Rank #1: Diving Deep into the Creative Process, with Cecil Touchon
How often do you get the chance to do a deep dive into the creative process? Sure, you may have enjoyed the ability to do this when you were in school or early in your career but have you thought about it lately? 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.Looking closer.
One of the primary responsibilities of the artist is to look closer at the aspects of the world around us and through their work, help others to do the same. While this responsibility is a great one, the skill of looking closer takes time to develop. Observing the artwork of various artists, you can see this skill or lack thereof in full effect. Cecil Touchon is one of the most thoughtful and detailed artists that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. He takes the shapes, angles, and patterns he studies very seriously and does his best to convey this passion in his artwork.The evolving creative process.
How has your creative process evolved over the years? Do you approach your canvas or your medium the same way today as you did when you first started? What has caused you to change and improve your process over the years? Looking back on his career, Cecil Touchon says that he has remained committed to the process of excellence. Through all the highs and lows of his career, the one constant focus for Cecil has been this strive to produce artwork that can compete with those at the top of his field. The challenge for many artists is staying committed to a certain level of creativity while evolving and adapting their process along the way.How the digital revolution has impacted the art community.
Can you think of a primary way you’ve been impacted as an artist by the digital revolution? Has your artwork improved or has it been negatively affected by the technological advancements of our society? According to Cecil Touchon, we are still in the middle of sorting the impact of the technological and digital revolution out. When you consider how quickly everything has changed in the last 20 years or so, you can see what Cecil is referring to. As the rise of the internet has impacted so much of our lives, it seems that many sectors including the art community are still trying to find their bearings.Don’t let distractions rob you of your creativity.
Given the high-speed environment that the digital revolution has ushered in, many artists find themselves looking for ways to stabilize their process. What habits and routines have worked for you? Do you have a set place and time to practice your craft? Cecil Touchon is convinced that the best way to quiet all the noise that surrounds us both audibly and visually is to stay committed to a schedule. Throughout his career, Cecil has enjoyed the consistency and predictability of his set time and place to work on his art. Do you thrive in that type of environment or you do you feed off of a more haphazard approach?Outline of This Episode
- [3:15] I introduce my guest, Cecil Touchon.
- [5:30] Cecil talks about how he got started as an artist.
- [9:30] How does Cecil describe his artwork?
- [12:00] The evolution of an artist.
- [20:30] Exploring creativity and going deeper.
- [25:30] Learning to notice and appreciate depth, angels, and shapes.
- [43:30] Cecil talks about what he is trying to accomplish with his artwork.
- [55:30] What has been the impact of the information age on the art community?
- [1:02:30] Moving from a looking culture to a watching culture.
- [1:09:00] Why you need a designated space and time to work on your art.
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 and what inspires his paintings.
- [21:30] What led Julian to start teaching workshops?
- [30:30] Julian talks about his approach to the canvas.
- [35:30] Working through disappointment.
- [42:30] The difficulty of stopping and starting.
- [45:30] Sometimes you just need to go paint.
Rank #3: 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] I introduce Emily Leonard.
- [2:25] Early inspirations in art.
- [5:10] Self-promotion as an artist.
- [7:18] Kirstine talks about a personal success.
- [10:54] A shift in technique and style.
- [22:31] Does Kirstine struggle with insecurity being a “Self taught” artist?
- [28:32] Keeping your audience updated.
- [31:52] Why was the shift from using observational to photo reference difficult?
- [36:50] What is Kirstine’s process for painting?
- [46:33] What is Kirstine working on right now?
- Kirstine’s website: reinerhansen.com
- Kirstine's Facebook page
- Kirstine on Twitter: @reiner_hansen
- Kirstine on Instagram: @reinerhansenart
- Gallery: Kirstine's work featured in the Jack Fischer Gallery
- Gallery: Kirstine's work featured in the Art Now Gallery
Rank #4: 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! This will serve as a great resource for artists like you to keep in your back pocket. Learn how you can connect with Gamblin and utilize their great resources!A Dedicated Focus on Oil Painting
You’ve heard that old phrase, “Jack of all trades and master of none” right? That’s what comes to mind when I hear Robert Gablin talk about why his company solely focuses on oil painting instead of branching out to provide water colors, acrylic paints, and other materials. Instead of being a jack of all trades, Robert and his team have decided to focus on being a master of one, oil paint products. Their narrow focus has paid off, they have displayed an amazing passion for detail and improvement on their niche subject. Just hearing from Robert, Mary, and Pete I could tell that they really know their field - they are the experts when it comes to oil paint!Is the New Blue Worth it?
If you follow news about pigments and breaking developments around that subject like I do, then you’ve heard of the new “YInMn Blue” that was discovered at Oregon State University. This new color was discovered in 2009 as a byproduct of an experimentation. Since this news has recently been making the rounds on social media again it led me to get Robert Gamblin’s take on the new color and if they’ve found it worth it to start producing the color themselves. Robert explained that they found that it is not effective to produce the color for a few reasons. Their primary reason is the enormous cost it requires to create the color. This is due to the fact that the color requires three compounds and two of them are rare earth minerals. Robert’s vast knowledge was on display during our conversation and I know that artists like you will find his insights very helpful.Mitigating Toxicity Risks
Do you find yourself concerned about your health when it comes to your time in the studio? Are you nervous about how your lifestyle as an artist will impact your health in long run? What would it mean for you to have supplies that are responsible, not only for the environment but for artists like you? My guests from Gamblin are happy to share with artists like you that their line of high-quality products are free of toxins. They want to see more artists use products that are sustainable and health conscious. Don’t let your time in the studio get clouded by concern for your health. Hear from the Gamlin team and how their products could be the best fit for you!What is FastMatte?
Don’t you hate it when you are in a creative flow and you have to make the decision to pause and let your paint dry before you can proceed? What if there was a way to avoid that pause and continue with your creative momentum? That’s where Gamblin’s helpful product, FastMatte come in. FastMatte colors are a unique type of oil colors, every color dries fast, every color dries matte. These qualities make them perfect for underpainting techniques. FastMatte also serves as an excellent way to come back to oil painting for those painters who have switched to acrylics
because of the need for a faster drying rate. I was seriously impressed with this helpful solution that Gamblin has developed and I hope you get the chance to find out for yourself!Outline of This Episode
- [0:15] I introduce today’s special Q&A session with the Gamblin team.
