Internship experiences over the four years
In my almost four years here in Paris, my professional experiences have been guided mostly through the community I have found here through Parsons Paris, through faculty and friends. In the beginning, after giving Fashion week a shot, I started working with artist and faculty member, Rachel Marks for her exhibition in the Children’s Museum of New York, Naturae Libre. That was my first lesson on what it meant to be a professional artist, dealing with galleries, maintaining a studio, and working for a large-scale exhibition. With Rachel Marks, my work mainly involved creating sculptures under her direction. But I also learned through conversation and her experiences. I find that that often happens during internships. There is a lot of learning in doing but also through the sharing of experiences.
Soon after, I worked with Malique Lee Moore aka HOMEBOYEXTRA, musician/creative based in New York. Then, they were a graduating senior working on their thesis production, Keepin’ It Real at Parsons Paris. There was a team of people behind their three-channel film, from producer to animator to sound design. It was exhibited at the senior AMT exhibition and also at some film festivals. I got to assist Malique in their planning, editing, and even with set design. More than that, we now have an ongoing creative relationship where we have collaborated on some 3D visuals for the promotion of their music and they have produced music for my projects.
Next came an experience that I cherish a lot. Through the Time course in the first year, we were introduced to an art bookstore and publishing house, After 8 Books. As I had already been interested in art and design books, I reached out for an internship. I worked there for around 5 months. I worked on the inventory and at the storefront. During this, I also worked part-time for Parsons Paris as the AMT Program Assistant which is a position I am still working as.
For my junior year at Parsons, I took a backseat on the internships as I wanted to focus on my craft and art. During this time I explored my visual language and researched deeply into where I would like to take it and myself further after graduating. I also wanted to relax and enjoy my time in Paris as a student and not get overwhelmed by the ‘race’ as I perceived it. That didn’t feel like a good way to be creating art, especially art that was emotional and vulnerable. This was helpful when the senior year started, along with that our thesis. I felt confident in my creativity and also ready to find professional experiences that were suited to me. That brings me to the present day where I continue to work as the AMT Program Assistant and also Studio Assistant for Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann. I work on her inventory and studio files to create an archive to show and for personal reference. Through my work with her, I find out a lot about artists, the organization it takes to run a studio, and also different opportunities.
Personally, I enjoy interacting with people and seeking out opportunities through networking or just by being present in events/workshops on things I’m interested in. This method has seemed to work better for me as it is easier for me to express my interest and gives the employer a chance to know me better than they would through an email. There are multitudes of ways to go about internship/job hunt, and I think I’ve learned mostly by doing and building on relationships I think are creatively intriguing and go beyond just an internship or a job.