Saturday, April 30, 2011

Semester Summary

Wait, what?

Let me tell you what it's like to be an art student (that is, a dedicated one, not one of those apathetic do-nothings). You start the fall semester super excited to see everyone, super excited for your new studio space, super excited for your new classes, and thinking you have lots of ideas. Two weeks in, you realize your ideas are inadequate, and you begin to question everything ever. Three weeks in you're incredibly stressed out about finishing projects. Four weeks and your teacher announces that you're halfway to midterms. Five weeks in and you've developed a dependency on your sketchbook. Six weeks and you're working on your midterm project. Seven weeks and you're ready to collapse, running on 2 hours of sleep. Eight weeks and you're a zombie, finishing midterms. Nine weeks and your liberal art teachers remind you about that big paper you have due in what feels like plenty of time. Ten weeks and you're super stressed out again. Eleven weeks and you have a countdown to the end of the semester. Twelve weeks and everyone's planning their finals. Thirteen weeks and you change your idea for your final. Fourteen weeks and you freak out about the amount of time you have left for finals and you change your idea again. Fifteen weeks and you don't sleep. Sixteen weeks and you just go non-stop.

Then there's this thing called hibernation. It's when you promise to visit your long-lost family that you never have time to communicate with. But you get home and realize you're nocturnal. It's 3am and your mother asks you why you're not asleep. Clearly she doesn't understand that at 3am you're just starting to create something epic with Shrinky Dink and a BeDazzler. At 8am she's wondering why you're still asleep. And at 9 am and later at lunchtime. Four weeks of this seem like plenty of time, not enough time, and too much time all at once. More or less, you end up wishing you could go back to your studio where all your "real" supplies are.

Then Spring Semester starts and you again have lists of ideas. And your classes are awesome. Week two you realize that none of your ideas will fit into any of your assignments ever. Week three and you're already super stressed. Week four and you're avoiding all-nighters like the plague. Week five and it dawns on you that you haven't slept normal amounts since high school. Week six and you're getting ready for midterms. Week seven and you're trying to figure out your spring break plans, and the rest of your life. Week eight and you show something for midterms. Week nine is spring break, which means time to work on your portfolio and applying for internships and sleeping if you're that fortunate. Week ten and your teachers start talking about finals. Week eleven and the phrase "Spring Show" makes people excited. Week twelve and "Spring Show" makes people cry. Week thirteen and you decide that you should reward yourself with a beer for each all-nighter pulled. Week fourteen and you realize that not only do you not have time for such "relaxing activities," but that you would also be an alcoholic. Week fifteen and you realize that finals are next week. Week sixteen and you somehow still have work, even after finishing finals, like cleaning out your studios. And then it stops.

That's it, it just stops. Technically, the next week is BFA week, where you see the thesis projects the seniors worked on all year. Which means, if you're a senior, you're crying non-stop. Or so I hear. And imagine. But for the rest of us, we have all this junk we've lugged home from the studio occupying all the floor space of our rooms, and that's just discouraging. And we don't know what to do besides clean, which we really don't want to do. And when you finally clean (maybe I'll do that next week...), then you're really out of things to do. There's thoughts of making "art for fun," that doesn't always plan out to the scale you have in your head. And the next thing you know, your summer's over, and all you have to show for it is twelve sketchbook pages and an animated tea party.

One day, I will develop a healthy sleep schedule. But not until a year and a week from now. And maybe a while after that. You see, there's this thing called Grad School I've been thinking about...

Edward Hopper / Bolex 16mm / 1960s Viewmaster / normal amounts of sleep / terrifying four year old / green screen / leg warmers aren't warm enough / fort / Mia & owl / things I love / Cindy Lou Who's / Antarctica / pink ukulele / Easter candy / golden cats / standard supplies / roommate / love this goofball / fish are weird / her face might get stuck that way / 4 hours of sleep / library books / to do list / here's lookin' at you, kid / teeth / six eyes / rockstars / sepia / four eyes / Gaga / Dr. Thunder Club / silkscreen / nocturnal / washable /  not sleeping / all nighter / bags under my eyes have baggage / the Rapunzel of fabric / Warby Parker / boyfriend / this guy / obnoxious / why / Mickey D's / terrifying a four year old / layers / warm legs / copyright 1992 / extra large / precipitation / senior

These are a few of the photos I've accumulated thanks to an overloaded schedule, an incomparable work ethic, and a ridiculously short attention span. Oh, and a Mac. I think it does a nice job of summing up my semester. But I'll talk more about specifics later.


Monday, April 25, 2011

This is my last all nighter of the semester.

At least it better be. Then again, I've said this several times.

It's 6:16am. I'm speckled head to toe (literally) in gold leaf. I'm tired of my trail mix. I'm tired, just a little bit though. I'm ready for fresh air and sunshine and a good hearty breakfast.

At 1pm, I have my first final critique of the week. Then Thursday night, I'll be done. Which means I have my BFA year, and then I start The Rest Of My Life. How crazy is that? Not as crazy as I've been going lately.

Here's a bit of what I've been working on (because I need a break from this presentation I'm putting together). It's for my silkscreen final. I'll explain the concept when I photograph the final presentation and post it on here.

Alright, back to work for me! Just think, though... A week from today and I'll be done with my third year (and 105 credit hours) of college. WEIRD.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Supplies for Tomorrow

Canon XH-A1
Totas light kit
Old school lunchbox
Construction paper
Tin can telephones
Rod Serling paper cut-out
Double rainbow
Golden cats
Popsicle stics
Hot glue

(Expect an update on Vimeo April 28th.)

Friday, April 8, 2011


Instead of telling you how dreadfully busy I have been and how many all-nighters I've pulled this week, I thought I'd show you a bit of what I've been working on (finally!). I seem to live in the fibers studio lately, doing all sorts of crazy silkscreen projects. Our latest one was a color separation print (like printing the layers cyan, magenta, yellow, and black).

So I started with this original photo of Mia from last summer.

I separated it into the layers and started printing one at a time.  So they started to look like this.

The images are adjacent vertically, so as to mimic the filmstrip format and take this one fleeting moment and repeat it, experimenting with subtle color adjustments to see how they can manipulate the tone of a single frame.

It got to be a lot of long days. But luckily, good people were there working as well. (Good people who like good music, might I add.) Debbie & I even stopped dressing alike coincidentally! Which is probably for the best. Although, I do wish I had a sweater as marvelous as this one.

I pretty much made a big mess. Well, a contained mess. Notice the Teddy Grahams container. That holds my black pigment. Thank you, Grandma, for the care package that I was oh so excited to recycle.

I think my fingernails are still dyed rainbow. The pigment just doesn't want to leave.

I finished the last layers last night. All thats left is hemming, photographing, and animating the frames (we'll see where this goes). But for now, I need to finish packing and go to bed. Tomorrow I leave for a weekend in Detroit, where I get to spend time with a special 4 year old who has been nagging me all semester to come home and hug her. Goodnight!