One of the biggest challenges students in artistic fields face is taking what they’ve learned in classes and applying those lessons to create a career.
Luckily, one student group has stepped up to bat with Good Market, a venue for students to get professional experience selling their homemade wares, including but not limited to prints, cards, zines and apparel.
The student group Friends of Graphic Design will host Good Market on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m in the Simon Benson House.
“The idea we had was to have a business component in addition to our design focus,” said Maja Dlugolecki, outreach coordinator for Friends of Graphic Design and overall coordinator for Good Market.
Dlugolecki said the group is using the market as a way to emphasize the entrepreneurial aspects of the design industry.
“It’s a way to get your work out to the public and get that experience with how to price your work, how to talk to clients and to get the real world experience,” Dlugolecki said.
Zack Franceschi, director of Friends of Graphic Design, said the design industry is increasingly moving in an entrepreneurial direction, whereas most design classes are still studio focused. Good Market is one way the student group is attempting to bridge the gap between design academics and the professional world.
Franceschi said the market isn’t just limited to graphic design students. Other members of the Portland State art community have been invited to vend.
“We reached out to all the departments like printmaking, painting and anybody who might want to get some experience in trying to make a living as an artist-entrepreneur,” Franceschi said.
Dlugolecki said many artists nowadays are making their living by selling products through online vendors, such as Etsy and other boutique shops. Selling at Good Market can act as a dry run for founding an online shop, or facilitating partnerships with local vendors.
“Portland is great about supporting local artists, and having this Good Market is a way of fostering that connection between students and up-and-coming artists in the community,” Dlugolecki said.
Dlugolecki herself will be selling cards, jewelry and prints at the market, many of which she created throughout her academic career.
Good Market was born out of Good Editions, a brand Franceschi founded and Dlugolecki has fostered. Good Editions was the name given to a run of posters produced by students and guest designers and sold at the annual Be Honest graphic design showcase, the proceeds of which paid for visiting speakers.
When Friends of Graphic Design received additional funding at the start of the year, the need for fundraising events was reduced. Dlugolecki came up with the idea for a separate event that would enable students to sell their art and receive direct compensation.
“It forces you, as a student, to consider what you’re making and how you can sell it and price it out, which is nothing you do in class,” said Ryan Ricketts, co-treasurer of Friends of Graphic Design. “The program doesn’t last forever.”