MAKING ART WORK, No.18: David Habben

June 03 2019

By Noelle Sharp

MAKING ART WORK: Advice for artists, from artists is a series that taps into the knowledge and experience of seasoned creatives from our community and beyond for the benefit of our students. We had the pleasure of speaking with artist and CFA Alum David Habben for this episode of MAKING ART WORK.

What do you wish you had known when you were a less experienced artist?
That to truly progress and find success, you have to have a plan. It would’ve been great to know that there are actual career paths that involve creativity and artistic skill. Like many other artists, I felt that you just make your best work and if you’re lucky, someone buys it. Knowing the options and then working toward them would’ve made a world of difference. That being said, I’m grateful for how my own irregular path has led me to teaching and to the opportunity to help the rising generation prepare for their future in more specific ways than I did.

How do you find balance between creating your own art and using your creative talents for other projects (jobs, collaborations, etc.)?
It’s actually the unique commissions and unexpected collaborations that fuel the new ideas in my own work, so I welcome the opportunities whenever I can find them. Being able to see through someone else’s eyes, whether that be for a product or just for exploration, is a fantastic way to rethink our own work. My biggest steps forward have always been the result of a collaborative experience.

What’s the most useful advice you were given?
I think the advice I remember the most is to not be afraid to be a small fish in a big pond. Bill Carman (Boise State University) taught me that and it’s been proven right throughout my life. We should never be afraid to get out of our comfort zone and be the new kid, the rookie, or the novice.