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Purple Mist Art: The Art Blog of Tasha Taylor

"I have to live creatively. I don't know how to do anything else."


Self Portrait:Bohemia


February 12th, 2009

I'm Moving!

Self Portrait:Bohemia

As a testament of why I should've started this art blog long ago, before all of these overhauls were done to Livejournal, I've decided to make the move to Wordpress instead. It's got a lot of features that will prove useful to me, both creatively and financially. So check me out over there: tashataylorillustrations.wordpress.com. You'll be able to comment just like you can here, just leave a name and/or a link so I know who you are :-). As always, thanks for all of your support!

Creatively Yours,

Tasha Taylor

January 20th, 2009

So, after a long hiatus, I'm back on the blog and working hard to make a habit out of writing here on a regular basis. I'm actually feeling confident that I will be, because it almost serves as a constant push to keep me going and keep doing what I'm doing. I've accomplished a fair amount of things in 2008, but I want to continue in 2009. I want to go even further. So, with all the new an historic things that have happened so far, particularly today, here are my goals for 2009:

1: Realize that this journey is going to be filled with a lot of bumps in the road as well as triumphs. This career path I have chosen is extremely rewarding, but also a very hard path to follow. I can't let the lags and lulls shake my self-confidence.

2. Learn more about art as a business, and present myself not only as a talented artist, but a formidable businesswoman.

3. Become more disciplined and dilligent with my working habits.

4.  Create, create, create!

There are a few other small ones, but for the most part, these are the main ones. Pretty attainable, right?

Now with that, I'll post my most recent work, a piece I finished today. I've been working on a "Fairy Tale" series, and all of the completed works I've posted on my Myspace(www.myspace.com/purplemistart), but I'm going to debut this one here. I have a feeling that will be a common theme here. Anyway, here it is, "The Little Mermaid." Click the pic to see the full-sized version.
                                             All images Copyright 2008 Tasha Taylor

Has anyone ever actually read the story? I mean, the non-Disney version? It's quite sad. Disney really twisted it up, but I can totally understand why. I absolutely love the way the mermaid turned out. She may be featured in a couple of other pieces. I hope everyone is having a productive week!

August 10th, 2008

So I admit it...I'm a fan of reality TV. I don't indulge in it too much, but I do watch. And most recently, I caught the first episode of "I Want to Work for Diddy." I swore I wouldn't watch it, but it sucked me in. And watching it got me to thinking about what it takes to build a business, build your brand, and just being a successful entrepeneur. Diddy(or P. Diddy, or Puff Daddy or whatever he wants to call himself these days) is obviously one of the most successful businessmen in the world. His reputation for being notoriously hard to work for is also world-renound. A lot of his staff fall victim to his constant temper tantrums and freakouts. His demands seem pretty unreasonable to the outsider(anyone remember MTB2 when he made those people walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn for friggin' cheesecake?!). But then one looks at the bigger picture, and what he has accomplished in his career...his Bad Boy Empire speaks for itself. So it makes me wonder...is the attitude just him being a spoiled, overbearing asshole, or is it an unwillingness to be and accept second best?
Another one that strikes me on TV is Kimora Lee Simmons, well-known for her bitchy divatude and crazy outbursts on her staff, but she's built one of the most successful brands in the world. Does that divatude equal success? I think of that movie "The Devil Wears Prada" too...Meryl Streep's character was a nightmare, but was head of the most successful magazine in the world.

I'm not limiting myself to the realm of celebrities and movies. I've worked various assistant jobs since I graduated college, and I fortunately have been able to work for grassroots companies in which my main boss was the founder/owner who built the company from the ground up. The founders of the last two companies I worked for impressed me the most, not only because they both started out with a simple idea, but because they were both women. Even though things didn't work out with those jobs for various reasons, I can honestly say that I learned a lot from them, and got to watch them in action. And even though no level of aggression or divatude was thrown at me(at least not to a level that I couldn't handle), I watched both of them sling it to clients, vendors, etc. to make sure that nothing slipped through the cracks. The words "no" or "I can't" were not an option.

