Rank #1: Diving Deep into the Creative Process, with Cecil Touchon
It was an honor to sit down for a wide-ranging conversation with the artist, Cecil Touchon as we explored the creative process. Cecil creates collage and paintings out of typographic elements; his paintings are called Post-Dogmatic paintings. I know that artists like you are going to a lot out of our in-depth conversation.
Rank #2: The Path of a Self Taught Artist, with Julian Merrow Smith
Have you ever wondered how a self taught artist fares in today’s art scene? Do they have the same difficulties and opportunities as artists who have been through the traditional route? What unique lessons can we learn from this subset of creators who defy conventional expectations? My guest, Julian Merrow Smith is a self taught artist who has plenty of insight to share about his journey. In our conversation, we touched on his move to France, how he taught himself how to paint, why he decided to start teaching workshops, how he works through disappointment, and much more. I can’t wait for you to get to know the side of Julian that came out in our interview! Creative Inspiration What inspires you to create your artwork? Is it people, places, concepts, or something else? When I get the chance to peer into the mind of an artist I enjoy the wonderful opportunity to explore what inspires them, what really makes them come alive. It intrigues me to hear what inspires various artists as they approach their canvas. Artist Julian Merrow Smith shared with me that he likes to use what he sees around him each day at his home in the countryside of France. He draws inspiration from peaches at this point in the season when I spoke with him. Catch a glimpse of Julian’s work captured in the images section at the end of this post! Discovering What NOT to do It’s always a privilege when I get to sit down and talk to artists whose career path has been different than my own. I love hearing from artists who discovered their passion for art late in life and from others who found their way as a self taught artist. Julian Merrow Smith took the time to share with me his journey and the lessons he has taken away from the experience of teaching himself how to paint. One of the key insights that Julian shared with me is how he was able to discover his unique voice and creative path by putting in the long hard hours and by deciding after each completed work what aspect he did NOT want to continue to produce from that painting. Julian was kind enough to share many more insights and lessons from his art career - I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! From Self Taught Artist to Teacher Can you imagine the pressure and stress that comes with teaching students to do what you’ve only discovered how to do on your own? Imagine you have no frame of reference to look back upon, no formal teaching in the subject matter in which you are being asked to teach. Self taught artist Julian Merrow Smith found himself in that very scenario. Students and established artists alike have been drawn to Julian’s work and want to learn from him. In proper response, Julian has begun offering workshops. The unique circumstance is not lost on Julian, in our conversation we discussed his feelings of serving as a teacher in a subject where he didn’t have one. Momentum can be KEY How do you keep the ball moving as an artist? What practices do you turn to that keep you coming back to the canvas over and over again to hone your craft? I’ve heard from artists over and over again that once they’ve stepped away from their work for a period of time, they find it very difficult to return. Yet, I also have heard from well-known artists that stepping away for a period of time has been essential for their mental and emotional capacity to continue to create. In my conversation with Julian Merrow Smith, we discussed how this topic has played out in his creative journey. There may not be a one size fits all solution, but the KEY is figuring out what works for YOU. Outline of This Episode [1:40] I introduce my guest, Julian Merrow Smith. [3:30] How Julian got his start as an artist. [8:30] Why did Julian move to France? [11:00] Julian talks about teaching himself how to paint. [13:00] How do you find your voice as an artist? [16:00] Julian’s process in the studio
Rank #3: Good Habits Maximize Creativity, with Emily Leonard
No one has a perfect story. Light and dark, day and night, there seems to be a constant opposite element to contrast our experiences in life. We all have our moments of glory and times of difficulty. On this episode of Savvy Painter, I have the privilege to sit down with artist Emily Leonard. Emily’s journey is a fascinating one. We discuss her successes, her battle with depression, the creative process, the benefits of good habits, and much more! If you love to hear how artists have navigated their creative journey as much as I do, you don’t want to miss this episode! That magical moment when everything “Clicks” Have you ever had one of those magical moments when everything you are working on just “Clicks?” Artist Emily Leonard had one of those moments in her career that left a lasting impression on her process. She was working on a big solo show at a gallery in Seattle when she started a painting in which every brush stroke “Felt right.” She didn’t finish this painting in time for the gallery opening which was unusual for Emily. Usually, in those moments, she rushes the project to have it ready for the show but this one was different. This experience left a strong impression on Emily and has shaped the way