“I have my dream job because of the festival.”
Maddie Morrill, a Utah native, graduated from Kansas City Art Institute with a focus in Illustration. When returning home from college, she was uncertain of what her future career and professional network would shape into. Landing a spot in the DIY Festival Artisan Scholarship and Mentor Program with Craft Lake City not only helped her meet makers and artists within our community, but it greatly contributed to the overall evolution of her now-career as a tattoo artist.
What made you decide to apply for the Craft Lake City Artisan Scholarship and Mentor Program?
It actually started when my best friend and I went to visit someone who was working a booth at the 10th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival in 2018. Not only did I enjoy hanging out with friends I was making at the festival, but I became excited to see that this was a place where I could relate to others with very similar interests. So, I started making a plan. When I commit to something, I go in 100%. As I was researching the festival and Craft Lake City (CLC) online, I came across the scholarship information. As a beginning artist, I just knew that the program was the right fit for me.
How did it feel to be selected as a 2019 recipient?
Well, I was planning to participate in the DIY Festival no matter what. However, when I was notified that I was receiving the scholarship, it confirmed that I was on the right path, and I was excited.
What was it like being paired with a mentor?
I was paired with a great mentor, Chris Bodily of Hatrobot. I’m sure everyone thinks that, but I felt he really understood how to help me along the way. Even to this day, he’s really busy, but I can reach out to him and know he’s there for me. He really helped me achieve my goals.
Can we safely say your first Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival was a success?
Yes! I have my dream job because of the festival.
How did that happen?
I had a lot of penwork on display at my booth—prints, originals in frames, greeting cards, stickers, etc.— and on the last day of the festival, someone came up to me and showed real interest in my work. They ended up asking me, “do you do tattoos?” And, I responded no, that I never had. So, he asked, “Want to try?” He offered to take me on as an apprentice right then and there. I have been a tattoo artist since. I actually did my first tattoo on him, just three months after the festival.
What were your most valuable lessons learned from either the program or the Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival?
Do your research on trends in the art world before going into it. Then, compare items you plan on making and selling with those trends. However, go into it with a humble attitude. You may think something will sell well, and then it doesn’t. I would say to be flexible, and just take it all in.
Any words of wisdom to share with those considering applying for the Artisan Scholarship and Mentor Program or signing-up to participate in the Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival?
Do not hesitate. Go for it! It doesn’t hurt at all, it can only help you and your career. If you are doubting yourself, your abilities or your skill level, the festival has a wide range of people and experiences. And, everyone there is supportive, especially for up-and-coming artists who are trying to make a name for themselves and build their network. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for Craft Lake City.
Will we see you back at the Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival in the future?
Definitely. I do not know if I’ll be back this year, maybe just helping others. But, once I am more established, I’d like to have my own tattoo booth at the festival in the future.
If you’d like to see more of Maddie Morrill, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram @MaddieMorrill_Art. For questions about getting involved with the 12th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival, visit our Festival Application and Prospectus page.
*Photos courtesy of Maddie Morrill and Craft Lake City