It’s now week three of the quarter and I feel like I should be at the point of choosing which animal species I want to collaborate with. I thought that I would have a clear idea, but I am still very conflicted over whether or not to choose a domestic animal species or to choose a marine species. Most of my animal experience deals with domestic species because they have been my primary interest. When I signed up for this class, I was certain that I would choose to collaborate with a dog since they are my favorite animal and I feel like I connect with them more than any other animal I have come into contact with. Seeing as this is my last quarter at UCSB, I have the mindset of “take advantage of all parts of Santa Barbara before I graduate.” This is where my conflict lies. As I walk home from school and I see the ocean that I feel so lucky to have been surrounded by these past years, I feel drawn to collaborate with some sort of marine species. Part of me wants to create something that is unique to Santa Barbara. Although my knowledge of marine animals is much less impressive compared to my knowledge of cats and dogs, I am tempted to take a risk out of my comfort zone and create art with a marine animal.
This conflict is quite frustrating, but I am sure that with more time spent with possible collaborators, the more it will all make sense to me. I hope to visit the REEF sometime next weekend to spend more time with the animals that they have there. I am particularly fascinated with the beauty of their movement in the water. I am also interested in the bright coloration and variation in coloration of animals such as starfish.
I also want to spend time with a dog next weekend to see if I can get any inspiration. I work at an animal hospital where the animals are usually sick and stressed out, so it probably would not be the best place for me to collaborate. I think my best bet would be to “rent” a shelter dog from DAWG for a day. Because I do not own a dog of my own, I feel like choosing a shelter dog will give him/her the ability to interact with the world outside of the shelter. I have volunteered and interned at DAWG for 3 years so luckily I have the ability to take a dog from the shelter overnight without much difficulty.
Maybe my conflict will never be resolved and I will have to choose to do two projects: one with a marine animal and one with a domestic animal. Over the next week I hope to narrow down my ideas so that I can actually begin collaborating. I will post another update next week after I spend more time with my potential collaborators.