The Alumni Spotlight shines this week on Wolf Luman of Bellows Falls, Vermont, who graduated from the University of Maine at Machias in 2013 with a double major in English and Interdisciplinary Fine Art. He is currently an artist and consultant with Ouroboros Studios.
Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now:
After leaving UMM I went on to pursue an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Goddard College which I was awarded in February of this year. I have continued to pursue and work within my field as a practicing professional artist in a variety of ways. I am currently in talks regarding the possibility of my 8th solo exhibition since leaving UMM. I am also in the process of launching an entirely new body of work entitled, The Ghostlands, which is a study and exploration into kinetic photography. I have an upcoming collaboration/photo shoot with the band Snowbeast creating their newest album cover (this will be my 10th album cover art). I also work as an independent contractor and creative consultant providing support, resources, consultation and guidance to other practicing and professional artists. My current website of works: http://www.wolfluman.co/
What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM?
I learned a great deal about how I view or define a learning and/or a learning environments. Sometimes the most important opportunities to learn come from rolling up your sleeves and be willing to get dirty and physically work. I learned to pay attention and take note of what and who keeps a school or professional/career environment running. It is often the individuals who go unnoticed that I feel keep the world turning. It’s really a story about being willing to roll up your sleeves and work. A lot of my success at the college was due to the people who wore jeans and work boots. They helped me to establish an ethic of being a guy who was literally not above cleaning a bathroom or cleaning the dirt and grease off things. I have deep respect for the people who do those jobs and I’ve learned an amazing amount in a variety of fields from just sitting down and listening to them.
Do you have any advice for current students at UMM?
The largest piece of advice I could offer is to stop thinking like students and to begin thinking like and cultivating the habits of professionals within your respective fields; read professional publications, keep current on the developments within your fields. Perhaps most importantly network. Networking with people who are actively engaged in your field right now rather than waiting for graduation is an absolute key to future success.
How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?
I had the opportunity to work closely with Bernie Vinzani, MFA. He is a world class professional in his field. Even though I am working in a different but related field, being able to observe, interact and work directly with him increased my capacity and skill in regards to the cultivation of studio habits, work ethics and behaviors such as professional courtesy and hospitality towards his peers. The grace with which he moves through his field rubbed off on me and had the largest positive impact. His teaching and example set me up in a position that when I moved into my field, first as a student and then as a professional, I was equipped with the necessary carriage, bearing and habits that allowed me to experience success.
How has UMM made a positive impact on your life?
Attending UMM opened the doors to further my education and was the initial step in my going on to be awarded with a terminal degree within my field. My time at UMM helped me establish professional networking connections that have assisted me in moving forward into my present career and position in life.