Tips and Tricks

Research Photos: Sneaking up on (Un)suspecting Animals by Lara Neece

Ok. This is obviously not a photo of me collecting research photos of an animal; this is me playing around with a Lomography fisheye camera back in 2011 in the Great Dismal Swamp. I don't honestly know if I have any pictures of me behind my camera, because I'm usually the one taking all of the pictures. However, I do like this photo because this is the bird's eye view (if you will) that an animal sees when I creep up on it and snap my "research photos." 

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5 Rituals to Fuel the Creative Process by Lara Neece

We've all had those magical days when you're just there - you're in the zone with little effort rocking out some amazing work. But then there are the days where, despite your best intentions, you're just too distracted to get anything even remotely productive done, or worse, you're putting in the hours and churning out less than stellar work. There are many different tricks that people use to get into their zone on creative days, like listening to their favorite music or burning candles, etc. But really, I've found that the best tactic is to plan ahead. If you get ready for your creative endeavors beforehand, you'll save yourself a lot in the way of time and energy. And if you give your body and mind the fuel it needs to stay focused, then getting into the zone will be that much easier. Here are the big areas that I like to focus on in order to rock out some awesome artwork (and this goes for any other kind of work too).

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From Pencil to Ink, How I Mastered Drawing by Lara Neece

In the beginning, I fell in love with drawing. It wasn't love at first exactly, but there was an initial excitement and amazement at this magic ability that I had neglected almost my whole life. I had always loved art. A self-proclaimed doodler when I was younger, I studied art history in high school, but I never took any studio art classes because I never thought I had "the talent".

But then I took Drawing 101 in college, which I actually only signed up for because it was a prerequisite for Painting 101, and I discovered that - gasp - I could draw! 

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How to Begin: Adjust your View, Silence your Ego by Lara Neece

This past weekend I was talking to my grandfather, who said that he is impressed with my art because he can't even fathom how I am able to make it. I said the same thing to him that I've said to many different people who have said the same thing to me: if you can write your name, then you can learn how to draw or paint. If you can draw a stick figure, then you're halfway there! It's true because you use the same exact motor skills and hand-eye coordination to perform both tasks. Drawing or painting is just a way of recording what you are seeing in a way that appears to mimic reality (unless you are creating abstract art of course). The only difference between writing your name and starting a drawing is that, in case of the former (writing your name), you already have a clear idea of what your name is supposed to look like on the paper and you already know how to make the right marks. To make the leap into drawing or painting, all you really need to learn is how to look at the world in a way that allows you to record what you see as marks on paper. It really is that easy, but there is one big giant hurdle that you need to jump over first in order to do that. Can you guess what it is?

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