Why did you choose to attend OCAD U?
I found myself drawn to OCAD U because of its creative and near-electric atmosphere. All the other facilities that I toured seemed mired in tradition and the status quo but at OCAD U I felt that there was a feeling of people trying to drive for more; to push the boundaries of art, design, and themselves to do things in new and better ways. How can you resist something like that? Even now I have that feeling which still draws me to OCAD U.
Please briefly describe your current job/practice.
I am currently working as an art instructor as well as a practicing artist while I gear myself up for my master's program in London, England at Central Saint Martins.
How did you get started in your career?
My career in the arts and the gallery scene began humbly by working in a retail position at an art store. This job got me comfortable with working in a sales-driven environment, taught me how to speak about art intelligently, and discover how people engage with art on a personal level.
Did you volunteer or work in your field while you were a student?
I did not volunteer during my time at OCAD U but instead remained persistently curious about the art world and how it all worked together.
What were your policies regarding internships, volunteering, and paid work?
My policy currently should be the same that every person, including employers, should hold. I will only work in an un-paid position if I believe that the connections and experience I am taking away are a) impractical to attain in any other way or b) are directly worth the amount of time that I am putting in. Many positions will have you working many hours for little experience and no exposure to the actual skill set you need, instead tantalizing you with some far off goal. If you aren’t getting what you need out of a position leave it immediately.
What do you enjoy most about your work? What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
What I enjoy most about working in the arts industry is the feeling that I have my finger on the pulse of the creative industry. Being able to talk, and talk intelligently, about art and artists is deeply rewarding to me and it is hard to get anywhere else. It is, however, sometimes challenging to keep up within the high-stress environments that can sometimes be created.
What skills or relationships developed at OCAD U helped you participate in your field? Is there anything you would have done differently?
My relationships with my many professors and fellow peers proved to be utterly invaluable after my graduation. Likewise, my skills of observation and the ability to deconstruct a piece of artwork and look at it critically are equally valuable. If I had to change anything about my time spend at OCAD U I would take greater advantage of the faculty I had at my disposal, their knowledge, and their eagerness to help me succeed.
What are the key responsibilities you maintain for your practice?
Constant diligence is something that I can not do without. Whether it be getting into my master course after years of applications or sustaining a working practice, I must be willing to dedicate and rededicate myself to my goals of being a practicing artist, pursuing my master's degree and my eventual end goal of becoming a professor.
What are your personal and professional goals for the coming years?
Ultimately I would like to finish my masters, become a professor of fine arts and have a self-sustaining art practice.