We are LA bound in a few minutes for a day of West Hollywood Estate sales, the Labrea Tar Pits, good food, beach time, touristy stuff and you know I will be back with lots of photos and videos on Sunday. For now, here is a lovely ladies featuring my good friend and super wonderful lady, Tracy Brown. A little random fact, Tracy now lives in our old house in Tucson, and her boyfriend is on of Doug super good friend. I'm glad I know her and thanks Tracy for doing this feature!
My first memories of making art were as a small child. I became aware of the importance of making art to me in middle school. I’ve been making art consistently for the past 15 years.
What is your favorite medium to work in and why?:
I really love to draw but my favorite medium is acrylic. Nothing can compare to the soothing, calming ability, and satisfaction that is gained from completing a painting. I prefer acrylic over oil because you can achieve a lot of the same effects as oil but it dries faster. I hate waiting for paint to dry.
Where do you get your inspiration from?:
I get inspiration from everything. I’m constantly collecting imagery from magazines, the internet, art history books, and personal photos. Looking at other artist works contemporary and throughout history is definitely important to my process. I love putting my own spin on or distorting pre-existing imagery. Its fun to see what will become of it while creating something totally new and meaningful. I am fascinated by the dichotomy of the dark and playful side of imagery.
Watching my youngest students eyes light up over new concepts or learning about new artist is another source of inspiration. Seeing my older students and work and ideas mature makes me motivated to as well. Making art to kids is like making magic, I don’t think I ever outgrew that idea. I’m always excited to see what will come out of the hat next.
What words of advice do you have for new artists?:
My biggest advice to new artist is to take yourself seriously. Experiment and explore with as many materials, tools, and techniques as you can. Learn your foundations, study art history, and constantly look at other artists work. It’s up to you to get the most of your education whatever route you chose. If this is something you are truly passionate about approach it with realistic standards and of course always dream big. Stick to it and don’t let anyone discourage you or hold you back. Being a serious artist takes a lot of alone time, reflection, confidence, and the biggest thing it takes is discipline. I always tell my students that getting better at art takes practice and discipline just like any other field of study, maybe even more because of its competitive nature. Some people might have a natural inclination for certain forms of art but if it is not fed with discipline, originality, and passion who cares?
What is something that you have learned in the past 5 years when it comes to being a working artist?:
Over the past five years I have learned to accept myself and my work. I feel lucky that I have always had the drive to create. However, having drive does not make up for a lack of confidence.I learned to tone down the negative thoughts in my head and keep a positive attitude about my own artistic growth. If it wasn’t for this innate drive to better my craft I think I would have given up on art years ago. Today I find myself becoming more inspired by great work rather than thinking, I will never be that good. Every artist is unique and learning to embrace my own uniqueness is something I’m proud of.
What has been the hardest hurdle you have had to overcome as a working artist?: I have overcome the hurdle ofestablishing a working routine and integrating it into my life. Working with kids all day can be inspiring and incredibly draining. Being able to get into the studio after a long day in the classroom is a huge hurdle I have and continue to overcome. Also, it has been hard for me to except the fact that I have to self censor my online work because of my responsibly as a teacher. I have to remind myself how lucky I am to have the opportunity to teach kids a subject I’m passionate about. Especially, in the state of our education today, art teachers are becoming more and more of an “endangered species.”
Where do you see yourself and your art in 5 years?:
I look forward to seeing my work continue to mature over the next five years.I hope to gain a larger audience and continue to do so throughout my life. Sometimes my students will say; Ms. Brown, are you a famous artist? I reply with a snicker, “why of course, I teach for fun, and because I love you all so much.” Although I really do love teaching, one day I dream of doing it just for fun. It’s good to have dreams, its part of being an artist.
Have a great day, ya'll. I'll be back tomorrow with lots of photos and videos of our trip!