Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ahh and so life goes on.

I wrote this in my last post, and I will admit it was a hasty and false statement to make: "Bottom line. Keep your friends close, and don't ask God for something you can't handle. He might just do it."
What a bunch of nonsense. I don't believe that last part and I certainly don't regret coming out to Colorado. Now enough about that, moving on.

Life as a Design Student
By Buck Beymer

Being a design student is one of the hardest things I have ever tackled in my short twenty-one years. It’s a peculiar place to be, in mind and body. On one side of the coin, a student is almost in the place no eye sees; disregarded by most employers, and looked down upon by crappy instructors. We give a great amount of time and money to an institution, and yet we are not the customers. We are never right, and are in no way treated like a normal patron. It’s an investment nobody can guarantee, perhaps not even the person making the investment.

I’ve come to make an assumption that only by pure power of will and perseverance will I succeed. But what happens when I run out of gas? Motivation seems to drive a lot of what we do, and when that’s gone, it’s time to pick up the pieces or go home.
We’re taught by life, by school, by shallow friends, that to get where we want in life, we have to shoulder the weight solely by ourselves. Logic and wisdom tells me it’s not meant to be that way.

Our psychological foundations fight the very idea of being alone. Moving out to Denver at the age of 20, knowing nobody, was perceived by many people a brave thing to do. I expected it to be hard, but the reality was a slam to my face.

To be clear, I in no way support the idea of entitlement, free handouts, and believe that hard work and going through the fire make a person stronger. Everyone needs a respite some days though.

There is, of course, no other option for me but to pick up the pieces and soldier on. I do however have to identify the areas that have triggered this massive burnout, and seek to separate them from my daily life. In the case of academics, this can be a challenge. It’s not an easy task to go to an instructor and tell him that his assignments are leaching the joy out of my soul and stifling my creativity like an office cubicle in an accounting office.

The things we are trained to do are often elementally repetitive, boring, dry, extremely technical, and overall life-sucking. And yet those are the things I can’t avoid. My goal right now is to find an outlet, something to re-motivate me, and keep the wheels turning and homework burning until I can depart from this perpetual state of economic transience. That was a mouthful.

Being a student is a profession I think we need to rediscover the joy in. When I read the stories of brilliant designers who have gone before us, the picture painted is often one of joyous discovery. Hard work certainly went on in the background, but what the reader sees, is a person finding their life’s calling and succeeding at it. It’s that hard work and occasional misery we never see, that perhaps is what really shaped the artist. If only we had a perfect world, I think, but that would perhaps be a world devoid of art.

This is perhaps a preamble to an article I want to write for a design magazine, tell me your thoughts!
(I apologize for the lack of art updates, I'll try to get something up before the apocalypse)