Keep Your Day Job

Crafting for the unartistic.

Look into the mirror and draw what you see.

Many artists turn their to themselves when looking for inspiration for a new piece.

Look at all these famous artists who used their own faces instead of the faces of other people!

Frida Kahlo wanted to flaunt her unibrow to all the single men out there!

Andy Warhol employed his pop art skills on his own face.

And Salvador Dali was so excited that his mustache could finally reach his eyes that he shared it with the world!

Why did they choose to do self-portraits you ask? Maybe it’s because they ran out of muses. Maybe it’s funner or easier to use yourself as a model. Or maybe they’re just really full of themselves. I mean, look at all the self-portraits Van Gogh did of himself:

  

  

But on a more serious note, self-portraits are a great way to practice your artistic abilities. You may think that you’re just practicing, but you could be discovering talents you never knew you had! Look at all the up-and-coming photographers that social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook have helped realize their true potential. All you need is a camera and a mirror!

Art.

Not much of a photographer? Grab a pencil and some paper. Grab a canvas and some paint. Grab a slab of marble and a chisel. Now, look in a mirror and create what you see.

You don’t need to worry about whether or not it looks realistic. It doesn’t need to be exact. The goal of this is to use yourself as inspiration and let free the artistic skills you hide within. And if you don’t like what you’ve got so far, you can always scrap it and start over. There’s nothing forcing you to stick to your first draft. Unless you’ve been kidnapped and your captor is holding you hostage until you draw a perfect self-portrait for them to keep or you die. But that almost never happens.

And since I practice what I preach, here is my very own fantastic self-portrait, a Taryn Gomez original:

The resemblance is pretty uncanny. You can see the uneven-ness in the different sides of my hair, my lip piercing is there, and if you look close enough you can even tell that my eyes are green. It may not be as professional as the works of famed artists like the pictures I posted above, but I’m still pretty proud of this. It’s definitely going to be saved a spot on the fridge!

What do you think is the concept behind self-portraits?

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What’s on your bucket list??

Thanks to Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, people have become much more inclined to create lists of things they would like to do before they kick the bucket.

Whether you have written down a bucket list of your own or not, I’m sure you have at least thought about certain things you’d like to do before you die.

Maybe you want to skydive. Maybe you want to travel. Maybe you just want to quit smoking. No matter what you strive to do, it may not ever get done unless you find a way to hold yourself accountable.

So take some time to write down, type up, dictate to your secretary, or even carve into stone tablets a list of goals you want to accomplish before you bite the dust.

Seeing as the goal of this list is to actually accomplish these things before you’re belly up, it’s important to fill your list of things that are actually achievable. So erase “Flying to mars” off your list because unless you are currently an astronaut, that’s a highly improbable goal to set for your self. Start brainstorming a list of things that you could actually do within your life time. Forget about costs. We’re not going to let the possibility of not being able to afford these things destroy your dreams.

I like to divide my list into sub-lists:

  • I have a bucket list for career/family goals. Here I have the basic life aspirations such as, I want to get married someday. I’m going to move to a new city and attend beauty school once I graduate college with my business management degree. I want to open up my own salon. Etc. These are all long term goals that are going to take larger amounts of time to accomplish, but are all very much achievable if I put the time and effort into it.
  • Next, I have a bucket list of life experiences that I wish to take part of at some point in my life. These include: studying abroad in Italy, traveling the world, living on the east coast, etc. These are different things that I really want to experience, and while they may be a little harder to accomplish due to the lack of funds, they are still entire possible.
  • Then, I have sort of a To-Do bucket list. These things range in difficulty to achieve, but they are possible nonetheless. This includes: taking a pottery class, making myself a dress, learning a second language, selling a painting, losing some weight, donating my hair again, etc.
  • And lastly, I have my technically possible but highly unlikely bucket list in which I write down all of the absurd dreams I have in my head that technically have the smallest possibility of being reached, but are extremely unlikely to actually happen. This includes things such as, hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live and acquiring a Superbowl ring without having to purchase it.

