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The Drudging Doubt

Dear Winterites,

This past week was reading week. Hooray for no classes! The problem is, now that classes have started again, I’m starting to have doubts about my choice to be in this program. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. I’m just feeling dead-ended. It’s like I was happily walking along, enjoying the road I’d found myself on, but now my foot is caught on something. There’s a snag, a pit, a something that’s stalled me in my path. And yet, it isn’t like that at all. It’s like being in a dream where you know you’re moving forward but you aren’t going anywhere. In fact, it seems like where I’m trying to get to is getting further away the harder I try to run towards it. I don’t even know what the destination looks like anymore, if I ever knew what it looked like to begin with.

I’m glad I haven’t yet reached the phase of self-loathing and feeling like all my art isn’t good enough. I figured that would have happened already, but I guess the doubt in career path comes first. Maybe my thoughts are thus because we just came off a break during which I enjoyed a whirlwind weekend at Winnipeg Comic Con. Maybe it’s because for our first week back we had my least favourite class. Or maybe this isn’t the road I want to be on. Whatever the case may be, this is something I know I have to fight through and overcome. Whether I end up changing my mind about what I study, or if I find the joy of learning animation again, that result doesn’t matter.

What matters is how I’ll wind up pulling through this period of doubt and find a way to move forward again, wherever that forward leads.

I suppose this is the part where I dive in and tell you about what we studied and throw in a couple pictures to document what I’ve been learning. We got current struggle/mindset out of the way, so, let’s get into it.

On Monday I spent the first half of my day in commute back to Ottawa. The flight between Ottawa and Winnipeg is only about 2 hours, but there’s the drive to the airport, the wait at the airport, the boarding process, the flight, the deboarding process, and the bus ride back to dorm. I got back to my room around 3pm. And from there, I dove right into doing homework as we had an assignment due the next morning. Yay. At least it was just creating a Pinterest board. Well, four of them. Each with roughly 80 images. Blargh.

(The view from my window seat.)

I’m grateful to my classmates who caught me up on the details of the assignment. I had the notes from the teacher, but not all specifics are there as many of the details are explained during class, which I missed due to being mid-flight. Thanks to the aid of my wonderful student experience travel companions, I was able to get the assignment completed by the supper hour.

Then proceeded to be too tired to be productive in anything else.

From Tuesday we were back in the physical classroom with design week. As stated earlier, this is my least favourite class. Our assignment this time around is designing/drawing tall buildings. Hooray, I’m an architect! The purpose of these assignments it to help us become better background and layout creators, which I am grateful for. Unfortunately, though I like the concept of the assignment and its purpose, I find it tremendously awful. It being tedious with so many lines needed isn’t even the problem. It also isn’t exactly a difficult assignment. It’s just . . . boring. I’m not a personal fan of the prof’s teaching style either, so that doesn’t help for me to feel inspiration for getting the job done. I’m not excited.

I spent my class time and a bit of the afternoon finishing up the first of the 2 thumbnails I needed to create. Then the rest of the afternoon was trying to get other homework done that I ended up not liking and will be starting over. Oh well.

(I kind of like the idea of the teller building the best, but unfortunately, my prof ultimately chose another design instead.)

The rest of my day was more productive in personal projects. I’ve got a new idea for some characters that I’m super excited to work on based on one of the Inktober sketches I did! (I would love to share some of that here, but I’m actually saving that project for another platform so, to be fair for everyone, I’ll have to keep the details secret for now.)

Continuing with design on Wednesday, we were given the time as a “studio” class, or work period. No lecture, no teaching, just focus on the assignment and get as much done as possible. I completed the second of my thumbnails and sent them off for feedback. The prof would be deciding which 2 of the 4 buildings I should use for the final version of the assignment.

(Obviously, the building on the left did not get chosen as it has far too little detail, but I was kind of done with doing any work on this by this point. The taller building I find both fun and boring at the same time. I like the other taller building better. Just saying.)

From the feedback I got, “go simple,” apparently isn’t to be taken literally. So, don’t do anything crazy made up, but don’t use anything from real life either (because real buildings are just squares). But use real life references and make up all the other crazy stuff so the buildings have interesting profiles. Yeah. That’s not confusing at all. Are we making it up or taking it from life? I don’t understand! Design something simple but with tediously detailed design, but not too detailed or it will consume every waking hour of every day. My head is spinning. I don’t want to work on this. I just want to go outside and sit in the sun and not think about anything other than how warm that golden glow feels against my skin. Oh, to be a plant.

That feeling of drudgery is heavy today. Honestly, contemplating turning my focus on graphic novels or illustration. Just, straight up cartooning and comic strips. Not that such a focus would be any easier. But I have been thinking about turning several of my stories into graphic style novels anyway. Perhaps it’s something to consider?

Thank goodness for Thursday!

Our classroom for life drawing was so beastly hot! I was already feeling a bit bleh and tired, so the heat didn’t help. We were all melting during our class. Thankfully, the prof gave us regular breaks to step outside the room to cool off. We needed every single one of them. It felt so good to step even just over the threshold. That’s how bad it was.

For our study, we focused on the shoulder girdle (which includes the collar bones and shoulder blades).

(This is one of the more challenging bones to draw, so for this class we focused on the basic structure of how it all connects and what it looks like from the different angles. No arms or legs needed for the long study. Just the shoulders, spine, and pelvis.)

In our second class we talked about windows. I mean, we talked about other things like film history and several figures who contributed to its advancement, but the next part of our assignment is drawing windows, so we talked windows.

To be honest, this day, mentally, not a great day. I had even got invited to go out to meet with friends and I just didn’t feel up to it. Though, I did hang out with my best friend online, and that absolutely helped. But there’s just been this sense of blah about everything in life. Every aspect. Everyone goes through slumps at times. This is just one of those times for me. I’m working on figuring things out and trying to decide what I want to do, and hopefully have the wisdom to know what’s the best choice going forward.

Always aim to keep moving forward. That’s what matters. Love yourself enough to keep going.

Friday’s class was, once again, a work period. I honestly did not want to work on this assignment because – I don’t know if I said this already – I’m not enjoying it. It’s hard, but also not hard.

(These are the chosen ones. I'm not looking forward to making every nook and cranny 3D.)

. . . I didn’t use my class time to work on the assignment. Well, I did a little bit of setup, but I went to my classmate’s house instead so I could join him (who will from now on be referred to as my sky companion) and his roommate on a trip to the dog park. We worked on our assignment afterward, but that trek to the off-leash park honestly was probably the best thing for me. Just being around the dogs, getting to pet them and laugh at all their silly dog antics lifted my mood so much that I almost literally felt the weight peeling away from my shoulders. (I would post pictures, but they’re not my dogs so, I’ll just leave it at that.)

After getting some work done, we then ventured on a mini quest to Indigo. BOOKS!!!! I ended up exploring the clearance section and bought 3 new books. One is a cookbook so I can’t really use it in the dorm as I don’t have easy access to a kitchen, but 500 bread recipes for $8!? How could I say no?? And then two novels of a more thriller genre because that’s always fun. Super excited to read them.

With purchases in hand, we walked back to my sky companion's place to talk story stuff and have food, then I returned to dorm. It ended up being a very good day. Perfect way to end a somewhat crappy week.

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