Meet the 2018-19 AC+D Fellows: Chelsea Snow

August 16, 2018

Over the month of August we'll be introducing our 2018-2019 Applied Craft + Design Fellows! Our Entrepreneurial Fellow this year is Chelsea Snow (AC+D Alumni '17). Each year one AC+D Alumni is invited to return to the Bison to complete a project, start a new endeavor, or further their professional practice while surrounded by the energy and resources provided by the MFA AC+D Program. The Entrepreneurial Fellows, in turn, contribute to the studio culture of the Applied Craft + Design Program by modeling an active, inquisitive and self sustaining creative practice.

AC+D: What do you plan to focus on during your fellowship?

Chelsea Snow: For the first half of my fellowship I was really working on building a new business and a new brand. Most of my time in the studio was spent making samples, taking photographs, updating my website, and straight up hustling. Things have gone really well so far, so as I grow, I plan to move the business/production side of my practice out of the AC+D studios, and use the fellowship to work on other projects and experiments. One idea is to turn my studio into a cozy lounge where I can invite people to come lay on the couch and vent about how hard grad school is.

AC+D: How do you maintain your creative practice? What keeps you motivated and engaged?

CS: Honestly, it's very tricky to maintain a creative practice, even when (especially when?) you're in the business of making and selling things. When I'm in production mode I zone out and ideas come, I make sure to jot these down and come back to them when I have time to play. Which will be some day. Probably. To stay engaged, I constantly try to improve my products and my systems, which sounds dorky, and I'm okay with that.

AC+D: Could you describe a moment or experience that profoundly changed the nature of your work?

CS: Anyone who knows me knows this story, but when I learned Transcendental Meditation and began practicing on a regular basis. Ideas started flowing out of me in a way they never had before. And instead of spending all of my time wondering if my ideas were good and worrying about how they'd work, I'd just start trying them, without fear of failure.

AC+D: What have you learned about yourself through your creative practice?

CS: I've learned that above all, I'm a performer. I perform the role of artist, craftsperson, business person, teacher, life coach, friend, partner, mother. Bringing creative energy to all those performances has been a profound experience in self-awareness.

AC+D: What's got you excited or fascinated right now? What questions are you thinking about?

CS: The current political climate is neither exciting nor fascinating, but interestingly it has brought forth some very exciting results. It has been amazing to watch our country wake up from a collective sleep, and as we continue to do so, witness a shift in how we are living in the world and treating one another. I've been thinking a lot about this, and I've been getting more involved in my community, getting to know my neighbors, helping people out when I can.

AC+D: What advice would you offer to current students about to embark on a career in the arts?

CS: I don't have any better advice than Sister Corita Kent had in 1967. My favorites: 1. Find a place you trust and try trusting it for a while. 4. Consider everything an experiment. 6. Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and there's no fail. There's only make. 8. Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes. 9. Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.