Alina Michelle

Personal blog of an emerging artist based in Santa Monica, California

There is something terrifying about leaving the academic world. In a classroom my expertise is admired, praised and challenged. In the midst of nervous breakdowns, sleep deprivation, deadlines and the toxic fumes of the studio, everything reaffirms the importance of making, and to sacrifice everything in order to be productive. After 6 straight years of education, and 7 total in my pocket, I left CSULB in May, exhausted and ready to just be satisfied with myself as a human being. Deep in my heart, I knew I wouldn’t be able to engage with my productive side, and I felt both guilty and excited for the peace. This unproductive period has lasted for the past 5 months and that sense of guilt has grown steadily in the pit of my stomach like a parasite slowly eating away at my thoughts. Last night during my book group, I broke down crying over the idea of not making work and the disappointment in myself for not making progress toward my goal of grad school. Now mind you, I have not been sitting on my ass for the past 5 months (although there have been days nothing at all was accomplished.) I took time to train the most difficult, hyper but sweet puppy on the face of the earth, got a job teaching public school kids art after school at 4 different schools, another job teaching a course called Art & Optics (which is amazing), started doing Beachbody’s insanity program, lost 10 lbs and gained it back in muscle, went to Maui etc etc etc. Also don’t forget this is my first year of marriage and my first year not living with my parents. So, I should probably feel pretty accomplished.. but I don’t. The truth is, to be satisfied, my art practice needs to be paramount in my life. It’s the place I feel most vulnerable, where I address my faith, body issues, fear of relationships, the loves I have and those I’ve lost. So in order, to get back on track and to stop the cycle of procrastination, I put my puppy, Cake into day care today, cleaned up my studio, did some photoshop studies and prepped paper. I’m currently waiting for my computer battery to hit 100% so I can move my laptop to be a place where it can serve as a reference for my drawing. In the mean time, I am going to share some photos from the last 5 months, the studies I made today and get this tumblr back on track. :)

Today was amazing. I’m so grateful to my family and my husband for their support through the years. I couldn’t have made it here without them. Now finally on to the next stage of life with bigger and better things. @stillrampant  (at California State University, Long Beach)

Today was amazing. I’m so grateful to my family and my husband for their support through the years. I couldn’t have made it here without them. Now finally on to the next stage of life with bigger and better things. @stillrampant (at California State University, Long Beach)

Our new double tale beta fish. We need some name suggestions!! #fish #nowicansayimnottalkingtomyself #graduationpresenttome

Our new double tale beta fish. We need some name suggestions!! #fish #nowicansayimnottalkingtomyself #graduationpresenttome

Collage of the studies I presented today #art #japanesepaperisamazing #artstudio

Collage of the studies I presented today #art #japanesepaperisamazing #artstudio

One of my favorites from our impromptu photo session after finishing the majority of the work in setting up for Effusion.  :D #bfa #csulb #effusion

One of my favorites from our impromptu photo session after finishing the majority of the work in setting up for Effusion. :D #bfa #csulb #effusion

Crit time before the show #artistlife #goingtoburnthemidnightoil

Crit time before the show #artistlife #goingtoburnthemidnightoil

I am seriously going to miss a crowded studio. I miss last semester where it was 5 women working in a closet and in 3 weeks I’ll have to say goodbye to this space as well. It’s been an amazing ride csulb and hopefully it’s on to bigger and better things.