Solely for the Purpose of Art | by Tanya Lorraine
One thing I am NOT, is a writer. So bear with me as I attempt to flesh out who I am as a person and an artist. Talking about myself is not easy for me. When asked to do this I had a deep fear that I would bore anyone who reads this to death! As I get older though, I have learned to take on more of a “ screw it” attitude. So screw it, read on at your own risk!!
I don’t feel like I am very interesting. I don’t have some amazing childhood to talk about ( whether tragedy or some grand event) So I will pretty much just answer the prompts I was given to help me in writing this. I am an introvert and I have struggled with accepting this my whole life. But you know what? Screw it! I am moody, contemplative…. a daydreamer. I don’t like rules ( screw you rules! ) and am willing to take risks and make mistakes. I am generous and loyal, independent and quiet. I struggle with pessimism and cynicism, anxiety and anger. I am eclectic so I don’t have a favorite smell or a song, rather I have many!! But I do have a favorite movie, so I guess that also makes me kind of an enigma.
I grew up a latchkey kid in good ol’ sunny Southern California ( I will forever be a California girl, sorry Tennessee!) I had a good childhood despite being home alone most of the time. When school was out for the summer my parents always made sure to take my sister and I camping, to the ocean, and to Disney Land… every single summer! We also frequently visited my grandparents on their ranch, and I have fond memories of swimming in the lake, hiking, eating big sticks ( popsicles ) and role playing some huge fantasy story with my sister and my cousins… you know the ones where you are pretending to be a Unicorn-Pegasus.
I hated when summers would end… I hated school. I did well, but I always wished I was homeschooled. I wanted freedom, I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to focus on art and music. I loved drawing, that was the one thing I did enjoy about school , was art class. I got into drawing portraits in realism.. I got really good at it and thought maybe I would pursue being an artist. At 16 I started taking piano lessons and got really good at that too and thought I would maybe pursue music. At 16 I also met my future husband and we were married 2.5 years later and started having children 2 years after that!
Fast forward to today ( where did the time go? Screw you time!) we now have 9 beautiful children ( whom are all homeschooled by the way, Yay for home education !!) In the way that it does, life just got away from me. I got busy with raising and educating my children and I just kind of let those artistic pursuits go,( though I now know it didn’t have to be like that as there are plenty of people who juggle both worlds just fine, thanks a lot moody, pessimism! )
I found photography later on in life… after having my 6th child (though it was always in the back of my mind, and to this day I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up a camera), but when I finally did, it was like finding my one true love that I had been searching for all of my life! It became the creative outlet that I needed to help deal with the negative aspects of myself as well as fulfill my artistic desires. It’s been very, very therapeutic for me. I feel really bad saying this, but it isn’t my children that first motivated me to pick up the camera, It was art, solely for the purpose of creating beautiful art. Though definitely capturing my children’s daily lives soon became a driving factor and the icing on the cake.
Though at first I started out just practicing on my children smiling at the camera, making sure to catch focus on their eyes and all that good stuff, I quickly realized it was missing something. I joined Clickin Moms fairly quickly after that and just immersed myself in learning. Some of my biggest inspirations in the beginning were Twyla Jones, Meg Loeks, and Caroline Jenson. To this day they are still huge inspirations to me and always will be, but I have also added greatly to that list.
My love for low-light and dramatic storytelling imagery started to evolve soon after joining CM. Being that we are indoors quite a bit with home education, I naturally became drawn to light and shadow. Low- light became my jam! It is naturally moody and emotive and so am I so it makes sense. Soon after I realized my love for minimalism ( possibly because of the calm feeling it gives me in the middle of the chaos of children and messes) negative space and storytelling also entered the picture and now I am topping it all off with a fine art twist. Look up Andrew Wyeth’s art, it is a huge inspiration to me!
I shoot almost every day, the camera is really just and extension of myself. I have never done a 365, I just let the light and the story of the moment guide me. If I had to describe my style in three words it would be Moody, Emotive, Storytelling. I have a huge desire to teach photography and run a successful wedding photography business, though as of right now I am primarily shooting for personal, artistic pursuits. I am slowly but surely working towards these things so I definitely see myself more involved in these areas years from now.
I’ll end with this; If I could describe what I want my art to say to people, it could be summed up in this quote:
That right there, that is what I strive to create, that is why I create. For how it makes you feel, for the emotion it can evoke, for the art of it.