my friends are better than yours, a plan, and higher learning.

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Why I like to think that my friends are better than any friends which are not my friends.
Example 1:
Hands down, my favorite New Years’ parental resolution comes from Megdalen, who summed it up thusly:

I don’t feel pressured to do anything except keep them all alive and, if we go out, make sure everyone is wearing clothes.

Considering that she’s up in New Hampshire, I gotta say those are good goals.

Example 2:
from Closet Buffyholic – what do you do when you’re cross-certified to practice law in six states (let’s not even talk about those bar exams, they were three very dark times) and the guy on the East Coast is trying to give you sh*t about the fact that he had to work through the holidays b/c he doesn’t know you did too?

So, what I ended up saying was “is this a measuring contest? I’ll put my job up against yours I’ll win every day of the week and twice on Sunday.” I think he was kinda taken aback and later he called to apologize for being such a dickweed.

I think she’s right – it’s definitely time for us to plan her vacation(s) this year.

One day, I will be caught up. And on that day, I totally won’t know what to do after that.
I didn’t get nearly as much done over Christmas/New Year’s as I wanted. Part of it was that things came up, & part of it was that after the last year of work and life!stress, I think my body just kind of went, “eff you, we need a break”. I’m not gonna lie, I totally spent about four days slowly plonking through some mindless photo editing and watching season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy on the Roku box that my housesitting location had.

Which now means that I have Normal Time Work to do as well as All The Other Things that I kept putting off because I was going to do them those last two weeks of the year.

Normally, this would be totally daunting for me, and I’d be all crazy-headed about Everything That Needs to Get Done. However, I made a decision last week regarding where I wanted to be living by the summer, and part of being able to do that includes getting myself fully independent financially. Right now, Museum!Co makes up the bulk of my income, with my other clients adding in the part that’s allowing me to stash money into savings and put my life in order. But I am on contract, and the blue-collar pragmatist in me always feels better with a contingency plan.

First thing for me is to get caught up on all my “now” work — everything I have in the pipe needs to be taken care of so it’s either current or done. I put away a good amount of work on it over the weekend and a little more yesterday, but over the next week there may be a night or two like Saturday night, where I just stay up the full 24 hours to push things through. (Sadly, I fear this week that my be tonight, which sucks – I have an erg workout in the morning, and since things are actually going well, I’d like to be able to turn in solid numbers. May try to push it to Wed night.)

Once that’s done, we get to Part the Second, which is the Great Portfolio Update. I haven’t had a chance to fix my own website since I got laid off from Infomercial!Co, which will be two years ago this March. Considering that I’ve put several sites live since then, there’s still a part of me amazed that people offer me work based off what’s online presently. It’s all very, very sad, that site.

After that is Section Trois – namely, working on building out an affiliate network. I’ve been d*cking around with it on & off for the entire two years since getting out of the Infomercial industry, but the truth of the matter is that if you put in the time & are willing to do the SEO & CPA math, all of the smaller parts actually will combine to create a solid little side income. Problem is that after two years out of the industry, I’ll need to go re-up on what’s current knowledge, which is why I think a membership may be in order, and the designation of one morning a week to just sit & do tutorials. Good times, good times.

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Speaking of learning – what about school, anyway?
After trying to hustle every Friday morning to make it to school on time, I decided to take a different tact to this semester. Thankfully, my last professor was brilliant in that crazy way that most really good artists & teachers are, and I really did learn a lot about figure drawing, as well as have a couple moments where things actually worked, & I was like, “Okay, I do remember how to do this. Okay then. It’s not all gone.” Honestly, one of the nicest moments for me was talking to an older gentleman in the class who’s a professional sculptor by trade & was taking it to basically brush up on his own drawing skills. (Note: nowadays, a sculptor is not an easy thing to be full time, so it’s a fair bet that he’s pretty good at what he does.)

We had just finished a 15 minute session with the model, and he complimented me on my sketch. At the time, I’d chuckled & said something about not being as fast as some of the other people in the class who’d managed to lay down a full figure sketch in the time it had taken me to do from the waist up. He leaned in & said, “Yes, but theirs are all academic, and you have a style. You don’t have to sign it, and someone can tell its yours. It’s lovely. Speed comes with time.”

