We have talked about it, fought about it and we have all struggled with it. This semester has certainly been a pain in the ass for many of us. And not just in Seeing Sideways but in classes across the board. If I tend to ramble from here on out, please stick with me.
I have struggled in this class in many ways. I am generally a very motivated and creative person, but for reasons unbeknown to me, this semester has been very different. I have stressed over and over about it and only to make my creative side further disappear. My defensiveness kicked in and I started to blame my lack of creativity on the lack of creativity in the whole class. Let's face it, the the creative vibe in this class as a whole was atrocious. Not to offend anyone but we have discussed it enough that there's no need to pull punches here. Now there could be some truth in the fact that my artistic mind took a nap due to this vibe. On the flip-side, maybe I just had a genuine creative block and that was my contribution to this anti-artisticness that went on.
When Beth told us that we didn't have to come back to class if we did not want to, I decided to do the one thing that I would have never guessed myself to do--Bail on a Beth Lykins class. I didn't do so to end the semester early, I did so out of desperation. Usually, I feed off of the song and dance around me and that enables me to churn out my best work and Beth knows this. I am very, very competitive. I can't let my work be anything but the best. I see what others are doing around me and I throw all my chips into the pot daring someone to call me. But again, on the other hand, I wasn't contributing anything worthwhile to the class either. I was desperate to make sense out of the semester and find what I needed in order to end it on a bright note.
I needed to get away from the class and get away from a lot of things. I just needed time to think and focus on the little stuff. What is the bare bones idea of this class all about? It's to help one evoke new ideas and new ways to approach these ideas. Simple as that.
And then one morning, just as I was waking up, it hit me.
What I was supposed to learn in this class wasn't how to come up with some grand new photoshop technique, or how to bring a new idea to the table for creating some great piece of art. I was supposed to learn something specific to only me: I can't always be so competitive with others in order to be creative because sometimes in life, that just isn't an option. In the real world I probably won't always be in a collaborative forum. I have to be able to re-channel that competitive mentality within myself and create at any time. I don't know if Beth had this lesson in store for me and I imagine that some of the readers checking out this blog will view my lesson as insignificant but to me it's not. In all honesty, this realization is definitely the most important thing I have learned in college so far.
To Beth: I did not bail on you or my peers but by coming to class, I just repeatedly ran into that creative turmoil and needed a break. These last two weeks things relaxed and fell into place. And that creative turmoil, which once seemed like a bad thing, ended up being just what I needed. I trust that you, above all my other teachers, will see the significance in what I have learned. I hope this semester doesn't discourage you from continuing the course. Thank you for the class and thank you for the lesson.