Packet 4, Semester 3

(I also spent some time researching structures both in Oslo but also in Sweden.)

Whenever I come back from Norway, I write a note to myself, often in my sketchbook, to “Ikke glemme”, “don’t forget” in Norwegian. It is meant to remind me of the sensation of clarity and completion I find when in Oslo, among people I call family, in a language I love and aspire to grasp a complete mastery of. Each time I arrive, I am struck with a sense of having access to my whole self, the answers to the questions plaguing me in my birth country are for a brief time laid bare. In those moments I can discern and distinguish who I am and what I want for myself from the desires others have of and for me. An odd problem to, perhaps, but at home I struggle to grasp what I want for myself, instead I tend to pick up and mirror the concerns of those I love most. It is a situational, emotional quagmire of an ennui I find myself in, enduring the sensation of wasted evenings that stretch out before me as I sit in my box in a field in Oklahoma. But in Oslo, I find a shelf upon which to place my soul’s volumes and a rocky cliff side into which to plant quiet but iron-rich roots. 

It is there that I feel my age, a curious sensation I noticed last summer upon my arrival in Holmlia for the first time in nearly six years, and at the time unexplainable. But I feel this time, it makes sense: I have moved so much, so many times, my life forever portable, kept trim— nomadic both in body and unwillingly in spirit. My personality is built of stability, I suppose because the world around me often wasn’t. But being jumbled around gives one a greater difficulty with the passage of time; the people others know and love to watch grow older and die aren’t there, the buildings torn down and replaced never seen. All places I see in this life are only present to me momentarily, giving the impression that they are now as they have always been and always will be. 

This timelessness is disorienting to mortal, aging creatures such as we. And the sensation of forever being pulled in a different direction than everything occurring directly before my eyes— things that are supposed to comprise the life I was born into— is incredibly straining. 

I realize that I snap to an accurate sensation of my 37 years when in Oslo, because it is the only place I have existed for a consistent long time, nearly 20 years— even if my time there was often just stretches measured in months and not years. So has the rest of the locations of my life, but Norway is the only place where I have watched the buildings change, my family grow and progress with births and deaths and homes and jobs, all while I remain essentially in the same place I was when I was 17.

I feel like I’ve organized where I need to be after I graduate, and aside from the potential benefit an MFA will have in assisting my obtaining of a visa, I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with it anymore. The thinking is now that I will concentrate on thesis through next April, after which I will put all my weight behind moving to Norway, which will entail moving there with a 6-month job-seeker’s visa with the aim of obtaining a full time job for three years, a time period at the end of which (or before) I can decide tif the Norway direction is what’s right for me. 

More than anything, I am terrified of myself. Terrified that I will give into my own inability to live my own life, see my own wants, and rather give into the will of others I care about. This is the biggest monumental struggle of my life, and it is skipping arms-locked with my other largest life’s challenge of finally moving to Oslo. I am completely scared I won’t actually have the guts to do it. 

My trusty old friend, Cowardice, seems set to betray me on this one.

——

The bulk of my time this section was spent doing footwork on the ground in Oslo with the main goal of forming a network of informants that can provide access to expertise surrounding relevant thesis questions and that are willing to be interviewed or contribute in some way. I feel that this can form an essential comparative component of my thesis, learning more about the widely lauded scandinavian educational systems. Also I have eyes to piggyback a secondary goal: forming a niche in the local design/art community for my personal intentions to move to Norway. While I wish to downplay that secondary goal so as to not disturb people I care about, I feel like the thesis networking is inextricably entwined with making a network of friends that will eventually help me not only “land the job” I need for legal residence in Norway, but really more importantly also create and/or find a village in Oslo beyond just my family. This meeting of people took both a random and breakneck pace, trying to get to know people on a personal level in the short time I had remaining.

Below, the main and most important work of this section: a list of names and descriptions of the people I have met and established connections with while in Oslo. I am not yet conducting interviews, as I am not yet in thesis semester and have not created my hypothetical model with which to present to my interviewees— this is the initial groundwork for what is to come. This information is essentially the same or is a stand-in for the type of input Nikki and I intended for our co-research spreadsheet; I have kept it here in written longform but can re-input to the spreadsheet should she request. 

Re-stating the thesis concept:

VCFA Thesis Idea

Thesis: I wish to explore and try to answer from a research standpoint the feasibility of a contemporary teaching studio, or how a modern arts education can learn from both the present academic post-modern system combined with traditional guild and atelier based systems. In a gig economy, would this not work better?

