Monday, May 11, 2015

OAnniversary: Moving Right Along

It was this month, two years ago now, that I reached a pretty serious low in terms of my creative life. I had been graduated from school for a year so of course the loans were in full force, transitioning from one job to another - neither within my field and no way into the field I wanted to be in, I didn’t have many friends and what friends I had I was struggling to keep, and my family was two states away - as much as I wanted to move home I couldn’t, mainly because my room was already taken. This put me into a compulsive loop. I could not get past the first 8 pages of anything before starting over. Again and again until I just didn’t care to do it anymore. I went to work, I came home and I went to bed. My brain just went numb.

It was this month, two years ago now, that I was introduced to Chris Oatley’s podcasts. I hadn’t really been into podcasts before then, and I suddenly found them essential to working efficiently during my day shifts. Suddenly I was inspired to think of my approach differently. Suddenly I found the passion to start pushing forward again. It was announced that a new course was opening, The Magic Box. It was crazy reasonable in terms of price, but I was still a bit hesitant. I had also heard about Painting Drama. Which should I start with?

I messaged Chris and asked him, doubting that I would hear back anytime soon. He was after all a very busy man. But the very next morning a message sat in my inbox - assuring me that there would be more Painting Drama offerings and recommending starting with Magic Box. So I was one of the first to sign up when it opened.

In the first month of lessons I learned more than 1 year of computer illustration classes at the college I attended. I went to Denver Comic Con and met Chris in person and I connected with other OA students in the area - even went on a field trip to the DAM. Two months later I was on a steep upwards climb, energized by the other passionate students around me, all over the world, encouraged by everyone. I got critique that I could actually use. It was like I sat up and turned on a lamp. A few months after that I auditioned for Painting Drama and leveled up my compositional skills. Almost two years later and I’ve exhibited at CTN, made huge progress on my passion project, and left the miserable gray cube for a position at Laika.

I know right?!? Sometimes I pinch myself because it feels so surreal.

I just want to thank my OA family for having my back, for taking me seriously, for lifting me up and keeping me amply supplied with crazy cute animal pictures. And thank you Chris for being an amazing mentor, teacher, and overall fantastic person. I am working on a MOVIE and I wouldn't be here without you guys!! 

Raul will be leaving Denver towards the end of this month to join me here in Portland. We are both very excited for this new chapter in our life - and to see what adventures await for us. :) 

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