Weekly Report 11/7 to 11/13
It all paid off. This past week I shared my Research Speech and I did incredibly well. I felt confident in my skills and practiced. I could not be happier. I also worked on my Original Work Proposal; it cemented my decision of using Painting as my ISM topic. In that sense it is almost as if I have begun a new chapter in my journey through this course. I have answered the question that haunted my mind for the past few months, but now I face a new mountain to climb. I have to begin dedicating my time towards my original work and in picking a mentor.
Last week I explained how I was incredibly anxious about my Research Speech. I wanted to prove myself that I could conduct a speech with no problems, so after finishing an outline I dedicated an hour for two days to simply practice. To my delight I accomplished my goal, yet that was not what made me the happiest last week. The praise I received was completely unexpected and encouraging. It felt absolutely amazing to be acknowledged, especially after dedicating so much energy to that speech. I hope I do not come off as arrogant, pretentious, or insecure. I only wish to express the reinvigoration of my motivation that followed the speech. Now that I accomplished my goal, I have set myself a new bar. The plan is not only to match that bar on my next speech, but also to set a new, much higher, bar. To do this, I will begin practicing my speech weekly. I want to improve more than anything, so that is what I will do.
The decision I made last week, that of choosing painting, also set a new bar. My whole journey in ISM thus far has been to narrow my topic, my passion; not that I have done that I need to set a new goal. I want to explore my passion and create a plan of how I will pursue said passion. That is why I have decided to base my original work on this idea. My original work will be a plan of how I will create my own brand to advertise myself and my artwork. I find this goal not much of a stretch from my last goal because, like the last goal, it mainly focuses on researching articles and interviewing people on a topic. Only branding is much more specific than art in general. It seems daunting, but I am excited to explore my passion in further detail.
As I mentioned before, I feel as though this is a new chapter in my journey through ISM. My topic has become much more focused and my research will take a new turn. I believe this is a step in the right direction. If my overarching goal in ISM is to figure out my plans for the future, then focusing on creating those plans would be a way to achieve these goals. However, this chapter of sorts is not too different from the last. I will continue to interview people, work on my essays, and on my speeches. In that sense I am going to continue improving myself and delving into my passion.
Weekly Report 10/31 to 11/06
The calm before the storm. By that I mean that everything I did was in preparation for the next week. I wrote my fourth interview assessment which taught me a great deal of how personal and different artists’ journeys are. Then I worked on my research speech outline. I want to show myself that I am a good public speaker, but I find myself incredibly anxious to talk to everyone. Finally, I made an incredible tough decision regarding my topic for this year. Between painting and concept art, I have chosen painting.
While writing my fourth interview assessment I realized something from all my interviews: each interviewee experienced journeys that held the same themes, yet differed massively. Mr. Howard risked everything for his dream, Mrs. Greenoe decided to pursue her dreams after many years of thought, Mr. Rohm took a methodical route to pursue his dream, and Mrs. Foster took many years to ensure her experience. Each of these people took different routes to different places, but they all end up with the same conclusion: success is determined by determination and passion. Those who pursue what they love and keep working towards improvement and become successful. This theme of sorts, it encourages me to take more risks and pursue my passions. I want to create art, not for money, but for the sake that it fulfills me.
Passion is the most important theme for my year in ISM. In my speeches, I want to get the message that I have chosen passion to guide my path. However, I find that difficult. I struggle to get my point across and I fear that people will see me as lazy. I feel like that is the reason I struggle with speeches. I do not mind talking in front of others, but I want to make sure they understand my message. For that reason I plan to practice my research speech, in hopes of sounding eloquent. I have written an outline, so now I will just practice it. I also plan to sound confident and enthusiastic to speak in front of my class.
The enthusiasm I have for art is something I plan to cherish, but for the purpose of this course I cannot do everything I wish to when it comes to learning about art. I have to pick a topic. Seeing as I have manly had interviews with painters and my research into concept art has not amounted to much, I have chosen to stick with painting. I believe it is where I hold most knowledge and where I can reach out to most people, so it is where I hope to improve. I love concept art and I want to continue learning about it, but for this course I will continue to learn about painting. I know it is a good choice because it is the riskier of the two and that is what the course is about: exploring something I wish to do in depth to see if I really do enjoy it.
