Savvy Painter Podcast with Antrese Wood

By Conversations about the business of art, inside the artist studio, and plei

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Subscribers: 196
Reviews: 2

Karen F
 Jan 22, 2021
If you're a painter this podcast will be a great addition to your list. Antrese interviews artists from many disciplines, of all ages and backgrounds. Inspiring, Insightful and infornative. One of my go-to listens on long walks and skis.

 Mar 9, 2020
SP has been crucial in propelling my creative work. Content-rich episodes provide insight and knowledge that I, unequivocally, would not have access to. The tricks to keep me creating and the episode notes are both indispensable. Love it.


Savvy Painter is the podcast for artists who mean business. Antrese Wood talks about the business of art and how it gets created. Artists spend enormous amounts of time alone in their studios. It's easy to believe their challenges are unique when in fact they are not. Fortunately, others have been there before, and by sharing our stories with other artists we all win.

Episode Date
Say Goodbye to Overwhelm (The Power of Constraints) - EP 286

When the studio becomes an overwhelming place for artists, it may be time to apply some constraints to your creative process. Constraints are often viewed as things that limit options within our art practice. However, they can be the key to freedom and creativity in our work. On this episode, I’m giving you an inside look at the constraints I’ve placed on my current 100 Day Self-Portrait Challenge and my thought process behind them. I’ll also share some ideas about how to use constraints in your own art practice to get the results you want.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:37] Finding beauty in constraints
  • [3:49] Deconstructing my 100 Day Challenge and the constraint of time
  • [11:20] Applying constraints to subject and keeping ourselves in curiosity
  • [19:35] Expanding your mind and curbing overwhelm through constraints

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Aug 04, 2022
Finding Your Artistic Voice - EP 285

A lot of artists struggle with finding their voice. To the point that some believe they don’t have one at all. This is absolutely false! Every artist has a voice, and I want to help you find it. On this episode, we’ll dive into what our voice looks like and how to listen to it, cultivating awe in your art practice, and the results you get from finding your voice.

Outline of This Episode

  • [6:25] What is your artistic voice? 
  • [9:37] Learning how to listen to your voice
  • [14:54] The practice of cultivating awe
  • [23:13] The results you get from finding your voice

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 28, 2022
How to Create Clarity and Focus in Your Art Practice - EP 284

So many artists desire both clarity and focus in their art practice. We yearn for a practice that is stable, dependable, and free of distractions and confusion. Yet often, that is far easier said than done. On this episode, I’ll show you how to gain greater clarity and focus in your art practice so that you can focus all of your energy on the art you want to create.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:57] The role clarity plays in art and decision making
  • [5:02] How being clear and focused helps you create personally meaningful art 
  • [11:21] Three tips to develop clarity and focus in your art practice TODAY
  • [17:47] The power of thinking differently

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 21, 2022
Releasing Other People's Opinions About Your Art - EP 283

So many artists (and humans) struggle with the opinions of others. Having an unhealthy view of external opinions can negatively impact your art practice. And your life ! In this episode, I discuss why other people's thoughts matter, the unhelpful ways we think about other people's opinions and strategies for breaking the cycle.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:54] Why other people’s opinions matter and creating safety within ourselves
  • [14:49] Cultivating curiosity creates better art
  • [20:38] Falling in love with our own work and releasing the opinions of others

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 14, 2022
Choosing Your Own Beliefs About Your Art - EP 282

When we change one thought in any area of our thinking it changes everything else. The more I think about this principle the more I begin to question what is possible through my art and creativity. On this episode, we’re going to talk more about negative underlying beliefs and how choosing our beliefs on purpose is a powerful habit for our art practice. I’ll also prepare you for what to expect from yourself when you begin to change your thinking, as well as how and when you need to change your mind.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:58] The power of choosing on purpose
  • [15:53] What happens when we begin to choose
  • [21:33] How to change your mind

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 07, 2022
Trusting Your Decisions Is Trusting Your Voice - EP 281

One of the most important habits you can have is trusting your decisions. We often look at the outcome of a decision to determine whether or not the choice was good or bad. And we use that metric to determine how much we can trust ourselves. But what if I told you that the quality of a decision has nothing to do with the outcome? On this episode, I’ll discuss the importance of trusting your decisions, how trust builds confidence, and how a habit of trust leads to mastering your skills and clarifying your voice as an artist.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:27] The importance of trusting your decisions
  • [4:31] The power of self-reliance
  • [6:50] How trust leads to mastery
  • [18:34] What if I actually don’t know?

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 30, 2022
Having Your Own Back - EP 280

Just like our paintings, we have visions for how we think our art journey should turn out and who we want to be as an artist. In order to achieve our full potential, we need to learn how to have our own backs and be our greatest advocates. On this episode, I’ll discuss how to shut down negative self-talk while maintaining high standards and embracing our humanity.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:58] Why you need to have your own back 
  • [5:32] The art of being kind to yourself
  • [15:10] Why you still need high standards
  • [22:21] How to embrace your humanity

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 23, 2022
Thoughts on Commissioned Art - EP 279
Getting commissioned to create a piece of art for someone can be an incredibly validating experience. Finally, all of your hard work has paid off. All you have to do now is iron out the details and paint the painting, right? Unfortunately, creating commissioned artwork is not always that easy. On this episode, I’ll dive into an often-overlooked obstacle with creating a commissioned piece, and communicate the tools you need to overcome it.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:28] The destructive power of a single squirrel and choosing awareness and curiosity over judgment
  • [7:37] Identifying the real problem with commissioned work 
  • [9:43] How to actively manage your mind

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 09, 2022
Your Self-Concept as an Artist - EP 278

Have you ever thought about what it means to YOU to be an artist? Do you have a good grasp of your identity? I invite you to gain clarity on how you define that for yourself so you can have more confidence in your studio. On this episode, we will explore our self-concept and take a deeper look at why the way we see ourselves matters so much to our art practice. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:18] The three concepts of art creation
  • [5:43] Why our self-concept is so important 
  • [10:58] The art of constantly becoming

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 26, 2022
The Stories We Tell About Our Art - EP 277

