In a follow up to his previous post, Tyler Fields, the winner of our 2013 Outstanding Senior Award, discusses the New York Arts Program and his journey towards his first job in publishing.

In mid-December, I will say goodbye to my thirty housemates with whom I’ve shared a brownstone in Chelsea for the past sixteen weeks. Collectively, we will end our internships which, this semester, have ranged from publicity and marketing to assistantships in such fields as publishing, theatre, and visual arts. However, unlike my fellow housemates who will pack up their New York City lives and return to their respective universities and homes as far away as New Mexico, my move will be a mere 82 blocks to my new apartment in Harlem. In addition to calling New York my new home, I’ve also just landed a job which I will officially begin in January, and I’m in the midst of launching a brand new media production, distribution, and discussion project. And despite the whirlwind of events coming to a head in the coming weeks, my perception of getting to this point reveals that not only did the New York Arts Program, but also my years at Ball State University, guide me toward accomplishing some of my biggest dreams.

As I discussed in a previous post, I came to New York City and began three internships in August as part of the New York Arts Program, which Ball State has recently partnered with in order to afford students the opportunity to work in and experience New York. Between my internships, I was immersed in a number of fields including publicity, sales, social media, and distribution to name a few. Many of the skills I utilized for these internships I gained during my years at Ball State whether from classes or immersive learning opportunities or work. And while each internship was unique and challenged me in different ways, it goes without saying that they were intricately connected. Indeed, so much so that in many instances, working for one internship helped me secure an opportunity connected with another internship. I was, and hope to continue being, fortunate enough to experience first-hand the extremely interconnected nature of the publishing industry. It is due to this interconnectedness that so many opportunities exist within publishing. Whether it relates to publicity or finding a job or anything in between, such an intimate network opens the door to a myriad of possibilities.

I was first made aware of this piece of information by Cathy Day, who also acted as my liaison for the NYAP. She calls it literary citizenship, a subject I’ve also touched upon in another blog post. The theory persists that the publishing industry exists as a small ecosystem of give and take that, once understood, is incredibly advantageous for those trying to enter into it. And while this is a relatively small example of a piece of knowledge I’ve taken with me into the work of literature and publishing, it has been most fascinating to see it blossom from theory to reality in these past few months.

While I am eternally grateful for every opportunity and piece of knowledge I took with me from Ball State, I cannot deny the added benefit I got from joining the NYAP. Most tangibly, it was my advisor through the NYAP that introduced me to the company I’ve recently agreed to work for, ARTBOOK | D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers), an art book publisher and distributor. D.A.P. is the world’s largest art book distributor and is an influential publisher of art books itself. As seen in its last catalogue, D.A.P. aggregates and distributes over 600 books each season and is currently the sole distributor for some of the world’s leading art museums such as MoMa and LACMA. During my internship with D.A.P., I was able to experience, quite literally, every stage of book production and distribution from the sale of a book proposal, to the printing of an artifact, to the marketing after production. For now, my job will consist primarily of office management and general intake, but I’m optimistic, especially due to what I’ve learned of the publishing industry’s interconnectedness, that the door to my future career in publishing has been opened with D.A.P.

In addition to a new home and new job in the city I’ve longed to live in for years, the skills I’ve acquired through Ball State and the NYAP have afforded me the chance to launch a project I’ve long been envisioning. The project is called Lone Empire and for now will act as a review and features site for all mediums of art: music, literature, film, and beyond. In the coming months, though, I hope to expand the project into a reading series, a literary journal, and possibly even a small press.

Three months ago, I was humbled by the mere opportunity to experience New York City for a stint as an intern. Now I’m well on my way to accomplishing a number of my biggest goals, many of which I had no sight of as I began my career at Ball State. And to my mind, this incredible fortune occurred due to the great number of connections I’ve made throughout my years at school and my months as an intern. Such connections were made in the classroom, at poetry readings, during a launch party, and everywhere in between. It is with a great passion that I discovered how and where to most appropriately utilize my skills and knowledge in order to accomplish my goals. And it is with this same passion that I take my next steps toward discovering and accomplishing what new goals may lie ahead.