This has been weighing on my mind for some time now. I don't think I'll ever feel again the way I felt when I graduated college...and that is extremely depressing.
I went to the art school of my dreams and developed so much as a person, an artist and a writer there. It was the only school I applied to and if I didn't get in I wasn't going to go to college. Being surrounded everyday by art, poetry, passionate artists/professors/literates and inspiring people fueled me. Having multiple critiques a week forced me to really analyze my work and having deadlines forced me to keep working no matter what. I took as many classes as I could and tried out so many different mediums and techniques that I would often stay well past midnight at school in my studio working on various pieces. My senior year was completely dedicated to putting together my thesis show and writing a final essay about my work, me as an artist and where I am headed in the art world. It was the best and hardest four years of my entire life.
I hosted my thesis show in April of 2017 and that was the highlight of those four years. I had a gallery completely to myself that was filled with my paintings and poetry. I conquered my crippling fear of public speaking and gave a short artist talk followed by a few of my fellow students giving a reading of my poems. Throughout the week I had many great talks with professors and students about my work hosted a closing reception for the show at the end of the week. (I was told that no other thesis show had so much food and drinks). This was my triumphant moment. Everything I had been working towards at that school was finally achieved.
For my last month there, I felt relieved that all of the stress and pressure was over but was extremely melancholic. The resources, the conversations, the setting was all about to end. I wasn't going to have anyone to share/swap art and writing with anymore. I don't have any friends who I can make art with or even discuss about it. Often I would just wonder the halls and take it all in; the messiness, the smell, the studios, the classrooms, the people, everything. I wanted to burn the image and the memories of this school into my mind so I wouldn't forget the little details, though I don't think I ever will forget.
Graduation day was May 13th of 2017. I felt like I was standing on a mountaintop. I've wanted to be an artist/writer for as long as I can remember and I NEVER thought I would actually go to college and follow through; let alone the one and only college I applied to and actually wanted to go to. When I walked on stage in my cap covered in a black veil and gown I painted I swore my feet were not touching the ground. I was proud of myself. When I shook the president of the school's hand and took my degree, I felt my heart flutter. I opened it offstage and looked at it and I stopped breathing for few seconds. Seeing my name on a Bachelor's degree was so surreal. But then, as soon as the ceremony was over, I started noticing faces disappearing. People I've shared classes with for the past four years were leaving, going home, going out to celebrate, going to pack up their apartments to travel, who knows. The professors went to bars, back to the school or to their cars, and that was really it. I grabbed my things from the school, took one final look at the face of it and went home.
Every single day since then, I have felt so completely and utterly lost. I almost immediately lost all contact with my classmates. I'm usually at a loss for resources because money is always tight. My job consumes 40 hours of my week so what little free time I have I usually spend doing chores around my apartment or spend time with my partner and my dogs. Everyday I think about making art or writing a new poem, but everyday I end up not doing it. I make studies, I keep and active sketchbook and I read often, but making finished pieces have been few and far between. It makes me feel like complete shit. I didn't earn a degree in art to not be making art. I'll admit life gets in the way a lot, but I'm aware that I lack discipline. That's why I was so happy when I attempted Inktober 2017 and finished! It was a little prompt to keep me making everyday and I followed through with it. I also started using DeviantArt to keep me inspired and share my work with other artists/writers and have constructive critiques and discussions, which has helped.
I just need to get my shit together and stop letting myself/life get in the way of my practice. I need to discipline myself and find a method to keep me making often. I just miss my school and the wise souls that helped guide me.
Listening to: Lo-Fi
Reading: East of the Sun and West of the Moon
Eating: Breakfast Burrito