Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment | Resolution Time…Once Again

I have spent an entire month out of the studio and immersed in the sweet, foggy bosom of good ole San Francisco. This might sound great, and in many ways it was, but I wasn’t quite as productive as I should have been. Oh sure, I made some boxes and books to give as gifts. And I did do some drawing, painting, writing–and thinking, of course–but not with the ferocity of a person possessed. You know, not like a grad student. No, instead I ate and drank a lot, met with friends and family, and took my dog on long, exciting walks near seaside cliffs. I would like to tell you that all of these things were research for my thesis or that I have been putting my psychic thoughts into practice, but let’s be real here. I have achieved full-on slacker status. And so, with only a few weeks before the official start of my new no final no thesis semester, I am doing something I haven’t done since childhood: making New Year’s resolutions. And this time I plan to keep them:

Resolution #1: Stop my dang procrastinating! Just this past week, I made homemade Butterfingers instead of reworking the draft of a book that I designed. The confections were crazy delicious but they set me back. They made me popular among friends and family but did nothing to promote my art career. So, in the end, no bueno.

Resolution #2: Get it together. I have notes and sketches all over the place and these mental shards often end up meaning nothing to me. Here is a sampling:

Paper dolls – when animals attack
Human deer tunnel dark forest
Tin can dummy
Paper revolution
Origins of the cowboy hat
Overhead band print
2 houses connected by wires and laundry line
Lead graffiti
Paralyzed by love narcolepsy with cataplexy
“that is one scabby pumpkin cat”
Bad piñata fillings
Scissor or Caesar?

I assure you that I have tried but cannot piece these together. At one point, all of these things meant something and were likely the beginnings of pretty decent ideas. I kind of feel like Guy Pearce in Memento.

Resolution #3: Be thankful. I know this sounds a bit Oprah-esque and for that I apologize. But seriously, amid the chaos and intensity of a graduate program, it is possible to lose sight of the fact that this moment in time is a gift. I count myself lucky to be able to attend the program that I’m in, meet the people who I know, and make the work that I make. Some people buy themselves super expensive cars and other luxury items where others might struggle while taking their time to pursue a passion. Neither of these is necessarily “right” but the latter was right for me and sheesh, am I glad that I made that decision. Sure, I drive a crummy car that is literally covered in moss and likely has mushrooms growing in the trunk. But I also have an art studio. And I get to make work, keep weird and obscure notes, and enjoy the fruits that procrastination sometimes bears.

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