My finals are in 3 weeks! OH NO WHY! Anyway, I am having to go through the lovely process of selecting my class schedules now. I also have a certain update about the independent study I was trying to get with one of my teachers, and frankly my one of the biggest idols I have right now. ;-;
So for my independent study, I was trying to get it with my Illustration 2 class. As an Illustration major, it is kind of a "homeroom" class. My teacher is Gary Barker, (www.comicartfans.com/comic-art… and if you want to see his work LinkedIn-> www.linkedin.com/pub/gary-bark…; ), and I love having his class. He is a good teacher I feel because while he has rules and guidelines for his projects (and he is pretty restrictive sometimes) he is pretty loose on us Juniors. He lets us focus on our portfolios, which I can surely attest the rest of us really appreciate. I'm rambling again, anyway, here is storytime and reasons I chose him over many others. Lots of people, students and teachers have no idea who he is when the topic gets to him. ;-; That makes me really sad... I think you all will find it humorous. XD
So sophomore year, I had his class. First class of Ringling, ever and I walk in and I see this guy at the desk and I am uber-timid and sit WAY IN BACK. I'm like, "LOLNOPE. Not gonna say stuff." He rambles on about who he is and his work, some funny stories. I was more focused on getting art homework. I mean seriously. I GET TO DRAW FOR HOMEWORK. HELLYES. I was horridly wrong about how much I would enjoy this first one for the topic was "Clowns". I am not afraid of them, but I hate them. UGH they freak me out to no end.
Also, clowns usually mean people, which adds to fear of drawing. I was so terrified of drawing people, i liked drawing animals most at the time. We were only allowed to use white and black pencil on this weird grey paper. So restrictive, I was in knots all grumped out. What a lame project. ;-; So I go home and try to be smart-ass with my thumbnails and practice drawings. I tried to have clownfish and make them uber creepy-looking and weird. He is like "LOLNOPE" try again. He talks to me about drawing people-clowns and I break down.
Second day of class. Mental breakdown already. YEAH, I was that guy. He took me outside, and talked to me about stuff and I told him some things, other than why I hate clowns and stuff. So he suggested ways to get around drawing the whole cloawn, maybe part of it and have an effective drawing still. I ended up getting a C on the project, and even though I could have redone it and got some of my points back, I was done with it. NEVER AGAIN will I look at that thing. NOPE. still to this day NOPE.
So I went through the class after that, knowing he understood my position on some things and then he did demos for us. ALL THE TIME. I loved seeing his demos, but he did them in pencil and ink. We were playing with Ink in another class, but his way of using it (comic style) looked WAY more fun. I would try myself, but I just couldn't get it. ;-; It was hard, and I got an A- on the second project! YEAH, total redemption in my eyes. I actually forgot about ink and focused on getting through the semester digitally, trying to survive my oil painting classes. (boohiss)
Anyway, so second semester (Spring 2013) was great. That semester we worked on a game project, where we developed 5 characters and environments and a story. I used it as a chance to work on Naor! I knew about the project before the semester started since he had mentioned it a few times, so I prepared lots of art for it. (Hurrhurr, and he and a lot of classmates really liked it during my presentation). Here are some of the artworks I turned in for the assignments:
So this got Naor started on his side of curiousity... But I kept talking about it (You all know me, I talk about it a lot, sorry. ;-; ) .. I used Ahk and Koko in my next project, a 2 page comic, which I made into 4 pages... over-acheiver.
I'll only give first page, link to others in comments. I did pretty well with the sequencing I feel and he only made a few changes to my original panels. OTL I'm still a newb, whatamIsaying. I made lots of other Naor based artwork and started working on the Manuscript by then, which 3 of my watchers read, my beta-readers are so awesome. I love you all! To me at least, he seemed curious why I put so much effort into it. I told him and he seemed surprised I had that as a goal, the world of comics and graphic novels, since it is a very cut-throat industry. He has told me on numerous occasions he sees me going into book covers, particularly fantasy or environment art somehow. I wouldn't mind doing that as a primary income source, but Naor will always be my true passion in life. I knew last semester I wanted an independent study with him... as my figure work was weak, but I was too afraid to ask.
This year, I ended up in his class again, as a Junior this time. I was happy to have someone familiar, but I did wish for a harder class this time around. I made sure he knew I wanted it harder this go-round and to be a tough grader on me. He has obliged, let me tell you. I had faced my fear of drawing humans over the summer break, and could draw them without breaking down, lol. He says he likes how I have improved, but still more work. Always I will need work, fact of life improvement is eternal for everyone. So I continue hard studies every night.
Finally I get courage enough to ask him if he would be willing to consider letting me study under him in an independent study. That means that I (Me, not him) write out a whole syllabus/schedule/learning objective/etc, get record of transcripts and GPA, and recommendations and give all that to the Head of the Illustration department asking for permission to even do this. But first, Mr. Barker had to be willing to even LOOK at a proposal from me. I honestly expect to be told no because my figures are too weak still, but I made my homework int eh study all figures. Nothing else except one environment piece, but all 12 others were figures. So my study would FORCE me into figures, and in comic style as well... something I greatly enjoy now. Ink is by far my favorite, more than digital. BY FAR. So he says it seems pretty tough and looks kinda odd expression on his face and says "Looks good."
