I think much of the time on university course focuses on striving to get good grades. So far, I have spent my whole life in education without a break, going from one test to the next with the aim of progressing to a higher stage. That’s just how education works. However, I’ve reached a point now on this course where grades are no longer the most important thing. Of course, it’s nice to get good ones and I’m often fuelled by my competitive streak that pushes me to do the best I can. But I think what I have discovered here at Chelsea is that it is valued more to have faith and conviction in the work that you are producing- without that what’s the point?

When I look back at what I produced last semester, this conviction just isn’t present in my work. I wasn’t interested enough in what I was doing to dedicate the time that was needed for it, so I busied myself in other aspects of the course to make it seem as if I was working hard. This did have its benefits and I got to experience things I might otherwise have been too distracted to do.

In moving on from this I think what will be important for me is a shift in my attitude to producing work. I’m quite uptight in making work and often doubt what I am doing (hence my need for constant validation). Learning to take a more relaxed approach would be good for me, finding a point where intuition can lead, allowing me to worry less about the outcome and how the work ‘looks’. When Wei Chung took over Wilma towards the start of the semester she asked people to write down in their opinion ‘what the elephant in the room was’, in exchange for a drink. We had a lot of responses and, perhaps appropriately for her position, it was Patti’s that stuck with me the most. ‘Your idea of Art is getting in the way of your own art.’ I’ve got this stuck up at how as a small reminder for when I am overthinking and panicking about work, just to chill a bit. Think less, do something, then think more. Let’s see what happens…

 

Will Coups