What skills are needed to do this kind of work?
Erica Elan Ciganek spoke to us about quite a few skills that would benefit anyone going into the arts. She spoke particularly about being very intentional developing a place for yourself within a community of artists. Having that community provides all sort of advantages, even besides networking opportunities. It gives you a group of people with whom to foster your skills, and also a support group that can provide structure to your working life.
What theoretical ideas do people appear to interact with as a part of this vocation?
Erica spoke about different social theories influencing her work, especially ideas surrounding dehumanization and what it means to really encounter someone. She also said that she likes to attend her husband’s psychology classes to add to her own knowledge about the human mind, and that she incorporates those theories into her own art philosophy.
How well do your interests and gifts intersect with this field?
I don’t think that I personally would want to enter into a career that depended entirely upon gallery sales – that seems more financially unreliable than I’m comfortable living on. I think that the artwork that this artist makes is absolutely fascinating though, and I really love the philosophy that she tends to work with, especially using her art to sort of make a space for people who society tends to ignore as human beings. That aspect of this artist’s work I could very easily see myself incorporating into my own sort of art philosophy.
What would you need to do between now and your graduation date to be successful in this field?
Seattle Pacific’s art department offers a BA in Studio Arts, which I think would be most similar to what this artist works with. A good first step would be to get into contact with the head of that particular major, and I think also a good idea to ask if they would be your academic adviser. I do also know that Professor Laura Lasworth has experience with studio fine arts, and I think that she could offer some wonderful advice about how to go about a career in that field.