Made this for an assignment. I filmed the driving footage from the inside of an Uber while I was visiting Pennsylvania and later on created the animation of a biker to composite over the footage. It could be more refined (the biker floats off of the ground in a couple of places because of how I edited the video, and the character isn’t cleanly edited in) but ultimately it’s a nice, simple animation.
(This piece was originally written for a creative nonfiction class, and is taken from the definition of “immigrant” in the Miriam-Webster dictionary)
It’s official; I am now an art school student! Getting here was a long and journey and I’ve arrived at last. It’s been about two months since I started art school now, and over this time I’ve experienced some things and learned a lot – and not just the skills I need to accomplish my long held dreams but also various actual life lessons that have carried me through my school career so far – and what I hope will continue to carry me through an art career into the future.
Here’s a brief overview of how I feel about my time going (back to) school so far…
The year is almost over, and as I look back on all that I have experienced in 2018, I admit that I haven’t really been as proactive as I should be with updating this blog lately. There have been several good reasons for this, chief among which being work. One job that I took for work was a part time gig at a game store. Here, for 3-4 hours a week, I get the privilege of running games of Dungeons and Dragons and effectively getting paid to play the game!
Perhaps it is best to establish some context for how I came to take the job…
A few weeks, ago I was able to take a day trip to Salem with a good friend of mine and as part of this trip we were able to make a visit to the Peabody Essex Museum, where we were able to view, among other things, the museum’s collection of Japanese artworks (antique and more recent, as well as artworks emulating those of Japan). The exhibition itself is intended to discuss the global reach and impact of Japanese artwork and aesthetics throughout history, but as we walked out of the museum, my friend and I got a completely different takeaway from this exhibit.
I haven’t written much for this blog in a while. Yet now as I write I’m sitting in my desk, unable to sleep though it is far too late for me to stay up on my computer. I suppose I feel the need to write now because of a number of events happening in my life recently that have forced me to think about how exactly I’ve been living my life for… basically forever.
Here’s how it started: I noticed at one of the jobs I worked at that I wasn’t getting many shifts at work. Now, last time I noticed this, my employers (who shall not be named – they’d know who they are) had brought up some concerns about how I did my job.
“You don’t apply yourself”
“You need to put more into the job and take action”
And I wondered if that was what was happening here. So after much frustration and wondering whether or not I should leave altogether, I wrote an E-mail to my employer. I asked just what was going on, and a few hours later, they had gotten back to me. Their concerns had been familiar to me as they were last time.
“Your performance is inconsistent”
“You haven’t been taking initiative”
Nonetheless, we had agreed to meet and discuss how I was doing my job. And so I ventured to my workplace that Monday morning, as if to slay a monster, fully prepared to resign from the job with what could have been my final shift (which was scheduled just minutes after I got a reply) being that Friday. Mentally, I prepared what I was supposed to say. Practically speaking, I had prepared the names of a few places I could apply to if this went south.
What happened next may have changed just about everything.
The conversation itself wasn’t particularly eventful. I was told, again, to take initiative and assert myself more at the position. I agreed to try it. What was interesting, however, was how even the small act of going forward to the supervisor to address my concerns could be taking initiative. Indeed, they had referred to it as such when we met. The rest of the conversation had me thinking long and hard.
So I went to the woods. Not very far from where my work place is a nature trail that I sometimes hiked in. I often go into nature when I feel like I need to clear my head, or to reflect on the past, or meditate on the future. Forests for me are like cathedrals in which to take refuge in. I needed to do all of those things after what my bosses and I just spoke about.
That’s when I started to think. For much of my life, a lot of personal problems for me were indeed because I didn’t take initiative. Lots of regrets and mistakes I made that wouldn’t have been if only I could take initiative. Relationships that could have formed if only I’d taken initiative, times I could have spent with potential friends if only I’d taken initiative, groups I could have joined if only I’d taken initiative. I remember feeling like I was simply “coasting” through high school and college, focused mainly on trying to get by and barely even being able to do that by the end.
Since then, I’ve tried to take initiative in a number of ways. Talking to people on the street or the bus. Signing up for an event. Getting back in touch with people I haven’t spoken to in a while. All sorts of things that I’ve been trying to push myself to start doing. I’m still trying to get better at it. Still trying to overcome my apprehension or general laziness to do certain things.
But overall; It’s been working for me so far.