Today we were supposed to hand in all the assignments for last term, so again I left home with my portfolio and tube. In fact, walking on the streets with my drawings made me feel so vain. When I passed by the ticket booth and turned my head, the owner from the Middle East gave me a kiss and warm smile. Hey, this guy is my Camberwell sunshine though I go to him at most on a weekly basis. I felt the need to draw this scene after coming home.
After handing in the assignments, it was time for the crit on the CD/vinyl package design. We had some time to walk around and take a look at others' works. To be honest, I didn't feel very sure, but Wen Dee was very kind to make me feel better by saying that her group work isn't so perfect. Well, compared with last term, I certainly didn't go all out, but at least I wouldn't be so heart-broken if in the end it isn't good. In fact, quite a number of classmates came and told us they love our design.
I told Wen Dee that I have decided to go home in mid-June. Wen Dee, who is always such a strong person, has become rather sentimental. She said it's sad. I told her that it's ok and that she can come visit me in Taiwan. I gave her a pineapple cake, and she just kept holding it in her hand instead of putting it down because she was afraid that it would be crushed in her bag. I found that very touching. Later we talked of the wonderful food that Taiwan can offer with other non-British classmates, and I couldn't help inviting them to come. In fact, in the dorm, I keep telling Jazel that I am going home to get married because that's what Daniel, the astrologer, said a few years ago. Jazel took it very seriously saying, "You have to choose a date when I can fly from London. I'll wear a British hat to go to your wedding." That's how we play every day.
It's not that I don't love drawing anymore, but that I have a clear understanding of the structure of the courses. I can't help thinking that what I am learning now is not what I am looking for. Besides, lately we have been talking about being able to draw happily and freely. I am sure that even if I no longer stay in this environment, I'll keep on drawing. I did have some low moments a while ago, but at this point, I can look at my learning and life objectively. I made the choice not because I want to run away.
I do have to thank God for giving the low moments. Because of them, I have got to open my heart and realized that there are many good people around me. I deeply feel their warmth...
In the beginning of the crit everyone is upbeat, but usually after one or two groups, fatigue starts to creep in. I was glad that we were the second last group. I am not a talkative director. My theory is that you don't have to explain if the works are good. Besides, I don't feel at ease talking in front of people except teaching.
I looked at the sunshine outside the windows and thought, "What a day for going for fun!" Xin stood on a chair to get a better look. The first few groups were really intimidating because they spent a fortune having their design printed out in deluxe manners. I felt kind of embarrassed about what we did.
Before the presentation, Germaine said, "You have to give the introduction with pride. As for the stories, leave them out of this."
As a matter of fact, Jake took a quick look at our package in the morning, and he appeared to like it. But, when I said no more than three sentences, Derek couldn't wait to add, "This is one of my two favorite packages today." He gave a compliment on Momo's handwritten typefaces and Raymond's guitar image. Then when he thumbed through my development file, it was as if he took drugs when he said, "Oh, you have made my day." I have to confess that all the other groups used real vinyls in the sleeves while we had only fake ones cut out of black paper. But these details didn't seem to matter anymore. After the crit on our work was over, Momo asked me in disbelief, "Do you think they were telling the truth?" I replied, "I think so!"
We said this is a happy accident. For me, this is an interesting experience. Before I worked so hard only to hand in really terrible works, and at that time I couldn't understand why works which were not so carefully done got better critiques than mine. I guess God wants me to taste how it feels to be in such a place. I can only say, what has happened lately keeps giving me the message: Be myself! Don't always strive for the best and give myself a hard time!
To my great happiness today, we found that if the creative director of a group is very dominant, the style of the package is exactly that of the CD. Germaine said that ours doesn't feel that way. Of course, I change my mind easily if it's a good suggestion. I am proud of myself in that whenever the tutors mentioned a strength in our design, I would introduce the member responsible for that. Though our designer didn't seem happy all day long, in the end I still told him, "You don't seem to like this package, but you do have good ideas."
Before leaving the studio, Momo said to me, "Thank you!" These two words are far more powerful than anything else. I think what occurred should all be forgotten!