Art Survival is helping students become professional artists

Art 143 instructor, Cybele Rowe (left) critiques Marco Minaya's (right) latest ceramic piece.

Art 143 instructor, Cybele Rowe (left) critiques Marco Minaya’s (right) latest ceramic piece.

Last Spring, Saddleback College introduced Art Survival: From Student to Artist (Art 143), a new art course designed to help student artists develop into working professional artists.

Art 143’s instructor Cybele Rowe has helped her students a number of ways professionally through mentorship, helping them develop a business identity and a building cohesive body of work.

“These kids and these adults were way overdue to move into a professional arena,” she said. “Every one of them were at a level where they could transition their work into income, but they just weren’t doing it.”

Marco Minaya, a sculpture student was one of Art 143’s first’s students. He had worked as a commercial artist in his native country of Peru, but he admits that he was intimidated by business side of the fine art world.

“I came here to Saddleback already being an artist. I find Saddleback a very nurturing school that would allow me to explore other mediums, but I was not coming here being a 17- or 18-year-old that didn’t know what direction to go. I was already an artist myself. I already knew what I wanted, but I was intimidated by the fine art world,” he said.

Marco Minaya test the stability of his in-progress sculpture piece.

Marco Minaya test the stability of his in-progress sculpture piece.

Minaya credits Saddleback for helping him build a strong foundation in sculpture, but addresses that the school needed a class to teach the business side of art.

“I heard that Cybele was teaching this class because I know of here work and had heard of her,” he said. “I wanted to learn that knowledge that was not being passed over to us, of how you navigate in the market of fine art,”

“It does not good being an artist and being out there and struggling and not knowing what to do.”

Leslie Shattuck a jewelry design student had reservations about staying in the class after enrolling.

“I didn’t know if I fit in the class. I think I was the only one working in metals and jewelry, so I didn’t know if I was going to fit the profile of the class, but as it turned out I was fine,” she said.

Shattuck said she initially struggled in the class. Shattuck now has a website up named Oceangirl.com which specializes in jewelry that is influenced by the life in the ocean.

“She got on us, for not producing and not getting out there to galleries. Personally I have a real aversion to going out and selling and basically its just a lack of confidence, so she addressed all that and she made us start a new line,” she said. “She works on almost every single part of marketing your art which I never had any training in that and they never talk about it.”

Shattuck now has a website up named Oceangirl.com which specializes in jewelry that is influenced by the life in the ocean.

Lauren Valantine, another Art 143 student also has a newly-created website and business cards. She also has a better understanding of how to make a living with her creativity.

“I have done many ventures in many different creative areas and never quite knew what to do next. I had the creative ground, but not the business side,” she said. “Its fine creating work, but then what do you do with it?” she said.

Valantine now has a website and business cards and a better understanding on how to make a living with her creativity.

All in all, Rowe is pleased with the students’ outcome.

“They all have these different avenues that they all have succeeded in. What they have definitely have done is shifted from where they have been. Which is what this class has been about,” said Rowe.

 

 

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