Monday, April 25, 2011

Oh god, where did the time go?

My head hurts. I'm exhausted. I suppose this is a similar theme of seniors, as we prepare our final projects at Ringling, attempt to pack, and try and be social with everybody who is coming together to celebrate another class who has jumped through the 4 years of flaming art school hoops and survived the ordeal.

Excuse me while I push out all my thoughts out in a few posts, but, that seems to be the status quo with my life lately. Everything aside from my senior project was on the backburner, and some aspects, even, which I regret. My social life, for one (imagine that, it's a good reason why I've been kinda sketchy on the posts...sorry). Like....

I barely speak to my roommates.
Aside from labs I spend very little time with people and it's nothing regularly.
I had to try and concentrate this year without a support network (long story but primarily because that support network I previously had, well, graduated the year before leaving me here for another year in limbo).

Pair that with yeah, preparing to leave this place into that big, scary, real world, and....

I am going to like, curl up in a ball in my home in WA and just SLEEP for a week straight.

Sometimes I liken Ringling to a somewhat abusive partner. It means well, but, at times, it has no consideration for its students, letting them fall if they so choose to, or not, it means not much to it, it will survive none the less.

It could be worse though. At least I'm still somewhat sane. At least I'm not this kid.

(Okay, that was random, but um...yeah...out of things to say on this post- time to reflect on a few more things)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Choice here choice there

"Social media rearranges the way we make choices." - Malcolm Gladwell at Ringling College

I would suspect that social media has a way of influencing our choices- it is a more instant, direct form of communication than perhaps what was present in previous days.

Like yesterday, I woke up and checked my email box- I had three companies who I had applied to the other day (teaching English overseas in Japan, to be specific), with my resume and the whole nine yards, had gotten back to me.

One wants me to come to an interview next weekend (9TH) in Los Angeles. (Although I don't know...NEXT EFFIN WEEKEND!? Thanks for the short notice....*facepalm*...either that or I wait until May when their next rounds of interviews are...)

Another wants a phone interview.

The third is screening my application and will get back to me in a few weeks (but this opportunity is in Portland in May or June, anyways).

This set of outcomes made me seriously happy. I posted up my status on my Facebook, and within, oh, 15 minutes, I had numerous "likes" and comments of encouragement.

This encourages me to go forward with my plans, no matter how bad or good it may be. If I had not gotten such immediate feedback, would I have changed my plans? Maybe. Maybe not. Then again, I am pretty firm in that I really want to go to Japan and teach English at least for a year or two (in particular, because I don't feel my portfolio is firm enough to get a job at an art company, but I don't want to work at Starbucks, either....)

Of course, in a way, it has changed alot of us in society in that we expect somewhat quicker results, somewhat more instantaneous feedback.....some people say people of my generation are impatient. Perhaps we are.

Lenses, hmm?

"Creative people view the world through profoundly different lens than most. Many do not see things the way you do...people have to see the world through different lens." - Malcolm Gladwell at Ringling College

I would agree with this statement, at first glance, although, I'm not sure it necessarily just applies to 'creative' people. Really, it a broad statement- nobody can see the world the same way as another. We all have our experiences, and each of us may share some (I went to Ringling, I went to X school, grew up in Y town, moved to Z city), but others, well, are specific, and those too, make up who you are.

Perhaps creative people just see the world as something that is not just interacted with (as most people do on a daily basis), but something to be inspired by, and to try and take which they are inspired by, and create something totally new from it, their own vision of how they see the world.....

Or maybe it could just be a way of saying, not many people go to an expensive, classy art school like I have done. Ha ha. Who knows. I realize we all see things differently, but, I try not to think much of the differences as a bad or selective thing, but as a good thing, that I can take, work with, and then hopefully get something entirely new and interesting from it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Utter annoyance

You know what's awkward? And often annoying?

Dealing with people at the airport. God, do I hate the airport sometimes.

It's the only place in the world where I have to show my ID a gajillion times, get possibly passed through a bomb scanner, everybody is up in my stuff, and then I have to wait (possibly with an overpriced coffee) to get squished into a flying tin can for flights that can last on average, about 4 hours (Example: Denver <-> Tampa).

Mean the while, I had a little dilemma yesterday in communication. US Airways, decided to keep me here in Boston because their flight to Charlotte had been delayed, thusly, I would have missed my flight connection there home to Sarasota.

I tried to ask them why and if there was obviously any way to get me there to connect, as, obviously I'm missing class and I HATE that when I can avoid it, but, no dice. No matter how many times I tried it, and trust me, I tried. Blocked. Denied. My train of thought < US Airway's train of thought (and business model).