Section one:

Definitions of different types of arts teaching, a generalization: Post-modern era teaching and guild era mentorship/learning. Benefits of mentor-based education. Research and reference VCFA’s structure as well. (Facts/figures/testimonials.) 

Section two:

Proposal for business and academic structure: a federation network of artists and pupils creating living work and directly engaging communities. How it can be made to grow organically in number of students and mentors; I.e. scalability

Section three:

Proposal for structure’s implementation, from ground-up to utilizing existing structures; E.G. make your design studio more teach-y and your design department more studio-y.

——

Thesis shall consist of:

1. A proposed model for Artifex Praxis; the name I have claimed for the above system intended to create an egalitarian, flexible, and useful teaching space that also implies a holistic approach to life for the instructor executing it. 

2. Interviews with people related or working with similar models now, in which a discussion is held about the proposed model for Artifex Praxis. Subjects thus far Identified include VCFA, John English (The Art Department), Maziar Reien (Kunsthøgskole I Oslo), Meredith Davis, with others coming along. In each interview I will not only evaluate and describe a case study of the elements to incorporate into AP, but will also posit my idea, record their reaction to it, and write about the effect it has on my proposed AP model

3. A revised and final model using the input of those interviewed and sources researched. I wish to show the before and after so my thought process can be exposed and a willingness for the creator as a medium for transparent consensus and change can be expressed— in an attempt to express a key value of the model suggested.

4. Graphics, my personal work bent to describe the model. The model emphasizes the key role of personal practice of the designer, and I will simply use that personal narrative in service to the more academic/professional product of the thesis.

On the nature of the imagery: Thinking of how this is inevitably going to become somewhat of a lifestyle model á la Freire, might seem more like a self-help-guru text or some sort of pseudo-philosophical-religious code, and perhaps leaning into that a bit with mock religious iconography that one of my two primary illustration styles often emulate? But what about my other weirdo-geometric style? So possibly some ironic sort of presentation? I dunno, I love irony, but that is somewhat played out if not done with good purpose and can lead to cynicism. Working on this. Hard to get past the idea of the primary work produced being just a book. 

——

The Anderssens, Abridged. 

I will keep this section short, as the Anderssen family is the core of my Norwegian experience and as such could have an entire book written about their presence and effect on my life. Essentially, they are my family and my reason for even being aware of Norway. They consist of Catherine, my Norskemor and the family matriarch after her father Oldefar passed away last spring. She is my surrogate mother and mother to Therese, whom a million years ago was someone I dated. She is essentially my sister now but we don’t use that term as that would be kind of weird and gross. But after 20 years, that is the closest description to our relationship. I am godfather to her daughter, Cassandra, who has been raised with me as her American uncle. 

    Henning, my Norwegian brother, is within 3 months of my own age and probably the person with whom I converse the most. He is the main impetus for comparison of lives between our countries; we went to the same high school in the US and have since led wildly divergent lives, based on our fortunes and misfortunes— despite being in overlapping industries. His partner, Ina from Sweden, and him have two children: Eira and Even, my niece and nephew respectively, adding to Anna, Ina’s child from a previous relationship. 

    There are other periferary figures, such as Catherine’s surly Norwegian fisherman ex-boyfriend, my aunt Lisbet and her two kids Agnete and Håvard, that round out the full family. All of them, with the exception of Lisbet’s kids, live in Holmlia: a village crafted from the combination of two farms from nearly 1000 years ago and the namesake to my own studio practice.

    This is my family, and the only stable and fully-present element in my life over a sustained and significant period of time. And while they are my core reason in wishing to lay my roots there, one has to acknowledge a family by itself does not create a village. 

 

2. Helene Antoinedes

Helene is someone I met by chance over a year ago and while not a designer herself, knew many in the cultural scenes through her involvement in animal rights groups and connections with Blitz House, the Anarchist squatter’s building in Oslo that has been occupied since the late 70’s, bucked police attempts to retake it, runs its own coffee shop and gardens, and which is situated down the street from the cafe in which I first met Helene. 

    She mentioned she knew some well-know artist/illustrator/designers, some of which I was pleased to learn I had already followed and admired. It wasn’t until this trip, however, that I met with the rest of her ragtag crew of militant vegan feminists (I use the terms ironically and endearingly, as they would) who welcomed me in warmly and very quickly, once I transcribed my recipe for risotto into a vegan format. The group consisted of:

3. Norun Haugen

A good friend of Helene, I had heard of Norun before ever going to Norway via an article in the New York Times— She created a sensation both nationally and internationally when she went undercover in the Norwegian meat industry for 5 years to document, analyze, and eventually expose in humane practices she found therein. Having finished her master’s and taught in the upper-level education system in Oslo, she knows many people in both traditional and untraditional educational systems in Oslo specifically and Europe more broadly, and upon my request has said she will help me find other contacts with whom I can converse regarding Artifex Praxis. 

