College: It's For Me Right?

College: It’s For Me Right?

College is seen by many as a time in a person’s life where they grow and mature, where they find themselves and start to form the ideas and abilities that make them a unique and individual person. But what if you feel college isn’t for you? Continue reading “College: It’s For Me Right?”

The Dream Killer: How to Stop Comparing and Enjoy Your Craft Again

The Dream Killer: Comparison and How to Enjoy Your Craft

I’m thrilled to introduce a new guest writer! This article, about comparing yourself in the arts, is by Lauren Norton of Glitter & Grandeur.

Have you ever watched a performance or seen a piece of art and thought: “I could do better than that.” – OR – thought: “I’ll never be that good”?

I have thought each of these things multiple times. I’m guilty. I’ll admit it.

As artists (of all art-forms), our work is personal – it is a part of us: an extension of our soul. We live in a highly competitive world where we constantly are told we aren’t good enough. I’ll agree: it’s hard -making it easy for us to fall into the soul-crushing trap of comparison. Continue reading “The Dream Killer: Comparison and How to Enjoy Your Craft”

Costume Design

Costume Design: Development and Process of Design

There is a lot to take into consideration when designing costumes for a show. Each costume has to tell the audience a little about the character wearing it and about the setting they are in. It is a difficult process to get to the final show pieces but when you see the show and all your hard work take form and tell the story of the characters it all pays off.

Failure: Friend or Foe?

Hello! I am so excited to have our very first guest writer today, writing all about failure. Margaret has 4 posts planned, one to be posted every Monday this May. So, here it goes! -Sara

Failure: Friend or Foe?

 

As a writer, failure–usually in the form of a generic rejection letter–is something I face every time I submit a short story for publication. At first, the prospect of a rejection letter was almost crippling. The idea of putting my work forward for strangers to judge once made me sick to my stomach.

Then it happened: My first rejection. I’d submitted a story to Glimmer Train, which is a well-known literary magazine that I’d had my sights set on for awhile. Publication in Glimmer Train commands a certain degree of respect.

I won’t lie–the rejection stung at first, until I realized that it wasn’t a personal affront. They in no way said my writing was lacking, only that the particular story I’d sent in did not fit their vision for the upcoming issue. They (the magazine is edited by a pair of sisters) invited me to submit again in the future.

So I have. I’ve submitted three times so far, and received a rejection each and every time.

I’ve learned something with each rejection. Market research can only take a fiction writer so far. Sometimes the process of elimination–even with one’s own stories–can be more educating than reading back issues. Each rejection takes me one step closer to acceptance, because I am honing in their ideal story.

Right about now, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with art. The thing is, the “writer’s life” isn’t all that much different from the artist’s life–we just use a different medium.

I have studied the fine arts, as well. In my younger years, I earned my BA in Art History, but before then I intended to pursue Art Education. The Arts had always been a staple in my education. As a high school student I attended the Center for Creative Youth (CCY), a five-week intensive art education experience at Wesleyan University.

Naturally, as a budding artist, I enrolled in Drawing 101 and Drawing 102. Drawing 101 was fantastic–it was difficult, but fantastic. Every night we had to draw our hand in a different position for homework. My early attempts looked like blind contour drawings, though there was nothing blind about them.

By the end of that course, my hand was popping off the page. The semester ended and I practiced my newly refined skills over winter break.

Then the spring semester began. I could make excuses and say that my instructor was an egomaniac whose ideas about how to teach drawing were off-base. But the fact was, he asked us to complete what seemed like a simple task, and I utterly failed at it.

We had a twenty-four-inch wide piece of paper, clipped on the easel. Our task? Draw a straight vertical line, dead center, with willow charcoal.

I admit it was not my most eco-friendly month. The only thing I managed to produce was a pile of discarded newsprint sheets and plenty of frustration. My classmates were in the same boat. We grumbled about the task, about his methods, and about his “You should feel fortunate to have me as your professor” attitude.

The fact was, we were all failing. We never did manage to draw a perfectly straight line down the absolute center of the page (no rulers allowed!), but we were learning to accept failure. To learn from it. To rely upon our determination rather than our frustration.

Fine Arts or Fiction, failure is not our enemy. We need not fear failure–the only thing we need to fear is giving up out of frustration.