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Strategies, Resources & Timelines

I can use my Thesis as a vehicle for my voice to get people to hear my ideas and to help them see how and where I may play my role. If I really focus on each project, and I make these last semesters count, I can make big moves. I will need to dig deep and make this be about me and what I intend to do. With this shift of focus moving inward, I can define my strengths and weaknesses which will help me make a plan for improvement.

I believe my commitment to ongoing professional development is what gives me a lead in pursuit of my own happiness. I have accepted my position as a lifelong learner. I’ve been playing around with the idea of pursuing my Masters degree so I could potentially teach at a University and/or possibly expanding my teaching with story through some Journalism courses. As I continue to grow, I can feel myself becoming a better competitor when it comes to what I will need to advance into a full-time teaching/lead position. I say lead because it’s truly a passion of mine to incorporate education with production so that may lead me to a position where I could facilitate, and organize major productions for a crew of dedicated and active learners. I thrive in a studio environment. I enjoy engaging in hands-on projects and within design thinking groups.

I don’t want to forget about the industry I’m in which is so rapidly changing and the way we create and communicate art is going to advance with technology. This is going to require me to stay up on the programs, and to continue learning about design as it changes over time.

I have lots of people I’ve looked to over the years who have become mentors to me. Many of them I can still reach out to.

Now, some of them I work side-by-side with. I have noticed there have been a few of my former instructors who would rather not continue to teach and mentor me since I’m suddenly part of the competition. What they don’t know is I don’t intend to be a threat. I’m very grateful for the people who have helped me get to where I am today and I don’t look to take their jobs. I do however, intend to carve a unique path that may align next to them from time to time, but I never burn bridges. There are plenty of opportunities out there, why do I want to steal from the hand that once fed me.

If you need to build your skillet, how can you utilize your thesis and continue to learn after graduation? Sometimes it might not be immediately evident as to how you’ll use a new skill. For example, if you can improve your communication and public speaking skills. Not only would developing your public speaking skills build a short-term skill such as confidence, but it may also help achieve a long-term goal such as being in a position of leadership at an organization by developing the ability to communicate effectively and speak to large groups.

One thing I’ve learned is people tend to trust me. I am trying to find a way to revamp the crew, not just the individual. When I sit at the table, of course I get concerns about whether my work ill be sustained for the academic year or not, but what I’m doing outside of those simple brief meetings that some people show up to, the work continues to find a mode for sustaining and energizing the department as a unit. Some instructors check in and check out. That’s fine, that’s what they get paid to do, but they don’t see I’m on a different mission. Although I’ve had to devote countless volunteer hours, I am doing this for the long-term. Nothing good comes easy.

Life is an obstacle, stress in an obstacle, children and family come first and financial stability always impacts the workload. If I can’t make my mark after I devote a grand amount of time and energy because the school can’t support me and the work I’m doing, I will not be able to stick around. I’ve put in a ton of working hours to help revive programs and classes in trouble. I am also a mother, and a business owner, and a student. If I can find the income, I will work myself to death trying to pay the bills and invest in a direction that loves you for volunteering, but can’t get the big guys upstarts to fund what could make a big difference for their programs.

If I take a look at prioritizing my goals, I can get to work! This will likely change a bit, but my projection looks like this:

In the short-term I’ve been preparing myself to up my game in animation and motion. I found a real love for teaching the video, Photoshop, and last Fall I was fortunate to finally get a shot at teaching After Effects at Front Range. There’s a lot of good competition, so I’m on the move to learn more about the programs and advance my own skills. I’m doing all of this while also trying to learn how to transfer this knowledge and these activities over to my students. This a two-part process that requires a lot of additional training in Instructional Design, Multimedia, Instruction, and my own skills grow from using the programs as well. Because of this immediate need for me to stay on top of things and get my course running smooth to keep it, is valuable! I don’t want to let it go now that I have it! The bullets in-between are the things I would like to do between now and January 2021.

  • CU Denver 3D Motion (Current)

  • One-on-One Animation Training. (with a colleague of mine at Red Rocks)

  • Seminars (Online Training & Workshops from other Professionals) Have no idea where to go or who to trust here. I’ve had one failed attempt.

  • Online Tutorials (I’m constantly refreshing my brain before I prepare a lesson or demonstration I need to do.

