How Lucky am I?
Weekly Report 3/27 to 4/3
I couple weeks ago I submitted an application to the Visuals Arts Guild of Frisco for an art show, “Celebration of Life”. I submitted four of my one hundred paintings, and, to my surprise, I was accepted. As much as I am proud of my accomplishment, I am not sure if I was simply lucky.
I mention this because I have never had to much success in regards to art shows. For example: three out of four has been my highest score in our district’s art competition, VASE. Three is a fine score, but most of my peers have had fours consistently. So I ask, why did I make it into this show? Admittedly, it could be because I have improved massively this year. However, I am unsure if that is the case. What if it was just luck? Ms. Vernon said it could be the case. Many great artists are constantly rejected, but some are lucky enough to get into many shows. The only way to find out would be to apply to more shows, which I am still working on. It seems stagnancy will be harder to overcome than I had anticipated. Nevertheless, my success could also be attributed to persuasion. My mentor and a few professionals at the business symposium have mentioned that I sell myself well. My successful application might as well prove that they are right. Whatever the case may be, I will take this as a sign of improvement.
Improvement, however, seems to best spawn from failure. It engenders reflection and it can motivate people to do much more than success ever could. Of course this does not mean I will not learn anything during the art show; the show will teach me a great deal about art shows in general and it will prepare me for future events of the sort. I mention failure because I am somewhat unsure of how failure will impact me. I cannot be sure if I will give up because of failure or if I will grow because of it.
There is now perfect way to predict my response, but it does not matter either way. I want to improve. I want to overcome any obstacles that I am forced to face. I want paint. Painting is my passion and not matter what I will want to continue painting. My response to failure does not matter because I want to paint; the only way to do that is to overcome failure. And that is exactly what I plan to do.
Weekly Report 3/20 to 3/26
I have a habit of “taking breaks” after completing something. It may be just a small part of a larger project, but I will still take a break. The peace this break brings can be beneficial in that they give me a fresh perspective to reevaluate my work. However, these breaks can also create stagnancy and procrastination. It is vital for me to quickly and effectively begin working on my project once more. Otherwise, my progress will slow to a halt.
In a way that is what happened these past two weeks. After finishing the one hundred paintings my priorities shifted and I began working on other things like my ISM II Application and a few tests for other classes. At the moment, I find myself at the tipping point between stagnancy and progress. I need to take action and begin working once more. Although I have already applied for a show, Ms. Vernon and I decided I should apply for another two. Once that is completed I need to begin editing my video footage and record whatever is needed for the documentary. I still plan to reach out to someone for help, but I need to do so soon. If I continue to avoid doing so I might never finish my documentary.
Every single one of these goals are behind schedule. That does not mean I cannot finish in time. I began the product early enough that I still can finish in time. Nonetheless, I need to take the initiative to do so. That is why I have decided to set a few goals for the week. I idea is that by setting up small goals, I will be able to better stay on track. By the end of the week I hope to have begun the editing process, to have reached out to someone for help, and to have finished applying to at least one more show. I cannot elongate this “break,” so I will use this week to gain some motivation.
Next Year’s Big Question
Weekly Report 3/13 to 3/19
Last week not much progress was made in regards to my final project. However, I did begin working on my ISM II application for next year. I filled out the basics, but I was unable to write my essay or short answers. That was because I still was unsure of what I want to do next year. To be honest I do not think I ever will be certain about my future, but, as I have said many times before, my choices, in regards to my future, are based upon passion. I will pursue what makes me happy; whatever that may be.
I originally thought I wanted to do concept art next year. I thought since I decided to do painting this year, I should go for my second choice, concept art, the next year. Concept art is definitely something I am interested in, but I do not have the means to pursue it. First of all, I do not have anything like Photoshop or Illustrator. Secondly, I barely have any experience with digital art. I believe this lack of basic knowledge would limit me immensely. I would have to learn basically everything about digital art without the software, which I believe would be stupidly difficult. Of course one could see this as a challenge, and that is exactly what it is. I could face this challenge, but I believe it would be too time consuming. I will be challenging myself next year already by taking 5 AP classes. Balancing that with concept art is possible, but, I believe, unhealthy. It may hurt my pride to say this, but I have limits.
