From the first class session, I knew this would be a difficult transition for me. I spent a year working for myself outside of the classroom and getting back into the flow of work. I knew this was going to get hard for me, but that is what I signed up for. I know I still am worried about losing track of the time, but I think this semester was particularly hard for me for personal emotional upheavals. Throughout the semester, I slipped back on work often. This wouldn’t have been such a painful process if I didn’t care so much about the work. When I would eventually orient myself to getting work in and finished, I was always engaged by the texts and content. I don’t think I have solved any of these long standing issues with my work, but I do think I am starting to see where I can work smarter.
My relationship to creation has not changed much over the semester, but the image I have of myself as a potential creator has changed significantly. I don’t always think I’m cut out for the work that I have here at Parsons, but being in this seminar/ studio experience, my ideas were treated with respect and full seriousness like any other proposal. There’s a professionalism that I found in this kind of approach that I didn’t have for anything outside of photography for me. I think I am starting to realize that the half conscious thoughts for proposals and design are the first and most important thought. I get caught up thinking about concept and creation, ignoring the fact that I probably already have the seed of an idea already, I just need to build on it until it is scaffolding for a more full furnished concept. When we were reading about John Berger and creating visuals in studio, I felt the direct connection between the two classes and it felt like they informed a lot of the future readings in seminar and my visual analysis of my own work in studio.
Some of my favorite work I’ve done has come from mistakes or accidents. Naturally, I fumbled over my own ideas a lot in both of these classes, but sometimes it would lead to more interesting ideas. For the proposal of a monument, I abandoned my first idea of making a physical dumpling statue and instead explored the potential for making public sound art. I knew that was something I was interested in, but I didn’t know how or when to explore it. By taking out my first idea, it gave me a space to leap into more unknown territory and to rely on my own creativity.
Both of these classes got me engaged with mediums that I usually stray away from. In studio, I got to make monoprints for the first time and I got to learn the process with no prior knowledge of how a printing press works. In seminar, when we wrote our stories from the perspective of our personified character, I wrote from the perspective of a dumpling. I never write from the perspective of a character, but this was an exercise to stretch my mind and pick up a different way to write. I realized that I can develop these skills like making monoprints and character stories into helpful artistic tools. I felt my development even within this class and I started to understand the potential of these creations.
I know that if I want to improve as a writer and a creator, I need to do the work and lots of it. I am not used to churning out assignments on things I have little to no background in. I’m used to polishing one skill that I was comfortable in. To thrive in a place like this, I know I need to not only catch a flow for the work, but also use the assignments as a diving board into new ideas that I normally wouldn’t have the space or time to pursue.