college: Part one

My artwork has always been a little dark. I noticed when I was pretty young, decorating a kite in kindergarten, that there might be some issues. My kite was the only one hung up in the hallways that had fangs and blood splatters all over it. There was a long talk had at a conference between my teacher and my buzzed mom.

He clearly has talent, Ms. Sunday. We’re just concerned with the content of his.. drawings.

Let's skip ahead a decade and a half. I'm now attending college at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and up until these years in my life, I've kept all of my morbid and biographical work pretty hidden. I'd show a few people a few things sometimes, but I honestly was so dedicated in High School to the idea that I had to work hard in order to be a great artist. Well, foundation year sort of taught me I already hit that point I wanted to hit. I had some improvement I could make, but it wasn't something school gave me; it was a matter of repetition. Of becoming a machine pumping out 18 hours of work in 3, five times a week. After so long, you don't really have to critically think about it. By the end of my Freshman year I pretty much knew how to make something that conveys a message I want in an "aesthetically pleasing" way.

My Sophomore year introduced freedom, and also came with a choice: what would I major in? There were two different majors I considered.

One was all about science and conveying information, which was something I was really interested in because at this point I was almost certain I was going to become a professor. This was Bio-med, or Biomedical Illustration. The real title was actually "Biomed", as in biological and medical. Basically scientific illustration, but focused on biological and medical fields.

The other was something that was really near and dear to me, but that I feel a lot of us brush off. It was called TIME, or Technology Integrated Media Environment. If that sounds pretty vague it's because it was named this by design. It was led by a creative that almost seemed to be fluent in the modern distaste for artists. How anyone who even starts out by saying they're an artist seems to get this weird "oh" feeling from anyone who isn't part of a world that's already influenced by art. Her name was Sarah Paul, and she was from New York, which somehow added to her character for me.

Having my mind made that I was already a great artist helped influence my decision. I figured being humble was just something polite people did for people without our merits. I had a long talk after applying to both majors (along with drawing, which I was good at but seemed like it would be more of what I had been doing) with Sarah Paul, and she convinced me to accept the TIME election for my major. It was something I truly wanted anyways but just didn't know was a real possibility for me. To play with technology, even so far as to break it just to see what I could make it do after.

I was accepted in both, but opted for TIME. The first sophomore year was now going to be filled with hours of coding, breaking electronics, soldering, and video editing. So much fucking video editing.