Erin Finley

Name: 
Erin Finley
Grad Year: 
1998
Degree: 
BA
Program: 
Art
Art History
English
Title: 
Studio Professor
Organization: 
Sheridan College

Erin Finley worked as a visual art and English teacher at a high school in Mississauga. She currently works as a college professor teaching drawing classes at Sheridan College. Erin says that her positions require diligence, knowledge, patience, a sense of humour, and field expertise.

“Teaching is a very exciting profession. I’ve taught in various provinces and with students of different age groups, but I’ve noticed that they are really all very similar in terms of what they seek from their artwork in my classes,” says Erin, who has a Bachelor of Education as well as a Master of Fine Arts. “I am very passionate about the subjects I teach. I think that carries over into the classroom.”

In the last two years, Erin has delivered her thesis research at various international arts conferences. She has spoken at McGill University, the University of British Columbia, Brock University, and in San Diego at the Popular Culture Association Conference.

When Erin was looking for work, she asked relatives and friends to let her know if they knew of any jobs that might interest her.

“I was lucky that my jobs always came from my volunteer experiences or previous job hiring. I contacted people I knew in the industry. I worked on building a work history. In the arts, you should never do one thing only. You should volunteer outside of your arts career so that you are increasing your employable value,” she says.

“I volunteered at my old high school for one year. I also edited for The Medium, Erindale’s campus newspaper, and taught children’s art camps at the university. These experiences helped me understand what I wanted to do: work with kids and art. If I could do anything differently, I would have tried to worry less about ‘the future.’ I think I’d still be where I am now if I had not worried so much, or been so competitive.”