The ballad of the eternal art student: keeping momentum going

I just graduated from film school. That’s five years of super-intense learning, progress, setbacks, failures, triumphs–the kind of experience that can’t help but make you up your game as an artist and craftsperson if you put your whole heart, soul and guts in it.

Of course, I was pretty psyched and proud to be done with school–I get a life again! I can finally sleep!–but I also regarded this transition with a bit of trepidation. (Not only because, eek, now I have to start paying back my loans!) But I think many people face the fear when they end an art school experience that they won’t succeed in their given field once they are out in the “real world.” But what is success and achievement? An Oscar? A book deal?

However you mark success, what it often boils down to is spending a good proportion of your waking hours doing what you love, and hopefully, you make money at it so that this proportion stays high. That’s what film school was–a high proportion of my time and energy were devoted to my passion for writing and filmmaking. No wonder it was an optimal experience! There is a constant sense of progress and movement when you devote all that time and all those resources to your learning experience, and we all face the fear that we’ll fall into humdrum, compromised lives in which our skills become rusty and our tools are covered with dust.

KATASHARYA.COM was really just a portfolio site of sorts for my films and videos, but I thought it’d be more useful to use it as a kind of “artist’s notebook” where I keep “practicing my craft” (say that in lofty “artiste” voice!) and reflecting on my journey to improve, improve, improve as a writer and filmmaker. I blog regularly over at my other gig, NOGOODFORME.COM, where I get to indulge in my love of fashion, music, and other pop culture. But this space is purely me, and purely about art, inspiration, creativity, reflection and learning. It’s where I work out what it really means to make art for myself, and it’s a lab where I test out ideas and theories. I could just journal all this for myself, but there’s something about having an imaginary audience out there that makes me feel a bit more accountable and outward-looking. And, you know, I really feel like the best way to learn is often to share what you know with others, so I hope there will be others “out there” who get something out of this as well. But really, it’s a hope and a wish and a striving to keep that fertile sense of progress and movement going–to keep myself fresh and constantly learning and questioning. Growing, really. Maybe this is just a lab and pep talk to myself, but that’s kind of the best gift I could give myself right now.

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