How long have you been working as an artist and/or designer?
I have been working as an architectural fabricator since I graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Art degree from NDSU in 2014.
What geographic regions do you work in?
Primarily I work with clients within a 50 mile radius. The work that I do usually requires on-site measurements to make sure everything will fit properly. Also the finished products tend to be quite heavy, cumbersome and difficult to move and install. I enjoy working on projects that end up in public spaces where many people can interact and enjoy the work.
In one or two sentences, what is the focus of your work?
The focus of my work is maintaining a very high level of craftsmanship and precision, delivering a special or unique product, creating something to fulfill a customer's individual needs and keeping usability as well as ergonomics in mind.
How did your education at NDSU prepare you to be an artist and/or designer?
While in school, I directed my attention toward sculpture and 3-dimensional work. Having the artist background is a huge benefit while designing these one-of-a-kind products. I was always asked to justify the artistic decisions that I made and explain my intent and I still do that to this day with every step of my process.
What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned here?
Here are some lessons I learned from particular instructors: Dave Swenson: I often describe Swenson as the Obi-Wan to my Luke Skywalker. Having that Master/Apprentice learning style was imperative to my growth and being able to learn many sculpting processes was one of my favorite aspects of the program. Michael Strand: You can't have too many irons in the fire, try many different things and don't be afraid to spread yourself too thin from time to time. Kent Kapplinger: Find peace in the tedium of work, find the groove and maximize efficiency. Kristi Groberg: Socialization, writing and communicating messages effectively is a huge part of being in the art field. Jason Moore: Become a master of your craft. Find something and become borderline obsessive over it.
What advice do you have for current art and design students?
If you are currently in school, make the best of it. Utilize your studio spaces to their maximum potential because when you are out of school you may not have access to the expertise and equipment necessary to make the work you want to be making. Also show your instructors and peers that you are serious about your work and you are willing to go above and beyond everyone's expectations. If people notice your positive attitude, drive to do your best work and your desire to learn, they are more willing to help or become involved in your path to success.