Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Blood.
Melanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My interest in art started when I was in middle school. I had an amazing art teacher that told me from early on I had talent and encouraged me to practice as much and as often as possible. She continued to mentor me through my high school years, and introduced me to a multitude of art and artists from around the world. Art became an integral part of my high school years, as an outlet during challenging times. I knew by senior year that I needed to pursue a career as an artist. Massachusetts College of Art and Design was by far one of the best decisions I have made, it challenged my beliefs and thoughts and opened my mind up to so many new ideas. After art school, I received my Masters in teaching (visual arts education) from Tufts University in affiliation with the SMFA. For the last 7 years, I have been a ceramics and sculpture teacher at a large high school outside of Boston, I also teach at the Museum of Fine Arts. Today I am both an artist and an educator and I couldn’t imagine better careers!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Struggles and obstacles are all part of the journey, they help provide us the opportunity to look at our art from a new perspective, often taking it in a new direction, for me, personally, these challenges have made me a better artist. One of the more recent challenges I have faced, was balancing my teaching with my art making. Being an educator is demanding and takes a great deal of time and energy both inside and outside of the classroom. I was able to conquer this challenge when my teaching began fueling the themes and concepts of my art. At this point in my journey, they truly go hand in hand. My advice to young women is to be resilient.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a trained ceramic artist and an art educator. When I first started using clay I was interested in unconventional clay processes which included the use of paper, fabric and other fibers. I really wanted to make clay work in ways that challenged its structural integrity and was curious about the relationship between it and other sculptural materials – creating works that existed for just a short period of time.
My inspiration has shifted a bit since I became an educator. I am continually inspired by my everyday environment as a white female teacher in one of the largest urban schools on the east coast. This culturally wealthy but economically challenged and often traumatized world is one that I am constantly navigating. My role and my place in this equation is one that I both value and constantly reflect upon. This space is where my narratives are born, where inspiration is attained and where my creativity flourishes- this to me is what sets me apart from other artists.
My most current body of work is probably what I am most proud of – it is a true culmination of the two things I am most passionate about, art and teaching. The pieces in my most recent collection play with the interaction of connections and disconnections, structure and fluidity, fragments vs. the whole, highlighted with those small elements of gold.
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
I feel lucky to have had some amazing teachers, professors, and mentors that have helped me throughout my journey and continue to motivate and inspire me even today. I find it important to stay connected to these amazing people as they are my biggest cheerleaders and supporters. I find much value in staying connected to my peers that are killing it in the art world, as they are the future and are successfully navigating many of the avenues I am interested in pursuing.
- Website: www.melanieblood.com
- Phone: 603.459.3623
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: MelanieLBlood