2017, Life

Hopes for the future

I remember leaving school. I remember preparing for leaving school. I remember waiting for my exam results. Visiting colleges. The dreaded fear as I counted down the final days.

My aim, was to be a Veterinary Nurse, as I wanted to help animals. I tried so hard. But whilst I was studying in Glasgow, I started to develop anxiety. Whilst I had an issue with depression at school, college is where it smashed me in the face. It got harder and harder to continue on. Eventually I failed an exam to get on the next year, and had to get a job in a shop. Which was okay, but I didn't get on with my manager. My anxiety lead to a fear of standing still. If I stood still, then the fact that I failed as a Vet Nurse would catch up.

So I thought about what I wanted to do, as a life. And even as a kid, I either wanted to do art or something with animals. So, I tried animals, so i thought I'd try something more arty. This time I went to a local college to try Art and then Graphic Design. To support this, I left the shop and went to work in a call centre in the evenings. The ambition was there, but at this stage (my 20s) I still hadn't got any help with my mental heal issues. I speak about them, because I can see they were there, when I am looking back. It was whilst I was at college and the call centre that i eventually sought out help. I struggled with college, so I eventually ended up just going full time at the call centre. But I struggled.

Eventually, I was paid off from the call centre for underperforming. Which was hard. But I was so anxious, that I felt I was a burden to everyone around me. I couldn't sleep before work, and I would frequently end up in tears during the shift. Although I was in despair at the time, I didn't realise how much I hated the job till I never had to go back. I spent about 6 months, whilst looking for jobs, learning how to look after myself. I was in the worst mental state I had been in through my whole life. I was self-harming and didn't want to live. I only saw what I had failed at, and wanted to give up.

I spent time with friends and family, made effort, found the things that made me happy again. And about 4 years ago, I applied for a job at a local warehouse. A job I was permanent in after 12 weeks, and that I am still at. I work long shifts, but short weeks, and this has enabled me the time I needed to continue to work on myself. And it helped. I like my job, I like the people I work with, but I still feel I could do more. So I applied to the Open University to do an IT course. I have always been interested in computers, so it would be interesting. And because I have healthier ways of dealing with any mental health issues, I think I am more prepared than before, to work on a course.

I guess that is my message of this post. What you may have in mind for your career might not pan out. But it is no reason to give up. There are so many pathways available to you, so try not to lose awareness of that. Not everyone gets lucky at their first career choice, but something is there for you. I mean, IT might hot be the thing for me, but life is too short to not try.

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So Long 2016

Everywhere I look, there are people condemning this past year . Blaming the high number of celebrity deaths, terrorist attacks and political changes on 2016. Which is crazy. Yes, bad stuff has happened, but bad things always happen. The 24 hour news coverage has been very good at showing us bulletins with no ‘good news’ story.

Well, I am going against the common ‘2016 is shit’ thoughts, and think that this year has been one of the best year I have had in a very long time. Which fits in with my main aim for the year, to make 2016 better than 2015. 

The big thing was my mental health. I took a step back from a lot of things, like relationships, trying to work on illustrating things and oversharing online. I spent time think about my anxiety and what happened when I had panic attacks. I started the process in 2015, but I feel like I came a long way in 2016. I still have panic attacks and things,  but there is a lesser chance of them ruining my day or week. Although I have still got a lot of work to do on my mental health, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted already. 

This has given me more confidence. For the first time since I started at my work, I put myself forward for being an instructor, which is showing people how to do the job. I gave tours of the warehouse I work to large groups of new starts. I joined a group of associates which tries to make things better for everyone at my work. It feels like I can make a difference and help people. It feels good doing things I would never have done before. I feel like, for once in my life, I actually have a place somewhere that fits. 

I also decided at the start of the year that I would try to learn to drive again. I had driving lessons when I was younger, but the lessons went on for too long and I lost my confidence. So I started my lessons again, and it went a lot better. In the summer I passed my theory test, and in November I passed my practical. Driving felt like something that was sitting in the background, just another thing I didn’t finish. But now, it’s done. I passed, I just need to get a car now. 