she approaches painting projects and deadlines. To hear more from my exciting interview with Emily, listen to this episode of Savvy Painter! Battling depression and refusing to use art as a coping mechanism. Mental illness can be difficult to understand let alone cope with. There is a wide range of strategies and methods that have helped people who suffer from mental illnesses like depression. In some instances using art has acted as a helpful coping mechanism. Artist Emily Leonard discovered that in her case, she was using art as a coping mechanism but not talking about or talking through her difficulties. She had to make a clear distinction so she distanced herself from painting for a period of time. This decision made a huge impact on the way she navigated her mental health. To hear more about Emily’s story, don’t miss this episode of Savvy Painter! Good habits and routines that maximize creativity Everyone is looking for that one book, quote, or piece of advice that will help them maximize their creativity or productivity. Since everyone is created uniquely, it takes a variety of methods to find that personal inspiration and drive. What works for one person may not work for the next. That is why hearing from others who have found what works for them is so helpful. On this episode of Savvy Painter, I sit down with artist Emily Leonard. We talk about habits she has formed over the years that have helped maximize her creative process. Make sure to catch Emily’s inspiring story! Can you balance work and family life? Many men and women in the workplace today are asking an important question. How do you balance work life and family life? Emily Leonard is an artist and a mother so I asked her how she keeps it all balanced, does she have any tips? Emily was quick to explain that she doesn't have any tips, she is just doing the best she can to make it all work. At one point when her daughter was still an infant, her time in the studio was suffering and it forced her to ask herself this question; “How can my process and work adapt to fit my new lifestyle as a mother?” Since she asked herself that question, Emily has been able to adapt and streamline her process and time in the studio. I loved hearing from Emily’s unique story and I know you will enjoy it too. Hear more from Emily on this episode of Savvy Painter! Outline of This Episode [0:34] Background of guest: Emily Leonard. [1:35] I introduce Emily Leonard. [2:00] Early inspirations in art. [4:55] The beginning of Emily’s art career. [6:27] How to get started as an artist. [9:13] Emily shares a successful moment in her career. [15:29]
Rank #4: Discover How to Sell Your Art Online and Grow Your Audience, with Jenni Waldrop
My guest, Jenni Waldrop has built a successful online business herself and now works to help others do the same. In our conversation, Jenni opens up about how she got started, lessons she has learned along the way, what you need to do to start building an online store, and a whole lot more. If you are looking for a way to cut through all the complicated and confusing barriers to building your online business, this is the episode for you!
Rank #5: Thriving as a Self Taught Artist, with Kirstine Reiner Hansen
Kirstine Reiner Hansen is an artist with a vibrant story. On this episode of Savvy Painter, I have the pleasure of sitting down with Kirstine to discuss her successful and thriving career as a “Self taught artist.” Our discussion ranges from the pros and cons of getting a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA), her experience as a self taught painter, keeping her audience updated, and making a substantial shift in her method and style of painting. Kirstine is a generous and gracious guest and I believe you will learn a lot from her wealth of knowledge and insight. Make sure to listen to this episode of Savvy Painter! Is it important to keep your audience invested and interested in your work? In the social media age, how important is it to keep your audience interested? I get the wonderful opportunity to sit down with artist Kirstine Reiner Hansen to discuss the importance of updating and including your audience on your journey. Much of our thinking around this idea is just reminding our audience that we are still around and working out our creative process. This can take the form of snapping a picture of a paint brush and posting it Instagram or giving them an exclusive “Peek” on our upcoming project. In this new global and interconnect society, artists need to think about the steps they can take to ensure their audience is engaged. Learn more from our in depth conversation on this episode of Savvy Painter! What is it like being a “Self taught artist” Discovering your vocation doesn’t usually come easy most people. For those who find their “calling” easily, even that can be fraught with uncertainty. Kirstine Reiner Hansen discovered her passion and calling as an artist. As she has developed and grown as an artist and has experienced different art communities, Kirstine has struggled with the fact that she never procured her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. This is a hotly debated issue among many artists, is the MFA really necessary to have a credible and successful career as an artist? Kirstine came to the conclusion that for her, even though it would be nice, the MFA is not necessary. To hear more about Kirstine’s journey as a “Self taught artist”, listen to this episode of Savvy Painter. Making the shift from observational to photo reference. Leaving a style or way of doing things for so long can be