grad school

…And then it rained forever.

This is our forecast. I am trying to think of this positively. We get so much green! Things grow! It’s not a flaming ball of fire like the other places I consider home!

But still. I don’t know about this at all.

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This week has been a lot of ups and downs, focus and weird floaty feelings. Sleep comes hard. Insecurity abounds. I am trying to speak kindly to myself, noticing how much of my inner dialogue is negative: you’re not good enough, you’re too old, if you were going to “make it” you would have done it by now, everyone else is more together than you, what are you doing still mucking about like a teenager get a goddamn career path already, why can’t you get up early, why can’t you keep a schedule, your work is a joke hahahahaahaaaaaaaa…

Yeah so that’s there. I know this is a common human condition and I am not alone in this vat of bullshit, but GODDAMN it’s annoying. How much could I have achieved if I just blithely thought I was awesome? Why does it seem so hard to be nice to ourselves? What the fuck is that all about?

Did I mention it’s raining forever?

ANYWAY.

Entrepreneurial, history, and the other “classes” we take come in an out of focus. It’s an odd setup because you are basically doing YOUR WORK, whatever that is, and most things are in service of that in one way or another. Very different from undergrad, where you have a range of classes giving you a set of skills and you are applying yourself to all of them and seeing what comes of that. Now we have a PRACTICE. My history professor related it as undergrad being about starting broad and narrowing to a point, and grad school being about starting at a point and opening out again. This is such an exciting prospect, but also a massive undertaking, and this week I feel like it has dragged me under a little. Being as my husband, family, best friends and dogs are all far away, it’s so easy to get lost in all this philosophy and questioning and there’s no one to make me come out. It can get very surreal and eventually pretty unpleasant; I’m pretty lousy at making myself stop working, and I forget where the line is between work and everything else. Maybe there is no line.

I’m sorry, I’m only supposed to blog about happy things like how meaningful life is, and, like, cookies and craft fairs. I am remiss 🙂

I did a fair amount of work this week. Still exploring the concepts of object, symbol, language. I’m continuing work on the ponies. I’m planning to finish at least the 5 large ones and possibly the other 2 small ones I have primed before I let myself move on from this exploration, however long that takes. We are meant to be doing more iterations and experimentation than finished work, but I am partial to the big ponies and I at least want to do right by them.

I found this one at goodwill this week. Serious pony bath time!

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Primed Ponies

IMG_3895Process:Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 2.03.19 PM

IMG_3906Spring Pony Process. Same model unicorn, different colors.
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Pony workstationIMG_3875

Pony progress lineupIMG_3894It’s amazing how long these suckers are taking me. I have a crit next week– I will admit I am nervous.

I also worked more on the letterform stuff. Originally I was looking at symbols and thinking I would make my own syllabary, but then I sat down to consider what concepts or words would need to be represented, and it got real big real fast. Seriously, guys, it’s like ooh ok, “love” “hope” “dream” and then you realize you’re just listing off those inspirational etched rocks. And that there are A LOT of important concepts, and nuances to those, and then it got too big and my brain exploded, so I scaled it back for now, and thought I’d try making an alternate alphabet. Nothing groundbreaking, I’m not going all Tolkien and making a new language, I just want to make my own version of the alphabet and try to learn it. Which is harder than you think! I have pretty much all the letterforms and their correspondences memorized, but it’s the input that gets you: I can write a word in it fairly fast now but I can’t look at a word and instantly see/translate it. So more practice.

Here’s the alphabet. It took me quite a while to decide on the letterforms, and I still have some I feel like perhaps I should change, but I’ve already started memorizing it so I think they will just stay. It’s visually influenced by Sanskrit, Arabic and Elvish (of course).

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Practice pages:

IMG_3862 IMG_3908I began making large, ornate versions of some of the letters, just because I wanted to. They are so beautiful and it’s like getting to know them better. These are 18″x24″

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IMG_3874Sooooo that’s the week. Now it’s off to make mac and cheese for a class project. That’s right, I have to. Hah.

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