UPDATE: 12 Ways to Motivate an Artist

We all need a little push now and then so I put together this list of tips that have helped me stay motivated and perhaps they can help someone else too…

1. Show Up: This is the single most effective thing you can do to improve your productivity in the studio. Get in there. Even if you are just making phone calls, sorting out your brushes or organizing your supplies. Simply spending time in your studio will get you into the habit of creating. Daily time spent in your studio will improve your productivity.

2. Set Goals: Set goals for yourself and break them down into smaller categories: Long Range, Short Term and Immediate. Example: I am going to paint 5 pieces this month, 2 paintings this week and prep 1 panel this afternoon.

3. Dress the Part: Put on your favorite work clothes for motivation. I have a great pair of funky old shoes (see photo) a beautiful scarf and a paint-encrusted smock that make me feel super creative the moment I slip them on. Discover your power outfit and wear it when you need some extra motivation.

These are my favorite shoes to work in.

4. Connect with Community: Join an online forum and leave comments. Create or join a local chapter for artists in your area and meet once a month to discuss your progress and share resources. Start a blog and invite people to share their comments. Connecting with others will keep you going.

5. Make Yourself Accountable: Tell someone what you are working towards and share your progress with them. Enlist their help to keep you on track. Knowing that someone is waiting to see your results can help maintain your momentum.

6. Lower Your Expectations: Not everything you create will be a masterpiece so allow yourself some time to make the experimental work and rough pieces that will inform your next masterpiece.

7. Open Your Studio: Invite a guest or the whole neighborhood to visit your studio. This will help you to get things organized and asses the amount of work you have ready to display.

8. Apply for Calls: Nothing like a deadline to get you motivated so apply for juried shows and art opportunities and create new work to submit. Even if you don’t get accepted the exercise of assessing your work is invaluable. Here are a few links to organizations that post National Calls For Art and other art opportunities: Art Deadline.com Washington State Arts Commission and National Calls For Entry

9. Take a Class: Sign up for a creative class or workshop. I prefer workshops because they tend to be condensed and intense. This will help you plug into your arts community and connect with like minded folks. It’s easy to comeback to your studio and continue working if you are already in the zone and dressed for the occasion. Arrange to meet with other students after the class.

10. Host an Art Exchange: Throw an art exchange party – Invite guests to bring a small piece of original art in a plain brown wrapper to swap with other guests. When you know your work will be judged by your peers it can motivate you to up your game.

Plain paper wrapping helps hide the identity of each artist.

11. Trade Critiques: Swap critiques with another artist. Share your work and use the feedback you receive to propel your work forward. Make changes and submit the new work for additional feedback – The exchange of ideas will help you stay focused and energized.

12. Give Yourself Permission: This is the most important tip of all...Don’t let other work or a looming deadline trap you into paralysis. The dishes, the laundry and the shopping can wait. Schedule time to be in the studio and give yourself permission to be there.

A few inspiring reads:

Artist to Artist: Inspiration and Advice from Artists Past & Present

An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers

To learn more about Alicia Tormey visit aliciatormey.com and Alicia Tormey on Facebook

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If you have other tips for getting motivated please feel free to share them here. I will post some tips on finding inspiration in the coming weeks. Cheers!


Opening Highlights

Wow…it has already been a week since the Sojourns show opened. 

After months of long hours laboring over this body of work it was such a joy to be surrounded by so many friends and followers. The gallery was at capacity for most of the evening. I'm still buzzing from all the love and enthusiasm from that night. Thanks to all you wonderful people who ventured out. And for those of you who longed to be there in spirit here are a few more snapshots from the event…

My profile video, Organic Alchemy, played all through the night projected onto the gallery wall. It was a great way for people to see my process and saved me from having to explain my methods to those unfamiliar with encaustic painting. 

This is one of my favorite pieces in the show titled "Playground". The colors are so vibrant in this one.

Detail from "Playground" 24 x 48 encaustic w/ mixed media

Me with gallery co-owner, Amy Spassov. 

"Braveheart" was glowing under the lights.

  "Grace" made it into the main window. This camera angle makes it look much larger than 48 x 36. The scale is exciting and now I am thinking about creating some gigantic florals.  

These three botanicals look so great stacked together…hope they all go to one home. Would be a shame to break up the family. 

"Diva" found a new home! 


