Perfectly Planned Interview: Artist & Blogger Nancy Tobin

Nancy Tobin has an exhibition titled ‘Bits and Pieces in Maplewood’ in the Domareki Gallery at the local high school, Columbia. I interviewed Nancy about how her show came to be exhibited at CHS, and what advice, if any, she has for [CHS] students who love art but are not sure if they will pursue a degree in fine arts in college.

Resident Planning Geek: Why did you decide to hold your exhibit at CHS? What steps did you take to gain approval?

Nancy Tobin: I was asked to do the exhibition by one of the art teachers at Columbia, Larry McKim. I met Larry when we were in a show together at the Rupert Ravens Contemporary Gallery in Newark.

Resident Planning Geek: As an artist and a mother what do you wish for your daughter to gain from her high school experience?

Nancy Tobin: I do have a daughter, who is a sophomore at CHS.

I think the highschool years are a perfect time to let kids know what possibilities are out there for them. We’ve been delighted with the dedication of the staff at the high school, the diversity of the community, and the rich programs and curriculum that are offered.

Resident Planning Geek: What advice do you have for CHS students who want to develop their artistic talent but have not decided to pursue a Bachelors of Fine Arts in college (BFA)?

Nancy Tobin: I’m a true believer that everyone’s path is personal and unique. While a BFA or Masters of Fine Art (MFA) are valuable, I think there are a wealth of experiences out there that are different for everyone. I graduated with an Associates of Fine Arts (AFA) in Illustration, and didn’t start my painting career until much later.

I think my biggest piece of advice is that an art career is a lot of work! You not only have to be great at what you do, but you need to promote yourself and get your work out there. It’s not easy. Surround yourself with a community of people who are doing the same things.  Be prepared for a lot of rejection. (I have a 2″ pile in my file drawer of all the rejections I’ve gotten!)

I’ve seen people with little talent do quite well because they worked very hard, but I’ve never seen anyone — even the most talented, do well without a lot of sweat!

More about Nancy Tobin: Nancy states that “The show is an opportunity to share with the community how my artwork has evolved in the time I’ve been working as a professional painter.” Select these links to learn more about Nancy, her past exhibits, and what she’s blogging on for the New York Times blog “The Local.”

© 2009 W. S. Hughes


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