oversleep, and two after dark (though I did just realize I forgot to factor in lunchtime).  That makes 16.  If I need additional time for that one extra unit from the Lab, I can work on Sundays.

There’s also the possibility of working after dinner, but I probably won’t need to, especially since I have the three-hour lab on Mondays.  But then, there is also the possibility that I will really want to work after dinner.

I had been talking with one of my co-workers a week or so ago.  She was saying that she preferred full schedules.  I can see what she means.  It’s kind of interesting to keep busy all the time and only go to sleep at night.  🙂  I mean, I actually feel like I have a goal, now.  And I actually feel like I’m being serious about a career, now.  Probably the hardest part of this for me is going to be time management and motivation.  I can see it going in a direction like my martial arts training, where I really love it while I’m doing it but have an inertia against doing it.  But, you know, that’s probably really my disorder talking and not me, if it’s at all possible for my disorder to be separate from the person I am.

But yeah.  ♥  I’m feeling pretty good.

What I need to do now, really, is get a handle on this sleep-pattern thing.  I’ve got myself waking at either 7 or 8 AM most days of the week, and setting a bedtime of 10 PM.  Should I keep to that, I’ll get more than enough sleep.  The problem is getting to bed when I’m excited and happy and thoughts are swirling through my mind and I want to write and stay up longer.  But then it becomes difficult to wake, and like today I end up running out of the house without having taken one of my medications because it causes acid reflux without food, and I have no time for breakfast.

But that’s easily remedied, right?  Put a pill in your backpack, and take it at your first break.  Easy.

And I do wonder if things are getting so much easier and clearer because of that med…

Drawbacks

All right,

So I was up last night listing the classes I’d need if I wanted to become a professional Jewelry Designer.  What I found is 1) I don’t need an Art Certificate (which majorly covers breadth of exposure, not mastering any skills in any one medium); 2) I will find Digital Photography and Contemporary Color necessary, and may have to retake classes in the Photoshop series if allowed (or hey, just subscribe to Photoshop CC, buy a book or three on it, and mess around with it); 3) unless I go into business as an entrepreneur, I probably won’t need the Accounting series.

This actually clarified things for me a good bit, as now I can take the list of classes as needed for the set of certificates I was originally out for, and cross-reference it with the classes I actually want to take.  I’ll still be able to gain at least two or three Certificates, mostly within Multimedia Arts.  I’d just be short the Business and Fine Arts Certifications, but I’d have strong skills in Drawing, Watercolor, Writing, and Multimedia.

There are some classes within the Art Department that I know I want to take and which I know will help more than others (particularly finishing the Drawing series and working on Watercolor Painting, plus Art History courses), but which aren’t required for the Certificate.  I can also get out of taking an entire slew of Business classes if I’m not going after a Certification — and also, there is at least one of these classes which I think I may well need (Integrated Marketing Communications), which does not count for any Certificate.

Then there is the issue of going to different districts for different classes.  For instance, there is a Drawing for Design course, which would be highly applicable to Jewelry Design (which my dad says I can have as an avocation — what, drawing and jewelry design and fabrication as avocations?! maybe I should just draw jewelry, right), but it’s given at a different location in a different county system.

I’d think that skipping around between districts would cause me not to be able to have classes from one district transfer over to the next.  Obviously, that would handicap me if my goal was to get a Certification.  If, however, I don’t need the Certificate but am instead after job skills, that is an entirely different animal.

I did ask, and was told that the only way to use Art skills to make a living, as things stand, is to work in Marketing and/or Advertising.  This is not a great situation for me to be in; it’s not a secret that I dislike having to participate in capitalism to have a good quality of life, but it’s extra ironic that this has pushed me to want to be an entrepreneur in the past.  What I can do is offer to work for companies who I can stand behind, as versus those I see as corrupt.  Of course, if the economy tanks again, I may not have that option.

But actually, now that I look at this, I would have around 4 or 5 certificates given that I follow my initial path.  And is selling Art skill to gain money unethical at its root?  I’m not sure.  (on that note, is selling food to gain money unethical? this could go into a whole debate.)  In any case, I’m in a position now to clarify and cross-reference what I came up with before, which I hope I can try and do now.