Last night I was lucky enough to be able to visit a few of the venues that participated in Reno’s first official Art Walk! I’m still getting the hang of making videos like this though, so excuse me if it’s a bit rough. It was a perfect evening to take a stroll around the city, connect with locals and support local art. I’m really looking forward to going to the next one!
I apologize for my lack of posts, I promise it’s for a legit reason! Over the last couple of months I’ve been preoccupied with my own work and building up my “brand” as an artist. I’m very happy to announce that I will be having my very first solo art show this summer! It’s certainly an exciting, busy and occasionally stressful time, but I fully enjoy it. Hoping that I’ll be able to share some posts about this process soon enough!
For now I just wanted to pop back on here to check-in and share some of the new places to find me. Spots that I more frequently update and are a little more personal than this space:
- Instagram: TraciLTurner
- My official website (finally sat down and completed it!): Traci L. Turner
- My Tumblr (some posts are NSFW): Trace, your ace
- My Facebook page: Traci L. Turner
All of these and other ways to connect with or contact me can be found in the Contact page on this site. New posts (hopefully) coming soon! Have fun, be you, and keep going!
Last August I exhibited some work with the Reno chapter of the RAWartists organization. As a participant in the show, I had to do an interview where I answered a few questions about my work and my direction as an artist. At the time I thought that I completely botched the interview! But looking at it now, I think that maybe it’s not so bad. Though I will say that if I were asked these same questions again today, my answers would be slightly different. Probably a bit more well-defined and focused! Anyway, please enjoy!
(Watch it in HD!)
Until I get my actual artist website together, I have a new artist Facebook page that is up and running as we speak! So far I’ve just been posting random thoughts and sketches, works in progress, and whatever things I’ve been finishing along the way. Go “LIKE” it now!
Now that the energy of the holidays has begun to die down and we’re well into the first week of a new year, it’s a great time to hop on the wave of change and plan out some of your creative goals. I think the key to setting yourself up for success is starting off with a broad idea then breaking it down into smaller, attainable goals. But there are also a few other things you can do that I’ve found to be very helpful. So if you’re ready to get a leg up on the creative goals you’d like to reach by the end of this year, here are some tips I hope will get you on your way:
1. Write them down
Seems like a freakin’ no-brainer, right?! But yes, seriously, write them down. The physical act of writing it out is literally a release, putting your ideas or goals out into the universe where you can see them. It’s a great way to organize yourself too. Sometimes just keeping it in one’s head isn’t enough, we need to see ourselves putting energy into the planning. If you don’t want to actually write it out, then type it out. Keep the list in a place where you can easily access it – be it a small notepad you keep with you, a file on your computer, or even as a task list on your phone. Use whatever you think will fit best for you. Overall I suggest doing SOMEthing to get your task list out of your head and made into a real thing that you can see and revisit.
2. Break your tasks down into smaller goals
A friend shared the this Creighton Abrams quote with me: “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.” That encompasses the whole idea with tip #2. List your goals as broad statements. Then underneath each statement, jot down some smaller tasks or ideas that will allow you to reach the main goal. Here’s an example of one of mine:
– Carry a small sketchbook and pencils with me
– Sketch ideas for paintings
– Practice drawing figures
– Get useful drawing books to help improve skills and confidence
- Try to sketch at least a few hours a week
I’d like to use some more of my time to practice drawing, so I just used the umbrella statement of “sketch more” then listed some things that I wanted to do underneath that category. Organizing your thoughts in this way will give you an idea of what you should be doing so by the end of the year you will be able to gauge how successful you were at pursuing the particular goal. I like to keep my lists pretty loose, not necessarily sticking with too many quantitative goals (i.e. 3 drawings a week, 10 paintings by the end of the year, take 2 classes by the end of the year, etc.). That’s just a personal preference. However if it’s something that you need to put out there in order for you to commit to it, by all means write it down!
3. Tell someone
Let people know what you’re trying to do! I suggest telling at least 1 or 2 people that you trust, people that you know will make a personal investment in your goals and will hold you accountable to them. It doesn’t have to be someone with a militant personality (unless you think that you need that!). I’ve found that the best accountability partners are those who are also actively pursuing goals of their own. These people understand the process, and appreciate the energy of others who want to be productive too. These people will push you. If you’re not around someone like that, then of course someone like a spouse, a sibling or a best friend will also work perfectly. Basically, choose someone who you know will genuinely care about and support what you are trying to do. Someone that you wouldn’t want to let down.