I must be clear, however, that I would, without any doubt, pursue this if I found a passion for concept art, but, due of my lack of knowledge, I do not seem to be as passionate about it as I previously thought. The ISM application seemed like a chore to me. In all honesty, I was dreading the prospect of finishing it. Yesterday was a turning point, however. I thought, for a brief second, what if I did painting again. That was it! That was all I needed. I suddenly jumped with excitement. For the first time, I began to look forward to next year’s ISM experience. I was not just continuing it for the sake of doing so, but because my love for painting motivated me to learn more.
I instantly thought out a plan. This year has been largely focused on my growth as a painter. I have been learning to paint and began a process of personal development. Next year would not be a carbon copy of that. No, I want to do something different. I want to explore another side of painting. Mrs. Mason, during our interviews, referred to painting as a business. That is what I want to learn about next year. The business of painting is something I touched on at the beginning of the year, but I soon realized that before I began looking into that I needed to develop myself as a painter. I needed to learn more about the process of painting before I looked at it in a business perspective because if I did not do so there was a chance I could spoil my love for painting. Now that I have explored painting solely through passion I believe I am ready to learn its business.
I mentioned at the beginning of this report that my choices are based upon my enjoyment of something. So, now that I realize that, for the moment, I do not enjoy concept art as I once thought I did. Rather, I enjoy painting infinitely more. It is my passion, so I am compelled to pursue it.
Forty Three Hours of Painting
Weekly Report 2/27 to 3/12
This past week was not the usual Spring break for me. Do not misunderstand me, I am not complaining when I say this, but I spent most of my week doing schoolwork. The first five days were spent painting, and that is where I will mainly focus on for this report.
I found that painting one hundred paintings was not nearly as exhausting as I previously assumed. Not only am I not burned out of painting, but I want to paint even more than before. Painting all those paintings made me realize how emotionless I can be with painting. I was almost entirely focused on finishing the paintings, not on creating them. I regrettably did not put nearly as much emotion into my paintings as I should have. Some look rejected, as if I did not even want to paint them; others look lifeless and dull. However, that does not deter me or even discourage me. I learned the importance of emotion in painting. Emotion translated the passion of an artist to their painting and that creates life of the painting. I want to continue painting and working on truly pouring my passion into my paintings. I feel that is the best way for me to grow as an artist.
While driving back home from SMU I had another important realization that may answer one of the repeating questions I have had throughout this year: is art truly my passion? Ms. Vernon mentioned that I should not be discouraged because I am not finishing my paintings in her course. She explained the main goal, for me in her course, is to learn about painting in more detail. Finishing the paintings is not necessarily important; going through the process, however, is. Ms. Vernon also stated that she enjoys having me in her class, and although she did not specify why, I believe it is because I tend to receive her criticism well. I laugh at my mistakes and work to improve them. Of course that does not mean I take criticism perfectly, but I like to think that I take it well enough to make the learning process more enjoyable.
What Ms. Vernon said, however, was not what led me to my answer. What did lead me to my answer was what I believe is the purpose of her statement. I cannot be sure, but I think Ms. Vernon was trying to encourage me to come to her classes more often. Once I noticed this, I realized how much I did want to come more often to her class. I feel at peace there. I am only stressed when a painting does not turn out as originally intended, which admittedly happens pretty often, but it is not the kind of stress that creates anxiety or builds upon them. It is more of a child-like stress, something that can easily be solved. Because of that, I find that my drive for improvement exponentially increases when I am there. This desire I have to go to those classes I believe is the answer to my question. There, I want to forget everything else except art, and that, I believe, is passion.