- [2:30] Robert Gamblin joins the podcast and shares how he started Gamblin.
- [6:00] Why does Gamblin only provide oil paint?
- [8:00] Robert shares some interesting pigment formulations.
- [16:00] Dreaming about color combinations.
- [17:30] Has Gamblin made custom colors for well known artists?
- [23:00] What is the value of white in the painting process?
- [32:30] Advice for artists who have never used oils before.
- [38:30] Warm and cool objects.
- [44:30] Explaining the reason behind oil separation.
- [47:30] Does Gamblin have any plans to start making water mixable oil paints?
- [52:30] Pigment history and toxic pigments.
- [1:00:30] Advice for artists who work in small enclosed spaces.
- [1:04:00] Avoiding toxins and working with a baby nearby.
- [1:06:00] Should I use a retouch varnish? Why varnish in the first place?
- [1:11:30] Is there a good alternative to cadmiums that are opaque?
- [1:14:30] Working with the cold wax medium.
- [1:17:00] Solvent free mediums.
- [1:22:00] What is the shelf life of oil paint?
- [1:24:00] Will Gamblin consider changing the size of their caps?
- [1:26:00] What is FastMatte?
Rank #5: 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] Setting prices for artwork.
- [32:40] Do’s and Don'ts of approaching a gallery as an artist.
- [39:20] Jennifer’s plans for her gallery’s future.
- Studio Gallery’s website: studiogallerysf.com
- Studio Gallery’s Facebook page: facebook.com/studiogallerysf
Rank #6: Exploring the Language of Painting, with Maggie Siner
What does it look like to explore the language of painting? How do you understand the language? What does it take to become fluent in it? 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!Habits learned early.
Do you have certain habits and lessons you learned early in your career that shaped you as an artist? What made those habits stand out in your mind? For Maggie Siner, those early habits came from her time at Boston University. There she learned the value of a steadfast work habit and working through the challenges and hurdles that life puts in the way. Maggie also discovered profound respect for the materials of her craft that has stayed with her all these years later. Maggie stresses that she is the artist she is today due to the valuable lessons that were instilled in her during those formative years.The language of painting.
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “The language of painting?” Does it take you to a place of deep intellectual contemplation or does the phrase bounce off of you with little meaning? Maggie Siner says that the language of painting is not merely about color, it's about the transformation of materials. She goes on to explain that it also has to do with the abstract structure and arrangement of color and shape that creates the meaning of a painting. I was thrilled to hear Maggie’s compelling explanation of this beautiful phrase; I hope you get value from it too!Painting from real life.
When I asked Maggie to describe her artwork, she was quick to tell me that she doesn’t like classifications because their meanings change so often. I was able to get her to open up about her artwork and what she tries to accomplish when she approaches the canvas. Maggie pains from life, meaning she is looking at her subject as she paints it. In her approach, Maggie doesn’t like to use photos or her imagination, the subject in front of her is of the utmost value. Ultimately, her goal is to extract meaning from the chaos of the world around her.Stay committed to the process.
Let’s face it, our line of work isn’t the easiest or most forgiving. We all struggle with self-doubt and bouts of creative block. What have you found to help you through these challenges? For Maggie Siner, it all comes down to staying committed to the process. Much of her tenacity and determination harkens back to those early days and lessons learned at Boston University. She says that persistence and hard work are the secret weapons that keep her focused on her work through the good and the bad.Outline of This Episode
- [3:15] I introduce my guest, Maggie Siner.
- [4:45] What led Maggie to a career in art?
- [11:30] Work habits that Maggie learned early in her career.
- [14:45] The language of painting.
- [22:45] How did Maggie end up in France?
- [32:45] Maggie describes her artwork.
- [45:00] Creating beauty in the midst of chaos.
- [47:50] Why it's important to stay committed to the process.
Rank #7: Paint Colors, Techniques, Best Practices, and more! Special Q&A Session with Gamblin
Have you been experimenting with your paint colors lately? Do you have questions about different colors and the best way to mix them? You are in luck! 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. You don’t want to miss a minute of this in-depth and fascinating conversation with Robert and Scott!Why modern paints have more pigments.
Have you ever wondered why modern oil paints have so many more pigments than older ones you see on display in galleries and museums? What has changed with the process over the years to account for this? My guest, Robert Gamblin was kind enough to give a bit of a history lesson on the production and use of colors and pigments from historical eras and why it’s so different today. I’m excited for you to get the chance to learn from Robert’s expert perspective and dig a little bit into the process and production of the paints you use day in and day out.What is the emotional content of colors?
Did you know that colors have an emotional content? How does that impact the paint production process? Robert Gamblin says that the emotional content of a color is its primary communication. He goes on to give the example of Cadmium Red Medium, saying that it presents as a very hot and intense color, it could be used to express the feeling of rage or the intensity of a love that you can’t handle. Robert contrasts this color with Magnesium Blue Hue, which presents as a very cool color. I hope you find Robert’s explanation of the emotional content of colors as fascinating as I did!What makes student grade paints, “Student grade?”
You’ve probably used student grade paints before, but have you ever wanted to know what makes them, “Student grade?” Do you still use student grade paints for some of your projects? My guest, Robert Gamblin took the time to explain what student grade means and how it varies from some of the other paints they offer. According to Robert, the difference between student grade and more premium paints comes down to the pigments. At Gamblin, student grade paints are made with 50% of the pigment load that is used in their artist grade paints. The remainder of the student grade paints are made up of extender pigments, other than that, the production quality and process is the same as the rest of their top quality products. What ways will you use student grade paints in the future?The different characteristics of black oil colors.
The last time I had the chance to speak with Robert, we talked about the different characteristics of white oil colors. This time around, Robert goes over the characteristics and uses of black oil colors. He starts off talking about the most commonly used black, Ivory Black which is made of burnt bone. Ivory Black is so common because it is an all-around good mixing black color. Robert then goes on to explain how Mars Black differs from Ivory Black because of its opaque nature. Mars Black is best used when you want to utilize black as a color in your paintings because of its strength. Robert has so much to say about all the different blacks and how to best use them, I hope you enjoy his expert perspective!Outline of This Episode
- [0:15] I introduce my guests, Robert Gamblin and Scott Gellatly.
- [3:00] Why does modern oil paints have more pigments than older ones?
- [6:00] What is Gamblin’s guide to color making?
- [8:30] Robert talks about the emotional content of a color.
- [10:30] Are there paints out there that painters often misuse?
- [15:00] The difference between modern pigments and mineral pigments.
- [20:00] Robert talks about Gamblin’s color pallet.
- [24:00] What are lake colors?
- [26:00] What is a hue and what hues does Gamblin feature?
- [29:00] What makes student grade paints, “student grade?”
- [34:30] What is the best medium to use prevent “dead spots” in my painting?
- [40:30] Are their plans in works to expand more skin tone colors?
- [49:00] Common mistakes to avoid when putting together a personal pallet.
- [52:00] What are the different characteristics of black oil colors?
- [59:00] What are the best paints to use for plein air painting?
- [1:04:30] A question about creating a pallet and the relationship between pigments.
- [1:08:00] What are Scott’s “Secret weapon” colors.
- [1:10:30] Robert talks about his trip to Greenland and his work painting icebergs.
- [1:15:00] What is a good white for glazing?
- [1:17:00] How are transparent earth colors different from ochres, umbers, and siennas?
- [1:19:30] Why are cadmium and cobalt colors so expensive and are they really worth it?
- [1:22:30] What are some of the best colors for blacking out a painting in the beginning?
- My Previous Episode Featuring Gamblin
- The History of Color in Painting
Rank #8: Discover How to Sell Your Art Online and Grow Your Audience, with Jenni Waldrop
What does it take to sell your art online successfully? Do you need to hire someone else to do it or are there tools and resources out there to empower artists like you to run your business effectively? 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!Leveraging online platforms can help you succeed.
Let’s face it, building something from scratch is difficult. While you probably aren’t afraid of hard work, wouldn’t you rather spend your time on your art than building an online presence that garners enough traffic to sustain you financially? That’s where utilizing online platforms like Etsy come into play. My guest, Jenni Waldrop is a pro at getting the most out of platforms like Etsy to help artists like you sell your art online. Learn from Jenni about all the advantages and yes, the work that’s necessary to build an online shop and in a successful and sustainable way.Why it’s important to understand your target audience.
If you want to sell your art online, you’ve got to know who your target audience is and what they are looking for. This doesn't mean you have to compromise your principles or “Sell out.” Rather, think of it as a method for you to find out how you can connect with your fans in a way that allows them to support your work. Remember, the majority of your target audience doesn’t look like you! They don’t think like you, shop like you, or spend their time online the same way you do. Find out how to understand and connect with your audience by listening to Jenni Waldrop’s expert advice!Work smarter, not harder!
Did you know that understanding how to read data and analytics can help you sell your art online more effectively? It’s true! You don’t always have to work harder to get the results you are looking for, sometimes is better to work smarter. In my conversation with Jenni, she explains how artists like you can locate and understand data from online sources like Instagram, Pinterest, and Etsy that will help you better understand where your audience is connecting with your activity. Wrapping your mind around this data is easier than you might think, once you’ve done that you’ll be better equipped to build your business and market your artwork.Building an online shop can really pay off.
Trust me, I can understand how you may think that all of this talk about data and building an online shop to sell your art can be overwhelming and even daunting. I’ve built my Etsy shop and experienced less than impressive results. However, I’m convinced that Jenni Waldrop’s approach can work for artists like you and me. After considering all of Jenni’s advice and spending time with the information she’s provided, I’m ready to put give it another shot. Stay tuned as Jenni and I work on a special venture to rehab my Etsy shop and test how her approach can work for artists.Outline of This Episode
- [1:05] I introduce my guest, Jenni Waldrop.
- [3:00] Jenni talks about her background and what she does.
- [5:30] How do artists on Etsy make themselves discoverable?
- [7:30] If you build it, will they really come?
- [10:00] What would Jenni suggest to revive or grow an Etsy business?
- [14:00] Jenni talks about print on demand options.
- [17:30] How do you build up and establish an audience?
- [20:00] Why it’s important to understand who your audience is.
- [25:30] Following the data can help you work smarter, not harder.
- [28:30] What does it take to get an Etsy shop off of the ground?
- [34:00] Advice Jenni would give to her younger self.
- [38:30] Selling original pieces of art instead of prints.
- [43:00] Parting advice for artists looking to sell their art online.
Rank #9: Living on a Boat and Working with Acrylic Paint, with Kaethe Bealer
Imagine living on a boat in the San Francisco Bay area - doesn’t that sound AMAZING? How would you optimize your working area? What materials would you use? Instead of guessing the answers to this beautiful scenario - I got to ask my friend Kaethe Bealer all about it!
Kaethe is a long time listener of Savvy Painter and she’s participated in several of my workshops over the years. I have been so impressed with Kaethe’s growth as an artist. From life on a boat to her process using acrylic paint I know Kaethe’s unique insights and reflections will help artists like you in a number of ways.Life on a boat
Seriously though - what is it like living on a boat near San Francisco? Don’t you want to know? Apparently, it is not always as romantic as it sounds. As you can imagine space is at a premium. Forget leaving a studio space set up - if space isn’t being used - then things have to be put away. Thankfully, Kaethe has a supportive spouse who encourages her and supports her in her growth as an artist. While life on a boat sounds challenging - Kaethe also has some stellar work to show for it - which she has to store off boat at her father-in-law's house.Why acrylic paint?
