Making Progress: The Trials and Tribulations of a Creative Project

My creative work is hard to put deadlines on, it is hard to regulate. I knew that this would present issues for me when applying for this fellowship and it certainly has already challenged me. I have already gone through a period with my project where I felt uninspired and this made me really nervous. I was worried that I was making progress too slowly, things weren’t turning out the way I wanted and I honestly didn’t think I would be able to create a project that I was happy with and proud of by the end of the summer. During this time, I leaned on my mentor and we discussed what was important for me in this project and we refined my expectations and my deadline for this project. For example, I want this project to create a genuine picture of the community that I grew up in and I was really struggling to envision creating that without having pictures from all seasons. I also wanted to have the opportunity to take a lot of pictures, more than taking pictures in just the summer would allow for me.

After having all of these different conversations, we came to the conclusion that it would be best for me to continue this project into the summer by taking a directed study with the studio arts department. I will then present my project for the first time in January with the Studio Arts Department. This allows me to account for the different concerns I was having and I think will result in me really being happy with my final project.

Having these talks with my mentor, as well as talking with other members of my fellowship cohort has been so valuable in my creative process so far. I also like to honestly evaluate my progress by myself on a weekly basis and make short term and long term goals and plans to keep myself accountable.

I am really happy that this fellowship allows me the flexibility to extend my project so that I can really make this project what it deserves to be. With that being said, I will continue to work hard during the summer and get as much done as I possibly can, but this new timeline will be really beneficial to my project overall.

My approach to the creative process is very different than my approach to academics. I can force myself to get school work done on a deadline, I can’t force myself to do a self-directed, creative project in the same way. For me, it is important that I work in creative projects when I’m feeling inspired. I want to be excited about them when I work on them and I don’t want them to feel forced. That doesn’t mean that I don’t create goals and plans for myself, but they are much more flexible than academic goals/plans that I make.

Overall, this fellowship is teaching me a lot about how I operate as a creative which is such a valuable skill for me to learn now so I can better plan for creative projects later in my life. I am excited about my progress so far and can’t wait to see where my project continues to go!

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