4. Kris

A good natured human, and Norun’s life partner. Excellent for talking politics with!

5. Madelene Foss

An illustrator, and twin sister to Natalia, I spent a bit of time getting to know her and talking about the arts community in Oslo and why she chooses to stay, while her sister was setting up to move to London the week before I left. 

Untitled_Artwork 13.jpg
 

6. Natalia Foss

Also an incredibly talented illustrator, Natalia and I hit it off to become quick friends, talking shop but also culture and onwards. She previously maintained her studio space in an arts-co-op called Blank Space, and in addition to giving me a great deal of insight into potential people to talk to, insisted I meet:

7. Liz Ramsay (Blank Space Oslo)

An American about the same age as I who attended SFAI around the same time I was at KCAI, she moved to Oslo with her Norwegian illustrator husband about 7-8 years ago and founded Blank Space— combination teaching space, studio rental, co-working, artist community. She and I had many good conversations about what to do regarding both my thesis and how I would fit into the artist/designer community in Oslo. She deals with and manages nearly all of the artists and a good portion of the designers in the local market, and was willing to give me the assessment that if I were living and operating in Oslo, I would be in the top ten creatives in that country. I was pretty shocked by this assessment, and don’t recount it as a form of ego massage, but rather something that I found immensely helpful. My gnawing sensation of illegitimacy still remains, and especially in a foreign market I have no idea if I could keep pace with local creatives or be taken seriously by people I wish to interview. I normally don’t take such things, but given her experience and position in the community, I was willing to accept it. This assesment was also backed up by another contact to which Liz referred me to and whom I met:

8. Ida Lund Bjørnsen (By Hands Oslo)

Ida is the owner of the largest designer and illustrator freelancer agency in Norway. We sat and talked for awhile on a couple occasions, and she was able to give me insights mostly into the industry in Oslo as opposed to academic contacts. However, she did offer to take me on for both hire work and administrative work, also dealing with their academic clients, once I am fully in Oslo.

9. Helge Kaasin (NRK)

Helge is the top communications director at NRK, the state media department for the norwegian government. NRK produces radio, a few TV stations, and has a news wing and magazines. They’re a pretty prominent part of norwegian life. I met Helge a couple years ago during a job interview to be a designer and illustrator for their kids’ channels, making it through to the final round and a confirmation interview. Given that I was in Oklahoma, and the next interview was three days later in person, I wasn’t able to make it and the search was declared failed by NRK. However, Helge offered to keep in touch as he wanted to find a way to use or hire me at NRK. I reached out, he responded favorably and we set a time to meet. 

    Sadly once I arrived for our meeting, got through security and such, NRK sent a Rep down to inform me Helge went into the hospital for emergency surgery on his appendix the night before and so our meeting was scuttled until my next trip. I do think he may be the most well-connected creative person on this list, knowing both professionals and academics, and as such not only represents a good possibility of being the place to find a job but also contacts for thesis research.=

IMG_6946.jpeg
 

10. Freja Bruun (Denmark, My Ugly Baby)

Barista and former art student at KHIO, whom referred me to a few contacts there as well as:

11. Joanna 

An American lawyer who was able to navigate the Norwegian immigration system, find work, and immigrate through what is widely viewed as a near-impossible task. 

12. Talor Browne   

Current proprietor of Talor Made and previous owner of Talor & Jørgen, a coffee and donut shop now renamed My Ugly Baby after she had a falling out with her business partners. She is a world-renown roaster, baker, and designer, and was kind enough to exchange messages and offer commentary on my design and illustration skills and how I could fit in with Oslo’s design community. She also runs her business with a similar model to what I want for Artifex Praxis/Studio Holmlia, in that she focuses on bringing in workers to teach them as apprentices. So, same thing, but with donuts. 

13. Eira Witsø

A barista-turned-friend from Tim Wendleboe, the world’s most respected coffee roaster (and the one who trained Talor Browne from above.) She was able to point me in numerous directions of people to talk to, and was also my first sort of norwegian friend outside of my family. 

