Tuesday, 25 June 2013
On completing an MA and feeling weird about it.
I finished my MA and, in truth, I am incredibly glad that its all over. It is difficult to process how I've felt about the whole experience; often frustrating and anger-inducing, sometimes bewildering, occasionally inspiring. It has been a long and complicated two years and I think it'll take me a while to work out what, exactly, they meant to me.
And now. Now. Hmm.... People keep asking me what I'm 'going to do now' and quite frankly I have no idea. It is as though 'now' is a whole new world, a precipice I am teetering on the edge of and what comes next should be big, bold, a dramatic change. Except it won't be. It'll be exactly the same, at least outwardly. I will keep freelancing and continue to make books and prints and do a bit of teaching here and there. I will carry on taking too many coffee-shop breaks. It is only inwardly that there has been a change, of course there has. Two years of thinking about your work, about what you do and why you do it will undoubtedly change things for you. There are times when I think all that academic navel-gazing has caused permanent damage, other times I think its allowed me to really get to grips with what is important to me, creatively. Either way its been exhausting and now I find myself.... no, actually, I don't know where I find myself. I think my work has been, and will continue, changing. I paint more and draw less, I write a lot more than I ever used to, I struggle with client work in a way I didn't in the past. The only thing that seems fixed is that stories are at the very heart of what I do and what I want to do. It is the story that matters most to be. I like telling them, I like reading them and hearing them. I like how sharing a story with another person can create wonder. And perhaps that means that the stories I tell won't always be told with static images, or even images at all, perhaps I'll write some things, or simply tell them. I wonder whether, for a while, I won't even be an illustrator but something less clearly defined. Its hard to say, hard but certainly interesting. I am learning to see flux as something exciting and not bewildering. I like that my work is not a fixed point, just as I, myself, am not a fixed point. It will change as I do. And whilst, professionally, that seems terrifying, I think, maybe, it'll be good for me.