Subin Cho, BFA ’23, On Her Internship at Muskat Studios
Can you start by telling me a little bit about your interests at SMFA and beyond?
I am a senior BFA student with a huge passion for printmaking. As a freshman, I made it a goal to experience and learn everything I could within the print and paper area. Now, as I’ve wrapped up my last semester at SMFA, I would say I have accomplished my goal.
What attracted you to your internship?
Muskat Studios is a professional printmaking studio specializing in lithography. Master Printer and SMFA Lecturer Carolyn Muskat works closely with the artists, providing technical expertise and support for the work. It was an excellent opportunity for me to work as a studio assistant in a professional setting to develop skills such as studio management, collaborative printing, and gallery management, which are hard to obtain in an academic environment.
How did you obtain your internship?
I had many classes with Carolyn Muskat, an amazing professor, artist, and owner of Muskat Studios. At the beginning of my junior year, I asked for a lot of advice regarding my career after graduation because I wanted to work in professional printmaking. During our conversations, I asked her if she was looking for an intern. Carolyn offered me a semester-long position. After finishing my fall internship, we decided it would be great if we could work together for another semester because we both felt I had more to learn.
What was a day in the life of your internship?
It was not so different from working on my projects at school. Preparing to print, printing, and cleaning up, is the usual routine of a printmaker. However, it felt different every day based on the projects I worked on. I learned at least one new thing every day. Overall, every day at my internship was both chill and exciting.
Tell me about a project you worked on during your internship that was your favorite, the most challenging, or the most exciting.
I assisted with so many projects over the year, so it is hard to pick just one. Assisting in printing Carolyn’s big print for her solo show was my favorite project. I started to assist in printing it when I came back after winter break. It was a long-term project with ten layers and thirteen colors if I remember correctly. She asked my opinion often and I was glad my suggestions could help her. The print came out gorgeous.
The most challenging project involved printing with old litho stones, which were created decades ago for commercial use. The ink completely dried out, and some of the stones were in bad condition, so it was tough to pull a good print. But it was a great learning experience.
I was so excited that I could assist with the project for John Cartledge’s solo show at Muskat Studios. I am a big fan of his prints, so it was an honor to participate in printing, curating, and installing for the show.
What was the best new skill you learned?
I learned a printmaking technique called gum reduction. It is one way of deleting the image by using an airbrush to create a soft edge. I will definitely try this technique in my own future projects.
How did your studio art skills help you at your internship?
This internship would be impossible without enough studio experience and skills. I was able to assist with various projects and even lead a few because I have developed good studio practices and skills throughout my time at SMFA.
How did you translate your work experience to your studies?
I was very inspired by the various artists I met during my internship and learned lots of new technical skills from Carolyn. It expanded my boundaries of thinking and created new possibilities for creating my own art. Furthermore, I learned to have a professional mindset that will help me in my career after graduation.
What was surprising or delightful about your internship?
Every single moment in the studio was delightful. There is no other way I can describe this experience. I loved being present in the studio and looked forward to my Wednesdays and Fridays at Muskat Studios every week.
How do you see the next steps in your professional career unfolding?
After the experience I obtained in Muskat Studios, I am more confident that this is the career I want to pursue. I realized my printmaking knowledge is a drop in a bucket, and I want to expand my lithographic knowledge. My next big goal is getting accepted to Tamarind Institute’s Master Printer program.