We had the good fortune of connecting with Audrey Kominski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Audrey, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I was in college, I had control over my entire schedule. I could work on evenings and weekends, meal plan for one, and go a couple weeks without doing laundry if I felt like it. My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) was busy with school too, so we only hung out a couple days per week. This left me the time to be on a nonstop grind. Balance looked like a weekly workout class before lunch on Mondays, or inviting a friend to hang out with me while I carved linoleum or mixed ink in the studio. Now that I am married and working full time, I have more responsibilities and less flexibility with my schedule. Balance looks like protecting time to watch TV with my husband on work nights, or allowing myself to go 24 hours without responding to any messages on my phone. I find work life balance to be a struggle to stick with what works for me, rather than comparing myself to everyone else. But I am learning and growing all the time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I had several internships in college that each gave me a little puzzle piece to help me figure out what I wanted to do after graduation. I worked at my university’s art museum as an Education Intern, planning monthly family programming, leading tours, and starting events/outreach for college students. I also interned at a studio called Imagine That! KC, which is a space for differently-abled adults to make artwork and essentially have a career as an artist with the guidance and support of staff. The pace in the nonprofit world was much faster than the museum world, which I found energizing. Plus, I had another internship in New York with a renowned printmaking studio, Universal Limited Art Editions. That ended up influencing my artwork quite a bit, but professionally I felt I had more skills in the administrative side of art than the technical side. The stars ended up aligning for me to land a full time nonprofit job at an arts organization after I graduated, but there have been many challenges with being understaffed, high turnover, and of course the pandemic. I am still learning what I actually love vs. what I am good at, because those things don’t always line up perfectly. I am so young that it doesn’t feel like I have much of a story to tell yet! So I think my message is take a chance on young people and be patient with us, because navigating a creative professional path is so tough when there is no formulaic road map.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Although I work in Oklahoma City, my husband and I live in Stillwater, so that’s where I am on the weekends. When the weather is nice, we have loved going out to Lake McMurtry to walk on the trails because it’s so peaceful. We have our favorite coffee shops like Aspen and Balanced. I would definitely take you thrift shopping because that’s a hobby of mine! We have one of those fire sale stores that sell name-brand products if their store has had a flood or fire or something, which I frequent because I love treasure hunting for clothes. But our favorite activities revolve around eating and drinking (it is a college town, after all). It’s part of our routine to grab beers at Iron Monk, our local brewing company, before walking across the street to the local wine bar for food and more drinks. We would make brunch for you the next day and invite you over to our apartment because we love hosting.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, a statewide nonprofit that does amazing things for Oklahoma artists (and that gave me my first full time adult job!) Also Artpop Talk, a podcast co-hosted by Bianca and Gianna Martucci-Fink that is helping me learn the training wheels to starting a business.
Profile photo: Credit Adrienne Turner.