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.




7 thoughts on “What I Learned In College

  1. Congratulations on being Magna Cum Laude. In the end it seems the real honor is all that you got out of college. An impressive list of things you learned and how you grew. Good for you. Run with it.

    1. Thanks for the congrats. Although a GPA seems so important in school, the score is seldom asked after. The process of consistently aiming high has rekindled a gutsy risk-taking spirit in me.

      We’ve planned a celebratory summer of painting events, side projects, travel, family time, and job hunting.

  2. I really like what you said,”don’t ever stop creating, even if it is the worst day ever, create something.” A lot of times I just don’t feel like writing, although I actually have the time. But, I guess I have to push through and keep creating, something, anything. Thanks.

    1. One of the coolest things I’ve learned is how to fix mistakes, since I keep making them. Your stories are very entertaining and relatable. Keep writing and I will check back and see what’s new with you. 🙂

    1. It has been a good decision to return to school – a little weird setting my up every semester to feel ‘stupid’ all over again – by the end of each course I was exploring new possibilities from what I learned.

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