In December, I had a two-week internship with Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee. Hatch is one of the oldest letterpress shops in the country with a lot of historical significance. It’s hard to describe all of what Hatch is, but if you google “Hatch Show Print” the description is, “A legendary design shop known for its woodblock prints of classic country music stars, with tours.” They are deeply rooted in Nashville’s culture and have made posters for some of the greatest American musicians of all time.
I found out about the internship from my boss at my part-time graphic design job. He has a poster from Hatch and directed me to their website where I learned that they offered internships. They offer several three-month internships throughout the year and one fast-paced, two-week internship that is geared toward working professionals. I don’t consider myself a working professional, but I don’t have the means to spend three months in Nashville, so I applied for the two-week session.
I had to mail them a physical portfolio with examples of both my printmaking and graphic design work. My portfolio was strong enough to land me a phone interview and the next thing I knew, I was headed to Nashville. It was very gratifying to be one of the four applicants selected. I didn’t even expect to get an interview, so I was both surprised and excited.
I was interested in the internship because Hatch Show Print combines two of my interests, graphic design and printmaking. I was especially interested in the creative process at Hatch. I am used to typing on a keyboard when I’m designing and carving woodblocks when I’m making prints. I wanted to learn how the two disciplines of print and design could work as one in a letterpress shop, and I certainly did. The artists at Hatch kept me very busy while I was in Nashville. I learned so much in such a little amount of time.
Interning at Hatch and seeing the interest that people have in their shop really broadened my perspective and made me want to continue my artistic studies. It was reassuring to know that there are many different occupations that you can make a career out of.
One thing that stands out to me was how this opportunity blossomed into another. I had a long conversation with Hatch’s shop manager, Celene, about all things art and printmaking. I mentioned one artist whose work I deeply admire, only to find out that she knew him. Celene was kind enough to reach out and introduce me to this artist via email, and I got to learn more about his work. That was really spectacular.
Every opportunity to learn or grow is a step toward a better future. Each time I challenge myself, something is gained. Your college experience, like the rest of your life, is what you make of it. It had its own difficulties, but I tried to get as much as I could out of my short internship. In addition to all I learned, I did some valuable networking, and when it was all done I had something really great to add to my resume. Every opportunity brings me closer to achieving my goals.
Tyler Thenikl is a senior majoring in graphic design and studio art. Read more about his college journey. In addition to his recent internship, Tyler’s work was also selected for two exclusive exhibitions, INK Matters hosted by Indiana University at their Kokomo Campus and the 2020 Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition in Lansing. The INK Matters reception and awards presentation is on Friday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. The exhibition received over 500 submissions with only 50 finalists selected to display artwork. The Michigan Collegiate Art Exhibition reception and awards presentation is on Friday, March 13 at 6 p.m. Tyler’s work was selected out of more than 200 pieces submitted, and the exhibition also serves as a statewide competition which will award over $2,000 in prizes.
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