Last year's IMC was a revelation; this year's IMC was a staggering confirmation.
always hard to find the words for things like this. So much gets packed
into a week, and it's in such a unique context - it's nothing like real
life, and very hard to parse once I leave. Beyond that, I still
struggle to not feel like I'm boasting when talking about how well my
art was received and the things people said to me.
painting this year way by absolutely no means perfect, and there are are
a lot of things I struggled with in the process... but the responses I
got from my peers and teachers give me no real chance to doubt myself.
For Rebecca Guay to tell me that the emotion is there, for Mike Mignola to compliment me on my composition, for Donato
to call the hands I'd just painted good - god, it just kept going, and I
sat there shellshocked because I barely know what I'm doing, I'm
twenty-three, I graduated last year. But the voice in the back of
my head that wormed its way in sometime during college has been
rendered by and large silenced: the struggle now is no longer in
overcoming the conviction that I'm mediocre, but in believing enough in
my abilities not to get discouraged by the uphill climb.
All of the teachers had things for me to fix, places where I needed to push - "You're just so timid!" said Dan Dos Santos, shaking his head, laying in cadmium yellows and reds and oranges into the light on my figure
- but the message I got loud and clear is, at this point, I need to
take those hours of my ass in the chair and the brush in my hand and keep going.
I'm not there yet: I'm missing that polish and fearlessness that I see
in all of the art I love. But I look at my art and see something coming
toward the surface, and each successive painting is capturing something a
little closer to my goal.
In the coming year, I'm planning on taking Rebecca's SmART School class.
It's expensive, especially for a Starbucks barista, but I've watched
the art that's come out of it and it's frankly astonishing. Two years of
the IMC have rocketed my art upwards at a pace I would never in a
million years would have believed possible, and I'm absolutely going
back for a third year... but if I'm serious about improving, I have to
use all the resources available to me.
I don't really
know what my point was supposed to be. All I do know is I left the IMC
last year deeply shaken by having had the unconscious, deep-seated
understanding that I was mediocre ripped from me - and this year I left
feeling a little blinded by how clearly I saw the path at my feet.
You guys, I am going to make so much art.