Terry Conrad is a 2017 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Drawing, Printmaking and Book Arts. He was the 2015-16 Grant Wood Fellow in Printmaking and in 2017 he took a position as an Assistant Professor in Printmaking at the University of Iowa.
Two-person and solo exhibitions have been at the New Art Center (Newton, MA), Good Weather Gallery (North Little Rock, AR) and Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA). Terry has also been in group exhibitions nationally and internationally. He has been awarded residencies at Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium), Penland School of Craft (North Carolina) and the Vermont Studio Center.
Terry is interested in the community and social aspects of printmaking. In 2014, he was awarded a SPAF/NYSCA grant to develop the Adirondack Forum, a collapsible venue made of old printing blocks and other found wood that functioned as a meeting place, performance space and classroom.
He previously taught at Skidmore College and assisted his partner Rachel Ziegler-Sheridan in founding the Round Lake School, which is a preschool/residency in Round Lake, NY that follows the teaching philosophies of Reggio Emelia.
He received his BFA from Alfred University and his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
A promise, a gift, a passion and a deep heartfelt desire: Terri Conrad shares her story
Today’s shared story comes from artist Terri Conrad in the US.
Image credit: Terri Conrad
I am a working artist. This is how I earn my living and I love what I do.
I believe our life is a testimony of who we are and that each of us comes to life with a promise, a gift, a passion and a deep heartfelt desire. As we become aware of what each of these elements represent for us, life then becomes a quest of sorts, bringing our self into alignment with the experiences that will ultimately lead to self-realisation – being and doing what we love.
Our promise is what we have come to life to master. We have made a promise to our self to overcome, resolve or heal some aspect of our consciousness. As we face our life’s experiences, we are given the opportunity to fulfill this promise. How we respond to our experiences determines whether we fulfill or break the promise we have made to our self. One promise for me is to continue to overcome, resolve and heal the pain and discomfort I feel surrounding my sense of value and worthiness. A self-taught artist, I wonder, am I worthy enough to belong to a community of professional artists? After all, it was just this May, that I participated in my first formal art instruction, and attended a week long art retreat. When I evaluate the question and answer it on an intellectual level, the answer is a resounding yes, for me, and for any artist who is self-taught. I allowed the prompting of my spirit and its unique gifts to guide me to where I am today, licensing my art to manufacturers who sell my products domestically and worldwide.
Our gift is what we have come to give to life. It is the cornerstone of self-determination and self-actualization. Our gift constitutes our talents and abilities – the special things you do as only you can do them. Our gift is enhanced or diminished by how we do what we do and how we share with other those things that we do naturally or well. It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that is where the discovery of my gift began. After having both my girls, I knew I needed to return to work at some point in the then near future and did not want to return to the only thing I had done (and didn’t love) , working as a legal assistant. I had been playing with designing some pieces for my own home, hand painting furniture and signs when I began to turn my eye toward art licensing, thinking (wild high-in-the-sky how-dare-I kind of thinking), “I wonder if I could do this; work from home, earn a living and still be the primary caregiver to my daughters?” I began to slowly research art licensing, read books on the topic and even attended the art licensing show, Surtex, in NYC so I could learn as much as possible to determine if this was a path I could take.
Just as I was beginning to open my gift, and deeply receive what it had to offer, my plans were put on hold while I navigated some very painful life experiences, including the flooding of a newly remodeled home, a divorce from my husband, and then six months later, a house fire that was devastating to me on many levels. My resilience and determination were certainly called up during this time and it would have been very easy to succumb and pursue a more predictable & reliable path. Instead I chose to continue to listen to the prompting of my spirit. I have discovered through many painful life experiences that there are gifts hidden deep within the folds of life’s challenges, lessons to learn, and much like the Sycamore tree that sheds its bark, fast & new growth to be experienced. I was determined to open the unique gift I believed was mine to give to life. My husband and I remarried each other, and began to rebuild our family life. In 2007 I launched my first licensed product and even in the midst of our tenuous economy, am oh so grateful for the sufficiency my licensing program provides my family, and that it continues to grow and prosper.
