Thoughts on my first year at OCAD.
My school year drew to a close with the arrival of some warmer weather in the middle of April. Other than the exception of a few untimely showers during exam week, it ended without a hitch.
Although it has already become a frequent conversation topic, I still struggle to describe my school year concisely when questioned, and I often resort to dividing my impressions between the first and second semesters. Not only was first semester more relaxed because the courses were mostly general studies, but my decision for a 4/6 course split meant that compared to second semester, my first term at school was a total breeze.
Second semester was a very different experience. Where as first semester was like a slow walk that slowly sped up to a jog, when I returned from the winter break it felt like I hit the ground running.
I finally had two core classes (courses directly tied to my major, here at OCAD that meant courses with the INDS prefix), one of which was Material Explorations, an introductory course to the different workshops around the school. It isn't a coincidence that we had MatEx in the second semester, I ended up relying on the workshops very heavily just to finish projects from my other core class, The Design of Everyday Things.
This reliance on workshops meant actually working with my hands – I no longer had the luxury of typing away keyboard shortcuts on my laptop. Work in the physical world took a long time; it wasn't uncommon to find my entire day spent in between the shops or even just in a single one. This had the effect of making countless Graphic Design majors the unwitting subjects of my envy.
In addition to getting more hands on experience, my drawing class really narrowed in on mastering the industrial design sketching style. As the second of four drawing courses, we were introduced to marker renderings in grayscale shading as well as adding colour accents in the form of small details or vignettes. What did I take away from it? I don't draw enough and I don't draw well enough either.
That covers my impressions on course material.
Unlike some people I've talked to, first year has not been extraordinarily life changing. I certainly gained valuable knowledge and skills that I would not have been able to acquire elsewhere, but in regards to my own mentality though, it didn't feel like anything special. Though it pains me to admit it, I still went through my typical phases of being humbled and getting cocky and going back to being humbled again. I'm sure I took steps forward as well as steps backwards. My work ethic hasn't improved much from my years in high school, which is to say it's not amazing.
From here on out I don't have any solid plans for the summer besides fast tracking an art history course. Draw more, CAD more, and update this blog more. One can hope, right?.