Worries for the future (and bonus painting!)

New year and stuff! Shiiiiiit. This is where it all starts to get real. I mentioned last year (hahaha) that I have a lot of anxieties for the future. I’d like to talk about them. I want to get them out of my head and into writing, and I want you to read them and tell me your thoughts, feelings and experiences.

I need to feel less anxious about the future. This post is where I want that to start. It’s going to be a long one!

To start off, here’s a couple of paintings I did before the new year;



Unlike last week, I decided to spend a longer amount of time per painting (about 3-4 hours). I feel like I’ve started to get to grips with an oil painting method and setup that suits me. I use minimal oil because I find that I just end up pushing the thick paint around on a layer of thinner oil-paint mix, and it creates a nasty watered-down effect. It gets really hard to create smooth transitions. I tend to use more oil on areas of one colour such as backgrounds where I want the paint to last longer.

I’m absolutely going to continue oil painting in my spare time. I’ll have less chance during my FMP, but I think it’ll be important to take a break from digital mediums, and in the future I’d love to have a space where I can just leave my paints out to come back whenever I want. I really want an art studio where I can feed creative passtimes such as painting, garment-making, embroidery, and so on, and maybe one day I can sell my painting work.

So, my future. What is going to happen to me this year?

I don’t know! I don’t think anyone in my position does… But you can’t help but wonder, and worry. So here is what is happening in my head right now.

Will my FMP interest employers? Is my work good enough?

First thing’s first; the now. My FMP officially begins in a little over a week, and I’ve already done a lot of thinking about it… a LOT LOT. I’m not expecting to bowl-over employers, but I do want them to be interested. I want my work to stand out. I want them to hire me. Duh. In my usual fashion, I think and think about everything FMP related. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what runs through my head. But here’s an idea.

-What’s the style going to be? I should make some style guides. But what styles shall I test? How do I test styles? What if there is more than one style I like? What if I prefer a style but the process is too long to be viable? What if a style suits one diorama but looks awful in another? What if my favourite style involves Zbrush?

-How the fuck do I use Zbrush? *series of over-active thoughts about workflows in Zbrush and how stressful it would be but also how much better it would probably look*

-Where do I want to work? I don’t know. What do I do? No one is going to want to hire me if I’m not tailoring my work to them.

-My final dioramas are going to be nowhere near as badass as they are in my head. What’s the point in even trying.

-My ambitions are too much for UE4. And I’ll go insane trying to bend UE4 to my will.

-Will employers like my work? I don’t want to think about it.

-I am not ready for this.

There is so much I tend to think about, and worry over. It’s ridiculous. But I can’t help it. I have such a strong image in my head for, at least, certain aspects of my dioramas, that I will worry and worry about how the hell I’m going to achieve it. Wanna see my UE4 to-learn list? Yeah you do.


What happens pre-graduation?

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what happens in the run-up to graduation. When is a good time to create business cards? I want them in time for degree show (if that’s even happening), but if I create them now I don’t feel like they’ll represent what I’m about in a few months time.

When do I start applying for jobs? Will my portfolio have good enough work by then? Do I even want a job straight out of uni? What if I never make my mind up? What if I can’t find a studio I’d like to go to? What if they want me to start immediately after uni and I’m not ready? What is ‘ready’?

What happens immediately post-graduation?

That brings me on the the stress fest that is post graduation. Like my FMP, I’ve thought about this way too much to be healthy. My main concern is whether I’ll want a job straight after university, or later. Obviously it’s extremely difficult and uncommon to achieve a job straight out of uni. But it’s still something I could choose to aim for, if I wanted that. I’ve heard that the sooner you find a job out of university, the easier it ends up being to break into the industry. This leaves me feeling really under pressure to find a job asap and at least break into the industry first.

On the flip side, however, I’d quite like to take some time out for a month or two and live a little. My dad would like to go to NYC, and my mum to Devon. I’d like to do some personal work, and improve my oil painting. Maybe even sell a little work. There’s been talk of me getting a car and I’d like to re-learn to drive. But I don’t know how much of an effect this would have on my chances of eventually finding a job. I feel like most graduate jobs (and particularly internships, which I’d be interested in doing) will probably be available to apply for straight out of uni, and I’ll miss my window and have to wait ages, perhaps another year, for an opportunity.