Speaking of Kaethe’s artwork - I was interested to hear what type of paint she uses on her boat and why. Kaethe uses acrylic paint and works mostly on pannel - her subject matter is all over the place - she loves to explore whatever catches her interest. With her life on the boat - Kathe has found acrylic paint to be the best material to use - it’s easy to clean up! She has a little evaporation bucket outside that she uses to discard her dirty water. Kaethe also uses Open Golden which is an extended drying acrylic paint.Just keep painting
“Just keep painting” is one of the mantras that has impacted Kaethe’s on her journey as an artist. She experienced a significant period in her life where she stopped painting and it took her while to get back into the rhythm. These days Kaethe is committed to putting in the time and logging those hours at the canvas. She wants to encourage her artisitc peers to keep at it and stay in the game. Selling her work on the internet was a huge turning point for Kaethe - that experience also buoyed her spirits and emboldened her to get her work featured in art galleries.Workshop junkie
Have you heard the term, “Workshop junkie?” I would consider myself a workshop junkie - I LOVE workshops. If money wasn’t a factor I’d fill up my days in workshops with fellow artists honing my skills and learning new techniques and insights. In our conversation - Kaethe and I also discussed the danger of using workshops as a crutch. Attending too many workshops can lead to thinking too little of your abilities and hamstringing your growth. Finding the balance is not an easy task but it is crucial - you need to have a healthy mindset!Outline of This Episode
- [0:45] I introduce my guest, Kaethe Bealer.
- [3:15] What led Kaethe to her current work with acrylic paint?
- [5:15] Living on a boat, is it as romantic as it sounds? How does Kaethe manage it?
- [8:45] Kaethe describes her process and how she works with various acrylic colors.
- [15:30] How did Kaethe lose the “Chalky” feel of her paintings?
- [20:30] Kaethe and I talk about the influence of Peggi Kroll Robers.
- [23:30] Make sure to check out the Trekell Art Supplies competition.
- [25:30] Just keep painting.
- [30:00] Kaethe describes her evolution as an artist.
- [37:30] Advice Kaethe has for fellow artists.
- [40:30] How does Kaethe decide which art competitions to enter?
- [45:00] Kaethe and I discuss the value of workshops.
- [47:00] What led Kaethe to jump back into her artwork?
- [49:00] Closing thoughts from Kaethe.
- Timothy Horn - Savvy Painter
- Stanley Goldstein - Savvy Painter
- Peggi Kroll Roberts - Savvy Painter
- Sarah Sedwick
- Kaethe's website
- Instagram: @kaethe_bealer
- Facebook page: Kaethe Bealer - Home | Facebook
- Trekell Art Supplies
- Galleries: Valley Art Gallery
- Galleries: Studio Gallery
- Galleries: Bedford Gallery
- Open - Golden Artist Colors, Inc.
Rank #10: How to Sell Your Art Without Selling Out and More! With Maria Brophy
Like most artists you’ve probably wondered how you can sell your art at some point along your journey. Some artists pick it up quickly or partner with someone who can help this navigate the business side of making a living as an artist. Then there are others who really struggle with this aspect of surviving as an artist. Where do you land? Wouldn’t it be great to get some helpful professional insight on this topic? Then you’ve come to the right place! 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!Know What You Want
What do you want out of your career as an artist? Really!? For too long, we have been trained by society to think that what we want isn’t realistic or right. Maybe you find that you’ve pushed what you want aside for so long that you found yourself spending energy and time doing what others have directed you to do. It’s time to put that thinking behind you! Really take the time to discover what it is that you want out of your profession as an artist. Maria believes that if you learn how to take the time to hone in on what it is you really want, you’ll end up being more productive and happy in the process. Maria has lots of helpful insight like this that I know will be of great value to artists like you!Moving To A Full-Time Art Career
Have you taken the plunge yet and moved into a full-time commitment to your artwork? If not, what is holding you back? I’ve been there, I know the struggle and I want to do everything I can to encourage you and support you along the way. That’s why I knew that I needed to sit down with Maria and get some tips from her to help artists like you looking for motivation. Maria has traveled this road too, she helped her husband move toward and eventually completely transition to a career as a full-time artist. In our conversation, Maria shares what this process was like as well as practical advice that you can use if you are struggling at this stage on your journey.What Would Richard Branson Do?
Let’s face it, most artists aren’t cut out to be successful businesspeople right off the bat. In fact, this tension between making art and selling art can really cause a lot of sleepless nights. You are not alone! I’ve struggled with the business aspect of my art career too. In my conversation with Maria, she shared a funny tool that helps her and her husband make tough business decisions. She simply thinks to herself, “What would Richard Branson do?” It sounds funny but it really helps her frame the decision-making process based on business parameters rather than emotional or egotistical ones. I hope you get the chance to hear more of our conversation and the additional insights and tips Maria has to share.How to Sell Your Art
How do you sell your art? What is your strategy? Do you have a good idea on how to show, market, and price your artwork? Could your approach use an update? In my conversation with Maria, she shares the driving mindset that will help you sell your art. Maria explains that one of the best ways to get started is to remember that your artwork is valuable to someone. Never lose sight of the fact that your creation will become valuable to someone in the marketplace! This mental shift can make all the difference in your approach to selling your art. Maria has many more tips and lessons for artists like you, make sure to listen to more of our conversation and check out her book, “Art, Money, and Success!”Outline of This Episode
- [1:50] I introduce my guest, Maria Brophy.
- [3:30] Maria talks about how she started managing her husband.
- [6:30] Knowing what you want.
- [15:00] Steps toward working as a full-time artist.
- [18:00] Lessons Maria and Drew learned from stepping out on their own.
- [23:30] What would Richard Branson do?
- [29:00] Knowing when to say no.
- [31:00] Communicating your worth to friends and family.
- [40:00] How to price your work.
- [44:00] Positioning yourself as a high-value artist.
- [49:00] How to sell your art without selling out.
- [55:30] Habits of successful artists.
- ART, MONEY & SUCCESS
- Richard Branson
- Eddie Vedder
Rank #11: 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 children into life as an artist.
Rank #12: Components of “Good Art”, with Burton Silverman pt. 1
What does it take to create “Good Art?” Who decides? What elements or components are necessary to deem something good? 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.What makes for “Good Art?”
