Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Assignments, Hurricanes, Life.

I'm not going to lie - the past few months have felt like a lengthy creative slump. Aside from doing stuff for Solé (something I'm very passionate about), I was having trouble motivating myself for school. I blame this in part to this cold I've been having trouble shaking and maybe the cold weather, but I also have been bogged down with some less-than-good feelings about certain aspects of school. It's put me in a pretty bad mood. However it definitely got me thinking, through a series of random 'Katia-Mind' connections, about which person I want to be - the average artist or the above and beyond artist?

The art/design world is one in which being 'average' gets you nowhere. You know those days where you go through class thinking "I'll just get it done, I'll be happy with a 70, so long as I pass."? I'm starting to feel like I can't let myself think that way, because no one's going to care about me or my artwork unless I do something new and different and NOT average at all. No one's even going to remember my work. This is more applicable for after you're done with schooling and need to attract clients with your body of work, but why not start now?

By the way, I am in no way bashing 70's. I've been working hard and am at a 73 ish average and am more than happy with it! I'm a definite 70's average kid since I got into university! I'm just saying that personally I've made a commitment to myself to push the boundaries and actually feel proud of my artwork. I'm always in a much better mood if I'm happy with my pieces and can feel a significant downward mood swing when my assignments just DON'T turn out how I wanted them to. So I guess this is partly a way to try and keep my mood UP.

On that note, this is a piece I did with pen and ink this past weekend. It's for a book cover assignment for the book 'Perfume' by Patrick Suskind, it's a really weird twisted book about a man with an incredible sense of smell but no human emotion who resorts to murder to attempt to make the world's most beautiful scent. It's awesome though. 

(c) Katia Engell

This is a piece I'm happy with. It turned out the exact way I wanted it to, it's got a distinct style, it looks finished, tidy, without sounding like I'm tooting my own horn - I JUST LOVE IT.

My prof wasn't such a huge fan though, which broke my heart, but I think it's a matter of differing style preferences - he has a thing against too many clean controlled lines. Ah well, now I know.

Hurricane Sandy is also hitting us in Toronto. So far a woman has been killed by a metal sign that got blown off a store or something, and a Roots store downtown was set on fire somehow. I'm feeling quite lucky to have been unaffected so far apart from some serious draft coming in through the window where my air conditioner sits. Made for a cold movie-watching-session though! I also love how facebook has become a total weather channel - I don't even need to go looking for information, it's just there for me to see, wew. My heart and best wishes truly go out to those who are more seriously affected by Sandy <3

And last but not least - A few links to share!
• Miss Indie is throwing a little costume contest on her blog, link up your costumes tomorrow, HERE!
• Soy from the adorable blog 'Soychild' tried out my granola recipe! Eee that warmed my heart!

So I definitely was not intending on going on a big 'I refuse to be average when it comes to school' rant when I started writing it, but welp. Those are my unfiltered thoughts on it. Is anyone else studying art in school? Do you feel a similar pressure?



  1. I just stumbled upon your blog via PonyChops and was so excited when I saw this post. Perfume is succccch a good book, one of my very, very favorites. The movie is equally as amazing. I think your work here is perfect, no matter what your prof says!

  2. I'm still in high school, but I'm taking an Independent Study Graphic Design course that I designed myself. Part of the course includes creating commissioned work for teachers, small businesses, and churches, and I understand the pressure to create above average work. You want your work to stand out and get you noticed, stay true to who you are, and please the client. It's a tricky balancing act - one I still haven't perfected. Be patient with yourself :)

  3. aww, stay safe in the hurricane! AND I think I get what you mean, being so passionate about out of college creative projects is ruining my work too. I just don't want to be doing assessed work when I can be doing fun things I'm not assessed on that give me a much bigger sense of achievement?
    AND i also don't want to just be average with my work. It's tough.
    Great book cover though, very simple and beautiful!

  4. I'm in my first year of art college so I'm in this awkward 'I don't know if I'm doing it right' stage. I have only handed up a drawing project and a typography project and a couple of other assignments but everything else goes up before christmas and I don't get the results until the end of January! D: So for all I know I'm failing haha (hopefully not!). I want to get into the habit of doing my work to the best of my ability and not a last minute job or else I'll end up feeling crappy about myself and uninspired. I started screen printing on friday and I'm loving it so hopefully I get some finished pieces I like from that.
    Also I love your perfume book cover, I honestly could see that being the actual cover, it's visual communication student approved!;D

  5. I know how you feel about school. While I'm not in for art, business gets BORING. And I think there's a perception that art is pure fun and it's totally not. You have to bust you ass just like anyone else and I think it takes so so much more than business or sciences, which are very by the book. I applaud you for powering through and hope you come out of the slump.

    It's so weird that you mention that book because I was JUST reading about it. I wanted a "disturbing" book (...who knows why) and that totally came up on a list I found. Weird. But now I'm more intrigued to read it. And I think you should be more focused on that fact that YOU liked the work. I find that's the hardest thing with art or design; impressing yourself.

    I'm glad you've stayed safe through the hurricane and hope you continue to. My heart goes out to everyone who's being affected.

    PS: Are you going to do any sort of requests for your Sole necklaces? I was thinking of symbols and was just wondering if that was something you were thinking of doing. I love them so so much and thought it would be cool to get one with a symbol that was particularly meaningful to me. It's totally cool if not, I'll just keep watching the shop for one that speaks to me!

    Sorry for the super long message! This is what happens when I read blogs late at night.

    Have a great week!

  6. I'm so sorry school has been bogging you down. I think with any creative subject at uni you're going to bash heads with at least 1 teacher. I did fashion at uni and what one teacher would say was amazing another would tell me to redo. It's so confusing and heartbreaking.

    I think what's most important is that you're happy with it. It's your style that you want to develop, not whatever style your tutor wants you to create. Being an artist can be sucky and depressing at times, but it's worth it for the highs!

  7. thanks for the link reference :) also, i freaking love Perfume. love. it.