I need to get back to the core of my own artistic vision for myself and my work.
I need to get back to what I love.
My blog is a strong, honest representation of my writing and the type of writing that is natural and authentic to me and my voice.
I sometimes read beautiful prose that other people have written and want to emulate that. The same goes for seeing beautiful photos or artwork and wanting to imitate the style. But, ultimately, it’s my journal entries and my sketchbooks that depict my true artistic vision.
I need to stay true to that. Because whatever I do, it’s my name, a piece of me, a representation of my goals.
If I’m creating work that I’m proud of in the sense that it looks sellable, that does not necessarily mean it is good or right.
I need to stay true to myself and create work that is stylistically and thematically true to me. This means writing stories that beautifully synthesize my personal experiences and perceptions of the world. Stories that intricately extrapolate from my own subconscious. It also means incorporating cohesive aesthetic elements in ways that visually help to illustrate my mind and my mission. I believe in using my words and my creativity to start conversations about empowerment. I believe in approaching this topic through whimsical worlds, nonsense, and sometimes absurd concepts.
It requires action to stay in touch with my vision. I need to consistently take photos, paint, draw, read, and write. I need to look at art books, study history, and visit museums. I need to be in constant conversation with other artists, writers, and just people in general.
So what should my work look like? What should my work sound like?
Last Sunday morning, raindrops glided across my windshield as I drove home from Sasha’s house. Once I was home, I threw on a fresh set of pajamas and waited for Claire to come pick me up. We ordered breakfast and took it to the beach. We watched the rain pour over the Pacific from inside her car. Gus Dapperton sang from her iPhone. Since that morning, I haven’t stopped thinking about the things I said, the things I didn’t say, and everything I was feeling.
For a long time, but during this past year especially, I’ve used other people changing and growing as an excuse to stay the same.
I don’t want to detract from the fact that this year was full of personal accomplishments. I’m proud of myself for creating artwork, completing manuscripts, traveling abroad, being a full time student, and finishing my junior year maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
At the same time, I can’t help but to feel disappointed in myself. Everyone is busy bettering themselves, and I feel that I am falling behind in comparison. Once I have my own home and settle into my own work, the distance between me and my friends will diminish. I have one year of undergrad schooling left which is insignificant in the scheme of things.
So why does it feel hugely important?
I’m a strong believer in the universe and I have trust in my process. I am where I’m supposed to be. Am I who I’m supposed to be?
I’m an artist; I’m making art, I’m writing, I’m trying.
This is all that matters.
The issue is comparison. We all struggle with this. Things look better from the outside. I know this and I’ve lived it. My photos from freshman year tell a different story than my journal entries. Comparison is a threat to my contentedness. If this stage of my life is for me to grow, I should be focused on me.
Nevertheless, this summer feels different. While I’ve only taken my education seriously for the past year, my friends are truly coming into themselves and adulthood. My peers are spending their summers away from home. They’re officially moving out. I’m nowhere near them. I take steps forward each day, but I wake up in the same place each morning.
I’m not where I expected I’d be by now. It’s alright, but maybe I have a right to be disappointed? As an outsider looking in on other people’s lives through a screen, it’s easy to feel like everyone else has more direction than me. More satisfaction, happiness, goals, and successes. Fewer problems, apprehensions, fears, and failures.
I am a work in progress.
This, right here, is part of the process. I have so many people and adventures I’m thankful for. Even as this week continued, there ended up being happy moments and fun days. New opportunities will continue to arise.
It’s okay to feel like you’re waiting for the next step, it’s okay to feel apprehensive, and it’s okay to feel far from achieving your goals.
Every day I am trying to do what I can to feel confident in my own path. Because it is mine and no one else’s. If “here” is where you are, be here.
In August 2018, I traveled to New York City and visited The New School. By the end of the month, I had transferred, registered for classes, and began studying Creative Writing full time.
When I consider how far I’ve come since withdrawing from UC Santa Barbara, I am blown away. It took a lot of courage and trust in my own process to be true to myself and grow more comfortable with the unknown.
During my freshman year of college, I knew I wanted to transfer to The New School. While at UCSB I completed a Certificate in Fashion Industry Essentials through Parson’s and loved the classes so much. Once I was home, I immersed myself in my work at museums and art galleries, I made new friends, and I started to take classes at UC San Diego where I completed my Certificate in Children’s Book Writing this year. When I had the opportunity to visit The New School, I instantly knew that this program would be perfect for me.
As I reflect on this past two semesters, I feel so much gratitude for the faith I have had in myself and for the endless support from my family, friends, professors, and peers.
Today I am sharing a few lessons I have learned during my junior year.
#1: Register for classes early.
#2: It is always better to register for an extra class in case a course gets cancelled or turns out to be something different than what you had anticipated.
#3: Take chances and register for classes that you wouldn’t normally think of taking. This year I took “End of Art” which was an Art History class focusing on a theory that art ended when Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box’s were created. I never would have signed up for this class based on the course title, so I am grateful that my academic advisor recommended it.
#4: It is important to accept opportunities to travel while in school. Fall semester was greatly enhanced by my unforgettable trip to London. While learning about Andy Warhol, I got to see his work at the Tate Modern. Plus, I got to pick up some new school supplies at the Muji Store on Oxford Street.
#5: Taking screenwriting classes completely changes the way you watch TV and film.
#6: Seek out interesting jobs or work experiences that may be available to you through school. I found out that UNiDAYS was looking for guest bloggers and after applying for the position I got to write a few posts for their platform.
If you’re interested in learning more about my college experience, be sure to check out these blogs posts below!! Happy summer everyone.