How would you describe “Good Art?” Have you thought about it? Do you have a definition of it? How did you arrive at that conclusion? Artist, Burt Silverman opened up to me about what he thinks are the components of good art. Burt says that it comes down to craftsmanship and the ability to record the world in an accurate way. He further elaborates on this idea by explaining that there is an element in good artwork that transcends technical ability and taps into something deeper. In our conversation, Burt didn’t explain this “deeper” aspect further but I appreciate that he was willing to welcome an element of mystery and the unknown.The Artistic Voice
A common question I get when it comes to diving deeper into the life of an artist is, “How do you discover your artistic voice?” So what was it like for you? What was your journey like that led you to move more and more into creating the art that you are passionate about? My guest, Burton Silverman was kind enough to consider this question and provide his insights. Burt says that for him it comes down to tapping into an inner sense from your gut and out of that flows the feelings that you believe you are compelled to share with the world. There are so many angles to this topic I know there will be some of you that really resonate with what Burt shared and others who come from a different approach - the diversity of thought is wonderful!Setting and Presentation
What role do context, setting, and presentation have to play when it comes to viewing art work? In your opinion, does it play a role at all? Is there any difference between art that is completed and admired in the studio and artwork that is presented and shown in a gallery? How does setting impact the viewing? These are all questions and lines of thought that Burton Silverman and I discussed in our recent conversation. Burt pointed out that there is some sort of transformation that takes place from the studio setting and context to when the artwork is displayed in an intentional and meaningful way.Creating Room for Freedom and Expression
What is your relationship to the concept of freedom when it comes to the creative process? Do you feel free to express yourself and work in a place outside of the lines? Or do you find yourself shackled to rules and boxes that you can’t cross? In our conversation, Burton Silverman and I talk about the role of rules and school of thought. Of course, they have an important role to play but they can also get in the way of our ability to push the limits and think outside of preconceived norms and expectations. I hope you get a sense of the freedom of expression that Burt and I discussed and make sure to come back next week for part two of our conversation!Outline of This Episode
- [1:50] I introduce my guest, Burton Silverman.
- [4:30] Burt talks about attending Fiorello Laguardia School of the Arts.
- [10:30] What is it that makes a work of art “good?”
- [15:00] Discovering the artistic voice.
- [24:00] The role of setting and presentation in art.
- [39:00] Racism and fear of the “other”
- [47:00] The role of rules and schools of thought.
Rank #13: Striking Landscape Paintings, with Marie Thibeault
Have you ever viewed a landscape painting that stayed with you for days after your viewing? Many people have had that type of response to Marie Thibeault's amazing artwork. In our conversation, Marie opened up about the inspiration for her artwork, what she wants people to take away from viewing her paintings, her process when approaching the canvas, and so much more. I was thrilled to dive deep into the topic of landscape paintings with an artist like Marie and I know you will get a lot out of her insights too.Landscapes and tragedy.
While many landscape artists can tend to paint serene settings, Marie Thibeault takes her landscape paintings in a less common direction. Marie is interested in evoking a striking contrast that shows the beauty of the landscape in the midst of turmoil. Her early inspiration for this type of landscape painting came from plane crashes and other various disasters involving a landscape scene. Marie also created a fascinating series of paintings that centered around the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Make sure to take a look at images of Marie’s artwork located at the end of this post.Getting unstuck.
Don’t you hate it when you get stuck creatively? Do you have any good tricks or tips that help you find your way out of that funk and back to doing what you love? Over the years I’ve had my fair share of creative block and I’m always eager to hear what has worked for my peers. Marie Thibeault says that her best method for getting back on track is to simply go through the motions. In her experience, Marie has found that time in the studio and patiently waiting for inspiration to return does the trick. She also notes that getting stuck creatively is a normal part of the artist’s experience, which is an important reminder for us all!The role of painting, today.
What is the role of painting in the art community, today? Has it changed or shifted significantly over the years? Through her role as an educator, Marie has seen many of her students experiment with painting only to veer off into other mediums. Marie is very supportive of this process as her students learn to find the right channel for their message to take its form but she remains adamant that painting is that medium for her. She has found through her career that painting is the best way for her to explore the concepts and images that she is drawn to creatively. How did your medium capture your imagination?You have a unique perspective to share.
Do you really believe that you have a unique and valuable perspective to share through your art? For many artists, the voices of doubt and worthlessness tend to creep up and rob precious time that could be spent basking in the light of creativity. What do you do when that happens? How do you remain focused on the work at hand? Marie is convinced that each artist has a valuable perspective to contribute to the community at large. In many ways, what she describes is a mosaic. While we aren’t all coming together to form one massive piece, we do suffer when one piece is missing from the collective.Outline of This Episode
- [1:45] I introduce my guest, Marie Thibeault.
- [3:00] What inspires Marie to create her artwork?
- [5:45] Marie talks about her landscape influences.
- [8:00] How do the concepts of chaos and order influence Marie’s work?
- [10:00] What does Marie want people to take away from viewing her paintings?
- [12:00] Marie talks about her process of approaching the canvas.
- [14:30] How do you get unstuck?
- [18:00] What are you trying to say with your artwork?
- [20:30] The danger of rushing through a project.
- [22:45] What is the role of painting today?
- [26:30] Memorable reactions to Marie’s artwork.
- [28:00] Marie talks about challenges she has faced in her career.
- [34:00] The contrast between natural disasters and man-made disasters.
- [39:00] Every artist has their own unique voice and perceptive to share.
