Sunday, 11 May 2014

Year 2 Review - Self doubt and Crazy talk

So, we have just come to a close on our 2nd year at De Montfort University.
This sure has been a big year, I feel I have developed so much. Just putting our final submission disk together was making me really see how far I have come. Looking back at our very first projects, I am crying to myself, thinking ' what the hell was I doing??'
My artistic judgement has come on in leaps and bounds, and with Mitch joining the teaching staff, we have been learning techniques I never thought even existed.

This year has been so exciting, yet at the same time very sobering. It seems that everybody has had their little epiphanies, realising that actually, what we are doing is freaking hard.
We called it the 'mid game art crisis' after the first term, a lot of us became very existential and were strongly questioning whether this is what we should be doing.
Am I good enough? Is this what I really want? How much work can I put in without killing myself?
After watching John Cleese's talk on creativity I have realised we were all very stuck in the closed mind mode, especially as we were all in the same place, it was hard to get out of.
The way I looked at it was; what else am I passionate about?
Turns out, this is the only subject that I truly care about. I question myself daily on whether or not I am crazy for wanting to pursue Character Art; Watching Rich (last years graduate) struggling for some time, and seeing the standard I am expecting to get up to is absolutely terrifying.
But Rich made it, he worked his ass off and he is now in a position he wanted to be. It give me hope, after speaking to some character artist's and receiving some feedback and helpful tips, it started bringing me out of my closed state of mind.
Gradually we all relaxed a bit and managed to get back to our open minded state.
Once we got there, the rate of our development rocketed, we were all at full steam, pushing each other to achieve more than we ever thought we could. I am so thankful for what we have here at uni.

Yet, with people I am close to getting jobs, and the potential of me doing some internships (possibly a year long) I am starting to feel myself slip back into that closed minded state. I don't feel am I ready to go out into the big bad world yet. I mean, I am still in my safe game art bubble, the majority of it got popped compared to my euphoric mind set in first year, but I still have the stability of the people I trust and the creative environment we thrive in.
Luckily I am looking to do internships with my close friend Ben, so I am not completely alone, but I am still so afraid that my skills still aren't good enough. One of Emma's feedback for us when we presented our work, was that our confidence doesn't show. I agree, I say I have started to relax to feedback, which I certainly have, but I still find myself making excuses all over the place. I talk my work down, it is silly really as when you are in the presence of somebody working in industry you sort of automatically put yourself lower than them. Which isn't completely bad, but it is hard to over come that lack of confidence in your own work. It is something I need to work on.

As John Cleese said, confidence is one of the keys to getting to that open minded state. Not ego stroking, but just believing in yourself a bit. I guess it stems from education on the whole. My entire educational career (up to uni) has been people telling me that I should be doing something sensible like maths or science, that I will never make a living out of Art, what I love. It is not that I want to prove them wrong, I am purely following this path as it is what I care about, it is my passion, but the implications of that are that sense of self doubt. With opportunities presented to me like this, it seems that maybe I may be able to make it, that I do have potential.

Either way, I still feel I have matured in my outlook on things, as Anna often says what seems to keep getting us down is that fact that we can now see the bigger picture. That hill called university we have to climb seems minuscule compared to the mountain that is the games industry. I do have more confidence in my abilities, but I also doubt myself regularly. While this can be bad, I do not see it is a completely awful thing. For every time I doubt myself I remind myself why I am doing this and I tell myself that I am doing the right thing. That keeps me going, along with all the amazing people that I surround myself with.

On the whole, this year has been very 'eye opening' I feel I am developing my work ethic as well as my artistic judgement. I am happy with my progress, but I know I still have a long way to go. Pray it never ends as I don't know what I would do if I was not constantly trying to better myself.


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