Our passion represents those things that you pursue for the sheer joy of it – those things that you do that make you feel alive and meaningful; valuable and worthy. We are often frightened away from or talked out of our passion. We are made to feel it is inappropriate or useless. Imagine what life would be if we gave ourselves permission to pursue our passion, to do what we love. I adore watching children play because they do so with abandon, without care or worry. They participate fully in the moment in the activity – to me this is passion, wholeheartedly pursuing and participating in that which brings you joy. I am passionate about creating art that will warm your heart and home. I want to connect with the heart of who you are, and for the heart of who you are to connect with my art. I am filled with joy when I receive a message telling me how something I’ve created has special meaning for someone. Our promise, our gift, our passion and heartfelt desire are a circle of self-love worthy of honor and recognition. It is irrelevant whether we earn our living with our passion. What is relevant is that we seek it, we open the gift, we explore it, we honor, recognize and share it. A gift is meant to be given, and the beauty is that when we give our gift, we receive so much in return.
The heartfelt desire
Your heartfelt desire is the thing you most want to experience in life. Some want love, others want acceptance. Most of us want both. The difficulty we face is not losing our identity or integrity in the pursuit of the heartfelt desire. Like many of us, I do not give enough time & energy to my heartfelt desires. My days are filled with meeting deadlines, caring for my family and my home, and managing the business side of my creative work. As I reflect here though, I return to my promise above – I want to feel acceptance, I want to feel belonging. These are innate human desires that hold the potential for fulfillment when we allow our authentic, imperfect (self-taught artist) selves be seen in the wide open, and to reach out and engage with one another.
On a more material level, my BIG dream & heartfelt desire is for my creative business to be sufficient in wholly supporting and providing for my family, to travel to England & Paris with my husband for a work/pleasure excursion, and to have a home with a studio that overlooks the ocean– a girl’s gotta dream!
[All images courtesy of Terri Conrad]
It is an absolute joy to realise (albeit mid-life!) that my journey has actually manifested into my destiny. How blessed I feel to finally have this knowledge, to understand it and to be wise in sharing it. My deep heartfelt desire is to encourage, nurture & inspire the unique beauty, beloved spirit, and unlimited possibilities in each of us, particularly the little girl in every woman. I hope through my art you are personally touched, and inspired to embrace the girl within, and to nurture fertile soil for her “bloomin beautiful heart.” Go for it girl! Weave a ladder of dreams, climb to the top. Be courageous! Have faith, and aspire!
Thank you, Beth, for the opportunity to share my love for what I do with your readers. Do What You Love is a beautiful community of creative spirits supporting and encouraging our collective journey to making our world a little bit of a better, and most certainly, prettier place to live.
Find out more about Terri by visiting her website or blog, or connect on Facebook]
Missed the retreat? Why not join the Do What You Love e-course?
This online adventure starts on June 6 and will take you step-by-step along the path towards doing what you love.
Read what a powerful impact it had on previous participants here.
Find out more and register here.
This is your life we are talking about…
Tags: artist, Community, create, do what you love, gift, grow, learn, life's experiences, passion, professional artists, promise, prosperity, purpose, self-realisation, shared stories, soul, spirit, Terri Conrad, unique giftsSours: https://dowhatyouloveforlife.com/shared-stories-16-terri-conrad/
Artist Terri Conrad of Terri Conrad Designs®
Creative Careers in the Arts Interviews
By Molly Anderson-Childers
Terri Conrad Designs® Giveaway Winners!