14. Mikke Pøst

A video production guy and designer I met by being present in Tim Wendleboe’s coffe shop, he noticed me working on my iPad to produce design and illustration and was fascinated and impressed enough to say something— VERY un-norwegian. We sat and talked for a long time, and he’s sort of been my first in with the graphic design community on the ground in Oslo.

——

Blank Space Oslo

While getting to know Liz from Blank Space (I’ll let this link describe the place), I was invited to take part in their Erotic Show— I just happened to have a piece handy— and also invited Lex to contribute as well. In addition to this, I was able to set up a studio for myself in the space, getting a few weeks’ taste of what genuine freelance life would be like if I were living in Oslo full time. Life-changing for me, dull and uninteresting to a lot of other people I know. This happens a lot.

——
Lex Visits Norway, and I return to Lofoten

Classmate Alexis Poolos joined me in oslo to see what I’m contantly raving about. It was informative to watch her experience what I see as the best place on earth from the outside as someone who’s spent time in other European cities. I have to remind myself that some of my best things aren’t all that great to others. Actually, I know and expect this. We went to Lofoten,. a remote archipeligo north of the arctic circle (as seen in the nowegian independent documentary about Polar Surfing called “Nord På Solen” or “North of the Sun,” watch it! Anyhow, it was great fun, and was a good time to polish and revisit a written piece started on the beach last year:

KVALVIKA

I had a thought coming down from the pass at Kvalvika, looking down at my trail-soaked hiking boot lifting from the last of the broken stone of the trail and swinging in slow motion to place firmly on the pavement of the access road, “Now back to the rest of my life.” Surely, I’m not the first to have the sensation at the completion of a journey, or a long-planned quest, to make the metaphor for climbing a literal peak and coming down the other side to that of having a sort of peak in their life, and that all from this point forward must be some sort of valley by comparison. [valleys can be scenic too, though, right?]

I know, walking away from there, I had completed something I had planned and set out to do, alone, and explicitly for myself, as a quest to mark the end of a chapter and help write the opening paragraphs of the next; designed to inspire me for the rest of my time as a coherent and semi-mobile stack of atoms and mitochondria. Hopefully it will portent my return to this place if I am physically able. But I couldn’t help feeling each step down that mountain pass was one step in the reverse, first towards Oslo, a place I love with people I love, and then later in the month back to Oklahoma, a place with people who I love and for some reason love me but is stained with the residue of traumas and the ever-present low-grade sensation of dread; about the past, for my friends, about the future, about my neighbor who had been burning the contents of his mother’s house for going on three months by the time I’d left for Europe. I’m pretty sure that’s left a very literal stain of burnt-fiberglass-insulation-residue on the side of my house which is probably actually worth worrying about. But really the only sensation I could carry was that I had gone as far as i could to the most remote place I could conceive of, watched civilization whittle away to a hand full of fishing villages with tiny populations mostly untouched for a thousand years, and that I couldn’t  really find much more solitude. 

I had long fantasized about what was to be an epic journey to Lofoten, an isolated, angry finger of an archipelago north of the arctic circle that juts out accusingly from the Norwegian mainland as if to scold Iceland for not doing anything to modernize the Old Norse language the vikings were so kind to leave behind. Inspired by photos on social media which had a long enough layover in Photoshop to take a nap on the terminal seats, my thought was that Lofoten would be a spectacular space of self reflection brought about by indescribable natural beauty. (Whomever of the 7,234 people who live in one of those tiny fishing villages that  decided to start an Instagram account for the place should be gifted with an extra portion of dried cod by the local board of tourism this year.) In a stunning textbook example of an online platform’s ability to deliver marketing content directly into the inside of a human skull, I had pictured myself sitting atop some rock at a lonely peak along a chain of stone daggers ripping through the sea in the old gods’ best attempt to fatally puncture the sky. There I would absorb all of the inconceivable metrics of the universe, parse them, and rearrange my observations into a shrink-wrapped wit-infused passage on the wisdom of the universe or some other contrite, self-soothing-through-self-deprecating bullshit. Preferably before my flight left on Friday.

While I did find the old gods, such as they are, I didn’t find the words. I couldn’t  summon the thoughts. I don’t know if it’s just my own sad tragedy that I was born missing the gene that gives the ability to process moments when actually in them, or if it’s a trait shared by all humankind save for those lucky genii who possess a larger aperture to their souls. But when certain events exceed even a moment out of time, I find that they become so spectacularly big that the entirety of just one human faculty or physical sense is required to take in even a small portion of what is being seen. In such a time, experience happens in sensory greyscale, in one channel instead of the manifold chorus of sense, feeling, and thought that we choreograph to go about normal and civilized daily activities like flipping off the guy who’s going too slow in the passing lane or staring blankly in the produce section to puzzle over the difference between the two branded vegetables we’re holding, and wait, why and how can vegetables have brands anyway? There’s no room in a spectacular experience to both see, and process, and distill, and output.

