Posts Tagged ‘ difficulties ’

In Which I Continue to Whine

So, a couple of months ago I posted about the difficulties I’ve been having adjusting to second year. Unfortunately, these problems have failed to get much better… Most of the time I feel okay – I like living here, I like my classes, and I like hanging out with my friends – and I’ve had a lot of fun over the past few months, but it’s like there’s this… thing lurking beneath the surface.

I feel very insecure about my work. Maybe that doesn’t quite describe it – I feel like a lot of the things I’m doing just aren’t working, and it’s frustrating me. Sure, some times I produce things I’m proud of, but a lot of the time (like this evening) it feels like nothing’s coming out quite right. On top of that, I know I’m not putting in nearly as much work as I should to do well on this course. I try, but I have so little enthusiasm for my uni work right now. This may be to do with my choice of project, but I doubt it – I find the stories I’m illustrating plently interesting, and in fact I’m usually sufficiently enthusiastic about a piece until I actually start on it, at which point I become sick of it (and work in general) after about half an hour.

The upshot of this is that I’m taking a very long time to produce a comparitively small amount of work – something I can’t keep doing if I want to succeed with this project. This just adds to my frustrations – not am I not happy with the work I’m producing, I’m taking forever to finish it. I feel like I’m wasting a lot of time (it doesn’t help that I have a tendency to procrastinate, but I feel I wouldn’t procrastinate so much if I didn’t have so much trouble staying interested in my work).

Obviously I’m not thinking about this all the time, but every now and then something will set me off and I’ll spend the evening in a horrible negative spiral where I hate my work, I hate my life, and I wonder what the hell I’m doing on this course. I’ve done a lot of wondering along these lines lately – probably not the best thing for my state of mind, but once you start it’s hard to stop. At times I feel like I’m not cut out to be here at all. Other times, I feel like maybe illustration was the wrong course for me – but all I really want to do with my life is draw comics and tell stories, so if not illustration, what then? Changing to another field would mean needing to essentially re-do all my education from around age 16 onwards (my sixth-form choices were entirely geared towards getting me on to an illustration degree course as early as possible), and that just feels like so much of a waste that I’m not ready to accept it – besides, I genuinely do have a passion for illustration.

I don’t have such an enthusiasm problem with my personal work, but the problem with that is that it never gets finished. It would be possible, I’m sure – in fact, I know at least one person who’s doing it – for me to combine these personal projects with my uni work, but aside from copyright issues (the university takes copyright of the work we submit, if I recall correctly, and while I doubt they’d prevent me from continuing to do things with said work I would feel highly uncomfortable with it) I feel like it’s the pressure of working towards a submission that’s killing my enthusiasm – I don’t want to have my personal projects ruined by that.

So, I work. And I look at my work, and I wonder why I spent so much time getting so little done. I have no idea how to get out of this funk – I though finishing something, anything, might help, but it’s so hard getting there when halfway through you’re thinking, “This is absolute crap.” I need a way out if I want to move forward – if I want to succeed – but I can’t find one, and I don’t know what else to try.

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Second Year Blues

So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing. Just to fill you guys in, I’m now back in Bournemouth again, term has started, and I am living with three of my friends, which is cool. It’s the first time I’ve lived in a proper house that is not my parents’ house, which is also cool – and a little scary if I let myself dwell on it too much, to be quite honest.

We’re only a couple of weeks into the first term, and we’ve already had some pretty difficult assignments. (Well, it’s less the assignments and more the stupidly short deadlines.) I’m not exactly surprised by this – I knew second year was going to be tougher – but it’s kind of exhausting and scary and all sorts of other not-so-cool-things. It doesn’t help that we spent the first two weeks pretty much doing research – this is not terribly inspiring after a whole summer of reading course texts. (Or avoiding reading course texts.)

I feel like I’m starting to get into the swing of things now, which is good – for the past couple of weeks I’ve been feeling incredibly insecure about my work and my reasons for being here, and while these feelings haven’t entirely gone away, I have a slightly more positive attitude. The work I’ve produced over the last week has plenty of flaws, but there’s also stuff in there I’m proud of, and things that I would like to develop further, so there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the things I want to do more of is updating this blog – I’m the first to admit I’m not great at remembering to do so, but an internet presence is important for an illustrator. I’m actually considering switching over to Blogger – I have no personal feelings about it one way or another (actually, I like WordPress just fine) but a lot of my friends and coursemates have blogs there, so it may be better from a networking point of view. We shall see.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple ideas for blog posts lined up, which you shall hopefully be seeing soon, and I’ll probably upload some more art some time next week.