Building and Maintaining a Network

Justine painting at 2010 MVAL Event

Listed under the category Staying Employed, the professional network has been the most important tool in the development of my career.  I lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was able to build a fully functioning network in a year.  But then ‘The City’, as San Francisco is known, is also the central hub of most social activities supported by excellent public transportation.  When I moved back to Los Angeles 20 years ago,  I found the distances and the lack of a central hub or decent public transportation to be a serious impediment.  I joined every art, fashion and textile organization I could find and worked each one for a minimum of a year to see if it had the right connections for me.  As each new lead I found led to more, I was able to slowly build a network.  It is important to maintain and expand your social and professional network.  You never know where opportunities will come from.   

Painting Daniella at 2010 MVAL Event

One of the organizations I have long been associated with is the Mid Valley Arts League, which covers the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California.  The images shown here are from an event I participate in every year for MVAL.  Last weekend MVAL held their 6TH ANNUAL SATURDAY IN THE PARK WITH THE MASTERS.   

There were 16 painters including myself that set up on the beautifully landscaped grounds of Maranathan High School in Pasadena, CA.  My favorite model Daniella Traub modeled wearing one of my Shibori hand pleated outfits with an organza overskirt hand painted with giant roses.  She was a vision!    

2 sketches of Daniella from 2010 MVAL Painting Event

 I am also working on my next article for Belle Armoire Magazine so there will be a finished illustration version of one or more of these sketches in the article.  Look for it this Fall.  

Here are some links to LA area fashion, art and textiles organizations that I have found helpful. – CSA – Costume Society of America – MVAL – Mid Valley Arts League – Verdugo Hills Art Association – California Art Club – Associated Artists of the Inland Empire – Fashion Group International of Los Angeles – Textile Arts Council, Fine Arts Museums of SF – WAC – Wearable Art Connection   


About Justine Limpus Parish

Associate Professor - Art Center College of Design apparel design - Product Design Dept. costume design - Entertainment Design Dept Fashion Instructor: Mt San Antonio College Workshop instructor: Disney Consumer Products

2 Responses to Building and Maintaining a Network

  1. Stella Linton says:

    Thanks for writing this informative article. Its inspiring and I love your fashion illustrations. I’m also a fan of your Belle Armoire work. When I moved to Houston from NJ three years ago I became disconnected to the art and fashion community. My network is developing now through classes and art and fashion organizations, but as you indicated in your article it takes time and work.

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