Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I feel myself arriving to a place that is between the end and the beginning. Although I have been here before many times, there is still a strangeness because it is not a part of anything else. It is not held together on either sides nor does it lean against the experiences of other things. This week will be my last teaching day at MICA. My art director role to which I had been initially assigned soon transformed into project manager, production assistant, gopher, instructor, and student, all at once. I would be lying if I said that I was nothing short of exhausted because I was -- I still am. And I swear that I have even bled over the past 7 weeks because of this.
But it has entirely been worth it.
When exhaustion and uncertainty couple, they can wield a terrible sword making it seem easier to kowtow into the earth, than to lift one's attention to the sky. My education has taught me the pragmatism of image making; how to convey a message that has an immediate read without being trite or cliche, while keeping the aesthetics of it intact, and paramount. Having done illustration for about 10 years now, I have come to understand the way in which to approach it that makes me relatively certain what the outcome will be. Yes, there is still some degree of mystery when I draw a picture, personal or commercial, however I don't tend to fumble around so much within my process as I did early on in my career.
I came into this experience not knowing how I would approach this task of teaching a class that I knew very little about, about how I would make use of class time efficiently, and about how I would make it worthwhile for everyone who would be involved. When I teach a class, I try to bring my current studio practice into the room, my successes and the challenges that I've faced, my psychology, my questions, and my curiosities, in addition to the formal knowledge of image making. The honesty of experience becomes the thread that extends from myself to each of my students that hopefully gives rise to questions, which I may or may not have the answers to, but most importantly it's the dialogue that I am happiest about.
I am very aware that I can be sentimental, and that even though I am coming to an end of my teaching stint at MICA, I will still be working behind-the-scenes in my studio on finishing off some class related work for this production. Still, it feels as though my part of contribution to the production has come to an end. And with that, I say thank you to all of the students who gave their own sweat, and breath, and heart, and brain, and blood to this process. Your journey is still not over; there are still several weeks left, but I am confident that it will be an enriching experience. Here's to my "in-between" and to your "continuation." Bravo to all of us. And see you again in December.

1 comment:

MJC *-* said...

Hi, i just discovered your work and red your interview at illustration friday. VERY nice and helpful! You write about being authentic and to be honist: I still struggle with that! And I also KNOW that i have to let it grow. You wrote so beautifully: "I try my best to draw in a way that interests me, and to come up with ideas that move me – the moment I become bored or frustrated I focus on my process and just let the work that I am doing figure itself out. It’s a very non-linear way of thinking, but it works for me – putting myself metaphorically into a space that is uncomfortable and then blindly moving through it that helps to evolve my work (and style) on it’s own. Again, I don’t search for a style, the style finds me." After quitting school I really was thinking that! Teachers try to push me in different directions but i think that everything will be allright if you stay truth to yourself and create what you love! I'm working my ass off working as an illustrator for the last 2 years. Working 7 days a week is normal for me.:) I think in the first years everybody does that. But it's nice to read about your experience.