Does your art practice feel limited? Is your mindset preventing you from achieving your full potential as an artist? Our possibilities are determined by the kinds of stories we tell about our art. On this episode, I’ll teach you how to notice the negative stories that keep you from the art practice you want.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:22] Why our stories matter and finding our super power
  • [7:04] The power of awareness in changing our mindset
  • [9:43] Exposing the false stories we tell ourselves
  • [18:00] Choosing the story that serves you best

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 19, 2022
Creating Ease in Your Studio - EP 276

Is your art studio a place of peace or chaos? How do we intentionally create a sense of ease in our art practice? On this episode, I’ll take a deep dive into how you can bring that ease into the studio, why "hard" work is over rated, and the benefits of bringing fun, curiosity, and playfulness into our art practice.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:57] What does (and doesn’t) ease in our art studio look like?
  • [3:09] Why hard work doesn’t automatically make good art
  • [11:04] Why ease and black and white thinking don’t mix
  • [14:29] The benefits of fun, letting go, and choosing ease over hardship

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 12, 2022
How We Grow and Evolve as Artists - EP 275

Is there a general path to success when it comes to our art? I’ve come to embrace that success is determined by how we grow and evolve as artists. On this episode, I’ll dive into what that looks like, the role each side of our brain plays in the process, and how to overcome the need for linear success.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:15] Why we think we need linear success 
  • [3:29] Bringing the right side of your brain into your art practice
  • [8:28] The evolution of our art through trust
  • [21:54]  Cultivating curiosity, exploration, and wonder

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 06, 2022
When the Muppets in the Balcony Are Yammering Away - EP 274

Get a taste of what it’s like to be a part of the Savvy Painter Community as I share a recent talk I gave during Mindset Monday all about our witness. We all have one! That inner critic sees everything we do and provides a running negative commentary like Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets. Listen to this episode to learn how to shut those guys up and turn your mindset (and your witness) into a positive one!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:41] Can I get a positive witness? 
  • [5:48] Recapping the damage negative underlying beliefs can create
  • [10:41] Asking your inner critic the right questions
  • [16:27] Come back to yourself

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 28, 2022
The Artist Thermostat: Why It Can’t Be That Easy - EP 273

Are limiting beliefs holding you back from being the artist and person you want to be? Many artists are not satisfied in their art practice but fail to see why they haven't reached the place they want to be. Is it external circumstances or something deeper? On this episode, I’m going to discuss how our underlying belief systems impact what happens in our art studio and how you can take control of your growth.


Outline of This Episode

  • [0:54] The reason our feelings are so powerful and how beliefs shape actions
  • [6:42] Why this episode probably applies to you too
  • [10:11] What if being an artist was easy?
  • [17:51] Exploring internal beliefs, limits, and expectations

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 22, 2022
Patience Is about More than Waiting - EP 272
What do you do when it feels like things aren’t happening in your art practice fast enough? Maybe you’ve taken lots of workshops, established a consistent painting practice, and you show up and put in the work, but your painting is just not at the level you think you should be at by now. Should you double down or just be patient with yourself? On this episode, I’m going beyond the understanding that patience is simply having the ability to wait without complaining. I want to offer you a more nuanced definition as it applies to your art and career as well as help you cultivate patience within your art practice and with yourself as you create.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:33] What is patience?
  • [7:22] Signs you are running out of patience
  • [16:53] Why patience goes beyond a simple character trait
  • [18:32] The benefits of patience in your art practice

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 14, 2022
The Messy Middle Is an Essential Part of the Art Journey - EP 271
Are you in the messy middle? That part of creating where it starts to get a little uncomfortable or uncertain. Or maybe, that’s how you feel about your art practice as a whole. In any case, you have some decisions to make. On this episode, I’m going to give you insight on how to navigate the messy middle of both individual paintings and plateauing art practices while teaching you how to get to know your inner voice. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:13] Welcome to the messy middle
  • [1:55] Navigating the messy middle of individual paintings
  • [10:58] Overcoming plateaus in your painting practice
  • [23:36] Getting to know our inner voice

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 07, 2022
Punishing Yourself Doesn’t Make You A Better Artist. Here’s What Does -

A lot of artists think that if they are not hard on themselves, they won't improve their work. I have a different approach. One that doesn’t leave you feeling like crap. In this episode, I give you some tools that will help you progress faster with your art and have fun while you do it.


When you are not where you want to be with your art, there is a tendency to get a little harsh with yourself. You think punishing yourself will make you work harder. But that just makes you miserable in your studio. In this episode, I tell you what works 1,000 times better - and creates a space for you to have fun in the studio again (while getting your work done).

Our art must come from a place of love.

A love for the art and a love for the artist who makes it. This philosophy goes beyond positive thinking. 

There is a misconception that simply having positive thoughts fixes everything. But that doesn’t work. Because when people think “just be optimistic” is the solution, they ignore, push down, or gloss over what seems negative. 

Unfortunately, that just makes the “problems” bigger - they don’t just disappear.

When things don’t go as planned

Often, when we don’t get the outcome we want, a lot of artists find ways to punish themselves. 

The more obvious ways we do that is to blame ourselves, get hyper critical, or berate our own work. It doesn’t make the work better, it just makes us feel bad.

We also punish ourselves in more subtle ways -  like withholding joy, withholding playfulness, or withholding love from ourselves. A non-action is harder to detect than an action, so these punishments show up much more often but they are just as damaging because they take all the fun out of the thing we love to do the most.

Trust your inner voice.

When you trust your inner voice, you can be patient and kind with yourself. You can accept all the parts of you (even the ones that aren’t so nice). And when you do that, you can let go of perfectionism and so much of the self judgement. You know, the parts of you that looove to tell you you’re doing it wrong?

