Succeed; Make Good Art; Be Proud.
I tend to be goal-orientated. Having specific, attainable goals to reach for can drive me better than just about anything else. In high school, I was a part of my school’s swim team. My best meets were the ones I set specific times I wanted to hit. Deciding I did not want to just swim fast, but that I wanted to cut three seconds off of my fifty free motivated me.
That being said, I had three goals for this semester: Succeed, make good art, and be proud.
First and foremost, I wanted to succeed in the traditional academic sense: Good grades. For the most part, I think I did pretty well. Final grades have not been issued yet, but I have a relative idea where I was in most of my classes. In typography–probably my favorite class–I had one B with As on the rest of my projects and tests (No word on the final project yet). My broadcasting profs did not turn many grades back, but I had As on almost all they did. I believe I ended the semester with a high B in design II (It was pretty darn close to an A). Spanish was not my favorite class and definitely challenged me more than most. It was nowhere near as high as my other grades. However, I am content with this because I know that I well and truly tried my hardest and I did learn a lot in the class.
Make good art was partially inspired by a commencement address given by Neil Gaiman. In a nutshell, I came down to this: You can make bad art and still get good grades. The more I design the better I become; this happens to everyone. Our ability starts to naturally refine. That being said, I did not want to allow my design ability to just progress as it will. Rather, I wanted to push myself to devote more time and create better pieces. Over all, I definitely know my ability improved. Yes, I created some meh works. But, as a whole, I am a much better designer than I was last semester.
As a student in my two majors–but particularly on the graphic design side–it can be easy to do projects specifically to make my professors happy. I can treat assignments as work and professors as clients I have to cater to. In some ways, it can be a learning tool. However, it does little to help me develop my own style and technique. At the end of the day when I completed pieces, I wanted to review them and be proud of them. Not because of the grade earned or any compliments a prof might give, but to be proud because of my hard work, the experience gained, and how I felt about the piece. College will be one of the few times in my life when I can do things my way. Yes, there are certain guidelines and restrictions in place, but they still gave me plenty of wiggle room to cultivate my artistic sense.
Fall 2012 Semester: Successful!