Woman looks at images hanging off wall
CSUN student Kristina Zlatanov reviews her art pieces. Zlatanov's artwork is on display at CSUN's art gallery until April 27. Photo by: Blaise Scemama

So you’re an artist but you don’t know where or how to find a job? Well, senior Kristina Zlatanov, who majors in graphic design, has proven that an artist can indeed find opportunities to showcase their talents, right here at CSUN and get paid for it too.

Through the Center of Visual Communication, VISCOM, a full service creative agency, Zlatanov has worked on a variety of professional advertising and branding campaigns for real world clientele.

Sounds great, right? But remember, it takes a lot of hard work and commitment, not just eating ice cream and taking photos. Actually that’s pretty much exactly what Zlatanov did on a photo shoot for a well-established gelato ice cream company’s branding campaign.

CSUN student Kristina Zlatanov works on graphic designs. Photo by: Blaise Scemama
Zlatanov cares for fine detail.  She focuses more on perfecting her art than making a profit from it. Photo by: Blaise Scemama

“I got to do a gelato photo shoot yesterday, which was amazing,” said Zlatanov, when asked if she had worked on any cool projects recently.

Along with her work as a graphic designer with VISCOM, Zlatanov also works as a freelance artist in a multiplicity of mediums, analog as well as digital. One of her pieces, a painted black skate deck with the words, “Just Coasting Through Life With Zero Limits,” written in Zlatanov’s original typography, was recently selected for the annual Juried Student Art Show and will be on display at CSUN’s main gallery until April 27th.

The next show at the main gallery will be the MA/MFA Graduate Exhibition beginning in May, followed by Karla Klarin exhibit, “Subdividing the Landscape,” which begins in August 2016.

When asked about the inspiration behind her skate deck art, Zlatanov explained that the words represent her life philosophy as it pertains to her art and seizing opportunities.

“I’m not going to stop myself because of fear or because it’s a risk or because I’m scared…or else I wouldn’t have been at VISCOM, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Zlatanov has sold multiple pieces thus far but feels she is more focused on making and perfecting her art, rather than being obsessed with selling it. One might say that Zlatanov is somewhat of a purest, when it comes to her art and doesn’t feel she needs validation from commercial success but does appreciate it when it is achieved.

CSUN student Kristina Zlatanov works on graphic designs. Photo by: Blaise Scemama
CSUN student Kristina Zlatanov works on graphic designs. Photo by: Blaise Scemama

“I’m dumbfounded by the fact that people would even pay money for my work but they have and they do,” said Zlatanov.

So, if you’re looking to get into the art scene here at CSUN, take some advice from Zlatanov, “Do it! Go for it! CSUN has the best art department, in my opinion… for me, it was the best decision I made.”

There are plenty of resources, facilities, art clubs, mentors, and even paid positions for an artist to take advantage of here at CSUN. From photography and graphic design to printmaking and ceramics, art students have the freedom to try it all.