Featured Instructor: Casie Trace

Featured Instructor: Casie Trace!

Casie Trace is an artist and illustrator from Macon, Ga.  She studied Studio Art at Georgia College & State University where she received a Bachelors of Art with a concentration in Painting.  She works in a variety of media including watercolor, collage, pastel, ink, & digital.  Casie has an upcoming mixed media painting class at the Guild Hall on Saturday, July 9th.

Her main focus and passion is creating children's book illustrations. Works include "Hedgie The Daydreaming Hedgehog: A Nighttime Adventure" and "Three Sisters Garden".

She has had two Solo art shows: The Collective Mind (2010) & Reverie (2012). Both of which were collections of mixed media artwork illustrating the conception of thoughts & dreams.

I asked Casie to share with us a bit about illustration and her creative process:

What inspires you to create? What is your favorite subject or topic to illustrate?

This was the toughest question for me...I had to skip it and come back haha. Many things inspire me...music, nature, exploring new places, creating with others. I believe the reason I began creating was it was my way of coping with social anxiety as a child...Art-making has always relaxed me and being an artist/teacher has given me a purpose. 

My work often depicts trees, blossoms, skies, space, cityscapes, people. I enjoy working abstractly as well...especially while listening to music.  A lot of my work personal work are inspired by some of my favorite songs. 

What is your favorite medium to work in, and why? 

It's too hard for me to pick just one! I tend to create mixed media work. I love using ink, watercolor, gouache, pens, & pencils. My favorite pencil to draw with is a Mars Lumograph 8B! 

I enjoy creating mixed media art mostly because it's fun to experiment with so many things. It also gives me a lot of options and I dislike being limited to one medium. 

What does your studio space/work table look like? Do you love a clutter of supplies and tools begging to be used? Or do you require your creative space to be neat and tidy? 

I would say I tend to fall more into the cluttered side. I have a small studio downstairs in my house that is suppose to be my designated studio space...but it's turned more into a cluttered art storage room. I typically gather supplies from there and take them upstairs to use. I tend to be a little neater in the common space of my home.  If I'm doing digital art..I'm the opposite. I work best in a clean area and I have everything ready for me (computer, tablet, music, coffee..etc). 

How did you get started in Children's Book Illustration, and what advice do you have for fledgling illustrators? 

I always had an interest in Children's Book Illustration....I feel like the style of art I was creating before and during college looked very illustrative as well and several people encouraged me to pursue illustration. After I graduated, I decided to begin a sketch blog. I had no web presence really...so each day I would create something and share it. A few months later, an author came across my blog and asked me to illustrate her book so I had my first freelance job! It was a huge learning experience but I enjoyed the process. It's also great having the opportunity to work with authors all over the world. 

My advice would be to create as often as possible and share your work! I started with a free blog on Wordpress and eventually set up a Squarespace website for my portfolio. Also, connect with other illustrators, artist, authors that interest/inspire you.   There are also some Illustration Guilds & Organizations out there that I would suggest looking into. I learned a lot from the SCBWI forums and went to some of their regional conferences when I first began illustrating. Oh! & don't be afraid to call yourself an Illustrator (or Artist)! 

Do you have any big projects you are working on or exhibitions you are working towards?

Currently, I have two book projects planned for this year with two separate authors. But I've been spending most of my summer working in my sketchbook, creating new concepts for a series of illustrations. I'm hoping to be a part of some art shows soon, hopefully have a solo show in the next year and begin selling more original artwork online and locally. 

What are you looking forward to sharing with the participants of your workshops? 

I'm going to share many different ways to create mixed media art. When Becca and I were talking about a workshop to create we thought it would be fun to have a sort of "Art Buffet" and the participants would have access of many supplies that might not had the chance to use before. So. this workshop will mostly be focused on the art-making process...it's about experimenting and having fun!!

We will be also be experimenting with one of my favorite new art media, Golden High Flow Acrylics. I tend to dislike using acrylics but these feel more like ink to me. You can do a lot of cool things with them. They are very bright and vivid. You can have an opaque look or layer them like watercolor. My favorite thing is allowing the colors to flow into one another then splattering rubbing alcohol on them gives a very awesome, cosmic-y effect! 


Splattered Saturdays

Come out on Saturday morning, July 9th, to the [&] Guild Hall to play with color and end with a unique mixed media piece! We'll have a smorgasbord of supplies laid out for you and Casie Trace will be there to show you mindblowing tricks of the trade. Fun for first-time painters and experienced artists/illustrators, ages 10 and up!

All participants will get an 11x14 illustration board and access to various supplies including brightly-colored Faber-Castell Gelato pastel/watercolor sticks, Golden High Flow acrylic paints, Sharpie markers, Sargent liquid watercolors, collage materials, and more! Click here to register for the class.