Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Artist Spotlight- Tracie Lyn Huskamp

Today I am thrilled to share an interview with my friend and fellow artist Tracie Lyn Huskamp! p.s. check in later this week for a giveaway with Tracie's book and more!

Sparrow Song
Tracie what is your story? I want to know everything about your journey to successful artist, author and designer!

In 1998, I came to a major crossroad in my life. I was faced with making an important decision that would forever change me and completely alter an almost 10-year career. I had a college degree in computers from a major university and a well-paying job with relative financial security, and I had worked for some of the best corporations in America. But all of this did not make me happy. And over time, I began to grow more and more dissatisfied with my choice of professions. I felt so guilty, and thought I was really being ungrateful for all my parents had sacrificed to pay for my education, that I kept these thoughts regarding my career choice to myself until the anguish became too overwhelming. Finally unable to bottle up my feelings any longer, I told my husband. This man was truly my knight in shining armor! Not only did he listen, but he also encouraged me to seek out my true passion. After almost a year of soul searching, I decided to go back to college to study graphic design and fine art. I was so scared to return to school, being much older, but I was determined to seek out that person I was meant to be. Achieving my goals would require a great deal of sacrifice and dedication from not only me, but also my family. I quit my full-time position as a computer analyst and found a part-time job working 30 hours a week in an art department as a graphics intern for a company that manufactured Mylar and latex balloons. I graduated with my B.F.A. in December 2003. I have never regretted the decision I made to pursue art, and I have not looked back. Today I am proud to say that I live a life I always dreamed of, filled with passion and purpose.

Sparrow Song2

For over seven years, I worked as a Product Designer/Illustrator creating mass-market products. In 2007, I left my corporate designer position to focus full-time on my own art. My passion for mixed-media, painting, and nature fuels the fires of my creative spirit and continues to lead me on a wondrous journey. I have experienced incredible opportunities to share my love of art and nature by teaching workshops at some of the most prestigious national and international retreats/conferences, writing articles for magazines, contributing to other author's/friend's books, and with the release of my new book, Nature Inspired (Quarry 2009).

Now, I am actively pursuing my dream of licensing artworks, starting with the debut of a new cotton quilting fabric line with Windham Fabrics in fall 2010, and more soon-to-be-announced licensing news.

Letter Rose Print-2

What kinds of things inspire you? What motivates you to make art?

Nature and Home are the two subjects that inspire me the most. Home has always been a source of comfort, refuse from the world, and a place to gather my thoughts. But. discovering nature as an artistic muse revealed itself to me in a very simple, yet profound experience. It wasn’t until I signed-up for an open-air painting class in the summer of my sophomore year of art school that I discovered this unending source of inspiration. In the past, I had never been much of a fan of the outdoors. I didn’t like camping, bugs, or any sort of inclement weather. So I have to laugh when I think back, wondering how I even convinced myself to register for the course in the first place. But from the very first day of plein-air painting, I was completely mesmerized. This was the first opportunity I had really ever taken to spend any time actually studying the amazing beauty of nature. And in the quiet moments of those class periods with only the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves and grasses, along with the birds singing overhead, I felt part of the world as a whole. I had finally found a subject I wanted to explore over and over. Nature had captured my full attention, and I wanted to share my discovery, my joy,and my enthusiasm with anyone and everyone.

Letter Rose Print

After this six-week painting class, I continued to make art using various nature subjects, refining my painting skills and my mixed-media techniques. Even after ten year of creating nature artworks, I feel no desire to shop using natural subjects to convey my artistic messages.

I have always felt extremely motivated to create. I have been doing some sort of art all my life. My earliest creative memories begin at the tender age of 4. Making art was never a conscious decision for me; it was always an overwhelming need or a thirst that had to be satisfied, quenched

Bluebird & Coneflower Print

What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

I truly enjoy the evolution, experiencing each step, being surprised by the twists and turns a piece can take, finding that perfect element to solve a creative conundrum, and seeing an idea come to fruition.

My Garden

It is an utter mystery how it will turn out and working through those moments of discovery and investigation to come to a conclusion are the most invigorating. So for me, it is completely about the journey, not necessarily the destination.

Bluebird & Coneflower Print

You have a BUSY schedule with lots of travel and teaching, how do you manage all your projects and organize your creative schedule? Do you have any tips on staying on top of things?