4. Check in with yourself
This is where you revisit your list to evaluate where you are with your goals. This part will vary from person to person, and will also depend on the tasks in question. Personally I have an informal and formal way of doing this. Last year and the year before I’ve been doing a more formal check-in every 6 months. So at the beginning of the year I’ll make a list of things I want to try to do, while seeing if anything from the year before should roll over. Then in the middle of the year, around June or so, I’ll check my list again to see if I’m satisfied with how things are going at that point. This is also when I may tweak the list as needed. Six months later, at the end of the year, I’ll check again to see how much I’ve completed from when I first created the list. Then it’ll be time to plan again for the next year!
Informally, there’s no real timeline for how I check-in. I’ll just prioritize maybe one or two main goals at a time, working around the list in a loose way. Making some progress here and there, then switching it up. That’s just how I am though, kind of scatter-brained and juggling a bunch of stuff at a time. Lots of unfinished thoughts and actions. Then I use my formal check-in to reel myself in and refocus. You might need to be a bit more structured to keep yourself in line. As I mentioned before, checking-in will vary from person to person.
5. Add or subtract as needed
Sometimes it’s easy to get in over our heads and create goals that we can’t achieve within a certain timeline. Or sometimes we just plain lose interest in it. It’s okay, just scratch it off! On the other side of that, you may knock out your goals early and are looking for more to do. Or you may realize that some tasks need to be added in order to supplement other goals. Well, then just add on whatever you need! Allow yourself some flexibility. Nothing has to be permanent just because you started out with it. Change it up if you need to!
6. Roll ‘em over
Here’s where flexibility comes to play again. If you have goals that you didn’t get around to accomplishing by the end of the year, don’t beat yourself up and cling to feelings of failure – shit happens. Just roll the unfinished goals on over to the list for next year! Really simple. Maybe set them at a higher priority next time around so they have a lesser chance of getting lost in the shuffle. Either way, I’m sure by then there will have been a bunch of other stuff that you DID complete, so don’t get too hung up on what didn’t get done. I’ve rolled over my goal of putting together my personal artist’s website for the 2nd year in a row now. But this awareness has made me more determined to get it done, so it’s definitely a high priority task for me this year. Rolling things over isn’t lazy, nor does it mean that you don’t value those goals. It ensures that you’re always planning and working towards something.
Those are some of the main tips that I keep in mind when setting creative goals, though I suppose they could also work with any non-creative goals that you may have. I hope this post has been helpful! What are some artistic goals you’d like to achieve? What has helped you stay productive in the past? I’d love to hear it!
Please join me in bringing in the new year! Let’s try to top ourselves in 2014!
I just shipped this one off to its new owner this week! A birthday gift for my stepmom, who requested that I just paint whatever I wanted. The only guideline she gave was that she didn’t want any cool colors, just a warm color scheme. It took me a while to figure out something that moved me. Then one day while eating some delicious mango gummi bears, I had found my subject. It also gave me an opportunity to practice a new texture with acrylic paint (oil is normally my medium of choice). I took the time to take a few pictures at the different stages, to show what I did.
No gummi bears were harmed during the creative process.
Started with an old, unused background that happened to match the color scheme my stepmom wanted. Used chalk to create a rough outline of the gummi bear, using simple angles. Then began applying transparent washes of a primary yellow+titanium white+cadmium orange mix to illustrate the areas of light.
Then I started to use transparent washes of Burnt Sienna+Cadmium Orange to block in the shadows. You can see that I started to shape the feet – I was trying to do that so I’d remember where to paint them later, but I was completely off!
Started to get more heavy handed at this stage, using thicker amounts of my yellow mix to build up the lighter areas. For the midtones I still used the yellow mix, but with a little less water than before and blended with the brown mix. I used the paint flatly on the surfaces facing up (face, belly, hands), and roughly blended the sides and the rounder areas. I messed up on the feet, so I had to keep repainting over the mistakes to help bring it back to something I felt good about.
For the details, I took a lot of liberties with simplifying. I didn’t think I needed to keep the “A” on its chest, and I didn’t care for the face so I went rouge with it. I added way more highlights than I saw, to help emphasize the juiciness and gelatin nature of the candy. I wasn’t too concerned about it being “perfect”, I just wanted it to look like a cute gummi bear! So the parts that looked uneven or more transparent didn’t hurt the overall look too much. I started feeling really close to finishing here.
Done! I took some diluted cadmium red light and applied it to some of the creases and rounded areas of the bear to help activate the painting with more color and help give the illusion of the bear showing through to the background. Added a few more highlights where I saw fit. Also tried to save the feet that I messed up! All in all, I’m happy with it. Looks like a mango gummi bear to me!