I didn't get it at the time, but I as I've been taking steps to build my own business, it's starting to make sense. And it makes me wonder if I have the chops to be a successful businesswoman. I mean, I know I have the passion. As long as I can remember, being an artist is what I've wanted  to do as a career. Nothing else has been acceptable(which is probably why I've been through several jobs LOL), and nothing else will be acceptable. Being creative has always been the only thing that made me happy. But do I have the proverbial balls? That aggressiveness that translates to "bitch" in the testosterone-ruled business world? Just being a woman stacks points against you, and businesswomen have to fight to break through that glass ceiling everyday, even if they do end up being labeled "a bitch."  I've never been a really bitchy person. Sure, that button can be pushed and the bitch will come out, but it's a stiff button. Hard to push. I can take a lot of stuff thrown at me before I fight back, and I avoid confrontation like the plague. And in one sense, that may be a good thing. Art is a very competitive business, and you have to be able to take the criticism and the battles. But what about the other side of it? Selling and approaching clients and dealing with printers and art agents and all that?  Is being a bitch the only way to make sure that the assembly line stays straight?

I guess at the end of the day, it's about finding a happy medium. There's no doubt that you have to have a hard shell and a tough demeanor in order to make sure that the small parts move with the bigger parts, so the machine that is your business runs smoothly.  There is no job too small and unimportant. It all ties together. And I truly believe that you don't 100% understand that until you are put in the position to build your dream, and make sure your bread and butter never runs out.  And you shouldn't accept second best. That's what I've learned, and that's what I've been applying to my efforts. But at the same time, I don't want to lose a big part of myself, which simply, is being a nice person. It's just what I am. So I hope I can find that medium, and be able to balance both sides of the scale.


July 7th, 2008

The show went fantabulous. We got to talk to a bunch of people about my work, hand out some business cards, and really just schmooze and enjoy ourselves. It was great. I really, really hope that someone will purchase one of the pieces, but even if they don't, the exposure is invaluable. So I'm hoping it will circulate some business for me. One lesson I've learned(still learning, really) is that there really is no such thing as an "overnight success." Sure, there are those rare cases, but for the most part, successful businesses are successful because there is a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes, and time and effort lands on your side. All I can do is continue to do what I'm doing, and my work will pay off.

Here's me at the show:

My 4th of July weekend was lovely as well. We went to the usual barbecues and saw the usual fireworks, but the one different thing we did was that we went to a Calypso Fest. Calypso is kind of like reggae, and it originates in more of the french-speaking Caribbean islands, like Trinidad, Tobago, and Antigua, which is where my husband is from. It's really uplifting and fast paced, and when I hear it, I think of lots of bright colors. It actually gave a lot of great ideas that I can't wait to get started on.

I've been toying with the idea of starting a webcomic, starring some cartoon characters I created over 10 years ago. I've watching a lot of my favorite cartoons on Youtube, and was thinking how much kid's TV is lacking in terms of good cartoons. The classics(like Bugs Bunny and whatnot), aren't even shown on Cartoon Networks, and 90s cartoons(or the "Animation Renaissance"), that I watched religiously don't even form a blip in the minds of kids today. I've always wanted to be a comic artist, so why not start on my own terms? That seems to be my focus these days :-). So I'm developing that, and I hope it will completely form before the summer is over.

June 26th, 2008

So by choice and by chance, I've stepped into the world of being a full time artist. It's something I've dreamed of doing for a long time, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to sink all of my energy into building myself as not only as an artist, but as a business. 

Of course, the main objective is to earn money from my craft. I have different ideas on how to go about earning money. Of course there's  freelancing, as well as selling my paintings and drawings on eBay, Etsy, and independently. In terms of marketing, I'm just joining as many art forums as I can, and giving my business cards out like crazy.  I'm not sure what else I could do, honestly, but it seems to be working. I'm learning that I can't put a time stamp on this type of thing, all I can do is keep recycling my efforts until they pay off.

They actually did pay off in one sense...I applied to be in the All Media Art Show at Art Works(www.artworks.com) for the first time ever, and I actually made it in!  I entered "Island Lovers:"

...and another one called "Mommy's Bedtime Stories" that I stupidly did not scan before I popped in a frame and gave it to the gallery.  Tomorrow is the official opening, they're having a reception and everything, so I'll try to at least snap a picture of it. I'm also taking the opportunity to network myself. Chris(my husband) and I are bringing a bunch of business cards and we'll be schmoozing with the crowd. I'm actually pretty nervous, but incredibly excited. I'm so grateful for the exposure, but what would make it even sweeter would be if I won some prize money, or some actually bought one of my drawings. How sweet would that be?

