I was talking with a friend from art school the other day, and the conversation immediately went to the various trials and tribulations that our school had put us through; some good, some awful. Nuff’ said.
However, it got me thinking back to when I first showed up to art school back in ’11 (holy crap, 6 years ago), and how big of a fish I thought i was on the first day of class.
However, my ego was immediately crushed as I looked around the room at what my other peers were capable of. To put it bluntly, I was garbage. Still was, probably until junior year after three years of fervent scribbling, painting, and coffee-stained nights. Even after that, I still wasn’t that great, but I had progressed.
The thing was, I had saved most of my drawings from that time, even as far back as freshman year. Through a combination of forgetfulness and 4 moves over the course of those years, all those drawings, literal pounds upon pounds of drawings, stayed buried until about a week ago when I found the box.
The reason I had saved them, at the time, was because they were the best drawings I had done up to that point. But looking through them I realized just how far I had progressed. And then I remembered something that I almost forgot, something that kept me going during those shitty stressful years of art school.
The reason I busted my ass, and still bust my ass everyday is because I want to make art for a living. I have sacrificed more shit than I care to remember in order to fulfill this goal. Jobs, money, hobbies, opportunities, and of course sleep. All to make art. Sometimes, after a particularly bad day, I wonder if it’s even worth it or if I’m getting better at all…
Looking over my old work, even from just 2 years ago, the gains I have made are astronomical. So, with a smile on my face, i gathered up those pounds upon pounds of drawings, took them outside, and burnt them all to ash.
I am not the sentimental type.
Hopefully, seven years down the line, i’ll be able to do this again. Look at my old work and see stepping stones that have taken me further than the last. Until then, I’ll keep working and make sure there’s plenty to burn the next time.