Tara-Lynn Kozma-Perrin (BFA ’08) is a UFV alumna, and First Nations Artist residing in Abbotsford. She was recently featured on an episode of the UFV College of Arts Career Chat Series.
Currently the Culture Coordinator for the City of Abbotsford and working on a second degree in Global Development Studies, Tara-Lynn shares some advice for creatives who find themselves in unexpected roles, with Luke Pardy, current Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) student at UFV.
Luke (LP): When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Tara-Lynn (TL): I wanted to be on the SWAT team! I thought it was really interesting what they were able to do, and I felt like they were making changes, in combating evil superheroes and stuff like that. I wanted to combat evil superheroes as well!
LP: How has being a practicing artist informed your current role?
TL: You have that creative perspective and I understand it as an artist where it’s not just about consumption, it’s also about the creative process. In a role like this, it’s really important to be able to look at things from multiple perspectives.
LP: How does your job use the creative skills you have?
TL: A lot of us when we graduate from the BFA program, the only job you think of is something where you’re creating work. So, going into the government, it still uses a lot of your creative skills, and we forget all those intangible skills that we’re taught in school, like critical thinking. It’s one of those amazing things that a lot of people don’t get a lot of practice with in university. Specifically when it comes to critical thinking, and defending the decisions you’re making. Or, being willing to understand a different perspective and acknowledge that and reflect.
Those skills have helped me significantly through this position and I don’t think they should be underestimated in our daily lives.
LP: What do you wish someone had told you about your industry when you first started?
TL: I wish someone had said there’s so many different paths you’re going to take, and those paths won’t necessarily reflect a creative field. But every job, every experience, is going to impact your creative process and creative output. Don’t disregard any of those experiences.
LP: What do you think the best way to get a job in your industry is?
TL: Volunteering in the community has really allowed me to get to where I am today. I volunteered with the Abbotsford Arts Council, and I also built relationships in my community with the organizations that are supporting artists. I also started an annual event with my mom, for Aboriginal arts and culture. So really infusing yourself in to the creative field in your community.
Hear more from Tara-Lyn, watch the full interview here.