And here’s the first page of my new book. White text on left reads, “I walk home without you.”

Dear Tumblr,

It’s been over a year since I last posted here, but I had to return to share exciting news: my travel journal is coming to a bookstore near you! The sketchbooks you’ve come to know on this account have been compiled into a volume of 80 paintings. The Traveling Artist: A Visual Journal will be released May of 2021 with international distribution.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the supportive Tumblr community who witnessed the dawn and development of my travel journal. The first autobiographical painting I ever created in a sketchbook (above) went viral in 2013 and is still being reblogged, seven years later. For a fledgling account like mine to receive 800k+ notes was a total shock, and it gave me confidence in my new project and style. Encouraged, I painted another personal scene, and another, until I had a complete visual diary that chronicled five years of travel.

Sometimes I wonder where I would be had I never joined the Tumblr community, which was a source of comfort, encouragement, and inspiration for so many years. Thank you for looking, liking, connecting, and reblogging. It really can make a positive impact in someone’s life. 

That first painting of Brooklyn is still the most special to me, and it’s the first page of my book. I hope you enjoy it, and the 79 paintings that accompany it in The Traveling Artist: A Visual Journal. Follow the link in my profile to order your copy!

Anonymous asked:

i just started following you and your paintings are AMAZING! can't wait to see more of what you create :-D

Oh thank you! That’s so kind. Please check out my Instagram as well-- I’ve been posting daily over there, including lots of new time-lapse videos of my painting process.

Anonymous asked:

i love all your maine art. i've grown up in portland, so i can recognize some of the places you paint

Thank you! More Portland-inspired paintings are on the way, slowly but surely. 

Anonymous asked:

Hi Missy! I have a question about artist residencies. Do artists with degrees have an advantage? I'd love to be able to have that experience with a residency, and I have some art education but never finished it. Although I've done a lot of work and have a good online following I don't know if those matter at all when I don't have an impressive art education. Hope you're doing well!

Hi Anon! Short answer: yes, having a degree is an advantage. There are residencies that will accept you without one, but they will probably be small programs that you pay for. A large online following is definitely good, but is more attractive to institutions that can capitalize on your audience. For example, your social media following could help a fledgling program attract more artists, who pay a fee, and keep the residency in business. 

The prestigious, free, or funded programs will probably require a degree. They are supported by private and federal grants, and successful alumni help demonstrate their effectiveness and attract funding, so they need to invest wisely. They want their resources to propel artists who are traveling down a career path, and not someone who may stop creating or change their life-direction in a few years. 

I am not sure why a degree is practically mandatory for a profession that can be (and frequently is) self-taught. I agree it’s not fair, especially when tuition is grossly disproportional to what you earn as a working artist. One reason may be that, beyond what you learn as a student, a degree is a simple example of your commitment and follow-through. If you’re an older artist without a degree, but you have a lifetime of artwork and exhibitions under your belt, you have demonstrated your commitment to art. But if you’re an “emerging artist” like myself, a degree may be one of the few tangible examples of serious investment. 

A bachelor’s degree seems to be the minimum, and I personally feel held back for not having a master’s, which is occasionally a requirement on applications. If you don’t have a degree, you will need a significant exhibition history, list of commissions and acquisitions (public institutions being a major plus), and relevant awards. 

If you’re certain you won’t finish your degree, start building a CV in every other way: apply for group exhibitions and juried shows, attend a small tuition-funded residency, and if your work isn’t selling yet, offer to donate to your local library, post office, bank, etc. And of course, continue challenging yourself as an artist, building a dynamic portfolio, and learning from others more experienced than yourself. 

Good luck, and don’t give up!