Thursday, 31 October 2013

e-Interview with Photographer/Graphic Artist, Tracie Kaska

This month Tracie Kaska, photographer and graphic artist from Utah, agreed to take some time out for this e-interview, in spite of various technological and domestic crises that cropped up to make her life even more hectic than usual!

Tracie's Greeting Card Universe store 
Tracie's Zazzle Store

Tracie, first of all I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions when you were contending with retrieving all your images after your computer crashed - a photographer's worst nightmare, I should think. Very pleased to hear that you managed to restore them all!

So let's begin at the beginning: when did you first realise that you were an artist?
My mom and grandma have been a huge influence on me from a very early age. They would oil paint together, and I loved to watch them. My grandma spent time teaching me how how to draw, crochet, embroider, and paint ceramics. My mom showed me how to make art out of ordinary every day objects. I remember drying out glue inside my desk at school so that it would turn into a clay like substance. I would create little figurines out the concoction, then I would paint them with colored markers. I wonder if the time I spent doing these little art projects during class is why I failed math!
If it was, I don't suppose that has held you back too much, has it? I think it's great that your creativity blossomed so freely like that.

What is the most important thing you have learnt on your journey as an artist and from whom did you learnt it?
The best advice I have received has come from my mother, "Do what works when it works, when it stops working, do something else." People are fickle creatures, what they love one day, they find boring and dowdy the next. I try to stay flexible and divide my time creating what interests others and what I personally enjoy. That way my sales stay consistent throughout the year, which is important when you are trying to feed 5 children.

What is your favourite medium?
I would have to say photography. I take pictures of everything including my other art projects. This first thing I sold in my zazzle store was a photograph of a quilt block I had made for my daughter of an appliqued gingham dog.

How long has your business been up and running?
I opened my first store  a little over 2 years ago. 

Where do you sell your work?
My three main stores are at Greeting Card Universe, Zazzle, and Fine Art America. I also promote other artists on my website focusing on girly business cards.

Do you find that the business side of things takes up more time than you would like?
Although creating is my favorite part of of the process, I don't mind the business end most of the time. I try to incorporate art into it as much as I can to keep it interesting.

Are you working alone or do you have help?
I work alone to the most part, but my family is great for coming up with new ideas. They love it when I use some of their artwork for my projects.

I love that my job is the same thing I would do to unwind. I love being able to say, "Could you please take the baby? I really need to get some 'work' done!"

How many hours per week do you work?
This is definitely a full time job. I bounce back and forth between my computer and household responsibilities all throughout each day.

Do you have regular contact with other artists?
I think this part is essential. I don't think I would have made it as far as I have if I hadn't sought input and advice from others in this field.

Do you have a favourite quote, art-related or otherwise?

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." Mark Twain. 

I really like that one, Tracie - I've never come across it before. Where did you find it?
My grandma shared this quote with me and it has stuck with me through the years. Although I apply it to my every day life, I also apply it to my art. I love turning something that seems like an unforgivable mess into something beautiful. One of my favorite textures I apply to my projects started out as a 
photograph of one of my *blush* extremely dirty windows. Why I took a photo of it in the first place I have no idea! I think you had 'vision'!

And finally, what are your plans for the future?
I want to keep learning new skills and continue growing as an artist. 

I'm sure you'll do that, Tracie, and I'm sure all our readers will join me in thanking you and wishing you all the best for the future - and especially no more computer crashes!

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