My dialog with Thaneeya McArdle, a young artist who lives in Florida, USA, started when I typed “funky abstract art" into Google Search. I was looking for images that would give me inspiration for my company presentation about funky brands. One of the images I liked very much led to the sites of Thaneeya McArdle: www.thaneeya.com and www.art-is-fun.com. I liked the way Thaneeya spoke about herself and her passion for art, as well as how she used the power of the Internet and social media to connect to those who appreciate her work. As a follow-up to yesterday's blog post about branding for artists, I am happy to publish my funky brand interview with Thaneeya, in which she talks about expressing her personality through her art, using the Internet to connect with people, and living life to the fullest.
SCHMOOZY FOX: Thaneeya, what kind of emotions do you want people to have when they look at your art?
Thaneeya McArdle: My aim is to create art that makes people feel happy, uplifted, and inspired. The beauty of visual art is that it goes beyond words, bypassing language to reach people in a strikingly immediate way, on a deeply personal level. My artwork has been known to conjure up emotions, evoke memories, spark fresh hopes and ignite individual imaginations.
The main objective I aim to achieve with my art revolves around hope and healing, lifting people to a higher sphere through the use of color and pattern. My art is something that you can identify with on a deep inner level, yet it also lifts you up outside of yourself.
SCHMOOZY FOX: Is this also how you feel when you create your art? What drives you to come up with ideas for your work, what are your sources of inspiration?
Thaneeya McArdle: Yes, the creative process is both a healing and uplifting one for me. When I create art, I am in the moment. I dive into the materials, my mind becomes still, and I feel the movement of my body as I’m working. I relish the subtle things, like the smooth application of the paint as it flows from the brush onto the canvas. The creative process centers me because it comes from the core of my being. Everything that is inner becomes outer. Painting colorful abstract art always makes me happy!
Everything is a potential source of inspiration for my artwork. Everything that I encounter in daily life makes its way onto my mental palette in some form… everything I see, feel, hear, touch, taste, etc. - it all influences me in some way. It all goes in and touches my consciousness and leaves an impression that later comes out in my art. Usually these influences are so subtle that it’s impossible to pin down or explain. It just happens. Art-making is a mysterious process.
To give a more tangible answer: I am greatly inspired by tribal folk art from around the world. I am mesmerized by the bright colors and
intricate patterns that can be found in the indigenous folk art of people from every continent, from the intricately embroidered Kutch tapestries to the detailed designs in Persian rugs to the brightly colored Huichol yarn art from Mexico.
SCHMOOZY FOX: Why is it important to you to be so active on the Internet, and what is the first thing that you want your web site visitors to think about you and your art?
Thaneeya McArdle: As an artist, it is very important for me to have an active web presence, because it allows me to market myself and my art on my own terms. I have complete control: I can define my own image, set my own prices and best of all - I can interact directly with people who have an interest in my art. I love this kind of direct interaction that occurs with people from all over the world – all because they love my art and send me a message saying so!
In essence, the Internet offers artists the ability to take their art careers into their own hands, without relying on galleries, agents, artist representatives, etc to make them famous. When used efficiently, the Internet can be a very powerful tool that can further the career of any artist.
When people visit my websites, I want them to feel energized and inspired. I want people to engage with my art on some level. When art is at its most powerful, viewing art becomes an active exchange between the art and the viewer, leaving the viewer more enriched and empowered than they were before.
My Art is Fun site is geared towards inspiring and encouraging people to create their own art, so for this site my goal is to inspire people to pick up their paints and their pencils and let their creative spirit shine!
SCHMOOZY FOX: What personal and professional benefits have you received from being active on the web ?
There have been so many personal and professional benefits that I have experienced as a direct result of my active web presence, that it would be impossible to name them all! For starters, I’ve been contacted by art galleries and funky boutiques that are interested in carrying my art and my art merchandise. I have been asked to participate in countless shows both near and far. I have sold hundreds of paintings to people around the world, as well as hundreds of prints, t-shirts, stickers, etc. that feature my artwork. Most people cannot afford original art, so buying a t-shirt, a tie or even a funky pair of shoes with my art is a fantastic way for people to share and delight in the joy and goodness of my imagery without shelling out of a ton of money!
The best thing about maintaining an active web presence is frequent interaction with people through my sites. I get tons of emails each week, so sometimes it takes me a while to answer them all, but I always answer each and every one. If people take the time to get in contact with me, then I feel it’s important to make the time to communicate with them. In this way, the internet allows for an even exchange.
On a personal level, I have met awesome, friendly people from all over the world! I’ve received invitations to visit people everywhere from DC to Brazil to Romania – all because they liked my art and the energy behind it all. Pretty cool!
SCHMOOZY FOX: Indeed, it does sound pretty cool! And now tell me, what are the main attributes that summarize your personal brand?
Thaneeya McArdle: Happy, funky, fun, uplifting, spiritual, energizing, empowering and healing. It’s all about spreading positive energy.
SCHMOOZY FOX: What are your life goals for the next 10 years? Where do you see yourself as an artist?
Thaneeya McArdle: Thanks to the Internet, my art career is constantly growing in ways I never could have imagined, so I know these next 10 years will be really exciting! For instance, I was recently contacted by a bestselling author who wants to include one of my funky abstract paintings in her upcoming book on visionary acrylic art. I was also contact by the owner of a company that is launching a new brand of vodka, and they are keen to put my funky abstract art on their bottles. So you see, I never know what to expect when I open my inbox – I can only be sure that each day will bring new surprises!
My career goals are to continue painting and selling, and also to dive into writing more. My www.art-is-fun.com site is my first public step towards doing more writing. I have big plans to develop this site even further. There is so much more info to share about how to make art – everything from how to use the materials to tips on creativity and self-expression. I plan to write art books on these topics and offer downloadable art lessons and tons of other goodies. I’m very excited about this actually, because it allows me to share my passion with the world and also encourage other people to explore their creative selves, which is so important!
As far as life goals for the next 10 years, my goals are very simple and straightforward: to live life to the fullest, to contribute something positive
to the world, and to grow as a person. These are fairly simple goals but they manifest in reality in so many different ways.
SCHMOOZY FOX: Many thanks for sharing your passions, and I wish you all the best in developing your funky brand!