Monday, 1 February 2010

Exciting Times!

After a lot of contemplation, lasting over a year, I've decided to leave my BA Illustration course. Everything seems to be right in its timing for this to be my final decision.
Character Concept - 'Eli'
I went through the whole of my first year feeling unsatisfied, constantly trying to please tutors and failing, all the while letting my own happiness be sacrificed. I started the second year filled with more optimism after getting to grips with my time management and work load, but then the work I was given wasn't right for what I wanted to be doing. Project after project I felt I was trying to be another person in my work, nothing came naturally anymore, and the briefs that were set weren't with the clients I had had in mind. I am a story teller, a character creator, and here I was trying to be a graphic designer, event promoter, typographer...
Once I realised this, I knew I needed to take some sort of action. With great encouragement from my loved ones I searched around for some advice.
I contacted a Senior Concept Artist, asking how he got his career and what could I do to get there one day, despite my soon-to-be shortcomings in qualifications. The reply I received was much more than a wishing of good luck, it was real aid. Not only did he ask to see work I had done already but he also set me work to do. Soon I was following the Conceptual Artist course he runs. Then there was a downside to this optimism.
Still being on the Illustration course, starting the second semester, I didn't have the time I wanted to be doing this work on the side. I was letting myself down. What point was there sacrificing my ambitions and dreams for the sake of a few good marks in work that I didn't even enjoy? I would end my degree, feebly, with a portfolio demonstrating what I'm only decent at, which would then possiblyjustmaybe get me work in areas of design I would resent and feel like a complete fraud. That was that.

I spoke to a tutor about my first semester (where three of my projects in a row were marked 3rds) and confessed I wasn't happy, haven't been for a long time, and I'm heading in the wrong direction. Contrary to my fear of being told I'm a failure or have to stick it out anyway, I was advised to speak to another member of staff about my possibilities. After much discussion and bureaucracy change may be about to occur.

 I am currently sat in the Graphics and Illustration studio hoping this will be the last time I need to be here. I am waiting to meet with my possible future tutor, to see how soon I can join the first year of The Art Of Games Design course. On it I will continue Life Drawing classes, learn 3D programming and design, and, most exciting of all, conceptual art work for games; characters, environments, weapons, vehicles... Even better, this design work does not confine me solely to games but can be used for animation, film, and TV. Finally I will be given the specific learning requirements I want yet the broad stroke to approach projects for different media.

Despite how much I resented the Illustration course there is still a lot I have taken with me. My work ethic, time management, awareness of presentation, use of design programs, and of course html coding and my very own bit of cyberspace.

I am feeling much happier and hopeful, which I haven't done for a very long time.

J. x

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