Studio Visit with Tara Galuska

Please meet Tara Galuska! Funnily enough, Tara and I actually met when I was being interviewed for a Papergirl studio visit back in 2013. Since then, I am happy to say that we've become good friends and are always cheering each other on in our art careers. It's pretty cool to see where Tara's colours, shapes and whimsical creatures may fly off to next! There is much beauty, inspiration and indeed poetry to be found in her work. So without further ado, let's jump into thecreative realm of paper artist extraordinaire, Tara Galuska.

Studio Visit: Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Introduce yourself. How would you describe yourself as a maker/creative? How do you spend your days?

I am Tara Galuska and I create poetry with paper! I am an artist and illustrator who works with paper to create work that is delicate, elegant and intricate.
I try to keep work to a Monday to Friday schedule so that I can run a sustainable business and also feel like a human. It breaks down a little bit like this- Monday, Tuesday and Friday I work on my art and business and on Wednesday and Thursday I work with my lovely arty business client on their social media, blogging and basically whatever else is needed.
A typical work day usually starts around 10am and goes till around 10pm with some breaks in between. I try and break down my tasks and make each day either a “computer day” or an “art day.” I like to be fully immersed in what I am doing and I feel like jumping from thing to thing is just not very efficient or effective for me.
Saturday and Sunday are for resting and spending time with my partner and friends!

Briefly describe your journey. Were there some pivotal things that helped propel you to where you are now? (Perhaps there were some struggles that you see, in hindsight, helped you get to where you are now?)
I was born in Zimbabwe, grew up in Australia and as an adult I moved here to Canada. I’ve found that so much of life has been trying this and trying that and hopefully learning and growing as I go. Only when looking back can I see the threads that have tied everything together.
I’ve been fortunate in my life to have lot of “great” luck and things that have gone my way and I have also been fortunate enough to have some really “bad” luck and things that have not gone my way. I try and look for the gifts in all of it and for me that is what it is all about.

Paper! So obviously paper is a big love of yours. A lot of your work is quite sculptural (flowers growing right off the page!) so I'm curious, when did you start to really explore paper in a more 3D way?
Yes paper is the best! I had been dipping my toes into the world of paper art for a few months when I created a self portrait in 2014. When I was finished it was like a total Oprah Aha! moment and I’ve been going, going, going since then.

Do you have any rituals or a routine that helps ground you & primes your creative mind?
A good cup of tea is the right way for me to start the day! Actually the very first thing to start my day right is my cat Bijou. She jumps into bed with me in the morning and has a little cuddle and says hello. I am not a “morning person” so a little aimless pottering at the start of the day helps me get ready for getting into worker bee mode.

Fear and uncertainty seem to be an innate part of the creative process. How do you confront your fears, instead of letting them stop you?
I don’t. I don’t confront them but I also don’t let them stop me.  I am scared all the time and I just do things anyway! There is no rule that you have to feel completely certain and fearless to take an action. I’ve begun to find that the more I focus on being gentle and kind to myself and to just begin “doing the thing” rather than thinking about “doing the thing” then uncertainty and fear have less of a chance to stop me!

What kinds of activities/interests do you have outside of your actual art practice, that you feel informs or inspires your work? (or maybe just contributes to a richer life)
Do cats count as an interest? Because my number one interest might be my cats Daisy and Bijou. I love pretty simple things - a good cup of tea, a delicious meal, good conversation with friends, baths and walks.
I’ve recently gotten more into seeing stand up comedy and I find it very inspiring for my art practice. I admire comedians so much. The level of craft and skill that a good comedian must develop inspires me to keep going and persevering in my own work. I want what I do to look that effortless!  


 I’m a sucker for good quotes. Do you have a favourite you’d like to share?

A ship in harbor is safe
— but that is not what ships are built for.
— John A. Shedd

Do you feel that the creative community in Vancouver is supportive? Is there any way that you would like to see it grow? Can you list any events or an organization that you feel do a good job at fostering this?

Yes! I feel incredibly supported here. Community is essential no matter that you are doing and I’d like to share about Papergirl and THRIVE Studio as excellent examples of fostering community!
Papergirl- is a redefinition of street art combining Art, Philanthropy, and Bicycles! It’s an inclusive global art project that connects the community and celebrates art through the spirit of unexpected giving. I am one of the projects co- managers for Papergirl YVR and have been involved with the project in various ways since my second year of living in Canada. I honestly don’t know if I would still be living in Canada if it hadn’t been for the connections and friendships I made through this wonderful project.
THRIVE Art Studio is a community of female artists! I am a member of THRIVE Mastermind and the women in my groups are amazing! It’s so great to be able to share my artistic achievements and struggles with people who can relate. I find so much clarity and support for my art career and also a human being. The THRIVE Talks are also a great source of inspiration!

Favourite music or podcasts you like to listen to while making art?

I love listening to podcasts while I make art! I subscribe to quite a few of them but some very favourite ones include- The Jealous Curator, WTF with Marc Maron and the Mental Illness Happy Hour. I find them all deeply inspiring and beautiful.

Thank You Tara! (and Daisy + Bijou)

View more of her wonderful paper creations here: