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HAGA hosts third annual "Not All Artists Are Starving"

By Courtney Walsh, Assistant News Editor

On March 1, the Hofstra Association of Graphic Arts (HAGA), in conjunction with the Hofstra Career Center, hosted its third annual "Not All Artists Are Starving" – a night of networking. This year's event was dedicated to Scarlet Hubbard, the club's former president, who passed away over break from cystic fibrosis.

The panel featured nine professional artists, three of whom are Hofstra alumni. Kristen Spraque, the club's vice president, acted as moderator. The artists offered advice and inspirational anecdotes to the assembly of HAGA members, alumni and students interested in pursuing a career in the arts.

Spraque wasted no time with icebreakers; she asked, "How did you get your job?"

Hofstra class of 2007 alumnus and membership manager at the Katonah Museum of Art, Christina Makrakis, contributed her success to "doing stuff no one else wanted to." 

Makrakis, who worked at the Hofstra University Museum, also got her first internship there.  "It didn't entail a lot but I did it well, and with a good personality," said Makrakis.

Hofstra alumnus Rodrigo Sanchez, who now runs a design firm, agreed with Makrakis that while not every job may be a "dream job," it could be a step in the right direction. "I have a passion for design but my jobs have never been design jobs. I just kind of learned to implement my passion for design into my work," Sanchez said.

When asked about the highs and lows of the industry, panelist and illustrator, Jason Lewis didn't hesitate to address financial insecurities. "The constant challenge we don't really talk about it, is cash flow," said Lewis.

However, his fellow panelist and Hofstra alumnus Mario Bakalov cautioned students to think twice before taking a job simply for its monetary benefits. "If you do anything just for the check, it's a mistake," said Bakalov.

The panelists agreed that another necessary evil of being a professional artist was coping with the fact that not every piece will be a masterpiece. "One of the best and weirdest pieces of advice I ever received was: you can't be afraid to kill your puppies," said Lewis. "When you are working hard [on a piece], you love it and it's your puppy, but if your client doesn't like it, you have to get rid of it."

As the evening came to a close, the guests and speakers were invited to converse and enjoy an assortment of hors d'oeuvres, provided by the University Club.

"We just wanted to create a club for art kids," said Hofstra Alumni and one of HAGA's founders, Emily Miethner. "Hofstra has a lot of big clubs, but there weren't really any for people in the arts."

HAGA meets Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. in Calkins 224.

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