Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Interview Tara Winona

I can't tell you how excited I am to share this interview with you.  I have so admired Tara's work for sometime and her Dream series, remind me of my beautiful redheaded daughter. I am so jealous of her studio and currently transfixed with her Owls and I do hope you will pop over to her website and see her wonderful work.

What is the main, Art/Craft you are known for? 
I am an artist, painting with watercolours, oils and acrylics. I sell originals, prints and cards of my work online. Art for the Soul.

Is this your total creative output or do you also work in other areas and if so what are they?
I wear several hats for my job, all with a creative thread. I think I have what is called an 'umbrella portfolio career'! I am an artist. I also write children's books and am hoping to get published this year (fingers crossed!)
When I am not in my studio I work as a creative director for multi-media shows, 'son et lumiere', which is like painting with light and sound. This involves alot of travel, so it is blissful when I get clear stints of time in the studio to create for myself! 
Could I have a little potted history of your creative life please?

I began my masterpieces at age 3... on my mother's living room wall! Since then I have always been drawing and creating in some form or another, though my career path and creative expression have taken several turns.
Originally I trained as a graphic designer and illustrator in Australia. And the bright lights of the big wide world called...  I got a job working as a creative director for a multi-media company who specialised in creating laser, film and special effect shows internationally. That was the start of a crazy wonderful adventure! I made homes in Milan, Paris and London, traveled the world several times, became two languages wiser and can now say ‘thank you’ in at least 30. I had alot of incredible experiences and met people from all over the planet, with some particularly hair raising scrapes. 
And then I got my studio...  

In 2010, I arrived in my art studio along the canal and began painting, creating and writing for myself. It was a huge leap of faith and I did wonder if I was mad! At the beginning I didn't let anyone inn, it was my own private creative hideaway and a respite from the stress of producing shows. Gradually, as I rediscovered myself and my artwork, I began to open the doors. At about the same time the recession hit which meant many shows were cancelled or postponed. I got to have some long stretches in my studio and it got me dreaming ...

I created a series of paintings about a little red-headed girl taking leaps of faith and following her dreams, and began to share them online, selling prints and cards. Then in 2012 we had an exhibition at the studio. I exhibited my nature series and a couple of trees of life paintings; to my astonishment I sold them all! That set me on the path of taking my art more seriously.
Now I juggle my paints, words and the bright lights and it keeps me very busy!

What do you love most about what you create and the process of creating it? 
I just love the sense of expressing an essence of myself whilst attempting to capture and communicate something - telling a story with my trees of life (we are all connected), the sparkle of life in an owl's eye. 
The process of creating my art reflects how I am within myself in that moment. Am I confident, do I listen to and follow my intuitive hunches about brushstrokes, can I capture what I see so clearly in my mind's eye? Sometimes it is terrifying, frustrating and can feel like the greatest Shakespearean tragedy when I ruin a piece I have worked on for hours. Other times it flows and a strange magic happens.
I think it is an enormous privilege to be an artist. The opportunity to have my own studio and create is something I never take for granted. I am grateful each time I turn the key in the door to my studio.

 Do you think that its important to specialise in one area or to have lots of creative outlets?  Can one impact on the other, in positive or negative ways? 
I am still unsure about this and it is something I ask myself on a regular basis. I am a little stretched at times!! I do have a lot of creative outlets, I can't seem to help myself.
The positive is that each aspect of my work influences and enhances the other. Inspiration from shows often spark ideas that later I will do a painting about. My tree of life came from a Chinese musical that we were dreaming up - as I was drawing the storyboard I thought 'this is a painting'! Likewise my art feeds back into shows -  I am a creative director now, I understand my creative process much more as a result of hours spent painting and am better able to create the space that I need to have the ideas which is often hard in the pressure packed world of events. Shows are not my sole creative outlet anymore either, so I am more able to take a step back and put the highs and lows into perspective.
The negative is time. Time time time! Juggling so many things means I am often stretched and it does impact. I had to say no to an exhibition next month as I need to get my latest book finished and off to publishers. I created a series of Valentine's cards and was too busy to get them into shops! Next year ... 
Opportunities happen and you must be able to respond to them, however saying yes to one thing may mean saying no to another. I am learning to let the many projects I am juggling take their place and not overwhelm me (I hope!)

What gets you out of bed in the morning and motivated to create wonderful things? 
I just love it! I feel like this is what I am meant to be doing and I have finally discovered me! Having discovered it I am bloody determined to make it work.

 Do you have the support of friends and family when crafting and do you and they value what you do? 
I am enormously lucky to have married an angel who is the most incredible source of support, encouragement and my own cheer squad at 3am when the worries creep out from under the bed. He gives me a huge amount of strength and is the voice of reason when my creative head starts to panic. I also am blessed with a very supportive family and many friends who cheer me on.

Describe what your prefect Art/crafting day would be like? 
A painting that works perfectly from start to finish! ha ha! (they do not exist)
I hop on my bicycle and cycle to my studio along the canal. It is sunny! If I see the kingfisher I know it will be a lucky day. I have a painting in my head that has been itching to get out and I commence... The paint flies, inspiration sleets in and some happy accidents make my painting even better than I could have done intentionally. Some of the artists on the island pop their heads in. I sit looking at the shimmering canal waters for lunch. Undoubtedly I accidentally dip my paintbrushes in my tea at least 3 times during the day. And drink it!  I work away till I can't see straight and manage to get home for an early dinner (reality check - I stay till really late and cycle home to a piece of toast!) 

 What are your aims and goals for the future 
I hope to keep painting and to get clearer and clearer about who I am as an artist and what I want to say through my art. I hope to exhibit all over the world and to meet many interesting people, to feel inspired and invigorated with life. I hope that my art touches hearts and helps to bring a little bit of joy into people's lives - even if it's just for the second that they glance at my work. My online shop continues to grow and I am able to maintain a steady income through it. My children's books get published and I continue to write more.
A happy creative fulfilling life!

 Please tell us anything else you would like us to know 
Art and creativity is alot of hard work. Just don't ever give up!


  1. Thanks for such a lovely and informative blog. Tara's work is amazing and it's been great to be able to read about the person behind the artworks I've been admiring for ages. Her studio sounds wonderful!

  2. Great interview and really interesting questions and answers. Beautiful work from Tara!
    Clare xx

  3. Tara has been my very good friend for nearly 30 years - oh dear, sorry to date us so, darling! We had a love/hate relationship in art class in high school. I LOVED sitting beside her and chatting and giggling away, but I HATED my artwork sitting beside hers - it so paled in comparison. I always knew her natural and raw talent would take her to wonderful places. Thank you for sharing this glimpse into Tara's journey along the way. I love you and miss you, my friend.

  4. Thank you very much for the support everyone! Much appreciated. It was wonderful to be able to do this interview with Janice. She asked some great questions which really got me thinking.

    I love Janice's art, honoured to be a part of her blog interviews!