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Battle for Control

Dear Winterites,

So. If you’ve read the previous posts, you know that this month has been centered around designing a staircase for an inclined planes assignment. From those posts, you’ll have gathered that it’s been an incredibly frustrating process for me that has caused a few inconvenient spirals into minor depression. I’ve been struggling to gain back some semblance of control from this project that seems to have taken over my life, but the week didn’t begin very promisingly.

Monday’s class was more or less a waste of time. It could have been beneficial, if we’d maybe been shown a tutorial on how to work through some of the common problems with practical examples rather than just reading through lists of what the common problems are. Knowing the bullet points doesn’t teach us how to do things correctly so we can AVOID the common problems. Honestly. We should have been allowed to have the time as a work period instead. I do appreciate going over materials with a teacher present, but I personally would have benefited more if we’d been given some proper instructions instead of being left to interpret everything for ourselves.

I truly don’t mean to complain. I just don’t learn the way we’re currently being taught, so I feel like I’m losing out on the education I was expecting to get. You know since I’m paying for it.

Anyway. That afternoon I dove back into work and made a horrifying discovery that destroyed my energy and nearly made me throw in the towel then and there. Thankfully, with the help of one of my classmates, I was able to find a solution that saved me from having to start over. Even so, I took a moment to curl up in what I’m calling my stress and sadness nest with my emotional support stuffies (since I’m not allowed any pets in residence), and suffered through a breakdown. Those are ever so much fun. I can’t believe how many times this one class has made me cry! I swear I’m not generally this emotional. I blame woman issues. Having that monthly friend stop by is never a pleasant experience, but coupled with a stress inducing assignment?

Havoc! Damn.

(To the left is Duck. I think he's an alligator, or maybe some sort of dinosaur? It's a little bit unclear. Anyway. To the right is Ignatius Cloister Nero III. So fancy!)

Another friend who happens to be an alumni of the program graciously stopped by to offer some advice. She even works in layout, so that was helpful. At the very least, having her go over a few things with me helped to calm my stress levels and hand back a certain level of that control I’ve been losing a grip on. I was then able to proceed and actually get further in the assignment.

I may not get top marks or anything, but here’s hoping I can conjure a pass. That’s all I’m aiming for at this point. Kind of sad. Just do my best and pray it’s enough to see me through.

Wow. That was just the first day of the week!

Okay. Tuesday was another oh so fun day in which I came across yet another mega issue in my assignment. And this one is actually fairly significant. The right and left railings of my staircase don’t match up. If I line up the bottom, the right side doesn’t hit the railing. If I line up the tops, the right side doesn’t hit the step. So, that means something went wrong somewhere, likely at the beginning. I don’t have the time to start over. What do I do?

Fudge it. Improvise. Cheat.

Do whatever it takes to get them as close as possible because I really don’t care about accuracy at this point.

Surprisingly, this didn’t break me. It’s probably the biggest issue in my assignment that will lose me the most marks, and I didn’t even tear. I’m improving.

Hooray for not giving a rat’s ass so my mental state can get healthy!!

Small victories. Ha!

Scriptwriting was great at least. Since it’s writing, I already know from experience that I’m capable of working through the tough times without getting emotional. When the writing gets tough and things just aren’t working out, I still find it manageable. Sometimes even fun. Working through problems and finding solutions in writing is empowering.

Aaaaaaand, back to stairs on Wednesday. I’m getting somewhere, even if most of it is likely wrong. My confidence in passing this course has greatly diminished. If I do, it will probably be because of a miraculous lapse in judgement on the prof’s part. But you know what, I’m not even mad about it. If I fail here, well, I only came to school to try something new and gain some new skills. I’ve done that. I have nothing to be disappointed at because I tried. If this turns out to not be for me, then that’s that. I still have my whole life ahead of me, and to be honest, I kind of just want to get back to having time to work on my own projects again – or at least have the energy for them.

I wonder what else I could do instead. Some people have asked me why I didn’t pursue music. I sometimes (often) miss performing. But those are just random thoughts. I’ve been finding distractions, procrastinations, anything to avoid this assignment. I even just stared out the window watching the snowfall for a while because it was so beautiful.

There was lots of snow that fell, so it seemed that there would be a bunch of people missing from Thursday’s class. Considering Thursday seems to be everyone’s favourite day, only a handful didn’t make it in. I was tried all morning class because I’d been woken up early by the excessively loud snowplows outside my window, doing their jobs and ruining my sleep in one fell swoop.

We continued our study of the skull in life drawing. We had an in-person model again which is so much better than trying to draw off a video of a model. And I’m starting to see the techniques I’m learning in this class having an effect on my own art. I’m growing in understanding, and it’s marvelous! For this alone, even if it doesn’t work for me to continue into next year, it’s been worth it.

**Warning, as it is a life drawing class, the models pose nude. If that triggers you, please ignore the photos or stop reading here.**

(Still slowly improving little by little. The exaggeration is getting there. It's fun, but definitely not always easy.)

(This is the Loomis Head technique. It actually helps to make sense of drawing heads, which is pretty cool. Gonna be making use of this in future drawings. Probably.)

In character design, I made a few adjustments to the character to make her more my own. We were given full permission to play around with the design and get creative with things, so that has already made this class one of the most enjoyable. Our prof even presented a learning element from what I’d done. It was super embarrassing, but also awesome.

(Still working out some of the details for this, but this has been fun to work on. This is absolutely something I'll be using for future character designs. I love learning useful things!)

Then we somehow made it to Friday. And we return to the stairs. “Up, up, up, up the stairs we go, until we come to . . . the tunnel!” Ugh, if only Shelob would end my misery!

Well, I somehow managed to get everything detailed and outlined. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Have I lost marks? No doubt about it. Am I still happy with what I was able to come up with? Um. . .. Let’s maybe circle back, because no. There are a few elements that I had fun with, so those things I like. Everything else that took up too much time and frustrated me to no end, I have no love for them. The prof can hate them all he wants because I do too. At least we'll agree on something. Ha!

(To the left you'll see the work that went into the image on the right. Yup, lots of things that aren't quite right, but who without an eye for such thing can really tell, right?)

(These are the only elements in the image that I actually like. They were fun and turned out well. I want them in my own house!)

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