Today’s guest is Tracey Fletcher King, an artist, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher from Queensland, Australia.
In this episode, Tracey talks about how she grew up within a creative family and how her own artistic journey was almost inevitable.
After leaving college, Tracey worked as an art teacher before getting married to her Golf-Pro husband. His career took them travelling for 9 years with their daughter, before they finally settled back in Queensland. She describes what it was like to start painting again following such a long break from art and how difficult it was to push past the hurdle of having to relearn her skills.
An Evolving Art Style
Tracey’s art style has continuously evolved over the years, from creating very realistic botanicals to lively paintings of household objects to the big, bold realistic watercolours that she is enjoying now. She talks about what led her style to evolve in this way.
Art journalling through difficult times
In 2013, Tracey was diagnosed with breast cancer. She talks about the art journal that she kept throughout this difficult time and how it helped her through some of the darker times. She talks about how it was also important to throw it away when she felt the time was right.
Making time for her art
Tracey’s diagnosis has also forced her to become an expert at time management. She has to fit her art in around her treatments and during the times when she feels well. Tracey talks about how she has managed to continue to produce so much work despite her dramatic reduction in working hours and she shares some of the time management tips that she’s had to learn along the way.
This is an inspiring interview about following your passion, doing what you love and making time for your art, no matter what the obstacles.
Where to connect with Tracey
Tracey’s website www.traceyfletcherking.com
Tracey’s Esty Shop www.etsy.com/au/shop/TraceyFletcherKing
Tracey’s online courses www.traceyfletcherking.com/classes-1/
That niggly voice of your inner critic
In this episode, we talk about that niggly voice in the back of our heads, our “inner critic”. It’s the voice that questions everything we do and whether it’s good enough. As creatives, we can spend a lot of time on our own with only that one voice for company… and it’s really hard not to listen! We talk about our ways of dealing with that irritating inner critic.
Make the inner critic work in your favour
We all see our inner critic as our enemy. What we need to try and do is make it work in our favour. That voice is only really there to protect us from being hurt. We have to try and use it to help us strive to produce better work, without letting it crush our confidence.
A little about Art Journal January
We also talk a little about Art Journal January and some of the art we’ve loved. As usual, we brutalise people’s names as we try to pronounce them. Plus I (Tara) talk about my experience of taking part in the challenge and trying to overcome my inner critic. Sandra, who was in the Caribbean for the first half of January mentions how she felt she was missing out by not taking part in the challenge. It was quite a hardship for her to lie by the pool in the sun and drink cocktails (PS. Can you tell it’s Tara writing these show notes!)
A mention of our February challenges
We also give a mention to our two February challenges –
February Faces, an art challenge to create a face drawing (sculpture, collage, etc) every day of the month
February Fables, a challenge to write a children’s story during the month.
We will both be taking part in February Faces. We’re also going to put a twist on February Fables by collaborating. I will write exactly 250 words, then Sandra will write 250 more until we have completed a story. Who knows what that will turn out like, but we’re sure to mention it in an upcoming episode.
If you haven’t already, you can join our Facebook Group, where you will find like-minded creatives. Plus we have some free downloadable inspiration pdfs for the challenges. They are also available when you sign up for our newsletter.
We hope you enjoy the show!
Megan Jeffery is an illustrator, maker and teaching artist who lives in Connecticut. She came from a family where they were always making things. They used up a lot of old things that would normally be thrown away for art and craft. She continues to do this to today.
Megan has always had a lot of notebooks. When she was a kid they weren’t necessarily journals, but she used to write and draw in them. She also used to attend a lot of art and craft camps as a child. When she was in second grade at school she decided she wanted to be an illustrator. Later she went to Rhode Island School of design and got a degree in Fine Art and illustration.
Now she loves to try and infuse some sort of craft into her illustration work. She does educational illustration (creating illustrations for educational workbooks).
How Megan Started Journalling
Megan first got inspired to start journalling when she saw some Youtube videos by Liz Drake She saw she was doing something called Faxubonichi. This was using stuff that she already had in her home. Megan liked the idea of using existing “junk” that she already had, it was very much like her childhood.
Megan also finds she gets ideas for her work through her journalling. Sometimes the prompts that people give through different challenges spark off new ideas via word association. They might give her ideas for characters or images.
Tips for starting an art journal
Megan likes to use cheap composition/exercise books for her journals. She covers the front and back of them and makes it look like “her” or the season, she will also laminate it. Inside she glues 2 pages together with a glue stick so that markers or wet media don’t bleed through. She washy tapes the edges too. She likes the fact that using cheap composition books means that you don’t have to be precious about your work. If you make a mistake it doesn’t matter and if worst comes to worst you just start a new one. Start off by putting simple things like the date and the weather/temperature. You can also put the type of moon for that day. By doing all this you have immediately got rid of the scary blank page.
Megan’s painting and craft work
Megan also paints and creates puppets. She has a series of paintings on her blog “Girls in a Dress” which were inspired by a book called 100 Paintings by Tim Biskup. She has completed about 30 paintings so far. Claudine Claudine Hellmuth also has a book called Collage Discovery Workshop, where she explains how to make backgrounds that you weren’t expecting. Megan started the paintings by creating a background and then seeing how she could make what she created into a Girl in a Dress.
The finger puppets that Megan makes were inspired by a magazine from Martha Stuart. It was a craft that Megan had not yet explored and so she wanted to try it. Megan enjoys going into detail and so the puppets became very elaborate. She sold the puppets at craft shows and stores and did an exhibit at the children’s museum.
New creative challenges
Megan is now trying a sketchbook challenge. If you are intimidated by drawing she suggests having a conversation or listening to a podcast at the same time. This means you can allow yourself to draw freely, without worrying what your drawing looks like. When she starts sketching she might begin with an object that is in the room like a lamp but then adds to it with patterns and things from her imagination.
Books Megan Likes
Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice by Ivan Brunetti
Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry
Year of The Doodle by Dawn DeVries
Where to find Megan
Happy New Year and welcome to our new, Kick in the Creatives Podcast show! Thank you to everyone who has followed us and subscribed far. Please encourage your creative friends to join in.
This episode is about kicking the fear of sketching. We’ve all been there. You have a beautiful sketchbook just sitting there waiting to be used, but you’re too scared of spoiling it.
We both have very different ways of dealing with our sketching fears which we discuss in the show. Some of this stems from the differences between an artist and graphic designer’s approach. We also make suggestions for overcoming the blank white page before you start and what you can do to cover up mistakes.
The important thing is that you make a start. Even if your first sketches don’t work out as planned they are just a stepping stone to better ones. In a few months or years, you can look back and see how much you have improved. So start now and Kick that Fear of Sketching.
PS. If you want some encouragement on the way please join our Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group, share your work and chat with the other artists and creatives