About a year and a half ago, I posted about being at a crossroads in my life, and whether I should stay with Graphic Design or if I should try my luck down a different path.
Well, in case you didn't know and have been wondering for 18 months, I decided to stick with Graphic Design. Unfortunately I'm still not sure if I made the right choice. But I am sure it was my choice, and so there's no backing out now.
On the positive side, I've learned a lot since then; in fact I've learned a ton. (Still not when to use semicolons, however.) I've grown an appreciation and love for good design and designing I didn't have before. But still, I'm discouraged. That's putting it lightly. I'm downfallen. That's a word, isn't it?
My skills are improving, but certain factors like uncharitable teachers or my own two eyes are telling me that my skills aren't where they need to be.
Last week I met with a teacher to go through my portfolio with me before I submitted it, and I don't know what I was thinking. He's never liked my work. But to his credit he was honest and candid and told me the portfolio as it was constituted would not get me into the BFA program. Ouch. Though I can somewhat agree with him. And fortunately I spoke with him about why exactly that was, and he explained several reasons I could agree with and gave me good advice on how to improve. Although he didn't realize (before I told him) I've only been in 3 design classes, and I didn't realize that this semester wasn't the only one I could apply (until he told me).
So basically I tried applying a little prematurely, which is good. At least better than if I've taken every design class and my portfolio looks like this, I've only taken Graphic Computer Applications, Interactive Design I and Typography and Layout I. (I still need to take Graphic Design I, Graphic Design II, Typography II, Advanced Layout, Interactive Design II, Advanced Interactive Design, and others).
I also met with the counselor who explained that I would need to have taken Graphic Design I in order to apply for the BFA, which I have not. That would have been nice to know. My abilities or lack thereof are just premature, I keep telling myself. It still was difficult to hear what I've done so far is effectively worthless, however. Being rejected even when you agree with the rejection yourself is never easy. But, fortunately, instead of depression, it's helped cement my resolve to become a better designer. I've started working on a personal Graphic Design goal: to regularly make up projects on my own. Right now I'm in the middle of making several typographical posters (like this one, but not), then I'm going to make some book covers, and maybe advertisements. The bottom line is I'm going to follow the advice from my favorite Mark Twain quote I had forgotten:
"(To) never let my schooling interfere with my education."
I'm too far into school to merit turning my academic life around, plus I'm genuinely interested in my major, and I think I could eventually be very successful in the field, provided I'm able to get a job once I graduate and keep learning and improving at the rate I've been.
This post originally was going to me complaining about school and whining, and it ended up more hopeful and optimistic than I expected. Oh, writing, I love you.