Monday 22 May 2023

2023 Topic 06: Tracy Scott - Topic Introduction

Hi everyone,

Today we are back with a designer focus, this time featuring the wonderful Tracy Scott. Tracy is well known for her bright and bold designs, and her ability to use her stamps and stencils in completely unexpected ways.

Bright and sunny! Those are certainly words that come to mind when thinking of Tracy's art. She's the queen of pattern play and funky florals but how much do you know about our signature designer? We hope this few questions give you a hint to her story, style and inspiration! 

Historically Speaking ...

Question: How and when did you come to crafting? Were you always into papercrafts and mixed media or did you also experiment with other substrates?

Answer: I was first introduced to paper crafts when I went to adult college to do a City & Guilds course in soft furnishings in my late thirties. One of the modules that we had to complete was in Art & Craft, we had to trial things out in paper and then transform it into fabric.... needless to say I became more interested in the paper craft side.
I dabbled in all sorts of crafts including card making, scrapbooking, mini books and even parchment craft before discovering art journaling in 2014...and the rest as they say is history.

Question: Before you started being creative, did you have an interest in art yourself already?  Did you do art at school, visit exhibitions, or maybe collect art as a consumer and has being an artist changed how you view other people's art?

Answer: I loved art when I was at school but wasn't very confident and wasn't actually very good at it, but I loved all things creative and didn't have the knowledge then to know that with persistence and practice I could improve.
I know now as a working artist that most of us are not lucky enough to be born naturally talented but just like learning to swim or driving a car I am passionate with my students that everyone has the ability if they are willing to put in the work and just go for it.

Question: Did you have any specific artistic training? How did you learn what you do? Do you think formal training is necessary/helpful?

Answer: I had no artistic training and although I fully respect anyone that does and the knowledge that they gain by doing so, I have fully embraced being self taught. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way and have definitely learnt from all of them to reach the point in my artistic journey that I am currently at. I have found working this way has truly helped me to develop and branch out in my own style.

Question: How did you feel when you transitioned from having a day-job to being a full time artist? Did it take you long to make this move and how did it come about? How did you know the time was right for you? 

Answer: In my previous life I worked in finance for a local government body so couldn't really be much further removed from where I am and what I'm doing today.
I never actually had any intention of becoming a full time artist, it all began as a hobby back in 2014/2015 and I was lucky enough to be spotted by Dyan Reaveley (as it was her studio I used to go to take courses) and I was asked if I would consider teaching a couple of classes in my own style. I still considered it at this point to be a little bit of pocket money to buy more art supplies and to be honest usually spent more that I earnt!!!

From there I started getting asked by a few other individuals to teach classes and our very own Leandra asked me to teach class to a group that had become known as the 'PA Twits'  - they were all friends on Twitter and used to meet up at shows, so it was a good group of core PaperArtsy fans. After that event, we discussed the possibility of creating a line of stamps and stencils and in 2016 that became a reality.

The big decision came in 2018 when I was asked to teach in Canada and Australia and I knew the time had come to make the break, it was the most nerve-racking thing I think I have ever done and there were times I wasn't sure if it was the right decision, but here we are 5 years later and it was definitely the best decision I ever made!

Question: Do you think your art has changed much over the years? Are there things that always remain constant? 

Answer: My art is constantly evolving and has certainly changed over the years and of course this all comes from experience and trying new techniques and products. I would say the only thing that has remained constant is my love of colour, the brighter the better, other than that I expect that my art and style will continue to evolve into the future.

Question: Do you have a couple of people who you consider to have influenced your art, perhaps this was before (or during) you finding your unique style?

Answer: Oh definitely, one of the first classes I attended was Kate Crane, I loved her whimsy art and the colours she used,  I loved Dyan Reaveley's quirky style, and Dina Wakley introduced me to making 'faces' and being more loose with my art.  All these things definitely influenced me and over time my own style evolved.

Question: Looking back, is there one moment that you are particularly proud of, or perhaps a piece you made that to this day you can't let go of for some special reason?

Answer: Oh I have a few moments for sure, being published in a magazine for the first time, the first time my stamps and stencils were released and the first time I got asked to travel abroad to teach to name but a few. Those are definitely the 'pinch yourself moments'

Philosophically speaking ... 