Lastly, I've decided to start a webcomic, which hopefully will turn into a regular comic, or even better, a cartoon show!  I'm reviving some characters I created while in high school. I can't even confine them to just "characters," I actually wrote scripts, created profiles...the whole nine. So I've decided to revive them and create a webcomic, and hopefully generate some buzz. 

All in all, it's been a pretty productive month. Hopefully the next time I blog, I'll be climbing even further. I seem to be on a good path so far ;-).

I'm watching some sort of profile on famous serial killers on E! I've been juggling the idea of doing a painting based on the case of The Black Dahlia. Is that sick or what?

June 6th, 2008

So, since I'm off from the day job on Fridays, it seems to have become an unofficial "Illustrator's Day" for me. This is the day that I spend doing all of my projects and building my business. So I'll probably be updating every Friday, just FYI ;-).

Ideas, ideas, ideas...I've been bursting with them lately. It's rare that I'm left without them, though. I've been lucky enough to not suffer from "artist's block" most of the time. It's just a matter of getting them on paper and being satisfied with what's there. I have a tendency to work at a loose sketch diligently until it becomes a complete drawing. I suppose that could be a good thing on some levels, but it doesn't enable me to be able to work faster and pump out more ideas. I just have to "let things flow" and build from there. Loosen up, basically. I was told that constantly in college, and I'm realizing just now how it important that is. It's funny how things work out :-).

I've also did a few "business" things today. I did a few tweaks to my website, and updated it with some new annoucements.  I've also been writing down several ideas, plans, and objectives for Purple Mist Art as a business. I really want it to grow in several different directions, and for it not to just be about my drawings and paintings. There are so many directions I want to go in, but the main objective is this: LIVING BY MY CREATIVITY. Being able to indulge in the many facets of my mind, and earn a living by it. And I know it is totally possible. I've seen people do it. It's just a matter of hard work and putting yourself out there. I've been taking the steps in doing that, and I feel confident that I will be able to get there. Yes, yes indeed.

On a completely different note, I'm watching one of my favorite movies, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Such a classic masterpiece. You want to know some cool stuff I learned about the production of the movie? Anyone who has seen it knows there is both Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons in the movie, but it was produced by Disney. Since the movie was being made by Disney, Warner Brothers would only allow the use of their biggest toon star, Bugs Bunny, if he got an equal amount of screen time as Disney's biggest star, Mickey Mouse. Because of this, both characters are always together in frame when on the screen. Also, it was one of Mel Blanc's("The Man with a Thousand Voices") last performances. Interesting, huh?

June 3rd, 2008

In the Beginning...

Self Portrait:Bohemia

I've decided to start my art blog finally. Whether you are here from a random journal search, through a link on my website, www.purplemistart.com, or just browsing the 'net, I'm glad you're here. I've had a Livejournal for several years now, and it's always been my favorite blogging forum. I've made many friends and learned a lot of things.  So it made sense for me to for my art blog to call this forum home. I hope that I wll be able to be as prosperous here as I have been in my personal journal.

So let's get the formalities out of the way first. My name is Tasha, I'm 27 years old, and I am an aspiring illustrator/artist. I say "aspiring" because I am working toward it becoming my full time job. Being a full time artist has been a long-time dream of mine, and I've wanted to make this *the year* to make it happen. This blog will serve the purpose of tracking my journey, posting my art progress, my marketing efforts, etc...basically any work I do to make my dream of "living the creative dream" become a reality. 

The past couple of years have been a learning process for me. I proudly earned my Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts in 2003, and done a lot of self-educating and soul-searching since then. I've learned that you don't have to accept a "regular" job, and you truly can do what you love. I've gotten to talk to many different full-time, self-employed artists, and they've shared their experiences with me. So I feel confident enough to move forward.

There are many other things I want to explore when I post here...should I pursue one market or several? What tools do I need to begin? What are my overall goals in cultivating a business? I want to be able to answer these questions here.  So now, I'll end this entry with a drawing I did earlier this year, after receiving a brand new set of 120 Prismacolor pencils from my husband. This is after a long stretch of not doing anything creative, so it's not the best, but it was a good creative warm up:

So I hope that you enjoy the journey behind the purple mist...I know I will :-)
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