In this episode, I share what’s actually happening when these things show up and I give you some alternate tools to get what you want while having your own back.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 31, 2022
The Secret to Becoming a Great Painter Is Right Under Your Nose - EP 269

One of the most underrated qualities of a successful art practice is consistency. There is an insane amount of power that comes from showing up to your studio on good days, bad days, and all the days in between. On this episode, get a taste of what it’s like to be part of the Savvy Painter Community as I share a Mindset Monday talk about creating an art practice that you can rely on.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:23] The consequences of an inconsistent art practice and the struggle to find balance in the studio. 
  • [6:10] Taking advantage of the Domino Effect in your art studio
  • [14:49] Why kindness patience, and trust should be critical to your art practice
  • [17:33] The rewards of consistency and creating an upward spiral

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 24, 2022
Why I Do What I Do - EP 268

The Savvy Painter Podcast is officially 8 years old! I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to talk about why I do what I do. I’m often asked why I devote so much time and energy to helping other artists. The short answer is that it’s my passion. On this episode, I’ll discuss the long answer and share snippets of conversations with other artists discussing my WHY, art’s impact on humanity, and the power of invitation.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:37] What’s your dollar amount to stop making art? 
  • [5:28] My WHY and what separates dreamers from doers. 
  • [10:57] Creativity as human nature and fighting to keep art in the culture
  • [20:55] The artist’s invitation 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 17, 2022
Future You is Waiting to Meet You - EP 267
How do I become the artist I’ve always wanted to be? Asking that question can be dangerous because often the answer isn’t for the faint of heart. Working on ourselves isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth the effort. On this episode, I want to show you how to hold space for what is and what will be in your art journey and how to take steps right now to build the future you.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:45] How our habits impact our results
  • [4:01] The power of belief over doubt in your art practice
  • [11:16] Holding space for the future YOU
  • [16:45] Why “fake it till you make it” is bad advice

Become who you are 

What we consistently do, day in and day out is what creates excellence. It's our habits, our processes, and the things that we do in the studio that create our results. All the small steps we take to learn color, to become better at composition, to become fluent in the language of brushstrokes…each brushstroke informs the next and each painting informs the painting we do after that. The shorthand we eventually develop in our painting becomes our style and the nuanced discernment we use in deciding what to paint and what we want to say with our art, that’s our voice! Your style might change and evolve over time, but your voice is who you are. With each painting, you strengthen your voice and add techniques and skills that build on and influence your style. Every new realization, every “aha moment”, every bit of knowledge you collect about art in general, and your art in particular, compound on each other. The cumulative value of all those little moments is so much greater than the sum of their parts. As they continue to build on one another, each time you paint, you become more of the artist you envision.

Keep climbing your mountain

Every artist’s journey is like climbing a mountain. Not the same mountain, but their own mountain with its individual challenges and rewarding vistas. When you are diligently honing your painting skills, and strengthening your voice, you are for sure heading in the right direction. If you keep climbing towards your goal, you will inevitably get there. What a lot of artists don’t realize is that the belief in your capacity to “do the thing”, has to be stronger than the doubt. Belief is what creates the determination and resolve to keep painting. It allows you to be curious about what you have created so you can assess your painting and use it as a stepping stone that leads to your next work. When we do that, we commit to the idea that there is a version of us in the future who FOR SURE has made it to the summit. And that person is hanging out, loving the accomplishment, and waiting for us to arrive so we can go climb another peak. Believing in ourselves as artists means knowing that we eventually get to our destination, we just haven’t figured out how yet.

Hold space for the future

So what would your daily art practice look like if you KNEW that you will accomplish all your goals? How would you show up to your studio if you believed the paintings you’re working on right now are essential in getting you to your summit? You wouldn’t give up, that’s for sure. We HAVE to hold space for our future selves! That space turns your studio into a safe place that grounds you and allows you to completely focus on the work you are creating right now. It also prevents you from using the outcome of whatever painting you’re working on against yourself. One painting can no longer serve as evidence of your inability to become the artist you want to be. You STILL see what you can improve on right now, but it’s used as inspiration for what you need to improve on and not a deep existential declaration that you are not enough. Listen to this episode for more insight on becoming the artist you want to be!

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 10, 2022
This Is How You Take Your Power Back - EP 266
Many artists are surprised by the results of their art practice. Despite feeling like they have put in the proper time and effort for success, the outcome doesn’t meet their expectations. They may even feel it’s unfair that other people have achieved more than them in a smaller amount of time. This is what I call “disempowered thinking”! On this episode, I want to help empower you when it comes to making art. I want to teach you how to stop giving your power away and make the changes needed to see positive results.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:38] When the outcome and the expectation don’t match
  • [4:29] Taking responsibility for the results of your art practice
  • [07:53] Separating thoughts from actions to see results
  • [14:12] Getting rid of the artist’s martyr complex and choosing how you respond to discomfort
  • [18:43] Why many artists give up and what you need to keep going

Your results are in direct proportion to the actions you take

If you’re brutally honest with yourself, you may notice that you haven’t been acting on the full truth of what you’re capable of. The fullness of your skills and the quality of the actions you took to bring you where you are today. Because if we ARE honest, we would find that every single time…the result makes sense! We get exactly what we are supposed to out of our art practice based on what we put into it. Even if you’ve been an artist for 30 years, if you don’t actively take steps to better yourself and create the best art possible, you’ll never get the result you’re hoping for. You’ll never find the meaning you’re seeking in the canvas. You’ll never sell the magic number of paintings in your head. It may not feel good to hear, but the sooner we accept that WE are the common denominator in our results, the sooner we can start to grow.

Take responsibility for your art without taking the blame

Taking as much responsibility for your art as you can is the path to freedom in your art practice. Because you OWN whatever you take responsibility for. If you don’t like a painting, you can always paint something different. There is a great deal of freedom in having the option to choose. But sometimes we mistake taking responsibility for taking the blame when it comes to our results. These are NOT the same thing. One is empowering while the other is debilitating. Taking responsibility puts you in the driver’s seat. It allows you to have agency over your art and your career. Taking blame means weaponizing your results against yourself. It turns on that broken record in your mind that tells you all of the ways you're not enough. Or it forces us to blame other people and things outside of our control because that burden is so unnecessarily heavy. Our power lies in the fact that we alone get to decide what our results mean. We get to decide how we respond to the outcome. It’s better to take ownership of our faults so that we can address them, rather than wasting all of this energy beating ourselves up.