So then also began the social awkwardness of calling my friend up (who had used the T network to get to Logan in the first place) and telling her I needed to crash for another night. Then I had to get over to South Station. Then there was an air of confusement as obviously I was supposed to have been GONE that day.....but I wasn't.

The theme of this post- airlines can be rather sucky and crush all your plans with a simple "I'm sorry, your flight is delayed.".

Monday, March 14, 2011

Con stuff

Conventions of all sorts can drive me up a wall.

I don't like massive crowds at all.

Yet here I am, at PAX EAST, to get contacts for an industry I'm interested in (gaming), but part of me has been hanging back in the background somewhat.

I get overwhelmed by the masses of people after awhile- all the noise of people, all the interacting between people you don't know- it eventually burns me out.

In particular, when it comes to job/talking to professionals, I lock up a bit. I spoke to a few people from various studios (UDON, Oni, and Turbine) about positions in their studios that were available/tips on how to break into them.

God, did I feel so nervous while talking to them! I don't have stuff to show them right now, and I'm not really that sure my work is up to the level it should be for submitting it to companies.

Sometimes I think Ringling, needs to be in a major city where I wouldn't feel as nervous getting into the art industries. For an art school, it has a distinct disadvantage in that it's in the middle of effin nowhere. Hmmm.

But, I did talk to a few people who have likeminded thoughts like I did. And with them, it was easy to open up conversation, because we had a relative subject, and socially, we felt we could relate to each other somewhat.

(well, okay, one of the fellows was almost 30, and here I am, only 22, but...)

So I had some conversation hiccups during the con, but well, after spending so much time in my art batcave at school, who could blame me? I don't have many friends I talk to on a daily basis there. Most of the time there I go to class, then go back to my dorm, work, rinse, repeat. Hmm.

But it was great to get out for spring break, even if I had to bring work and business along. I felt...alive again.

Hopefully I can feel alive again, after I graduate. But I have work in FL to finish.

(As much as I'd love to stay in Boston until I die....but...)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I shipped up to Boston

So, hello, blog! I'm here on Spring Break in Boston (also doing work while I'm in Boston because I'm staying at a friend's house who graduated from Ringling last year as a CA...not that far away from interwebs and a scanner and tablets!).

It feels really nice to be among friends again. Most of my friends who I was friends with at Ringling graduated last year (I switched majors so I had to study an extra year), so, I was so happy to land at Logan, and find friends waiting for me.

Most people at school know me as a quiet sort of person. Except my real friends, and well, then I really open up to them......

Another interesting thing that has happened thus far on my break- I saw one of my cousins who I haven't seen for, well, about six years in person. He goes to school in this area, at Northeastern, majoring in Nursing. I wasn't quite sure how to open it up, and he wasn't either. So it was sort of like we were strangers for a bit, you know 'how are you', then proceeded to talk about another relative topic- school.

I talked to him about how busy I was with my senior project and annoyances with real life. He talked about how he was pulling 12 hour shifts at Mass General and annoyances with real life. Talked about family, who I hadn't seen for awhile. Talked about COMIC BOOKS!. It was probably around the comic books moment when we finally started to feel a bit more comfortable around each other.

By the end of the night it was awesome. Maybe because we're family, it's something you really can't change. You need to be there if you can for each other. It's just a socially accepted way of life, otherwise you're seen as something taboo.

But I wouldn't shun my family! That's horrible.

(And besides, apparently, I found out, if I get into comic books, even if it's just coloring, I will have three fans- my two cousins, and my uncle. LOL!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

The art of the car ride+jobs

I have real problems with getting off campus.

Last time I tried to go off campus was to go to the bank.

My tire ended up blowing out. My bike is currently stranded downtown, IF it hasn't been stolen yet. Luckily it was a $35 bike from Goodwill that I was PLANNING on getting rid of at the end of the semester ANYWAYS.

Then today, I had a class where apparently the class had decided to go landscape painting in a local state park.

I couldn't find a ride out there, so I feel really stupid now. Not to mention I had missed the previous class before because of thesis/my screwed up sleep schedule, so, indeed, I feel REALLY stupid and embarrassed.

Trying to arrange a favor, or something like that, is really hard for me. I have a hard time 'reaching' out to people because I am always worried about their reactions. And that I will get a negative one. I suppose I'm a pessimist like that, and by always assuming the worst, sometimes I hold back unnecessarily?

