Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Behind the Major with Moth Ballew: doing what you love

Moth Ballet with friends.

Moth Ballew is a senior working towards a bachelor of art while majoring in studio art, emphasizing in printmaking and photography. Ballew is from Los Alamos, New Mexico and adores so much about art.

Ballew’s ideal path in life is to be content and gain various experiences in the art industry.

“I think living a content life is what matters,” Ballew said. “Like financially, I don’t really mind what outcome I really get. At this point, like for my degree, I kind of believe in the ability to make money with my hobbies, like with what I’m pursuing now. I really wouldn’t mind having one job and then like five years from now having something a little better, even if it doesn’t relate to my career.”

While Ballew desires life satisfaction, she wouldn’t mind working in a couple of areas of interest.

“I do get great opportunities through the school, like, I’m an art intern, so I have a job in the printmaking room,” Ballew said. “So I have that internship, and it’s photography-related as well. I will probably be able to work in a print room or a photography studio if I wanted to.”

Ballew was drawn to pursue a career in art because it came naturally to her.

“I think it was, like, other things would not be easy for me, and I think I wanted to do what’s easy for me because I want to enhance my art since I’ve done it from a young age,” Ballew said. “That’s not to say that this isn’t a challenge because it definitely is. But enhancing and honing my skills is something that’s my choice.”

Although finding a job in an art career can be difficult, Ballew doesn’t want to work to make money.

“A lot of people are pressured to choose a career that they think they’ll make a lot of money in, and I think that that’s depressing,” Ballew said. “I think communications and art in any form are really, really underrepresented enough. So, I think the starving artists thing or anything like that kind of applies to all of us. It’s hard to break that sort of thing because, of course, especially in the art area, there’s not a super lot of jobs that you can get, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth putting effort into.

Ballew feels that reaching out to students about art is beneficial for everyone.

“What I’m doing now that benefits other people is, you know, I’m the vice president of the Art Club,” Ballew said. “The goal of that is to help other people and get more people involved in art and open it up to other majors and stuff like that. So, in the future, I want that to translate into something else, something better. I think that would be getting involved in things like nonprofits or corporate businesses for artists who may not be able to be financially secure when they’re older because that’s a problem that a lot of artists have.”

One of Ballew’s inspirations for getting more people involved with art came from a guest speaker on campus.

“Matthew Rowe came to WT and spoke to the art students a while ago,” Ballew said. “He is involved in a Santa Fe foundation that helps artists after they’re too old to help themselves like they need support. He’s been helping run it for a long time. So I thought that was cool and something I’d like to do in a way.”

Ballew favors the community that art possesses, especially in Amarillo.

“Like, realistically, I’m striving for advice and critique from other artists and being able to find who I am as an artist along with other people who speak the same language and can help me with intellectual opinions and stuff like that,” Ballew said. “But what my favorite thing is just the community of it; art in Amarillo is actually very tightly knit. So, it’s not hard to get to know everybody, and they’re all pretty pleasant. Once you find other people, you can make new opportunities and get commissions and just find stuff that works for you and I think that our community, while small, does a good job.”

WT was an interest for Ballew because it isn’t too far from family and has a unique art program.

“I chose WT because it’s in close proximity to my family,” Ballew said. “My family lives in Texas at the moment, and so I knew I wanted to leave New Mexico, but I didn’t want to go too far away because that would be really rough for me to, like, just be away from my family for a long time. I also looked into what WT had and thought it was nice for me. And so I came, and I was actually very pleasantly surprised by the art program because I think it’s such a treasure that no one really knows about. Like, they know we have an art program, but they don’t know how good it is.”

Since arriving at WT, Ballew has had the opportunity to paint a couple of murals around campus, visit New York with the art club, visit many art museums, and host shows in the gallery in Mary Moody Northen Hall. Ballew enjoys her job because it gives her the chance to explore art in fascinating ways.

“I work at the museum, so I help with events and at the front desk in the gift store,” Ballew said. “I’ve been working there for two years and so it’s really cool to know what’s going on in the museum because art, collections and history is all so interesting. I think that the events aren’t really known, but they should be known more because they’re so amazing.”

Aside from school, Ballew spends her time hanging out with friends, making crafts and going to art shows to meet different artists. After graduation, Ballew plans to take a gap year before working towards a graduate degree.

Ballew believes you should surround yourself with positive people.

“Meet people, but be kind to yourself,” Ballew said. “Focus on hanging out with people who make you happy and don’t bring you anxiety because that’s what’s going to help you through college, people who make you feel comfortable. Make sure that the people you’re hanging around make you feel like you can talk to them and they’re not going to emotionally strain or overstretch you because you can’t take that in college; You just can’t because it’s way too stressful. So I think: make friends with people who you know will care about you and if they don’t, then don’t have them in your life.”

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About the Contributor
Kaelin Collar
Kaelin Collar, Junior Reporter, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Hi everyone! My name is Kaelin Collar, and I'm a sophomore majoring in biology on a pre-medical track from Oregon. I've been with The Prairie News for one year and am the current Associate Editor. Although I'm not pursuing a career in journalism, The Prairie News continues to improve my interpersonal, interviewing, writing, research and leadership skills that will benefit me in my future career. My career goal is to work in the surgical field, with neurology as my specialty. Aside from academics, I love to read, hike, work, go plant shopping, spend time with friends and family and be on the water. 

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