Saturday, July 25, 2009

Black in America 2: Part 2: Pursuit of Happiness

There is nothing greater in this life than joy. Feeling good about yourself. After the Black an America series I had been thinking a lot about the challenges in life. In the film "Pursuit of Happiness" a man dragged his child all over the streets of new york homeless and in shelters trying to do an internship that paid nothing for 6 months so he could get on wall street. It reminds me of the persistence of the human heart.

One man on the Black in America series talked about how he wanted to open a high school where 100% of his students graduated and went to college. And he did. Many of the students coming from the street and broken homes. Everyday he stood outside the front door and greeted each person as they got off the bus and went in the building because he wanted to make sure that his kids knew he cared. He had the highest expectations of his teachers and if they couldn't cut it he didn't keep them in his school to infect his student he just let them go.

Man I wonder sometimes what my life would be like if I had attended a high school like that. Where they take pride in educating students. What would the educational system in the US be like especially if Af Am neighborhoods. In my area they get closed down all the time because of lack of money, lack of parental participation and just down and out teachers going through the motions giving up on young people.

The series also makes me think back to my days at the Joe Kubert School. Honestly even though I was working my ass off to improve, just like everyone else there, I found it alarming to here that some people didn't like the work I did no matter how I tried to have good quality professional look. After my first year some of the roomers started to catch up to me. Guys that had smiled in my face and complimented my work secretly hated everything I did.

I thought it was crazy. During that school year I had tried to rally the girls of the school together, the few that there were, and get them to put together a art book. I called it QB Dolls. You can see a link to it on the side. Me and another young lady did all the work of collecting the art and scanning the pages and assembling and designing everything. Though the book had it's issues we actually got it done. On the side of doing ten assignments a week and drowning in homework.

When the book was done almost no one that was in the book actually bought copies for themselves. We actually lost money on the project because students in the school refused to buy it saying they thought it cost to much. In fact, the teachers are the only ones that really bought it. I was kinda sad. I was selling it for less than what it cost to print. By the end of the year though when it came time for submissions for a scholarship I think aside from the portfolio I submitted, the book played a major role in helping me to get the scholarship.

I think what hurt most though was when I started hearing how people didn't like my art because it was more for girls and it was too anime. One guy actually told someone I didn't deserved the scholarship cause I drew in a manga style. The word manga in English means comic. Personally I thought I worked my ass off for it. I heard someone say once that if you are not being hated on you aren't doing something right.

I guess what i am trying to say is no matter how hard it seems a person might work in this life we gotta tread though a lot of B.S. to get what we want whether we like it or not. It is our attitude that will make or break our success. I feel last year I had the wrong attitude about my life. I have alway thought to my self just wait untill I get out of this situation and things will be great.

Little did I know, it never got better and the months turned to years of waiting was just a waste of time. The other thing was after the rumors and the B.S. I started to think there was something wrong with me if I wasn't drawing explosions and battle scenes and fitting into a hip hop "style" that people felt I needed to fit into. It never worked for me. Then I think back to being a child and just being myself and doing what I love. That is when things fell into place on a mental level.

The obstacles I face these days are a direct result of not loving myself and trying to fit into someone else's box. I got people telling me how I should draw, what I should draw, to draw for them, to put off drawing and get a real job, to draw on the side, and the famous "not everyone goes into the profession they went to college for." Hell, I didn't spend $60,000 to go to college and work as an in home care giver changing adult diapers and cleaning poop. This job has become yet another obstacle I have to over come so I can get back to really living.

Some people don't know this, but I am a huge fan of Bobby Chui. I love watching his video podcasts. My favorite story he tells is how an old women was stealing his t-shirts, that he designed, out of the drier and folding them up with her laundry and claiming that she bought them. He has this philosophy that for every really bad thing that happens to you you can look forward to something amazing taking place in your life soon after. I think though that you have to be ready for it because you might not see the great thing if you don't pay attention.

They say if you try longer than anyone else eventually you get to your goal because you are the last man standing. It may be a long wait for great things, but they will come. In the meantime I have resigned to try to think good thoughts no matter what they situation. I was in a car accident not to long ago and my car is broken and my paycheck is gone already, but you know what, today I had an amazing day.

I went to church I gave my ten percent and my mom actually came with me because she had to give me a ride, and if that was the only good thing that comes out of not having my car well I am happy because she walked out of that church with a book on prayer, a ton of information about women's health and heart protection, and an ear full of gods teachings. If that isn't something to be happy about I don't know what is.

Anyway you should check out yourself some Bobby Chiu. I hear that Imaginism Studios is more incorporated. the man is moving ahead in the game at lightning speed.

God Bless,

Arie's Sketch Dump