Another example of this is that I'm currently trying to find references so I can start applying for jobs- in particular the few that are overseas- I need to hurry up on those because they have background checks which take 3 months thanks to our slow FBI.

I feel like I don't have any references really, or that, it's hard for me to ask "can you be a reference for me?" and not feel awkard about it. I always assume that people don't think very highly of me, I guess.

Granted, a lot of this is in my head, but, of course, what starts in the head can be externalized, and this is why a lot of people see me as 'shy' and 'aloof' in real life. With my family, and close friends, I'm really open, but the number of people I REALLY open up to is very, very few.

Most people only see another mask of mine, and it's rather closed off to alot of people. I apologize. Part of it is youth. Part of it is just who I am. It makes this life of mine somewhat tough at times, but, yet, thus is life. I guess.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lab culture

Interactions in the CJ labs can be interesting. In particular, because large portions of them (8, 5,6,7) stay open overnight.

I've been finding myself in these labs alot. I can't concentrate when I'm in my dorm room- too hot and staring at that bed makes me fall asleep at odd times.

All nighters are a common theme for me, unfortunately. (And this is why 8:30s are not my friend, I digress, and apologize....) Requires a lot of effort for me to run on minimum sleep, but what is needed to get all my projects done. (I'm doing concept art/illustrations, go look at my art blog for that stuffola).

I'm not alone though. Far from it. There's a mass of other artists, working their butts off night after night to accomplish something, and they're fairly interesting characters.

Tonight, because I needed to stay awake, I brought my coffee maker, my awesome Blue Eyes Blend beans roasted from the Inland Northwest (go Thomas Hammer), grinder, and all the stuff to make a mug full of coffee to keep me awake.

Apparently other people found this amusing.

"Why didn't I think of that!"

"Hah, cool."

"Cool, although I have a Red Bull and Ritalin" (Oh dear god don't even want to think about THAT sort of combo).

I also found it amusing. But that's how comfortable I feel in these labs. Can work all night. Bring my coffee maker, some music, books, whatever, for the whole night. Can meet some amusing characters, my fellow seniors. Talk about just about anything. Rinse. Repeat ad nauseum until the work gets done.

I will admit that I probably will miss this hive of art once I leave this school. You don't have this sort of stuff in the 'real world' that much unless you have the money to rent studios or find a guild of artists.

Although at the same time, perhaps I'm feeling it's time for me to go explore the world. As I said in my last post, I've been wanting to get out of the US, go someplace entirely new with a new culture (hell, even a language- I know Japanese so I imagine other Asian languages aside from Chinese can't be that scary).

Imagine the social barriers and problems when you're a foreigner. Well, yes, I do know somewhat. I took a course earlier in my time here at Ringling on Intercultural communications, and in high school, we would often go in my Japanese course to the local community college where there was an exchange program between that college, and a women's university in Nishinomiya, Japan. (Mukogawa University)

Man, I didn't have too much in common with those girls. Japanese women like talking about shopping, alot. Like clothing. Not my cup of tea. (rather, I enjoy talking about books and electronics and video games and comic books- ha ha) . And they weren't that interested in talking with a bunch of high schoolers who probably were mashing up their language left and right. Might not say it to my face (because Japanese are very polite), but, of course it may or may not be brewing underneath the surface.

But I don't mind that. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and that's what I would plan to do if I went overseas, as much as I could.

That's what went on tonight. 1/4 (or more) posts done. I'll probably have more to write after Monday- as I'm leaving to go visit some of my friends in Boston (possibly also relatives I haven't seen in AGES)...get away from this circus school for a week, go eat some good seafood, go visit my old roommate and the cat she took with her, all that stuff.

TEDx TEDx TEDx- Brene Brown

First off, that was a rather interesting speech on social interactions and the courage to get through well, life, socially- both of the positive and the negative natures!

I can certainly relate to the struggles which she presented in this video. I have never quite been a very social person, in fact, technically, in high school a psychologist technically told me I had a 'social phobia'.

So interacting for me is not always the best of things, at least face to face. I understand it, but at my age right now, I have not yet found my 'voice' in the world.

My art could be part of my 'voice', as I can use it to portray meaning through imagery, but this is something that even after 4 years, I still struggle with.

I haven't found my way to put it in a neat little bento box, both my voice and my art. It's kind of hard, when some days it feels like you're trying to pick up each individual kernel of rice with chopsticks.