Question: How would you describe your general philosophy in creating art? How would you sum it up in 3 words?

Answer: Aiming for the WOW factor (ok I know that's not 3 but I want every piece of art to be inspirational)

Question: Do you think there is a dividing line between 'art' and 'craft' ?  Do you differentiate and move between these worlds?

Answer: I really don't differentiate, I constantly use techniques I've learnt in my so called 'crafting' days and incorporate them into my art work. 

Question: Why do you craft? Do you feel creating and crafting are necessary for your personal equilibrium?

Answer: There is nothing better for the soul and your mental wellbeing than being able to just sit and create... whether it be a card, a journal page or a canvas or anything else for that matter. For me its just the process, it doesn't even have to be any good, I just get lost in the moment.

Question: What is your fist goal when creating? Is it more a personal expression or do you aim to also touch people? Has becoming a professional modified this process?

Answer: I would be lying if I said that becoming a working artist hasn't changed the way I create. Before I would just start throwing paint around and see what it becomes with no purpose. Now I do sit and plan already having an idea in mind before I start as this is usually influenced by the stamps or stencils that I am using.
I'm happy to say though that even if I plan a specific idea nowadays.. creativity always takes over and it never turns out how I intended and I definitely think that people feel that in my art.

Question: Do you evaluate your own art and your progress or try to measure your success? 

Answer: I evaluate my art work as I'm creating it for sure, but have learnt over time that you really can never judge how other people will react to what you have created.
You can be really proud of a piece of work and it could be your new favourite and no one else is really that interested and by the same token something that you deem mediocre can be a big hit. The old cliché is definitely apt... 'beauty is ion the eye of the beholder'

 Practically speaking....

Question: Do you have a general process to creating? Are you a planner or more of a spontaneous artist? Has that evolve over time?

Answer: I used to be very spontaneous and just start throwing paint around when I first began, but I do find my art is a lot more planned now and influenced by the products and images that I am using.

Question: Do you experience 'blocks' when creating? Do you have tricks to get past them? 

Answer: Omg all the time... I actually find it quite frightening and overwhelming at times especially now that it is my job to 'create' and 'inspire'. I tend to resort to something very simple like pattern making and colouring when I have a block just so that I feel that I'm doing something and it definitely seems to get me out of that rut.

Question: Do you use different products now than when you first started on your creative path? If you were stuck on a deserted island, what are the main supplies you would need to have with you?

Answer: When I first started I almost exclusively used inks as I wasn't confident at all with paint, nowadays I love my paints and love to combine them with my coloured pencils to create brightly coloured works of art.  I also love working with just a black pen, the stark contrast of black and white is really appealing to me.

So on a desert island I would need a sketchbook, a few paints in my favourite colours, my new pattern mini stamps and my pencil case with a few coloured pencils.... I'd happily create all day every day!

Question: When you teach, what format do you find works best for both you and your students ? How have you found online versus face to face and what kind of set up do you think is the most interesting ?

Answer:  I like to actively encourage my students to change up each class to make it their own, whether it be online or in person.  I like to give them the freedom to change the colours or the stamps or stencils that they are using to make their project unique to them.
It's strange. because I find when I am teaching in person my teaching style completely changes. I find online much more relaxed as everyone can work at their own pace and can go back at the end to go over the recording for anything they may have missed.  
I find when I teach in person classes I have students working on multiple steps at once so that the product in class can be shared and no one is left sitting around doing nothing waiting for product to become available. its definitely a balancing act.
Both online and in person most certainly have their benefits.

Designer Life ...

Question: How did you first start designing for PaperArtsy? Can you share a bit of how that process evolved for you, and do you have any advice for your younger self or other creatives now that you are more aware of this process ?

Answer: I touched on this in one of the earlier questions but I actually taught a class for Leandra and we had a discussion in passing about designing a line of stamps and stencils.... to be honest at the time I just thought she was being polite! It did take a further year before I designed my first release for PaperArtsy and I had no clue whatsoever what I was doing!!
I went for simple designs that were within my creative reach at the time, and went for designs that I was already hand-drawing into my art journals.

