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Product photography serves MIAD alum’s business

Briana Hibbs wearing one of her earrings in the shape of a snowflake

Briana Hibbs

Briana Hibbs ’12 (Photography) started her own handmade earrings business, Made by the Lake, in January 2019. She relies on her eye for product photography to show her jewelry in its best light, and the business now boasts a successful following of over 2,000 customers on Facebook.

“It was an opportunity that came after [graduating] that really opened my eyes to product-specific photography,” says Hibbs. After a former classmate helped her get a job at a photography studio post-graduation, her interest in product photography took off. “A bad photograph of an item will never sell, so it was important that I already had this skill going into opening my own online business,” she explains.

Drawing inspiration from seasonal details, customer requests and other small business artists, Hibbs crafts popular earrings out of wood and acrylic. She creates many of her own designs, but also purchases patterns from other makers. “I love supporting small businesses near and far when I can,” says Hibbs. “I think this type of community building is very important because we all know how difficult it is to start out, and all have our fair share of dealing with imposter syndrome.”

As a student, Hibbs interned with MIAD alum Jessica Kaminski ’01 (Photography), who helped guide her decision to start a business. “MIAD helped me get in touch with a great group of people that taught me experiences beyond college and pointed me in the right direction of what it was that I wanted to do for my future,” she continues. Hibbs hopes that current students chase their dreams and stay flexible. “Even if you think it’s a waste of time, do it and get what you can out of it,” she advises.

Keep up with Briana on her website and Facebook, read more about her business and learn how you can do what you love for life at MIAD.


MIAD Gallery at The Ave celebrates opening

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) celebrates its first offsite gallery during its grand opening on April 6, 2023 from 6 – 8 p.m. MIAD invites the public to attend the event and to explore the new Gallery at The Ave, located at 301 W. Wisconsin Ave in The Avenue near the 3rd Street Market Hall.

First-Year Exhibition 2023 winners announced

Four winners and three honorable mentions were selected at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design’s (MIAD) First-Year Experience Student Exhibition opening reception on Friday, March 24, 2023. Renato Umali, Mariah Tate Klemens and Gabrielle Banzhaf, the three jurors, commended all the participating students for their strong work.

Communication Design senior lands Nike Internship

Catherine Currie ’23 (Communication Design), a senior at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), was selected for the highly competitive graphic design internship at Nike. The internship will take place over 10 weeks this summer at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

MIAD Defines 2023: Day of play

For the 2023 iteration of MIAD Defines, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design dedicated Tuesday, March 21 to playing. With the aim to connect, converse and learn across majors, years and disciplines, this year’s MIAD Defines was a resounding success.

Peter Barrickman selected as NSP: Fine Arts full-time faculty

Following a national search, Peter Barrickman has been selected as the newest full-time faculty member in New Studio Practice (NSP): Fine Arts at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). An internationally recognized artist, Barrickman also co-founded Mazzzagine, a publication dedicated to supporting artists and fostering collaboration.


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