5 With: Alyssa Baguss

Describe your current creative work & what drives it:

My creative work can be split into two fairly equal parts: Full time arts program coordinator at Silverwood Park in St Anthony, Mn and my fine arts practice that involves drawing, works on paper, installation and community engagement projects. The line between these two roles is very blurry as both contain similar themes: nature, art, science and play. Sometimes my work at the park inspires my work in the studio and visa versa. 

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Art making is one of very few things in the world that still consistently makes me happy. Through a series of internships, fantastic professors and a bit of pure chance I ended up in the arts programming world. I’ve always enjoyed strategizing, managing people, learning and engaging the public in creative activities. 

I try to be myself and do what I like. If I do this, I’m usually having a good time and have no trouble with inspiration and motivation. I have some pretty strong interests and I just try to own them: no apologies.

What is your biggest creative challenge?

Time. I never seem to have enough time to do everything that I want to do. I’m a workaholic and always have around 5 – 10 projects or project ideas bouncing around in my head…which can be good and bad. Because I’m a coordinator I am good at maximizing what I can get done in a short period of time, but I feel strongly about giving something my undivided attention-- being a good listener and doing quality work. 

How do you balance work that pays the bills with work that's creatively exciting to you? 

I’ll be honest: I don’t balance anything very well. I play as hard as I work, don’t sleep enough and regularly forget to eat. I’m not motivated by money and often find myself engrossed in projects that I’m passionate about that have little to no funding. I’m hustling all of the time to find revenue sources: artwork sales, commissions, teaching gigs, freelance programming, grants and more often than I’d like to admit, not so glamorous art jobs. I do what I can to keep the factory doors open and along the way meet some really amazing people.  

Give some advice: what resources have been helpful to you? 

Other artists are some of my greatest resources! Hang out with people that you admire-- whether it’s their work ethic, artwork, ideas, whatever. I learn so much from my brilliant friends.

What's inspiring you right now? 

Balloons. I have a serious crush right now on hot air balloons. I’m certain my family and friends have reached their thresholds for conversations regarding my love for them. I’m working on a few 2015/16 projects that involve helium balloons and/or hot air balloons. Stay tuned!

Find more of Alyssa on Twitter and her website.