CHRYSALIS: A Solo Show @ The Portico Cafe

Folks, it’s been a hot minute but I am so excited to share some news.

I have a lovely solo art show up at The Portico Café, located within The Portico Tampa in Tampa Heights. This show was curated by Hope Donnelly of 8 Count Productions (aka The Rialto Theatre) and I am forever thankful to her for so many reasons. Hope was a dream to work with, so organized and professional. It was amazing. Also, The Portico is just gorgeous. I feel so honored to show my work in this space.

Hope and the crew at 8 Count wrote a beautiful article about me, my work and the show. To read it in full:

https://8counttampa.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/the-midnight-alchemist-teresa-navajo/

Here is a sneak peek at some of the work that is on display. If you can check out this show in person, please feel free to snap photos (and tag me in them!!). I would love to see which pieces are your favorites.

IMG_8602.jpeg
IMG_8577.jpeg
02B3E561-4C9C-4F23-8D3A-20C9085DA888.jpeg
Pictured with Kevin, a collector who purchased 3 pieces from this show.

Pictured with Kevin, a collector who purchased 3 pieces from this show.

This show will be up until June. The Portico Café is located at 1001 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

April Events!

I am so excited to share a collection of curated events with you. Please join me, if your schedule permits.

Click below through my listing of April 2019 events to find details, dates + times and locations.

 
 

Monthly Resolutions: Digital Detox

Andrew caught wind of this pretty epic concept close to New Year’s Eve. I don’t remember what article or podcast it came from but basically, rather than create this impossible list of resolutions for the New Year you find one thing you’d like to add to your life that would make a positive impact and remove one negative thing that your lifestyle currently holds on to.

So far I have been better about saving more money and we eat less junk food after dinner, I’ve started listening to audio books and gave up alcohol for a month. So now comes March and the thing I will be “giving up” is my phone.

The Midnight Alchemist - Digital Detox

I was shocked to see that my screen time was close to an entire work day’s worth of hours a few weeks ago. It made me feel so lazy, unproductive and honestly… it made me feel stupid. As in, is my life so mundane that mindlessly scrolling is my most enjoyable form of entertainment? God, I hope not!

So here goes… beginning tomorrow I will only be jumping on my phone for phone calls, text messages and my 1 hour max per day of “entertainment” which also much include my postings for promoting my artwork and appearances at various events.

It still sounds like a lot of time, but this will give me about 30 minutes to reply to any messages I receive on my social accounts and scroll, leaving me the remaining 30 min to create and post content in the form of daily posts/stories on my Instagram, Facebook and FB Group for Fringe. THATS IT. when the timer goes off, I am done and the rest of the day/night will be spent actually living life.

To ensure that I keep my phone time down, I am taking some time tonight to even uninstall any time wasting apps and also remove my email from my phone. Since I operate a small business, I obviously still need to check emails and may need to spend some real time on my website or newsletter, those things are reserved for computer time. It’s funny. When I sit at my desk and jump on my computer, I am efficient and productive. I don’t fall into mindless scrolling or clicking. So, if its work - I can still do my work. I just cant waste time doing nothing and pretend it was work anymore.

For my positive thing to add to my life, I am considering taking up yoga or possibly creating an audible goal of something like 4 books for the month.

So what do you think? Can I do it? Maybe you want to join me in my attempt to reduce my screen time, what could you do to create more IRL time in your day? I’d love to hear your ideas for cutting back on mindless scrolling.

How to build a social media following for your artwork - part two

Part two here of this little social media deep dive. If you didn’t read my first post on the topic and want to check it out, CLICK HERE.

Since social media is such a broad road, I am going to hone in on just one platform. My favorite one. Instagram. If you prefer Facebook or Youtube and have better ideas than me, I welcome you to leave comments below so that everyone can share in the knowledge.

Let me start off by saying - I am not instagram famous. I have less than 2,000 followers to my account, so it’s a little silly feeling for me to give tips, tricks and hacks but it’s the question I get asked the most in my collective so here it goes.