Already the day before, the first of my long hikes, I was overwhelmed enough to give up on trying to share any of the pictures I’d taken or the thoughts I’d had with friends or family. I had become frustrated with both the photographic medium and also all of language’s capacity to express even one fraction of an iota of actual human experience. My mushy brain just couldn’t keep up. Maybe if primate synapses were just a few microns closer? Then again, i literally set off to find indescribable beauty, so becoming frustrated with the inability to outline it’s contours shows just how fickle and puerile i really can be.

Instead upon reaching Kvalvika Beach I plopped down and lay in the warm sand trying to stare at the sky, listening to the surprisingly stereophonic, bassy ocean, and finding humor and comfort in opening my eyes to see the sheer cliff tipping in from the top of my field of vision instead of from below as all well-behaved mountains are supposed to. I tried not to pay attention to the fact that Kvalvika, while accessible only by a hike over a remote mountain pass, is well known and liked by regional Norwegians who bring their children over it to eat sliced cheeses and meats on intentionally stale bread for lunch and then throw each other into the freezing Norwegian Sea. There were literal babies on this path, even if they were a bit fussy. I’ve long ago since decided to  not compare the Norwegian idea of a mountain, or really any other Norwegian conception, to my own, especially when I’m over here attempting to concentrate on an existential realization designed to change the course of human enlightenment. Really, it’s a distraction. Probably the best idea is just to learn to tune out those sorts of things, as well as the flock of sheep on the adjacent hill and the elderly couple setting up a tent while grilling bacon-wrapped hot dogs 10 meters away.

Note: the first change to the natural order of the universe once we’ve all evolved into a single corpus of pure energy will be to re-assign all biting flies on dune-swept beaches everywhere in the cosmos to some other more useful task, such as stacking grains of sand into tiny cairns. Such as it is, tuning out the little madibled bastards when trying to do the whole safe-space capital-Q-quietude peace-and-harmony thing isn’t so easy a task.

pt. ii

In any case by the point I was busy filling the hair on the back of my head with sand, I knew there’d be no way I’d be able to do fill the pages I brought along with the writing I came to do. You know, being that I could barely even feel what I was experiencing and all. I figured that all I could do is collect as many moments as I can before I leave to try to use those shards to reconstruct memories later to hopefully share with others— so the camera kept busy but my brain kept quiet.

There is a certain sadness associated with spectacularly beautiful moments. I know that forever after I will remember Lofoten, Reine, Å, and my feelings will process with time to bear fruit and old wood to grow through the support made by the chain link fence of these memories. I have this weird thing where if i drive or commute to a place one time, I can always remember the way there again, where the turns in the roads are, what the colors of the houses were, and so on. I’m thankful to have logged these and other details away, and that when I return to lofoten I will still know my way around. The feelings and emotions imprinted on the place will remain, too, but in some sort of half-focused, blurry phantom image, and even then will only be discernable to me once I return, after the fact of the initial experience. Maybe this is why I am so habit based, because I am invested in my thoughts but they are always one instance behind the experience, i must always come back to check how I felt and thought the time before. 

It’s worth lamenting to know that developing a fully-processed thought in the moment that triggered it is sort of beyond human capabilities, or at least my own. In those instances all I feel is that I must try to collect emotions, record them somehow for later disposition before the moment itself must die. And every moment spent not recording, or working to create something in the world for the better, is met by derision from my inner critic, who holds the positions of both prime minister AND president in such a way as to make certain meme-able russian autocrats jealous. This critic is also known to moonlight as my inner Lunch Lady. any sense of routine or boredom is seen as a hopelessly wasted moment, to the point where I sit around making hopelessly wasted moments lamenting all of my hopelessly wasted moments. I have wasted so, so much time. 

Experience in the moment has a certain sense of already being a memory; I feel this most keenly when traveling to Norway, where in a sense I have a wholly separate life and am a wholly different person running on a separate but parallel course to my one back home. Perhaps this is because of the complete isolation of the communities of people that inhabit the cars running on the rails of these tracks. Each time i travel to Oslo, as soon as I step off the the plane into Gardermoen I have the sensation that my time there is already over. It’s sort of like having the “boy, time sure flies!” Feeling you get when you’re ending some pleasant experience, except that I’m experiencing it before the fun even happens. 

