This is going to be one of those really personal posts. It may or may not have anything to do with art but indirectly, it will. There may be a sprinkling of frustration with a dash of cynicism. Just going to free write and hoping to edit as little as possible. I’m sure there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it’s a Trompe-l’oeil painted light. I’ll take anything to keep my spirits and motivation going this year!
People have asked what I studied in school or what I’m studying* when I tell them I have an art writing blog. As encouraging and delighted as people get, it’s becoming more and more apparent that I can no longer be a patron of the arts. Sure, I went to art school for a couple of years (a few years after graduating from college and working steadily) and found out it wasn’t the environment for me. I needed more and I wasn’t getting what I needed – critical dialogue and a way to frame my thoughts around art theory and history. I tried to do graphic design and illustration to be ‘practical’ about the arts. None of my logic around studying those disciplines worked. At the moment, I’m about half way done with my post baccalaureate certificate from the UC Berkeley Extension but I’m afraid that hankering for grad school (specifically, environments where I can study Visual Criticism, American Studies (emphasis on Art), Critical Theory and the Arts, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera) will persist. Essentially, navigating around where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going has proven to be quite the task. A friend put it best the other day, I’m reaching a crossroads and trying to figure out the best way to be engaged with the things I do while pursuing my passions. Tough, real tough.
Art, well, is the one thing in my life that’s been a constant [insert violin playing here]. It never fails me (unless you count that time in illustration class where a talented albeit crotchety teacher scarred me for life, no, I’m not sharing details) and always forces me to think critically and see how different artists have imbued their experiences and knowledge into their work so I can have a greater understanding of, well, history, politics, sexuality, culture, tradition, and more. Bottom line: I’m really starting to prepare myself financially and emotionally for separation (from corporate life – not anytime in the near future but within the next couple of years – at this point, I’m not sure). Check in with me a year from now to see where I’m at…
Optimism isn’t the problem. It’s being fearless that has me stuck. Talk about going against the grain! I’ve already taken in Buddhist thinking within my (really) Catholic family. I’m a vegetarian (in a Filipino family). I mean, shrimp and a little bit of pork for flavoring doesn’t count as full on meat!! Going back to grad school and studying art when my family thinks I should have children (well, let’s not even get into that one)…
Yup, I have no choice but to continue telling myself I’m awesome. A good friend told me once, “You’ve got to be your own #1 fan. At least, you’ve got one”. Yet, the way goals and ambitions are looking, I’m gonna need more than just myself.
* For the record, I double majored in Philosophy and Psychology. Yes, I know, my Mom should have just sent me to art school (just like I
begged asked her to).