This is my basic guide making my social media shine. Feel free to read through all of the topics or just skip to the sections that you feel are most important. While this list is numbered, these topics are in no particular order of importance.

  1. Be authentic in finding your niche

  2. Do some research to boost your growth (part 2)

  3. Engage with the fans you have (the new ones will come when they come)

  4. Have fun, it is afterall just an app

  5. Get out of your own way (use stories, post selfies, be yourself!)


DO SOME RESEARCH TO BOOST YOUR GROWTH

Growth won’t happen overnight so be prepared to do the work before you see results. If someone is out there telling you that you can snap your fingers and have half a million followers on social media, quit your job and just make art without putting in the sweat equity. That person is either lying to you or they are a genie and you’ve got two more wishes.

This may turn into a longer than I hoped for post, so I’ll break it down into pieces so that you can skim through to what you want to read and skip over what you don’t need right now.

HASHTAGS

Spend some time one evening on your couch and look at your favorite art accounts. Look at the tags they use. Make a list of ALL the tags that you feel fit your artwork too. Your list may get massive, so what I did was take note of duplicate tags and then I looked those tags in the search feature of Instagram. This helped me determine if I wanted to add it to my list for my own use.

Be wary of tags that have too many hits. Yep, sounds counter productive but think about it. If a million people use that tag, odds are no one will see your post in the sea of all those other posts. I like to pick well used, but not overly used tags to add to my posts.

If you post more than just artwork on your ‘gram. Develop a personal tag so when someone asks “where can I see your art?” you can tell them the tag. Honestly - you should be telling them your website address… but I know you won’t so this is the next best thing :)

Pro Tips

  • Write your tags in a note on your phone so you can copy/paste them easily. You can also edit here too.

  • Don’t always post the exact same tag list. If the tag does not apply, erase it and maybe add one that works better for the photo. The tag list is your starting guide, you want to vary it here and there to keep things fresh.

AESTHETIC

While you are browsing other accounts for tags, take notice of the overall appearance of the feeds. I truly feel that you need to stay authentic and be a real human but there is also something to be said about having a nice looking feed. I like to aim for this, it doesn’t always happen but I try. You need to be realistic too, we don’t all have studios with amazing lighting, so maybe you have to fake it by buying a slab of tile that you picked up from Home Depot so you can set up a faux-tography station by the nicest window in your house… hello, that’s what I do.

Give yourself permission to not be perfect and to also experiment. Find a photo style that works for you and try it out for a month. Give it a good solid shot at succeeding or failing and then move on if you need to.

Pro Tips

  • To Filter, or not to filter… your call. With artwork some artists prefer to not filter their photos. If you decide to be a purist, try to shoot a lot of photos at once so that you have a reserve of content to post. When it’s time to take more photos, set up your space to mimic those original conditions. Time of day, was is sunny or overcast, etc. If you want to filter your feed, you can always create a sub feed via your highlighted stories of your artwork shot in natural sunlight.

CAPTIONS

Tell me something good. Captioning photos is not easy but honestly, for the accounts I love to check in on they all give good caption. I’m more inclined to leave a comment if the caption is thoughtful, asks a question or tells me something interesting. Seeing a photo with no caption makes me think “why do I care?” Unless you are one of those superstar accounts with a bazillion followers, you can’t do that, you can’t leave the caption blank. Sorry. Simply put, you have to build a foundation with your images and captions that make me want to plant my seeds of interest in you.

Pro Tips

  • Not sure how to caption? Just ramble. Type and type and type then review and edit down.

  • Be real in your words. Please don’t over use those millennial key words like “swoonworthy.” No one talks like that. Be you. Be real.

LOOK BACK AT IT

Take a look back at YOUR most liked posts. You can use Best Nine year round and see what posts people connected with the most.

