Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Subjunctive Mood

What have I been thinking about these past couple weeks? Hmmm, in no chronological order:

-Realizing how I feel both confused and excited about my next steps / this upcoming year post my two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Seems to be this constant tension (maybe all my life?) between wanting to dive deep / become an expert and wanting to get good/okay at a lot of different skills/areas/disciplines. When thinking about the power and privilege I have to pursue whatever my dreams are, I feel caught in all the different possibilities: Should I go back to art school and become classically (read: steeped in Western art history) trained, spending the next two or four years of my life only trying to capture gesture, contour, color, and movement through painting and drawing? Or should I go into editorial illustration, learning how to tell stories through pictures made with all kinds of media (photography, printmaking, digital drawing, animation, etc.)? Or should I join a community of geeks and weirdos, interested in how data collection/visualization, coding, and art could create a more just and equitable world? The pattern that seems to emerge is my interest in mastering tools — but am I trying to say with the tools that I (hopefully someday) master? Should I even be the one to tell the stories I’m trying to tell? Or does it make more sense to have a day job doing whatever, and spend my free time working on my art, my work?

Also realizing there’s no “should” to any of these questions, and there’s no right answer (perhaps what makes it harder?). Walking through the halls of PAFA, gazing up at the student work on the walls, the facets of color and light captured by so many different hands over the years, I felt a wave of hunger pass over me. Not for food, but to be able to depict life in that way, to be able to hold a tiny moment of beauty in the tip of my brush or pencil or charcoal stick. That’s what I want. Niggling voice: How do I make money?

To be continued…



Animations I’ve been working on in my free time. And kinda gets at the questions of transformation I’m thinking about




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This entry was posted on May 2, 2017 by in VISTA Field Reports.


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