I remember thinking, a few months before I graduated, that I’d continue to read and learn about art and my trade. I wanted to be sure that I continued to grow even after leaving the academic setting. I can honestly say that post-graduation I have been learning and growing in ways I couldn’t have imagined and in directions I hadn’t previously thought about.
It has truly been a crazy year and a half since I graduated. It seems like I’m always in the process of learning a new skill and working outside of my comfort zone. At first it was frustrating always hitting a wall and learning that my current skills weren’t enough for the task. I dreaded what seemed like learning a new task each week but I find that now it seems more like a new opportunity for growth. With each new challenge I have started to look forward to the new skills that I will gain from it.
Since graduation I had anticipated learning and working on specific topics. I taught myself to illustrate digitally. I have worked on and vastly improved multiple artistic styles. I’ve improved my technique with a handful of mediums that I work with. I’ve read about illustrative techniques and experimented with quite a few of them to see what does and doesn’t work for me. I’ve worked on some fantastic projects and learned a good deal about time management. All in all I feel as though I’ve grown as an artist.
What I didn’t expect was that I would have to teach myself how to use Illustrator, InDesign, WordPress, and a handful of other programs (which is partially due to my stubbornness and refusal to take their classes at Weber. Big mistake on my end.). I didn’t think that I’d continue to read up on photo editing processes or on more advanced photography techniques after leaving the Signpost. I didn’t think I’d be learning about and working with graphic design, typography, or marketing. I definitely didn’t think that I’d be reading about taxes, legal rights and precautions related to art, or drafting up my own contracts for commissions and collaborations.
This is just a very small list of things that I’ve been able to work on for the last little while. I’m happy to say that it is because of the unforeseen obstacles put in my path that I’m able to have grown the way I have. Because of them I’ve been able to make a lot of connections and have been able to learn a lot of new skills. And this, I realize, is just the tip of the iceberg.