Teresa Navajo - Intuitive Painter, Abstract Artist

Here is a look at my Best Nine from 2018. Right off the bat I noticed a pattern. My most liked photos have me in them. People also identified with a few inspirational quotes and an article that was published about me and my artists collective in the local arts newspaper.

Pro Tips

  • Use a site like Best Nine to see what people liked most from you.

  • Look at each picture and find a pattern in those nine squares, I promise you - there will be a pattern.

  • Take inventory on how you want to use this data. Do you want to start posting more photos of yourself on your feed (if thats what shows up in your most liked pix)? Whatever you decide, make a plan to do that.


Next up I’ll touch on engagement but I’d love to hear what you thought of these tips? Like I said, I am not an expert so if you have an ace up your sleeve, please share in the comments below. I’d love to learn a thing or two from you guys as well.

How to build a social media following for your artwork - Part one

Social media. It’s a time villain that takes us away from the here and now and plays serious games with our self-esteem. Sadly, social media is a necessary evil when you aim to have a creative business that is also profitable. While I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, I am definitely curious and observant. When I find an artist that I like, I do typically end up on their social channels to see more of what they offer. This is how I have learned what I know, simple SWOT analysis.

Since social media is such a broad road, I am going to hone in on just one platform. My favorite one. Instagram. If you prefer Facebook or Youtube and have better ideas than me, I welcome you to leave comments below so that everyone can share in the knowledge.

Let me start off by saying - I am not instagram famous. I have less than 2,000 followers to my account, so it’s a little silly feeling for me to give tips, tricks and hacks but it’s the question I get asked the most in my artists collective so here it goes.

This is my basic guide making my social media shine. Feel free to read through all of the topics or just skip to the sections that you feel are most important. While this list is numbered, these topics are in no particular order of importance.

  1. Be authentic in finding your niche (part 1)

  2. Do some research to boost your growth

  3. Engage with the fans you have (the new ones will come when they come)

  4. Have fun, it is afterall just an app

  5. Get out of your own way (use stories, post selfies, be yourself!)


BE AUTHENTIC IN FINDING YOUR NICHE

I cannot stress this one enough. Maybe that’s why I inadvertently made it the first one on the list. You must find your “you”, your “why” before you go out there into the wild and start making a name for yourself. Spend some real time with yourself and your artwork and find the framework that is keeping it all together.

Identify your goals and your wants for your artwork. Do you want to just be ‘instagram famous’? Or do you want to find your true community and network, to share ideas, to help one another, to become inspired all while happening to sell some art along the way? There is nothing wrong with wanting to just be famous… I just won’t have any advice for you.

FINDING YOUR AUTHENTIC NICHE

  • Create your own artwork before you jump on instagram/pinterest/etc. looking for inspiration. This basically mean CREATE before you CONSUME.

  • Write in a journal, even if it’s just a list of what you feel when you paint or create.

  • Take photos, even if it’s with just your cell phone (hey! that’s what I do!) and document your work from start to finish. Observe the patterns that come from within your art.

  • Be honest with what you have. We all dont have big massive sunlit studios (I don’t). I’m writing this post at my kitchen table in a tiny house nested in a neighborhood that is less than picture perfect.

  • Find your community. You need supportive, creative people in your life. So find them and talk to them, be friends with them.

  • Don’t get hung up on the details but come up with a way to identify yourself as an artist. Once you know who you are - you can use this to shape your style as an artist as well as your digital offerings on your social channels.

    • Example: I am an intuitive artist who creates abstract artwork inspired by nature and the magical relationships I share with people and animals/plants within my surroundings.

I hope that you take away something meaningful from this post. If you worked on finding your authentic niche as an artist, I’d love to hear what you discovered. Leave me a comment below and let’s talk more.

Welcome to the new space

Welcome to the new space. I’ve been flipping and flopping for the better part of a year trying to find the identity I lost when I started Fringe Creatives. I (think) I finally found my rhythm. Running a start up business, turned artist collective has been no easy task and along the way many sacrifices have been made. Those sacrifices look like self care, making art, selling my own art, getting enough sleep, lots and lots of out of pocket costs with zero return on investment… the list goes on and on.

