So did I learn much? Hmm lets compare some of my visual design work before I joined the course, with work i did near the end of the year
work from previous year: Digital painting and life drawing.
And towards the end of the 1st year: Same again.
Well to me I dont feel at least in a traditional sense, that i've improved much artistically from where i was at leaving my foundation course. That's my own fault though, I knew I just haven't been drawing enough, what with the other two modules needing equal attention and taking time away from visual design, and me having very poor time management. However I have learned a bunch of new skills working with 3ds Max and Photoshop which is important and will be very useful this year.
So anyway we all know the result as I'm still here, so what about now, what do I need to do to make it through this second year and bag nothing less than the best possible grade I can? Not what I've done so far anyhow... Ive been lacking passion, and that's made the difference of me not progressing in skill much beyond knowledge of how to use 3ds max.
To sum up this first term, I would have to say that I have been trapped in the worst head space that I've ever been in during any educational period. My mental attitude and passion for art took many small blows during the first few weeks since I moved into my new house in October. I wanted to start this New Year with a fresh attitude and build on the things that I have learned from last year like anyone else .
However, it seems I set myself up for a bad start. One reason was because I am doing my best to juggle a long distance, long-term relationship alongside meeting the demands of the course. However, this wasn't the main reason I've struggled with my attention to work.
I haven't been maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan. Each day that I ate poorly and did no exercise weakened me, and on top of that I let my sleeping pattern fall into disarray. So far these three things are the same things I struggled with last year only just a little bit worse.
The last and probably most significant reason I've been so distracted, is probably an odd one. It's my new pet. I was given a young pet rabbit by my family for my birthday in September; she was to be a companion for my new home and something to break the boredom I knew I might face in my room. In retrospect this was a bad idea.
I knew very little about rabbits and as it turned out, she was sick from the moment we bought her and has developed new and more complex health issues as time went on spanning this entire first term. This meant I spent a lot of time caring for a sick animal in my room where I work and a lot of money paying visits to the vet. Of which both things really badly affected my mood and served as a distraction. I think it's because I did this alone and had no choice about it that allowed it and everything else to crush my enthusiasm and motivation towards coursework.
So I fell behind and not just a little bit... each week seemed to pile on more pressure and more from me to fall further and further behind on. Slowly but surely the mountain of work rose in front of me and it began to look too steep for me to climb. And yet I still couldn't feel motivated and couldn't be excited about any of the projects.
My desire to draw when completely out the window and I found that in order to keep up with at least one module I had to virtually ignore the other two which is what happened with Game production. I often wanted to draw and catch up but my brain said:
Now it seems at last I'm at a turning point. Pressure has finally driven me to push past that barrier stopping me from working and at the same time I've finally got some good luck with the rabbit and can relax my concerns so I can focus on work.
It feels like it's been one long drawn-out battle the I've been losing up until now . Because right now I'm feeling much more positive and by no means do I want to return after Christmas with anything near the same attitude as prior. In fact I mean to return with a completely radicalized strategy to succeed, whereby I will plan out my days intelligently and devote nearly all my interests and time to art. I miss losing myself in a sketchbook and drawing with a uncluttered mind. I've also realized that my body can’t cope with the workload if I don't also exercise and eat regularly so that I can maintain a healthy body and mind. What I find with this kind of work is without those things it becomes very draining very quickly.
So to conclude this term has been a bit of a train wreck but now I'm thinking straight again, and I plan to return after Christmas with a new realistic game plan to pick up momentum and hold it. I want to really see what I'm capable of and I believe that so far I haven’t pushed myself hard enough or challenged myself to really see what I can do. No more feeling like I’m actually going backwards in terms of my artistic ability. I need to go forwards and not stop, and that’s what I plan to start doing.