Confidence Challenger

As you guys know I started Art school. It has been the best educational experience I've had but it is also the most time consuming and emotionally stimulating experience as well. I love every part of it. Ironically, the challenging aspects are even rewarding. While in the moment it feels like an obstacle, I love what I am learning. Being an artist is such a unique and personal talent because everyone's art is different. School is teaching me to be confident in my style and true to my art. Every artist tackles each project differently. While we are all doing the same thing, no one's process is the same. When I am in class working alongside 20 very different artist, comparison instantly becomes so easy to fall into. I'll find myself seeing someone else's sketch process, or how someone just instantly jumps into their designs, someone may start right away with ink, while others may use their computers. All of a sudden I would find myself second guessing a process that I am super comfortable doing. In my design class we were assigned a music project. Initially I was VERY excited. I'm a former musician. I played the piano for 3/4 of my life and sang for most of it. I was ready. Our teacher plays three songs and tells us to draw a representation of each song. I paused and thought to myself "how the heck do I do that?" I looked around and my notes were all weird. I had a lot of descriptions, choreography notes, music composition details, and chord progressions. The girl next to me had a whole picture sketched. In that moment something clicked for me. It's not that I didn't know how to do the assignment, I just had to allow myself to process it in a way that is natural for me instead of trying to tackle it from a standpoint that maybe some of my peers were taking. I understand music, so I ran with that. The first thing that came to mind were the lines and shapes. Those are very easily made with the body when dancing. Well, perfect! I knew I wanted to see someone dance to it, but I wanted something very organic, uncontrived, and effortless. I called some friends and asked them to improv to the three songs. Then I thought of each piece from a music composition standpoint. I thought through the phrases and the musicality of each piece. I even had a friend play a keys part for one of the songs. After looking at all of those different angles and takes on the music, it all made sense to me. I was able to see all the shapes and lines and movement of the piece and instantly it clicked. However, I almost missed out on really being able to attack a project in a creative way that i enjoyed. If I would've tried to do it like my classmate did, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to incorporate these other elements that I really had fun working with. I learned that art school is definitely going to be my confidence challenger. However, if I focus on myself the artist opposed to the artist everyone else is, I can tackle most of these projects. I can even get through the ones I may not naturally be good at. The things that are hard for me are still going to be hard but shifting my focus and reminding myself to look at it from the standpoint of a calligrapher makes it less challenging. I am good at what I do, therefore incorporating the process into different aspects help lessen the stress of feeling overwhelmed. I have to be confident in my placement in this art world and understand that doing something differently doesn't make it wrong. My project turned out amazing and other people loved it. I was true to my artistry and that ended up giving me a really cool design to be proud of. That translates to life so easily. Everyone is working towards similar things. We have similar goals and desires to accomplish. Our paths and processes will be different and if we get caught up watching someone else we may miss out on our moment to shine. Stay focused, stay confident, and you'll end up with an amazing project that people will love; your life. 

Jahara Stevenson