It was both an honor and a challenge to be asked to come up with an article for Muddy Colors. So many incredible artists have contributed so many wonderful tutorials and thought provoking articles over the years. While there are so many technique topics I could cover, I wanted to take this opportunity to cover something less talked about.

The importance of not doing art… all the time.

Now if I haven’t already lost you, what I mean is I really feel like to be the best artist you can be it’s so important to have a second creative outlet. If all you have is your art you are seriously doing it and yourself a great disservice. Not only are you at risk of becoming burned out frequently or all together, but you are also limiting both your perspective and your inspiration. So my solution for you is….. Find a hobby!!

Art making is something that’s so deeply personal and completely different from one individual to another. All our paths to creating the work we do, why we do it and the success we get from it is so completely diverse it’s tricky to try to say that any one thing will for sure help you on this journey. From my own experience though, all I can tell you is doing this will!


Rachel Brice- My inspiration to take my first belly dance class

In 2010 I recall sitting in an empty studio room in my art school with one of my best friends. She was showing me a video of a famous belly dancer and confessed she would love to learn to move like that. Flash forward to a week later we were in what would be our first of soooo many classes. To this day we both dance and perform and while that is a thing in and of itself I would have never been able to guess just what dance was able to give me for my art.

A lot of the costuming elements I use in my work comes from the kind of costumes I perform in, the way I compose an image is completely different than the way I would compose an image before I was a dancer. The models I work with are mostly all other dancers or performers, and the way I pose them for an image is less of a model pose and more of a dance. I’ve gone on so many adventures because of dance and gotten so many new life experiences and met so many life-changing, inspirational people. In fact the first two pieces I was able to get into Spectrum last year were created because of my dance connections. The first was the second album cover I did for Cu Dubh, the band I perform with, and the second was of a women and her elephant that I was able to meet and work with through my travels with Cu Dubh. All of this happened due to one day, on a whim I decided to take a class for fun because of my friend.

Me performing with Cu Dubh at MDRF

I’m not sure what my art would be like without dance in my life, I can say for sure though it would be 100% different and I’m not sure it would be as fueled with passion as it is now. What I mean to say is that I’ve always loved to draw, paint and create fantasy pieces ever since I was a tiny child but for a while I fell into the trap a lot of us fall into. The cycle where we end up painting what we think will get us a paycheck and it’s not actually what we want to be doing at all. I found out what I really loved to paint through another creative outlet.

So, if you are an artist just starting your career or a professional who doesn’t have much else in your world besides drawing and painting I can’t stress enough how important it is for your creativity and sanity to take a class or try something that you have always wanted to do. Even if its something you hesitated to jump into for fear of it taking away from your art, if you take that chance and just do it, it can have the complete opposite effect and breathe a whole new life into your art. Also bonus points if that thing you’ve been itching to do is a physical activity, since as people who stay sitting or standing in our studios all day we for sure can use any sort of physical activity that graces us with its presence.

Whether you choose to take up martial arts, dance, archery or an extreme sport perhaps, maybe pick up an instrument, or become a ceramic doll collector… well maybe not that last one. You will learn so much about yourself through the process of learning something new that you can then take and filter all that new found love and inspiration and put it in your work. If you’re still on the fence about this idea… you will most certainly find models on this second hobby quest and we all love finding new models!! So go out there and fall in love with something new and watch it change your art and life!


Post written by Alessandra Pisano


Winner of the Spectrum 24 Rising Star Award, Alessandra is an avid daydreamer that stumbled into art at a young age where fantastical worlds and creatures were and still are, a far better alternative than reality. The images that emerge on the surface of a panel often show themselves as ideas usually in the shower, stuck in traffic or often times no earlier than 4:35 a.m. when she would much rather be sleeping. Her artwork has been shown at Lovett’s gallery, Haven gallery and Copro gallery and can be found on Everyday Original monthly.