Known as Australia’s “artist to the stars”, international contemporary artist and Gold Coast local, Tracie Eaton, sits down with Get It Magazine to talk about her signature ‘passion-art’, memorable moments in her career, and drawing inspiration from the world around her.
1. How did your artistic career first get started – did you always imagine yourself working in this field?
I have always been a creative person, but became rather obsessed with colour in my early 20s. I was working as an occupational therapist in paediatrics and forensic psychiatry and used art and creativity to help clients unlock their feelings and to communicate. It took another 10 years or so before I realised that painting was my true calling – the moment I first put brush to canvas I knew this was me.
2. How did your A-lister reputation develop, and what draws people to your work?
Being commissioned to paint for Academy Award nominees for three years most certainly helped me to gain traction and reputation as an artist. We are all drawn to things that make us feel connected, happy and engaged, and my work does this. From a purely art investment perspective, the value of my artworks have tripled in as many years, and continues to, so I’m sure that is an important consideration for some of my clients also.
3. Can you share about the term “passion-art” and what this means?
Passion-art, as described by the curator who used it regarding my work, essentially meant that everyone who views my work “falls in love with it”. For me, passion-art stems from the energy within the work – my artwork is colourful and I use colour very specifically to elicit emotion. By incorporating so many colours, textures, media and painting styles, my paintings are alive – I have never forgotten how to play! I am obsessed with colour and how it makes us feel, so I am inspired every day, doing everyday things.
4. Do you have a stand-out career story you could share?
One that does come to mind was when I was approached by Jim Carey who asked me what I thought of his art. It was very humbling to have a discussion around someone’s artwork who is so well established! Another stand-out moment for me was when, following one of my exhibitions, I was approached by someone there, who thanked me. He stated he had been colour blind for years, and therefore never appreciated art. However, one of the pieces I created, he saw perfectly. I was blown away that I had painted something that not only he could see, but one that touched his heart so much.
5. You’re based here on the beautiful GC – what are your favourite things about this part of the world?
There are so many wonderful things about the Gold Coast and I’m proud to call it my home. I love the climate, the energy and the vibrancy of the Gold Coast. I enjoy the contrast that exists. Where else can you see a surfer carrying their board, walking barefoot, and a business professional heading off to a meeting all at once?
6. For someone looking to get into the art world, what’s your advice for them to carve their own creative path?
I am self-taught, and I believe this is a fabulous way of working out what you want from creativity. My advice is to trust your instinct, remove judgement about what you are creating and simply do. Find a way to become business savvy – if you do not want to learn basic business, sales & marketing skills and process, find someone who can do this for you. Oh, and do not listen to people who say art is a waste of time – have faith, work hard and stay focused.
7. What’s on the horizon for you in 2023?
There are quite a few exciting things happening for me and the Tracie Eaton Brand in 2023 – most excitingly, there is significant movement on the international stage. I am excited by all this activity, as it will absolutely force me to be the best at what I do and ensure that my focus is on the creation of new, ever-expanding and changing artworks. I feel I am on the precipice of a new creative journey so I guess all I can say right now is “watch this space.”
View some of Tracie’s pieces here