Tuesday, March 22, 2011


If I had to guess, I would say that you could ask any friend of mine what I'm majoring in or studying at school, and they probably wouldn't be able to tell you...or, at the very least, they'd start out by saying, "I don't know, last time I heard I think she was studying _____." Hell, I think this is the same response my own mother has to use... But it isn't for lack of trying. I've always known that I would get a degree in some form of art, it's just that pinning down a specific field has been really difficult...because I love everything related to art. I wouldn't mind having a degree in all of these fields: painting/drawing, theatre, English and music history; I just know that I'd rather endure a root canal procedure than spend that much time in school.

With all of that in mind, I spent the last year and a half in school in some back and forth mental tango between visual art and theatre; one that has left me in limbo, confused, frustrated and immensely depressed most of the time for reasons I can barely explain.

As I near the end of a 3-year run at my university, I know I need to pick a major and stick with it (I should have chosen a major "officially" a few semesters ago), but I still find myself doubting my options. It is with great pleasure, however, that I was fortunate enough to find a copy of The Artist's Way a few weeks ago. This book is essentially an artist's manual/workbook, geared at curing creative blockages and reviving the, er, inner artist(?) that has always been a part of you.

I first heard about this book a few months ago on Laura Veir's website. Apparently, a few years ago, Laura was teaching music lessons (talk about wishing I had a time machine to jump on an opportunity like that!--I'm assuming she doesn't teach now...) and requested that students use this book as a supplemental text. After some extensive research on the book and the stored faith I already have in her as an artist, I decided I needed this book in my life. And talk about making a great investment...

I am only now just beginning to approach week 1 of the 12-week "recovery process," and already I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I don't think I knew I was creatively blocked until I began reading this book, but now it all makes sense! You know, I haven't completed a painting or drawing in the past 2 years... TWO YEARS. I've started on somewhere between 20-30...and never finished one of them. I think I haven't finished a book either... Well, that's probably a lie. I know I've started on at least 50-70, though, in the last 2 years...and I don't remember finishing many of them. It's like there is some stopping point in my mind, where I just drop off and quit with things. That can't be healthy...right?

What I'm getting at is this: I don't know where or what caused me to become so creatively blocked, all I know is that I'm working to un-do all the damage. And I realized yesterday that, the healthiest thing for me to do regarding school is to go back to fine arts and focus on painting and drawing. Would I rather have a degree in theatre? Maybe. However, if I plan on staying at the school I'm at (and really, at this point, it's the smartest option...even though I can be a bitchy, sulky whinebag about it), I don't want a theatre degree from there. As much as I love theatre, the department itself has presented me with more problems than solutions (something that I can NOT say the same for the fine arts department). I know I'm not alone in this regard, either. My favorite teacher and semi-confidant in the theatre department once referred to the department as "toxic"...a mental image that has stuck in my mind ever since. I'm not saying that I am completely innocent regarding the hand I've been dealt, I'm just saying that for the sake of my mental sanity it would probably be best if I just went back to my ole faithful, visual art, and stuck it out there for the remaining year or two. It's not like I plan on using any bachelor's degree I get once I graduate, anyway.

On that note, I leave you with (bet you saw this coming...sort of) Britney Spears' song "Toxic." It seemed fitting, however I'm not a totally sadistic individual...I'm leaving you with the Yael Naim version, which is definitely a better recording (IMO) on all sides: vocally, musically, compositionally, you get the idea...

Confession: I actually like Britney Spears' version of "Toxic"...Jesus H.....

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