Hejira

just like 3d vision

March 1. 2000

damn those 2d memories...I'm trying to remember what kind of artist I was in high school. I can't honestly remember, although it was less than a year ago. A year ago, I was stuck artistically, out of ideas, frustrated with the limitations of a 45 minute period, coupled with the increasing bad situation with both of my art teachers. I figured I had reached some sort of impasse of creativity, and nothing was happening for me. Maybe this was beginning of the end for me. Maybe I've used up my ideas. Maybe I'm just washed up.

The whole last year of high school was creatively stagnant for me. I had just come off the amazing, stimulating artistic experience of Governor's School, and there were some times I had thought that that summer had been my creative apex, that it was all downhill from there. I thought that more often during my senior year than any other time in my life. I was totally and completely miserable. I've long since figured out that creating art is intimately connected with my mental well being, and if I am not getting anywhere with art, I am miserable. And I was.

When I came to Tyler last fall, I wasn't looking for conscious change. I was wary of myself, and my (lack of) abilities, and wondering how I was going to survive art school in my current state. I didn't get some great epiphany, in the end. Instead, it was a gradual metamorphosis over time, a heightening of senses. My eyes were opened, finally, and suddenly I could see all the possibilities that somehow had been hidden from me.

I've starting noticing everything recently. I stare at things, at colors, at textures, at people, their speech patterns, their mannerisms, the shades of their skin. I realized this especially when I was in New York City last weekend. The city is a feast for the senses, but especially the eyes. There are so many different sections of the city. You can go to Soho and see the colorful banners and stores, you go to the financial district and see the smooth black and silver lines of high rising buildings. You go to Times Square and you're assaulted by miles of neon, huge billboards and blinking lights. The possibilities are endless, and I've only begun to see them.

I've wondered how it was possible that I could have been so blind. It's weird looking back at myself a year ago. I've come so far emotionally, mentally and artistically since then that I literally have no way to relate to myself a year ago. I read my journals from then and wonder how I could be the same person.

My friend and teacher Rachael, who is also a potter, said something to me once about two years ago when I was starting to look at colleges. She was fresh out of college herself, and she said that I would change in ways I can't even imagine. There were ways I would think and things I would do that I never could imagine at this point in my life. At the time, I kind of shrugged off her words. I was still at the point of thinking I was, at 17, a fully formed individual, incapable of changing who I was at this point in the game. I did not really realize just how right she was.