Monday, 29 April 2019

Loss and Liminality

Dear friends
It’s been a while since I last wrote.
Quite recently I’ve watched a video crit on the film, “Spirited Away”.  In that video I came across the term liminality, which describes a transitional phase you could find yourself in, as with the main character of the aforementioned film.  I realized I am in such a phase.  Things I could use to define myself before, I can’t anymore.  I’ve lost a lot of things, and people the past two years. 

My grandmother passed away at the end of 2017.  She had a great influence in my life and I missed her dearly.   I used her life story as the foundation of my project, “Weerkaatsing”, and her sudden death left me heartbroken and directionless.  I did not know in which direction the project could or should turn next.  I didn’t know if I could still tell a story if she was not here to read it. 

At the same time our department got shut down and my colleague and I were suddenly without jobs.  They ‘let go’ of me, but I couldn’t as easily let go of the idea of not being a lecturer.  I loved my work with the students and believed I would be an educator for a long time.

There were other losses too.   Internal ones.  Things I realized that with time, I could no longer be.  

I couldn’t draw for a year. 

It was a rough time. 

My colleague and I collaborated to launch an online graphic design school.  It was a great project, and a lot of hard work.  We had big dreams, but amidst this time, my colleague and friend got diagnosed with cancer.  It was difficult news to digest, because I walked a road with her the previous two years when her mother and then her sister both battled with cancer.  And now it was her.
Many of our plans for marketing for the online school, had to be put on ice until she was strong enough to work.  By the end of last year she seemed to be out of the woods.   During December her sister’s condition worsened and she passed away by the end of January this year.  Before the family could mourn her death, my friend started to experience terrible headaches.  At first they thought it was TB, but it became clear that the cancer spread to her brain. 

She’s been in and out of the hospital for weeks.  Friends prayed for her and visited her in hospital.  Every time I went to visit her I could see how the cancer was eating away her life.  She didn’t want us to be sad or teary around her.  How difficult it is to smile for your friend’s sake, but then cry when you’re sitting in the car at the hospital’s parking lot.  Or when you’re sitting alone at home and it suddenly hits you -  She is talking about herself as if she won’t be here anymore.
Her memorial was held on Friday.  She’s been my colleague and friend for nearly a decade.  We shared a lot of secrets together, and a lot of dreams.

You might have seen previous posts this year on the blog – specifically videos.  I created a Youtube channel, aptly named ArtGerminate (to correspond with this blog), mainly to release some of the videos of the course I developed last year (Effortless Website Design).  The purpose was to showcase some of the videos so prospective students could see what product they would buy.
I don’t think I will be able to continue the online graphic design school without her.  She was the one who spearheaded the marketing distribution, whilst I contributed to course content and blog posts.  I have completed the development of the online course.  As I mentioned, it was a LOT of hard work - research, script writing for each video, voice over work, video, photography of photos used in the sample project and of course final editing - all done by me.  I have learned so much, but it is dreadful to think that no one will benefit from the course.   I’ve decided to release the whole course on my Youtube channel, ArtGerminate, for free.  I will spread out the upload of the videos. 

The course is aimed at graphic designers or people with a creative background who want to learn more about the foundation of HTML5 and CSS3.  If you want to be able to understand a little bit of the code, and not be constrained by template based website design, this is an excellent introduction course.  It is developed to be very practical.  Step-by-step we create a website together, from start to finish.  And a little bit of theory is sprinkled on top to provide enough understanding of what you’re doing.

So if you’re interested, or you know of someone who will benefit from such a course, you can direct them to my Youtube channel, ArtGerminate, and make sure they subscribe so they can be notified of a new video once it is uploaded.

Here is a link to the latest video I uploaded: Resizing Images for Website Design

I don’t know what is next for me, but I am drawing again.

Thank you for your continued support.
Grace & Peace,