Now that you have started coming up with your own lists, what are you going to do with them? Why don’t you hang up your list(s) somewhere where you can see them everyday to remind yourself of all the goals your hope to achieve within your life span. Choose a couple of goals that you plan to accomplish within the month or the year and write them on some sticky notes that you stick to your mirror. Maybe you could even go as far as setting deadlines for yourself or planning out the steps you need to take in order to accomplish said goals.

Maybe, no matter what, you just can’t afford to go to France. So get creative. How can France come to you?? Think outside the box. Don’t put everything off because you think, “Oh, but I have the rest of my life to try and get these things done.” I mean, sure. I guess that’s true. But you don’t know for sure how long that may be. Life is short. Take advantage of the time you have now.

So tell me, what things on your bucket list do you plan on achieving within the remainder of 2012??

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The face only a mother could love.

Just because something is ugly, doesn’t mean it’s not art.

I mean, just look at all the gifts that young children (and even some older children) make for their family and friends. It’s hideous, but you sure as hell put it on your fridge anyways because it was made with love.

They worked hard on it. And it’s the thought that counts, right?

Well some hard working mind spent their time and energy to produce this piece of fine taxidermy jewelry:

Mouse head cameo Caution: Do Not Wear to the PETA Meeting. Or the PTA meeting.

But because it’s not visually appealing and, quite frankly, terrifying, many people will easily pass it off as ugly and move on with their lives.

BUT DON’T DO THAT!!

No matter what you’re feelings towards the piece may be, it is still the product of an artist that worked hard to make it and you need to respect that! It’s important that you keep this in mind when you begin making art of your own. Not everything you make is going to be museum worthy. And there’s definitely a possibility that at least one friend or family member who would rather gouge their eyes out than to have to look at your creation for a second longer.

This is why you should always make sure you are keeping an open mind when viewing the work of others so that they may look upon yours with kind eyes as well.

And if you ever want to laugh and/or feel better about your own work, open mindedly visit Craftastrophe.net where you can find the mouse necklace above as well as many other unique items, such as this  frightening teddy bear:

Scary bear Nightmare Nursery

So what are some of your favorite creations you found on Craftastrophe?

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Your mom was wrong. Play with your food!

I’m sure at some point during your life you’ve been told to quit playing with your food.

But why?

Is it because it’s impolite? Is it because it’s wasteful? Is it just because they said so? Is it because they wish to stifle your creativity in a displaced angry rage of built up and repressed emotions from their own childhood when their parents forced them away from art and into a more “practical” career path?

Maybe.

But playing with your food doesn’t necessarily have to be a childish behavior. It’s also a very fun and delicious way of expressing yourself!

I usually end up playing with whatever food/scraps/crumbs that I have left on my plate after I eat. I also take the liberty of using whatever items I find on or around the table as part of my piece.

I call this one, The Monster Within:

And this one, Troll Clown:

These brilliant masterpieces are usually created during that time after a meal when everyone hangs around for a little longer just to talk. A lot of my food art pieces are even made using a collaborative effort once my friends see what I’m doing and wish to join in. This form of art is great because if you don’t like how it came out, you could potentially eat it! Or you could throw it away, like you would have done with your scraps anyways.

My favorite part is when I create something at restaurants and the waiter complements my work as they are clearing off the table. Confirmation of a job well done!

So what are your feeling on food art? Truly a means of expressing your artistic side or just a childish bad habit?

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Originality Schmoriginality

If you’re anything like me, you may have trouble transferring the ideas in your head onto the blank canvas in front of you. Or you may just have issues coming up with any sort of ideas at all. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to get inspiration from other artists. Find examples of different styles you like and try to recreate them.

The way I began exploring my own creativity was by finding simple cartoons online and trying to draw them out or paint them myself. I was straight up copying another artist’s work. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do as long as it’s for your own practice and you’re not trying to claim it as your own or sell it. And if you do post your work online to share with your friends and family make sure you credit and even link to the author of the original piece.

