Mixing things up
First, I know this is supposed to follow some form of special format and sound all kinds of flowery and professional. The one thing I can say college does not do for me is inspire me to write more lifeless blocks of text devoid of any real personality. I cannot promise I will meet my intended goal, because your sense of humor may be broken, but I am here to entertain you and myself. It helps things flow more naturally when I don't take myself too seriously. I fail consistently to be concise, although especially when writing for the internet, we are expected to be. My entire life story will end up here, eventually. I'm a problem solver, though, so if it is a resume you are after, I have one of those, as well. If you are looking to find out more about me and what fuels my artwork, the paragraphs below will be more helpful.
What's in a name?
One of the first questions I get is about the name I chose to represent my work. It's a fair question, being as it has little to nothing to do with the subject matter on hand, or does it? This site has been active since about 1998, spending only roughly the last decade on this sever. Through that time, it has been through many incarnations and used for many different things, the first and least useful being a personal profile. A long time ago (in my early twenties) in a land far, far away (UNCC campus computer lab) I was introduced to a little game called Carrion Fields, a MUD. For those of you who are not unfamiliar, MUD stands for Multi-User Dungeon. See where this is going? Not only is it a role playing game, it is a text-based role playing game. I geeked out for hours at a time playing this game and later developed an interest in how they were built. Although I had written some scripts for IRC, (feel free to hee haw about that one) this is where my interest for programming began to really develop. At the time I registered the domain, my character, an elf ranger, was named Aezarien. It's completely made up and disconnected from anything real, much like the game. Before the advent of social networking sites where you actually use your real name, this became my alias for almost every site I ever visited. Since that incarnation,this has been a site for many things. It was my personal site, a site for a message board I built, my photography site, my design site, a programming site, and probably some other things I am forgetting. I'm a geek who is a little sentimental and a lot nostalgic, so I have kept it. And now you know that.
What I have not done
I have enough credits (109, currently) to have earned a bachelor's, but I am in possession of zero degrees. I didn't even go to high school. I'm not boasting, kids. I am in my 40s and am just now finishing up the first part of my education. Don't let this be you and do not ever let someone, especially yourself, tell you that what you want to do in life is not a good or wise decision, unless you want to be a drug dealer or smoke crack for the rest of your life. I have no experience with those particular occupations, but I am pretty sure you want to steer clear of those paths. But, I am rambling. On to what I did do. I will try not to ramble.
What I have done
Here is the short list of documented half-way completed education. I say I quit most of it, but there are a ton of incredible resources to be found over the internet and in your local library. I never gave up learning. I just became self-taught in several subjects through the years.
Nail Technology - I received a scholarship from a dear friend who is no longer with us, got pregnant and started barfing off the back steps every day. I quit.
Graphic Design - I started this and then my stalker ex started showing up at school every day. I quit.
Web Design - I took a long distance learning course. I made it until they sent me a copy of Microsoft Front Page. Web designers everywhere will understand why I quit.
Programming - I got a year in and decided that the back-end was not what I was interested in. I changed to something different because the college I was going to did not offer what I was really interested in, which was graphic design. I have written a few small programs, designed quite a few web sites, and have done a fair amount of consulting. Working on the back-end of this web site is a reminder of why I changed my major, however.
EMT -B - Because this was the natural progression. I finished this and got my certification. I caught a little bit of 911 fever and was inspired to join team EMS. I worked in this field for a while but got burned out real easy. I figured my next move should be a clinical environment.
Nursing - Hated it. I earned my CNA, made the first B in any class I had ever taken in my college career and fell apart. I moved to another county and was no longer eligible for the program. Did I mention I hated it anyway?
Art - I started classes at one college. I was not extremely impressed. I quit. Years later, Cleveland Community College started offering a degree in Fine Arts. Here I am and I should be graduating this Spring. I am in love with the art department here and could not imagine being anywhere else. I am set to go to Winthrop in the Fall and I am excited, but I am going to miss everyone at CCC when I go.
There is an awful lot of quitting and giving up in that list, which is why I am where I am, finally studying what I love after all these years. If you love something, that drive to do it is not going to go away, no matter how much you rationalize it. I fought this for years and when I reached the terminal point of each educational exploit, I was left feeling hopeless, with all of those voices in my head telling me that I would never go anywhere with what I loved. That brings me to the next section.
No, real voices, I promise. The voices of people asking me what I am going to do with an art degree, telling me that I won't make much money, that with as smart as I am, I should use it to do something more important. (to be continued)