Alum Zoe Alexandra Glass (BFA, 2011) combines her love of jiu jitsu with her love of art. This is part of our Get to Know Series where we chat with alumni to get a brief insight into their practice and some wisdom they have to pass on. You can see more of Zoe’s work through her portfolios on the web and Instagram.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Zoe Alexandra Glass, an athlete and artist training and working out of Vancouver, BC.
Describe your current practice in three words
Art, jiu jitsu, life
What are you most excited about in your work right now?
The limitless possibilities of where my work can evolve to.
What did you wish you learned in school but didn’t
How to run your side hustles and communicating with proper business models and CV writing. Granted, I most likely would not have taken ANY of these courses in school, but I wish there was more integration of money management and business acuity within the system. School can be a very sheltered experience. Passion is not enough to pay the bills – you also need action. A little marketing savvy goes a long way in understanding your own value and by extension, how others receive you.
Do you have any Advice for upcoming grads?
Whatever your grad project is, it is not even a shadow of what you’re capable of. The meat of your work will come from life experience and everything, including your ideas, becomes better with age and experience. Your art practice hasn’t even started yet so you can chill out. It’s coming.
How has your practice evolved since graduating?
Four years after I graduated, my personal art practice was floundering and going nowhere fast. I began training with Jiu Jitsu and immersing myself in a completely new arena in life lit the fire to create again. I was reminded of how much I loved anatomy and the figure while instructors would demonstrate moves and soon I wondered if I should start to draw it. The rest is history.
I have a loyal community and following who live and breathe Grappling as much as I do. I’ve found a place where my work deeply resonates with others, which is a feeling that has no price. Never in a million years would I have thought sports would change the way I created art. I have found a calling that never fails to inspire me and is endlessly rewarding.
What do you wish you knew when you started at Emily Carr?
I wish I knew how to have more fun. I took everything so seriously because I was intimated by all the talent around me. I felt as if I hadn’t found my “thing”. I thought those few school years were the only years I’d have to develop as an artist, and I was so deeply wrong its laughable now. I was argumentative, angry and missed a lot of chances to experiment because my mind was closed. I have grown so much since then.