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Nearing the completion of my Illustration MFA by visual artist Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, MA, MFA

Almost There: Nearing the End of my Illustration MFA

This photo was taken around September’ish of 2017, about a month or so after I began my Illustration MFA: Nearing the completion of my Illustration MFA by visual artist Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, MA, MFA

After soooooo many years being a digital designer, entering the realm of art and design ** without a computer ** was a bit of a culture shock.

To be frank, it was a time of utter immersion and profound confusion lol …

Questions like:

  • How do I sharpen a *&^%! charcoal pencil?
  • What pigments make this or that color?
  • How do I remove the friggin’ oil paint from my brushes?!

… and many more, infiltrated my non-digital drawing world during the fall of 2017.

Four years later

Now today, I can’t believe I’m 4 classes away from graduation and working on my thesis 🙏 and in between the moment captured in this very photo to this exact moment that I type these words here, that’s like at least 1,419 days or so of constant drawing, painting, sketching, learning, and much more.

During this prolific period, so many of my weeknights and weekends have been extremely long and late ones where I’ve had to stay up ’til like 2 or 3 in the morning drawing and painting and digitizing and uploading artwork after artwork etc. while the world around me slumbered soundly and dreamt their cares away.

Midnight grumblings

I’d often wonder, during these well-after-midnight-moments … while mixing browns with blues … or sharpening a charcoal pencil … or fighting back the cramp in my right hand from *hours* of gripping my graphic tablet’s digital stylus … thoughts and questions such as:

1) WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING 🙂
2) *WHY* AM I EVEN DOING THIS 😩
or, my all-time fave:
3) WHO REALLY GIVES A *F* ABOUT THIS SHIT? 🤷🏼‍♀️⁉️

Truth be told, despite the academic stress* and lack of sleep, deep down I already knew the answers to my own questions, which were (and still are):

1) I’m doing what I LOVE ✍🏼 ❤️
2) I’m doing it because I WANT to 🙏
3) I do
🤍🤍🤍

And so today, I’m feeling tremendously grateful to have learned all that I’ve learned over these past recent years and I’m super excited to not only complete my degree but to also keep nurturing my drawing and artistic skills well beyond the master’s #almostthere

With love … and until next time,
~ M 🎨💜 

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

* In terms of academic stress, for those few who know (and for the many that didn’t or don’t), my Illustration MFA duress was compounded by a second, concurrent master’s (an MA in Media Psychology) I was doing in tandem! But more about this “double dipped” academic experience(s) for another blogging time …

flower stamped icon by MRM Illustration

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