I’m moving to Chicago within a few months of returning to America. I am skipping out on next semester to settle into my new home, get a decent job, find a school, and continue figuring out what I want to do about my degree and what I want to do after college. I don’t know if I should finish my degree or start a new one. I hate the “art” I make. There isn’t much I’ve done in the past 4 years to be proud of. I’m a slow learner. It takes me longer than the time I’ve been allotted to become skilled at these art forms. Yeah, I’m not gonna be a pro when I first start. That’s not what I expect, but with the skills I have learned, I should be able to create something better. I know this because I see my peers’ artwork. Maybe art is something I need to keep to myself until I can create a portfolio to be proud of. My tutors expect my work to be ready to show to the real world. That’s not how I see it. I see it as testing what I’ve learned. It’s not the best work because it is new to me and therefore takes me longer, factoring in trial and error. It is the best I can do with what I have slowly learned. Nobody needs to have this much pressure on them about ART. Art is supposed to be passionate and enjoyable, but I am being suffocated. I started a new class this week, and for the first time in a long time, I am inspired. I have so many ideas. Ideas that develop instead of crumble. I am realizing I need to RESEARCH my ideas for art. Yeah, they sort of teach that at my home uni, but it’s something I never thought about doing for my personal benefit. A big difference between English and Americans is that English think before acting and Americans act before thinking. Americans say, “Think of an idea and do it.” English say, “Think of an idea, research it, plan it, do it.” I’m not saying that Americans are all bad compared to English, but the English way of thinking is certainly refreshing.
I planned on using this blog as a journal. Obviously, that hasn’t worked out too well. And I’ve taken so many photos that I hardly need to write anything. I don’t need to write down what I do every single day, because I’m either going to class, doing homework, or sitting at home not doing much of anything. I don’t get out much, I don’t talk much. I live with people that I would consider friends. Don’t get me wrong, I like them and we get along fine, but I don’t really “connect” with anyone. Small talk can only go so far. I am shy and always will be. I’ve always said that it takes a year for me to be completely comfortable around someone. I have 5 months. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I leave without one single true friend. Everyone else will stay in contact with each other; I will disappear. I probably won’t know anyone from England either. I don’t talk to people in my classes except for the people I already know (doesn’t help that the international students were housed away from all the local students). I never thought I had trouble making new friends until now. I can’t get along with girls and I don’t want to make friends with guys because they might take it the wrong way.
I have also realized that I am extremely unhappy at MSU. Not a new realization, just an old one that I chose to ignore because it was easier to ignore than to do something about it. I need to get out. I have found a way to move once I am back in America. Money is my main concern. If I have to take a semester off to get myself where I need to be, then so be it.
Not that I’m a brilliant photographer and you should be taking tips from me, but these are just some really basic things I’ve learned from school or whatever:
1. Pick an angle.
2. Use the lighting to your advantage. Notice the way it reflects, or shines into, or highlights things, etc.
3. Pay attention to the framing of your photographs: symmetrical or not symmetrical? What should you cut out and where should you cut it out?
4. Depth of field. What do you want in focus/where do you want the focus of your photo to be?
5. Negative space can be really effective if used correctly.
6. Flash or no? Seems really obvious, but I personally prefer to use no flash if I can. Even at night. Some people use flash during the daylight. Depends on how you want the photo to appear.
7. Experiment! Even if it turns out bad, keep trying.