Posts Tagged ‘ rant ’

A Surfeit of Inspiration

Ever feel like you have too many ideas?

It’s not something I ever expected to find myself complaining about. A lot of the time, inspiration is fairly thin on the ground for me, and producing anything at all is a struggle. I live for the other times. When inspiration is plentiful – when ideas are coming thick and fast – that’s when I feel like I’m flying, and I remember why I love creating art, writing stories, whatever I happen to be trying my hand at.

Today, I decided I was going to sit down and work on my coursework (and yes, I did manage to get some done). As soon as I picked up my pencil, I felt full of inspiration – for every possible project except the one I was working on. Yup. All these ideas, and not one of them remotely related to what I was supposed to be drawing.

Part of my problem is that my ideas tend to come in packs – I get inspiration for about a dozen new projects at once, and have to restrain myself from starting every single one of them, since I know I’ll never have time to finish them all. There is also the fact that developing these ideas is much more difficult. I have one particular concept for a story that’s been brewing in my head for at least a year now, but it’s never gone beyond that embryonic form – it keeps coming up, in various different guises (different settings, different characters, different ideas for what will happen next) but I never seem to really develop further. It’s definitely an idea I want to move forward with, but actually doing so is another matter.

I don’t know. It feels ungrateful, almost, to complain about having too much inspiration – just recently I was moaning about having none at all. But it’s certainly distracting when you have a number of illustrations of a set text to complete and concepts for a horror/mystery story are waving their little hands at you.

On another note, happy winter solstice, everyone! I walked along the sea front today – the sky was absolutely gorgeous. Shortest day of the year; utterly beautiful sunset. 🙂

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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.

The Meat Dress

So basically, over the last couple of days, the world has imploded because Lady Gaga wore a dress made of meat to the MTV awards. Oh dear.

I should start by saying that, while I do not consider myself a fan of Lady Gaga, I have nothing against her either. I enjoy some of her songs and are not so fond of others. I do like an element of theatricality in music, and I admire her for having that.

I am not particularly fond of the dress. To be honest, the main thing that’s come to mind whenever it’s been mentioned is how uncomfortable that dress must be. I mean, God. Think of how it must smell. I wouldn’t want to have been standing next to her at that ceremony. And let’s not even start about how gross it would feel to wear it.

The more serious side of it is whether or not wearing the dress is immoral. I’ve seen arguements for both sides of this issue. Myself… well, I’d be lying if I said I was entirely comfortable with it, but I have to question why. Is it harmful to animals? Yes, of course it is, don’t be stupid, but no more so than wearing fur or leather. A creature (or multiple creatures) dies either way, and I doubt either of those materials would have caused quite so much comment. Is it wasteful? Again, yes it is. I doubt it will be worn again, and that meat would have been better eaten – but plenty of celebrities will by a beautiful designer dress and wear it to an award ceremony, only to never wear it again; isn’t that just as wasteful? I don’t particularly like the meat dress, but if I call it wrong or immoral, I have to apply the same judgement to these things. And I am the proud owner of a pair of leather boots.

Apparently (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/11295879 for details) there was a serious message beyond all this – it’s a protest against the way the US Military treats gay, lesbian and bisexual soldiers. A worthy cause, though the connection between that and a dress made of meat seems tenuous to me.

To me, it seems like attention seeking. I suppose that comes with the territory – Lady Gaga is very much about the performance, the image, and as I have said above I can respect that. But since the message behind it – if that genuinely was her intention – is not readily apparent, this comes across as an attempt to shock for the sake of shocking people, and that is something that makes me roll my eyes a little bit.

Exhaustion boxes.

(A word of warning: the following post is fairly rambling, with run on sentances and everything, and probably quite self-indulgent and boring in its stream of consciousness-ness. That’s what you get when I am freaking out a little bit.)

I’m moving next week.

I start my course at Arts University College Bournemouth on the 27th, but since the lease for my room (I’m in the halls of residence) starts on the 20th I’ll be moving up sometime that week to give me a few days to get adjusted. I don’t know when exactly. Although I should figure it out soon since I’m supposed to tell the university when I’ll be arriving.

It’s pretty fucking scary at the moment. It didn’t feel real at all and until September started, and since then it’s been getting steadily more… well, real. Can’t think of any other words for it at the moment.

I mean, it’s exciting too. I’m looking forward to it big time. It’s just… whew.

It’s also exhausting. I started packing for real today – I’ve been sorting out what I need to take for a while; putting stuff in boxes that can go in the loft, etcetera, etcetera, but today I actually started packing things I’m actually going to take. And it is exhausting. Seriously; I spent today sorting out art materials I want to take from all the crappy art materials I’m leaving, and then I realised I had to buy something to pack them in, so I did, and THEN I put them in one of my new plastic storage boxes and that is tiring, for some reason, and all I have to show for it is one fucking box. (And another empty one, and two cardboard boxes full of books that have to go in the loft, and two plastic bags of clothes that are going to charity and one of stuff to throw away, and very little remaining floorspace.)

Going to continue taking this break, maybe have some tea, calm down, and then start on the DVDs and CDs. Of which I have far too many and will probably need to buy more boxes tomorrow to store them in.