We had the good fortune of connecting with Tawny Fritz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tawny, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I chose a creative career field initially because I saw it as a way to make money doing what I love. And then… the “making money” aspect killed my love for it because I put so much pressure on myself to be a version of success that *other* people had defined. When I shifted my focus to what I want my life to be and molded my work around that vision of success, the love for the work came back to me. Now, I continue working in illustration as a means to convey a message of connection among humans. My subject matter tends to feature “confrontational” women meant to invoke a feeling or emotion in the viewer. Sometimes people see something in my work that was unintentional but the fact that they see or feel something in it is a success in itself, no matter what my original intention was.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work is primarily ink and a bit of colored pencil on clayboard. I have dabbled in nearly all mediums from digital to oils. I was lamenting to Dan dos Santos and Scott Fischer at Illustration Master Class a few years ago that my favorite part of the “painting” process is the sketch phase. Scott Fischer just casually said “So just draw” and like… wandered away, leaving me basically shell shocked at the idea that I could… “just draw”. The primary lesson I’ve learned is to do what YOU want, in the method YOU enjoy. Art comes in many forms, and whatever medium an artist chooses is no less valid than any other method. I’m excited to share that message with other creators and proud that my little IMC story has made an impression on others who struggled with their work. When we let go of what we’re “supposed” to do, and truly dive in to what we love to do… everything falls into place.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would recommend Valkyrie Gallery in Denver. It is a small, curated art gallery near some lovely restaurants and shops. I would also take them to the top of Pikes Peak so they can get a rad view of the Front Range. Lastly, I would hope to catch a show at Red Rocks Amphitheater and hike any of the plethora of amazing trails we have within driving distance!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout not only to the professional mentors I’ve had the privilege of studying under such as Dan dos Santos, Greg Manchess, Annie Stegg-Gerard, and Donato Giancola (to name a few), but most importantly to my friends who have been here for me even when I’ve had breakdowns and was convinced I could not keep pushing. Allen Panakal of Ancient Ones has been my closest friend for the better part of 6 years and has walked with me through tough times both in my work and in my personal life. My little coven of witches, Sam G, Annie, Shannah, Jen, and Emerald have helped me grow both personally and spiritually. My husband, Sam, is my foundation and deserves ALL the credit for everything ever!