Last summer, the summer leading up to my junior year in college at Florida State University, I decided my transcript needed an internship to help me in my job search in the coming years. By the time the spring semester came, I knew of a few places I planned on sending in a résumé to that would have unpaid internship opportunities, but I was determined to keep looking in the hopes of finding a paid position. By that time, I had also begun working at a local frame shop run by a friend of the family. Due to the fact that I could only work on my free day of the school week, I was only doing basic finishing work on orders that were made and only with supervision by another coworker. I mentioned to the owner, Mrs. Derril Beech, that I would more than likely have to quit working at her shop if I pursued an internship. She came up with a new idea instead: a paid internship at her shop, Images of Tallahassee.
Mrs. Beech’s intent for me in this internship is to become a stand-in for her at the shop. As a mother of two children and a full time employee with the Boosters, it was and is difficult to additionally make it over to the shop. As such, she needs someone who can both design and build pieces, from start to finish, for clients who come in with custom jobs in addition to adding new elements to the store, i.e. coupons and website elements.
As of now, my narrow goals are to learn the final steps in building a piece: constructing the frame. This involves using machinery I have not yet used unsupervised. As an extension of this, I hope to better understand the relationship between matting qualities (size, window opening, etc.) to the frame I would build. My overall goals relate more to getting comfortable working independently. As a student, I have the comfort of a grade and a teacher as immediate feedback tools, but I lack that in a real work position.
Teachers and peers will not always be by my immediate side to help in times of trouble, so this position will hopefully foster confidence in myself. There is also hope that working closely with Mrs. Beech could lead to a position as a designer with the Boosters after I graduate.
I am well on my way to mastering the assembly of the parts that make up a framed piece, but now I am delving into the design behind them: the relationship between frame and matting, the play between mat colors and image, the printing material of the image, etc. I am also learning to better understand the inner workings of a business in the art industry. I work a day with a coworker to learn new constructive processes, a day with Mrs. Beech to learn design and business tricks, and a day by myself to foster independence.