Growing New Limbs

Since I last wrote, I’ve been on a little progress detour. I wanted to keep writing through it so that when I look back all the markers are present but demotivation doesn’t typically work like that. In a nutshell, I failed an assessment. It was a hard one to take because it was the first test after having failed the entire semester just two short months ago. It felt like the hole I was in revealed two extra layers of floor that could give out and bury me deeper. A dark state of mind to be in and it took a good few days of resignation and starting to make it homey down there in the pit, before I fought my way back out.

After having watched the whole of the internet, I booked a Crossfit group sesh with the muscled ladies. I knocked myself all the way out bringing up the rear of the amazonian  paced class. The class is structured so that everyone does the same amount of exercises but within their own times. Not sure if this is ok when some people’s arm muscles are not quite ready for 50 push ups after 20min on the rowing machine. After class I spent some time in a toilet cubicle leaning my swirling head against the door while holding back the vomit. It did the trick though, and the regained fighting spirit launched me back into gear and out of the hole.

Last week I had my first meetings with teachers and thank God for the papa bear that is Oscar. This is a teacher who has often had front row seats to the drama of my failings and has trouble hiding his level of investment in the storyline. Upon hearing that I didn’t make the assessment, his brow involuntarily furrowed and a peep of despair escaped his no longer neutral lips. I explained about what I presented in the assessment that didn’t quite communicate and wonder of wonders, he understood the words coming from my mouth. Kicking my own ass at the gym could never have given me what he did in that moment. Affirmation. Guidance. A plan. Now it was my turn to suppress affections and it was all I could do not to get out the grass skirt and offer a bare chested rain dance of gratitude. Teachers don’t seem to realise, but what students need most from them is a little bit of encouragement and some positive reinforcement that your idea is more than chicken scratchings.

*grabs another nutshell* So my previous idea was born out of weeks of genuine inspiration and meticulously distilling of all that into one mother idea, which linked what I believe to be my true strengths with the core functions of Fashion. It was real searching, but within the time constrained semester perhaps too far sought. Perhaps it also wasn’t the smartest approach to present this new idea and new job within the fashion industry for the first time at the assessment. It should have been done in the classes before so that by the check it would be more palatable. Anyhow, what cut me deep was the fact that I based the presentation on my strengths as an artist and to be unceremoniously told, ‘Its shallow’ and ‘well this just proves that you’re not good at that’ was debilitating and led to hopelessness.

Now I have another plan, which I’m also excited about! I’ve gone in a more formulaic direction but one that doesn’t require as much explaining. It still has an element of uniqueness because I’m the only one doing a digital installation. This also means I’m doing a lot of work in new programs such as CLO and After Effects. Its also more in Daniel’s realm of expertise with his degree in Film, so we can collaborate when it comes to the motion graphics stage. I’m so glad to have found something to continue with. Paralysis be gone!

While I was in my dip, Dan suffered many a melancholic monologue. In one of them I compared my struggle to growing new limbs. My inheritance from growing up with a hustling mother, is that I’m not afraid to take risks. To throw myself in the deep end, knowing full well that I might not be sufficiently equipped. In many scenarios my mother became the god, and armed with faith and gumption, made a way where there seemed to be no way. I realise I carry that with me in my personal belief system and its gotten me this far. Now, at level 100, that’s as far as it will take me. Ill equipped or not, here I am – swimming in the same lane as people for whom this pool was always a birthright. With my foot now free from its task of getting me in the door, it now needs to learn the kicking to keep me afloat. Learning new moves, growing new limbs, either way developing ain’t for sissies. But there’s no development if you don’t keep swimming, and that in itself is all we need to be doing.

POA: Prepare Process Book for discussion with teacher. Go to school, make prints. Continue CLO tutorials.





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