|This piece isn't from High School, but it was experimental for me back in 2012!|
1. How has Harrison contributed to your success?
Being on yearbook at Harrison was probably the biggest influence on me because I am still working in the arts. I have a masters degree in branding and graphic design and I learned about graphic design at Harrison. Overall though going through High school, no matter what specific influences it has on your future career can be a transformative experience, as it was for me. I learned a lot about who I was by making a lot of mistakes and forcing myself to be someone I didn't even know I didn't want to be. I didn't trust my intuition and it got me into trouble, I didn't believe that I was worthy of true friendship and I suffered through many frenemies and icky boyfriends. In general I think the high school years are for experimenting with who you want to be, and my memories of feeling out of place at that time remind me of the importance of being true to myself. I feel like that lesson is more important than any skill I learned because I learned to have the confidence to trust myself and I know that is the real key to happiness and success.
2. Looking back, as a high school student, did you think you would be where you are now?
No. When I was in high school I thought I was going to have some high powered job where I get wear nice suits, and say things like "Becky get me last nights stats and send Leonardo some flowers". I can see now how silly that was because I overworked myself at that age, and I think I was pretty unhappy about it but I fed into that culture of overachieving. I didn't believe that if I just made art, and focused on honing my creative muscle that I would make a living in art (which is what I always really wanted, but seemed like an impossible dream). I would tell everyone in High school now to think about who you really are, and let that lead you toward your future. I am much happier working in my sunny studio with my friends or alone all day than I would have been in a job that requires punctuality or conforming to long hours or having a boss. I am my own boss and always will have been.
3. Looking back at high school, who specifically would you say impacted you the most?
There were so many insightful, inspiring and thoughtful adults and teachers who guided me at that time of my life. My yearbook editors gave me leadership responsibilities and creative license. They trusted my ideas and then held me accountable for them, what a gift. My orchestra teacher believed in me and encouraged me to try out for programs that would help me hone my cello playing, and then when I set aside playing in the orchestra to devote myself to the year book, she was happy for me. My math teacher would take me to school very early with her in the mornings so she could explain the complex ideas to me in a way that I could grasp. My Spanish teacher allowed us to be creative and humorous and didn't punish me for having disruptive laughing fits in class (I was sleep deprived from working on yearbook after all). She was like our den mother and I always felt happy to be around her. I still remember my Social Studies lessons, and the history I learned in those classes mostly because I love History (you get to use your imagination! Awesome!) but also because she was really passionate about us learning and so happy when we succeeded. Harrison was, and I am sure still is, a laboratory of great inspiration and I was a lucky girl to get to go there.
4. What does your job entail?
I am an artist. I create works large and small for designers and also for private collectors. I work with galleries and stores and I also sell work on my own website. I create work specific for each space or partner I work with and also create work that is a response to current trends and styles. I designed my brand, and my website, control all social media and public relations and I also work with companies around the world to license my work for household items, clothing and mass produced artwork. I decide what partners I want to work with and pursue them and create opportunities for myself. I also run my business to make a large profit so that I can maintain a roomy, bright studio and host events, donate money to charity and experiment as much as I want with new ideas, mediums or tools. Currently I am designing some brass sculptures that will interact with my paintings, and designing rugs and a new series of almost all white paintings.
5. What about your job inspires you?
Its relentless and so much bigger than me. I am just a part of a huge wave of artists, all striving to survive, and our culture is constantly evolving and changing except for the fact that I must hone my creative muscle and intuition. In other words, is a huge responsibility to be required to be quiet enough in my mind to find the gems of inspiration that drive my success. I have learned that if I project positive energy and effort into my paintings, and into the relationships I make through my work then good things come back to me ten fold. I have seen it happen again and again and its so inspiring to be a part of it.