How New Work Is Born

 The textile art of Tracy Barbour in New York City.

I moved to New York City six months ago to find myself amongst the bustling streets. I moved to take on new challenges and to face odds I couldn't even imagine in my cozy two bedroom in Texas. 

I found those challenges and so much more. I found myself homeless at one point, riding the train late into the night hoping I would find a bed by morning. I found myself without heat in a winter that was so hard on my lungs as an asthmatic person. But I also found friendships that have taken on the deepest of meanings, support in the most unexpected places, and a renewed belief in my abilities as an artist. This renewed belief didn't just come from me. It came from people who I know had long since given up on my seemingly crazy dreams.

This was not just some crazy dream. Between losing my day job and opening myself up to do show after show, week after week, networking and putting myself out there I am finally finding myself. 

I am returning to my roots as a fine artist. I am returning to the skills that began in a small rural school art classroom, where I was allowed to skip the required and painted everyday in a back room no bigger than a closet. 

This, my friends, is how new work is born. It rises from the ashes of heartache, it climbs its way out of rubble, and it breathes new life into everything it touches. New work comes from your gut. It grabs you and says "this is it, do this!" It shakes you awake at night and compels you to keep moving forward. It pokes at your creative brain and says "wake up." New work does not mean letting current projects die, it means addition and the process of evolving. I am still 100% a street photographer and documentary photojournalist. I am still 100% a portrait photographer. 

 The tools of the trade for a textile artist.

My new work took the form of textile art. Two months ago I began studying textile artists, in particular those who were working with textile art, multi-media art, and photography. The two artists I studied use found photographs and vintage photographs. I closed myself up in my room sometimes late into the night and began experimenting with different papers, printing, as well as threads and coloring methods. 

I created an initial prototype which can now be seen as a banner on the Etsy shop I am still currently building and in the photograph at the beginning of this post. The other two pieces I created are making a debut at The Greenpoint Gallery Art Politico Show. I do hope you will come out and meet me and see the work. I will also be showing at The Ridgewood Arts Market on May 21st for their brunch market. I will have so many new pieces!