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Lauren Bradshaw

Where do you work, and what do you do in your current occupation?

I am currently a graduate student and teaching assistant at Clemson University. I have assisted in 3D design and ceramics classes. This includes helping students learn new skills and techniques, as well as develop conceptual ideas and writing methods.

What do you enjoy about your current to occupation? Do you consider yourself successful? In what way?

I enjoy seeing the students become excited about the work they are creating and watching their technical skills evolve into content and concept. I am slowly but steadily becoming more confident in my ability to instruct students, so I do feel successful as my job is to learn teaching skills.

Lauren with graduation regalia

What led you to pursue your current line of work?

After spending significant time considering my options post graduation, I felt that continuing my education into graduate school was the right choice. I felt very passionate about pursuing a career in ceramics but felt like I still had much to learn and wanted to pursue further education in an environment of like-minded artists and facilities with a wide array of equipment.

Do the skills and knowledge that you gained as a student in the Department of Visual Arts (DoVA) contribute to your current occupation? If so, in what way?

The technical skills and experience I gained in working with clay have directly contributed to my ability to assist undergraduate students in ceramics classes. I also benefited greatly from the senior class I took my last semester in which we learned things like how to prepare a CV and write an artist statement, and photograph work.

bradshaw-lauren-studio.jpg

Now that you have a vantage point to reflect on your art education, what would you do differently?

Although it seems inevitable as an undergraduate student, I would have liked to find better ways to cope with self-doubt and stress as those feelings can become paralyzing in creating new work. I also would have spent a bit more time concentrating on developing skills in other mediums, such as drawing, as those skills are necessary learning and teaching tools.

Do you have any words of wisdom for current DoVA students?

My advice would be to go ahead and start seeking out exhibition opportunities and making connections with successful people in your discipline. In choosing opportunities to pursue, be selective but open minded and try not to be discouraged by rejection; it happens to all artists in all stages of their careers. These networks and experiences will be valuable tools in whatever you choose to pursue after graduation.

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