Tuesday, 26 August 2014

interview: tangerine meg on art, design & life

This interview is part of Tangerine Meg's Bold Interviews with a whole bunch of creatives. Check out her blog for more interviews, including her Q & A with me! 

You’re a graphic designer and artist. How do the two support and oppose one another?

Support: I find art and graphic design are both flavours of visual communication. The theories of colour and composition are employed in both to convey a message clearly. For art it's a personal story being communicated, whereas Graphic Design conveys a brand 'look' and business values and information. And in each it's a good idea to set off rich, fascinating visual areas with plenty of white breathing space!

Oppose: I think they cross pollinate each other. The clarity of communication necessary when doing graphics can be employed with a succinctity of expression when approaching personal artwork. Lately I've been combining cool quotes with my watercolour and lino print images. Circling us back to: art and graphic design lend richness to one other!

How does your life impact your art and your art impact your life? 

Life impacts art completely! 
When I see a pile of juicy mandarins at the Farmers Market, a cat sitting by a lovely curtain or a surprisingly purple flower it beckons me, with its colour, texture or shape. Its essence tugs at mine. We dance. I'm called to make an image – be it phone photo, painting or a quick scrawl to remind myself of the colours later.

Art impacts life: 
  1. Making art? The feeling of flow has me in the present, engaged yet calm. Even if just a little painting happens I know I've done what I needed to that day. More than a little art makes a very good day :)
  2. Seeing others' art? Seeing others' unique makings brings out curiosity and wonder and leads to a richer, fuller day. The recognition of a human truth in another's artwork, or seeing someone respond to my artwork – personal yet universal - is so heartwarming.

What is your creative process like?  

My creative process can appear sporadic for any given project - I may jump from one task to another when a fresh outlook is needed - but the process throughout the day is of ongoing gathering and weaving. I often start a picture or graphics project with an unstructured muse and scribble session, then take a break for percolation – haha, ironic as I don't drink coffee. Next I'll develop the idea and allow another percolation break. Thirdly, the idea is brought into shape, and finally I draw all the threads together and check for cleanness and completeness. Is this different when it’s something personal compared to something commissioned by a client? The stages might be squeezed closer together if the artwork is  for someone else – I need to be aware of the client or cat owner's time frame and goals. If I'm doing graphic design for myself (like my calendars) or a client one has to wrap up the process by ensuring all the formatting, colours and fonts have been checked and that there are no typos!

What are you most proud of in art and life? 

I'm proud that I'm (still) doing it! I started making paintings years ago (and lessons at age 7). I'm so excited to be working on making art a bigger part of my livelihood. I feel lucky, making pictures is an activity that by its nature requires presence and intuition, a most enjoyable state to touch base with!

Life: (It's a cliché, but...)  My kids. They are awesome adults now. I don't feel I was very intuitive at parenting; and I wasn't sure until the second hit 20 (last year) that I had done a good enough job. Who would have thought that after all that nagging (me) and confusion (also me) they would grow into healthy, creative and lovely young men. (What a relief!) 

Tell us 5 key lessons of adulthood that you’ve come to live by. 
  1. Attend to your quality of life. Eat healthy local foods, move your body, make your actions align with your values. If you take care of yourself you'll be able to contribute better, too.
  2. You can do a crazy huge project, little by little, in repeated little tasks and sessions. A long bush walk doesn't have to be walked with every step at the same time – in fact it's impossible! The path can only be walked one step at a time.
  3. Yoga And Sleep are Magic.
  4. Make things – art, knitted items, paper mache, gardens. Read. 
  5. Choose the colourful, patterned one!

Hi! I'm Tangerine Meg, delighted to meet you! I'd love you to join me on this curious soulful journey as Bold Life and Art unfold. The best way is to sign up for Tangerine Juice, my monthly-ish eNewsletter. You're heaps welcome to visit my website and download free stuff - there are bright bookmarks and a Reading Girl Bookplate image available this very moment, guaranteed to brighten up any personal library! You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Let's play!

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