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Blood Tangent | Column

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones

The dark circles around my eyes really bring out the hazel in them, my chapped lips bring out the crooked whiteness of my teeth. I’m eating dairy-free ice cream for breakfast, baby food and handfuls of dry cereal for lunch. I’m not really into nutrition right now. I’m rubbing body glitter on my collar bones and super-gluing press on nails to my fingers. I guess this is what a hot mess is?

It is my thesis year which means I am using all of the past four years of whatever I have learned to create an entire body of work that epitomizes my growth as an artist, or whatever. I’ve spent most of this semester fixating on whether or not I’m actually a good artist and if I can actually prove it. It’s aggravated my anxiety, made me an insomniac, let’s add another disorder to the stack.   

Four years ago when I started my degree I was 18 and I was filled with spit and vinegar—I think that’s the saying—I was churning out photos like a printer. I was rabid and fanatical, eager, hopeful even. I went to gallery openings and art shows, I went to parties, I was out all night. I was socializing with those who fancied themselves the next Damien Hirst or Ryan McGinley, I was in the art scene. Now, I am stressed, depressed, but I am well-dressed (also the name of my future memoir), I am skipping class and taping Victorian wallpaper to my yellow paint-chipped walls as a makeshift studio. I am frantically running around in my black silk robe (that I probably paid too much for) from in front of the camera to behind the camera and back and forth again. My mother told my father that she was “concerned” because my apartment is always a mess, my father told her that’s what an artist’s life is like.

But I guess this is what art school is supposed to be like and this is what I signed up for. I’m not going to say I wouldn’t have it any other way because I would. I would rather be at the top art school I got into but couldn’t afford, I would rather not be in Colorado, I would rather that this come more easily to me but then maybe I wouldn’t be an artist.

I hear a sad dog yapping from across the alley, it may be bloodthirsty. And now I have to go buy more super glue.

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