Growing up through school, life never changed much from year to year. It was boring, restrictive and crap. Every day you were expected to go to school and study up to 5 subjects in one day and it felt like it was the end of the world if I missed a single lesson. Through GCSEs and A-levels my subjects were narrowed down and down, each time feeling like it was the decision of a life-time when I had to choose my subjects. My brother recently went through the process of choosing his GCSEs, and I remember how awful it felt. “I’m 15, and they’re expecting me to make a life decision NOW?!” I would whinge. A-levels felt like crunch-time and once again it was a painful decision. All of a sudden I was forced to choose what I wanted to do with my life for real, because this time it affected whether I go to university or not.
I had a hard time choosing between my sciences or art, and was very undecided even halfway through my A-levels. I had always enjoyed drawing… but that was an unstable, tough industry. I could do medicine and secure myself a respected and well paying job… but I was leaning a lot towards art, despite the fact I was studying two sciences and art at A-level in the end. I dallied with the concept of trying for Oxbridge but I was like ‘lol no’ after seeing the stress my friends were dealing with as they aimed for medical degrees and the likes. Now I’m at uni doing art, the pure thought of having to slave over essays I hate writing and revising for exams I fear makes me shudder.
No, doing art was by far the best decision I ever made. Finding Game Art Design is another tier of ‘best decision I ever made’ altogether.
So, one year into uni now. I’m going to start with a ‘then’ and ‘now’ comparison of my art so ya’ll have some pictures to look at and I’ve been told people like seeing my work.
Art-wise, as you can see, I’ve learned a lot. Progress is a big deal for me (as you may know from the amount of times I post progress comparisons), and I definitely feel like I’ve improved despite all my self-doubt and miserable blog posts. My understanding of the software has improved, which in turn has influenced my technique. I’ve had great tutors give me pointers and helpful crit from peers which has helped me push my work further. I’ve found myself with a purpose in life that I am devoted to, meaning I take every chance I can to draw and practise which simply leads to faster improvement and a very happy Anya. I’m loving every second.
As well as my art mentality and ability improving dramatically, my overall attitude to life has changed too. When I first started university I couldn’t cook, had the emotional intelligence of a 13 year-old, and knew nothing about the real world. I’d grown up in my little bubble and done well at school, and thought that was all I needed to get by in life. Then reality came along. I met a real mix of new people who I got on with and some I didn’t, and I had to navigate this terrifying sea alone. I’ve left people behind that were basically ruining my life, and I’m not looking back. I am a strong independent female! No mummy to book dental appointments for me anymore!
I’ve made a group of friends which I love. As a unit we navigated the horror that is Leicester, and we went through some pretty awesome (and scary!) times. My independence and awareness grew massively and I learned how to cook (still managed to blow up eggs in the microwave twice without learning though), socialise, and live without relying on anyone. Oh and draw. No doubt in a year’s time I’ll look back and go ‘damn I was retarded’. Such is life.
Now my thoughts are turning towards my future. I understand what is too much, or too little to expect of myself. I have a list of things to do this summer that I seriously intend on completing, and I will be really disappointed if I don’t. I know I can. I’m going to have to start thinking about second year soon too… internships, publicity… making my work passable… Shit’s getting real. I’ve been talking to some of the [late] second years, and it turns out that what seems like half of them have jobs or are going on internships next year! It’s insane! I wonder what I’ll be writing this time next year when my second year comes to a close? Now that’s food for thought.
On that rather terrifying note I’d like to thank the lovely tutors and bigwigs at Game Art HQ that got me here in the first place. You know who you are and you’ve done an amazing job of holding the fort that is Bede Island. So thankyou. See ya’ll in September.