As artist and author Austin Kleon explains in his new book, one of the most important things you can ever learn to do is to Steal Like An Artist.

In one of his blog posts he lists and explains the 10 things nobody ever told him about being creative, as seen below.

The only way to ever learn or to create your own artistic style is to take a bunch of different things that you like from other artists and adapt them in a way that you enjoy. Don’t feel bad about this method of stealing! There’s not an art police that will track you down and arrest you with handcuff made out of mixed media that symbolize the downfall of society and put you in an abstract jail cell that stands for the lack of freedom in this, the new world.

(But there is such a thing as copyright laws, so just be aware of where that line stands.)

I recommend you all buy Kleon’s book because it is fantastic, and beautiful, and pretty much the embodiment of everything I believe in and would like to express to you. I just lack the experience and ability to explain things in a way that actually makes sense to other people. SO BUY HIS BOOK!

If you aren’t convinced now, maybe this cute puppy will change your mind:

Now that you are all becoming trained in art thievery, what kinds of styles do you enjoy and how would you consider adapting it into your own work?

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Baby’s first steps

If you are new to the world of art and creativity, never you fret! I’m sure you’re looking for ways to slowly dips your toes into the pool of creativity. However, the only way to really get your creative juices flowing is by actually crawling out from underneath your safety blanket, stepping outside of your comfort zone, putting on your bathing suit, and diving right on into the deep end!

“But Taryn, I don’t know anything about art!!”

So?

You don’t need to know anything about art to get started. But you DO need a means of expressing yourself.

Buy a cheap sketchbook. Something small that you can easily keep with you. Or even better, make your own sketchbook by simply putting together some white printer paper from your computer and decorate a cover. Keep it around you and doodle what you’re feeling. Try to draw things you see around you. Jot down ideas you have. Write down inspirational quotes, attempt poetry, begin a short story. Hell, you can even write down all the stupid things the people around you say.

Interested in photography? If you don’t have a camera of some sort already, download a photo app on your smart phone. Instagram is a popular app for the iPhone. It allows you to add different filters to your pictures which gives anybody the illusion of being a professional photographer. Android phones have many different photo app options, but a new one that I just discovered is PicsArt which lets you uses multiple features to edit your pictures. Both of these apps also let you easily upload your pictures online to different social media sites.

If neither of these ideas appeal to you find something else that does. Sculpture? Painting? Music? Who cares if you know what you’re doing or not. Buy some beginner supplies or a starter kit of some sort and just begin experimenting with it. Figure out what works for you and just go for it!

The point of these activities is to get your mind moving. It’s to get you actively involved in a creative activity. To begin to think about your life and the world in a bit of a different way. So don’t be afraid to get down and dirty with your creative side. Get yourself knees deep in art. And begin blowing minds with your creations.

What kinds of art will you begin exploring? Comment below with your brainstorming ideas!

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I’m so unartistic, blah blah, I’m not creative at all!

First of all, shut up!

Second of all, I’m here to help.

If you are the kind of person who has always wanted to do something crafty but felt like you didn’t know what to do or how to get started, this may be the blog for you. If you’re the kind of person who shies away from anything even remotely artsy because you think you can’t do it, this may be the blog for you. If you’re the kind of person who is very experienced in refining your artistic talents and has earned degrees in art related fields, this blog probably doesn’t pertain to you as much, but you’re more than welcome to hang out and see what happens.

My plan for this blog is to help people discover and enjoy their own creativity. Some people may use these ideas as a means of relaxation or to relieve stress. Some people may find various craft ideas to be useful in their everyday life. And hopefully some people attempt to produce something great just for the fun of it.

I want people to exit out of their web browsers feeling inspired and empowered to create something great. I want refrigerators everywhere to be covered with the works of my followers. I want the next Picasso, Warhol, or Van Gogh to tell the world that “If it wasn’t for Taryn and her blog, I would not be where I am today.”

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

So buckle your proverbial seat belts, friends, because this blog is about to blast off!!

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