Allen Baird

“I graduated from Franklin Pierce in 2006, and spent a few years at a few uninspiring jobs. In of 2007 I decided that I needed a change, so I applied to a grad school that I had been thinking of since my last semester in college. I was rejected. I redid my portfolio and wrote a new essay and applied again, and was rejected again, this time by phone so that there would no mistake. So I took what little money I had saved and went to Africa, as one does.

In Africa I took what felt like the first meaningful photos since I had been in school. I felt that I was in fact good at something. So in a moment of hubris I applied to an even better grad school. In a turn of events that surprises me to this day, I was accepted. The Pratt Institute of Art is the kind of school that I never imagined I would be allowed into as an undergrad, let alone as a graduate student. I still have days where I am not sure I deserved it, but they sent the papers and that was that. I loved Pratt. Those may be the best two years of my life. It was challenging and difficult and I really started to learn something about art. I am still proud of the work I did there, and part of me will always miss New York City.

Now I live on the Island of Hawai’i. It’s not where I ever expected to end up, but there are far worse places to be. I try to make art from time to time. I try not to give up, because that would be so easy.”