These are the winning responses to Terri Conrad's question: "What inspires you, surprises you, and makes your toes wiggle with delight?" Terri's own answer appears at the end. Thank you all who participated! Carol Henley:
"I am so inspired by others who share expertise in art with others just because they want to share what they do and how. I am surprised by life's tendency to also share "learning experiences" without anyone asking. What makes my toes wiggle with right side up delight is that they are now, after surgery, right side up, with toe nails looking good enough to polish." Jodie Foster:
"I am inspired by the beauty and interest of the unusual. I have been known to people watch, and if someone is particularly interesting, Snap a photo so that I can write or sketch about it later. Unusual things in nature, the way clouds form, it can be just about anything, even a dream. Walks on a beach at sunset, especially with a full moon makes my toes wiggle; so does a great kiss from the man of my dreams, and the first bloom of spring, and first snow of winter." Anna Walker:
"Residing in the Midwest, I am blessed with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets because of the jet stream constantly moving. The colors range from the palest pink-yellow to the most brilliant plum-fuchsia with blues of every hue. And then there are the clouds: wisps of gossamer, puffs of cotton candy, and, when provoked, angry, gray and deep purple black, and looking like rocks thundering in the sky. Every morning and every evening, I find the delight in the sky over Kansas!" Terri Conrad:
"I am inspired by viewing life's many layers, it's depth & complexity. I am surprised by unexpected generosity and kind gestures, and my toes absolutely wiggle with delight when they walk in the sand at the beach."
As summer ends and autumn begins, I celebrate the lush creativity of artists, writers, musicians, and creative souls in all professions. This month, designer Terri Conrad from terriconraddesigns.com will be joining us for an inspiring and insightful look at her life and work. Welcome to Creativity Portal, Terri!
Q: Please tell our readers how you originally became interested in scrapbooking?
A: I've always had a love for color and print & pattern, be it fabric or paper. The seeds, however, were planted through my relationship with Webster's Pages as it was my first licensee. In the early stages of my art licensing, I had contacted Webster Fine Art, their corporate name, regarding publishing prints of my artwork. They asked if Terri Conrad Designs® would be interested in designing scrapbook products to which I responded wholeheartedly, yes. In January 2007 my first 4 collections were launched, and my unique style of art was introduced to the scrapbook market.
Q: How has your work with Webster's Pages changed since you started designing products for them?
A: While I continued to create and license my art to Webster's, and it developed its presence in the marketplace exclusively with Terri Conrad Designs®, I was eager to connect with crafters and retailers who enjoyed the product. For reasons unknown to me, this was highly discouraged and for several reasons, I needed to make some serious business decisions. Connection and relationship are cornerstones of Terri Conrad Designs® and I needed to align my growing licensing program with companies who support this.
In January of 2009, I made the difficult choice to terminate the relationship. Because of the notable success my style of art brought to both Webster's Pages and me, it has continued to create its subsequent product lines based on the Terri Conrad Designs® brand. I have since then licensed a couple collections to K&Company, and my agents are actively pursuing additional options in the craft market.
Q: Can you tell our readers how your career expanded to include home décor, fabrics, etc.? What was the most difficult part of this transition?
A: A do-it-yourselfer at heart, I began designing my own home décor and hand painted furniture years ago this led to selling pieces to local retailers, but with very young children at the time, it was a challenge to keep the production end going and growing strong. I wanted to be home raising my daughters, but knew I also needed to work. As they say, "necessity is the mother of invention."
I began to research art licensing (Mary Englebreit being my muse). I made a significant investment in my research so I could make informed decisions and grow my business wisely. The transition from designing scrapbook paper to creating art for gift and home décor was a natural one, given my roots in home décor design. I create my patterns and motifs with home décor as a basis for application. The most difficult part of the transition is waiting for the paycheck. I often say art licensing is akin to being a firefighter we are the first ones in (with the art) and the last ones out (receiving our royalties).
Q: What inspired you to start painting?
A: With an appreciation for faux finishes, I brought this style into my early work on my hand painted furniture and picture frames. A self-taught artist, I had a lot to learn and it took several trips to the art supply store before I finally purchased some brushes, and a couple books to try my hand at decorative painting. Little by little, I stepped out of my comfort zone, allowing myself to play and try something new. This approach led me to digital design, and now my work is a harmonious blend of my illustration, painting and digital composition.