Rank #14: The Hard Work of An Artist, with Steve DaLuz
Do you struggle with putting in the focused and hard work required of you as an artist? You aren’t alone! I’ve struggled with carving out the time and maintaining that focused attention to the craft that I love. All artists struggle at some point with staying focused. What has worked for you? How have you been able to push through the difficulty? My guest, Steve Da Luz opens up and shares how he has wrestled with this obstacle in his life. I value Steve’s transparency and honesty and I know that you’ll find it just as refreshing and inspiring as I did.Misconceptions of the “Art World”
What does it mean to follow the guidelines of the “Art World?” Is that something that you are bound to as an artist? Who are the gatekeepers of the art world? My guest, artist Steve Da Luz discusses with me what it means to be an active participant of the art world. We come to the conclusion that there isn’t some abstract and amorphous art world “out there” somewhere, but that it’s creative individuals like you and me that make up this community of artists. I’d love to hear your thoughts on mine and Steve’s discussion and how you feel about the concept of the art world.Moving to an “Off Site” Studio
What works best for you as an artist, working from a studio space at home or having an “off site” space that you can use as your creative space? Does it really matter where we end up creating our art? What role does space play in our motivations to create? Artist Steve Da Luz walks through his decision to create an “off site” studio where he can focus on his work away from his home life and all the distractions that can bring about. It was fascinating to hear from Steve as he explained why this separate location really motivated him and spurred on his creative process. I’m excited for you to hear from Steve’s intriguing insights and the unique story that he has to share.Luck Favors the Prepared
I know, it’s a hot topic among many in the “Art World” but I went there again with my guest Steve Da Luz as we discussed the role of luck and talent in the career of an artist. Steve comes out strong with the opinion that if you are ever going to “make it” as an artist, you need to put in the work and as prepared as possible for that “lucky moment” if it ever arrives. He used the phrase “Luck favors the prepared” and I think that he made a lot of valid points in our discussion. Wherever you land on this topic, if it’s pure luck or if it’s solely based on talent or a combination of the two, I hope you take the time to hear from Steve’s experienced perspective.Surviving Slings and Arrows
The hard work of an artist not only includes finding the time and space to practice your creative process but it also includes taking your share of ups and downs and surviving the slings and arrows tossed your way. These can be literal roadblocks and difficulties that arise in the form of finances and critics but it can also include your own demons that can trip up your artistic expression. How will you survive the slings and arrows that come your way? Take a moment and hear from Steve Da Luz as he shares his story and how he’s been able to overcome the difficulties that have come his way in his prolific career.Outline of This Episode
- [2:00] I introduce my guest, Steve Da Luz.
- [4:00] How Steve decided to develop the focus of his work.
- [9:30] Misconceptions of the “Art World.”
- [15:00] Steve talks about his decision to move to a off site studio.
- [19:00] The financial struggle to survive as an artist.
- [22:00] The role of luck and preparedness regarding success as an artist.
- [27:00] Not everyone is going to connect with your work.
- [31:00] Surviving the slings and arrows.
- [37:00] Facing setbacks.
- [42:30] Steve talks about his process and technical aspects of his paintings.
- [58:30] The common thread in Steve’s work.
- [1:02:30] What painting would Steve LOVE to own?
- [1:07:00] Projects that Steve is currently working on.
- [1:11:00] Steve talks about paintings of his that he’ll always keep.
- Barnett Newman
- Immanuel Kant
- Edmund Burke
- Adam Miller
- Alex Kanevsky
- Andrea Kowch
- Victor Wang
- Jeremy Mann
- Ann Gale
- Alyssa Monks
- Odd Nerdrum
- Alexander Sigov
- Jeremy Lipking
- Steven Assael
- Joel Rea
- Ran Ortner
- Frederic Church
Rank #15: Light and Art, with Peter Fiore
The relationship between light and art is a beautiful and nuanced one. You can really tell when an artist has a deep passion and knowledge of how to use light in innovative and unique ways. 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.Embracing a Fascination with Nature
What is your relationship with nature like? Do you find a significant level of inspiration and creativity well up when you are in the wilderness? Or is it the city and an urban environment that fires you up and excites you? My guest, Peter Fiore has a deep love and appreciation for nature. In fact, this love for the wilderness caused him to move out of the city and into a more quiet and serene setting. Peter described for me how much this move impacted his creative process and how connecting with nature resonates with him on a spiritual level. To hear Peter talk about his area and the beauty and creativity it draws out of him can be quite moving. What can you learn from Peter’s articulation? Where do you tap into that source of creativity?The Role of Music in the Creative Process
Have you ever been moved by a song? Seriously, think about it. There seems to be an interesting divide on this issue among the general public. Some people love music and the way it intensifies their thoughts and feelings, then there are others who don’t feel particularly strong about it. Artist Peter Fiore definitely falls in the camp that loves music. He enjoys music so much that he has incorporated it into his creative process. You’ve got to hear him describe how he feels and reacts when he turns on Beethoven in his studio as he goes to work on his art projects. Does this resonate with you? If it’s not music, is there something that animates you when you are in your studio?Pushing Fear Aside
What would your advice to young artists just starting out in their career? Maybe you are a young artist who is looking for helpful advice so you can learn from those who came before you. My guest, Peter Fiore was kind enough to open up and share some helpful wisdom that he received from his father that he wants to pass down to young artists including his own children. The primary advice that Peter shares is to never let your fears dictate the art that you make. As difficult as that advice can be to follow, I know that there is a lot of truth to that statement. Don’t let yourself be consumed with regret when you are older because you failed to push fear aside!Creating Art from Passion
There seems to be a certain element that is almost indescribable when you see artwork that comes from a place deep in a person’s soul. Have you experienced that? Art that comes from a place of passion and creativity has a certain texture to it. Artist Peter Fiore wants to encourage artists like you to find that place where you can create your artwork from. Even if you can’t profit from your passion projects, it's really important to consider creating a space where you can exercise the creative pursuits that make you come alive. Peter shares this advice in light of his years of experience as an artist and I hope you can catch a glimpse of what he is trying to convey. Make sure to check out images of his artwork located at the end of this post!Outline of This Episode
- [1:50] I introduce my guest, Peter Fiore.
- [4:00] How Peter got his start as an artist.
- [12:30] Peter talks about his series on trees and a car crash he survived.
- [17:00] A relationship with nature.
- [20:00] Why is Peter so drawn to the subject of trees?
- [26:30] Peter’s steps after he identifies a motif.
- [35:00] Using music to facilitate creativity.
- [39:00] How many studies does Peter go through in a series?
- [46:30] No one needs another painting, you’ve got to make them want it!
- [48:30] Peter’s advice to young artists.
- [57:00] Don’t let fear hold you back.
- [1:08:00] Working on multiple projects.
- [1:11:00] Understanding the “Why.”
- [1:13:00] Suffering and Art.
- Max Headroom
Rank #16: Trying to Make It As An Artist on Instagram, with Kate Zambrano
What does it look like to see your career take off as an artist on Instagram? Is it a sustainable model or has Facebook’s acquisition taken all fun and profitability out the platform? I put all of these questions and a lot more to my guest, Kate Zambrano.
