The Heroine’s of Tanja Gant

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  The aspect of my work that I love most is being my own boss and deciding what and when I want to draw. I am not under pressure to mass-produce and that allows me the freedom to let my intuition dictate what my next subject will be.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Drawing, reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on, spending every possible moment with my husband, Paul, visiting family and friends back home in Bosnia, and collecting art by some of my favorite contemporary artists.

What is my greatest fear? That everything could one day disappear, again, and that I would end up alone. My life has taken so many turns in the last 45 years that I’ve lost count; now all I wish for is stability and having my loved ones close to me.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? I think of myself as a “control freak”. I have to have structure and order in my life. I’d like to be able to let go and enjoy the moment more, live in the now and not think about the past and future as much.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? There are so many living artists I admire but the ones that stand out the most are: Linda Lucas Hardy (colored pencils and oil), Justin Balliet (charcoal) and Anthony Waichulis (oil). Each of them has achieved the highest level of excellence in their respective medium. Their love and knowledge of their craft, their dedication to it, and their talent are infinitely inspiring.

What is my greatest extravagance?  If I could I would hoard books and art, the two things I can’t imagine my life without.

On what occasion would I lie? I would lie to save someone’s life, but I believe in truth no matter how painful it may be.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? My drawing process is slow and tedious. Sometimes I struggle to find enough patience to finish a drawing. I feel as if I’ve won a small battle every time I finish a piece.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?  Most recently one of my drawings won a Finalist in the Portrait Society of America’s Members Only competition. Earning a spot among so many accomplished artists, and with a colored pencil drawing no less, is a great motivation booster.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I would be an extrovert and at least 2” taller.

What is my greatest achievement in work?  Perseverance; creating no matter what.

Where would I most like to live? This is a hard question to answer. Somewhere with four seasons and plenty of snow like Bosnia, but also Amsterdam and Egypt.

What is my most treasured possession? My books and my modest art collection.

What is my most marked characteristic? I am passionate about what I do and the people I love.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? It would have to be my hometown, Zenica (Bosnia & Herzegovina), and its old part which is rich with history.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? I love seafood, especially raw oysters, so two of my favorite restaurants are Seafood R’evolution and Shucker’s Oyster Bar in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

What books influenced my life and how? Some of the books that have left a profound impact on me are:  “Hatter’s Castle” by A.J. Cronin, “Madness”, by Marya Hornbacher, “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman, “Same Kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, “Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson, “The Martian” by Andy Weir, “The Executioner’s Song” by Norman Mailer, and many others.

Who are my favorite writers? My favorite writer is Bill Bryson. His wit is delightful.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Anything by Mike Oldfield or Sia.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Superman

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My parents, my husband and my friends.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? Avatar. It’s one of very few movies I could watch over and over again.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is an essential part of my life. It’s part of my DNA, it’s something I have to do.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My husband. Without him I wouldn’t be where I am today and I certainly wouldn’t be doing what I love.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? I would love to be a part of a group exhibition featuring any of the hundreds of artists whose work I love.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017Everyone that I haven’t met yet. The list is too long.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? I’m looking forward to finishing the drawing I’m working on at the moment.  I have several drawings planned and they should keep me busy for many months to come.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? 

  • The Mansion at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD (June 10 – August 6, 2017),
  • Breckenridge Fine Arts Center in Breckenridge, TX (July 18 – September 9, 2017)
  • Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, AL (July 9 – October 1, 2017)

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion makes all the difference. Once you find something (or someone) you’re passionate about embrace it wholeheartedly.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Didi Menendez (artist and publisher/curator of Poets & Artists Magazine), Shana Levenson (artist), Annie Murphy-Robinson (artist), Aixa Oliveras (artist), Svetlana Cameron (artist), Katy Sullivan (artist), Erin Gergen Halls (artist), to name just a few.

How can you contact me?

 

 

 

 

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