After graduating and working for a few months I decided that I will quit my job to pursue a master's and then a PhD.
Before doing any applications I want to spend time reading the literature in computer graphics (what I want to study) and select a few topics and potential supervisors to then apply to their schools. And I also want to implement some papers in the field both to understand them better and to add them to my portfolio.
I want to spend at least 6 months just doing this process of reading papers and teaching myself as much math as possible.
My main concern is that on paper, what I would have done is stop working after 6 months and then not work for another 6. Ultimately I want to maximize the chances of getting approved for a master's at whichever university I finally go to. And although idealistically I know what I need to do to learn more and be more prepared to do research, I am very scared universities may see this as a sign of laziness.
I have been going to paper readings at the university of Toronto to try to be more exposed to current research. But once I quit my job I will have to move to a cheaper city and won't be able to do that.
Is there anything I can do, short of solving a millennium problem, to maximize my chances of being approved for a grad program?