Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Amtrak epiphany

Today, Wednesday, Sept. 15, was the first day taking the train into WRJ. It was much bouncier than I thought, but I was still able to read and not get sick like I would if I were on the bus or in car. I'm not sure about working with laptop or drawing but we'll see. Also, won't be long before the beautiful fall scenery loses its luster.

Also, this could be me reading too much into it, but I felt a sense of the divine at work as the train rambled on. I've said the school opening in Vermont was the first instance and now there's the train ride itself: the station is no more than 10 minutes from my house (the one we took so long to find) and the station in WRJ drops me off practically behind the school! Folks from/in big metro areas are probably like "what's the big deal?" But for the transportation to fall in line so well in rural, scattered Vermont is a biggie to me. Makes me wonder, is all, maybe it's just the air on the train...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 1 well under way

And I'm not referring to the NFL season (although I did just watch the Pats once again pull out a miraculous win in the closing minutes). I had my first session of senior thesis seminar today and so classes are now in full swing. Jason Lutes already had us drawing comics...eep. I just went with it. And then we had to reveal our strengths and weaknesses. We'll see as the year goes whether I was right about mine.

As soon as next week, we're going to start having in-class crits. I need to get rolling so I can have something to show. The rest are building off stuff they started last year. I haven't even sat down with Steve and James to talk about my plans for a thesis. It will more than likely involve DZC and "Punk" in some way.

For professional practice, we're designing "identity systems," logos and other designs for use on business cards, letterheads, Web sites. After some frustrating fits and starts, I think I've settled on a nice design.

The jump-right-into work philosophy is forcing me to not dwell on where my drawing skills might be compared to the others. Now, that don't mean I haven't been peeking looks at my classmates worktables and sketch pads ...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Is my labor in vain

A fitting sentiment for the day.
Even though I have it off, I got a lot of work to do. So I dragged myself out of bed early, at least for a holiday.

As I mentioned, I'm back at CCS. Went to orientation Friday where I met the new folks and got my studio space. Yea, my own studio. Sounds all official and artist like, huh?

I expected it to feel a little weird and it did at times. Me, the old-but-new guy sitting in ring of about 26 new faces, who have obviously formed their own bonds and connections. But Jason, Michelle, James, Valerie and the others welcomed me back with open arms -- literally, with hugs. One of the other seniors even offered to let me crash at their apartment on bad weather days.

As I nervously nibbled at pizza and took notes, still questioning (in my head) this path I was taking and the money I was spending on it, James made a statement that finally put me at ease. He was talking about the adviser-student relationship which gives us rare access to working cartoonists and other professionals. That dovetailed into us having been given the time to focus on our comics/cartooning projects. For the next year, well at least two semesters, we're allowed to put most of our time and effort into our comics without feeling guilty about setting aside other aspects of our busy lives. There it is, I thought. That's why I'm here. That's why I'm spending the money. Course for me, it won't be that simple to set aside the other aspects of my busy life, the family and church. And since I do have to pay for it, there's still work.

Which brings me back to today and why I got up early to work on Labor Day. I'm working on some fund-raising ideas. As usual, I've got plots for three more novels and or graphic novels kicking around that I need to get down on paper before I forget them. And I have to prepare a financial presentation for a string of church meetings this week.

But I do want to spend some time with the family today as well. Better do it now before I have to start locking them out of the room...