Extending that thought as far as logically possible, as is a favorite past time of mine, all that I am has already happened, I’m long dead and gone, and I’m just coursing through my own memories as I go. Didn’t Kanye say something like that? Also, sorry, that man is not a genius, by the way, just someone who’s been lucky enough to glimpse life from an angle outside of convention.

Coming here is like stepping into a shell of myself that’s been on autopilot while I’ve been away, to hop into the pilot’s chair behind the face of this alternate me, be given some plastic kiddy pilot wings, pull some levers so i feel like I’m doing something, and for just a brief moment pop open the dual portholes and peer through to see what my other life is like. And before I am ready, before my little body can be fully absorbed into this other European version of myself, it’s time to start buying transit passes in smaller and smaller time increments, and sort out what you can’t take with you to give to friends. It feels sort of like preparing for a death.

Each moment in our life is so small and fleeting that it would be the mental equivalent of seeing quarks with the naked eye to be able to actually perceive time as it happens. In this way our brain is always catching up to something that’s already happened. Even the camera flash has already happened by the time our brains perceive it and shuttle the idea of what it is over to our conscious mind, so maybe my solemnity in spectacular moments comes from a lamentation of the physical limitations of being a carbon sack of mostly water. I for one am pretty sure I will always lament the slow processing time of my brain, and the even slower continental drift of my emotions.

A great philosopher who graduated from Cornell once said, “I wish someone would tell you when you were actually in the good ol days.” I say realizing the good ‘ol days when you’re in them carries it’s own tragedy. So i guess that means either way, it’s tragic. Everything is tragic. But then again I’m also quoting the above from a (admittedly very poignant moment in a) sitcom, so decide for yourself how to wrestle with that— I for one need to get to Grünerløkka and have a double cappuccino before I can convince myself to feel qualified at composing any more thoughts worth paying attention to. 

Hopefully there I can process better this familiar sensation that seems to accompany important, spectacular, and transformative places and times— the flutter of a tiny breeze at the base of my neck created— I know—  by the tiny electrified flight of my ever desired hummingbird wing.


——

Other Works, Personal

Untitled_Artwork 2.jpg

I have spent a lot of time doing what I enjoy most in the world, working in my sketchbook and experimenting with new techniques with a side of comics. I took my painting box with me, doing oil painting where I could, sitting on a tiny island in the Oslofjord directly adjacent to another tiny island, upon which were situated numerous tiny houses, cabins called “hytte” in Norwegian. These structures have a special place in Norwegian culture, as they are owned by nearly everyone and the fact that they are so widely obtainable is seen as a mark of pride in the success of the cultural values of egalitarianism. Though, being Norwegian, it’s not something they would brag about. Janteloven of course. I’ve also finally dipped into some gouache painting, which I have longed to do forever.

——

Other Works, Professional

Still digging myself out of a hole, but I have been picking up some client work in both design and illustration. See below:

——

Studio Holmlia and Artifex praxis

I kicked up some branding efforts to help me give my fingers something to do while I sit around and ponder the nature of my thesis and the cosmos, which are turning out to be largely the same thing.

——

WORRIES

Not sure what all the stuff I have been doing over the last two semesters has contributed to this point at all. Animated illustrations? Random comics? My mom? Work that needed doing perhaps but really what does it have to do with anything? Having a hard time justifying what I still feel could have been more productive time, like I’ve wasted that time on myself. Ugh. 

——

My concerns now turn to pin-up, as I am not sure what to have. At all. It terrifies me. I usually use a project for pin-up to function as a lighthouse on what to produce, but I feel like I have been rudderless for the last 6 months now. HELP

——

More than anything, I have a growing concern that ALL of what I have done at grad school has been a distraction, both the personal and the aims towards some high-minded educational concept that could really just be explained in a simple pamphlet and tossed away. The idea Nikki has consistently posed to me of thesis being more about setting up my next ten years’ work, as opposed to my general idea that it should set up some sort of new service or discussions for people other than me, has been sticking further andf urther into whichever little crevices it can find in the unusually smooth surface of my brain. I can’t help thinking, selfishly, that if I were to think ahead to the work i would want to do for myself for the next ten years, it would just be about drawing, Norway, and tiny architecture. And none of that provides a service to anyone, adds to any conversation, and most certainly can’t be twisted into anything that has anything to do with design.

SIGH.