While Fringe is evolving into something new and different I felt like it was time to also give myself a fresh start. I recently celebrated my 36th birthday and I realized that I have NEVER felt this okay with being me before. I took that as a sign to embrace my own wants and give myself some room to bloom. I have given Fringe my all for about three years and now that it can float on its own, it’s time to dive into my own waters and find inspiration and happiness in my art practice.

I’ve found freedom in allowing myself to paint without motivation, to just let the pigments and paints guide me. Above are a few of my favorite pieces made recently.

I’ve started to allow myself the permission to put my art first and Fringe tasks waaaaay at the bottom of my priorities list. It’s not that I don’t love the artists I work with, it’s just that it’s my time right now.

So what’s the Midnight Alchemist

The Midnight Alchemist is me… A creative that suffers from insomnia who, during the witching hour creates her best work from of jars and tubes of paint, muted tones of creamy sketching pencils and organic substrates.

I have always been drawn to darkness but I was never allowed as a child or teen to express my interests creatively. I definitely was a rebel though and I would “go goth” at school only to shed my skin before the last bell rang to dismiss us for home. I have always felt stifled and inauthentic. I have always wanted to just break free and be me, but I have allowed what other people think I should be guide my daily routine and frankly I just am tired of it.

I am “re-branding” my site and aesthetic to welcome all the things that inspire or ignite me. I am allowed to be me and while it is exciting to finally feel that I can embrace it I am also saddened that it’s taken me this long to feel like I am finally able and comfortable to.

What you can expect

As a reader, viewer and supporter you will see artwork. You will have access to my blog where I will share insight related to running my art business in this capacity as well as Fringe. You will be take on visual journeys as I collect inspiration and store them here. You may see glimpses into my real, unfiltered everyday life. Not much will really change in the sense that I am still an artist. I am just breaking out of my shell a little and allowing myself to grow and try things creatively that I have been too afraid to do for the fear of “what will people think” or “this isn’t my style” or "does this fit my brand”?

My motivation is to gather inspiration and uplift my inner critic. If that also inspires you or sets your inner voices to silent too, then that is pretty amazing if you ask me.

The Midnight Alchemist - In Studio

Have questions about my why? Feel free to leave me a comment below.

Liquitex Painting Class at Blick Tampa

 
Liquitex Landscape - painting by Teresa Navajo
img-5430_orig.jpg
img-5429_orig.jpg
img-5428_orig.jpg

Last weekend I taught a Liquitex painting class at my favorite art supply store, Blick.

If you hang out with me on instagram, you know that my typical style is abstract so this was totally out side of what I've been creating lately... but it was a ton of fun to dive back into my college days of painting and sharpen those skills related to creating more realistic works. 

My group of ladies were all artistically inclined in some way and we had a blast getting messy, making lots of dirty paint water and eventually creating a Liquitex masterpiece. Take a look at all of this beauty guys! For me, the best part of this workshop was the push, for the last 5 years I have been working on mostly abstract styles - so creating something that forced me to get out of my comfort zone was really a treat. Now, I am inspired in a new way and this past week, I've caught myself looking at botanicals, sunsets and wild surroundings in a new way. Thank you Liquitex for sponsoring this event and for helping me see some new beauty in my everyday world.

If you'd like to take a class with me, I'm currently teaching kids workshops on most Saturdays at both the Tampa Museum of Artand Imagine Museum. I'm looking for locations to host pop up adult classes in the Fall, so if you have a favorite wine bar or coffee shop that you think would be a fun spot to hang out and get creative, shoot me a comment below or email me at TERESANAVAJO@GMAIL.COM

Blick also offers FREE workshops every Saturday, so be sure to follow them on instagram at @BLICK_TAMPA to catch the next one!