Zoe Shulman
BFA in Drawing and Painting
Artist at Camiba Art Gallery
Austin, Texas, USA

In a couple sentences, describe what you do for work and how you feel about it.

I am represented by Camiba Art Gallery in Austin, Texas. I feel honored and excited to work with one of Austin's premier contemporary art galleries to make cultural contributions to my community.

How did you get your job? 

I got my job by doing a lot of on-the-ground research, getting helpful information from local artists, and confidently introducing myself to my gallery director in person. Having a professional business card, a well designed website, and a developed artist portfolio helped me to get a foot in the door.

What was your major and how did you choose it? Was it the right choice?

I chose MCAD's challenging drawing and painting program because it offered well-rounded technical and conceptual training. For me, being engaged in painting is a passionate conversation about how our experiences get expressed through space, dimension, and surface so that we may delve more deeply into the nature of truth. Painting is my pursuit of happiness and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

Tell us about your internship.

I interned at the Benini Gallery and Sculpture Ranch in Johnson City, Texas. It was a rare opportunity to work with an internationally established artist and gain experience in managing a gallery space.

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

The best thing I ever got on the free shelf was a red hoodie that resembled a Jedi cloak. I still wear it to this day.

Name your one biggest takeaway from MCAD?

My one biggest takeaway from MCAD was learning how to use a balance of empathy and critical thinking to understand the narratives of other artists. This helped me to better understand my own artistic idiosyncrasies and wield them with greater intention and meaning. 

What inspires you/your work?

I am inspired by geometry, post-structuralism, geography, complexity, feminism, politics, and cyber and queer culture.

Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD? How so?

After traveling the world and completing several artist residencies, I learned new concepts and techniques from international artists that evolved my art-making process. Market demands have also challenged me to find practical formulas for making a profit while maintaining the integrity of my art.

What advice do you have for current MCAD students?

Being a successful professional artist will require you to use every skill that you learn at MCAD. Exercising good discipline and time integrity, working hard, respecting your professors and peers, and being consistently dependable will help you to build strong relationships that lead to success both at MCAD and after graduation. NEVER text on your cell phone during class or critique. It compromises your education and is the fastest way to burn a bridge. Be humble, keep an open mind, always be curious, take risks, and don't be afraid to fail. Sometimes, we learn the most from failure. Most importantly, don't forget to have fun!

How do you network yourself and your art?

I network myself and my art by going to a lot of art openings, meeting local artists and gallery/museum directors, exchanging business cards, always keeping an updated mailing list, and routinely sending out postcards and mass emails about my new art and exhibitions. Having a well-designed website, a blog, and social media presence are also essential tools for putting yourself on the map.

Current obsession?

Star Wars.