Nicholas A Carroll
BFA in Fine Arts Studio (Emphasis in Sculpture)

Why did you choose fine arts studio as your major?

I had worked to earn an associates degree and spent some time at the University of Minnesota. This provided me an opportunity to study in number of a different areas inside and outside of an arts education. Previous to my time at MCAD I was very focused on photography. I decided that when enrolling at MCAD I would do so in an area that was different from photography because I was starting to feel constricted trying to funnel ideas through a singular medium. That is why I decided on the fine arts studio major; I appreciated the freedom. I also wanted to challenge myself to produce work in a way that I was not at all comfortable with. This is why I chose to pursue sculpture as my emphasis. Sculpture allowed me a wider option to pursue a multitude of techniques for object construction and finish.

Favorite place on campus? Off campus?

My favorite place on campus is the library. There is such an amazing depth of information available in that building. My favorite place off campus is definitely my bed.

Did MCAD prepare you for life after graduation?

I am not sure anything can really prepare you for life after graduation. With that stated, I feel that MCAD provided me with every opportunity and advantage possible when compared with other possible education routes that I had taken or were available.

What is your favorite thing about your work?

For fifteen years I worked for other individuals. I sought employment in as many different fields as I could. These positions taught me something important about my abilities and self but did not provide escape from the deep sadness I was feeling. I was struggling with the want to my pursue my dreams and the fear of going without any form of "dependable" income. I finally decided that I would rather be scared and working to achieve my dreams, than be sad and working to achieve the dreams of others. That is the most important thing that my position provides.

Best thing you ever got/saw on the free shelf?

The best thing I ever got from the free shelf was a really good VHS player.

What was your experience with MCAD's facilities? Did you have a personal studio? How was that? 

MCAD has amazing facilities. They offer a near limitless amount of potential for creating new work. I had a studio in the 3D area so I was fortunate enough to have a fairly large area to store materials and create work. I feel that the tools and space were very important to my time at MCAD. It was important for me to have the ability to understand the tools that I needed to own in order to continue making work after leaving MCAD.

How do you find inspiration when you are feeling stuck?

I make more work or try switching to another piece, though I would say I am generally inspired most of the time. I find I have a more difficult time staying focused narrowly enough to finish all the projects I would like to.

Current obsession?

My cats are always my obsession.

Where did you intern and can you briefly describe the experience?

One of my internships involved working with a local artist as well as working as a gallery assistant. The tasks varied from working on the production of new work to assisting in the day-to-day activities involved with maintaining a gallery. Both of these positions allowed me a vantage point into the professional workings of artists in MCAD's community.

Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD? How so?

As long as an activity is sustained it is bound to have refinements. I feel that the largest change in my work is in my understanding of how to produce it. I moved the computer from my studio back into my house to give me more time to process images and write out ideas. I now only use my studio to produce work; all the planning happens at home. This has drastically changed my ability to realize ideas.

What advice do you have for art and design students?

Work hard, be yourself, and do not fear mistakes. You can learn a lot from mistakes.

Name your one biggest takeaway from MCAD?

No one will achieve your dreams for you, but there are a lot of people willing to help you do it.