"There's always a risk with (starting your own business) because you're basing your sales on the economy," said Harper Brown, who is receiving her bachelor's of fine art in ceramics, during the opening reception to the Fall 2009 Senior Art Exhibition at Hammond Hall gallery on the JSU campus Tuesday night. Brown and her husband plan on moving back to their home in Valley Head and opening their own business where they will sell ceramics, homemade soaps and papers and a variety of other items. She thinks she'll have more luck depending on herself for income, especially since she doesn't have a master's degree.
"I'm gutsy and I feel like I'm a business woman," she said. "I know how to sell things and approach people. I'd rather do this than drive to work."
She believes that even with people spending less, the functional value of her handmade plates, bowls, mugs, serving platters and other creations will still generate business.
"I guess that's why I'm drawn to it," she said. "I'm a practical person and it's economical. People tend to want a more handmade thing, but there's always a risk."
Senior graphic designer Bonnie Garmony hasn't landed a post-graduation job yet, but she has applied for some. If she doesn't get a job, she says she'll probably end up interning somewhere.
"I don't think it's any harder than any other job," Garmony said of trying to find a job with a degree in art. "Last time I saw the want ads there were four (jobs open for graphic designers). So maybe it has dried up some. But you know, the economy goes up and down."
Her senior project is a series of posters that tries to twist people's perspective of common objects, such as a rose, candle and knife. Her long-term goal is to move out of the state and do cartooning, maybe to California, or to Atlanta to work for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.
Marvin Shaw, the senior seminar professor for art students at JSU, says the art department officials have not noticed a recession in the art world yet, but does admit that they only deal with a small number of students. His class prepares graduating seniors for graduate school and working in their field post-graduation.
"What I insist on telling them is that they need to be ready to move elsewhere," he said. "The big cities is where it is."
He says that making sure the students are prepared to get a job is part of all the art instructors' jobs. He tells his students that it takes at least three years for an artist to introduce themselves to the world and get their name and product out and break even, as far as investing goes.
"You've got to introduce yourself to society and show them what you have and make a lot of it," he said. "Getting work in the right place at the right time is something you have to work at all the time. Hopefully, that's what we've been teaching them."
The Senior Art Exhibition is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Hammond Hall gallery on the JSU campus. The exhibit runs through Dec. 18 and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 782-5626.
Artists on exhibit
Harper Brown, BFA/Ceramics
Jonathan Schmidt, BA/Graphic Design
Paige Jolley, BFA/Graphic Design
Bonnie Garmony, BFA/Graphic Design
Kaycie Phillips, BA/Photography