article by Marji van Pinxteren
What do you get when you cross an Oxford educated Englishman and an all-American girl with palettes of paints and a ticket to ride? Answer: an explosion of color, creativity and curiosity known as “Dare 2 Create”. Welcome to the world of artists Andy Skinner and Tracy Weinzapfel, who, a few years ago, created a travelling workshop of artistic inspiration to ignite the senses and bring out the artist in you!
While continents apart, a “bit of a dare” in the virtual world to push each other artistically soon became an on-line experience to share with others. Then the “real” world started calling. And thankfully, they answered the call! In 2015 Andy and Tracy took their phenomenal “Dare2Create” workshop on the road (and planes) to share their passion with others around the world. In 2017, they will be holding 5 “Dare2Create” events over 4 continents. And it doesn’t stop there.
When they are not sharing their passion through “Dare 2 Create”, Andy is busy designing and consulting for DecoArt, Tando Creative and Stampendous. His website carries on-line tutorials, and he is part of the “Wanderlust” team for 2017. Andy holds his own workshops across the globe, including “Ministry of Mixology” and is a regular guest at CHA and Creative World, Frankfurt. Tracy teaches around the world and extensively across the United States. She also has virtual tutorials including her weekly live on-line tutorial “Mixed Media Mondays”. Tracy is sponsored by DecoArt, Dynasty Brush Artisan and is a Product Designer for Dare 2B Artzy.
Both bring something different to the “Dare 2 Create” workshops. While Andy’s work is described as “edgy, dark and enigmatic”, Tracy’s work is all about joyful colour and self-expression. While their styles are diverse, it’s their passion for art and life that binds them together and truly brings a unique experience to anyone participating in a “Dare 2 Create” event.
With their only visit to Australia in 2017, this interview reveals the history of “Dare2Create” and what to expect in their weekend workshop at Brisbane.
How did “Dare 2 Create” come about?
We met at the Craft & Hobby Association trade show and initially did not hit it off (the "stuffy" Brit and the loud/wild American). We met the following year and appreciated each other's work ethic and passion for what we do and realized how well we got on and how well we worked together as a team. Tracy suggested a Dare 2 Create Challenge that we could collaborate on. It all started with us picking each other's color palettes. Since then we have had several other online challenges that we shared on our websites along with taking the idea LIVE to trade shows where we painted a piece together. This got us thinking about collaborating at LIVE events and have two teachers with different styles come together.........what an amazing journey we are on.
With living in England and the USA, how do you manage organizing events?
We communicate and design/create projects virtually. With the technology of today we are able to video and virtually challenge one another. It has pushed both of us to "think out of the box" and stretch creatively. We love that we can invite others to share and experience this with us!
What could a person expect with a “Dare2Create” event?
Laughter, fun, and a lot of techniques! We both believe in making sure that we connect and share our passion with everyone who joins us. We limit the size of the classes for that reason and we each teach to each other's strengths. For each project we share techniques that we love so everyone can take them at home and incorporate them in their art. We also work with a number of sponsors who trust in us to show how their products work. This is great for everyone! We will be featuring products such as paints, stencils and more from the DecoArt Media line along with our custom designed stamps from Stampendous and Dare 2B Artzy.
Are all Dare2Create events the same?
The great thing about each event is they are unique! We equate this experience to going to summer camp where you all experience something that is unique to the people who are there, the location and more! Truly, bonds are formed and a lot of fun happens at every one! Andy and I do our best to have everyone laugh and creatively let go for the weekend.
Why do you love Dare2Create?
For all the reasons we mentioned above. We too, let go and enjoy each and every person who chooses to create with us. We do not take it for granted that people choose to spend their creative time with us. So we love pouring our heart and soul into each event!
What’s your favorite medium to work with?
We both use and are sponsored by Decoart, Inc. We work with sponsors who support us and more importantly we have to love their products. Andy is instrumental in the development of the DecoArt Media line, which we teach with.
What was your spark for becoming an artist?
Tracy: From childhood I was creative and was always expressing myself by drawing, painting and more! I went off to college and got a degree in Building Construction Management & Finance but my true calling was being creative and I worked to make that happen. I truly live and work my passion.
Andy: Painting and drawing has been my passion since I can remember and was always encouraged by my mother. It was just a natural progression for me.
Is there something that particularly inspires you with your art?
Tracy: For me..........LIFE. The good, the bad and the ugly. I literally put my heart and soul on each piece and it is true to me.
Andy: Dreams, emotions and yes life. It is not always obvious in my work but most pieces have an underlying meaning.
Who is a fellow artist that you admire?
Tracy: Dr. Seuss........yep! His whimsical take on flowers, people and more is a world I would love to live in. His use of color just amazes me!
Andy: Degas. I used to paint in Pastel which was one of the first mediums outside of pencil that I used. His use of colour just blew me away.
What was the last product that made you go “WOW!”
Tracy: Our 3-Color Dare 2 Create Challenge was a special one for me. We painted for just us using 3 colors and I created a poppy piece I love that I gifted to Andy.
Andy: We recently virtually painted a new Dare 2 Create project that we will teach next year. It’s still a little bit of a secret but I love it!
Will this be your first trip to Australia?
Tracy: I have been once before however not to Brisbane. I am very much looking forward to it! I am excited to eat Tim Tams and see another part of this lovely country!
Andy: This is my first trip although I do have family in Brisbane so hoping to catch up with them!
To find out more about Andy and Tracy, please visit their websites:
To find out more about Dare 2 Create coming to Australia in October 2017, please visit these sites:
Dare 2 Create Events: www.daretocreatelive.com
Bella Paperie : www.bellapaperie.net.au
Off the Page
Last movie at a cinema:
Tracy: You Before Me
Andy: The Gangs of New York… yep, it’s been that long!
Can’t live without craft item:
Book currently reading:
Tracy: Coaching the Artist
Within by Eric Maisel
Andy: How to be Brilliant at
Public Speaking by Sarah
Last holiday location:
Tracy: Michigan to visit family
Andy: Savona, Italy
Tracy: In a library
Last website visited:
Tracy: Probably my own blog
Andy: Dare 2 Create Live
Three people you’d invite to dinner:
Tracy: Dr Seuss, my grandparents (all four!) and my childhood friend who took her life (sorry to be a downer, but she was instrumental in how I value life and every breath). And also, I need a bigger table please!
Andy: Mother, sister and Tracy of course!
Tracy: Soup and salad
Tracy: I admit it…. I love Country Music!
Andy: Anything acoustic.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you do?
Tracy: A writer. That is on the “To Do List”, so stay tuned!
Andy: Something electro-mechanical in the service industry.