Kate is a fine artist based in California specializing in realistic portrait art and figurative art, made up mostly of females. Sometimes described as dark art, her work is a personal study of human psychology and complexity. Kate creates melancholic body languages and expressions, capturing the nuanced truth.
I can’t wait for you to learn from Kate’s unique perspective - I know you’ll find what she has to say is knowledgeable and entertaining!Putting in the hours
Sometimes it can take a while to find that medium that you love and there are some artists like Kate who fall head over heels in love with their medium quickly. While Kate enjoys painting, she really comes alive when she uses charcoal. Kate says that charcoal fits her because of her very “Black and white” way of viewing the world. She also loves color and vibrancy, and she loves to express that when she paints but at the end of the day - charcoal is Kate’s one true love. Kate has incorporated some of the skills she developed as a painter into her work with charcoal, and you can tell!Falling in love with charcoal
Sometimes it can take a while to find that medium that you love and there are some artists like Kate who fall head over heels in love with their medium quickly. While Kate enjoys painting, she really comes alive when she uses charcoal. Kate says that charcoal fits her because of her very “Black and white” way of viewing the world. She also loves color and vibrancy and she loves to express that when she paints but at the end of the day - charcoal is Kate’s one true love. Kate has incorporated some of the skills she developed as a painter into her work with charcoal and you can tell!Navigating Instagram
Instagram - do you love it or hate it as an artist? Have been able to grow your audience and deepen your connection to your followers? Kate enjoyed a huge boon to her business and her career as an artist once she began posting on Instagram. Quickly, Kate became quite the force as a popular artist on Instagram - then the bottom fell out.
A year and a half ago, everything changed with Instagram’s algorithm - small businesses that were thriving on the platform started shutting down left and right. Since they reworked the platform, artists like Kate have noticed that their content hasn’t been getting nearly as many likes or engagement as years past. Instagram’s change has had a huge negative impact on Kate and her business. She thought the decline in support was attributed to her skill and ability as an artist. Today, Kate is doing a lot better - she found a new way forward and shifted her view of success.Kate’s view of success
What does success look like for Kate today? With all the instant validation of Instagram no longer factoring into her view of success - Kate has had to rethink her personal definition of success. Kate is now focused on maintaining a positive attitude and a healthy mindset - she believes that forward thinking and staying in-tune with her emotions will put her back on the right track. Professionally, Kate finds encouragement in the positive feedback she gets from her peers - she’s not chasing approval, but she’s grateful to get it from her friends.Outline of This Episode
- [0:45] I introduce my guest, Kate Zambrano.
- [2:45] How Kate decided to pursue a career as an artist.
- [6:00] Practice and repetition.
- [12:30] How Kate taught herself to draw.
- [15:10] Kate describes her artwork.
- [20:45] Why charcoal is Kate’s favorite medium.
- [26:25] How to enter Trekell’s pet portrait competition.
- [35:10] Kate explains how she got started on Instagram and what has changed.
- [44:30] The challenge of making it as a female artist.
- [50:10] Kate’s view of personal and professional success.
- [53:30] What Kate is obsessed with.
- [1:01:20] How to connect with Kate.
- Realistic Portrait Art | Charcoal Workshops | Kate Zambrano Art
- Kate Zambrano (@katezambrano) • Instagram
Rank #17: 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] Technical aspects of Nancy’s artwork.
- [47:30] Facing self doubt and challenges along the way.
- [53:30] Healthy habits.
- [56:30] What art would Nancy LOVE to own if money wasn’t an issue?
- David Park
- John Seed
- Kyle Staver
- Jennifer Pochinski
- Mitchell Johnson
- Fairfield Porter
- Alex Katz
- Aubrey Levinthal
- Elizabeth Blackadder
- Chantal Joffe
- Henry Taylor
- David Hockney
- Susan Lichtman
- Elisabeth Cummings
- Janice Biala
- Pierre Bonnard
- Joan Brown
- Richard Diebenkorn
- Nancy’s website: nancygruskin.com
- Matisse/Diebenkorn Exhibit
Rank #18: Artistic Inspiration, with Ginnie Gardiner
There are a multitude of factors that contribute to crafting your personality. The familiar debate of nature versus nurture comes to mind. Just as there are various pieces involved in crafting a personality, so are there in finding artistic inspiration. What inspires one person would never inspire the next and so on. On this episode of Savvy Painter, I have the pleasure of interviewing artist Ginnie Gardiner. In our conversation, we discuss her work as an MTV music video producer, what art books inspire her, her creative process, and much more! I can’t wait for you to hear from this gracious and talented artist - make sure to listen in!An artist inspired by her work with MTV
You wouldn’t think there was much correlation between working on MTV music videos and developing as a painter. However, that is exactly artist Ginnie Gardiner’s story. She worked as a producer for a video company to take “Flat art” and animate it for videos and television. This job working with digital art and music videos served as her early work experience right out of college from Cornell. On this episode of Savvy Painter, Ginnie shares how this experience influenced her significantly as an artist and later as a painter. Don’t miss out on our fascinating conversation!Painting inspired by reading
Inspiration can be a difficult thing to come by for many creative people. Once you find what inspires you, it can unleash a flood of productivity. What have you found that inspires you? Is it always the same thing or does it change through different seasons of life? Artist Ginnie Gardiner finds inspiration for her paintings and collage work from reading various books. She loves to read books about artists and by artists. Reading these works have had a huge impact on her creative process. Ginnie has even added reading into her daily routine as she prepares and paints her canvases. To hear more about what motivates and inspires Ginnie, listen to this episode of Savvy Painter!Finding the right routine and rituals to fuel creativity
When you have done things a certain way for so long, it becomes second nature. You don’t even realize you are practicing particular habits because it’s become part of who you are. These habits and rituals can be extremely helpful in fueling your creative impulses. Some people’s creativity thrives while they are listening to music, some need complete silence. I am always intrigued to find out what makes each artist I get to interview succeed. Artist Ginnie Gardiner has a number of these routines that she practices when she approaches her canvas. I know you will find her habits and rituals as fascinating as I did. Don’t miss my interview with Ginnie on this episode of Savvy Painter.The magic of viewing art in person
Can you think back to a time when you were truly awe inspired? When was that last time your heart started racing and your jaw dropped? For artist Ginnie Gardiner it's whenever she gets to view world renowned paintings in person. On this episode of Savvy Painter, Ginnie and I discuss the powerful impact art has had on our lives. My hope is that our conversation resonates with you. Ginnie’s awe and wonder of the art world is contagious and had me planning my next trip to Madrid. Listen to this episode of Savvy Painter to hear more from Ginnie!Outline of This Episode
- [0:36] Background of guest: Ginnie Gardiner.
