Jamie Kubat, Student at Minneapolis College of Art and Design
How did you discover your passion for creating?
My passion for creating started out when I was pretty young with a drive to make things, to know how the world works, and to tell stories. I didn’t understand why I wanted any of these things at the time but I knew I had to follow that instinct. I’m thankful that I’ve been supported in doing that.
Since being at MCAD, I’ve been able to understand the why better–art and making enable me to reach others, create space for healing, and effect change–all things I felt powerless to do as a kid. Understanding the complex histories that inform our contemporary world gives me a framework and context for my work, and provides me with tools to make work that is rich and life-giving for me and for others. I still follow that instinct to pursue what I love and what brings me joy–and what I want to know more about. It’s what keeps me going.
What’s your favorite part about creating?
My favorite part of creating is the process of making and the way art connects me to other people. When I’m focused on process rather than the outcome, I’m less afraid to take risks and play around with materials.
Connecting with people over art is a sacred thing to me because it helps me understand those people better. Process and connection are both about being open to change, about giving and receiving, communication and exchange. Those things have led to me being braver and more open as a human as well as a maker.
What’s the hardest part for you about creating?
The hardest part is working through the fear and imposter syndrome. Sometimes it stops me before I’ve started; but that’s why I rely so much on process, because that allows me to create without worrying about whether my work will be ‘good enough.’ Because it always is good! And it will always get better. I have to tell myself to shut up a lot when I’m being overly-critical towards my work.
Why did you pick the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)?
When I first toured MCAD, I was really attracted to the college’s student-first attitude and the quality of student work I saw up on the walls (looking back, it was probably junior review time). MCAD has a really strong community of people, from staff and faculty to both full-time and non-traditional students, to alumni and people from the greater Twin Cities area. That’s what brought me here and what is keeping me here after I graduate.
What has been your favorite part of MCAD?
The growth I’ve experienced and the community I’ve gained. Am I starting to sound like a broken record? There are so many cool people I’ve met both here and other places because of my time at MCAD. The visiting artist talks we have every semester are one of my all-time favs. They’re hugely inspiring and have helped me see myself doing things I previously never would have dreamed of, but now want to–which leads me to the next question.
How do you think MCAD will help in what you want to do next?
One of the ways MCAD has already helped me is by showing me just how much is possible. My mentors and friends, and faculty and staff, have all pushed me forward and held me up and given me the courage to pursue things that I previously thought impossible, like community organizing, leadership, and teaching.
MCAD has also given me the skills and facilities to make art that I only ever imagined I’d make, but are now my reality as well as passion: printmaking, papermaking, book arts, weaving, installation. Stuff I can keep experimenting with for a lifetime. My three and a half years at MCAD are just the very beginning.
Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
I have no clue–but based on where I am now, I imagine it’ll involve a studio practice, community work, teaching, travelling, and hopefully curating or some kind of creative program building/directive work.
My goal is to keep investing and working in the arts community and continue growing and changing. I’d like to get a master’s degree, but not right away. I want to focus on the process of becoming, and let that lead me through my life as a working artist.