Katy Smith, Painting Student at UT and Metro Pulse Triage Artist

You're studying painting at UT and are about to graduate in the fall. What in the world do you think you're going to do with a painting degree?

I plan on attending graduate school in the fall of 2011 and get my M.F.A. in painting. I hope to eventually teach, or get involved with art therapy in some way—I'm very interested in art as a mode of therapy and healing.

Is painting the only area of the arts that appeals to you?

All of the arts appeal to me—photography, film, music, writing, sculpture—the list goes on and on…

What's the best thing you've learned from art school, in regards to painting?

Keep painting.

What's your process in completing a painting?

My process begins with a moment of inspiration, a feeling, a thought, a sound, an image, which I document in some way on a canvas. Whether abstract or more realistic, the painting happens in that original moment and is both acknowledged and disengaged at the same time—weaving in and out of the process, consisting of control and lack of control. The search for a resolution in a painting is the excitement for me, when your mind begins to make sense of an abstract space created by your hands.

My studio is messy—always. It's hard to walk around sometimes... I like to collect.

Why do you paint?

I paint to connect with the world around me, to express, document, and question everything and to go through the process of creating and painting my perceptions.