Woohoo- another step closer to the Bachelor degree I have been wanting. Last year I earned a technical degree in Multimedia. Today I graduated Magna Cum Laude with an AA in Art. Along the way, I have learned that my art is not in the watercolor, the pencil, the pastels, the chalk, or the computer– the art is in me.
While in “art school” I learned that I needed new experiences to broaden my art. I learned that other artists are very inspiring. I also learned that all those academics that I thought I would never use, added depth to my art. I also came to appreciate all the experiences I had before college that gave me a backstory, passions, and a point of view.
When I started college I thought my art did not look sophisticated enough, lacking that gritty darkness that seemed to say “art” to me. However, I learned to appreciate the uniqueness of my own style and point of view. My teachers helped me communicate my messages more clearly, and validated my voice. I started an art blog and online gallery (VisualFling.com), and eventually I opened an online store (Society6.com/VisualFling). I just flung myself out there like a frisbee, and flew.
I learned to be creative when I was tired, sick, grieving, bored, and uninspired. Sounds impossible, but I did it. That’s the trick really, don’t ever stop creating, even if it is the worst day ever, create something. Sure, sometimes I created a mess. All I could say for it was, “I painted every day.” My skills improved, even when I sometimes did not have much to say. Even when what I wanted to say was more private than public. They forced me to try new techniques, and new medias, and every time I started something new — it was awful. They taught me how to use the new tools to express what was swirling around inside me, and once I learned how to use each tool, the art started coming out again. I learned that if someone else says “that painting is awesome” it’s a compliment, but if I say “that painting is awesome” it’s considered cocky… but I also learned to keep saying it to myself (that’s how I know when a good painting is done). I’ve also learned to recognized when my animation, sketch, painting, whatever, is awful. I used to love all of them, but now I can tell when one of my ‘babies’ is getting spoiled and give it some discipline.
It was work, but it stopped being scary to fail. I learned to enjoy the work and learn from the failures. Before I knew it, I was rising to the top again. I learned that I need to stay actively challenged (a little over my head) to grow. I learned that I liked “flirting with new ideas.” I hope to never stop learning.
Thank you, friends of Lucy’s Visual Fling, for encouraging me.