Vocational Essay, Unit 02

  • What theoretical ideas do people appear to interact with as a part of this vocation?

Zach Bent spoke to us about both his career as a studio artist working primarily with photography, and also how his career path eventually led him to teach video and photography as a professor here at Seattle Pacific University. He spoke specifically about eventually feeling called to apply his skills within the arts in a Christian setting, and after working in a church environment he eventually came to SPU.

  • What skills are needed to do this kind of work?

Photography was the art form we heard the most about from this vocational speaker, but we also heard specifically about photography in the setting of studio art spaces. To get into a career in the studio arts, one would need a working understanding of how that industry operates, and how you should structure your time and production. I think that a basic understanding of three-dimensional sculpture would be beneficial for photography, because it helps one’s understanding of how three-dimensional forms are interacting with one another.

  • What would you need to do between now and your graduation date to be successful in this field?

I think that SPU’s bachelor’s degree that is most similar to this career path would be the Digital Media and Photography track. A good place to start would be to take the course Digital Photography, which requires the pre-requisite Art 1107: Time. I also feel that our class, Art 1106: Space also provides a working understanding of the interaction of three-dimensional forms. After taking the foundations courses, one can register for 2000-level and Upper-Division art courses. Zack Bent is actually the head of the Digital Media and Photography program, so he would be a good person to get in contact with, and probably the person who you would want to be your primary advisor.

  • How well do your interests and gifts intersect with this field?

I personally am already planning to complete this particular BA, but at the current moment I don’t know how much I would be interested in pursuing photographic art as a career. For me, the prospect of finding the funding for photography projects is rather daunting, and I don’t think that that type of studio career is something that I personally would want to pursue. On the other hand, I think it’s totally possible that I could end up teaching at a school or university at some point in my life. I don’t think I’d want to tackle a classroom of high-school students, but I like the idea of helping to foster people’s ambitions.


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