Return to RISD: Snapshots from Art School

I thought I had planned carefully.  I knew that I would arrive the US feeling sad, exhausted, and disoriented, missing Norway and bracing myself for the intense semester ahead.  Therefore, I would give myself four whole days to rest, recover, and readjust to life in Providence before the demanding RISD lifestyle hit full-force.  I arrived Boston late on Wednesday night, deliriously tired beyond comprehension.  Thank god, I thought, as I hauled my luggage across the snowy airport curbside.  Nothing to do now except rest until Monday.  

Alas, school started the next day.  How I managed to miss this handy tidbit of information still baffles me.  My hypothetical days of rest turned into frantic days of long work hours, coffee, classes, and frantically writing and editing photos to meet crazy deadlines.  Talk about hitting the ground running!

That was over a month ago.  Things have only intensified since then-  I live in a constant cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat.  Working, making, creating, making, making, making.  Teaching.  Learning.  It’s what I would describe as a “coffee with dinner” lifestyle.  As exhausting as it is, trying to balance 4 demanding studio classes with 3 work-study jobs and still do human things like eat meals and exercise – it’s totally exhilarating.  In fact, I returned from Norway mentally re-energized, believing firmly in what I do, focused on increasing the positivity of my life and working harder than ever before.  I’ve started a teaching assistant job for a beginning darkroom class, and I absolutely love it – combined with working at the Writing Center, I’m sort of starting to feel like teaching is a direction I’d like to work towards.  I can’t fully express how good it feels to have some sort of direction in mind, even if it’s vague.

Free time is practically nonexistent now- I write blog posts while waiting for paint to dry, or videos to render, or pictures to scan.  Otherwise I make art and feel tired, but feel right – because I know that making art, working as hard towards it as humanly possible – is what I’m supposed to be doing.  This said, I haven’t exactly taken a lot of exciting photos of adventures, or anything of the sort, but what I DO have are Instagram photos – actual, casual snapshots!  Sure, it’s cheesy, but it’s a fun and quick way to express and share your visual appreciation for the world around you – without having to haul around a gigantic brick of a camera and spend hours working through the raw files.

So, here you have it: a visual recap of the past few weeks, brought to you by the fun filters of Instagram.  I feel like it’s proof that, while I do prefer to have amazing adventures across extreme and remote corners of the globe, I am actually a normal person, too.

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Well, to start, I spent all my time here.

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Within the first week, I was assigned to create 30 figure-based collages over the course of one weekend, for one class.  In an odd stroke of somewhat backwards luck, that weekend turned out to be a pretty emotionally turbulent time, and the process of collaging – ripping things into tiny pieces, only to glue them together again into new and better compositions – turned out to be immensely therapeutic.  I got really into it.

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I painted a quote I liked and framed it on my wall.

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I re-adjusted to living alone – missing friends but loving my luminous apartment.

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 I took a spontaneous trip to New York to see my cousin for a day!

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I cooked epic breakfasts.

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The RISD museum continued to inspire.

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I’m in a painting/collage class that meets for critique every week at 8 AM!  I actually love the early mornings.

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I failed to instantly present fabulous painting skills…

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….But felt a little better about drawing.

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I presented my first edit of Norway photos to my class!

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It snowed in Providence!

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I spent (spend) many very late and continuous nights awake, on campus, making art.

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I visited Charlotte in her amazing Wes Anderson-themed apartment.

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I took typical selfies!

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I collaged like my life depended on it.
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I cooked many dinners for one.

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I once awoke to miraculously awesome bed-hair.

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I made a sculptural collage out of packaging materials.

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I went out with Sara and her friends for beer and dancing!

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…And spent way too long in AfterEffects, which is coincidentally what I’m doing right now, and need to get back to.  Next up – more from Patagonia!

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