I am a avid list maker. I live by my lists. They help me prioritize my to-do's and keep me on track. Monday thru Friday, I work from 8 to 5 in my studio.... each morning is filled with computer necessities, as I am most awake and alert in the mornings. The afternoons are spent at my work tables creating. Saturdays are used to catch-up on personal projects. I always clean house on Sundays.

I think the best tip or hint I can give for staying on top of things is... "Know Thy Self". If you understand what sort of worker you are, when you are most alert, when is the best time to be in your studio, etc.... then you can begin to break-down how long you might need to prepare or complete a project.


You have named your blog "The Red Door Studio" I am curious if there is a story behind that name?

Well sort-of... Six years ago, my husband and I decided to build a new home. I was picking exterior colors for this new house, and had planned to use the color red for our front door. At the same time, I was in the beginning stages of developing a serious art career outside the corporate world and working with a lawyer to turn my new art company into a business. I needed a name for this new business, so with thoughts of my new home and my new door in mind.. The Red Door Studio, was selected.

Blue Door

However, it is funny how life sometimes takes you in an opposite direction. Later on, we ended up having trouble finding certain selected materials for the exterior which changed our color scheme thus also changing the color of the front door. Today my front door is a lovely blue, but I dream of one day having a studio that is separate from the house, and when that happens I will definitely paint the door red.


Your book Nature Inspired is beautiful and inspiring, can you tell us a little about it and the process of writing and creating for it?

The book is dedicated to all those who have ever been inspired by the magnificent beauty of nature and longed to capture a little of its incredible splendor Along with hints and tips for photographing nature, collecting, and preserving natural elements, the book discusses ways to remember moments and create memories through simple sketches from photographs, painting on fabric, creating journals and journal art, as well as with shadowbox assemblages to display and highlight particular found objects.

I very much enjoyed the process of writing and bringing all these techniques and ideas that I had been sharing with students in my workshops together in one place.

2Robin & Foxglove Print

I am so excited that you have a line of fabric deputing in the fall of 2010, can you tell us anything about what it is like to design fabric or give any hints about what it will look like?

Unfortunately, I can't divulge any sort of hints about what it will look like because we are still in the design phase. But, I am SO EXCITED to see these ideas come to life! I am currently very busy working with WIndham on different pattern options, and we should be making final selections for the line soon. Designing fabric is a bit of a challenge because you really have to be aware of how a particular pattern will repeat, the scale, and creating coordinates to match. There is a lot to consider.

Robin & Foxglove Print

What is something that most people don't know about you?

There are four profound quotes that I currently live my life by. The first, "Go Confidently in the Direction of your Dreams", the second, "May My Thinking be Creative and Fill the World with Light", the third, "She Believed She Could, So She Did", and the fourth, "This Is Your Life, Are You Who You Want To Be". I have each of these phrases engraved onto silver cuffs that I wear everyday. I look at these words everyday, remind myself everyday to continue to strive to be the person I imagine being, and to make the most of this one wonderful life. I would never have believed how far I have come over the last twelve years, and I have so many more dreams/goals I would like to achieve. But it all boils down to living a life with as few regrets as possible, and never wondering if you should have gone the other way when you turn the corner.

"No regrets" is always an underlying message in all my work, along with "Stop and take a look around" because there is so much beauty in the simply, ordinary, everyday to keep you making art for a lifetime.

What are you working on right now? Do you have any upcoming projects?

For myself, I am currently working in an old vintage account ledger. Painting and collaging my way through the pages with moments experienced in my garden, and surrounding landscape. There are always lots of projects for me to pursue on a professional level, such as proposing workshops, teaching, preparing to travel, designing fabric, and seeking out other licensing opportunities for my art.

Check out more of Tracie's work!



Nature Inspired


Mosaic Magpie said...

I enjoyed reading about Tracie and her blue door. Love the collages she did.

Debby said...

How fun!!!! I have Tracie's book and it is amazing.

Susan Payton said...

What a great blog. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for letting me visit.

Diana Trout {Nan.DT@verizon.net} said...

Great interview - I love the foxglove. You two did a great job of it.

Created By You said...

Fabulous interview, enjoyed reading it! I've visited Tracy's site before.. very well deserved highlight!

muebles huesca said...

Thanks so much for the post, pretty helpful information.


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