- [2:13] I introduce Ginnie Gardiner.
- [2:41] Why did Ginnie become an artist?
- [11:03] How working with music videos influenced Ginnie’s painting.
- [16:38] Ginnie talks about the influence of Josef Albers and the use of colors in her art.
- [23:18] The influence of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo on Ginnie’s work.
- [27:19] The use of thumbnail drawings.
- [31:42] Reading good books as inspiration.
- [37:23] Routine and rituals that help Ginnie’s creativity.
- [41:35] Ginnie and I talk shop - materials, methods, etc.
- [49:20] The impact of viewing paintings in person.
- Josef Albers
- Charles Hawthorn
- Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
- Roy Lichtenstien
- Neil Welliver
- Johannes Itten
- Kerry James Marshall
- Stuart Davis
- Ginnie’s website: ginniegardiner.com
- Book: "Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence" by Svetlana Alpers
- Book: "A World of Our Own" by Frances Borzello
- Book: "The Bauhaus Group" by Nicholas Fox Weber
- Book: "Collage: The Making of Modern Art" by Brandon Taylor
- Book: "The Art of Color" by Johannes Itten
- Author: Carter Ratcliff
- Author: Frances Borzello
- Author: Nicholas Fox Weber
- Author: Brandon Taylor
Rank #19: Landscape Painting and the Value of Staying Put, with William Kocher
What does it look like to stay put and get to know a location inside and out? What insights and lessons can you learn from this helpful discipline? How does staying in one location impact your growth as an artist? It was my privilege to explore these questions and a lot more in my conversation with artist, William Kocher. We also touched on how William got his start as an artist, why it’s important to connect with a community of artists, what colors William enjoys using, why we need art as a society, and so much more. I know artists like you will enjoy learning from William’s interesting journey and unique perspective!Why it’s helpful to connect with a community of artists.
Have you had the chance to connect with a community of artists? What value have you found in spending time with people who share your profession? In my personal experience, connecting either in person or online with a community of artists has helped me in countless ways! Artist William Kocher says that making similar connections with artists in the Cape Cod area had a huge positive impact on his growth and creativity. Whether you can find one and plug in right away or if you have to create one yourself, I highly encourage even the most introverted artists to take the risk to go out there find a group you can contribute to.Studying the landscape.
Many artists love to be constantly on the go looking for new and exciting places, people, or objects to inspire their creativity. Does that sound like you or do you find yourself of the more stationary variety? It was refreshing to hear from an artist like William Kocher who seemed less interested in finding new locations to spark his creativity as he was more concerned with getting to know a particular place inside and out. For William, that place is his family's farm near Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Due to his relentless study of the farm, William knows which trees the birds perch in, how the sunlight falls at just the right time of day, and so many additional hidden secrets and gems revealed only to the most astute observer. How does William’s approach strike you?Why we need art.
As our society continues to evolve there are some who question why we need art in schools, public spaces, and sometimes as a profession altogether. How do you respond to these questions? Are you able to engage or do you feel your blood pressure start to rise because you find it insane that people question the value of art? I love the way that William Kocher puts it, he says that “Art elevates life, it is a vital form of communication.” I completely agree! Especially in our society today, we must continue the work to emphasize the value and beauty that art brings to our culture in a myriad of ways.Art doesn’t have to be complicated to have value.
Do you struggle with finding depth in your art? Are you ever intimidated by artists who have all these wonderfully complex and philosophical motivations and messages in their artwork? What if that’s just not you? Is that ok? The truth is, art doesn’t have to be complex to have value! I was thrilled to hear a similar message from William Kocher in our conversation. He encourages artists like you to avoid stressing out about the complexity of your artwork if that doesn’t “fit” your approach. Find your voice, tap into your creative energy and just make something beautiful!Outline of This Episode
- [1:45] I introduce my guest, William Kocher.
- [3:25] What led William to a career in art?
- [8:30] Why it’s so important to connect with an art community.
- [10:30] William talks about painting outdoors for the first time.
- [12:30] Enjoying the opportunity to get away to paint.
- [16:15] What colors does William use on a regular basis?
- [18:00] How does William start his paintings?
- [21:20] Choosing motifs and painting on the family farm.
- [26:15] What is William challenged by? What is William proud of?
- [30:00] You need a little arrogance to be an artist.
- [32:20] Why do we need art?
- [36:30] What is William’s dream project? Is there artwork William wouldn’t sell?
- [37:30] How Hans Hofmann’s work has impacted William.
- [40:15] Advice that William has for fellow artists.
- [42:00] Is a more complicated approach to painting necessary?
- Peter Fiore
- Christie Velesig
- Cape Cod School of Art - Lois Griffel
- Truro Bear and Other Adventures
- Search for the Real and Other Essays
- Check out William’s website
- Connect with William on Facebook
- Follow William on Instagram
- Lancaster Galleries
Rank #20: 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 introduction to this episode.
- [2:40] How did Scott get started with his art career?
- [4:20] Scott talks about family and career struggles.
- [9:30] What Scott tells prospective art students and those starting their art career.
- [12:40] Scott’s “Why”
- [17:50] Is painting “Fun?”
- [28:10] What is Scott’s daily routine?
- [33:00] The illusion of perfectionism.
- [37:30] Do all questions need answers?
- [41:50] Scott’s current projects and obsessions.
- [49:20] Scott talks about continuing his artwork and
- [56:20] The story behind Scott’s daughter’s health difficulties.
- [1:02:00] Has art contributed to healing in Scott’s life?
- [1:05:30] Scott gives another answer to art’s healing in his life.
- Miles Davis
- Kurt Moyer
- Lucian Freud
- Diego Velazquez
- Daniel Sprick
- Quang Ho
- Alia El-Bermani