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Don't Look Back in Anger, I Heard You Say

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Ever heard of the “starving student” stereotype? Or is the term “starving artist” more appropriate in this situation? Six years ago, I was given the opportunity to experience life as a starving student even though I was unaware about it at the time.

"Once upon a time you dressed so fine
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

“Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan came on the radio at local art supply store as I was buying school supplies. I had received a $10,000 education award and I decided to go back to school to improve my drafting skills. I decided West LA and Santa Monica was going to be a good place to take classes because it was central to many people connected to the design industry.

I found my niche during those two years. My grades were very good in all my classes. I spent so much of my budget on school supplies. A lot of my final projects were used as examples for incoming classes the following semester. At one point, one of my class instructors liked the work I was producing for her class that she invited me to help create 3D models in SketchUp for freelance concept art.

Having to move out of Los Angeles that last time was a sad moment for me. My resources were going to dry up and the only callback I heard in my never ending job search was for an internship that did not pay its interns!

"You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging your next meal

The other day I was looking up my old instructor, the one that saw endless potential in me. I stumbled on a website and I was shocked to find a whole page full of illustrations created by my instructor. The work was good and crisp. It was the type of work that meets the standards of high-end design. That was when it hit me like a ton of bricks–at the time I was working for my instructor, I was given a golden opportunity to work with someone well-connected to the design field. I was living in Los Angeles, which is also a city that thrives on creativity. However, my memories of living in that city at that specific time revolve around having to eat popcorn for dinner for many nights in a row and not having quite enough money budgeted outside of my immediate needs and very little wants. I suppose perspective changes a lot when looking back in time.

Tuesday will mark the fourth year anniversary since I started helping Oz with the comic features and Monday news on Drunk Duck. Tuesday is also the 32nd anniversary of the day that I was born. On that day, I will be celebrating my birthday.

What's Quacking?
Do you have any original art to contribute to our stock image database, announcements, community projects, ideas, news, or milestones to report? Please leave general comments below or send a PQ to kawaiidaigakusei. Email me at kawaiidaigakusei(at)gmail(dot)com.



Avart at 7:41PM, Nov. 7, 2017

Excellent story/experience. Happy birthday, I admire you so much :D

KimLuster at 6:44AM, Nov. 7, 2017

Wow this hits home!! These moments can be quite scary (esp. if you got a kid or two as well...) but, when you look back, these are the times that most often bring a smile *sings Barry Manilow* "I made it through the rain..."

Ashley.Grenstone at 4:39PM, Nov. 6, 2017

Happy b-day and thank you fro sharing this story that I and others can relate to.

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:37PM, Nov. 6, 2017

Thank you all for the early birthday wishes! I have already started on the festivities by vashing in on freebies that some places offer.

Emevsa at 7:57AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Happy anniversary and birthday Kawaii! My time as a starving student was incredibly invaluable to me even now. Taught me so much about myself and how to live a frugal life. Still find myself living that lifestyle even with a little bit in my pocket.

Tantz_Aerine at 7:40AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Happy anniversaries kawaii. Never look back, except to know what to never repeat.

ozoneocean at 7:02AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Happy anniversary Kawaii! And happy birthday too! Those things DO make you look back, but hopefully not with too many regrets. Your newsposts are always whimsical and inspiring and your features are fantastic :) We all love you at DD. Pit, Tantz, Banes and I always talk about how great you are :D

mks_monsters at 6:09AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Starving artist could be literal or metaphorical. The art industry is very tough and risky with only so many openings. With that said, I learned that if you intend to become an artist of any kind, it's a good idea to have a day job first and keep art on the side to start. In other words, maintain that commitment to art, but commit to it in a smart way. Happy Birthday, kawaiidaigakusei!

Banes at 5:38AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Happy birthday kawaii! Some of the experiences that are the most important or satisfying to me are the times when the daily conditions weren't the best or most comfortable. I always love these insightful posts of yours!

usedbooks at 5:00AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Happy birthday! I haven't been a student in years, but I still live on the cheap because permanent work is a pipe dream. (I live in a camper. It lets me take my pets with me wherever work is to be found.)

bravo1102 at 12:44AM, Nov. 6, 2017

Happy birthday! Monday happens to be my wife's birthday. Popcorn? Ramen 3 for a dollar. Wait for a Campbell's soup sale and stock up. Eating on $5- $10 a week.

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