Trading thoughts for actions

We often think the truth about ourselves and our art is represented by the thoughts we have occasionally, instead of the actions that we take consistently. We can have all of these big lofty ideas about making a living as an artist and selling our work, but if you’re not taking actions that make sure those things happen, you don’t actually believe those things in the first place. It’s time to shine a light on where you are not stepping up for yourself! I’m also fully aware of how difficult this process can be. Holding ourselves accountable and taking an honest evaluation of our art practice can bring up all kinds of complicated, and even uncomfortable emotions. But if you’re going to be uncomfortable either way, wouldn’t you rather that discomfort lead to changes that help you get the results you actually want with your art? For more insight on taking your power back as an artist, listen to this episode!

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 03, 2022
Your Art Matters. - EP 265
Last week, I talked about how we find meaning in our art practice by connecting the dots of our art journey. This week, I want to connect a few more of those dots and talk about why sharing your work matters so much. I’ll dive into why sharing your art makes it better and how it can actually change the world. We’ll also take an in-depth look into how we need both sides of our brain to produce our best work.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:40] What expands your mind also expands your art
  • [4:23] Why sharing your art makes it better
  • [6:14] How to change the world with your art
  • [7:30] Using both sides of our brain in the process of making and sharing art 

Embracing the process

So many artists that I talk to believe that their art doesn’t matter. I am 100% convinced that not only does your art matter to you, but it also matters to us. ALL of us. I also understand that my belief doesn’t help someone going through a funk. This episode might inspire someone for a week, however lasting change only happens when we can hold that belief for ourselves. But be patient with yourself! Some of those negative thoughts have dug really deep roots into your mind and they can take a good amount of time and intention to weed out. The same thing goes for planting and nurturing healthier thoughts. It’s a gentle process, but the growth that happens and the results of those changes will compound for the rest of your life. 

Creating a dialogue

I love Seth Godin. His work has taught me so much. One of my favorite things is that in sharing our art or anything we create, we have to just “ship it”. Meaning as artists, we have to do the work then share the work. We have to get our ideas out into the world where people can see them. So that they can be tested. This creates a dialogue. If art is a form of communication, you want to make sure it doesn’t stay a monologue. It’s okay to keep some of your work for yourself, but ultimately you need to share your vision with the world to find your people. It’s the only way that you will be able to refine your ideas and make them better, clearer, and more meaningful to you.

Changing the world

Another brilliant Seth Godin quote states that “Art is a personal act of courage. Something that one person does that creates change in another.” Our art always has the potential to make an impact on someone, even when we least expect it. That’s why when we follow his advice to just “ship it” we become what he calls “agents of change” who have the ability to change the world. When was the last time you looked at your art as world-changing? Have you ever looked at your art this way? Admittedly, I struggled with this at first. It felt arrogant to believe that anything I make has that kind of potential. But the longer I sat with this I realized that it wasn’t a ridiculous thought because we ALL have that potential. Your work may not impact everyone, but it will impact someone. And THAT is why your work matters so much. Even if the person it impacts is you.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 25, 2022
How To Create Meaningful Paintings - EP 264

Every artist wants to produce meaningful work. Yet the pressure to constantly do so can be an ironic obstacle to creating art that is meaningful. I want to help alleviate that pressure by showing you that meaningful work doesn’t always need to make a big statement. On this episode, I’ll dive into why that is, how to create our own meaning, and why you might be painting for the wrong people.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] The artist’s unnecessary burden
  • [4:37] Appreciating the small moments
  • [10:00] Being the source of your own meaning
  • [18:00] Painting for your people and not your critics
  • [21:10] Listening to your voice

Identifying negative thinking

Art is about making sense of what it means to be human and then sharing that with the world. It’s all about connection. Artists want to create meaningful work. They want their work to make an impact and help people feel things or stir their thoughts. However, it’s easy for artists to feel like they have to say something deep or revolutionary all the time with their work. Even though that’s an impossible feat to achieve with every painting, so many of us artists cling to the idea that everything we paint needs to be IMPORTANT. One of the reasons we hold on to this so tightly is because our brains get stuck in black and white thinking. We automatically assume that just because one of our paintings doesn’t have a gigantic meaning, the painting itself is meaningless. What a terrible thought! 

Connecting the dots

All art is important. The problem is we think that “important” is measured by whether or not our art makes a big statement. We rely on lightning bolt moments for our work to be filled with deep emotional meaning, and when they don’t happen, we assume whatever ends up on the canvas is less valuable. That’s a total lie! The truth is, art happens in the small moments. It is the culmination of every small step we take in our art practice that creates meaning in our work. For me, art is a life-long love letter to myself. For you, it may be something different. We find the answer when we take the time to appreciate the small moments and connect the dots of our art journey.

Finding meaning in the mundane

Have you ever gotten lost in the background of a painting? Some of the deepest paintings I’ve ever experienced pay great attention to the mundane details. It’s those details that captivate us and allow us to tell our own stories in the deep green of a forest or the crystal blue of a beautiful seascape. Similarly, it’s in the mundane that we experience life’s most memorable and precious moments. It’s the lazy Sunday mornings and quiet cups of coffee at sunrise that color our world. We miss the joy in our painting when we underestimate the small details while waiting for a big dramatic moment. That’s backwards! The big, dramatic statements actually come from the small, seemingly insignificant moments. Listen to this episode for more insight on creating meaningful paintings!

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 17, 2022
Scarcity vs. Abundance - EP 263

Have you ever felt like an hourglass that’s always running out? Of time? Of ideas? Of patience? You may be struggling with a scarcity mindset. It truly damages our ability to create with confidence and find our voice. On this episode, I want to dive into why we as artists feel like we don’t have enough, the differences between scarcity and abundance, and how to rewire your brain so you can thrive creatively.


Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] The relationship between time and a scarcity mindset
  • [6:38] Creating from abundance
  • [12:22] Breaking out of the “fight or flight” response
  • [13:07] How scarcity and abundance impact our ideas
  • [21:56] Why choosing abundance changes everything


A picture of scarcity

Most of us struggle with time. We’ve all felt like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done on our list. However, when a scarcity mindset takes over, our brains become a broken record, constantly telling us how busy we are and that we have so much to do. We start hoarding our time and get super possessive of it. We don’t want to let one second of it go. Even our relationships might suffer because we always feel like someone is trying to get a piece of us. Everything becomes big and overwhelming because we really believe that we don’t have enough time. Ironically, the more we worry about having enough time, the less time we have to accomplish the things we are worried about completing. If we create from scarcity, we just end up creating even more scarcity. We also become hyper-focused on making sure our time matters. We want to know that time investment is worth the return before we ever make a decision. The result is refusing to take risks as artists because doing so might mean failure, which feels like a waste of time even if the experience was meaningful.


