Sabrina Claman

Sabrina Claman, Undergraduate student, Drawing, Japanese

Explores farm culture

• Hometown: Calmar, Iowa
• Faculty mentor/advisor: Rachel Williams, Associate Professor, Art & Art History
• What is your degree program and expected graduate date? Drawing BFA, Japanese minor, graduating in May of 2020
• Please describe your research:  I spent the summer and fall semester experiencing, documenting, and analyzing farm life in my hometown area. Utilizing my interest in documentary comics, this information reflects the farmer’s day to day life, various experiences one might have on a farm, illustrated visuals to farm technology and how it functions, how farming has been historically used in my area, and how it has changed over time. A lot of my work is a mix between representing today’s farmer as I know them and looking at the people whose lives are centered around the culture of farming.
• In simple terms, why does this research matter?  More land is used for agriculture in Iowa than for anything else. It’s easy to overlook or label something as “normal” because of how often you think you’re exposed to it, but the culture of farming in Iowa should be explored more because of its importance to our everyday lives and our history.
• How soon after starting at the University of Iowa were you able to participate in research? I began doing independent studies for comics with Rachel Williams in the fall of 2018 of my third year at University of Iowa.
• How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? This creative research, and working with my mentor in general, has really pushed my practice in directions I hadn’t expected. This semester alone, I have opened more doors for my creative work than I think I could say for the prior three years here at the university.
• What are your career goals and/or plans after graduation? I want to create work that reflects the world around me and how I understand it. After graduation in the spring, I am considering applying for grad school to go after a Masters in Illustration or Comics in order to push my work further. I’d also like to do this type of creative research in other locations in the country and internationally because I think the relationship between the people of a place and our agriculture is an important aspect of research. Career-wise, I would like to produce my own comics and illustrate. Focusing on my practice will always be my ultimate goal. I feel like I have lots of stories to tell and there are a lot of people worthy of having their story shared, so I hope to create spaces that help those stories and research to come through.

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