My name is Tammy Murdock, I am an enthusiastic artist who does illustration, collage and hand lettering. I love wonky lines, splatters of paint, earl grey tea, warm socks and drawing outside the lines. I live in Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island and I have been an artist since I held my first crayon. When I was a child if there was ever art involved in any project I was happily there. All throughout school I chose as many art classes and electives as I was allowed. My favourite assignments were always in art or whenever maps or title pages were needed. Then when my own children were young I was always the mom with all the supplies.
I bring my artist self to every facet of my daily life. My creativity is always turned up to full blast (except during migraines when it is more of a welcome distraction, but that is a whole different story). I see it enhancing our home, organization, decoration, and also meals. I love to cook and I certainly love to embellish recipes, basically my only form of rebellion is in (not) following art class assignments or recipes.
I enjoy throwing my whole self into cleaning and re-organising projects and love coming up with oddball ideas for repurposing things. It is inspiring to be surrounded by things I love to see. I make a lot of vignettes in our house and in my sketchbooks. I enjoy filling sketchbooks with a wide range of things that tickle my fancy, which can just as likely be mundane items like a tube of tomato paste as it can be some kind of wordplay that occurred to me in the shower and I find hilarious. I wish I had a better memory for all the ideas that pop into my head when I can’t instantly write them down!
I was so pleased to have clicked on an Instagram ad for Sketchbook Skool and then to have joined for a trial during a Black Friday sale. I had watched Danny and Koosje on YouTube so many times so I was somewhat familiar with the idea of the Skool. But I didn’t realise that such a big part is the students and incredible sense of community! I am part of many communities, but I feel like I can be myself here. You all are my people! I can share my intense love/obsession for art supplies with people who get it! And then to be able to also connect with and ask questions live with the teachers during the classes is invaluable! I do tend to have lots of questions and comments… sorry teachers 🙂
Should we chat about art supplies? Yes, you say? Thank goodness! I started my collection way back in the olden days with the basics from college art classes. I had to have charcoal, conté, pastels etc. but my favourite was Prisma coloured pencils (or pencil crayons as we call them in Canada). I have since done so many types of art and craft (as we all probably have). In the 90’s when my girls were young I started scrapbooking and doing some photography, and that led to greeting card making which in turn led me to teaching.
I taught many adults and kids to make pretty scrapbook pages and mini albums with certain supplies (yawn). I tried so hard to make sure they understood that they didn’t need a ruler and they didn’t need to copy me. For the most part, they wanted to follow step by step instructions while I always hoped to be more of a guide and an inspiration. I remember one time a mom came in to pick up her child at a day camp I was doing and after seeing the fabulous piece that her daughter had made and the mom was miffed. She wanted the girl to copy me, not to watch and learn and talk about choices and then make her own decisions… that was hard for me to see. I did put my $.02 in but scrapbooking wasn’t my niche, just a fork in the road.
A magazine introduced me to the world of mixed media art and it blended interestingly with all the other art and crafts I had done previously. I filled the walls with colourful, tactile paintings and my studio with all kinds of acrylic paints, mediums, tools and brushes of every size. And together with the scrapbooking supplies, stamps, stencils, papers, stickers, huge albums, die cutting machine, dies and pens I needed a lot of space!
I really thought I would never tire of this wide open no rules sort of art, how could you, there were endless options. But I kept seeing this thing called Traveller’s Notebooks, I researched them for a long time then dove in and haven’t turned back! There were many sizes, you could hand bind inserts or use bought paper inserts and try all the different kinds, there are so many styles and uses! I got pulled into a rabbit tunnel, the longest, coolest one ever!! And you folks are all in one of these tunnels right now with me, did you know that? I am so glad I am here at this table having my huge cups of tea with you all, you are the best!
Speaking of rabbit tunnels, I literally have a “rabbits” collection in my Redbubble shop (not to mention other favourite animals like owls and cats). My shop itself demonstrates the eclecticness of my art journey and the different groups of people I have made things for. There are collections for everything from health care professionals to climate change, forest bathing, and gaming (my daughters both work in health care and my husband is a nerdy climate scientist who is also just getting back into drawing himself after a 3 decade hiatus).
I love arting in both my journals and my sketchbooks. My supplies do cross over a bit into all the previous obsessions, but I know now, this is all just part of a continual evolution. My essential supplies right now are watercolours, multiple sized palettes, travel brushes and studio brushes, pencil crayons (Polychromos). I favour 8×8 square sketchbooks (mixed media or watercolour paper), fountain pens filled with waterproof inks in all kinds of colours and a few nib sizes, collage fodder, scissors, glue sticks, quality pen rolls and pouches, and last but not least lap desks and bags so I can create in all different locations in the house, yard or out and about. I look forward to meeting, learning from, and sharing ideas with many of you in virtual hangouts, classes, and maybe someday even on a real life urban sketching art adventure.