If I apply to a job in, say, Newcastle that starts in 2 weeks time… how the hell do I find somewhere to live and move in that fast? How?! Moving straight from Leicester to a new home complicates this even more…

Ah, so much so stress about.

I guess my ranting boils down to this; how long does it take for your chances of finding employment to wane after being out of education/employment? Or does it even matter if your portfolio is good? Should I plan to take time out first, or should I plan to just dive in to a job and think about trips/life later? Can I apply for a job straight out of uni but just have a couple of weeks to go away with family before starting?

How do I job?

I think some people become frustrated and irritated by my over-active mind. They sigh and go, ‘there she goes again’. Nutter. Whatever you think. I sigh too. It’s both a blessing and a curse; it pushes me to keep working hard and improve, but every time a respected industry artist or art director stops responding to my correspondence, I can’t help but think well there’s my terrifying over-eager stressiness driving away another future contact. Remind me to never speak to you again/apply to your studio. I can’t look you in the eye.

Anyone else get that sometimes? Just me? *sigh*

I’m not 100% sure what the point of this post was, bar getting stuff out of my head. I’m going to share this to Facebook and I’d love for everyone and anyone who does arty stuff to share their opinions and experiences. Even if I’ve never met you!

Well. I don’t know if this post has made me feel better or more nervous. However I do think that it’s affirmed that I’d realllly prefer to have a month to myself before I took on a job, if the opportunity to instantly have a job from uni arose. I have no idea about the logistics of this plan though. But hey.

Pour your hearts out to me, as I pour mine out to you!

Thanks so much for reading! Happy 2016. It’s going to be a roller coaster.

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2 thoughts on “Worries for the future (and bonus painting!)

  1. Well Anya – sometimes, too many options can be much more scary than none at all – often because we are fooled into thinking we have no options at all – but almost like a hidden network of pathways, they reveal themselves as we step forward. And that’s why one step at a time, is much more productive, than trying to leap in all directions at the foreboding and immense landscape, whilst trying to guess at what lies beyond the horizon!

    The spooky thing about the future, which we only usually realise retrospectively, is that no matter how much we try to plan for ourselves, with regards, to a rewarding and enjoyable future – the outcome can be totally unexpected – but in a wonderful way!

    All we need to do, is not ‘over think’ and over-plan, just identify options and goals, as we move forward one step at a time. The most important thing, is to be able to spot the opportunities as they (often unexpectedly) present themselves.

    Over thinking, to the point of worry, is totally counter-productive. Take it from a man who know’s, been there, designed the T-shirt!

    Once you’ve identified a wish, or a requirement or plan – give it breathing space, and time to develop. Mark it down as ‘on the list’, and then get on with the matter at hand – and then in a kind of strange way, just like when you try hard to recall something, and then once you start doing something else, it pops into your head from nowhere – you will find the opportunities and solutions presenting themselves – as if by magic!

    There are many people in ‘work’, although often they describe it as too much fun to be called that – who are doing something they never envisaged, although it ticks all of their ‘dream job’ boxes. So it’s also just as likely that your perfect destiny is something you haven’t even considered, and therefore can not be totally planned for as yet. All you need to do in the meantime, is enjoy each day, and each step – and don’t miss the enjoyment of the journey, for the sake of worrying about only potential destinies.

    So it really can be very exiting, the potential opportunities that often lie just around the corner – invisible, but never the less, there. Too much thinking and procrastinating on the spot, and we’ll never see them. But as we take each small step forward, they all become clear – which is a bit of the old ‘going with the flow’ analogy.

    So Anya, potentially very exciting times ahead. The world really is your oyster – and not your lobster! And at least one pearl lies within! But try not to panic, or worry – solutions will always present themselves – just quietly ask the Universe for what you want – and then give it a little time and assistance to deliver.

    At the moment, imagine yourself setting off on an old steam train, in a beautiful luxury carriage, on a mystery tour – destination unknown. You maybe travelling through amazing scenery/countryside, but may never see it, if you have your head down, with a notebook, scribbling notes on what to do when you reach your destination.

    Enjoy the journey – and again – don’t panic or worry. Be happy! 🙂


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