Janet Echelman

Janet Echelman

Artist


The thing I had to teach myself was how to hear my own voice. I didn't even know it! You have to hear your voice before you can follow it.

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Janet Echelman

Highlight
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Janet Echelman HighlightInterview Highlight
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05:34
InterviewThe Interview
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Censoring OurselvesWeb Exclusive
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Last AdviceWeb Exclusive
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We Become Our Own TeachersWeb Exclusive
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What Inspires the ArtWeb Exclusive
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Rejection and NoiseInterview Excerpt
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I Bought A Ticket To BaliInterview Excerpt
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Find Things You'll Work Hard ForInterview Excerpt

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
When asked to describe her job in one sentence, she says: “I go to cities and create spaces where people can come together.”
Her sculptural artworks are massive, soft, multi-layered forms made up of different kinds of fibers, often displayed in public spaces like parks or town squares.
When she told her mother that she wanted to be an artist, her mom said, “That’s a great aspiration; now go make 100 paintings.”
She said the message behind it was, “this is a great thing to aspire to, and I support you, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work and persistence.”
She was rejected from all seven art schools she applied to, but she says that devising her own education in the arts ended up being much more authentic and fulfilling.
She originally started out as a painter, but after college she took a trip to Bali, and when she tried to ship all of her paint supplies there, they got lost in the mail.
As a result, she started looking around for new materials to use to create art, and she started making sculptures from the local fishermen’s nets.
She gets a lot of her inspiration from nature, but she executes her vision at scale with help from computer science and engineering technologies.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Visual and Performing Arts, General
Harvard University
Graduate
Counseling Psychology
Lesley University
Graduate
Visual and Performing Arts, General
Bard College

Career

Artist

I am a sculptor and fiber artist combining ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to transform urban spaces.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Art
Design
Being Creative

Day to Day

I go to cities and create spaces where people can come together. I'm often asked to create pieces that interact with particular environments and open people's imaginations. I'm constantly experimenting with and engineering different fibers and materials to use. I am also constantly learning new technologies and science skills in order to bring my work to the scale we need and be able communicate the technical details to a variety of individuals including construction workers and engineers.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Use all the details around you - no matter how unexpected - to get inspiration for your work. In order to execute my work, I had to get involved in science and tech. A well rounded knowledge base and being able to communicate complex and different ideas is essential to being an artist.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Don't censor yourself! First, pursue that innate dream that you have. You can always compromise later if it doesn't work out.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Visual and Performing Arts, General
graduate
Graduate
Counseling Psychology
graduate
Graduate
Visual and Performing Arts, General

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I'll never be an artist if I can't get into art school. "

Challenges I Overcame

Other
Learning Issues