Visual Journeys with Tara Deacon
South African illustrator and painter Tara Deacon loves to tell stories. Her work captures the simple, everyday snippets from our lives, and turns these moments into visual stories with which we can connect and relate to. In her interview with us, Tara talks about how her work is a form of weaving the stories of others together with her own to produce art that gives us a glimpse into the lives of fellow human beings — and most importantly, ourselves. Let’s get to know Tara and see how her art takes us to the places we long to go.
AWW: Many of your pieces have an element of storytelling to them. What kind of stories do you hope to convey to those who see your work?
Tara Deacon: I love capturing small everyday, sometimes ordinary, moments in people's lives that don't always have grand stories or adventures. I'm always observing my surroundings, the people in them, and the comings and goings of their day. I try to capture these glimpses in my work, where people can weave their own stories into mine.
Tell us one piece of advice that you wish someone had told you when you started illustrating.
Tara Deacon: That one will make mistakes, lots of them, and this will be how you learn, grow and flourish, both personally and in your creative practice.
AWW: Your art is full of bright and bold colours! If you could describe yourself as a colour, which colour would you be, and why?
Tara Deacon: When I look at colour, and especially when working in a composition, it's always really important how the colours work with or contrast and complement each other. For this reason I would choose 2 colours by which to describe myself — red and pink. On occasion, I associate red with being a woman and pink with being more girly and fun — of which I can be one, the other, or both at the same time.
AWW: What is one thing that many people don’t know about you?
Tara Deacon: I despise sitting on a chair normally! You will almost always find me with my legs crossed in some strange position or simply sitting on the floor instead.
AWW: We cannot get enough of your adorable little assistant on Instagram. How has motherhood influenced your creations?
Tara Deacon: Motherhood has definitely changed the way in which I work creatively. I don't carry around a sketchbook as much as I used to, but I try to be more present for spontaneous bursts of inspiration. Because my time has also become so valuable, I like ideas to simmer in my mind until I feel it's a project I'd like to pursue. One such personal project was painting an Alphabet Poster for his room, which I would like to make Art Prints of at some point this year.
AWW: Do you have any creative goals that you are hoping to achieve this year?
Tara Deacon: There are countless ideas and projects brewing in my mind, which I would usually associate with working towards as a goal. This year feels a bit different though, as I'm slowly finding more confidence in my role as a new mother and how that also influences my creative practice. For now my creative goals would be to set aside time for reading, experimenting, reflecting, being in nature and also enjoying quiet moments of doing nothing.
To find out more about Tara Deacon, please visit the artist’s IG account | @taradeacon
All images provided by Tara Deacon.