On Art: An open letter to an art professor

Design & ArtProductivity & Life Lessons

On Art: An open letter to an art professor

This is going to sound cheesy but I feel it necessary. Years and years after making one of the biggest risks of my life (going to college and majoring in Arts and Technology) what I have learned in that career still affects me today. I have grown creatively, more than I would have imagined and have tried mediums I thought I could never do. All of this began with one professor, an art professor who had been a monk. Where he is now, I don’t know, but I am trying to make it a mission to let the people that have affected my life know how much I appreciate them. I am really bad at it in person but ok at writing it, I guess.

I remember the first time I signed up for the Intro to Drawing class and dreading to walking in. I honestly expected random artsy talk consisting of how nonsensical doodles could make great compositions and paint with watercolors. Or maybe go the opposite route and say that we all had to be talented somehow and reaffirm my initial beliefs of me being ‘untalented’. I got none of that.

As I listened to your lectures and read the assigned book (a book in art class?!?!), I actually had hope that I would be able to express myself through art. Your approach was technical and gave importance to persistence and the grit involved to become a better artist. You focused on the “seeing” and helped us break up complicated subjects into parts before drawing it. I would be able to convey my ideas beyond just writing and I was excited. Then, you announced that our pieces would be displayed weekly so that they may go through a classroom critique. I was appalled.

On Art: An open letter to an art professor

Every week, it was incredibly tough. I was frustrated at how I could not ‘see’ and my self portraits always came out like caricatures with spaghetti hair. I would procrastinate last minute and then spend hours and hours until it was done. And every week our work was displayed on the walls and I hated it.

But looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened. I started getting over my fear of creating. I started getting over the fear of judgement and you helped me and others think critically about our work.

More Resources:
After radio silence
What tiptoeing and running in Limbo feels like

Your class made me realize the importance of working on a piece to completion, and avoid reworking and reworking, a nasty habit that I had developed in high school. Your class made me appreciate art so much more and the creative process behind it. Your class made me enjoy the process, even when it was frustrating. But most importantly, your class set me on the road to believing in myself and my creative work and I  can’t thank you enough.

So in my open letter of appreciation, thank you for doing what you do and being such an inspiration. For being the renewed foundation to my creative life. I honestly do believe that without your class, I would still be too afraid to pick up a pencil.

Short on time for professional dev? Filter through more tutorials efficiently

Design & ArtProductivity & Life Lessons

Short on time for professional dev? Filter through more tutorials efficiently

I keep telling Jon, “every moment count, every moment brims with possibility and things I could accomplish.” If I don’t seize it, I see my schedule feeling the crunch and impending doom. I’m hoping this is temporary and soon my case of  limbo subsides. To relieve some of that accumulated stress, I decided to take on an Adobe Illustrator tutorial to help flex my memory and (possibly) learn some new techniques.

If you’re as limited in time as I am but would still like to continue learning and improving as I do, maybe this checklist will help:

1. What’s the program?

Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom

2. What’s the skill level?

Does it state anywhere if it’s for beginners, intermediate, advanced? At a glance, can you tell if it may be a good fit for you?

3.Why did you choose this tutorial? What would you like to take away from it?

If you’re not learning something new, then what? Is it a different way of thinking of what you already know? Is it reinforcing what you already know?

4. Read over the tutorial to make sure you understand it and feel like you can accomplish the product. Does anything sound unclear?

 This remains to be my deciding factor. You don’t want to have to look at a sentence for 30 minutes trying to figure out what the hell the author was trying to say (like my dumbass). Truthfully, there are WAY too many tutorials for you to get stuck and start ripping your hair out (again, like my dumbass).

Short on time for professional dev? Filter through more tutorials efficiently
5. Is there a go-to person to answer any questions you may have (i.e. comments, contact page)?

Well, is there? For situations like the above, it would be nice to get a hold of someone, anyone to help you. Click here for what tiptoeing and running in Limbo feels like.

6. After completion, how you rate it? What did you actually learn from it?

There are a few times I actually repeat the tutorial and do it all over again, especially if it’s over a technique I really want to get down. But that’s ’cause I’m just weird like that.

Short on time for professional dev? Filter through more tutorials efficiently

Places I frequent for some decent tutorials:

You don’t have to formally have this next to you written out but thinking about it can help when choosing what will help YOU.

What tiptoeing and running in Limbo feels like

Design & ArtProductivity & Life Lessons

What tiptoeing and running in Limbo feels like

This is the small mantra-like phrase that has been racing through my head for the past month. I had to choose only a few things to focus on and crossed my fingers and pray they all fell in place. I had a knack of getting myself in these situations for the past several years. I have undergone major changes in my life, good changes mostly and each time, it has helped me grow as a person.

Sometimes I find myself wringing my hands in sheer anxiousness. Even though writing doesn’t have a looming deadline in the near future, I’m trying my best possible to keep my personal commitments. Write once a week something meaningful to me, something that I learned, something that I would love to share and appreciate. And it keeps me from going completely ballistic.

What tiptoeing and running in Limbo feels like

I will admit that I am absolutely terrified. ABSOLUTELY, positively so. This will be my first year year. Like I mentioned before, I am waaay out of my comfort zone. I learned long ago, that this is okay and it means that you’re alive, growing and breathing. I feel like I’m running into something dark, scary and unknown and all the while I’m running on limbo, not on stable ground. Neither at a starting point nor at my destination, just limbo.

I am in the works of writing my farewell letter. It’s been harder than usual to write it ’cause I can’t justify a 2 sentence resignation notice for the people that in such a short time, I have grown to care about. What will their reactions be? What I’m I to expect? Is the decision I’m taking, the direction I’m going, the right one? There is never a clear cut answer.

What tiptoeing and running in Limbo feels like

Saturday night, I wrapped myself in my best friend’s Pocahontas blanket and snuggled comfortably on her old purple coach. It had been a wedding marathon that day and thought, “I couldn’t possibly do this alone.” I am so grateful for my best friends and the support they give, SO grateful for my fiance who puts up with my occasional fits. I’m grateful for his mom too and for my mom and for my brother, Chris. It’s nice to be reminded that there are others who care about me. It’s nice to be reminded that I’m not alone.

So as I make way through this phase of my life, I wanted to say thank you. Living in a state of limbo is aggravating to say the least, not having a defined “home-like” space is another issue entirely and repeating my little mantra only goes so far. I really needed it and I hope one day I can return the favor. Thank you guys for all you do. :)

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