In a couple sentences, describe what you do for work and how you feel about it.
I create participatory works and creative activities that focus on the development of the individual, the community, and humanity as a species. I feel that these are areas that really matter to a lot of people right now and that provide me with the continuous challenge that I crave. Professionally, I develop community arts programming and tattoo, although both endeavors are in early stages and I don't make much money. For fun and inspiration, I enjoy all kinds of crafts.
How did you choose your major? Was it the right choice?
I chose to major in sculpture because I grew up making and working with my hands. It still feels like my first language. It was absolutely the right choice, but for reasons I had no idea about at the time. I thought I wanted to make monumental work, but I learned to make magical experiences. This has proven beneficial to everything I've done since.
Did MCAD prepare you for life after graduation?
Yes. I learned to teach myself anything, to communicate effectively, that community matters, and that I'm a small part of something much bigger.
Did you use MCAD's facilities?
Yeah, I used them all for everything I could think of. I tried to get my hands on as many different processes as I could.
What inspires you and your work?
The interplay between chaos and pattern.
Tell us about your internship.
I interned at the preservation bindery at the Minneapolis Central Library. It was awesome. I ended up continuing to volunteer there for two years after my internship. I got to dissect and rebuild a lot of amazing books.
How do you network yourself and your art?
I build relationships with people I respect. I try to make work and facilitate work that matters to my communities.
Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD?
Yup. It's always evolving. My sculpture has evolved into building organizations. My image making has evolved into tattoos.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
In hindsight, I'm very appreciative of all my art faculty. I was kind of a time-suck for a lot of them with constant questions and testing of boundaries. They all basically let me do whatever I wanted. They never made me feel like the privileged prick that I was. That said, I did spend more time with Brad Jirka than anyone. I'm glad he sometimes told me my work was stupid and that it didn't matter—just a few times :)
What advice do you have for current MCAD students?
Spend all your time in the studio and then some in the library. Grades don't matter. Even having a degree matters less and less all the time. Just bust your ass every day doing and making, sharing and receiving feedback. Build relationships. Get way, way out of your comfort zone. Be vulnerable and brave. That's what will help you grow, and growth is what matters in the long run.
Name your one biggest takeaway from MCAD?
Learning to turn an idea into a reality.