Bladen Pitts

Student at the University of North Carolina

I have been both a Tar Heel and an artist since birth. I am a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill student in the Honors Carolina program. I recently applied to and joined the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, with a major in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Studio Art. I have achieved a 3.7 GPA while taking a wide variety of classes, from Drawing I to Middle Eastern Politics. I have previously worked a multitude of jobs, the most recent being a teaching position at a creative learning center for children ages 12 months to 12 years. I work continuously as a freelance artist, starting this personal career during my junior year of high school amidst COVID-19. I have been passionate about art since the very first class I took in elementary school, and have finally turned my passion into both a career and an academic minor. I am set to graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2025, but I will continue my art career long after I leave Tar Heel territory.

My artistic beginnings

When school closed because of COVID-19 during my junior year in March 2020, I found myself without an in-person art class for the first time since Kindergarten. Consequently, the artistic freedom and time I had always craved was now staring me in the face. People who had seen my work around school began to ask if I could do commissioned work–portraits of their children, wedding photos, drawings of their pets. I began to spend nearly all of my free time drawing, and as word spread, more and more people reached out to me for commissions. I soon recognized the opportunity I had to use my art (and the money I make from it) for a greater cause and create change in my community. I immediately thought of the environment, an issue that directly affects the health and well-being of North Carolina and its inhabitants and about which I am very passionate. After deciding to donate a portion of my proceeds to the Catawba Lands Conservancy, I knew I needed to create a website to display my work, give out my contact information, and explain my mission.

Looking forward

I now am an independent artist selling commissions through my website. I designed a website to streamline the buying process, showcase my artwork, and advertise new pieces, and I have learned to manage budgets, consult with clients, negotiate prices, and meet competing deadlines. I am hoping to combine aspects of my major in Advertising and Public Relations and my minor in Studio Art when I enter the work world. I am hoping to enter the art, fashion, and design world as an advertising or marketing professional, equipped with a variety of skills learned from both the Hussman school and my personal artistic pursuits.