difficult. Not many people enjoy and embrace change. One of the keys to moving from a place of comfort to a new and possibly better place is understanding that your current location is unacceptable. Kirstine Reiner Hansen understood this truth. She had been practicing an observational form of painting for many years but soon realized that she need to make a change. It wasn’t easy and it took a lot of courage and boldness to push into a new realm of painting. She now uses photo references in her painting and she is thrilled that she made the change. To hear more about Kirstine’s process and what it took for her make that leap, listen to this episode of Savvy Painter! An unconventional method of painting Every artist has their own unique way of preparing themselves before they approach the canvas. I found Kirstine Reiner Hansen’s approach to her projects rather unconventional. As she prepares her canvas and other items (she uses collage work as well), Kirstine closes her eyes and picks objects at random and then figures out how to incorporate them into her work. She feels that it is the only way she can be fresh and present her work as surprising. The most exciting aspect for Kirstine about working this way is that she sees her work as a sort of intuitive puzzle. She has to stay very alert to figure out what step to take next. To hear more about Kirstine’s fascinating process, listen to this episode of Savvy Painter! Outline of This Episode [0:36] Background of guest: Kirstine Reiner Hansen. [2:01
Rank #6: Paint Colors, Techniques, Best Practices, and more! Special Q&A Session with Gamblin
As I’ve been promising, our special color episode with Gamblin featuring Scott Gellatly and Robert Gamblin is here! In our conversation, we go over the pigments used in modern paints, the emotional content of a color, what makes student grade paints, “student grade,” the best paints to use for plein air painting, and so much more.
Rank #7: Exploring the Language of Painting, with Maggie Siner
I had the incredible honor of sitting down and discussing this fascinating topic with the artist, Maggie Siner. Maggie grew up in New Jersey and currently resides in France. She began her studies at the Art Students League of New York in 1968, graduated from Boston University (BFA) in 1973 and from American University (MFA) in 1976. I can’t wait for you to learn from Maggie’s fascinating and unique perspective!
Rank #8: Tips for Artists (From a Gallery’s Perspective), with Jennifer Farris
Wouldn’t it be great to hear inside tips for artists from a gallery’s perspective? Most of my interviews are with artists but I jump at the chance when I get to connect with a gallery owner. They provide such a helpful and unique perspective! My guest Jennifer Farris is the owner of Studio Gallery. Jennifer and Rab opened the gallery in 2003 to showcase the work of Bay Area artists. Jennifer and I discuss the role of social media in the art world, the story behind the artwork, setting the right prices, helpful tips for artist engaging with galleries and much more! Leveraging Social Media to Promote Art With the interconnectedness the internet age gives us, it can seem like brick and mortar stores are becoming increasingly irrelevant. You might be tempted to think that social media promotion threatens the role of galleries in the art world. Gallery owner Jennifer Farris doesn’t see social media promotion as an obstacle but rather as a platform she can leverage alongside the artists her gallery works with. In our conversation, Jennifer paints a helpful picture of the relationship between social media, artists, and galleries. If you are interested in hearing her inside tips for artists, make sure to catch this interview. The Story Behind the Artwork Don’t forget that one of the most powerful tools you have is your story! It doesn’t matter what type of medium you are engaged in, people want to hear the story behind the artwork. What inspired you, what moved you, what were you going through when you created your art? This is what resonates with people. I know it can be scary to put yourself out there, and not every artist is ready to do that - that’s OK. When you are ready, share your story. In most cases, it’s the story that enhances the artwork in a similar way a quality frame helps it pop. If I haven’t convinced you, my guest and gallery owner Jennifer Farris will. She has seen the power a story can have in appreciating and selling a work of art. Setting the Right Price for Artwork Figuring out the right price point for their artwork is something that many artists, especially inexperienced artists struggle with. How do you determine the right price range for your work? What is the best process and approach? My guest, Jennifer Farris is happy to shed some light and share some tips for artists on this otherwise difficult process. Jennifer is the owner of Studio Gallery and regularly walks new artists through the process of pricing and showing their work for the first time. Her helpful perspective will help you get an inside look at the art world from the gallery angle. Do’s and Don’t’s of Approaching a Gallery As an artist, have you ever wondered what would be the best way to approach a gallery you want to go into business with? You are in luck! Gallery owner Jennifer Farris is eager to share some tips for artists who want to start off on the right foot with galleries. Visit the gallery if possible. Get to know the feel for the type of work they show. Is it a fit? Understand the right timing. Don’t ambush a gallery owner, make an appointment. Respect the process. Don’t expect special treatment. Work with the gallery’s process. Jennifer has some wonderful insights that will help artists navigate the gallery landscape. I had a wonderful time learning about her gallery’s process and I know you will too! Outline of This Episode [0:35] My introduction to this episode. [2:00] Jennifer shares the story behind Studio Gallery. [4:20] The difficulty Jennifer and Rab faced opening their gallery. [7:40] How does Jennifer help an artist decide which artwork to show? [10:45] What criteria is used to determine if an artist is ready for a solo show? [12:20] How can artists work with galleries in a harmonious way? [15:00] The story behind the artwork. [21:00] Social Media’s influence on galleries. [25:00]
