From an early age, Preya Patel was drawn to the arts, but it was not until she traveled across the pond that her passions truly began to blossom: “I had family in London, and seeing them regularly on vacations eventually inspired me to go there to study art.” Ms. Patel enrolled in the American Intercontinental University (London, UK), where she earned dual BA’s in Graphic Design and Photography, then later returned to the States to pursue a career in the Big Apple.
While graphic design remained her first love, Ms. Patel’s professional experience began in photography. After working in various photography studios, Ms. Patel transitioned to fashion photography, landing jobs with high-profile companies like Ford Models and Jordache Enterprises, Inc. Eventually, though, Ms. Patel decided to go into business for herself: “It was the start of the recession, and jobs in my field were becoming scarce, so I said to myself: ‘I may as well use this as an opportunity to do my own thing.’”
Founding her own graphic design company (KalArtStudios) helped Ms. Patel redefine her career, and while a self-run business is never easy, she finds her newfound independence to be empowering: “I feel more flexibility with my life and work, and because the business is my own, it makes me strive all the more to be successful.” Now teaching design software at BMCC, Ms. Patel will equip students with the tools to thrive in the digital arts, whether they are aspiring professionals or just pursuing a hobby: “I’ve worked with people who had never mastered key skills and concepts, and their work suffered as a result, so I want to make sure that my students have a clear grasp of the basics and a solid foundation to build on.”