Taratories Blog

Join a Flock and Take Flight!

As I think back to the streets of Paris I have visions of artists.  Artists of every type out there doing what they are passionate about.  Paris is such an inspiring place, and I think that this is one of the qualities that makes it such a pool of inspiration.  Everywhere you turn there is someone on a street corner radiating creativity in their own unique form.  Whether they are taking on the persona of a statue above the Seine River...

joyfully playing an accordian at the bottom of Sacre Coeur mid-morning...

collecting a few euros in front of a cafe in Montmartre...

gazing out the window of a screen printing studio at dusk...

or, of course, drawing someone's portrait...

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... they are all doing something that they love and are radiating creativity in their own unique ways.  Just by being surrounded by all of these artists in Paris doing what they loved made me want to take out my own paint brushes and pencils.  It is so easy for an artist to become a hermit and to be creative in the presence of only themselves.  I have a tendency to want to work in solitude.  There is a side of me that would be perfectly content working in my studio from morning to night by myself.  While this is a natural and comfortable way to be an artist it is not always the healthiest way to exist.

I think that we as artists can benefit so much from being in community with other artists.  We can learn from each other, be inspired by one another, encourage each other, and spur each other on to become better at what we do.  One of my goals for this year is to do a better job at being in community with other artists.  I have already chosen a local art group that I am going to join and I am really excited about it!  I would also encourage any artists out there that are not a part of an artistic community to get connected as well.  Think of what you could be missing out on if you don't.  Think about why people flock to cities like Paris.  Think about joining a flock instead of flying solo.  Come on with me and take flight!

On the Streets of Montmartre

In France, one of my favorite experiences was going back to Montmartre where all the artists of France seem to congregate.  There were people all over the place trying to make money selling their paintings and portraits.

There is a square where most of the artists gather together and people come to buy a unique souvenir from Paris... a piece of original art.  

There were so many different artists here with so many different styles of artwork on display.  Abstract, muted, colorful, graphic, sketchy...

To me, it was a perfect example of just how different every artist is from the next.  All of our minds are wired so differently and most people gravitate toward art that makes sense to us as individuals.  We all can appreciate different kinds of art and even create different styles of art, but I think that there will always be something about the beauty that we create and enjoy that will be unique to how we were individually created.

As we were strolling along taking in all the different styles of art, this man sitting here with the blue hat stopped us and asked my friend who was with me to paint her portrait.  She told him that she wasn't going to purchase a portrait, but he insisted on painting her because she had the style that he liked to paint.  

My friend's beauty caught his eye because her face was a face that he could see in one of his paintings.  She agreed, and he started capturing her face on paper.

She may have had the kind of lips, eyes, or cheek bones that he enjoys painting.  He may have enjoyed the nostalgia of her 1920's inspired hair or thought the angles of her face matched his style, who knows.  

What I do know is that he found his inspiration and painted something that was uniquely his style and what he thought was beautiful.  He didn't look at the artist to the right or left of him to figure out what he should be doing, he just did what made sense to him.  My goal this year is to keep on this journey to figure out just who I am as an artist and dig deep within to fine tune what makes me uniquely me and apply that to my art.  A good friend once told me, "You have something to say that is different than anyone else's voice in the whole world."  There is such freedom in expressing yourself the way you were created!