Rank #9: Following Your Intuition, with Jordan Wolfson
My guest, Jordan Wolfson has embraced his intuition and followed it down some fascinating creative corridors. In our conversation, Jordan opens up about how he got started as an artist, what his process looks like, the contrast between language and art, how he honed his skill set, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to get a glimpse of Jordan’s fascinating perspective!
Rank #10: Finding Your Artistic Voice, with Nancy Gruskin
Often it can take an artist years to discover their “Artistic voice.” It comes to each artist in a different way, some find it by learning from mentors and instructors over years, others find it by teaching the nuances of art theory or art history. There are so many beautiful paths that different individuals take to discover their unique artistic voice. My guest, Nancy Gruskin had a fascinating story to tell as she spoke with me about her journey to discovering and sharing her artistic voice. She didn’t take the “Typical” route to her career as an artist but it makes total sense for Nancy and it's an inspiring one that I know you will enjoy! Getting “Established” as an Artist Part of the process of discovering your voice as an artist is getting to that place where you feel “Established.” Similar to finding your voice, getting established comes at different points for each artist. For Nancy Gruskin, her career as an art history instructor has played a significant role in her journey and arriving at that place of feeling established in her career. She talks about how teaching and bringing value to students even when her art isn’t selling is still validating for her. Nancy was very forthcoming in sharing her thoughts and feelings in our conversation and I know her story will have an impact on other artists that get the chance to hear from her. Acrylic Wash and Finding What Works How did you discover what medium or process works best for your creative expression? Have you stuck with that same method for years or have you adjusted and changed it over time? My guest, Nancy Gruskin shares how she had modified and stumbled upon different approaches in her paintings and artwork over the years. In our conversation, Nancy told me how she stumbled into working with acrylic wash and how working with acrylic works much better in her home studio than working with oils like she did in the past. It was great to hear from Nancy and how she has adjusted her approach over the years and is still finding her creative impulses shine through that adaptation. Creative Inspiration Some artists share that they find their creative inspiration in some of the most mundane aspects of their life, others still find that inspiration strikes through the abstract. There is no “Right way” to tap into that creative inspiration, each artist must find what it is that inspires them. My guest Nancy Gruskin shared a touching moment from her life that inspired one of her paintings. Nancy’s story just goes to show you that you can’t bottle the creative process! It was great to hear how yet another individual uses the flow and circumstance of their life to create something beautiful. Make sure to catch images of Nancy’s paintings at the end of this post! Overcoming Self-Doubt It takes a lot of courage to bare your soul and share with a large audience a glimpse into your inner thoughts and feelings. Is that something you can imagine doing? My guest, Nancy Gruskin felt bold enough to share that she struggles with self-doubt from time to time. In our conversation, Nancy told me that she felt like she wouldn't’ have anything noteworthy to share with a wider audience. This could not have been further from the truth! I had a wonderful time speaking with Nancy about her journey to become an artist and how she has tackled other challenges along the way. I know you will also enjoy hearing from such a transparent, unique and bold artistic voice! Outline of This Episode [0:50] I introduce my guest, Nancy Gruskin. [2:00] Nancy’s journey to becoming an artist. [10:30] How has Nancy’s background with Art History influenced her artwork? [13:00] Finding your voice. [18:00] Nancy talks about being included in a group art show. [22:00] Feeling “Established” as an artist. [27:30] Nancy’s process in approaching her time in the studio. [34:30]
Rank #11: Oil Painting Questions and Answers, with Gamblin
Do you have questions about oil painting and the best materials to use? Look no further, it’s here! Robert Gamblin, Mary, and Pete Cole join me to answer your biggest questions about oil painting and more! I’m so excited for you to hear their helpful insights into some really great topics. You’ll hear them go over questions about pigments, stories about pigment sources, why some paints have more oil separation, some great information on oil paints and toxicity, and much more!
