I’m in the midst of a project that captivates me. Drawing and writing a graphic memoir of my recent internship experience is a delight and a challenge on so many levels—intellectually, emotionally, and practically.
- What is my purpose in creating this work?
- What do I want to share and what will be of service to others’ learning?
- How will I convey my very visceral experiences?
What are you working on right now? What questions are you wrangling with —whether it’s a work or a personal project?
This project is a labor of love, so it’s not part of my “workday.” I devote 30-60 minutes a day, early in the morning, five days a week to diving back into the experience. (My approach is founded on advice from a colleague and I am grateful to the Graphic Memoir Intensive Group of the Sequential Artists Workshop for their support and encouragement.) The time often flies by… though at times it stands still.
There are times I recall an experience with a patient, begin to draw and write the essence of our conversation or the situation, and just cry. Being in touch with the experience months later and having time and space to explore it, is both wonderful and demanding. In the weeks that I was in the hospital, during the days there was little time for deep reflection and tapping into strong emotions—there was so much to be done. I was present/having experiences—working with them and through at the time… this feels like a new, deeper adventure.
How do you make time to explore what happens during your days and weeks?
While I made certain I was talking with my supervisor at the hospital, my professor, and classmates about my experiences, I was so in the thick of it, I didn’t step outside it often. I believed that my self-care practices (meditating, walking, tangling, and painting) and connecting with family and friends were enough. Upon reflection, I realize that these are qualitatively different encounters that require a more thoughtful approach.
What methods do you use to give yourself perspective?
This project has become such a rich experience for me—I am learning even more about myself during my reflections and the questions that arise.
In what ways are you consciously, actively—maybe even formally—supporting your personal or professional development?
I’d love to know!