Interview Assessment #1
Name of Professional: Zahra Jahanyfard
Profession/Title: Freelance Painter
Business/Company name: Bahar Studio
Date of Interview: October 13, 2017
Ms. Jahanyfard thoroughly impressed me; I have never seen a more organized person in my life. She has managed to make painting her full-time job, which, if you ask any artists, is a grand achievement. During our interview she revealed her intense planning that allows her to make her passion a viable career. Not only did Ms. Jahanyfard prove someone can make a living off painting, but she showed me that everyone knows how to do so. What inhibits artists from becoming successful is their dedication, nothing more.
I began the interview trying to learn more about how guilds work, but the conversation drastically changed in a span of minutes. Ms. Jahanyfard began sharing how she makes a living off art, and from then on that was the focus of our interview. She shared that, instead of working a part-time job, she creates murals, charcoal portraits, and commissions. Usually people would find it difficult to create a steady income off that type of work, but, through great networking and thorough planning, Ms. Jahanyfard manages to successfully make a living off her art. Admittedly, this kind of work is not what she is passionate about, but it provides her with enough attention to garner an audience for whom she introduces her actual style of persian-inspired paintings. The attention she gained off her commissioned work or, as she like to call it, her daytime job also allows her to display the paintings she actually enjoys in galleries and art shows.
What I find fascinating about Ms. Jahanyfard, what I believe I can most learn from and apply in my own life, is her planning. Ms. Jahanyfard has a mindmap that details everything she wants to accomplish in a month, a calendar that details her events for every two weeks, a contact book filled with artists’ business cards, and a contact book with all the businesses she plans to work for. This planning is incredibly reminiscent of the requirements we are required to meet in our ISM portfolios, only it is tailored for an artist. What Ms. Jahanyfard has made clear is that everything I am taught in ISM is useful for artists. If I can manage to work and plan as well as Ms. Jahanyfard, then I will undoubtedly thrive in ISM and in my future career.
Planning this way allows an artist to not only make a sustainable income, but to also follow their passion. It allows someone to contact as many people as possible and provides them with something to keep track of what they have and seek to accomplish. Interestingly, this planning is not difficult to do; however, there is a great deal of dedication required to use this effectively. Honestly, I already knew part of this; after all, it is what I discussed in my speech last year. Nevertheless, now that I have been reminded of the importance of planning and networking, all I have left to do is dedicate myself to pursuing it.
The best way to use what Ms. Jahanyfard has taught me is by trying it myself. I could apply to different shows and events in my area and even join the Visual Art Guild of Frisco, or at the very least, attend their meetings as a guest. Maybe if I record the process of applying for various different events and shows in a video or essay I could use that product as my Original Work. The idea would be to put my name out there to as many different people as I can and see where that will bring me. There is not a single doubt in my mind at this point; I feel reinvigorated. I can become a painter, and I want to try. Challenging myself in this way could provide me with the ability to answer the ever looming question in my mind: can I, especifically, find a way to make my passion my job?
My next step is to begin researching different shows, events, galleries, and meetings I could apply to. I also need to, during my interviews, ask about these events. After accumulating all this information, I can begin narrowing down which shows I want to participate on. From there onwards I need to apply and follow through with my plan. Of course, I do not want to stress myself out, so I will begin with a few shows. Afterwards I may slowly apply to more and more events. Honestly, I feel excited. Ms. Jahanyfard is one of the people I have interview that has successfully made her passion her job. Every time I converse with someone like her, I gain a surge of motivation because people like her remind me that passion can be the driving force of someone’s life.