Case Study: Brenda

Case Study Outline:

New Emerging Artist

Age: 24

Practice Focus: Printmaking, Drawing, Digital Art

Media: Lithography and intaglio, mixed drawing media, PhotoShop and Procreate

Practice Goals:

Find creative focus in my artwork. Figure out what my next  steps will be as a professional artist.

Challenges or Obstacles:

Fear of not being able to support myself with my  art. 

Art Practice Description:

Yeah, I have my MFA. Now what am I going to do? I have come to realize  that I was so busy during undergrad and graduate school fulfilling the  requirements expected for the degrees that I have no idea what my next  step will be. I don’t want my parents to say, “We told you so”. Wanting to  be independent, I have two jobs that are both part-time. I work 3 days a  week as a gallery assistant and 2 days as a museum greeter/ticket cashier.  It is enough to just pay the bills. I do have a little bit of time to create but I  no longer have access to a printing press so I continue to draw and create  on my computer.

I have a basic resume with a few exhibitions that I took part in during  grad school. I am active on social media, specifically TikTok and IG.  However, I am not getting any real traction from my posts. From my  gallery job, I have some idea what to do to find gallery representation  but this job has shown me the reality that getting a gallery is not a  guarantee of a livable income. I wonder what my options are but have  no idea what the steps are. Plus, now that I am out of school, I am so  unsure of what my art is. I am floundering. I am having trouble  focusing on my art since my jobs constantly pull me away.

Here is a little back story. My artistic life began early. I was always drawing  as a youngster. My parents would always say how talented I was. My 

brother and sister were also encouraged to follow their talents that leaned  toward music that started by playing piano and then the clarinet and flute  respectively. I dabbled with the piano but I dreamed of becoming an artist  not a musician.

The high school that I attended didn’t have a strong art program so my  parents searched for summer opportunities where I could pursue and  improve my artwork. My father, a doctor and my stay at home mom were  active in finding the universities not too far away where I could apply. I had  two summers during high school where I attended programs that basically  gave a taste of what a freshman drawing class in art school would be like.  Even though my Dad and Mom were wondering how I could make an art  degree into a livable profession, they supported my dream. By the time I  got to grad school, my siblings were in college too. Between working as a  waitress, scholarships and only living expenses covered by Mom and Dad,  I was able to finish grad school with no debt. Gosh, I am so lucky with that where others are not. This, however, doesn’t make it any easier for me to figure out my art’s purpose or what my future path will be.