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SAIC graduate statement of intent essay for Photography MFA

kaschmidt4 1 / -  
Dec 13, 2014   #1
Hi everyone, just hoping for helpful feedback on my essay for SAIC. I also need to shorten it by about 100 words still.

Here are the guidelines:
Write a 500- to-700 word statement that describes your work or research. Discuss how you came to focus on the medium, body of work, or academic area you wish to pursue at the graduate level. Also discuss future directions or goals for your work, and describe how the Mater of Fine Arts in Studio (Photography) is particularly suited to your professional goals. Upload your statement of purpose to the Attachments section of your ePortfolio.

I have always known my path; My ambition to be an artist developed at an early age from an intrinsic connection, to creation and expression, that is no less than a part of who I am. My appreciation for all media in art extends from a deep-rooted awe at the emotion, imagination, and positive social change that can be elicited from a single, compelling work. I am particularly interested in the realism that photography has to offer, and how it can be used to create believable images. I am driven and determined to merge myself into the world of art and photography in a way I see achievable only with further schooling, tailoring of my skills, and broadening of my understanding of all aspects of the art. Graduate level course work at SAIC will allow me to develop my knowledge, expand my boundaries of the medium, and build a sophisticated portfolio to accelerate my career as an professional photographer and an educator of the arts.

I create my photographs with a vision of turning something ordinary into that which is extraordinary. I am a visual storyteller that strives to elicit a sense of place, emotion, and dialogue within each photograph. A common theme in my work involves a fascination with the inner workings of the mind, both its limitations and potential capabilities. Sometimes I explore this through delving into the world's natural beauty, while other times I use surreal interpretations to explore alternate realities and subconscious ideas. My goal is to use my camera and skills to open unexplored worlds, places where anything can happen, that draws the viewer's mind into new possibilities and new stories.

My series' titled Feel and Waiting The Storm, can be characterized by an exploration of emotions, the kind that are almost unbearable to feel. Images are powerful, they have the ability to spark new ideas or to create positive change. This belief drives my image making process. Through the use of lighting, perspective, an intimate gazes, I capture deep moments in time that challenge my audience to feel. With Waiting the Storm, I use an interpretive approach to depict a world at once terrifying and wonderful. The woman and the storm construct a continuous narrative that reflects an inner reality. The churning clouds and twisting skies create an anticipation that mimics the emotions that exist within us, while her steady presence allows the viewer to place themselves in her shoes and to find their own perspectives of what they see.

I intertwine surreal manipulations with social commentary in my series titled Red Balloons. The people in these photographs are consumed in eerie moments of the routine everyday. This series is based on the belief that in our constant pursuit for 'ideal' happiness we become numb to small moments of true happiness. I froze each figure with direct lighting to emphasize the robotic task at hand, then juxtaposed them with whimsical happenings to further illustrate this oblivious nature. Within my work, I create theatrical worlds that reference the unexpected. I seek to transport the viewer into a single fleeting moment in space and time, to portray the true essence of life.

My ultimate academic goal is to earn a MFA in photography as a means to accelerate my ambitious career as an artist. I wish to continue work under the esteemed faculty at SAIC to help further develop my skills and expand on my current work. I believe that working in an atmosphere with other creative individuals will aid my own creative process. The depth of my interest in photography, my hunger to learn and grow, and my ambitions for a successful career in the industry, urges me to continue my learning experience at a graduate level. I believe that SAIC's eclectic curriculum and conceptually oriented practices makes the campus an ideal place for me to further my education. I am eager to take my art to new levels. I look forward to the challenge: to advance my technical and creative skills, to explore new avenues as an artist, and to create work that is relevant in the field of contemporary photography.
vangiespen - / 4,134 1449  
Dec 13, 2014   #2
Kyra, the essay is excellent when it comes to depicting the foundation of your interest in photography and the development of your career. It falls short however, of describing one of the important facets expected by the essay prompt. There was a failure on your part to describe the future career path that you see for yourself as a MFA graduate. You need to explain where you see yourself career-wise in 5 years and then , maybe 10 years. This is what you should do. Lessen the explanation about the foundation of your love for photography. Tell of only the most important parts of that history. Then explain your current accomplishments, making sure mention any awards or nominations you have received in only one paragraph. Then, conclude the essay by presenting your immediate, short term, and long term goals as a student then as a graduate of FA (Photography). This should help you revise the essay without going over the word count.

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