nick nixon

Origin of Self - The Final Review

The end of the school year to an art student means final reviews. Final reviews is basically when you put your semester's heart and soul up for a final critique from a panel. Personally, I go into a critique thinking the worst but also reminding myself that this is supposed to help me. I also keep in mind that I am the owner of my work therefore I can ignore the criticisms I do not agree with. 

Days before the final review, I am editing in and out what I want to bring to my review. Days before my review I am also panicking about reaching the recommended quota of 15-20 photos. I only had 12 photos that I was completely confident about. Yikes!

One day before final reviews, I printed out small 4x6 contacts of my prints so I can sequence them and figure out how they were going to look in my assigned room. Ok, I'm starting to feel good. I place them in the back of my notebook. 

The day of reviews I wake up early and walk to chinatown to buy lychee, longan, and grapes. I like to bring snacks to my review to help people pass my 20min of torture. I get to school and it begins, 5 hours until my reviews but we are behind schedule because the panel never really stops talking at the 20min mark. Oh the anxiety!

During my buddy's review, I was taking notes for him. I guess I was note taking too aggressively that turning the page caused my contacts to go flying on the floor. I quickly gathered them together making sure that I was not missing anything that the panel was saying about his work. When it came time to hang my work, I pulled my contacts out realizing that I was missing some! This totally screwed up my sequence and edit!

Panicking, I had less than an hour to figure this out. Sequencing is important. To get this down is to have your work speak to each other the way you want them to. This is also the part where you have to take on the role of a psychologist and figure out how to possess your viewer through sequencing! (something like that). But here I am, on the floor, throwing prints at my friends and my boyfriend, winging the life out of me. We managed to hang it all up and even get my fruit nicely displayed. 

As the people start filling the room, judging my work on the wall, millions of thoughts and emotions are trying to figure out my opening statement. Am I scared? Yes. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I excited? YES! I was excited about my work and nobody can take that away from me! And this is where I get possessed by confidence. So I started off with what my original intentions were, what was my process, discoveries, where did it end up, ect. (It was all a big blur to me to be honest). But in those few seconds of silence after I finished, I nervously smiled and waited for the beating. 

Let me tell you my history with Nick Nixon, he does not remember but he was one of my reviewers sophomore year. He walked into my room, looked at my work and decided he was not interested enough to partake. So he sat in the back of the room and had a conversation with another student. Ok, fine, whatever, I'm over it but THIS SAME MAN IS NOW SAYING HE LIKES MY WORK. I could not believe it. He even said he wanted to take a photo of one of my photos to send to his wife.

I, Dee Tran, no longer fear Nick Nixon. 

The other reviewers, I loved. They read my work the way I wanted them to. When there was a slight misunderstanding, my teacher stood up for me and it was all fixed. Whata hero! They were all great and encouraged me to keep going. What a way to wrap up my junior year.

Origins of self is still a work in progress. It will be for awhile, there's a lot of discoveries I still need to make before I can wrap it up. People work years on a single project, so I don't feel guilty. 


Here's me at the junior exhibition with one of my pieces from OOS. I was too nervous to remember to take a photo at my review!

Here's me at the junior exhibition with one of my pieces from OOS. I was too nervous to remember to take a photo at my review!