Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Currently on the Redbubble Blog: Open Discussion: Did You Go to Art School?

On the Redbubble Blog: Open Discussion: Did You Go to Art School?

Here is the comment I left:

Nope. I didn't go to art school. I took art classes in high school, but not in college. I did attend college, but as a science major, not an art major. I received an Associate Degree in Science from Hudson Valley Community College and then a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany.

I will say this, I did a lot of drawing for some of my biology courses. I also did some illustrations to accompany a term paper I did for one history class (shades of what I would be spending most of my time doing several years later.) When I worked for the New York State Mycologist on a fungal spore project, I created several drawings of fungal spores for a "fungal spore rogue's gallery". When I worked in the aquatic biology laboratory at the museum, I drew some sketches of features of different amphipods for identification purposes.

After the museum, I worked for a time in the state health department's newborn screening lab. I used to doodle when work was slow, and some of my co-workers started asking me the age-old question "what are you doing here?" I then asked myself the same question (I was very unhappy at the health lab), and I eventually left the lab to pursue a career in art.

At first, I sold hand-coloured framed art and bookmarks featuring my drawings at a local medieval fair and a few local arts and crafts fairs. Later, I began selling my art to small-press publications. One of the editors I sent art to on a regular basis opened a Zazzle store featuring art from her magazine as well as some other works. i sent her some of my own works, and received a cut of the profits. I then opened my own Zazzle store, and Cafepress Shop, and added my works to Redbubble.

Though I do sell my art and illustrations to small-press publications, and items featuring my artworks and designs do sell through Zazzle, Cafepress, and Redbubble, there are times I wonder if going to art school would have helped me make more of a career out of my art. Sometimes I feel rather limited in terms of skill and technique. However, I seem to be doing okay as a self-taught artist. I have a style of my own, and I seem to have found my niche, small though it may be.

1 comment:

Richard Fay said...

To anyone who says my amateurish art displays my lack of formal art training: someone paid $154.99 for a duvet featuring my Crossbow illustration. SO THERE!