Sojourn: A Temporary Stay

Please join me this Friday, October 2nd for the opening of my solo show: SOJOURNS

Opening Reception: Friday Oct 2 from 5pm - 9pm
Hall | Spassov Gallery
Bellevue WA
Click here for gallery directions and info 

Here's a little preview of the works that will be on display …

Alicia Tormey - Daydreamer  2015- Encaustic w mixed media - 20 x 30 

Alicia Tormey - Carnivore  2015- Encaustic w mixed media - 12 x 12
Alicia Tormey - Grace  2015- Encaustic w mixed media - 48 x 36
Alicia Tormey - Dreamscape  2015- Encaustic w mixed media -12 x 12


Organic Alchemy: Video Released

Hello dear friends…the long awaited video is now officially released. 

Organic Alchemy: Studio Visit with Alicia Tormey

You can also view it in a larger format on my website : AliciaTormey.com or my Facebook page
Thank you for watching! 


Studio Update

It's been a long hot summer here in Seattle and things have been heating up in the studio as well. I want to share with you some highlights from a special project that's been in the works.

My friends over at Shep Films have been busy creating an Artist Profile video that features me working in the studio. The film is in the final production phase now and will be available to view soon. I can't wait to share it with you.  It was a very exciting (looooong) day of shooting but it was so much fun to capture some of the many magical moments that happen during my creative process. Here are a few screen shots and behind-the-scene images…

A look behind the scenes….

Stay tuned my friends...


My (ART) Fair Lady...

Works by Dustin Yellin were on display at the Winston Wachter booth.

Seattle is my FAIR lady! 

The city is still buzzing with energy after what has proven to be a smashing success for Seattle's inaugural Art Fair event. City Arts contributor, Amanda Manitach, has written this amazing recap and follow up article on the Seattle Art Fair.  Below is an excerpt but you must read the full article here: City Arts

…..As we emerge from the whirlwind of the weekend, the collective vibe is too amped-up to objectively assess how successful the fair was in financial, critical and cultural terms. At a party on Saturday night, representatives from Artist Trust were glowing. The proceeds from the Seattle Art Fair patron VIP ticket sales—which were entirely donated to the organization—amounted to $85,000. That number was three times what they expected. A representative from the Office of Arts & Culture gushed when describing his tour of the art fair and Out of Sight with Mayor Ed Murray. “The Mayor only meant to walk through quickly, but he was so impressed he stood up three meetings to spend the next couple of hours walking around, looking at art.” …..read full article here!
This piece by Ivan Navarro was one of my Fair favorites.

The works at the alternative art show "Out Of Sight" showed off the creative talents of Seattle artists. This piece is by Jennifer McNeely

Detail of sculptural work by Jennifer McNeely at the "Out Of Sight" show.

Dustin Yellin: Ant Farm: Mixed Media

Dustin Yellin: Painted Glass Sculpture

My paintings on display at the Hall / Spassov Gallery 
In conjunction with the Fair I had four new works on display at the Hall / Spassov Gallery as part of a Pop-Up show just for the Art Fair weekend. 
Looking forward to Seattle Art Fair 2016!


Fair Weather...

It's ART season here in Seattle! The inaugural Seattle Art Fair opens this evening with a preview party at the CenturyLink Field Event Center (WaMu Theater), and the fair runs through Sunday, Aug 2nd.  

This means a jam packed weekend for art lovers awaits with numerous art happenings coinciding with this main event. Too many to mention here so I am including a link at the bottom of this post.  

In conjunction with the fair I will have new work on display for this weekend only at the Hall Spassov Gallery in Seattle. Below are the images that will be up from Friday thru Sunday only (July 31 - Aug 2). 

Codex - encaustic, shellac,oil - 24 x 48

Blue Tide - encaustic, shellac,oil - 24 x 48

Wanderer - encaustic, shellac,oil - 24 x 48

Courageous - encaustic, shellac,oil -48 x 24

Fair Dates/Hours/Locations/Satellite Events: Click Here to see the listings in The Stranger


Studio Update...

Hey there...I hope you are enjoying this amazing summer so far!

I have spent most of this season hunkered down in the studio enjoying the long sunny days that spill into my windows and light up my workspace. 

Work-in-progress for my upcoming show at the Hall /Spassov Gallery
There has been a lot of painting and preparing going on here as I get ready for my next solo exhibition coming up this October. (see info below)

"Sojourns" opens  at the Hall / Spassov Gallery in Bellevue, Washington this October. Come check out this gorgeous "jewel box" of a gallery and see what I've been working on all summer.  Here are the deets…..

Hall Spassov Gallery presents:
New Encaustic Works by
Alicia Tormey
October 1 - 31

Join Us for the Opening Reception
Friday, October 2nd
5pm - 9pm

Hall Spassov Gallery
800 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 150

Bellevue, WA 98004


Open Studios at Inscape...

Inscape Arts Summer Open Studios
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Hours: 1pm to 6pm
(Visit Studio #118 if you want to see what I have been up to.)

More details here: Inscape Arts on Facebook