A portrait of abundance

Scarcity may feel like a broken record playing in our heads, but what would happen if we turned it off and walked outside? What if we chose an abundance mindset as artists instead of one steeped in scarcity? When we live in abundance, we tell ourselves that we have enough time. We start creating from our vision instead of our fears. Cultivating an abundance mindset means we don’t do sloppy paintings because we’re rushing to get things done. It means we allow ourselves to focus on the canvas in front of us instead of all the other ones that will come after. Choosing abundance over scarcity means we’re able to take risks. This is what allows our voice to come through our work! Abundance releases our most authentic selves into our art. It helps us trust ourselves instead of stressing over a deadline or filling every moment with the pressure to succeed. 


Rewiring your brain to thrive

Abundance is possible when we’re not stuck in a “fight or flight” response, the part of our brain that is solely responsible for survival. Who wants to simply survive, anyway? It’s time to thrive! We need to access the part of our brain that controls rational thought and imagination called the prefrontal cortex. This is where our ability for creative problem solving comes from. It helps us find the solutions that work best for us in any given situation. Like, using our scheduled painting time much more efficiently so that we have increased productivity overall. It’s amazing what can happen when we use these thought processes to rewire our brain so that we can perceive what is happening to us differently. For more insights on scarcity versus abundance, listen to this episode!


Resources Mentioned on this episode


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Feb 10, 2022
If You’re a Good Enough Artist... - EP 262

Do you like your art or yourself as an artist? Do you believe you're good enough? I think too many creators would answer those questions NO. Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary! On this episode, I’m going to tackle why it can be such a struggle to feel good about our art and how we can change our mindset and embrace our potential.


Outline of This Episode

  • [0:34] Exploring the artist’s mental struggle
  • [8:10] Identifying negative thought patterns 
  • [15:10] Dealing with imposter syndrome and creative anxiety 
  • [18:38] Going to the source and getting to know your mind 
  • [20:04] Why perfection is overrated 
  • [24:21] The most important thing we create as artists


Whatever you believe gets multiplied

I often hear people say that If they can only finish the painting or sell enough pieces, THEN they’ll feel accomplished, validated, or credible as an artist. These things represent a desire to feel good enough as an artist. Even if there are aspects of your art-making that can improve, achieving those things won't change how you feel about your art. The moment we start to believe we’re good enough because we reached a goal, our brains will just move the target and we’re right back to where we started. Suddenly, being “good enough” can start to feel like embracing mediocrity rather than a vote of self-confidence. We get stuck in a cycle of chasing happiness that is always slightly out of reach. Rather than getting frustrated or staying stuck, we need to change the underlying thought patterns that make us feel this way. If we constantly approach art with the mindset that we can’t do it, we’ll feel like a failure even when we succeed. Likewise, if we always tell ourselves that we don’t sell enough paintings, we’ll never enjoy the moments when one gets sold. Whatever we believe, we create more of, regardless of what’s happening around us. If we allow them to, negative beliefs about ourselves and our art will rob every ounce of joy the process has to offer.


Nobody’s perfect

The subjectivity of art is one of the reasons it’s so great. There is not a governing body or a rule book that tells you if art is objectively good or not. Within the genres of painting, there are ideals and standards that we can use to improve ourselves, but there are no black and white rules on how to be successful. Even the greatest artists of all time have noticeable imperfections in their work and we still consider them great. Certainly, good enough. The human hand NEEDS to be visible in the art we create. We are not machines. Imperfection is often what makes art so intriguing and accessible in the first place. Of course, understanding the overall language, technical skill, and history of art still matters greatly. But it is incredibly unhelpful to compare yourself to the vast infinity that is the world of art. Focus on being the best and most authentic you instead of someone else.


Start reclaiming your brainpower

Right now, ask yourself, “What do I think of myself as an artist?” Do you like the answer? Who you are today influences the artist you’ll become tomorrow. The freedom from negative thoughts and emotions that you’ve been looking for is not in your future, it has to start right NOW. You don’t have to wait for it to come to you or somehow earn it, it’s an active choice that you need to make daily. When you start experiencing feelings of inadequacy, just notice them. YOU get to decide how you respond to those thoughts. My recommendation is to give your brain a more productive question to answer. Instead of asking, “Am I good enough to paint my next painting?” ask yourself, “What do I want to say with my next painting, and what skills and materials do I need to accomplish that?” These questions focus on the actual goal rather than fruitlessly comparing yourself to every artist who has ever picked up a brush. By doing this, we reclaim our brainpower from going off in multiple directions and we can channel that energy into creativity. We have everything we need to make our art. We just have to believe it.


Resources Mentioned on this episode


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Feb 03, 2022
Yes, You Can Create Flow On Purpose - EP 261

Have you ever found yourself in a flow state while creating? A place where distractions don’t exist and all of your creativity is available to you. Is it something you struggle to duplicate with consistency? On this episode, I’m going to define what a flow state is, how we experience it, why it matters to our practice, and how to create it on purpose. 


Outline of This Episode

  • [0:38] What is flow?
  • [3:31] Why and how we experience flow states as artists
  • [12:21] Connecting the dots between flow and confidence
  • [13:33] Why flow matters in your practice
  • [19:15] Creating flow on purpose


Going with the flow

Ok, so what is flow? We hear fellow artists talking about it all the time like it’s a mystical force that shows up to our studio on a whim, but is it really like magic? While it certainly can feel that way, it’s actually far more practical. Childhood is often filled with flow states. I remember getting lost for hours drawing, playing, and figuring out puzzles. I was completely engrossed in whatever I was doing that helped me express my creativity. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi defines flow as a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play, and work that is achieved by the fact that our brains can only take in and truly focus on a limited number of inputs. That’s why it feels like time stops and everything except what’s in front of you fades away. We lose connection with ourselves which is the most magical and other-worldly part of the experience. While flow can certainly be defined by what it is, it’s also defined by what it is not. Csikszentmihalyi goes on to say that feelings of anxiety, worry, apathy, and boredom need to be absent or minimized to successfully achieve flow. It’s not just about what you put in your creative environment to enter a flow state. What you remove or minimize is equally important!