Weekly Report 10/24 to 10/30
This past week was an interesting one. I had an interview, two assessments, and worked on my first draft of the display board. However, I also had a Church Retreat the whole weekend, so I had to complete both assessments before Friday. I was put in a situation where I had to manage my time in a way that meant I would have a minuscule amount of homework by Sunday. In that sense, I felt as if I improved is great deal this week. In my writing and in my time management. I also enjoyed working on the display board and found my interview amazing.
The retreat I had this weekend was stunning, but before it, I had to complete both my essays. I spent two days on them and managed to complete them by Thursday night. It was interesting to write these essays, as I worked on following the same structure as the ones before it. I feel as though I am definitely improving on not only my writing, but also the speed of my writing. I also tried making my research assessment about something I deeply cared about rather than something I thought was necessary, as Mr. Speice requested. I feel as though it benefited me greatly. This new method helped me enjoy writing the assessment more than usual. The interview assessment was written practically the same way which is fine, since I actually enjoy thinking about my interviews. I also wrote much faster than usual, with what I feel is the same quality. Overall I am beginning to become better in managing my time and improving on my weaknesses.
My interview this week was different than usual. My interviewee had already been an ISM mentor in the past, so she was more comfortable sharing her information. Ms. Foster and I talked for an hour about her work as a painter, how she got where she is now, and her past ISM experience. Ms. Foster and I also talked about the type of art she created, but I feel as she is more interested in explaining to me how to survive financially in art, more than teaching me art. This interview has led me to a conclusion: conduct interviews with incredibly successful artists and concept artists. It is the best way to learn about art.
I am beginning to feel more confident in this class, which is great, but I must not get over my head. In a few weeks I will have a speech due, and I know how difficult the last one was for me, so I need to be prepared to make a successful speech. I learned last time what worked, a sort of outline and lots of practice, so I will work on replicating that. I feel that recognizing improvement is incredibly valuable in helping me see progress, but I also believe that I need to have a mindset focused on improving even further. As I see it, there is always room to improve.
Weekly Report 10/17 to 10/23
Independent Study and Mentorship is a unique experience to say the least. Never before have I felt so challenged, but never before, have I felt so satisfied. My weaknesses are amplified into constant challenges with moments of ecstatic elation. To me, the mountain I ought to climb is made up of all the writing assessments of the course. The greatest moments are made up of the interviews and social interaction. Those moments, they make all the challenges worth facing. These feelings were highlighted by what I had to do this week, two written assignments and an interview.
This past week I tried using what I learned from last week’s essay writings and implementing them into this week’s essays. Both my Interview and Research Assessments were shorter, but more structured than last week’s. In essence I replicated the formula in a faster manner, which may have turned out more efficient or slightly less thorough than the last two. I am happy to keep writing and improving. I know working in writing will help me for the rest of my life; it will help me in most jobs and it will make me speak and write more eloquently. However, I find it hard to keep myself motivated to write when I am forced to do it so often. For that reason I plan to use different techniques I have learned in AP English Language on my essays.
I also had my third interview this week. It was a different interview from the other two I have had. Robert Rohm, the painter I interviewed, was a lot more frank and did not talk for long about many subjects, so I was forced to ask more questions. However, this did lead me to learn more from the interview. He was forthcoming in how to get started in the art world. He explained how to do well in galleries and what kind of jobs are helpful as secondary sources of income. I found it quite enlightening and felt more confident in what I needed to do to succeed. As per usual, he stressed the importance of self promotion and love for art. He told me passion is the most important part of being an artist. I found that encouraging, as passion is what I hope will lead me towards life.
This week has showed me both spectrums of writing and social skills. Both reflect my weaknesses and strengths respectively, but I still have room for improvement on both. In a way I feel as though I have grown to understand ISM more because of this, and because of that I wish to continue to keep doing my best in the course. I hope that will enable me to appreciate ISM more and focus on what I enjoy. I believe the further I am in the course the more social interaction I will have; I say that because I will be more involved with my future mentor. Whenever that happens I imagine my social skills will be extremely valuable.