Mmmm what would I say to my younger self. or anyone else starting out.... believe in yourself and just go for it!... I was convinced I was not good enough and who would want to buy my designs but so glad I took the leap, the rewards have been so worth it!!

Question: How do you go about designing your products? Do you have a set process? Has that changed other time?

Answer: I keep a list of ideas on my phone at all times, and if I have a new idea I add it to the list... I currently have over sixty ideas listed and it's forever growing.

When it comes time to start designing I generally go through the list and see if anything sparks my creativity... to be honest sometimes I just don't know which to choose first and sometimes nothing comes forward instantly but I do find having my ideas listed a really good starting point.
I usually have an idea for one focal stamp and then everything else kind of follows on from there. The process has never really changed for me and it definitely works for me this way.

Question: Is there a product you love to use that you wish you had designed?

Answer: Oooo id have to say either coloured pencils or watercolour markers. I love that when I'm travelling they are easy to transport and the colours are just amazing and I find it so inspiring that you can create so many different pieces of art with so little product.

Question: What does it feel like when other people use your products and share with you what they have made? Do you learn or get inspired by seeing other people using your stuff?

Answer: Omg I am always amazed and blown away with other peoples creativity using my products... I've lost count of the times I've looked at a piece of art and wondered why I never thought of that!! It really does give me a real thrill to see what everyone creates with my products.

Looking ahead ... 

Question: Do you have any new skills (craft related or not) that you want to learn in the near future?

Answer: Not necessarily a new skill but I'm currently looking at how I can incorporate my love for fabrics and embroidery and bring those into my art journal pages... the ideas are flowing for sure.
Also not craft related at all but I love to entertain and charcuterie boards have certainly sparked my interest at the moment.. making flowers and beautiful displays from food is most definitely getting me all excited... watch this space for sure.

Question: You sometimes share your new releases with a glass of wine on hand. Do you have a personal favourite cocktail or drink you would share with us?

Answer: Other than a glass of wine obviously.... I love a Pina Colada or a strawberry daiquiri when I'm on my holidays....oh and let's not forget and mojito or a margarita..mmm come to think of it I'm partial to a tequila sunrise as well... and hubby makes a very good baby Guinness shot.... I really think I should stop talking now hahaha.....

Question: Do you have any events planned this year coming up that you want to share with us?

Answer:  Well whilst you are reading this I will have actually landed in Mexico for one of my best friends weddings for which I am a bridesmaid and my husband is a groomsman. I'll probably be drinking one of the aforementioned cocktails at this precise moment in time,  this has been planned way before covid so very pleased its finally happening.

Once I return from there its full on work mode as I'm off to both Canada and then Australia to teach a number of classes for several PaperArtsy stockists. Looking forward to meeting new people in the classes and definitely catching up with old friends.  I'm a very lucky girl.

Visit me at my website, on Instagram, via Facebook, over at YouTube, or in my FB Group Seth Apter Creative Community.

Over the next few weeks our blogging team will be showcasing all things 'Tracy' in some very interesting ways! Keep an eye on the PaperArtsy blogPaperArtsy's Instagram and PaperArtsy People to keep in the loop with everything new!


Anonymous said...

I love everything Tracy, her artwork, love for color and her warm personality. I have taken a few classes with her at Clipper Street in Langley, BC. I hope to be able to enjoy more in person classes but until then I am grateful for online classes.🤗

Chris MARKEY said...

Hi Tracy, I well remember your first trip to Australia and you telling us that when you got back to the UK you had one day of work to finish up your job and then were going to pursue a career in art. You where nervous and excited and wondering if you were doing the right thing. Well you did it and have gone from strength to strength. Well done. I am excited that you are coming back to Australia and I will see you in July and enjoy a 3 day workshop with you at Memories on the Murray at Murray Bridge SA. It's been a long time. ❤❤❤

Karen Daley said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview, looking back and looking forward. Speaking of looking forward, I can't wait for Tracy's upcoming classes at Scrapbook Centrale in Montreal in early June! I've taken a number of Tracy's classes in person and on-line and I love the creative inspiration and techniques. Tracy has definitely influenced my creative journey, and PaperArtsy has provided many wonderful products for my arsenal! :-)