Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tracy Verdugo Interview

Tracy Verdugo and I have never met before but I feel like I know her thanks to facebook.  She lives down under in Australia, a place I long to go, so we wouldn't meet ordinarily, were it not for our facebook connection.  I found out that she is coming here to the USA next year so we will meet in person at "Art is", I can't wait.  I chat with her on facebook from time to time and asked her if she would do my 5 question interview.  Being the sweetie that she is, she agreed.  Without further adieu here it is..

1.How long have you been making art?
The journey into finding my creative voice really coincided with my journey into motherhood. There is something so empowering and awe inspiring about bringing a precious life into this world so I guess it’s not surprising that shortly after the birth of our first daughter Santana 18 years ago I sat down with half a dozen tubes of cheap acrylic paint and with my beautiful girl asleep next to me, painted my first two little paintings. I was so proud of my first attempts and felt the seeds of something amazing stir. Around the same time I also found the courage to share my voice. I had sung my whole life but very rarely in front of an audience as my performance anxiety was overwhelming. With the loving support of my husband Marco I progressed from singing just with him to performing on stage over a three year period. Currently we are in the studio working on our third album release, this time with our band The Long Goodbyes.
"She felt the potential"

2.How long did it take for you to find your unique style?
In 2002 I held my first solo exhibition inspired by our travels in Mexico where many of Marco’s family lives. My first works were described as colorful, vibrant and joyful so I guess in some ways I fell into my own unique style early. In other ways however as my skill level has increased and my spiritual journey has unfolded my work has morphed and I find myself often painting now in a much more intuitive, playful and soulful way, searching for meaning in my work as it progresses and then building layers of exploration upon that.
"Love lives here"

3.Do you consider yourself successful?
It has been a long journey, 18 years now since I first picked up a brush, difficult times and wonderful times and many times where I forgot about my creative self completely.
In the last year however something big has shifted in my own perception of what is possible and many doors have begun to open. 2012 is looking incredibly, almost unbelievably, and a little bit scarily, amazing as my dream of travelling the world teaching and inspiring others to honor and unleash their own creative beauty begins to unfold.
In January our whole family will travel to the enchanting island of Koh Samui, Thailand where I have been asked to judge a major mural competition, teach and hold my first international exhibition thanks to my gorgeous friend Michelle Ho who is organising these events. All commissions from the sale of my paintings will go to the Dog and Cat rescue centre on the island where our animal loving 14 year old daughter Sienna will volunteer for several days while we are there.
In March I will teach at the wonderful retreat “Art Is” in Sydney and then in September I will fly to the U.S to join the Art Is family again in California and Connecticut. I will also be teaching at the spectacular Sweet Freedom Retreat in Missouri and Hacienda Mosaico in Puerto Vallarta. Other wonderful online friends have offered to help me organise workshops in Texas, California, Georgia, Florida, Canada and Hawaii and I’m doing my best to be able to fit in all of this wonderment during the five months we will be in the U.S.
I am also thrilled to be one of the teachers in Tamara Laportes online extravaganza LifeBook which will run through the whole of 2012.
"Awakening the Muse"

4.Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas and inspiration bombard me continuously and come from many different sources, the small details, the big picture, a poem, a color, a memory, snippets of text cut out of old books. Inspiration overload can sometimes be just as paralyzing as a lack of inspiration as I sometimes struggle to find a starting point with so many ideas flying around in my head.
"Concept and Creation"

5.Do you have a loud critic at your back? If so how do you manage it?
I still occasionally have to deal with my inner critic but I’ve learnt (for the most part) to turn the volume down. I imagine it as the voice of a well-meaning relative who thinks they know what’s best for me but is acting out of their own very different perspective. I also find that staying in balance physically and emotionally, getting enough sleep and treating my body well also helps me to focus clearly and keep emotions of doubt and fear at bay.
Gratitude has also played a huge part in my creative journey. Our family takes a moment each night before we eat to tell each other the things that we are grateful for that day. The more I find to be grateful for the more I realize just how much there is and this awareness helps me to move through the world in a more wholehearted way.

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