Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed

Making a Career out of Creativity

This year’s Working Weekend featured an in-depth workshop on Arts and Beauty in the World for students interested in pursuing careers in the creative field.

The two-dozen students in attendance got a chance to spend time with a dynamic group of Reed alumni:

conservator Jim Coddington ’74;

marketing maven Sarah Costello ’95;

journalist Michelle Nijhuis ’96;

photographer Nina Johnson ’99, and

illustrator and comic artist Lucy Bellwood ’12.

The alumni offered advice on how to pursue a career and shared insights they gained from their Reed experience. Lucy Bellwood '12, a Portland-based cartoonist and illustrator, stressed the importance of cultivating a “beginner’s mind” and staying curious about the world. Nina Johnson '99, a freelance photographer, reminded students not to be afraid of failure.

One of the panelists was Jim Coddington ’74, chief conservator of the Museum of Modern Art, who solved a mystery surrounding a painting by Jackson Pollock that was the subject of a lengthy profile in the New York Times.

Journalist Michelle Nijhuis '96, whose work appears in the New Yorker, National Geographic, and Smithsonian, and Sarah Costello '95, an associate creative director at a marketing/advertising agency Babcock Jenkins, walked through the basics of using social media for networking, while Jim and Lucy led a discussion on careers in the visual arts. Thanks to Lucy, you can listen to a recording of the panel conversation! Afterwards the group reconvened at Prexy to further discuss what they had learned.

Tags: careers, life beyond reed, alumni