Be Your Own Boss panel offers advice on careers in art


Mikaela Keener

The ‘Be Your Own Boss’ panel offers tips and insight Friday on careers in the art business. The panel members included, from left, Seth Cyfers, proprietor and designer of Ackenpucky Creative; Amanda Easter, founder of Inside Out Creative; Judy Belcher, program director/CEO of Tamarack Artisan Foundation and Sam St. Clair, commercial property manager at Huntington Realty Corporation.

Marshall University alumni and artists shared their insight Friday to students on how to be successful in the art field at the Be Your Own Boss event.
The School of Art and Design, Career Services and the Tamarack Artisan Foundation put the event together.
Sam St. Clair, commercial property manager at Huntington Realty Corporation, said artists are essential to businesses.
“I think with the mediums, you’ve got so much change, but at the same time, at the core you need artists,” St. Clair said. “I mean, they’re always going to be the imagination. It’s just the matter of which we can grow as artists.”
The program began with a meet and greet and an overview of resources. Topics during the discussion included how to market oneself as an artist and how to be different in comparison to other companies.
Chad Floyd, art student at Marshall, said the discussions with the panel made him think about his career in art.
“I guess it gave me a little bit more drive to think about it, in a different direction than I was,” Floyd said. “I’m still not quite there yet—ready to put myself on that level—but it’s still nice to go ahead and start thinking about it.”
Sandra Reed, director of the School of Art and Design, said it was important for students to learn what types of jobs are available for artists.
“To be your own boss means you’re not passively waiting, that you are creating your own opportunity,” Reed said. “So a lot of parents and prospective students think, ‘What kind of job am I going to get if I spend this money and come to Marshall?’ And so, we work to articulate that. While you might not have companies lined up because your son or daughter is not going to be an engineer or whatever the most employable field is, they have a very full, happy life using what they are going to learn here.”
“This is the first year for the event,” Reed said, “but it was the beginning to a series for the School of Art and Design.”
There will be another event in the fall called Find Your Own Boss, which will serve as a follow up discussion to the BYOB event.
Mikaela Keener can be contacted at keener31@