Pursuing a master’s in business isn’t often a high priority for professional artists. But when Colter May, contemporary western artist and founder of Colter May LLC, heard about University of Utah’s Master of Business Creation (MBC) program he was intrigued. “I hoped this program would help me continue the momentum I had built as an artist while gaining strong business skills to ultimately lead to a thriving art career,” he said. As the first professional painter to be admitted into the MBC program, he was excited to see that the program could be tailored to fit the needs of an artist.
May’s art is inspired by his Montana roots and his love for the native land and animals of the west, which he developed through hunting, fishing, and hiking in the Bridger Mountains as a child. As he and his family have lived in and traveled throughout the west, his passion for the region has only grown. It is not uncommon to find him teaching his kids how to spot camouflaged animals or practicing his elk call. His vibrant sunsets and dynamic wildlife reflect his sense of discovery and wonder, and he hopes to bring this energy into the homes and businesses of his clients.
In his artist statement, May expresses, “Ultimately, my goal as an artist is to serve as an artistic bridge between past and present, tradition and innovation, and to inspire others to explore the West with the same sense of wonder and curiosity that has defined this region for generations.” This passion for the American West is apparent in his work. However, he recognized the challenge of communicating this passion in business terms and developing the systems to bring his work to more people. This led him to choose the MBC program, which offers flexibility to allow him to remain in the studio while learning valuable business skills beyond the brush and easel.
“I selected the online MBC program because I knew I wanted to remain in the studio,” he said. “The flexibility that the MBC program offers has been really helpful to me.” Through the MBC program, May has learned to think strategically about the value of his artwork, make projections to inform priorities, and recognize the central importance of relationships with clients for success. He has also found great value in building relationships with peers, professors, and mentors.
Learn more about Colter May Fine Art at his website: coltermay.com.