Last week in my final critique of graduate school, Mike Olenick asked me something along the lines of “what have I learned/ what is something I have taken away from my time here?” — I answered by saying that I would have never done a two year project and continued to express my disappointment in the project and myself.
This is something I have struggled a lot with the past year, and now preparing for my defense and thesis paper it is something I am reflecting a lot upon.
After my critique many people told me I was being too hard on myself, and maybe that’s true, but I feel the way that I feel, yah know? The truth is I love Tetra, I love the world I am creating, and if I had never done an MFA I still think I would be working on it. I just wish I would have never attached it to my success/ or failure here. It was too much, too big of a project and I was told this in almost every critique. I’m a pretty stubborn guy though, and have an unwarranted confidence that everything will work out. But it didn’t.
Two years later I feel like I have almost nothing to show from my project. The book I made was just a draft and almost all of it needs to be scrapped– that means all of the sketches too. The eight paintings, none of which can be put in my portfolio without more work will probably remain untouched, so there goes that.
I have to remind myself though, that success can be measured in many ways, and in all truth I learned a ton from working on the book. Two years ago I never would have thought I’d have written a novel, be working with my hero, or have over 500+ drawings for a single project. Even looking back at some of the early sketches I can see my growth — I just wish I had something finished that reflected that, I wish I had something I could truly be proud of.
If I would have just been honest with myself I know I could have made something really cool.