Q: What informs your unique style? Is it inspired by any artist or period in particular?
A: Like many of us, I am drawn to the past and all that history has to offer us particularly European history and architecture. I am equally intrigued by the many layers of and depth in life, and in nature. I try to reflect this in my work. While there are many artists I admire, I try my best to remain fresh, unique and authentic.
Q: What is your most reliable source of inspiration?
A: It may sound esoteric, but I really rely on my intuition. It's my strongest source of guidance, and is truly always right. I had to learn to tune in and to listen to it. I've learned some very difficult lessons when I haven't listened to my intuition. Being a commercial artist, it is certainly valuable to be aware of trends, and what's selling in the market. This is achieved in many ways: by attending trade shows, subscribing to trade magazines, overall general awareness.
Q: What's the most challenging aspect of balancing creative work and your home/family life?
A: This question speaks directly to my heart. Being a mom, a good enough mom to my daughters is the most valuable role I will ever assume. It is a daily challenge my family and I are very aware of. This kind of creative expression, art licensing, is a lifestyle more than a job. There are occasions when it takes precedence and they understand and support this. I do my best to mitigate my guilt over not being ideally available as a mom, and I think any working mom will agree that much of our guilt is self-imposed. We created a 'girls' night' where each Wednesday my daughters and I turn off all the electronics, I step away from all work, and we hang out together. Our time together is spent baking cookies, talking & laughing, or driving an hour to the beach to watch the sunset, or sometimes we'll go shopping. The point is to be together, and for me to give them 100% of my attention. It's become a treasured time for all of us.
Q: How is your art impacted or informed by your faith/spiritual beliefs?
A: My personal identity is formed in my Christian faith. It is the foundation of who I am, and certainly is what has brought me to this present moment. I am forever grateful for our freedom to express our spirituality. As women, we are so effective at dismissing our strengths, self-worth and authentic beauty. In and through my art, I seek to encourage, nurture and inspire our unique beauty, beloved spirit and unlimited possibilities and will often include universal scripture and my own little whispers of wisdom.
Q: What are your most effective stress-busting techniques?
A: Meditation and power walking with my dog, Shayna.
Q: What is your favorite book to read on the beach?
A: I have a library full to choose from, but the most recent book I brought to the beach is 12 Secrets to Highly Creative Women by Gail McMeekin. Clearly, I feel I need to learn more before I consider myself one of those women! (smile).
Q: What's next? Any exciting new projects or exhibitions on the horizon?
A: Always! Terri Conrad Designs® will soon be available in fabric. Receiving this contract is a goal I am delighted to have acquired. As soon as I am able to, I will share more information about its availability. This holiday season, my first Christmas lines will also be available in gift and décor. I'd really want to connect with other creative spirits creating topical art journals and look forward to doing so through my blog.
Q: Any final words of advice, encouragement, or inspiration for our readers hoping to break into this competitive field?
A: Remember we each have our own unique journey to travel, lessons to learn, and gifts to share. Find joy in your journey, learn your lessons the first time around, identify your gifts and refine them, then share them with others. Creative expression is a gift worth giving, and there are many venues through which one can garner an income. We each need to seek out that which works best for us. I keep an open door and always welcome inquiries.
Connect with Terri Conrad
For more information about Terri Conrad Designs®, please visit www.terriconraddesigns.com.
For up-to-the-minute reports on the creative happenings in Terri's world, visit her blog at: terriconraddesigns.typepad.com.
To connect with Terri personally, contact her via email [email protected] or call (661) 433.3430.
© 2010 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.
Molly Anderson-Childers is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado. More »
.Watch high-speed trading in action
You will also be interested:
- Macrame chandeliers
- Pigs for sale in va
- Fallout 3 ant quest
- Verizon htc m8 xda
- Pioneer avh 270bt memory full
- Steam controller versions
- Kenworth door handles