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Back In The Saddle Again

With my final year of grad school starting summer break officially draws to a close. However, this year will be different from others, as I'll be working primarily online until further notice (thanks to Coronavirus.)

At first, I didn't think very highly of online learning, but as I start my second semester of being online, I see the value in it. Of course, I'd rather be face-to-face with my classmates and the undergrads I teach. Being an introvert, though, this arrangement makes it ok. I've almost resigned to the fact I'll probably have to finish out my grad studies online, unless the world gets a better handle on the pandemic. But, if this is the course I must take to achieve my MFA, so be it.

I'm excited and anxious about this year. I'm ready to be done, and yet, I'm anxious about the amount of work that remains. There are six classes left, not to mention my thesis research, the paper writing, and the design exhibition that will correlate with my research. So far, I've made a huge dent into my research, and I feel like I'm pretty far ahead of the game vs. my peers. I've been stockpiling research material since last November. My saving grace is that I'm really excited about my research topic, so it the end, it'll feel a lot less like work and more like a nerdy hobby.

Somewhere in between all of this research madness will be some art making, but not sure how much. In fact, my level of art production during the summer was scant. Part of it is because I was on vacation after summer school wrapped up, I just didn't feel like making any art, and because the world is still so overwhelming, right now. (I'm sure most of you have been paying enough attention to current events that I don't need to go into anything here, which is why I'm sure you can understand my anxiety and stress levels.) I did make some more tiny collage work for myself, though, as well as a few art postcards for other people. The postcards have been a nice detour, too.

I'm actually refraining from making much art for myself, at the moment, as I take time to purge and clean the studio. I have years of prints, paintings, and other odds-n-ends that have amassed over the years that need to go. I even archived all of the Napkin Art Studio stuff this summer so that I can officially close that chapter and start a new one with SeriTone Press. Of course, SeriTone will get off to a (probably) slow start with everything else going on in my life. Once I'm finished with grad school, however, I'll be able to shift some focus back to my own art and design. So yeah...I'm shedding years of art and design clutter to make room for something new and fresh. I'm aiming to start from square one with a lot of my work. I just need a reboot, and what better and cathartic way of starting over than to purge it all? A 'Bowie' reinvention, if you will.

Well, wish my luck this semester. I realize August 2021 will be here before I know it, but it's a long tunnel until the end. It's a trying time for a lot of folks right now, and I hope we can all get a shred of happiness and stability for a few moments during the storm. I'll check in with everyone again soon.

Cheers, -JK

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