From events management to setting up her own business in graphic and textile design, the journey of Tracy Hall has been an interesting one to say the least.
A fine artist at heart and filled with Amazing creative energy, Tracy loves drawing for children and she has an incredibly clean and colourful style which goes well with any kind of surface. Her story is just as interesting as her art, though, as Tracy loves combining all her acquired skills into textile design, as well as drawing whilst on long walks with her dog.
How did you get into the industry?
I am a visual person and have loved the simple process of drawing all my life. So, I knew early on that I had to find work that involved being creative. So, I studied Graphic Design, and with this learnt more about textile studies. Although, at the time, I was studying part-time while working full-time as an event manager.
This provided me with business acumen and necessary experience in the creative industry. I soon became an Artistic Director because I was able ot understand so many different parts of running an event as well as speak the language of the film crew, graphic design team, textile/costume team etc, etc. I was in this position until only 3 years ago when I decided to start my own business.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
I would dearly like to be a fine artist but I’m not sure I could earn a wage to pay the bills :)
Can you explain your creative process?
When I started my business, Trace of Colour, I aimed to combine my skills. I use my passion for drawing to create each image and my technical knowledge to digitally produce the final product. Over the last 3 years I have stayed true to this process – ensuring everything is original and bespoke.
How would you describe your style?
I’m not sure. However, one of my favourite artists is M.C Esher.
My major art piece at UNI was heavily influence by him. To me his artwork is dynamic and captivating – his drawings form optical illusions or mesmerising patterns. He is definitely an inspiration when it comes to my drawing. My work is often described to me as having ‘clean lines and vibrant colours’. So I go with this. Although I’ve learnt to adapt my approach to suit the client - especially in business.
Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?
That’s easy, it’ll have to be the wonderful Australian textile/artist Jenny Keys!
If you haven’t explored her work, do yourself a favour and check it out.
How has technology affected the way you work?
I couldn’t run my business if I didn’t have the latest technology and the best internet abilities. I operate remotely from my home studio in Australia and have clients contract me from all over the world. The internet has definitely made the world smaller and accessible.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
That’s simple. I love what I do! I consider myself lucky as I’ve made a living from what I thoroughly enjoy and passionate about. I have a small A3 pad of paper constantly with me and I’m always drawing. Often inspired by my surroundings, whether I’m trekking through the outback or having a coffee at my favourite café. There is always something that captures my eye – I might not use the image straight away but you never know when it will come in handy for a project.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
Starting my own creative business and drawing for children, whether it’s for a book or to be used on a wall etc. You can really let your imagination go wild when working on projects for kids.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Usually it’s drawing somewhere out in the Australian bush!
I take my two dogs for long walks or to the beach and often stop take in my surrounds and simply ‘breath in the atmosphere’ – this is when an idea will hit me, and I get out my pencil and sketch pad. It seems I’m constantly drawing or noting my ideas. I’m not sure why my family haven’t complained about this.
What is one tip that you would give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
Find your own style and just keep going! It’s bloody hard to break through and become recognised in the creative industry but with passion and perseverance you’ll get there. I also like the saying ‘ don’t start at someone else’s middle’. It can be daunting if you keep comparing yourself to others so don’t do it. Inspiration is different, we all need a little of this, just don’t compare yourself.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the industry?
That big industry-based companies give the smaller creative businesses, like mine, a go.
We might be small but we are mighty!
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would that be?
To be honest I’m not sure. I’m quite happy with everything at the moment. Although, I think businesses tend to have favourites who will get first picks or approached. This is a shame as the creative newbies need to be given a chance, supported or promoted. We need fresh ideas and collaborative projects. The possibilities are exciting.
Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?
Yah, my site :P haha – gotta right? I wouldn’t be running a business if I didn’t promote myself. Here it is: www.traceofcolour.com.au