Friday, 10 June 2011

End of Year Blues, A Question of Character & Surfing Tomorrow

So... thats it for another year.
Its a strange feeling, most students on illustration will tell you. For me especially its strange. It signals that this time last year I was preparing to jet off to Ecuador to see the person I loved, I was a bundle of excitement, anticipation and nervousness. 
This year there is none of that. Nearly 4 months of seeing not many people as most people are heading home for summer. I wish more people would stay so as we could go and have fantastic illustration adventures.

I had a dream last night that involved many crazy exciting things, one of them was watching Max complete this insane race across amazonian swamps and flatlands... it was very strange. Then there was a part where the stars were exploding and deities were coming to earth.
I'm very sad to not be visiting Ecuador this year. For 2 summers running its been my home, and although me and Max are no more I still feel that longing to go back. For one, I didn't have any hayfever over there. And also, I felt so much more alive, even though I was scared about meeting people and getting around ok... I managed it. By myself. I can't describe how exhilarating that is, to be in a different country on your own, learning the language, traveling around meeting new people... the feeling is second to none.

But I have to face the facts. The money is not there. And there will be no money for that next year because of the New York trip and graduation. 
I'm insanely jealous of my friend Ben who previously wondered why the hell I wanted to travel so badly... a year on, he's off around the world for a year. I think he understands it now.

So while I'm coming to terms with not having a job as well paid as I used to, and while I'm coming to terms with being here in Falmouth all summer, its all a lesson in life. Perhaps I'll be forced to make new friends and enjoy the summer period, relax, have fun, and work on some of my own projects just for the hell of it. 
Alternatively if anyone out there wants to give me oh I don't know, £5000, I'd be super appreciative of it, and I'll be off to the Galapagos thank you very much!

My assessment went well yesterday, but for some reason I had a really disappointed feeling in the pit of my stomach. It wasn't the grades, the grades were good. Apart from the damn HACS essay which only got 60%. Going into the dissertation next year I did not want to see a mark as low as that. Though it was a 4% improvement on the last one, I feel it was far far better than the previous one.
So the rundown of the scores are
Negotiated 75% = 1st
Visual Studies 69% = 2:1  (1 point off a 1st!)
Life Drawing 78% = high 1st
Professional Practice 70% = 1st
HACS essay 60% = just scraping a 2:1 or on the border of 2:2 and 2:1. BAH.

So why am I feeling like I've been kicked down?
I guess perhaps I wanted a bit of excitement from the tutors about my character work. Considering that I had never attempted characterisation before, I thought I wasn't doing too badly.
Ok, so some things ended up looking like Viviane Schwarz's work. I knew that, and I tried to move away from that. I think deep down I wanted a bit of fanfare and a bit of a pat on the back for trying something quite far out of my comfort zone. 
Oh well. I'm going to leave the project alone for the moment, and start on a natural history painting of a fruit bat. Not connected with any project because I'm fed up quite frankly of constructing a big complicated application for my illustrations when all I really want to do is draw an animal eating a piece of fruit.
So thats that.

I have a trial shift at my new hotel job on Monday, so thats good, that the money earner for summer and next year sorted. I'm still keeping the kitchen job for a while so as I can get myself out of the horrendous debt I seem to be working myself into. Horrendous only means about £400, but thats a month's rent folks, and I need to be paying my own rent this summer. Eck.
And there's the whole factor of trying to save about £1000 for New York... if not a little bit more. Then affording portfolios and printing and mounting and dissertation printing and graduation gowns etc etc. 

Its scary. Third year is scary. 

However, to take our minds off things and post-assessment woes, me and a few friends should be off surfing tomorrow with our lovely new wetsuits. Yippee!

And I finally get to meet someone I've been talking to for a while on Monday, so life is pretty good really.
Now to open up the shutters and let the light in to this den of a room.

sorry for the ramble folks.

I'm really going to miss Ecuador and the frogs this year.


  1. Awesome results Steph! I kind of know the feeling though, I feel kind of lost and empty despite getting some really good results, but give it a few days and I'm sure you'll find some renewed drive!

  2. I'm really surprised but comforted that so many of us felt like this :) Gratz on the results and I'll look up some surfing forecasts and see if I can stand up off my goddamn chair UGH hiphop.

  3. Hot tips for third year, if you actually read this:

    Get your dissertation as solidified in your mind as possible over the summer. I didn't really get much help once I entered third year on the idea generating part, and it left me working on something that ideally I wouldn't have done. The more dissertation work you do sooner, the more time you have for artwork!

    Art wise- if you could only work for two companies/publishers, who would they be? Think of what artwork would help you get there, and focus on that- especially when thinking of artists or companies to meet in America. Parallel to that,if you're comfortable with doing so, make every piece that you create in the third year something that you're happy with having in your portfolio. For me and most people I've spoken to, all art directors and artists ended up enjoying the pieces I enjoyed making the most, and you'll feel awkward having to justify projects to people that matter to you if they're things you did more for the course than yourself.

    Also (and you may already know this), but the course ultimately doesn't matter at all. No art directors care, and if you want to work internationally, most people haven't even heard of the degree. It's useful for helping with VISA's, but apart from that people only really care for your portfolio. One art director even said that he throws away resumes, and many of the best and most successful artists we met were self-taught anyway.

    There's probably more to say, but it's late! Also, if you're interested in travel funding, look out for the Ferdinand Zweig grant, and apply next year!