Friday, March 13, 2015

Artist Spotlight - Tammie Bennett

Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I consider myself a self taught artist because I never took any art classes in school or university or had any sort of formal training.  I have taken many online art and art licensing classes which I have found super helpful.  I was a marketing major and then graduated law school, so I didn't come from a learning background of drawing and painting.  I've  spent hundreds of hours just working on my skills.  I really love learning new things and teaching myself by DOING. 

Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I work in several!  I love starting out with a sketch, scanning it into Photoshop or Illustrator to colorize and make it into a pattern.  But I also have a huge love for acrylic paint and mixed media.  As I'm feeling more comfortable with my Photoshop skills, I'll be turning more of those painted pieces into patterns. 

What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I am inspired by so much in this beautiful world!  From my children's art, to vintage candy shops, to my runs through the local trails.  I like watching fashion and design shows to see how those artists create their work.  I love looking through vintage field guides to wildflowers and birds.  I have a few vintage children's dictionaries and school books that I can spend hours looking through.  There are so many times I will see something that sparks a light in my head and I'll have to rush to my sketchbook and get it down before it slips away.

What are you working on now?
I'm just wrapping up three new licensing projects that I can't talk about yet, but I am super excited about them!  I'm also working on a lot of new designs for SURTEX in May.  I'll be exhibiting in booth 532 with two other artists from the Happy Happy Art Collective.

Anything else you would like to share with us?
I spent time with a professional coach last year and she helped me tremendously by giving me a system to focus on my priority each day and doing that thing before anything else.  I've made huge leaps in my work because of that focus. 

Also, I'm a big fan of daily habits.  I've drawn in my sketchbook and written in my journal every single day since October 9, 2012 and I can't imagine breaking my streak at this point.  I also created a pattern in Illustrator every single day of 2013 so I could learn the program and get really fast at creating patterns.  My daily art project for 2014 was #365tinythanks where I drew a quick sketch of something I was thankful for and I posted it on instagram.   

I am so thankful for the friends I've made so far in this industry.  I highly recommend getting a collective together or a group of artists who GET you and making it a point to meet (in person or online) every month at least.  It's hard to work alone and without support.  Being part of the Happy Happy Art Collective has been a game changer for me.

Are you an early riser? or night owl?
I'm a night owl, which makes it quite difficult since my kids have to wake up a little after 6am for school.  I seem to hit my artsy groove  around 3pm right before they arrive home from school. I'm still trying to adjust and get a lot of good work done in the morning.

What is your favorite food?
If you had asked me a month ago before I started really cleaning up my eating, I would have said mint chip ice cream for sure!  Now I'll say a really good salmon and brown rice. And I can never ever have enough sunflower seeds. 

You can find Tammie:
portfolio ::
blog ::
instagram ::
pinterest ::
email ::

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  1. Such a charming art style! It's interesting to read about how artists work each day and how they got into licensing their artwork. Loved reading about Tammie's daily habits. I need to find a collective art group.

    1. Hey Christine - I really enjoy the Spotlights too! Tammie has several great 'tips' in her story. Thank you for stopping by the blog :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks you Madeline :-) Also, thanks a bunch for stopping by the blog.


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