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Kathryn Godwin

Published April 12, 2017
Kathryn Godwin shop-front art wrapping behind mannequins
Instagram: @studiocultivate


Kathryn Godwin in front of the John Lennon WallStudio Cultivate was created by Kathryn Godwin, an installation artist, stylist and a graduate from Florida State University with a BFA in Studio Art. Though a drawing/painting concentration in school, she played with a wide range of mediums, exploring things from the technicality of printmaking and photography to the layered richness of fiber and textile work within installations and sculptures.

Kathryn worked for Anthropologie for over 5 years after graduation. She created displays for both Charlotte locations, and traveled internationally to support store openings and company prototypes. Kathryn left her positon as Senior Display Coordinator to pursue a freelance career and soon organized Studio Cultivate.

Q & A

What have you been doing since graduating from FSU?

I work hard to get what I want, and studied the company and position I wanted before applying for jobs. While the bottom of the market was plummeting, I landed a dream job within a month of graduating with a BFA in 2008. I moved to Charlotte, NC and pursued a career with Anthropologie as Display Coordinator. I challenged myself to learn as much as possible and worked to study more and find inspiration on my off hours. A few years later, I became a Senior Display Coordinator. As such, I was responsible for concepting, planning and execution of my store displays, as well as developing other Display Coordinators in the the district. I worked with Home Office on prototypes and supported store openings across the country and internationally. After working for Anthropologie for over 5 years, I left to create my own company, Studio Cultivate. I now provide conceptualization, design and fabrication services to multiple companies. Projects are varied, but some include set builds and prop styling for photo shoots or design and fabrication of retail or showroom spaces. 

Wedding dress and scenery

What did you learn at FSU to get you there?

The best thing about my time at FSU that supported my path to where I am was the interdisciplinary curriculum. I declared a concentration in Drawing & Painting, but took a wide variety of courses, especially in printmaking and photography. A lot of the the drawing I selected to focus on were three dimensional pieces. All of these varied skill sets added up to being a dynamic spacial designer; I was able to work proactively and challenge a variety of unexpected materials to create unique environments. Another beneficial experience was the class and faculty BFA critiques. As you start to work within teams or businesses, you need to be able to receive feedback and respond professionally. Many people struggle with that. I developed a means to converse and communicate thoughts and designs clearly in college, while receiving constructive criticism. This helped to elevate the quality of my work and esteem from supervisors, which led to advancement in my career. 

What advice would you give to art students?

Funky decor and yellow couch

Don’t be afraid to ask for anything or put yourself out there! You are in an incredible time with so much information available through technology. Amazing connections and lessons are just a click away. Track down people on Instagram, connect with others through likeminded hashtags, and email established professionals asking for advice or their experience. I have made a number of connections and work contacts through social media and the internet, just by reaching out. When I travel, I try to find several people I admire and may want to work with. I’ll message or email them and ask for a coffee date to learn about their path, and talk about any ideas for collaborative projects. It has afforded me a lot of opportunities, as well as a broad network across the country that I can reach out to for advice, assistants on jobs, or guidance on how to handle projects or clients. You are responsible for creating your network post college, and the more you can develop that and have the confidence in your skills to promote yourself, the better you will do. Bonus advice: immediately create a LinkedIn profile, a professional Instagram account and Facebook page, and purchase a domain that includes a bio page and at least 3-5 images of your work that aren’t specific class assignments. Start developing your presence before you graduate.