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Devils' Advocate

Devils' Advocate

Bolander balances being an educator and musician

Art teacher Eric Bolander pictured in front of the art show case.

Eric Bolander has been teaching art at HC for eighteen years, but his passion for the fine arts goes well beyond the classroom. Bolander is a local musician who typically plays on his free weekends and throughout the summer. Finding a way to coordinate his role as a teacher, musician, and father has been challenging, though well worthwhile.

“Visual arts was my first love for the fine arts,” Bolander said. “I’ve played guitar since freshman year of college and I never really felt confident enough to sing and write songs. I had played guitar for five or six years before I actually started performing live.”

Being a live performer has certainly been an advantageous change since the beginning of his musical journey.

“It’s a really exhilarating experience,” Bolander said. “Sometimes you’re playing in a corner somewhere with ten people and sometimes your in front of several hundred people at a festival or good venue.”

Scheduling can be problematic due to Bolander’s teaching profession and responsibilities as a father.

“The calendar is the biggest challenge,” Bolander said. “Balancing being a dad and being a full time teacher. The benefit is that expression of myself, it’s another artistic avenue for me outside of painting or graphic design work that I’ve done. Being able to put some of my own thoughts down as a song and putting it out there.”

Artists can organize their emotions and perspectives in numerous artistic ways.

“Some people are more of poets,” Bolander said. “[Some song writers] journal their thoughts or write poetry that become song lyrics. I hear melody more. Once I get a melody I think of how the part of the song I wrote makes me feel and then I find a subject that fits that.”

Each musician’s creative process is specific to their particular style and can even vary from song to song.

“We talk about mental and emotional health but for musicians sometimes that is the outlet, sometimes that is the way of dealing with trauma, dealing with happiness and sharing little parts of your life.”

Thought-provoking lyrics can be therapeutic to share with the world, but creating an entire career takes a considerable amount of effort.

“Work ethic can’t be surpassed by anything,” Bolander said. “I think the days of being viral have limited people’s view on how to ‘make it’ and I think the hard work side of it is always there.”

Bolander’s ambition to reach his goals is an inspiration to the entire HC community.

“I have huge aspirations of growing my music career,” Bolander said. “I’m not really looking to quit teaching. I really enjoy this, this is my eighteenth year at Henry Clay and I like this school. I enjoy being in the classroom with students sharing my passion for visual arts. But also I have aspirations to keep growing my fan base, playing bigger shows and festivals and just working at it.”

Bolander plans to continue expanding his music career while maintaining his profession in education. His music can be found on streaming platforms such as Apple Music and Spotify.

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About the Contributor
Sydney Cain, Editor
Sydney Cain is a sophomore and an editor for the Devils' Advocate. This is her second year in journalism. She is a dedicated student athlete who enjoys playing for the HC volleyball team and traveling to new places.

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