I went back to school this year after almost 2 decades. It sounds gross when you say it like that but a lot has changed, not only in society but also, I’ve changed. I thought I wanted to be in Pharmacy at the age of 17. I made it through my entire educational career, not taking one computer class and well, sadly, I was too busy taking Physics to take an art class. What have I ended up doing with my career? I’m a technological artist who thrives on Geekspeak, decibels, acrylic and inspiration. How is anyone supposed to know WHO they are when they’re 18, let alone WHAT they want to make of themselves?
I decided to take Design and Communication Fundamentals, in the beginning, as I thought I wanted to get into Graphic Design. About 6 weeks into the course, I felt like giving up because, even now, at 33, I had still made the wrong decision as to what I wanted to be when I grew up. Thanks to the wonderful Directors at Conestoga College, I lucked out and was switched to a place a warmly call, ‘Home’, now. Media and Communications Fundamentals. It’s a one year program that just gets your feet wet within the Media realm. This program is perfect for those of us, like myself, who have great ideas but no real direction, because we just don’t know the possibilities out there. I grew up in a small town, the thought of being a Music Video Producer wasn’t even a possibility, you’d be lucky if you had a job at the local Quik Mart.
Part of the program is being fortunate enough to go on some insane field trips. I say insane because I don’t know anyone who’s been able to see the things I have, for free, in 6 months.
First, we went to the ROM, a way for us to open our eyes, where we come from, as a human race, and how art has been a huge part in communication, as well as social interaction and personal healing. We studied the architectural design of the building and learned about how the addition came into play. Ancient art meets modernization, beautiful.
We toured the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture. The air was thick with intellect and logic. We walked around, in the warehouse by the river, with our jaws dragging on the floor, as this too was a possibility for those of us who wanted to make an impact on our universal scenery.
The highlight of this year, for me, has been to tour Much Music and CTV. I’ll work in a fast paced environment, I tell you this now. I felt alive from the lights and wires and I couldn’t stop staring at everything and everyone that made the show ‘go ’round’. Even if I don’t land an actual job there, since I want my own company, I will volunteer somewhere for TV. I have to know how all the programs work and learn this craft! It blew my mind. And, not going to lie, dancing on national television to Justin Bieber was also a ridiculous highlight of 2011.
We saw Paul Haggis at TIFF Bell Lighthouse Theater, last week. He directed Crash, The Valley of Elah and most recently, The Next Three Days. Listening to him speak was inspiring as he is Canadian and he is very successful. One line stood out for me, ”If you’re not good enough, you just have to get better… You don’t give up, you do better.” Even if I’m not on the path to be a Movie Director, I can hold that line dear and use it as a mantra.
We have more field trips planned, before year’s end. My camera and spirit are ready. The year has, and continues to be, forming who I am and the direction in which I want to go. I am amazed and inspired by the opportunities we’re presented… The world is a big one and there’s a place for every creative soul, I think I just needed something like this to remind me.