  • (Honestly this one has always been on my mind but I’ve never used it.

  • Skill Share (It’s time for me to see how other pros are doing things and what makes them successful).

  • CU Denver Motion 3 (Spring 2021)

Another short-term goal is to decide which program to continue my education for a Master’s Degree. I want to be clear here though, I believe I need an MFA, correct? Before today I haven’t had any direction on this, but since I was so fortunate to poke at my instructor’s brain, Brian DeLevie, the man who’s responsible for the Digital Design program at CU Denver, one I’m so grateful to be a part of, and he’s responsible for this journey of self-discovery that I’m on as we speak. Before a brief discussion between sessions today I had no idea where to even begin thinking about this, but thankfully I feel like a light clicked when Brian mentioned a way for me to pursue something very realistic, right at our own campus. Suddenly I feel supercharged and like all I needed was confirmation, and today I think I felt the fire get lit right under me! I'm intrigued and I know what I have to do so I'm taking the steps to get in touch with the right people.

One thing that can get in the way of my short-term goals have to do with lack of time time. I just cannot create more hours in the day and I’m maxed out at the moment! I’m on the mission of restoring balance so I can maintain a family and work balance, but time is not on my side with as much as I’m juggling. I’ve noticed the more I focus on structure, and a schedule, the better I do. When I have things like 3 kids with demands, that becomes a distraction when I’m currently in a situation where I’m working from home and keeping my kids in remote learning due to Covid19. We will get through this, but indeed I’m feeling the added stress, anxiety and exhaustion from our current situation. I have not been able to detach from anything, so everything is dancing around together!

In the next 2-4 years: My midterm goals have to do with completing a Master’s program, and finding some stability in my financial life. Fortunately, at the moment I’m very lucky to be doing ok in our little family, so now is a good time to continue my education with the support around me. Between myself and my boyfriend, we are well enough to remain in a tight and cozy little 3-bedroom, 1 bath ranch style home. We look forward to our beautiful yard and garden. Honestly, we have another year or so before we have no choice but to get a house that accommodates 3 growing children. The juggle can ware on me though and I fear if I do not find a place to put my eggs into one or even 3 baskets, I may overwork myself. If education and ongoing professional development is going to be a part of my journey, I have to find a place that I can maintain flexibility to continue schooling, and the financial gain to support my family.

In 5-10 years: For long-term goals, I just want to travel the world with my family during off times, and teach in the creative industry. I want to surround myself with creative thinkers, and serve a community and industry that helps make life so much better. The only thing that stands in my way is if the power grid goes out! I may have to go back to management in retail or something! I wish that was the only thing that stood in my way. That was a terrible joke by the way, I will never go back! If the grid goes down, I will move to the beach and sculpt jewelry and carve surfboards until I die. At this time, I just believe if I don’t pursue my short-term, and mid-term goals, I will not make it to the long-term goal of teaching at an institution, running a Design Lab or Production Mad House of some scale.

I’m my worst critic and I will need to be persistent if I want to get there. If I do not restore the balance and find a way to commit to being a lifelong learner, and also be able to have a family, I may not survive either. Family is so important and I tend to get sucked into work. As I grow, and after suffering a few losses I’ve come to realize how precious time is. I don’t want to blink and have it all disappear either. I just lost a friend last August. She just started her Master’s program. Right after she finished her BFA. She was a mad woman! She was also much younger than me which was super impressive! I admired her ambition. She just had a brand-new baby and then one day she was murdered. She was gone. I keep thinking how hard she worked all the time. She was so invested that she really didn’t have a lot of spare time for anyone. My brother died 3 years ago at 41. That was a turning point ifor me. It was enough for him to be so sure to call me before he passed, knowing that would be it. He told me to stop and smell the roses. He told me a whole bunch of other brotherly stuff too, but the moral to his story was to find and restore balance, before it’s too late.

All he did was work. He was the hardest working man I know. If I survived everything I did, and have yet to mention details, I know I’m still here for a reason, and I sure don’t want to miss out on my kids being kids. I don’t want to miss out on the breath that’s given as a gift each day. I am done living a life that’s so blindly led and overlooking all the things that make us whole. If I can find a happy medium for working in a creative environment where I can stay spiritually, mentally and physically in-tact, humble in life and united with family, all while still paying the bills, I’m as happy as I can be.



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