Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Finishing Touches

Dustin Seelinger

Illustration of ponies and a bunny as part of my narrative

Illustration of ponies and a bunny as part of my narrative

We are quickly approaching critique week. It is almost like time is speeding up. There has been this sudden sense of urgency among the students in the Interdisciplinary Arts programs. There are more people in the studios than normal. Slowly but surely there are a lot of pieces that have been labeled as works-in-progress becoming finished pieces. But mostly everyone is trying not to panic. I have even started reading the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to remind myself: Don’t Panic.

I have been feverishly trying to finish a bunch of projects to be able to show them during critique. I have been recently working on a series of pen and ink illustrations as part of the narrative that I’ve been working on. Alongside those, I have been working on writing the narrative. It is essentially a fictionalized retelling of my life experiences since becoming a dad. I call it a memoir on a galactic scale. Added to that the portrait I have been working on, and I have a lot left to do, like organize my presentation.

I have mentioned this before in a previous blog post, but the critiques are essentially set up like mini artist talks. Each student is given thirty minutes to talk about their work and then conduct a question and answer session with students and faculty in attendance.

I am pretty excited about the stuff I am working on right now. I am going to scan the pen and ink stuff into the computer and print them on (hopefully) hand made paper. These are going to be bound into a book along with a series of reproductions of silk screen prints. The text of the book will be printed on vellum overlays. If it looks anything like I hope it does, it should be awesome.

To work on the text of the narrative, I have been reading the Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien. The point of the narrative that I am working on is essentially a creation story. The Silmarillion is Tolkien’s creation story of Middle-Earth. It seemed a natural inspiration for me to think of ways to create my own imaginary world based on life experiences (Tolkien was deeply effected by the War, and that came out in his writing). It is definitely a thick read, to say the least.

That is where I am at right now. The goal of course is to wrap these projects up in the next few days so that I can photograph them and get them into the presentation. There’s so much work left to do, but I’m confident that, in the end, I’ll have things that I will be proud of. At least spring break is the week after critique, so there’s the escape plan. Always have an escape plan. And, DON’T PANIC.

Finishing Touches

We are quickly approaching critique week. It is almost like time is speeding up. There has been this sudden sense of urgency among the students in the Interdisciplinary Arts programs. …

Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA Dustin Seelinger, dustin.seelinger@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605