With summer about to be over in 3 days I am so far behind on everything I have obligations to that I am somehow actually managing to dread going back to New York City, of all places. I just want a little more time to wrap everything up. Except that it's being here in nice and easy California that's caused me to get so behind. I sit at my desk/computer sketching terrible thumbnails over and over, but instead of improving them and working through it I give up when the going is only moderately tough. I have spent basically my entire summer doing that. When I return to NY and I'll have energy again (that city has some kind of infectious quality, it's like plugging into an outlet) I'll smack myself for wasting so much good, ripe time.
I say it's ripe because it's like... If one were to make an unnecessarily visual simile I would say that time to me seems like a fruit-bearing tree that produces year round. And all the things you have to do pick from it. Your most important obligations grab the first, choicest bits of time that are full of energy and enthusiasm, and down the pecking order it goes until you get to the things you want to do and all that's left for them are the unripe bits of free time when you're absolutely exhausted from all the other things you had to do and you don't really want to do anything at all. Except slip into a coma, maybe.
And then the trouble is that you need those tired hours to be productive hours as well, when you're an artist. Because between all the other things you have to do, from going to the classes and doing your homework and so on, you still have to build your portfolio - but more importantly you have to learn other stuff your teachers aren't teaching you. It occurs to me I have been a very lazy person my entire life, and I am an especially lazy artist. Look how devoid of detail and texture my paintings are and you'll see. The truth is, I have never really studied
art. I have just done it. Which is fine enough, if you're a hobbyist... but if you're going to go into it as a career you have to study. And here I am in art school which forces me to spend a certain amount of ripe time studying... but it won't stick until I review it again on my own time by implementing it in my own personal work. Which I don't. I just draw "for myself" and let anything I've learned sort of subconsciously press on my mind, and hopefully some semblance of it will trickle into whatever I am doing. I mean... Good god, is it any wonder I progress at a snail's pace? Real
artists are jumping around the internet searching out Andrew Loomis PDFs and practicing his techniques, to learn and use them in their own styles. They're devoting parts of their day to finding new ways to draw, to listen to new voices and be inspired by new sources. And here I am, wallowing in my ongoing internal monologue of "going to art school durr lerning 2 draw frum gud artists durr going 2 be a super gud artist in 4 yerz duurrhurrhurrrr" as if that's going to do anything for my career.
So it's time to devote my tired/unripe hours to important things, even if I really don't want to. If I were going to med school I would be so overworked I would not have time to do anything except learn about medicine. Considering I am going into a career that is far less stable than medicine, it seems obvious that I should be devoting just as much of myself/my time/my efforts to learning the skills necessary to my field. Whatever my field in art is. I would say twice as much as a med student, except that's impossible because if you are in medical school you probably feed through a tube attached to your stomach while you write papers.
So, I am now going to make my New Years resolutions! I don't make resolutions in December, because I am a student and the fact that the year "officially" begins and ends in December has never really clicked with me. I'll probably be out of school 10 years before it finally does. The start of the new academic year has always seemed like when I can prove to my teachers/peers that I am a different person, when I get a fresh start.
For students - or just for anyone who lost sight of their resolutions since last December - let's do a tiny meme thing! Make 4 resolutions for what you will do for your art, and for yourself personally. Make them specific - try and put numbers into them, like "I will run # times a week" or "I will sketch for # minutes a day."
For me: I will devote 15 minutes to 30 minutes of each day to studying a method of anatomy. 30 minutes standard, 15 on crowded days.
We do/did plenty of observation drawing in my classes, but there are also things like the Reilly method for when a model is unavailable. I will spend two weeks studying a new style, and make at least one finished picture in that style for a total of 26 different styles a year.
Illustrative, fine art... even blurghsdfldfsd
abstract or surreal, as long as the style seems like it'd further my artistic goals. I will devote 15 ~ 30 minutes a day, or as long as possible, to doing color thumbnails and studying color compositions, interactions, etc.
I am so terrible at beautiful, vibrant color it is not funny. At all. I don't want to be a brown and grey artist forever! I will paint from life outside of class at least once a week, preferably from life in the park.
I have the opportunity to go to Central Park almost any time I want, why am I not taking advantage of that? Because I am a dumbass, that is why.
And personal!I will devote at least 40 minutes of my day to walking.
I really like walking - it's easy, you can do it for a long time without getting sore, and it doesn't involve a lot of thought so it's great time for reviewing ideas. I used to walk about 3 miles each day just from going to and from my classes. But now most of my classes are pretty close to my dorm, so I've lost a lot of that exercise. And I hate gyms.I will eat meat and wheat/bad carbs only two days a week.
>> Okay, maybe 3 days a week for the meat. I love meat. But carbs like white bread and pastas and such are bad for you, and they're very convenient for the student. Time to cut them out and eat - GASP - vegetables
. I will cook in my kitchen at least 5 days a week.
Fear of being poisoned to death by Ada and the Hell she turned our kitchen into kept me from doing this. But now that I have TasteSpotting
, various food blogs, and a fairly close by Whole Foods/natural foods market there is absolutely no reason I shouldn't be cooking most if not every single one of my meals myself. BY THE WAY HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN FOOD INC YET? IT IS A GOOD MOVIE I PROMISE YOU.I will not allow things I have control over to get out of hand.
Pretty vague, I know. But I have a problem with letting things go even if I don't like them, and by the time things are truly bad it seems too late to talk about it and I am just angry and resentful and a bitchy person about it. Like the smoking in our dorm last year. I am not going to stand for it this year. I am also not going to let obligations drag on until they've become a giant mess that's unpleasant for everyone. I'll keep on top of my things, whatever they are.
So you can post your own in the comments or in your journals, whatever.