Next in our week-long series profiling Savannah College of Art and Design alumni are four artists and designers who represent the South. They've set up shop relatively close to SCAD's flagship location in Savannah and Atlanta stomping grounds, but have gone far in terms of creating successful entrepreneurial enterprises, and they reflect the wisdom to prove it.
Taylor Welden, 2006
B.F.A., Industrial Design
Where are they now: Industrial designer and owner of Taylor Welden Industrial Design in Austin, Texas.
One word that describes time at SCAD: Vitalizing.
Favorite SCAD memory: The beautiful, romantic city of Savannah infused with vibrant, energized young talent from around the world.
Biggest changes in the field since graduation: 3D printing is and will continue to change the way products are designed and manufactured for consumers around the world.
Advice to students: 3D printing is and will continue to change the way products are designed and manufactured for consumers around the world.
Various design projects by Taylor, including photography, hiking bags and spy watches.
Marialexandra García, 1997
B.F.A., Fashion Design
One word that describes time at SCAD: Busy
Favorite SCAD memory: Meeting Ben Morris and having him review my designs.
Biggest changes in the field since graduation: Everything is done on Illustrator, Photoshop, with computer aided design; too few still enjoy and have the need to design by hand. A computer generated flat will never compare to the beautiful strokes of a color pencil or paint brush that can convey the movement of the fabric.
Advice to students: Read anything you can get your hands on that can feed your mind, and never be afraid to change the world.
Ornate wedding gown designed by Marialexandra.
Clifton Guterman, 2001
M.F.A., Performing Arts
One word that describes time at SCAD: Vigorous
Favorite SCAD memory: Two years of intense graduate level work and months of research culminated in March 2001 with the opening night of my one-man thesis show, "Bosie" (about Oscar Wilde's infamous lover, Lord Alfred Douglas), which I acted in, self-wrote, self-designed (sets, costumes, props) and self-marketed.
Biggest changes in the field since graduation: The performing arts, like other industries, have become increasingly computer/electronic-heavy, but - in turn - funding (especially for theatre) is always elusive and regressing. So, actors and producing companies now rely heavily on self-promotion, free social media, inventive marketing, fundraising campaigns, solo projects, web projects, etc. Also, casting is now very high-tech, so the expectation is faster/sooner/slicker, and actors and agencies must submit quickly and electronically to keep up and rise ahead.
Advice to students: Value and absorb all you can learn from professors, but seek and seize every opportunity to speak with artists currently working in the field, and explore internships, off-campus opportunities, apprenticeships, mentors, etc., while reading and exploring everything you can about your industry because the smart artist armed with practical, applicable and current skills has the advantage over one whose knowledge is just theoretical.
Clifton in two of his most recent productions, "Wolves" and "Nicholas Nickelby."
Jason Kofke, 2005/2012
B.F.A., Painting/M.F.A., Printmaking
Where are they now: Studio artist in Atlanta, Ga.
One word that describes time at SCAD: Edifying
Favorite SCAD memory: My favorite memory and most important experience I had through SCAD was the three months I spend in New York through the painting department's New York Studio Space.
Biggest changes in the field since graduation: In fine art and painting, economic changes have caused many fine artists to be more self-reliant and inventive in terms of business - essentially becoming their own small-business owners. And through these changes communal projects, artist residencies, and collaborations are more reliable support systems than academic institutions or gallery networks. Emerging artists have adapted to a lack of long-term institutional support (such as teaching jobs) by navigating a growing network of temporary project-based entities such as residencies, competitions, and calls for entry for specific project agendas.
Advice to students: The job you are meant to have does not exist because you have not invented it yet. Also, pity those who sacrifice long-term goals for short term success. Also, disregard career advice from those who took a career rather than created one.
A piece from Jason's ongoing "Everything Will Be OK" art campaign.