The weight of comparing

Comparing yourself to others around you will always happen as well as family and friends comparing you to others whether consciously or not. This is something that has weighed on my mind especially now that I have finally graduated from university.

My family has 7 grandchildren, including my brother and me. Almost all of us are in a post-secondary education or have a career. We all are relatively close in age as well. The ones who graduated from university before me did it on time and with degrees that seemed to make sense economically (Engineering and arts to then become teachers, then one enrolled in management) whereas I felt like a bit of a black sheep since I started my fine arts degree it was so different from everyone and I kind of felt like I made a bad choice, but knew id rather be happy than miserable with a good paying job. This brings me to my main point

I was supposed to graduate in June of 2023 but found out less than a week before that 3 credits were the wrong year level. I felt like an absolute soul-crushing disappointment since I had already taken an extra year of studies.

Everyone had already booked time off and non-refundable flights, but the worst part was that my cousin’s grad was the same week and some family members had to choose which grad to go to. The ones that had chosen mine; I felt extremely guilty and upset that they could have gone to my cousin’s grad knowing that I had failed mine.

Now, I know most of this feeling is my self-doubt and comparison to others but I still felt bad for wasting people’s time and money. To the point that I told everyone not to even come when I graduated because I wasted my chance and everyone had already spent money to come to it once so they shouldn’t have to again. They of course called me silly for this, but it still weighed heavy on my heart.

So, when I got confirmation of my degree being conferred in November I said nothing at first. I was nervous for a variety of reasons, what if the school made a mistake and I wasn’t graduating again, what would my family say? would it be an overwhelming congratulations or a “Wow finally you should have done that in June” or my biggest fear “Well the others in our family did it first try why didn’t you?” which would have crushed me, and I didn’t want to possibly lash out at my family for a scenario I made up in my head.

The first who I told was my brother, then a week later my mom, and grandparents, and finally at the beginning of December I told some others in my family. However, I did not put it in our family group as I didn’t want my made-up fear to happen or to have it brushed off as I had spent the last few months rationalizing and telling myself that it was okay this happened and that no one would be disappointed in me. But the thought of “good for you, anyways X did this the other day” really scared me.

Instead of telling the family directly, I figure this would be the best way to put out my thoughts as I have a large amount of them that could turn nasty if it become emotional.

I know who I am as a person and everyone is proud of who I have become but still the lingering human condition of comparing myself to others weighs heavy on my mind.

It makes sense…sorta

Being compared to someone most of your life is weird, but what’s worse is when you are compared to someone you don’t even remember.

Recently given my grandfather’s stamp collection by my dad for my 24th birthday; I didn’t expect to be piecing together a story of someone I couldn’t remember. Let alone a story that made things less confusing than before.

I was told a lot growing up that I remind them of my grandfather, he liked Shakespeare, classic novels, and art, and had a special connection to cats.

I was told he would be proud of both my brother and me for what we have accomplished. Being told this still makes me sad for not being able to tell him myself.

Back to this stamp collection, it was in a box with thousands of them being loose after being cut off of envelopes. It made me sad in a way, he was so busy that he couldn’t indulge in this hobby. Furthermore, I found things that I was drawn to, I had a tiny stamp collection of my own and to my surprise, my grandfather had collected some of the same stamps I had collected. This made me realize that maybe my dad wasn’t too far off with me being alike my grandfather. This revelation hit me when I found a specific stamp a: Tom Tompson Jack Pine stamp. This is not only one I had collected myself but also within my Minor, I did extensive studies of Canadian Art history.

My Grandfather and I may not be here at the same time but our stories are intersecting more than 20 years later in the most interesting of ways that continue to make me understand a little bit more about my grandfather.

For now, things make a bit more sense…sorta.

Why I chose Art History as a Minor

“Currently I am reading about the silk road further, and how it has established our economy as we know it today 2021”

Mostly everyone I know will tell you I chose Art history as a minor because of my love for Assassins Creed and the running joke of how I passed first-year ARTH by only playing it, but it actually is a little deeper than that.

I was thinking about this quite a bit over the past year before I decide to declare a minor this year and came to realize my curiosity for history and subsequently, art goes back to being pretty young.

Now one of my biggest childhood aspirations was to be like Indiana Jones, an intelligent professor that goes on adventures to the lost architecture of the ancient world and civilizations forgotten by many.

I am sadly no archeologist professor, but I do believe the want to be like Indiana Jones, or even later on Lara Croft is what drove me towards art history.

I initially had started art history and loved it because I was learning about places I had visited in travels or in games, but when I started to learn more about places that I had very little prior knowledge too is what really drew me in.

I was fascinated by the history, and consequently, the art that comes from the historic time. Overall I think my childhood aspirations to be the next archeologist with a really cool hat, or the games I played jumping around ancient cities started the curiosity and university confirmed it for me more.

Bad Grades ≠ Bad Art

Something that is discouraging about going to art school is the concept of getting graded on your creativity and innovation. This is something that I have just started to not take personally this year, yes marks are important to your school success but it isn’t always needed for validating the work you do. If you make work that pushed you and is something you are really proud of and learned something through the process of it the mark shouldn’t matter.

This can be a hard concept for people to understand and accept (myself included) especially as artists, we crave validation, and most never see their body of work as good. The point of art school is to learn and develop yourself as an artist, gruelling critique’s and bad marks are all part of the process. In the end, it doesn’t make you a bad artist, rather it can help push you to be even better.

Arts Not Dead Lightbox Sculpture Year 2

Party Poison

The project that explores drug use & EDM

This is my first third-year sculpture and I wanted to explore the notion of how a community so full of love and respect for each other can also willingly hard you by selling drugs to someone. By using something familiarly traded (Kandi bracelets) as a medium. Each bracelet is made out of beads and resin shaped like gummy bears. The resin juxtaposes how something so innocent can be dangerous ( toxic materials taking the form of a safe object) Overall this project leaves the door open for a conversation, whether you are part of the EDM community or not.

Finding inspiration in a time of hopelessness

Bald Hills Jasper 2020

This summer I took a weekend trip to Jasper with my family and was roped into a hike with my older brother. It was the best/ worst thing I did that weekend.

The worst because I was absolutely exhausted, The best because it was absolutely breathtaking.

With a severe lack of inspiration over the summer especially by being stuck in an isolated environment with very few if any other artists to meet with in person; taking a break and detoxing from all the stress on myself to create was exactly what is needed. Taking time for yourself is important to keep you from going a little crazy, by finding another outlet whatever it may be. Take time for yourself

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