Rank #12: Becoming An Artist, with Kami Mendlik
The public perception of a person's journey toward becoming an artist is usually an ethereal and happy go lucky one. As many of you know, that’s not the case. In my conversation with artist Kami Mendlik, we discuss her journey of becoming an artist. Kami emphasis that luck had nothing to do with her skill, talent, and success as an artist. She isn’t shy talking about the stubbornness, difficulty, and perseverance that is required to have a thriving art career. In our conversation we also touch on the impact of a mentor, finding the time to paint, her life raising children and much more. The impact of a mentor Can you think back to a time when someone helped you on your career path in vital ways? Everyone doesn’t get such a special person in their life. Usually, a mentoring relationship doesn’t just fall into your lap. Kami Mendlik had to hunt down and pursue her mentor Mary Pettis. Kami was relentless because she knew she had to learn from one of the best in her field. Mary was a huge hero and mentor to Kami and only asked for one thing in return for the time and insight she gave, that one day Kami would do the same for another young artist. Kami has fulfilled that promise and delights in the joy of passing down what she has learned on her journey to up and coming artists. Finding the time to paint One of the most common refrains among aspiring artist is “I’ve got to find the time to paint.” The struggle to carve out the time to focus on something so important and intimate can be difficult. Artist Kami Mendlik empathizes with this struggle but is a strong advocate of helping artists push through this difficulty. In order to succeed as an artist and a single mother, Kami had to get creative with her time. In our conversation, she tells me a few beautiful stories of her children growing up around her painting habits. If you’ve ever struggled to find the time to paint this conversation will be a huge encouragement to you. Don’t wait until you’ve “Arrived” The difficulty of navigating a career toward becoming an artist is fighting off the mindset that everything will come together once you’ve “Arrived.” My guest, Kami Mendlik strongly urges that artists fight that impulse. Kami describes her career as a journey. In fact, she couldn’t pick a particular moment in her career where she “Felt like an artist.” Rather, Kami describes her path as a series of stepping stones along the way. She encourages budding artists to avoid the trap of comparison and focus on discovering their own journey and finding their “Voice” in the process. Incorporating children into life as an artist Many professionals and even some artists are tempted to compartmentalize their work life from their life as a parent. To some degree, this has to be done to carve out that time where you can get “In the zone” and focus on your work. But because much of an artist’s process bleeds into the rest of their life you have to find a way to incorporate family life into the artistic journey. My guest, Kami Mendlik shares her experiences raising her children and navigating her path toward becoming an artist. Kami is delightfully transparent and honest as she explains the joys and difficulties that have come along the way. I know you will benefit greatly from our candid and in-depth conversation. Outline of This Episode [0:55] My introduction to today’s guest; Kami Mendlik [2:30] Kami’s journey to become an artist. [5:20] Every step an arrival. [11:00] Not luck, hard work. [20:30] The difficulty of finding your way after art school. [23:00] Determination and making your way. [29:00] The impact of a mentor. [34:00] Raising children and pursuing an art career. [40:00] Fighting the impulse to make “Perfect art” [45:40] Pushing through fear. [51:00] Don’t wait until you’ve “Arrived” [54:45] Incorporating childre
Rank #13: How to Sell Your Art Without Selling Out and More! With Maria Brophy
My guest, Maria Brophy has spent the last decade and a half, acting as agent and brand manager for her husband, artist Drew Brophy. In our conversation, Maria opens up about the process of moving to a full-time career as an artist, when to say no, how to position yourself as a high-value artist, and much more. I know artists like you will get a ton of value out of our fascinating and wide-ranging conversation!
