Fiber Arts - Q&A With Graduate, Zoe Williams
What inspired you to earn this certificate?
I didn’t get into fiber art until several years ago, when I started needle felting. I have a BA in Studio Art, but my focus at that time was in New Media. I have often thought about pursuing an MFA, but I have been hesitant due to the financial burden of going back to school. This was an ideal intermediate step.
Why did you choose UWPCE?
I chose UWPCE because I knew that UW had an excellent fiber art program. Also, as I was a UW employee at the time of my enrollment, it was very convenient.
What kind of experience or skills did you hope to gain from this program?
I hoped to get critical feedback on my work, bolster my studio practice, and expand my professional network.
Did this program help you create a vision for your career?
It did. Being in the program helped me decide that art was the career that I really wanted — whether that means making art full time, or continuing to work part time for additional support.
What impact has this program had on your career?
I’ve recently relocated to New York City to pursue my art career. Although there were many factors that contributed to my decision to move, I know that participating in the program helped give me the necessary confidence and resolve.
Do you have any advice for those who are considering a career in fiber arts?
Learn to network! Technical skill is not enough. A successful artist must be willing to actively pursue opportunities and cultivate their professional network.
How were you able to balance this with the other aspects of your life?
The most difficult part was balancing the weekly assignments with my existing artistic commitments. During the first quarter of the program, I was also working towards hanging my first solo show (Somnium Bestia opened at Ghost Gallery on Nov. 11, 2010). I continued working independently throughout the year and in the end, I think that having other projects going concurrently with the weekly assignments was ultimately beneficial to my studio practice.
What did you benefit from most?
I think one of the biggest benefits of the program was the sense of camaraderie among my cohort.
Do you keep in touch with former classmates or instructors?
Yes! We keep in touch via Facebook and email, and those that are still in Seattle have continued to meet up monthly.
What would you say to someone who is considering the UW Certificate in Fiber Arts?
I would certainly recommend the program to anyone who is looking to hone their skills as an artist. The program does not address specific techniques, so it’s definitely better suited to individuals who already have some experience in fiber art. If you are someone who is looking to take a “hobby” to the next level, this program might be right for you!