Featured Sponsor Interview | Turquoise Lollipops

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Hi everyone! My name is Laura Edria Tanis.  I’m 23 years old andmy life has changed pretty drastically recently as I have finally finishedschool (feels like I have been going forever) and just moved away from myhometown of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey to Charlottesville, Virginia to be withmy boyfriend while he does a fellowship for one more year.  The ‘real world’ has certainly been areality check for me (who would have thought?!) and my blog is my way to escapethe monotony of everyday life and to continue to feel like an ‘artist’ evenwithout school by my side. Studying fine art (specifically photography) and biology, most of myinspiration comes from nature, particularly the ocean so my blog often revolvesaround that.  I swear I’m a mermaidat heart!



My favorite things to blog aboutare adorable animal illustrations, current art projects I’m working on, awesomescience facts (example: A sea squirt eats its own brain as soon as it’s foundhis or her very own home), new artists I come across, and well, of course myanimals and just about everything in between!




Going to art school was definitelyone of the hardest, but one of the best decisions I have ever made. I neverreally took any art classes before college – I just knew I loved photographyand I have always loved creating. How did I survive? I worked my butt off and Iwas extremely passionate and without those two things, I would have neversurvived. Now that I have graduated, I cannot believe what a transition it hasbeen for me.  For starters, I don’talways have something lingering to get finished.  I make my own deadlines, choose what I want to create, and Ihave unlimited freedom in which direction I choose.  There is no “TAKE THIS PICTURE AND HAVE IT BE ABOUT THIS ANDNOT THAT AND MAKE IT INTERESTING AND PRETTY.” It is very liberating for thefirst time in my life to feel like I am an artist, but have no set boundarieswith where to go and what to create. 

On the other hand, the real world is hardand finding jobs in the art field or supporting myself off my own artwork isextremely difficult.  It has causedme a ton of stress since graduation, but I am just finally learning some sortof balance.  I have a somewhatartistic job working as a photographer’s assistant and I am fortunate to be inthe position I am there, but I definitely need my time with my own work as anoutlet or else I think I’d go crazy. 
 




My favorite media is definitelyphotography.  It’s funny thoughbecause after four years of being thoroughly immersed in it, I needed a breakafter graduation.  I’ve actuallybeen experimenting with painting a lot over the past few months, mostlyacrylics, and I’ve been loving it. It’s extremely freeing and relaxing.  It’s always nice though to get back tomy core with photography and feel that spark coming along again.




I tend to find inspiration ineverything and I think it’s an intrinsic thing that people either have or theydon’t have.  Nature and the ocean seemto give me unlimited amount of inspiration, but I must admit, Pinterest hasbeen a new obsession of mine. There is ALWAYS something I come across there that sparks myimagination.



I’ve actually just started doingsomething new (for me, not for the world) and it has been amazing.  I carry around a little notebookconstantly that is specifically for ideas I have about drawings, paintings,photographs, etc., and for any artists names or works I come across that interestme so that I can look more into the work later.  I always thought that if I had this great idea I’d rememberit for later, but that is definitely not the case for me! I’ve come to realizethat my imagination seems to spark the most when I’m showering and driving (notsure why) and I immediately write down all these ideas after both.  When I’m feeling not so creative, butknow I should work on something, I turn to my notebook and BAM – just like thatit feels like a new idea and I am excited and my imagination is sparkedagain.  It’s pretty amazing.
 


I am totally obsessed with The Featured Creature.  It is a dailydose of amazing creatures (99% of them in which I’ve never even heard of – andI know a lot of creatures!).  Itreally just blows my mind to see all of the unique natural things of theworld.  I also am lovingSFGirlByBay.  There’s seriouslynever a post I don’t love – Victoria Smith is amazing.  I also love following the Free PeopleBlog, Pretty Zoo, Daydream Lily, The Drifter and the Gypsy, Happiness Is, ABeautiful Mess, Spell and the Gypsy Collective, and of course Crafted Love.Anything with pretty pictures, good writing, a positive attitude, and plenty ofinspiration has my full attention!
 



This season I am very thankful formy boyfriend.  I really neverexpected to find someone whom I could completely share my life with (I’ve hadquite a unique life) and it has changed my outlook on life for the better as heis a constant positive all the time. There really isn’t a day that passes that he doesn’t make me smile andthat we don’t crack up at the silliest little thing. I honestly do not knowwhere I would be without him and I’m happy to gush because it is so unlike whoI used to be and well, it’s so much fun J Oh, and I am of coursethankful for my animals! 
 




I love goofy questions.  Wish number one is easy for me – to beable to breathe under water (duh!). The other two are a bit more tricky.  I think wish number two would have to be (be prepared it’s aboring one) to somehow be able to work for myself.  No, wish number three would not be to wish for morewishes.  It would have to be todiscover a new creature never before seen in the deep ocean.  That’s a bit less boring, right?

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-Allison