Rank #14: Light and Art, with Peter Fiore
My guest, Peter Fiore is an expert when it comes to experimenting with light in his artwork. In our conversation, we discuss his fascination with nature, his artistic process, why he uses music in the studio, the importance of fighting back fear, and much more! Our conversation takes a lot of twists and turns but I know artists like you will get a lot of enjoyment from Peter’s depth of experience.
Rank #15: Figurative Painter Zoey Frank
Zoey Frank is a figurative painter from Colorado. She studied at the Juliette Aristides Atelier in Seattle and then went on to get her MFA from the Laguna College of Art and Design. Zoey is in love with the figure. She shares her process, and her experiments freely in this episode. I really enjoyed talking with her about her current work, in which she is playing with observation, imagination, and photography. We also talk about the instability of this career choice we’ve made and how that can really affect our mood. Zoey shares the tactics she uses to deal with uncertainty- tactics that focus on reconnecting with the joy of making things and creating.
Rank #16: How to Crush the Inner Critic, Get Over Perfectionism, and Get Out of Your Own Way So You Can Create Your Best Work
On this episode, we will cover mindset mastery and how understanding and exploring your mindset can help you succeed and thrive as an artist. I also touch on an important topic, battling the inner critic as well as the significance of scheduling the important things in your life including downtime and studio time. I’m excited to share all of this with you and I look forward to hearing your feedback!
Rank #17: Layered Paintings, with Chris Liberti
I’ve always been intrigued by layered paintings. I don’t know if you’ve had that same draw but there is something about the textures and the grooves that draw you in and makes you wonder why the artist added that piece or that mark in a way that is unique in its own right. My guest, Chris Liberti has a similar draw and fascination with layered paintings. In our conversation, Chris describes why the layered effect has such an influence in his work. I also share how it connects to a personal story in my life. Connecting artwork to a personal space Do you have a favorite place you like to work on your art besides the studio environment? What is it about that place that resonates with you in a way no other place does? Artist Chris Liberti shared with me that one of his favorite places to go and paint is in his parent's basement. Didn’t see that coming did you? The way Chris describes this space and why he likes to go back and paint a particular utility sink is really touching. As he describes what that artwork and that space meant to him, I was instantly transported to that location. I have a feeling that Chris’ story and the way he looks at his artwork will resonate with artist like you. Preparing for a Gallery Show I’m sure many artists like you wonder if your habits and processes for preparing for a gallery show are similar to other artists or if YOU are the weird one. Luckily, I caught my guest Chris Liberti in the middle of his process preparing for an upcoming gallery show. Chris was kind enough to indulge my questions about how he prepares and what he likes to do to get his work and himself personally ready for the sometimes herculean feat of showing his work. I found it fascinating to get a peek into Chris’ process and I know you will enjoy it too! Working through the artistic process I know many artists will resonate with that famous line from a U2 song “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…” That seems to be an accurate description when discussing the artistic process and understanding what an artist is trying to connect with or convey with their artwork. Chris Liberti discussed with me how he focuses on the colors he uses and how he lets them sort of “Speak” to him along the way as he is creating his artwork. You’ve got to hear how Chris talks about his process, it’s fascinating and unique, also don’t miss examples of Chris’ fabulous work at the end of this post below. Parenting as an Artist There are many different aspects of an artist that gets drawn out when they become a parent. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to both mothers and father who are artists and each brings a very unique and fascinating perspective on how parenting has influenced and even changed their approach to their artwork. Chris Liberti has two little girls and in our conversation, he touches on their influence in his artwork as well as how being a parent has shaped his time and his perspective. It was intriguing to hear from yet another parent who incorporates their artwork and their time with their children work in a balanced way. Outline of This Episode [0:35] My introduction to today’s guest, Chris Liberti. [4:00] What inspires and drives Chris as an artist? [7:30] Chris talks about working in his studio and how he starts a project. [12:00] Artwork that Chris is particularly attached to. [15:00] Chris talks about the layered effect of his paintings. [20:00] Mediums Chris uses. [24:00] Projects Chris is currently working on. [27:30] How Chris prepares for a gallery showing. [34:30] Artists that have influenced Chris. [37:20] What is Chris trying to convey or connect with in his work? [44:00] How being a parent has influenced Chris’ work. Other artists mentioned on this episode Ann Gale Israel Hershberg Richard Diebenkorn Henri Matisse Antonio López García Alex Kanevsky Sangram Majumda Ca