So yes, 2016 has been a successful year for me. It has still had it’s bad points, don’t get me wrong, but I am not giving that my time. I am focusing on the ‘good stuff’. And it really helps. I can’t remember the last time where I sat at New Year, and felt happy about the previous 12 months. It’s a long overdue change. 

art, photography

Aaaaaaannndd focus!!

Photography wise, I mean.

Been looking around sites like Deviant Art and realised that a hell of a lot of people consider themselves ‘photographers’. I don’t think it’s an issue that so many people love taking pictures. I mean, I think its great when anyone does something creative. Creativity is the language of the soul, or was that food of the soul. I can’t remember, I am rubbish at remembering quotes. Anyways, creativity is good for a person.

It’s when people get all snot-nosed about it.

The people who spent 5 years at University, aren’t necessarily better photographers that anyone else, but it’s that they think that they are. **Making no sense- deep breath** What I mean is, why should having a formal education in something make you better at your chosen topic. It doesn’t. All it means is that you have more pieces of paper when it comes to trying to get a job. This is the ‘hallelujah’ moment I had last year, that no matter how much education you have, you aren’t going to necessarily ‘get better’. Sure, you may learn more skills, which is nice and all, but if you can’t visualise things on your own, then no amount of skill can change that. You can spend your 20s at College or University, and still end up as hopeless as you were at High School.

Sounds a bit ‘tough love’ but it’s true. The person who does something because they love it, is going to be far more successful than someone who chases a career because it will make them money. It is something, I think I needed to be out of College to see. It ‘opened my eyes’, if you will.

    “A person receives a richer eduction experiencing life, than they would at any School”

This nameless quote (I need to start noting down names) is speaking the truth. Whilst education is nice and all, it is mostly just an easy extension onto High School, where you can delay ‘adulthood’ for an extra few years. The only adult thing that seems to happen is the debt. The thousands and thousands of pounds worth of debt College gifts every student. So that before they can graduate, they need to find a job, and when they do, it all goes into paying College loans off. So College graduates have this big pressure on them to get a job in their profession, sometimes annihilating any enjoyment for the subject, the person once had.

Taking a subject you enjoy, and trying to turn it into a career is hard. Most times people give up, because it either becomes too hard, or they lose enjoyment. And, let’s be honest, there is no attraction in working a job you hate for the rest of your life. If you have read this blog at all before, you were aware of the stress I had trying to start my own business as soon as I left College. At the time, it seemed like an awesome idea, start earning money from my own work. But, as frequently happens, it didn’t quite go like that. I had a massive creative block, that I just couldn’t get out of.

The thing with working in the Creative Industry, you can try as hard as you can, but if you have no inspiration, then it is hard to produce work. So I took a gap, and starting working on other things, such as writing. This helped. Because I could write about my apparent failure, I received advice from other people who had the same experience. These, I suppose, would be my peers. People who were trying to sell their own work to make a living, be it as a designer, artist or writer. Their encouraging words were what I needed, and helped me carry on. I would still try to do something, but I wouldn’t force it too hard. As if it becomes a chore, it is too hard to do it for pleasure again. So I went and did other things. Wrote a few articles for websites, and slowly I’m getting my motivation back, and am now creating work I feel happy with.

I know that this isn’t over, and I will battle with trying to keep my creativity my whole life, but I know how to deal with it a bit better.  I know that most people deal with creative pits, where they can’t do anything. I also know, that it took the will of working nothing but a normal job for a few months, to spark my desire.

The truth is, take a break if you need it. I can now afford that luxury as I build up a backlog of work, as well as working in a call centre, which pays the bills. College will never offer you that luxury, you have to work through your block, and for a lot of artists that’s why their creativity crashes after they graduate. I know. It happened to me.

