In addition to delving into deeper technical skills; harder critiques; and focusing on one concept for an extended period of time, the residency program shifted the way I think. I had to seek permission at my work to adjust my schedule to attend courses at Meredith and still work full time. The challenge taught me that asking and working for things that matter to you pay off. I also learned not to hold myself back – at the residency, I made my largest work to date. The scale taught me not to shy away from big things. Whenever I think back on the three months in the residency, all I want to do is return. It was truly one of the most fulfilling (and challenging) experiences I have had to date.
What started as a job to pay rent has turned into a journey that has reshaped my career goals, and it’s all bundled in a surprising phrase: “I work for a company that manufactures custom hotel art.” Currently I am the Director of Estimating and Procurement for Kalisher/Soho Myriad. Which basically means I do a lot of math to help our team sell and produce custom art packages to hotels and the hospitality industry. Day-to-day my most creative outlet tends to be a well written process email; but I also thrive on seeing the work that my company produces. The spatial reasoning and fabrication skills I honed at Meredith in the studio art department are invaluable assets. When I allow myself to slow down on the corporate grind, I know that I will be a stronger artist for the business skills and high-volume reproduction knowledge I’ve learned at work. All this to say, my rent gets paid, and art is still my driving motivation.
Since graduating my goals continue to shift. I’ve learned I love having a routine and a job that holds me accountable day-to-day. What brings me the most energy are the days I get to teach – the residency program reinvigorated my love of working with students and striving to condense whatever topic is at hand into its simplest form so it’s easier to digest. Though I don’t have a distinct goal, I do know that teaching will always be at my core. And I haven’t taken a graduate degree in fibers off my ten-year plan just yet.