Rank #18: Artistic Motivation, with Scott Conary
What is your artistic motivation? Has it always been the same, or has it changed? Artist Scott Conary would say that it has changed over the years. He describes a time when his artwork and his career came from a different place of motivation, that was before his daughter was born. Once she came into the world, Scott’s life, including his artwork took a new direction. In our conversation, Scott shares about his struggle with perfectionism, why every question doesn’t need an answer, the health difficulties that his daughter has faced from birth, and so much more. The illusion of perfectionism As a creative individual, you want your art to resemble the vision you have for it in your mind as much as possible. This can be both frustrating and exciting. When it comes together just right and looks exactly how you envisioned it - satisfying. On the rare occasion that it exceeds your expectations and imagination - ecstasy. My guest Scott Conary and I spent some time in our conversation around the subject of perfectionism. Scott explained how much the illusion of getting everything just right can derail the creative process. Scott will be the first to tell you that most of his artwork can’t be described as perfect. But because of the lessons he has learned, he would call them complete. Every question doesn’t have an answer Do you ever have a hard time silencing the noise in your head? Does your mind race with what feels like hundreds of questions or ideas? What do you do with those thoughts? My guest, Scott Conary spoke with me about this struggle. He told me about his battle to fight through all that noise and focus on what really matters. We both arrived at a consensus that not all questions need to be answered. You don’t have to follow every thought or idea down the rabbit hole. As difficult as it can be to resist that urge, it can be very freeing to just say “No” and bring your focus back to a singular goal or objective. When you are able to find this type of clarity, your artwork will benefit. The experience that colored everything Have you had a moment that changed the course of your life? Scott Conary’s daughter was born with “Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.” He talked to me about her birth, and how that moment is the “Experience that colored everything.” As you can imagine, Scott and his wife had their world turned upside down with the diagnosis that came shortly after their daughter’s delivery. Scott was very gracious and transparent in our conversation. He shared about how the art he creates now holds a different meaning for him, it really shifted his artistic motivation. In what sounds like a contradiction, Scott says that his work has less significance but at the same time holds a new kind of meaning. The way Scott described it to me made perfect sense. As serious as his daughter’s condition is, Scott was quick to tell me how much joy she brings their family - at the time of this writing, she is seven years old and thriving. Art as an avenue for healing In light of the diagnosis that Scott and his wife received for their daughter, I wanted to ask Scott if creating art has contributed to healing on his journey. As you can imagine this was a difficult question to answer. Scott was gracious enough to give me an extended answer and discussion on this topic. Initially, Scott said that he didn’t necessarily see his creative pursuits as contributing to his healing process. However, the question resonated with Scott so much that he wanted to take another shot at answering it. On the second pass, Scott shared that he has experienced a sense of healing as he has taken his emotional trauma with him into the studio. Scott’s transparency and vulnerability were on full display and I was honored that he felt like he could trust me with such raw and honest responses. Outline of This Episode [0:35] My
Rank #19: Components of “Good Art”, with Burton Silverman pt. 1
My guest today is the renowned artist, Burton Silverman. This is part one of our two part conversation where we discuss a wide range of topics from the components of “Good Art,” discovering your artistic voice, the role of setting and presentation in art, racism and the fear of “the other,” and so much more! Burt draws from his vast wealth of experience and thoughtfulness and I know artists like you will value his contributions as much as I have.
Rank #20: Narrative Painting and Discovering Your Artistic Voice, with Gabriela Dellosso
My guest is narrative painter, Gabriela Dellosso known for her homage portraits, she paints historical representations of women artists using herself as a model. In our conversation, Gabriela shares how she found her artistic voice, her evolution from freelance illustration work to painting full time, stories about her mom posing as her model, stories of women artists that she has painted, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to get to know Gabriela and her wonderful journey as an artist!