Silencing the inner-critic

Self-conscious art is boring. I’m just going to say it. When we are so focused on pleasing our teachers, our critics, and ourselves the work we produce is often safe, average, and inauthentic. That’s why flow matters so much in our practice. When you’re in a state of flow, you’re in tune with your inner voice. That part of yourself that is so wise and so uniquely YOU. If you’re someone who worries that your work is average or unrecognizable as your own it could be due to a lack of flow. The ability to get into a flow state and connect with your higher self creates that uniqueness. It allows you to sift through internal noise and start a dialogue with your authentic self without anyone else weighing in. Including you! Sometimes our fear-based thoughts get the best of us and keep us from achieving flow because they tell us “that’s not what art is supposed to be” or “you’re doing it wrong”. To paraphrase Phillip Guston, we’re only really painting when we let our critics and ourselves leave the art studio. THAT is flow! Silencing the hypercritical part of your brain in the act of creating. And when you’re creating, your analytical side has no functional purpose. You have to trust your instinct and let it do its job. Give yourself constructive criticism later on when you’re not actively painting. Flow allows you to say things on a canvas that your inner critic is too scared to say. Flow doesn’t worry about if people will think you're weird. Flow doesn’t care what other people think at all. Flow just creates boldly and authentically.


Managing the mind

The ability to consistently enter a state of flow depends on our ability to manage the mind. We create flow by managing our thoughts and an awareness of what those thoughts create. We have to intentionally cultivate thoughts that invite possibility and creativity. Ultimately, it boils down to getting in the habit of practicing mindfulness. For me, painting serves as an act of meditation. We need to gently and mindfully bring ourselves back into focus every time we feel our mind wandering. An unmanaged mind constantly criticizes and judges every action and intent. It turns any mistake or misstep into a source of anxiety and worry instead of what it actually is: just another step on the journey. And when we keep our mind unmanaged we lose any sense of flow we had because we can’t stop overthinking. The truth is you can put a line in the wrong place, notice it, fix it, and then forget about it without giving it any meaning whatsoever. We need to be kinder to ourselves. We need to allow our mistakes to be simply that instead of immediately becoming judgemental and hypercritical. By managing our minds, flow becomes a part of our practice instead of a mystical lighting bolt that strikes whenever it wants. 


Resources Mentioned on this episode


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Jan 27, 2022
3 Things Artists Do When We Don’t Have Self-Confidence - EP 260
As someone who works with many different artists, I see too many who don’t trust themselves. It shows up in subtle ways and usually manifests as feelings of helplessness and inadequacy. Much of this struggle can be attributed to the fact that they don’t trust the unique voice inside of them. Or they are completely unaware that this voice exists in the first place. On this episode, I want to challenge how you think about your confidence as an artist. I want you to feel empowered to create again. Don’t waste another second weighed down by self-doubt!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:52] The power of believing in your own capacity to “figure it out”
  • [11:51] Learning to trust your own opinion and listen to your voice
  • [25:55] Getting the most out of your “one wild and precious life”
  • [31:07] Loving yourself and sharing your art

Making one mark after the other

Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. It would be great if there was a book that told us how to be successful in any situation, but it seems to be missing from Amazon’s library. I know, I’ve looked. Sometimes self-confidence as an artist means trusting yourself enough to start the process even when you don’t know how to succeed or even finish. The truth is you DON’T need to know all the ins and outs of something before you try it. The only way to know is to DO! That is why it’s so crucial to develop your self-confidence. You need to trust yourself to “figure it out”! Practically, that just means figuring out what your "next best step" is in the process. By doing that, you create a result that can be measured and assessed. Now use that result to determine what worked, what didn’t, and then plan your subsequent "next best step". Rinse, wash, repeat until what you’re working on is finished! That may seem like an oversimplification, but what is painting except making one mark after the other? Self-confidence is the same way. It’s an ever-strengthening foundation that creates its own upward spiral. The more we have faith in ourselves, the more we will accomplish because we won’t let anyone or anything (including us) stand in our way.

Your voice is trustworthy and you are enough

Asking for feedback in creative spaces is a beautiful collaborative tool that can help you refine your artwork. However, have you ever asked for feedback already knowing what the answer is going to be? My guess is that when this happens you don’t ask for feedback because you need an answer, you ask because you don’t trust your own voice or opinion. You know exactly what your "next best step" is or even that the painting is done, but you still need external validation because somewhere along the way you believed the lie that you weren’t enough. That someone else has to have the answer because there is no way you possibly could. When we constantly outsource validation to those around us we train ourselves to distrust our own ideas and intuition. We can’t find authenticity in our artwork if we only trust other people’s voices instead of our own. Know this in your soul, friend: Your voice is trustworthy and you are enough.

Give life everything you’ve got

Human existence is a juxtaposition of beauty and pain. Sometimes it’s easy to get so distracted by the darkness that we forget to shine our light. A big part of having self-confidence as an artist is a willingness to share yourself and your art with the world. When you intentionally hide yourself and your art, it prevents you from accessing your truth and discovering your voice. The deeper part of yourself that says, “THIS is who I am." If you are someone who feels like they don’t have a voice and struggles with authenticity, ask yourself, "Am I holding back?" "Is a fear of rejection and failure keeping me from discovering all that I am and that I can be?" My encouragement for fellow artists stuck in this place is to live life to the fullest. Keep creating even if you never see the impact. Keep pushing, growing, evolving, and becoming until your very last breath. You only get one chance to live, so don’t wait.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Jan 20, 2022
Why It Feels Like Your Art Making Always Comes Last EP-259
We ALL have multi-faceted lives. We are both artists AND a plethora of other wonderful things. Parents. Partners. Siblings. Friends. Do you ever feel like your art is constantly on the back burner to everything else in your life? Like your creativity is getting lost in a sea of everyone else’s needs and wants? I’ve been there and I want to help you find a healthy balance so that every area of your life gets the attention it deserves. Join me as I share five reasons why it feels like making art should always come last.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:56] Signs you are putting your creativity in last place
  • [3:29] Learning how to say NO
  • [5:52] Breaking down self-care stigmas
  • [9:46] Why you never have time for yourself
  • [16:58] Breaking the people-pleasing cycle
  • [23:41] Why your art is valuable

