Interview with Lizzy Blasingame
Describe your typical week.
My typical week is pretty busy. I work two days a week at SFSU teaching printmaking, and three days a week at a small, all-female, custom print shop in San Francisco. Sundays are my studio day even if I'm not feeling creative I make sure to show up and at least do some organizing or reading. If I'm working on a project I fit in more studio time wherever I can!
How do you find your market/collectors/clients/audience?
I try to apply to as many open calls as possible. Even if I don't think my work will "fit", I still think it's good practice, plus you might surprise yourself. Little by little, I've started meeting people who are interested in my work and might ask me to be in a show or even just forward me opportunities to consider. This is a pretty traditional route to take. I think it's really important to maintain any connections to an artistic community, and I try to invite people to do studio visits with me (former teachers, graduated students, classmates, my non-art world friends). I even have pretty regular critique sessions via Skype or Zoom with my colleagues from grad school, but maybe that's because we are all stuck in our apartments right now!
What opportunities for professional development have been most helpful for you?
The best opportunities for my professional development have been to go see art! The Bay Area has a really wonderful art scene, and it's been really important for me to see what's possible! I so often see an artist doing something that I would have never thought to do, or think possible. It can make me think about my work in a different way. Going to grad school was really worth it for me, too. I got access to great facilities, constant feedback, and a lot of opportunities to show my work.
It's hard to balance life! But, you have to pay the bills. It can also be a little bit feast-or-famine, so I will generally say yes to anything unless it's way out of what I do-most commission stuff I do is graphic design or a custom print. Even if it's not something I like personally, it might lead me to consider different things. One thing though is I have started scheduling 'my art only' time. I will say "well, I'm doing this residency for three months from July-Sept and I'm not taking extra work".
If you could give advice to your college-age self, what would it be, and why?
If I could tell my college-age self anything it would be to listen to your instincts, make work you want to see, and don't ever say you can't do something, because you can. Figure out what it means later! I would remind myself that art is something I enjoy doing, so enjoy doing it!