I’ve Been Tagged! The V.A. Tag! (Visual Artist Tag)

Hi friends!  Happy Friday!  I actually have this weekend off from my day job, so hooray!  It’s BBQ party time!  🙂

So this week on YouTube I was tagged by my friend DaphYinArt (who you should check out!) to do the V.A. tag.  She made a really cute video answering  seven questions about what it means to her about being a visual artist, and I’ve been assigned the same task.  So I did some thinking and soul-searching, and I’m sitting comfortably on my couch with my laptop, so here we go:

1. What does “being creative” mean to you?

Hmm..to me, being creative simply means not ignoring the little thoughts that pop into your head.  We all get little ideas, and I feel as adults we feel pressure to block the silly, fun, imaginative thoughts out of our heads and focus on daily life tasks.  Our jobs, our responsibilities, etc.

Being creative to me means not cancelling out the little ideas that pop into my head, but writing or sketching them down, thinking about them, and eventually wanting to turn them into a artwork of some kind, regardless of how strange the idea may be.  It’s not letting our imaginations die, I think.

2. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

Totally!  When I was a little kid I would always be drawing.  I would draw my favourite cartoon character, favourite animals, anything I liked I made into my art.  I remember using Crayola crayons, and a small 8-pack of coloured pencils.  Then one day my parents took me over to my Godmother’s house for the afternoon, and she had a surprise for me.  She gave me a Prismacolour Scholar 36-set of coloured pencils.  These suckers even had mettalic gold, silver, and bronze in it, plus neon green, yellow, and pink!  She told me that little professional artists need professional pencil crayons.  I remember losing my mind!!  I was so freaking happy!! I grabbed a stack of white copy paper, opened my new precious pencil crayon set, and started drawing and colouring.  I had never felt so happy before.

That little excited girl is still inside me whenever I lay my hands on a new art supply of some kind, and can’t wait to try it out.  It was that moment when I realized how happy making art made me, and I never want to let go of that feeling!

3. What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

Hmmm… usually my ideas start with a thumbnail sketch.  My sketchbooks have lots of small little scribbly sketches in them, probably illegible to anyone else but me, lol.  But I always collect ideas this way.  I’ll then think about what I want to draw/paint for a little while, then work on a rough draft.  I need to have a set palette for my painting/drawing, so i use coloured pencils to roughly colour in my initial sketches and figure out a colour scheme.  If I don’t have a restiction on my palette colours then my brain just explodes and I end up making something that looks like a unicorn vomited all over the canvas.

4. What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever created?

I managed to paint Marina during a time when I was questioning my painting abilities. She gives me confidence to try new things in painting outside of my comfort zone 🙂

My favourite thing I’ve ever created is probably my painting, Marina.  I’m proud of it because I wasn’t fully sure what I was doing (or if I had the skills) at that point, and the way it turned out made me realize that I can paint the way that I truly want to. This is why the original painting of Marina will probably never be for sale (and also because it happens to be my husband’s favourite painting too and he’s forbidden me from selling it!)

5. What are you trying to communicate with your art?

My art usually reflects my own feelings, especially the abstract works.  The female-focused pieces are more of my projection of myself. I struggle with confidence and painting beautiful, confident, sexy looking women is my way of trying to be more like them myself, I guess. I also love throwing in animals or flowers/trees into my paintings because I’m a big animal and nature lover, so it’s adding a bit more of myself into the paintings.

6. Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?

I’d like to try out oil paints.  I started with acrylics and simply stuck with them because I really like how quick they dry, allowing me to paint lots and lots of layers in a relatively short period of time.  I would like to try oils, however, because I’d like to get a feel for their own texture and qualities.  My friend is an artist who uses oils exclusively, and is always telling me to give them a try.  One day I’d like to be able to paint a base down with acrylic, and use oils layered overtop.  I think that would be pretty neat.  I haven’t pursued oils yet because i don’t want to have to rebuy a bunch of paint, and because right now my life is a bit crazy and dealing with a learning curve of a brand new medium isn’t something I want to deal with right now.  I’m still having fun playing around with acrylics and mixed media techniques, so I’ll stick with that for now 🙂

7. What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?

The best advice I’ve ever come across is actually something I found on Pinterest, it’s a quote from Ciona Rouse:

do the crazy thing

The first time I read it, I teared up.  I had been struggling with wanting to follow my art dreams for a while, and when I found this quote it made me realize that I have to give it a shot.  So here I am in the Internets world!


Alright guys, so that’s it for this tag, be sure to check out Daphnée’s YouTube Channel, and thanks for reading!  And if you’re reading this, then I tag YOU to do it as well!

Till next time, keep creating!

-Ashley <3

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