Saturday, March 24, 2012

Art is Long...

One day I saw this picture on facebook and loved it right away!!! I think it's such a cool picture, and describes both sides of the brain so well.
Obviously, I'm a right brained person, sometimes I do feel like creative juices flow like that in my head. 
I love being creative! It brings so much joy in my life! My second semester of college I had this amazing professor said that us artists are lucky to be creative, and that we should be grateful for such a godly talent. She said we are like Heavenly Father and Jesus who are the greatest creators. Wow! I thought, how cool is that? I have a godly trait.
I also had another professor said something else that stuck with me, he said, "Every time you touch that canvas you are creating something that has never been created." Again, wow, that hit me hard too, every time I do art or take a picture I have created something new to the world. 

Even though I love art and being creative, there have been times when I wasn't so sure and that I was discouraged and started second guessing myself, and wondering if I should pursue something else. I felt that most my senior year. Yeah, probably not the best time, since I was working on my senior project, and have been working hard to get to that point of my school career. The thing about the creative world is, you get critiques, you get different opinions, and sometimes people just don't like your style. It's hard not to take it personally, but in my senior year I did. It was hard when I would work on a project for 40 hours and display in class with other students work and I didn't get a sticky (sticky is where every student puts a post-it note on their favorite project, and some would get tons, while others didn't get any) also if your project didn't get a sticky, it didn't get a critique, we didn't get to talk about, basically it's not good enough to acknowledge it, at least that's how I felt, and after working so hard, it hurts. 

Most of my projects didn't get on the wall in the Spori building. That discouraged me...

I got a lot of Bs in my art classes when a lot got As. That discouraged me...

One critique another student said "Did you even think about your design?" Ummm... no of course I didn't, I just worked on it all week without thinking about the design.

Poor Dustin, there were a lot of tears that semester ( I was pregnant too, so that didn't help). 
I started thinking, if students don't like my work how can professionals out there like my work?

I was getting to the point where I wanted to quit my senior project (which was my goal since high school) and just get my degree and be over, but one day someone made a difference, it was just one person that appreciate my stuff and said I was good, and that has made the difference for me.

It was around February of my last year in school. A lot of times at BYUI they would send many artists from the country to speak to us in seminars and sometimes they would even do work shops. Well this time it was Armand Baltazaar (probably slaughtered that name) and he was from PIXAR and DreamWorks, and he had a very impressive portfolio.  He did a workshop for us where he showed us how he paints backgrounds for movies and he spent all morning doing it and I loved every moment and just soaked up the amazing information, and his amazing painting skills. 
Than we had a break and we were to continue with the workshop that afternoon. When we were heading back to the workshop I notice a lot of students getting all their pencils, papers, computers out and notice Dustin was doing the same. I was wondering if I missed a memo, so I asked Dustin what was going on, and he said that we were going to draw and Armand was going to look at our stuff and give us feed back. WHAT?????? 
"Well, I'm leaving. There is no way I'm having this PIXAR  guy looking at my stuff" I told Dustin. I was too embarrass about my art you see. I asked him to take me home because at the time I didn't know how to drive our stick shift, but about time I found out what was going on it was too late the work shop started. O SHOOT!
Dustin told me I better start drawing since I was there anyway.
Armand Baltazaar gave us an assignment to do Red Riding Hood with a twist of Western style or Gangster style. So he wanted us to sketch and come up with different ideas as if we were doing concept art for movies. Everyone was sketching away excited to show the PIXAR guy stuff they are made of, while  I was so timid and thinking "what am I going to draw?" I started thinking of his advice from earlier, and started sketching. Armand went around and started giving people feed back, and finally  he reached to Dustin and I, we were second to last. He really liked Dustin's stuff and liked how he was pushing the characters and gave him some good feed back. Than he came to me. 
O MY GOODNESS, was I nervous. I started showing him my sketches, I did some storyboard shots, and I had some character work done as well. He asked me what I wanted to do with my art, I told him I would love to illustrate children's books, and maybe go into the entertainment world. He than asked would I do character design or environments? I told him I wasn't sure yet. Than he responded, "Well, you have a good start for both, keep it up, you have potential."  I have potential? I started feeling better.   
Dustin gave me a smile and said "See, I told you were good." 
After Armand talked to everyone he had us put our stuff on the wall so other students could see and so we could discuss about them. Only half of the crowd put there stuff up, I didn't because I thought my stuff wouldn't compare. 
So we discussed about all the artwork on the wall, than when we were finished Armand said. "Some young lady didn't put her work up on the wall, and she had some really good artwork." he looks at my direction and I turned behind me thinking it was the girl behind me, than I look back at him and say "me?" and he laughs and says "Yes, you! Your stuff is good." Than he tells the audience what was good about my sketches. I couldn't help it I just started crying, in front all of these people, I just couldn't stop the tears just kept coming. Dustin asked if I was ok and I said "He liked my art, finally some one liked my art." Out of 100 students he remembered me! My teacher came up to me afterwards and said I should be happy that someone from PIXAR remembered me and that was a huge compliment. 

And that one person had made a huge difference in my life at that moment. 

I also had many teachers that encourage me as well. I had Nolan Parson for head drawing, and one day he asked to talk to me after class about my grade. I was a little nervous, since he told us that he was going to grade us according to the professional art world standard, so to expect Cs. So can you understand I was a little nervous? When I talked to me he starts " Your grade right now is a A-, if that's ok?" YES, I think I can live with that. He continues to tell me that I have great potential and wonders what I'm thinking for my future career. AWESOME!!! And he's a Parson, and all the Parson's are amazing artists. Leon Parson painted the temple murals for the Rexburg temple, to just give you an idea!

Another thing I love about art is, that you are always growing and improving. I always like looking back at old artwork and see how far I have come. Art, or any creative thing is hard and a long process, hence the my title "Art is long". Not only art but life, can have it's up and downs, but if we remember that we are sons and daughters of God we will remember our potential and not to be discouraged. Also to remember we can make a difference in someone's life. 
 It did for me. 


Anonymous said...

That was an awesome post Jess! I loved hearing about your experiences. Although I may not be an amazing artist or anything you always have a fan in me. I think your stuff is amazing!!

Jamie Blake said...

Jessica, you're such a fantastic little artist! :) I remember those days in school and getting really discouraged in the beginning. But excellent in the fact that you can just draw and create without a bunch of references (something that I really need!)
Sure love you!

Tiffany said...

I really liked this post. I love your work! It's whimsical, and imaginative, and your characters have an innocence and sweetness that I think reflects who you are. I love the little characters you did for our primary! I have heard grownups and kids alike talk about how much they like them. A lot of people asked me where I got them. They were very impressed! Tiffany:)