And it was in that moment that I realized what had been bothering me all quarter about the class. At the time, I’d thought it was that I was behind, and that not having been one of the people who’d immersed themselves in nothing but drawing all the time was hurting me, because I knew that what I was producing was different from everyone else.
It wasn’t until I had that conversation with Sculptor that I realized that what bothered me wasn’t that I was missing something, but that they were. I’m not 17. I’m not going to sit there and gasp in amazement when the professor shows us something new, or clap when he finishes lecturing. (Honestly, I think it may have wigged him out too when they did that, but whatever.) A lot of the program that I would have been on had I gone full time is basics – it’s stuff I now instinctually know, because I learned it…. literally a decade ago, & thus don’t need to stop & take the time to apply it – it’s ingrained at this point. A good amount of those classes are simply like bootcamp – they’re gonna break you down to weed the bad habits out before they build you back up so that everyone starts with the same base skill set, and then send you off into the world to find your personal style.

Problem being, it’s too late – my brain’s been mapped. I’ve already grown up. I’m a person, I have my own opinions, & my own preference to how I like things to be done, so rather than taking everything an authority figure tells me as The Absolute Truth, I tend to pull out what’s useful and apply it as I see fit. The result being that as Sculptor pointed out, rather than trying to start again, I need to simply set about filling in the areas where I’m finding I need to gain knowledge in order to accomplish my own vision as an artist, and in the end, I’ll set up my own cirriculum and accept that there most likely won’t be a piece of paper to prove what I know — my work will be my degree.

With that (and my wacky schedule) in mind, I decided not to take a set class this semester. Instead, I’m signing up for the unlimited workshop pass that they have available, which will allow me to go in & just draw at any of the model sessions that they have, and there’s at least one every day of the week, so I’m going to aim for two to three a week where I go and simply… go. Just draw. Don’t worry about it, don’t think about it, just work on laying something down on paper to increase speed & get more & more practice in. I talked to Professor!Rey, & since he does private lessons as well as teaching with us & at Art Center, I can make an appt to sit down & do a mini-review once every six weeks or so to get feedback & refinement. It’ll probably cost me about the same as if I’d done a structured course, and I really think I’ll just get a hell of a lot more out of it in terms of work progress. So I’ll give that a whirl this spring, and we’ll see.


In an odd way, both of the above sections really are a reflection of my life. Every time I try to get a “proper” education, or structured degree, it pretty much just never works out. Oh, I’ve got my BFA, which gives me the base credentials to walk in the door, but in terms of what I get paid to do – psh, dude. I work on such a different space now than what my degree is actually for that whenever I’ve looked at a higher degree program, there’s always been a part where I ask, “So, can I test out of that part? I’ve already done it.”

Overall, I think that’s what the last year really has been about for me – accepting that my path is simply going to be different than everyone else. It just is. And that’s okay. The truth is, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ll probably never have a “regular” job again – it doesn’t even occur to me to go look for one at this point. Museum!Co is probably as close as I’ll get, or a set-up similar to it. It’s just not how I’m built, or how the universe seems to want me to work. :shrug:

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go work on First Thing as outlined above, since none of today’s programming would be possible without the generous financial support of our sponsors…

Music: Crazy for you – Adele (Live from SoHo) iTunes Live from SoHo - ADELE

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  • Megdalen

    Woo hoo! Not only do I get a shout-out, but I need to tell you that you are NOT ALONE: I spent the last week watching season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy, too!! I joined a gym up here and treadmill myself after the kids are in bed, and so I was there at 9pm on a Thursday and caught the most recent episode, and then had to go on Hulu and watch them all, backwards. I got through season 5, and now am going back to season 1. I am going to skip seasons 3 and 4 as I have already seen more than a few episodes on Saturday afternoons, something about a ferry crash and a bunch of dead people. I love love love it. Guilty pleasure!


    • claris

      I finally got caught up (I totally watched season 6 before looping back to the beginning so I actually hadn’t seen s. 4 or 5) I have a new theory that Shonda Rhimes’ purpose in this life is to induce cathartic crying. Because you KNOW it’s not real, & you KNOW like an eejit since LOGICALLY there’s no real reason for it, but afterwards, you feel so much better for the crying. Also, the reminder that hey – at least your life isn’t as eff’d up as theirs.

      Also, Jeffrey Dean Morgan? Still hot. Word on the wind is that since he hit it big he’s become a bit of an @ss, but still – with the hot. Not all guys can be ruggedly cool nerds like Nathan Fillion, after all.

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