Exam time is here again, but I feel like I have my stress levels under control.
Perhaps it’s just that I know what to expect from the first term. Perhaps I’m becoming more comfortable with the fact that as a future freelance artist that this is just the way my life is now. Perhaps I’ve been infected by a radioactive tulip and am now developing superpowers that will turn me into a superartist that can bestow calmness on the world’s thespians.
I’ll let you know as my research continues.
One thing that I can say for sure has helped is having a daily practice. This is something I always craved before graduate school but would always let life distract me from being consistent with it. Many of the artists I admire have different and/or multiple daily practices like drawing, journaling, prayers, breathing exercises, stretching, and organizing daily calendars.
Since being at LISPA we have been encouraged to find daily practices. They center us and remind us of our core selves no matter what is happening in our lives. My daily practices are free-writing and breathing, each for 15 minutes a day. Drawing is one I’m a bit inconsistent with, so I’ll call that one a weekly practice.
For one of our final assessments this term we were invited to create an art exhibit. This happened last term as well, but the work we produced was markedly different. Most everyone had incorporated an artistic daily practice into their lives, and the work that was shown seemed to come from these. Rather than putting up every bit of work we had, it felt as though the pieces being shown were portions of a much larger body of work, and for that I felt the exhibit was much richer.
I took a piece of writing from my practice and found a way to display it so it was visually appealing. It was my first time displaying my writing in a non-traditional way, and there’s something very provoking about the process. The pictures of my display (which I chose to set up in the stairwell) are below, and the text is below that. I hope you enjoy it, and I encourage you to find your own daily practice as well, at least until my superpowers have matured.
“You have all the time in the world! But that may not be much. We treat our home like food, like garbage. We take and take and give nothing back, like a Pirate of the Caribbean. We pilfer and plunder and rape and then toss her half-eaten crust. In return she gives her warmth, but soon she will give us justice – more heat than we can handle. Then it will be time to colonize! We will go up, up, and away to a new planet with six moons (and only 3% water – so much land to conquer!) We will be aliens just like we were to this one so long ago. On our way we will leave a trail of bell pepper stems, torn front covers of Nora Roberts novels, sunflower kernels from stale bread, wrapping paper cut an inch too short, ugly ass pillows, grape flavored jellybeans, Tictac containers, and furry lint roller sheets. We’ll pave the way to our new home with the detritus that clogged the drain of our old one. Our new neighbors on the starry freeway will whisper to their offspring, “Stay inside.”The Galactic Neighborhood Association will hold an emergency midweek meeting to ask, “Who will be responsible for the clean up?” “We should let the [former] Earthlings off the hook because they’re new to the area,” one will say. “We should make them clean it to set up expectations early on,” another will say. A compromise is reached. It is decided that Gary (actual name smfioadlfhusilf) will visit New Earth (actual name jsio;afnlusil) a week after they’ve settled to give them a friendly warning as well as a copy of GNA’s Annual Conservation Plan. What Gary doesn’t know is that he will be shot to death by military drones upon entering the stratosphere and catalogued as the first of New Earth’s “Government Secrets.” The New Earthlings will never know the President of the Galactic Neighborhood Association. They also do not know that their discarded Tictac containers will eventually form a meteor that will destroy two of their moons. Little Jillian will be very sad. Ujdioshdki was her favorite moon.”