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Master of Arts (fine arts) by research
Currently working for:
ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
How long have you been working for this organisation?
Position title and short job description:
Temple Artist. This is a full time voluntary position in a yoga community. I receive room and board and am reimbursed for basic living costs.
I design, edit and publish a tri-annual magazine (circulation 5,500). As well as the hardcopy I publish an online version. I also create a range of graphic design-dependant publications including annual calendars, posters, business cards, festival banners and information booklets. I work with a team of temple photographers to document the regular festivals that mark the life of the Hare Krishna community. For example we host a large-scale parade and an all-day village at the annual St Kilda Festival.
As a member of an international society I travel overseas to assist with museum and temple-building projects. I also illustrate publications aimed at a worldwide readership.
Finally I make some time to paint fine artwork, intended for book illustration and exhibition in the temple campus. I attend annual painting seminars in India that attract participants from around the world.
Past relevant roles:
Graphic artist, designer, illustrator, editor, desktop publisher, magazine publisher, fine artist.
Yoga community, spiritual community, cultural centre, spiritual education, cultural education.
Working highlight so far:
The highlight is taking part in the seminars for devotional painters from around the globe. We work in a historically-charged atmosphere: the original site where we accept that our Gaudiya Vaishnava school of bhakti (devotional) yoga originated 5,000 years ago (in Vrindavana, near Agra in India).
What are the things you enjoy most about your job?
I most enjoy working in a community where people are putting their realisations of the great devotional science of India (bhakti yoga) into practice and sharing them with others.
An area in which you have needed assistance:
Because I trained as a fine artist rather than a graphic artist, I needed help from industry professionals to teach myself to use graphic design, internet and publishing software. I learn to meet publishing and printing industry standards and to work in an international publishing environment ‘on the job’: by working with those already in the field.
What do you intend to do in the future?
In the future I hope to deepen both my fine art and my people skills. Although in the end all we have is each other, we each have individual contributions to make. I would love to be able to spend large chunks of time painting as I did as an undergraduate and graduate student.
#1 tip for current students studying your course:
Focus on your long term benefit. In the past if a big-game hunter were to aim for a rhinoceros, no-one would blame him if he didn't quite make it.