Sunday, 2 September 2012

Life Update

So, I finally handed in all my work for my final year at university after being granted a semester extension. (BREATHE A SIGH OF RELIEF)  I'm really hoping that's the last of it so I can graduate in November with everyone else in my class and look ahead to my life beyond education.  I have my JessicaOnPaper site back up online for one of the university modules.  What a painful few days that was!  When it's graded I can re-build it to get it looking more how I wanted - y'know, less... terrible.

Children of Lír - 'A Family Picnic'
The new Queen transforms the King's children into swans
(Graduate Painting 4 of 8)
I'm now taking a much needed break from the computer after what felt like a very cruel year and summer, where my out-of-the-blue, couldn't-be-more-badly-timed, ill health and workload felt as if they'd never end!  During my new found free time (and restored good health that I'm ridiculously grateful for!) I'm having to remember what it is to do absolutely no work and not feel guilty about it.  I think I was in a state of shock for a couple of days after I sent the last of my work off, but now it's worn off and I can catch up with all the things I've missed out on this year - a lot of reading, countless video games, so many places to visit and, above all, be with my family and friends whom I've neglected for far too long!

Of course, art projects are never too far from my mind.  My main aim for this following year is to develop my character and costume designing abilities, and a few portraits for fun.  I'm also very excited about my graphic novel that is developing quicker than I had imagined (I actually know how the story ends, which has to be a first!), which I'll explain more about in another post.  It's going to take a long time before I can even imagine completion, yet as it's a personal project that I've set for myself it means that no matter what else is happening in my life I can always enjoy working on it.

I find myself torn with how I feel now that my work for university is done.  I wanted it all to be over for so long and yet it's important that I don't try to put the last four years completely behind me.  The rough times I've had whilst at the University made me feel like the unluckiest person in all of Carlisle, often joking that I must be cursed.  Pessimism at it's silliest and I knew it!
Whenever obstacles appeared I was actually lucky enough to have the best support I could have hoped for and always at just the right time, whether they realised it or not, before I felt the lowest I could be.  I have met and known some of the most generous and helpful people through my time at the University of Cumbria; mentors, lecturers, classmates, friends and passing visitors.  Both from the creative world and those outside of it.  People who have given up their spare time to advise me, stayed up all night to keep me going for deadlines, or who have offered me a place to stay.  And I can't forget the illustration opportunities I've been given.  This is what I want to always remember, the support I've been given over four years by so many people, not the big lows I experienced.  A real honour and a big thank you to every one of you.

Awaiting my final grades, I think I'll always feel like I could have done more, despite my improvements in digital painting in general.  I realise now that is simply who I am, no matter how much time I devote myself to my work, but that's the harsh beauty of creativity - to know that you can always do more, or better, because the skills and the ways to apply them are almost limitless.

Now. Give me a job.


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