I can’t believe I haven’t written in sooooo long! Apologies for that. I’ve had a pretty good excuse though, what with uni being so intense and everything else in my life having to squash up and shift around to fit in with it.
It’s my last day in my first term and I’m currently sat alone in the studio. I’m usually the first person in and normally I use the time to grab a cup of tea and crack on with work, but as it’s the last day before the holidays I’m taking the time to throw all my thoughts into this blog post and hope I can make sense of some of it.
This term has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life (not including being a mummy, obviously … that trumps everything!) Maybe I should have said “one of the most amazing experiences of my artistic life”. Yeah, we’ll stick with that.
I’ve learnt more about creativity and visual communication than I ever learnt at school, (which is handy, considering the vast quantities of money I’m essentially handing over for this experience) and my brain actually feels as though it’s been thrown at walls and beaten to a pulp. I am mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, but it is so worth it. It’s worth it for the experiences I’ve had, for the incredible friends I’ve made and the people I’ve been lucky enough to work with and learn from. It’s worth it because it’s made me realise just how special my children are and how much I cherish the limited time I’m spending with them right now. It’s worth it because I finally feel as though my life has an exciting direction and I have a path that I want to follow.
It’s just awesome.
I finished my first project on time and without too much stress, and got a merit for it, which I was over the moon with, (The scale goes: Commendation (1st), Merit (2.1), Pass (2.2), Borderline Pass (3rd)) and I had some great feedback with some handy criticism to help me progress on the second module.
I was happy with my final image, apart from the body text down the right hand side, which could have been smartened up a bit. I was really happy with the Daily Fail and particularly the emblem that I played around with.
The second module we’ve been working on is to do with sequencing and narrative, so naturally we’re working on picture books, which is quite possibly the best thing ever!!!
We’re working with the very talented Emma Carlisle (who has her first picture book coming out next year, published by Macmillan) and Rose Forshall, illustrator of the Pirate Gran series and Howl on the Wind.
I’m finding the module really stimulating and it’s really pushing me further than I thought it would. I’ve even started teaching myself how to use photoshop so that I’m not limited to just traditional media.
It feels great to slowly be getting my head around Photoshop and InDesign – to have those tools at my fingertips is very handy.
Another awesome thing in my life at the moment is the proof copy of The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith that I’ve managed to get my hands on. It’s not being published until March and I’m only really able to read it on the bus to and from uni every day as that’s the only time I have free at the moment, but even though I’m reading it fragmentedly (yes that’s a word!) it’s still bloody amazing!!! And it’s only taken me about four weeks to get halfway in. Yes, I read slowly. When I told Andrew Smith that I’d managed to get the proof copy he told me to be on my guard as it’s pretty gruelling, so I’ve promised to send him a bottle of my tears after I’m done with it. I intend to stick to my word :D
As for my children, they are growing too fast and I’m feeling like I’m not there to see it. I can’t get rid of this constant niggling feeling of doubt and guilt. Doubting myself and feeling guilty because I spend 8 hours away from them every day. I know this was my choice, and it was totally my decision to pursue this avenue, but it doesn’t half sting when the baby tries to go back into the childminder’s house when I go to pick her up.
And now, despite the incredible time I’ve had for the past three months, I am so looking forward to three weeks off. I get three whole wonderful, magical weeks with my beautiful daughters and the rest of my family, and I will spend every second of it snuggling with them all and being grateful for everything I have in my life.