It's been a while since writing and I've discovered why. My usual encouraging tone of writing does not reflect my current state of mind. It would be dishonest of me to say that I'm happy to be a fashion student at this moment in time. At the same time, I believe it's so important to be open about these struggles because even the best designers struggle to understand their worth and value after days of bad critique and sleepless nights.
Earlier this quarter I was told I had mono last fall and that I'd been battling symptoms of it since. Prior to hearing this information, I was in constant wonder of why I couldn't physically do as much as I could before. Little did I know that I was pushing my body to its absolute physical and mental limit. I had no option but to slow down. I stepped down as Editor-in-Chief of The Manor, reduced my class load, and quit my involvement with the SCAD fashion show. At first giving up these responsibilities made me feel incompetent- like I wasn't doing enough, but I began to realize it was the only way I could survive the rest of the year.
My professor began the first day of class by showing us a video of an olympic athlete falling a foot before the finish line. He went on to explain how this scenario was directly relatable to ours- it would be a 10 week sprint.
In five weeks I've designed over 150 looks, made two sketchbooks, designed four full collections, and made two garments. Every night the same group of us goes into the fashion building wondering if we'll actually finish the work that's due the next day. Most times even if we do finish, we're told it's not good enough and leave class feeling defeated and frustrated. I want to work harder and get better, but I can't always find the energy to work around the clock while living my life. This feeling is not specific to SCAD fashion students, it's specific to any creative person seeking education at design school.
We are juniors, now past the introductory level classes. We're expected to clearly communicate our thoughts. I realize that I fall back on comfortable practices and designs. I realize that in order to make extraordinary things I have to work efficiently, quickly, and around the clock because there will never be enough time. And with these revelations comes and even greater need for balance. Pulling multiple all nighters only damages my work ethic and kills my motivation. Deciding when to gift yourself with a good night of sleep is just as important as learning a new skill.
I'm at a low point, there is no takeaway encouraging message this time. I'm searching for motivation and energy to finish the next five weeks strong. I'm aware that every artist/designer feels this way at some point but I'm seeking advice on how to curb the pessimism that weighs me down from day to day during this part of my life.