I’m not saying I regret anything, because I loved college, and I did learn a lot, but the heart was already there, I just needed the vessels to help carry everything.

To any students who may read this, NEVER EVER think that you are better than another artist or author, just because you had a better education. Talent is not something which is created in a classroom, it is something one is born with, and true talent will always shine through.

 

 

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Motivation such an aggrivation

What is happening?

I am so lazy right now. It feels like everything I am attempting to draw is so bad right now. And more often or not, I get fed up and just give up. It’s so frustrating.

It also feels strange that I am not going back to college this year. All the people I have spent the last few years with are either going back, or going elsewhere. 4 years in a row I went to college, and it really did change my life.

Before I went to college I had a few friends, but 1 really close friend who treated me like crap. But college helped me meet a lot more people who I had a lot in common with. And it kinda helped me make proper friends, and feel a bit more appreciated. I now have people who I trust a lot in my life, and it makes me feel better about me.

Which leaves me a bit gutted, cause that period of my life is over. But its on to the next chapter, and hopefully it will go as well as the one that’s just closed. Fingers crossed.

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Angst

I have already said how I had to bail the course and my reasons for doing so.

Well, today I had to explain to one of my tutors why I was doing it. He was alright actually, but I hated telling him. It felt horrible.

But I did manage to get my website sorted a bit. That’s right, I know own the domain, http://riot-graphics.co.uk. At the moment there is nothing on line, because the server is being sorted out so I can add my files for the site.

This has made me so happy. Its like after all this planning something is getting me somewhere. I am building my base page, and should get that finished tonight. 🙂 And it will be uploaded to the service tomorrow. This feels like I am achieving something.

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Updateez

Ok, this week has been a bit of a minefield, with my brain wanting to explode on me.

I have been left with the dilemma on whether I should finish college this year. I mean I have already decided that I am not returning to the world of education this year. Why? Because I hate it.

To put a few things straight here, I don’t hate everything. I hate my work being in direct comparison with others, when whether its better or no, makes no difference.  I hate the atmosphere. The college seems to be such an uninspiring place at times. Because everything is in an open enviroment, as in one big room, lots of classes within that room,  and if one person decides to fuck around, it distracts everyone.

Well, I’ve spent my last few weeks of bloggie silence to think about what I want to do. Because I have been so uninspired at college, and I work every night, I have fallen behind in my work very easily. And it gets to the point where I was wondering whether I should rush everything, just to pass, when I know that passing grade won’t get me anywhere, due to me not continuing with education. Is it not better, that I take time over my projects, do a good job, and use them to build my portfolio? I think that is a lot more beneficial to me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I liked the course, and I love the people at the college, it’s just everyone gets to the point where that can no longer work in that enviroment. To me, in the overall task of getting my business up and running, this is the best decision.

Its kind of taking a step backwards, before you can go forwards.

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A Cliff To Climb

I am still making steady progress on the mountain of work I need to have done within the next week. Today I completed 3 pages for Shaun’s website. AND I finally managed to get a contact form sorted out, with the help of Paul.

So I have a bio page, which is just going to be writing, so I am planning that tonight at work, and will type it up when I get home. Then I have the portfolio, which will be done using ‘lightbox’, a javascript item, which gives your site a pop-out gallery thing. I have done Lightbox before, so I’m not really that worried, I will just fill it in with different colours untill Shaun gives me any images he wants to be in it.

So, that is a major unit, pretty much done. This one is important, because I know I have to design my own site, and get it online over the summer. So its good to know, I have only really come across one bump. And that was getting the contact form to display on the desired page. But that was more me, putting the wrong size for the container box (25555 px wide, when the site is 1028 px, d’oh). So yeah, me and Dreamweaver are good pals right now.

Going to be busy this weekend, need to try and get my t-shirt designs sorted and sent to the print shop, for pickup next  Saturday.  So yeah, get one thing done, but its not even a dent on what I still have to do. :S