Your time is valuable 

Have you ever said to yourself, “I would love to make more art, but I just don’t have enough time.” If that sounds like you, may I offer this paradigm shift? You do, in fact, have enough time. You just constantly fill it with other people’s problems because you think their time is more valuable than yours. If you don’t see your time as valuable you will never respect it. It won’t matter if you have already carved out the time to paint or express your creativity. Something else will always interrupt or take priority over your art if you don’t start setting and sticking to healthy boundaries. But none of those boundaries will stay in place if you don’t first believe that your time is valuable and worth protecting.

It’s okay to say NO

Do you have a hard time saying no to others? Have you ever asked yourself why? It largely has to do with the fact that we think we are responsible for other people’s feelings. We’re conditioned this way! As children, we’re constantly told not to do this or that because it will hurt someone's feelings. The truth is we can’t make someone feel anything. They decide how they feel based on their own interpretations. This isn’t an invitation to be rude or unkind. You can kindly say no, set boundaries, and STILL have a great amount of love and respect for the other person while doing the same for yourself. We have to allow other people to experience their emotions and realize we are not responsible if they don’t handle them well. All we can do is be kind to others and authentic to ourselves.

Real life happens in the gray

It’s a common misconception that self-care and doing anything for yourself will turn you into a self-obsessed monster. This is because our minds often live in black and white, but real life happens in the gray! It doesn’t have to be this OR that. We can hold two things in our hands at the same time. This is where both/and thinking is crucial. We can love and care for others AND love and care for ourselves. We can be BOTH good parents and passionate artists. I want to invite you to add primary colors to the palette of your life. Think about how many colors you can mix with those six colors and white. Too many to count, right? Remember that when your mind gets stuck in binary thinking. Self-care doesn’t mean only doing things for yourself and never making concessions or compromising. You can take care of yourself while being kind and loving to the people you care about most in your life.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Jan 13, 2022
Knowing What You Truly Want -EP 258

As artists, we are often unclear about what we want from our art practice. You'd think it would be obvious. However, there are subtle nuances within us we need to pay attention to for us to find clarity. Join me live from the Savvy Painter Community, as I discuss how to understand these nuances so they can guide you to a practice that is both meaningful to you and tailored to your specific tastes and lifestyle.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:18] Taking care of the art AND the artist
  • [4:06] Digging deeper to discover what you truly want
  • [5:39] Questions you need to ask yourself about your art and answers from the Savvy Painter Community
  • [11:15] Uncovering insecurity in your art practice and finding your authentic self
  • [14:35] Integrating your art into your life and vice versa

Be your own guide

What DO you want out of your art practice? If you feel like you know the answer right away, I would encourage you to take a second and really think about it. Sometimes our first answer is dead on. Gut reactions can be a powerful thing. But more often than not, our best answer to a question like that is not our first, and it requires us to dig a little deeper. The first answer that pops into our head is likely just the surface of what we really want and not our core desires that take a bit of thought and intention to uncover. It's not that our surface answer is wrong necessarily, it’s that when we are willing to dig deeper we discover nuances that point us in a direction that is more aligned with who we really are. This truth sifts through who we think we should be and who we’re trying to be and allows who we’ve always been to the surface.

Learn to ask why

A common desire for artists is to display their work in a gallery. Again, the answer may seem obvious, but you have to learn to ask yourself why?WHY do I want to show my work? Why do I want ANY of the things I’m striving for in my art practice? In my life? When we learn to get curious about our desires we bypass the superficial answer and begin the path to real self-discovery. Because it’s not just about achieving a goal or fulfilling a desire, it’s about what accomplishing those things will do for us and in us. How will your life change if you get into that art show? What will selling your work do for you? Asking deep “why questions” about the things we want helps make the answers personal and brings clarity to our art practice.

Do it for yourself

Another great question to ask yourself to gain clarity in your art practice is am I trying to change how people see me by accomplishing this goal? Artists think they will finally be taken seriously if they can show their work. Or that selling a certain number of paintings somehow validates their calling. We have a really bad habit of basing our sense of self-acceptance on whether or not certain people or places in the art world accept us. We make success mean that we deserve to be an artist and rejection becomes some grand sign that we should put down the brush or pencil. When in fact, rejection means we may not have been right for that show or we simply need to hone our skills and get better. If we can learn how to generate feelings of validation, accomplishment, and self-worth on our own we won’t need the opinions of others to do it for us.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Jan 06, 2022
Your Relationship With Your Art (and the Artist) Matters - EP 257
You should feel empowered in your art studio to create limitlessly, so why don’t you? Why does your art practice sometimes feel like a discouraging trudge instead of an exciting leap? If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone! On this episode, I’m going to show you how to use the most powerful tool in your studio to transform the relationship you have with your art and yourself.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:19] The most powerful tool in your art studio
  • [2:57] Personifying your art practice
  • [10:31] Throwing out the rule book
  • [12:48] The impact of your relationship with yourself on your art

I think, therefore I paint

When you see art as a relationship, you see your habits and expectations in a way that you may not have noticed or thought of before. How we see ourselves as an artist, how we understand our relationship with our art, and our relationship with ourselves as the artist who creates it determines what we do, what we create, and how we show up for ourselves in the studio. You can feel empowered, excited, and open to possibility when it comes to your art. Or you can feel discouraged, frustrated, and closed off. It all depends on how you interpret your experience. How you think about your art, your business, and even yourself determines how you feel about those areas. There is a HUGE difference in the results you get when you show up to your studio feeling empowered and excited versus creating from a place of frustration and discouragement. 

