Art is hard.
We think that if we just work hard enough, are talented and driven enough, that success will just happen, but it rarely works that way. Artists need each other. We need community and support and teacher-student relationships and passed-down knowledge.
I have been so very lucky in having some truly incredible mentors throughout my college and professional career, yet I remain painfully aware of how many pitfalls could have been avoided if I'd had that mentorship as a younger person.
When I was preparing to go off to college, I had no idea what to look for or think about. I didn't know how to decide on a major, how to pick a school or even an area of the country. I didn't know what to expect or how to prepare, or how to simply feel less alone in this pursuit of "art as career."
There's a big gap here where we are letting our young artists down, leaving them to fend for themselves when we should be bringing them into the fold. This is what I do.
I attended the School of Visual Arts in NYC and the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine during my undergrad career, and hold a BFA in illustration. I also hold an MFA from the Applied Craft + Design program in Portland, Oregon, a joint program offered through the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Oregon College of Art and Craft. In my daily life I am a professional multi-media artist, working largely in installation, public art, and artisan product. I split my studio practice with teaching; in addition to my mentoring work, I am also an Assistant Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where I teach in the BFA Design Arts department and the Pre-College program.