frustration realization

December 9. 1999

Today was filled with more fun crits. Well, not filled. I actually had a 9 and a half hour gap between them, during which I did nothing useful. I screwed around on my computer, played around with my new Photoshop, and contemplated the redesign of my webpage (coming soon), and made another pointless foray to South Street in rush hour traffic. Not fun.

Well, now that I have Photoshop (and access to a scanner and digital camera when I get home for good on Wednesday) I am adding a visual element to my journal entries. Be warned that I will probably go apeshit because I love Photoshop. Hope you enjoy.

I was up bright and early on Thursday for work. After that I had my computer crit at 11:20, which was a 2 minute evaluation of my entire semester's work. I couldn't help up feel a little cheated, but the fact that Doug (my teacher) glossed over everything meant that he glossed over the things I was lacking. I like computers (obviously) but I tend to gravitate more toward web design and html and all that stuff. I was hoping to be able to learn of the basics of html with this class, but to my disappointment, it focused mostly on graphic design, which, unfortunately, I'm not terribly interested in. I had to slog through Adobe Dimensions and Illustrator, but I really loved Photoshop. After all that, I ended up with a B+. Go me.

My drawing crit was at 8:30 that night. I had heard from people in my class that she was running behind, so I didn't bother to arrive early. When I got there, I learned that Sarah was critiquing the person that was scheduled for 6:50. So I knew I was going to waiting for a while. I sat down and chatted with Paul, and this kid Alex who is also in my class, and who I'm kind of infatuated with. I sat down and tried to get him to talk to me. He's got that sad hungry looking poetic look to him, complete with trenchcoat, scarf and cigarette. I've wanted to kiss him every time I see him. But I'm not one just to go up to a person and ask, "Can I kiss you?" although I came close several times while sitting there next to him. I have a feeling I'm going to look back one day on all these missed opportunities due to my wimpiness and kick myself.

So I waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, at 10:00, I put my stuff up on the wall, and waited for her to finished with the previous person. Then, at about 10:20, she finally got to me. By now, having waited for almost 2 hours, I was hoping (expecting, actually) for the words "I'm sorry for keeping you waiting" to come out of her mouth, but they never did. If I were 2 hours late for my crit, I would've failed the course. Period. And I couldn't even get an apology out of her. So that had me a little steamed.

She looked over the drawings I had hung up (we had to pick our best five pieces) and made some positive comments, and also some things I needed to work on. Upon looking at my sketchbook, she suggested I try to sketch more on a daily basis. This was something I knew already, I know I don't sketch enough. I think that's something I definitely want to work on over break. As she talked to me and critiqued my work, I realized for the first time, just how young and unsure she was. She was probably only 6 or 7 years old than me. Overall, she said I had done very well. She asked me what I thought my grade should be, and I said without hesitation, "An A. I worked really hard in this class." She looked down at her papers for a minute, and then said, "Yeah. An A seems appropriate."

I surprised myself by standing up for myself like that. I honestly think I wouldn't have been able to do that a year or six months ago. Until I got to college, I was never able to stand up for my work, to defend it. I was always pointing out the flaws, picking it apart and magnifying the weaknesses. Then, once I was surrounded by other artists just as talented as myself, I realized I had to stand up for my work, as a matter of necessity. If I knew if I didn't I'd be screwed. I noticed this during the class crit on Wednesday. Each one of us had to introduce our pieces, and some people just pointed out all the things that were wrong with their pieces. As a result, I immediately noticed everything that was wrong with it. And as an artist, you don't want to sabotage yourself like that.

I also noticed something else disturbing during the class crit on Wednesday. I hadn't realized until then, but there was rampant favoritism and sexism in this class. She had her groupies which worshipped her, and in turn, she always gave them good crits and good grades. I also noticed that she came down really hard on the guys during crits, while she would go really easy on the girls, downplaying the flaws in their work. For instance, this one kid, Pat, didn't have his self portrait completely done. She absolutely reamed him, saying he was a slacker and never did any work. But this other girl, Sara, didn't have her self portrait done either, and Sarah barely mentioned it, instead choosing to focus on the good things. This inequality disturbed me, to say the least. I wish I had noticed it earlier, otherwise I wouldn't have given Sarah such a good teacher evaluation.

music: Hits and Misses, Joni Mitchell
food: Stromboli
read: study study study!
sight: picture with Santa from when I was 5.
song lyric:
down at the chinese cafe we'd be dreaming on our dimes
- Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody, Joni Mitchell