Yes, I’m Awesome (and Modest Too)!

Allistair Santiago

Animation SoftwareSo it finally happened. I got a response. It must have been yesterday that I found out. I got a call from my friend Gaston, a charmingly French-Canadian artist and animator. He was excited about something. That much I could tell. His Quebequois comes out quite significantly when he’s worked up, you see, so it took me a while to decipher the sudden cascade of rolling syllables. After an embarrassing third time through, I realized he was trying to tell me that he’d just received an acceptance email from the coordinator of the Commercial Animation program we both applied to.

Naturally, I was instantly terrified, in spite of my own impatience to hear back. If he had received a response, probably so had I. The period of hoping and waiting was over. Good, you’d think, but no. It hit me that I could no longer go about my life wishing blindly for approval in a blissful responseless limbo. Apparently, the verdict had been reached; I just had to read it.

Honestly, I felt incredibly jealous too. As it stands, Gaston is a better artist than I am. That’s a fact. I had no doubts that he’d get in. My fate, however, wasn’t so certain. So to hear that my friend (and rival) was successful while I was possibly not so fortunate didn’t exactly entice me to check my email.

Gaston’s eager promptings won out and I logged into my inbox. There, waiting for me predictably, was an email from the co-ordinator with the cryptically ambiguous subject heading “Your 2009 Commercial Animation application.” Still, it could go either way. I was one click away from personal success, but also one click from losing hope. The unopened email was a gut-wrenching Schrödinger’s Cat of possibility. And it didn’t help that Gaston would be somewhat a witness to my failure, should it go that way.

Gaston’s continued manic enthusiasm finally caught up and, covering my eyes, I clicked the letter. Peering through the cracks of my fingers, the first word at the top of the page I read was “congratulations” and instantly I knew: I was in. Trusting that it didn’t read something like “Congratulations on utterly failing to impress us,” I allowed myself a period of sober celebration involving yelling, whooping, running around, and occasionally jumping in the air for a manly arm-pump. Then I calmly returned to the phone.

So that’s it. I received the official acceptance letter in the mail this morning. But I feel kind of weird now. You see, this is a bit of a first for me. Despite drawing being my love, I’ve been terrified of applying for art school since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I’m not really an artiste, you see. I’m a doodler at heart. I cover notes and pages with sketches and cartoons and characters. I had no method, no theory and, until this year, I had no formal training.  But pursuing art and cartooning has always been a bit of a dream since grade school. I guess I always figured it would stay that way: just a dream – intangible, unreachable, and separate. And yet, here it is, very real and decidedly imminent. It feels great.

When I began the painful process of application, I said that this was me chasing my dream. But I really didn’t know what that meant until yesterday. I really am chasing the dream. And for now, it looks as though I’m enjoying a reasonable amount of success at it too.

[tags]Commercial Animation, artist, cartoons, drawing, acceptance letter[/tags]

2 Responses to “Yes, I’m Awesome (and Modest Too)!”

  1. Jane says:

    Congrats! Glad to hear of your good news.

  2. Allistair says:

    Thanks, Jane! I’m pretty glad too. I’m really looking forward to the course!

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