(Granted, because I took Japanese courses in high school, I'm actually very well skilled at chopsticks! My teacher found it amusing to give us one of the exercises with chopsticks that he had to do as a kid in Japan- picking up macaroni, blocks, all sorts of tiny objects with chopsticks- also whenever we had cooking classes more than not we'd have to eat with chopsticks too!)

As for invulnerability, well, this is also something I'm beginning to struggle with. There are a lot of elements which make us vulnerable in this world- how much money we have in the bank, what is our job, race, personality, all sorts of things and emotions. And you have to deal with all these issues in some sort of way.

According to Brown, it is better to accept these vulnerabilities for what they are, than try and fight them. Fighting them will lock you up, will numb you to your emotions. Which is no surprise in our nation seeing as she accurately noticed that we are a society filled with anti-depressant (drugged), obese, debtors, along with plenty other ways we are screwed up here in this country. (Politics, our economy, whatever).

But numb emotions will get you nowhere. It doesn't allow you to grow as a person, and make progress. Ya know, to be the strong river, and not the stagnant pond which eventually begins to grow algae and all sorts of other muck which does the pond no good.

You have to have courage.

Courage is certainly something I've dealt with for the past few years, or rather, since coming here to Ringling. I've had more than one time while I was here where I was nearly in danger of failing out (in fact, quite recently, in fact)- literally where I have been pushed to my mental limits and then some with the massive amount of work this school puts on me.

Even now, I really have to have courage. I'm a senior, so trying to juggle my liberal arts classes with my illustration senior project is a SERIOUS day to day struggle for me.

I do admit that I have dropped the ball a bit. But hopefully I can avoid that from here on out. I'm only human. I make mistakes.

Just have to keep on going, and try as best I can. Courage that I can make it through my last semester in one piece, and graduate, because otherwise, well, that would be a great American tragedy because this school is so flippin expensive per year.

But thinking about that sort of stuff does me no good either. Think of the positives. Courage. I will not screw up on any of my courses, I will graduate, I will get a job where I want, I will make it in one piece or die trying.

Courage to make my dreams, too. Right now, actually, one of my dreams is to go overseas and see another country. Last summer I got my very first passport- and now, I'm trying to organize all the paperwork to apply for jobs in South Korea and Japan. Obviously I've always wanted to go to Japan, but I've heard that South Korea is a bit better economically right now. I'm willing to try a new culture or two while I'm still young- home is a bit screwed up right now anyways- seems like a good time to get out and do things.

So yes, I have courage, underneath my shy, somewhat screwed up exterior. I only show it when I absolutely have to, which tends to be moreso in my writing than in person.

Maybe that'll change. Maybe not. Only time, and maturity, will tell.

Inspirations #1

So here I'm supposed to take a little time out to write about a person that inspires me...or something.

I must admit, lately, my inspirations have been few. Lots of stress, lots of no freetime. When you don't have much time because you're working on my thesis, going days without proper sleep, your thoughts aside from whatever is going on that piece of paper or Photoshop start to become very, very nil.


I suppose, with some ambiguity, my inspiration at the moment is change. That's the only word I can use to explain this thought. Maybe freedom, as well. Maybe because I'm spending day after day doing the same grind.....I'm looking forward to things changing.

Things never stay the same anyways, supposedly. Right now I'm busy working, and turning in job applications for positions not just in the US, but all over the world, so more change hopefully will happen. Even if I manage not to get a job between now and the end of the term, things will still change- I will be going home to continue that search, (hopefully with degree in hand).

If there was never visible change in my life, I would be very, very sad. I must admit, I am more of an observer, than an outspoken person, I must admit. At least right now in my life. Quiet, sometimes. (most of the time.) But I use those observations none the less, to interact with the world, and I enjoy it.

So here's to hoping I'll never get caught and put in a box or a room where I'll never escape from (jail)? Otherwise I'm not sure I could go on with this life.

Life is interesting when you are in it. It's not, when it feels like it's passing you by. And if you are unable to make changes in your situation, then you feel, really, really bad.

I'm also at a point in my life where major changes are going to happen, no matter what I do. Graduating college. Going on with my life. Pray that it's a good one, in these hard times for this country, and not bad. So in that matter, sometimes I fear change as well as enjoy it. The fear of the unknown is common anyways, with humans. What's around that corner next? Will I be able to control it? Or will I fail, and what consequences will it have on my life?



So, this is the "Inspirations" blog, or just a blog, for my Social Interaction Psychology course. Hopefully this will go alot smoother than Nicenet- I like blogging more than dealing with classroom systems! >_>