Thursday, 3 March 2011

Tansy Myer

Tansy Myer, Another Illustrator that I came on across on illustration web. Gorgeous pieces of work, love her 'Girl'collection, brilliantly done and love the use of pattens and small elements aswell as the girls themselves. I hope one day to be as good as her on illustrator/photoshop!

I feel inlove with her work straight away so I decided to get in contact with her and ask her a few questions and she got back to me pretty quickly which I am very pleased with :)

Hi Rebecca,
Thanks for your thoughtful email. I really appreciate your kind words.
I very much understand that being an artist involves a lot of struggle. Creatively we can ebb and flow. I have found over the years some ways to help this but I struggle too. I'm glad to share with you my thoughts and perhaps they will be useful for you.

Firstly, What are your inspirations? and is there anyone you inspire to be like?
I am inspired by so many artists - I especially love the work of Lisa Yuskavage. I aspire to keep pushing myself and doing higher quality, deeper work as I see so many amazing artists doing.

Sometimes, i find myself sitting there staring at a piece of paper, or just not wanting to do
anything, due to lazyness, being tired, or just plain cant be botherd, is there anything that you do to give yourself a boost and get on with things?
First off, you always have to remember to do what you love and are passionate about.
If you are tired, don't start a new project. It probably won't be that good if you do. I can be a bit nocturnal but I have learned not to start a new painting late at night and instead wait for when my energy is at peak because I don't want to sacrifice quality.

If you find yourself not getting into a project you need to step back and figure out how you are forcing yourself into the piece and instead focus on something that is fun and exciting for you to draw.
Always do what you love. If you don't love what you are drawing then change it. If you are loving one piece of a drawing but don't feel as good about another portion of it , then erase that portion. Allow yourself to be flexible, self-edit, and only draw something that you want to draw. It sounds simplistic but that one thing is my mantra in my head - do what you love. There are no rules. Draw whatever you want to, what your best at and if you push yourself to get in touch with what you want to express your art will always improve.
I also go back and forth on pieces and have a few different types of things I'm working on at the same time. Use whatever tools will help you create what you want to create.

Or is there anything that you do differently to get yourself going on your 'off' days?
I have found it really helpful to do some writing to help jumpstart an idea. Poetry, a short story, or even just lists of things or even attributes you would like your art to contain or be like, Also go to your old standard - a comfortable way of art making for you and just allow yourself to do something easy. That could be going back to lined paper and a ball point pen and drawing like you would doodle in class, or getting out the watercolors and just trying to make some cool color drips. Forcing yourself to make something you're not feeling just won't work. You have to be excited by what you're doing. I would also recommend trying new materials or sizes if you're feeling off.
When not having a project to work on, or in your spare time, when you feel the need to be creative, how do you come up with random projects for yourself? As when I'm in a creative mood, I end up sitting for hours wondering what to do.
That is a great time to go to a museum or an art gallery. To get some creative inspiration and a reminder that art is whatever you make it- no rules, it's your self expression.It has been very helpful for me to find a continuing theme that I can keep building on. That may help you to keep coming up with new pieces

Is there any type of music, or songs, or films you ever put on in the background while you do your work to help you get inspired?
I like to have music - and movies on - that kind of go with the mood of whatever I'm creating and help keep my energy up. Anything that will help you buckle down and spend the time necessary in your workspace to get where you need to.
Is there any routine to the way you work? For example, drawings onto illustrator, etc.
Everything I do starts as a pencil drawing. I also layer my drawings with lots of sheets of vellum or tracing paper so I can get the drawing right and add things onto it without screwing up what I have already done. I then scan them in and if I'm going to turn it into a digital piece I color it in Adobe Illustrator. If it's going to be a painting in Photoshop I size it to the panel I'm going to paint on, print it and either project it or use carbon paper and draw it on the panel/canvas.

Is there any advice you could give to a student trying to make it in the illustration business?
First off, have a consistent style and a nicely designed website and portfolio. Educate yourself on contracts, your rights, usage rights, fees. It never hurts to be proactive and know your rights and your value. Always have a contract looked over by an attorney. Find one that works with artists and they may help you for a reduced fee. The investment is worth it, especially if it's for a big project.
Be up front and highly communicative with clients about every aspect of a project. Always put everything in writing. After speaking with a client , follow up with an email going over the discussion you just had, the fee you agreed upon etc. so you are both on the same page.
Also, you don't have to just immediately pop out a fee to a client if they want to know how much you would charge for something. You usually won't have enough knowledge up front of what they want and need time to think about. Get back to them and if it was a broad or vague proposal from the client then give them a range and negotiate. Always factor in the number of revisions you are willing to do and keep control on the project and client so you only spend the allotted amount of time on the project.
This is a business and you must always balance opportunities with your worth. Don't scare away clients or opportunities with a too strong business attitude, but just be sure to be educated on what you're dealing with. In the US a great resource is the Graphic Artists Guild's "Pricing & Ethical Guidelines" handbook.
For clients that could be paying you, i.e companies, brand, ad agencies etc I really would not encourage doing spec work or any kind of work for free or for the "exposure." I do think it's good to reach out to arts organizations, other artistic sorts of things in exchange for them linking to your site or whatever works for you.
You will encounter a lot of rejection and difficult business dealings, this never changes. Stay strong and just keep on creating the best work you can.
Good luck Rebecca! Hope this helps.

Great reply, what a lovely lady :) very please. Thanks Tansy!

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