Since graduating with a BFA in Art with an emphasis in Ceramics in May of 2020, Liv Smith has been following artistic passions and an interest in teaching to find their way. So far, this approach has led to great success and a position as studio manager at Creava Studio, a multi-medium art studio offering classes to the Springfield community. As Liv explains, the beginning stages of working in the arts has meant more than just a paycheck:
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after graduation, but I knew I wanted to start teaching pottery classes at Creava Studio. After applying and talking with the current owner, Summer Benedetti, and former owner, Ann Cobb, they offered me the position to manage the studio, as well as teach classes. I was flattered they had offered me the position and started right away. My position as the studio manager came with some perks. Not only was I given the opportunity to gain work experience while earning money, but I was also given a studio space where I’m able work on my own studio practice.
In addition to the ample teaching and studio practice, working at Creava has also offered Liv the freedom to pursue alternative ways to advance as an artist, “After I had been working for Creava Studio for almost two years, I started applying to residencies across the United States. Summer knew I would need to take a sabbatical and supported me applying to as many residencies as I could. She understands how essential it is as a young artist to travel and experience as much as I can,” explains Liv.
Traveling, teaching, and spending plenty of time in the studio has made for a solid post-grad start. For Liv, this is only the beginning, “Currently, I am a resident artist at Clay Arts Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada for the next six months. Here, I am teaching, participating in classes, and building my portfolio to eventually apply to graduate school. I am grateful for this experience, and I can’t wait to share what I learn and create while I am here.”
As another semester comes to a close and students consider which path to take out of college, Liv offers the following words of encouragement for soon-to-be Art + Design graduates, “For those of you that are graduating soon, I would like you to know that there are many different routes you can take to get to your goals. The most important actions you can take right now are to continue to create and to apply to every opportunity you can. You never know where life is going to take you.”
To keep up with Liv, follow @LivCeramics on Instagram.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.