We had the good fortune of connecting with Avery Oh and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Avery, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I used to avoid taking risks, out of fear that I’d have to restart whatever I was planning for the next step in my life. I like stability. Probably the most impactful risk I’ve taken, apart from moving across states to attend SCAD, was changing my major to Fibers in the middle of my sophomore year. Changing majors, especially during the earlier half of college, might not seem like a big deal, but I had already spent months crafting this intricate plan to be able to graduate college a year early. I was convinced that graduating after three years was crucial to my success, and that everyone would be so impressed and want to hire me. I realized that I wasn’t happy in my previous major, and finally it hit me that I was rushing to get done with college because I wasn’t in love with what I was doing. After taking a Fibers class, I knew what I had to do. Now, I’m nearing the second half of my fourth and final year of college and I don’t want it to end!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think one thing that’s been present in my art for a while now is my active imagination as well as my sense of humor. I used to not let it shine to its fullest potential just in order to appear more commercially compatible, but lately I’ve been taking advantage of the creative freedom I have in college and just letting myself produce whatever I dream up, and this change is what I’m most proud of. I’ve learned that there’s no point in being a creative if you’re not letting yourself enjoy your art. I love color and graphics, I love the unexpected, and I especially love nonsense. It’s something that I feel isn’t appreciated in the art and design world as much as I would like. My main focuses as of now are digital print and pattern design, as well as knit design. I taught myself via YouTube how to hand knit about two years ago, which was overall relaxing and I’ve made myself a good handful of sweaters. Earlier this year I was introduced to flat-bed machine knitting, and man did that have a learning curve. It’s very finicky and your whole project can be ruined in one wrong move, but after many weeks of practicing I’m in a place where I don’t need to worry about my stitches unravelling and can focus on creative interpretations instead. I think my print and pattern skills strengthened greatly when I completed a print design internship this summer, which taught me how to work quickly and efficiently. Repeat pattern making is also something with a learning curve, especially for those of us who can’t stare at a computer for hours at a time. I’m even working on a print collection about the frustrations of CAD design right now, haha. Again, I have to shout out my community in the Fibers department for giving me all the help that I needed, whether that was a professor offering an extra work session outside of class or my friends and I keeping each other company during late nights in the studio.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Right now I’m living in Savannah, and this prompt is something I think about often if one of my friends from back home were to ever visit. My favorite weekend activity is checking out the farmer’s market in Forsyth Park; we could buy ourselves ingredients for a picnic, and then spend the rest of the afternoon sprawled out on the stretch of grass, as long as the weather’s not too mucky! For shopping, we’d absolutely need to stop by The Circle for all kinds of magical and artsy goodies, as well as Stump, my favorite houseplant shop. We’d do all this fueled by coffee from Franklin’s, Foxy Loxy, or Gallery Espresso of course! In the evening, we could unwind with a cocktail and cheese plate at one of the many rooftop bars in the downtown Savannah/River Street area, enjoying the view of the charming city.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely my peers and professors in the Fibers department at SCAD. We are all so supportive of each other, whether that’s providing constructive feedback during critiques, swapping and borrowing materials, or sharing a good cry before or after a big due date. I can’t think of a single Fibers professor who hasn’t had an impact on me somehow, and I am genuinely excited by the work of each of my classmates. Follow us @scadfibers on Instagram to learn what we’re all about! And of course, I want to thank my parents for allowing me to pursue my interest in art at the university level, I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

Photo Credit: Preston Rolls

Website: averyoh.com

Instagram: averyohart

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/avery-oh

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