Monday, August 6, 2012

Art school is killing me. Perhaps for real.

Two weeks ago when I started my sculpture class I was on cloud nine. Cloud Nine I say! I was so happy to be back, to be mentally stimulated, to have a space to work in and I was over the moon happy and excited. Dude, I was so happy I was thinking, "I'm going to be an artist! I'm going to go to grad school! I love this!" (I've pretty much said no to grad school since the beginning, so to suddenly be considering it was sort of big.)

One week ago I was feeling really tired and sick. Turns out wax releases some pretty vile fumes and they make me ill. Turns out cutting sheet metal with a plasma torch will also release fumes that make you sick. Who knew? Not I! So I did not wear a respirator or any other protective gear to prevent me from inhaling chemicals for hours. And yes, I felt horrible afterward.  However, I was still really loving my class. I was coming up with new ideas. I was making friends with my classmates. I was eager to continue my studies and be back in a studio environment, working away, being challenged and getting feedback.

Today...I helped out with a bronze pour and an aluminum pour. Let me tell you, this is like an art school dream come true for me. The first time I saw a metal pour I almost cried. I really got a lump in my throat. It was almost like watching or being a part of ballet again (weird, I know. I don't understand it either.). The excitement in the air was so thick you could feel it. There was this anticipation and sense of danger but preparedness. It was serious. It was hardcore. And today I got to help out with two different pours and it was awesome! And really hot. As in my calves were dripping with sweat when I was done with each pour. I didn't even know my calves could sweat until today!

Anyway, art school miracles aside, this week I am feeling ready to be done with school. Forever. I am not looking forward to not owning my time anymore. I'm not looking forward to undefined expectations. I'm not sure that right now I feel up for the challenge of being in an environment that is so wonderful and so exhausting and discouraging. Art school is my life now. Most of my life happens inside the art building. It has provided some absolutely incredible opportunities, friendships, lessons, and challenges. But it's not all there is to life. I find myself becoming sucked into it so easily. I don't want to make the mistake of believing art is so important. I love it. I want it to always be a part of my life. I'm so grateful for the chance to be here and study what I love. But I want to see "the real world" as important, beautiful, and full of opportunities, lessons, friends, and challenges too. Having said all that, the class is still really good and my teacher is awesome. I'm not trying to down any of the wonderful aspects of this experience. Also today was the day that I learned that not only are wax fumes bad but so are metal fumes and I learned this after spending over an hour using the plasma torch to cut metal. So I feel pretty bad already. My perspective right now may be slightly skewed.

I think now is the perfect time to end my writing and go to sleep.

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