Tammy Vitale of Lusby Maryland is no stranger when it comes to mixed media and a long list of accomplishments that include Juried Gallery Shows, Publications, Site-Specific and Public Art Commissions. She is the Founder of Wylde Women Gallery, carried the role as a Curator, teach and had the honor of being a Featured Artists at numerous exhibits. Her work can be found from the West to the East Coast.
We here at MMCA Marketplace thank Tammy for taking time to be a part of our Guest Interviews and sharing so much of her time with us. To see and learn more about Tammy and her many talents, visit her blog and website.
Blog: Tammy Vitale
Website: Tams Originals
MP: Tammy when someone mentions multi-talented you are one of the first names that comes to mind. Does all this talent come naturally for you?
You are very kind! I honestly don't think of myself as multi-talented. I think of myself as an artists - and for be that means someone who is always open to trying new tings. Some people call it scattered! There are mediums that absolutely fascinate me (clay and making glass beads). Clay and glass are alike in that you really have to honor the medium and its quirks, and if it all goes wrong you just break it up/apart and make something else. It's the making something else, and being an addicted pact rate, that keeps life exciting. To answer your question: I don't have to work at being interested in and excited by new ways of making art....if that means "comes naturally" then I guess I have to say yes!
MP: You are one of the most giving artists today when it comes to sharing your experiences. Please share with us today one thing that can make a difference in an artist's life.
An artist must have some kind of support in her/his life, someone who believes along with the artist that the art is worth while. The blogosphere is great for this - there are so many wonderful people out there who share my love of art, who are interested in what I'm doing, and who inspire me to try new tings and keep working on whatever project I'm currently creating. Sometimes all we need is "permission " from one other person....that's all it takes to send us out after our heART. When one gets that much support from "out there," it's really heard not to respond in kind.
It's double good if you have that support locally too, from family and from like-minded folks. My husband is great - he helps me with technical things like hooking up oxygen tanks and replacing heat elements in my kiln. I've met most of my local artists community through the Calvert Artists' Guild and from having run a small gallery for a while.
I believe that it's important to share what you have discovered with anyone interested enough to ask. They will take the information and make it their won. This not stealing. It is building upon what has come before. All artists do it.
I also believe that there is an energy that artists channel - we are creators in that it comes through us - like children. And like children, the energy is not ours to keep. We get it here. We nurture it. We put it out there so whomever is looking for it can find it and take it to its true home.
I am grateful for all the things I have learned and am learning from the generosity of others. I want my world to be filled with that generosity. It is therefore mandatory that I, too, be as generous as I know how.
MP: Social Networking is a hot topic today, how do you feel it affects us as artists?
I think social networking is a lovely distraction and keeps me far to long at the computer when I could be in the studio. That said, being an artist is inherently a solitary project, and social networking can keep it from being lonely as well as alone. Additionally, like anything else based on relationships, it takes the same amount of time to nurture and grow a true friendship. So I guess it doesn't really affect us any differently than before - it's just a different name for reaching out and connecting.
MP: What advice would you give an emerging artist?
Believe in yourself first. Everything else comes from that. Then be willing to be passionately committed to your art. Treat it like you would your dearest love...that kind of devotion.
MP: Is there a certain number of hours/day that you have set to work on art? And what time of day do you find yourself to be the most creative?
No. I would love to say I am this totally focused working machine, but I'm not. There are days where I'm in the studio all day long into the night. And days when I'm not al all - when I'm off wandering to Annapolis to slow down and see what I can see, or sitting in front of the computer playing some mindless game because I just can't see to birth what needs to come through. I don't have a favorite time of day. I have no comfortable rhythm. I tried creating that last year and only disrupted everything. It took me the whole year to get back to some sense of disorder - which, for me, is productive chaos.
MP: You are constantly learning new skills and working in new mediums, do you find switching from one to the other keeps you "fresh" and do you have any issues switching gears from one medium to the next?
I think switching does keep me fresh. It definitely keeps me from getting bored (I'm an Aries, I get bored easily). And the very cool thing is that after a while one thing will start bleeding into the other and the mediums start informing each other and taking the art in new directions. I like switching gears (see "productive chaos" above). There is no transition problem. If I get mired in one medium, I just go work in another. I find jewelry making to be very soothing. Bead making too - both give immediate feedback on success.
MP: Do you have a favorite medium and/or technique that you just can't live without?
Last year I would have said clay, clay, clay. Now I must say: clay, glass beads, jewelry, clay, glass beads, jewelry, glass beads, glass beads, glass beads. I'd be very unhappy if I couldn't work in *all* of these mediums.
MP: If for just one day, you could be anyone from anytime in history, who would that be?
A cave painter in Lascaux.
MP: Please share with us any upcoming projects/books/events/etc we can look forward to seeing in the future?
This year my plan is to bloom in my own back yard. The economy has encouraged me to see what I can find locally that expands me, helps me meet new people, helps get my work out. I am meeting and talking with local and regional art organizations, leaders, practitioners and buyers toward creating an art drive 2x a year (for starters) beginning in Northern Calver (Maryland) and using Route 4 all the way down Calvert into Leonardtown, St Marys (our neighboring county which is a slight job to the west). Route 4 is straight and Calvert is a narrow peninsula so we're almost all gathered within 15 minutes of the major roadway. We have an amazing abundance of artists here and should be a destination. Think of the possibilities!
MP: Is there anything you would like the art world to know about you that we did not cover in our interview?
Yes. Making art to sell is not selling out. I would like the world to know that artists do not belong on a pedestal and making art isn't "special." It is working at what you love - and hopefully being able to make a living at it. Further, artists feed the spirit like farmers feed the body. That makes art in school programs just as important as sports programs and learning one's ABC's.
We hope you have enjoyed Tammy's interview as much as we enjoy knowing her as one of our art mentors.