Over break I managed to eat tons of Christmas cookies and I even got a few naps, but now it’s back to school. This semester I’m taking a heavy course load and I’ve been looking forward to getting in a routine again. After the first week of classes the only thing I know for sure is that is it’s going to be busy. This week I’ve been finding myself thinking about my goals and priorities for the next 5 months. There is a sense that if I don’t get them written down now the speed of the next few months will leave me dazed staring at a blank page. I’m not usually so intentional with goal setting and prioritization but I’m hoping it will help me organize more effectively.
This semester, one big focus of mine is on experimentation. I’m looking forward to playing with new materials and processes. After years of working predominately in collage with found paper I’m looking forward trying something new and experimenting with both materials and processes. I’m taking a class in handmade paper making where I hope to experiment with structure and form while learning the ins and outs of how paper goes from fiber to form.
I’m also looking forward to experimenting with sculptural bricolage. The access to facilities, equipment, and generously sized studio spaces present an opportunity to work on a scale that hasn’t been possible for me before. I’m hoping to explore and utilize more of the amazing resources Columbia has to offer this semester. I’ve also been thinking back to my undergraduate experience and my focus in fibers and material studies. I’ve been finding I’m more and more interested in work that considers material and concept equally so that’s been in the back of my mind as my ideas and plans develop.
I get stressed out pretty easily and I worry constantly about even the smallest of items on my ridiculously full plate. This semester a goal of mine is to let go and create more balance in my life. At the core this basically means do more yoga, laugh, and eat better. The never ending stream of news and events on top of school along with maintaining my closest relationships was overwhelming at times last semester. Graduate school is definitely a challenge (in a good way) and I want to use this time to cultivate strong habits that make my practice and life sustainable after I graduate. Part of this goal is to set clear expectations with myself and others about what I can actually handle over the course of a semester. Another aspect of this goal is realizing that I need to make sure to leaving room for the people and activities I love each week, regardless of how hectic things get.
For the first time in my adult life I invested in a fancy new planner to help me manage my time better. Last semester was ad hoc with a basic notebook and wrote notes for myself each day but I usually felt like I was forgetting something. Most of the time that something was an essential ingredient for a dinner recipe and my business. This year I’m dedicating time every week to working on my business to-do list and connecting with other entrepreneurs in Chicago. There are so many resources and inspiring entrepreneurial artists in this city, I want to take advantage and learn as much as possible.