• Project Title: Lives of Artists: An Investigation into the Bay Area’s Art Community

  • BASIS Advisor: Ms. McLean

  • Internship Location: Akamichi Art Studio

  • Onsite Mentor: Mr. Lee Akamichi

There is a common perception that making a living as an artist in the Bay Area is hard. Despite this perception, I know many people who decide to attend art schools every year and dive into the industry. Although I don’t plan to attend an art school, I am deeply interested in the visual arts, which makes me wonder: what is it like to work as fine artists, designers, and art educators? Through interviews with industry professionals, I will gain insight into the artist community in the Bay Area, listening to stories of both struggle and success. Working with Akamichi Art Studio, I plan to collect narratives that document the working experience of these people; specifically, their level of satisfaction with their professions and what advice they can give to aspiring artists. My hope is that this project helps young people who are interested in having a career in the visual arts by presenting a bigger, fuller picture of their future career possibilities. Furthermore, I hope my investigation can answer more existential questions, such as why we appreciate art and what is our understanding of its role in society, by exploring the perspective of these artists.