Meet Lavinia Lindsay:
Lavinia Lindsay recently graduated from the University of Guelph in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art. In her last two years of undergrad, Lavinia held a work-study position as a Printmaking Monitor, where she supervised the studio after hours and helped students troubleshoot their printmaking process as well as did general maintenance of the studio. In this position, she learned a lot about printmaking and studio upkeep, helping her to win the 2019-20 Open Studio Don Phillip’s Scholar, a prestigious printmaking residency at a well-known studio in Toronto. Lavinia shares her experience as a work-study student, the things she learned from the job and her advice to students hoping to gain work-study experience, as well as what she’s up to now as a recent grad!
Tell us about your work study position! What did you do?
“I supervised the printmaking studio after hours, and took care of some general housekeeping like the garbage, and refilling the soap dispensers. I would also help students with their printmaking projects if they needed it!”
How long were you a print monitor for? What was your favourite part about the job?
“I was print monitor for the final two years of my undergrad, and picking one favourite thing about the job is pretty tough to narrow down! I’d have to say I enjoyed getting close with the printmaking Technician Allen, and being shown some important studio up-keep and press maintenance skills that I still carry with me today (Hi Allen!).”
Do you have a favourite memory from your time as a print monitor?
“I’d day in general, it was pretty fulfilling having the opportunity to help other students with their work. It helped to build a sense of community around the print studio, and I liked seeing others enjoying the medium. And on the flip side, I’d have to say there was also something very special about quiet mid-semester nights, when I had the studio to myself and could work on my own projects.”
What was the most challenging part of your job?
How did you find out about this experience? What made you apply?
“I found out by just being a printmaking student, and working in the studio after hours. I spent a lot of extra time working there in the evenings anyway, so it made sense to apply! It also seemed like a really great way to connect more with other printmaking students.”
How did you find the interview/application process?
“It was super easy, to be honest! I remember being nervous during the interview because I really wanted the position, but short of that it was smooth sailing.”
What would your advice be to anyone seeking work study experience?
“DO IT. It is SO convenient to have a job on campus, especially when school starts to feel chaotic. Everyone is very sympathetic about your academic stress and deadlines. And working with students for students is such an amazing way to make the most of your experience in school.”
What have you done since graduating? Did your work study position help you get there?
“Just before I officially graduated, I went on exchange to HFK Bremen in Germany for printmaking, which my work study position definitely helped with. And post-grad, I was accepted as the Open Studio Don Phillip’s Scholar for the year 2019-20, which my position as printmaking monitor also played a huge rule in!”
“Now I'm living in Toronto planning for a solo show with Open Studio. And I've put together a little home studio with some of the things I learned on the job.”
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
“Being print monitor truly was one of the best experiences of my undergrad. It’s real cheesy to say, but I mean it. I don’t think I’d be half the printmaker I am if it wasn’t for the added time in that space I had to learn from others, and nurture my passion.”
“Thanks for reading!”