Hello friends! I'm so thrilled to share today's artist interview with Tara Galuska. Tara creates whimsical miniature works from cut paper and, along with Jamie Smith, is one of the fearless leaders of THRIVE mastermind. Huzzah!
Where in the world are you located? What is it like being an artist there?I live in New Westminster BC Canada and have an art studio in Vancouver. It’s a really beautiful and inspiring part of the world. I love being an artist here because of the inspiring supportive community of artists I’ve been able to connect with. There are some challenges around the high cost of living and scarcity of affordable space as an artist but it’s home for me!
I think for a lot of artists, there's a tension between feeling called to be an artist and the pull to have a "sensible" career. Have you always known that you're an artist? How has your art career evolved?
When I was five I wanted to be either a unicorn or an artist and my career goals remain more or less the same. I’ve certainly in the past felt outside pressures to follow a certain career path and live a certain type of lifestyle that some would consider “sensible.”
I studied design and illustration and worked as a graphic designer for textiles for a little while before moving to Canada where I decided I wanted to follow my own path. Like many creative people, I’ve had about a billion different jobs and I believe as an artist and a human everything is relevant to our becoming.
Can you talk a bit about your process? How has your work evolved over time? What are you working on right now? What's new or different about it?
I love paper! Most of my work is tiny cut pieces of paper but lately, I have been getting into collage which I love!An ongoing art project I have outside of my usual paper work is The Cat Report. The Cat Report is the worlds leading source of news on my cats Daisy and Bijou. I illustrate and hand letter the reports my husband Bill gives me about what the cats are up to.
What is your studio practice like? Do you have any rituals or routines that help you get into the creative zone? Do you ever get creative blocks? How do you get unstuck?
I get into the studio for about 4 uninterrupted days a month and then fit in time between that in evenings and weekends too sometimes.
I don’t get creative blocks but a few years ago now I did. Basically, everything in my life was “blocked” and I was having a really hard time. I found that seeking out professional help and also the book “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron really helped me!
I really love your botanicals series. Can you talk a bit about what that series means to you?
Thank you! I’m a bit of a plant lady with a tendency towards plant murder so I started to create my own unkillable plants with paper!
Do you have any side projects or creative hobbies?
My life is pretty much THRIVE and art with some time for family and friends in there but I have no room or interest in anything outside of that right now. I love the idea of a hobby but my entrepreneurial side won’t ever allow me to just switch off!
In addition to being to being a fine artist, you are also one of the leaders of the THRIVE art studio. Can you tell us a bit what you do with THRIVE and how you got involved?
I am one of the co-founders of THRIVE Art Studio with Jamie Smith. Our mission at THRIVE is to support female artists!
The main way we do this is through THRIVE Mastermind our community of visual artists who meet monthly and provide each other with support, accountability, and motivation. We also have a podcast, speaking series, and art education too.
We run the business together and try and make sure that we split tasks up based on our strengths but as we are a small business with a tiny team it means we share responsibility for everything.
When Jamie first started THRIVE I joined as one of the very first members and when she needed some help with social media she hired me as a contractor for THRIVE. From there I got more involved over time and fell in love with the business which evolved into us having a talk about partnership and now here we are!
Let's talk about work/life balance. How do you balance family life, studio time, business and time for yourself?
I don’t believe in work/life balance! Letting go of that expectation on myself was extremely freeing. Work is a part of life just the same as everything else. For me, work is a large part of my life and something I truly love.
I think all those things you mentioned are interconnected and support each other in making a rich and full life. I manage all the things I have going on by focusing on my priorities and think of things as having “seasons.”
Photo Credits: Britney Berrner and Nicole Wong
What does being an artist mean to you?
It means being creative and curious about life.
If you could give your 20-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
I don’t think my 20-year-old self would listen to any advice I have for her. If I could I’d tell her “it’s going to be fine, don’t worry so much.” This is the same advice I ignore all the time now!
Do you have any questions or comments for Tara? Add them to the comments below!