College Update

Hey readers. For those of you who wanted to know the verdict: I have been accepted into the BYU Animation Program! I submitted my portfolio on the 15th (literally six minutes before the deadline), and was officially accepted on the 23rd. As soon as I had recovered from the shock, I posted the news to social media, and received overwhelming praise and support. But I haven’t yet written about it on my blog.

My art doesn’t usually get this much attention. I created dustlander.wordpress.com back in February 2015 because a girl called me stupid for liking her art (sound familiar?). It was totally a spite thing; I told myself I would be a better artist than her. And it might have been a bit of an overreaction, but having this completely unknown personal blog kind of defined my entire high school experience. I was a total loner, but my friends supported me despite my weirdness. I checked the site’s analytics constantly and got high off of pride anytime I got more than five pageviews.

The last comic marked the end of the Golden Age of Dustlander. Ha, maybe I’m taking this way too seriously, but still. Moving to Utah was really hard for an angsty kid like me. I found it almost impossible to draw until I started my first BYU pre-animation sketchbook in 2019.

I’ve dreamt of making cartoons for as long as I can remember. No, really. When I was maybe ten I realized that people actually get paid to do that and the hope never left my heart, especially when I got into the college of my choice. Part of me “knew” it was futile, that I would never be as good as my peers, that I should have practiced more in high school instead of running that dumb website, that it wasn’t worth the risk. The doubt was so strong that at times I was terrified of even sketching or opening my project files. Being accepted into the program has done wonders for my hope, but I feel the doubt creeping back.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you, reader, is that your feelings may lie to you. If I “knew” it was futile to get into the animation program, how did I possibly get in? Doubt can cripple and destroy you. It can rob you of the things you love. But it doesn’t have to. My uncle Kyle says:

“You are the only person in this universe with the power to choose who you will become. Not even God can do that.”