Mr. Barker accepting my proposal to study under him in figures in comic/graphic novel style. ;-; A personal mentor. BAWWWWWWW However, the head of department would not allow it... because my GPA was not high enough. I had two classes I didn't do well in, but passed. Those two brought my GPA too low and so even though it was approved by Barker, the Department Head rejected it. This means I was not allowed to continue with my independent study.
I died a second time (all in same day, yes from barker, no from Jeff). I had no idea what to do, I stood there and couldn't move. I was so sad, my dreams of mentorship were ruined. I am a very hard worker and Barker has complimented me on my work ethic many times, but still, plans were shattered. I crawled back to Barker's classroom and told him our plan was rejected. He was surpised and I told him it was because of my GPA. He scoffed at the idea and later said this.
B: "Let's make it a mentorship. You won't get anything, no class credit, no GPA, nothing on your transcript."
Me: "What about you not being paid? You are already really busy anyway, not fair to you."
B: "So? I wouldn't be paid during the independent study. Come in same time we planned anyway, we'll make it work."
I was so ready to start crying, but I didn't. I didn't cry, not again. ;-; (But I'll put a crying emote anyway.) So yes. Maybe I am a little emotional. I am a little crazy and very out there with emotions running all over the floor, dragging them behind me like tin cans on a string.
On Thursday, I turned in this project:
He said he really liked it and was very pleased with how it came out. I laughed and brought up how I had cried a year ago. I said I never expected to be aiming for graphic work now, traditionally even. Going from digital to traditional and even mixing them together to get a result. I told me I would definitely get an A and he told me to fix a few things (OTL I need to finish doing that tonight after this. ;-. He told me that he was very happy to see me going in this direction and that he was excited to see what work I was going to produce during our mentorship.
He keeps killing me.
I just, . To have someone you idolize and look up to (and see twice a week) give you such compliments just does something. I don't know what but it does. We all know about that little voice that says "You can't do it. You will fail. You suck. You are bad at -insert activity-. You will never succeed". This semester has been especially hard having been rejected from three major shows: Megacon, Illest of Ill, and the sketchbook show. All this failing has made me fall into a sort of art depression where I lost my muse for a long time. I still struggle with it. Thus is the REAL REASON I do not post much artwork at the moment. In the last month or so, only half finished ideas, barely even sketches can get on paper.
My lack of finishing commissions, trades and collaborations has dwindled my confidence. I hate myself so much for being so late on them. I am ashamed and I frankly feel all of you people who are waiting on me have every right in the world to hate me right now, curse me with voodoo, or send flame wars or trolls to my doorstep. I would deserve all the rage I get. I too am waiting on some commissions, both over a year in time (and YOU know which one, I am NOT MAD. You have work and a life, so only one of the 2 I am mad at).
So yes, I know I have bad time management, I always have. I will admit it. I feel I have lost the right to even offer commissions anymore, at least for a very long time to work on my personal habit. But rest assured I plan on making it up to everyone in anyway I can, I have not forgotten you all, (and I just realized I never posted all those pencils commissions I did! AH, why did none of you complain about it?! I've had them done for ages!)I will work extra hard form now on. Be it refund or extra work (since I'm taking extra time to work on them), or making free artwork. I will make it up to all of you. I cannot fix what I have done wrong, but I hope to restore your faith in me.
I obviously have issues to work out, but this journal isn't about me. It is about inspiration. It isn't about bragging or trying to be all drama. I have this teacher who is so awesome. I wish all teachers cared enough about their students and their goals. I know a lot do, but from my eyes, to go so far as to do something like this is very special. It was his idea to go ahead anyway. I feel like he has faith in what I can do, if I get myself in order, something I need to hear and to be told that I am worth the time, along with his multiple jobs (yes, he works 3 jobs)... It is astounding to me and so inspirational.
I just wanted to share this story with all of you and tell you want being an inspiration is all about. It isn't about stats or reputation, most of the staff and students have no idea who he is. He is only a part-time staff member. However, he has been the leading force in my flow into graphic look and comics! I liked them before and now I love them so much, and I can't stop wishing I can be among the names of great sequential artists someday, as an equal to Gary Barker possibly.
I don't know if he will ever know how much of an impact he has made on me. I just now have a new goal: to make him proud and justified on spending all this effort on me. Considering I cried with a total meltdown on the second day I met him, well, I consider that quite the improvement in itself.
Thank you to anyone who read all this. I know it was quite the read. It took me 2 hours to type it all! I hope you can take something from it.
TL;DR - Gary Barker is awesome and he is gonna be my mentor next semester! I am also said because I am a loser about artwork I owe people.
I love you all and I hope you can find that thing or someone that inspires you.