Becoming a better friend to your art

The artist’s journey is a long one. Some of us have been working on our art since finger painting in kindergarten. In that sense, art is like our longest and closest friend. We need to treat it as if we are in a relationship with another person. So my question is, how do you show up for this friend? Do you show trust? Do you value the relationship? Are you secure in how you think and feel about the relationship? Are you reliable? Do you have your friend’s back or is the relationship one-sided? When answering these questions, we can all admit that we have been a bad friend to our art in one way or another. We’ve been needy or have had unrealistic expectations of our art that led to increased strain on the relationship. We’ve bad-mouthed our art. Blown it off. Failed to prioritize it. We’ve even expected it to pay all the bills without giving art its own room! If art is one of the most important relationships in our lives then our thoughts and actions should reflect that. We need to make sure we’re investing in our relationship with art as much as we expect to get from our relationship with art.

There’s only one rule for art-making

If you’re reading this and you’re starting to feel like you’re under a microscope, don't. I’ve probably done all of these things more than a few times. None of this is your fault. Art school doesn’t teach you that you need to treat your art like a person and cultivate a healthy relationship with it. On top of that, we’ve been handed a lot of confusing and contradictory ideas about what it means to be an artist. It seems like every artist is running around trying to follow “the rules” when there are no rules. You can make your own! You have the freedom to design a system that makes sense for your life. Art should feel good, and the method you use to create it and distribute it should feel good too. You get to decide what resonates with you and what doesn’t. The only universal rule should be that we have a deep love and respect for the art that we create. For more information about cultivating a healthy relationship with your art, listen to this episode!

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Jan 06, 2022
Wanting vs. Being Truly Committed -EP 256
As artists, we all want our work to matter — for us and for those who enjoy it. But that “want” or desire can be more than it appears at first glance. It can be a false desire that drives us in strange and unprofitable directions, OR it can be a true desire that moves us to a place of commitment. Results come when we are committed, when we are willing to take repeated action consistently for as long as it takes. You manage your mindset and become the person who figures it out. The BONUS is that when you do achieve your desire you will have learned new skill sets and built new habits that enable you to build future success easier, faster, and with greater skill. This episode is about that.


Outline of This Episode

  • [0:06] A topic you may not think about often, but can create incredible results
  • [0:35] Definitions are always helpful: false and true desires 
  • [4:49] Filling our art with our true selves (true desire) 
  • [6:41] Why it’s important to know the difference between true and false desires
  • [9:10] How desires relate to commitment
  • [19:59] Characteristics of an artist who is committed (“figure it out” is BIG)

False desires are substitutes used to change an emotional state

Sometimes what we truly desire is hidden or masked. I often ask artists what they want from their art or career and they don’t know. I find that what we really want is masked by a “false desire” that we occupy ourselves with. To me, a false desire comes from a place of scarcity or lack. It typically has more to do with changing your emotional state than creating something that is truly meaningful. For example, you may feel nervous about interacting at a social event so you resort to food or alcohol to keep yourself on an even keel. In the art space, it could look like a desire to have a massive social media following to validate that they are doing well. In both situations, the thing desired is a pretty neutral thing (alcohol, food, social media), but the are being used to NOT feel something — insecurity and nervousness in the first situation, low estimation of their value in the second.

True desire comes from a place of expansion and growth

True desire comes from a place of seeing how we can fill our art with our true selves, to be the fullest expression of ourselves that we can possibly be. It’s an ache to explore and discover who you are and what you’re capable of. It’s not trying to prove anything or validate your worth as an artist. And it doesn’t need permission to exist.

This is what most artists really want — to freely create and to freely express themselves through their art. So it’s really important to gain awareness of the difference between a true desire and a false desire. When you can be aware of the difference you can make a decision and commit.

How to discover what you truly want and commit

Your body and your emotions can help you understand if the options before you are what you truly desire or not. And you don’t have to get deep into the nuance of what you’re feeling to take steps in this direction. For example, if the thing you’re wondering about makes you feel open, or light, or energized, it’s probably a true desire. If it makes you feel closed, shut down, or icky. When you tune into your body you might notice physical sensations that go along with the emotional responses. Some people are more tuned into the emotional side, others are more tuned into the physical side. 

In the audio, I describe an everyday situation that involves an office, a wrinkled dollar bill, a vending machine, and a bag of chips. I tell the story to help you see that you know what it means to be committed to an outcome, to show you the difference between wanting chips and doing what is needed to actually get them. Commitment is willing to feel any emotion and will continue taking action toward its true desires. That willingness is the currency for getting the things you really want.

So listen to hear the commitment-oriented questions I suggest you learn to ask yourself to make the outcome you want inevitable. Artists at all skill levels will relate to this and I’m confident that when you learn to move from want to commitment, you’ll see amazing changes in your process and your outcomes.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Jan 06, 2022
Hidden Beliefs That Impact our Art -EP 255
Do you feel that your art simply isn’t good enough yet? Is it your belief that artists always struggle to make ends meet? Are there skills or techniques that you feel you simply can’t do well? Is it common for you to believe that you don’t have enough time to work on your art?

These are common beliefs that I hear from members of the Savvy Painter Community on a regular basis. In this episode, I want to get out the magnifying glass and take a deeper look at what we believe and to question those beliefs. Why? So we can identify the beliefs we have that are not serving us, holding us back, or limiting our creativity and success. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:14] A peek into my world here in Argentina
  • [0:57] How beliefs impact the way we live and do our art
  • [4:10] Beliefs usually come to us from outside influences
  • [8:57] We become what we believe — how it works and why it matters
  • [11:13] Empowering beliefs shared by Savvy Painter Community members
  • [14:51] Beliefs that create results that are not so positive
  • [19:00] Limiting beliefs 

The hidden beliefs that are running our lives

Studying and putting into practice daily. It’s like peeling an onion, there’s so much to discover about how we think and how it impacts our lives. In addition to those random thoughts we have, there are “inner scripts” or hidden beliefs that run our lives. We are not always aware they exist and don’t recognize the impact they have on the way we live. Here’s my definition of a belief...

A belief is a thought that you keep thinking over and over again.

This includes our thoughts about who we are as an artist, what people think of artists, what artists are supposed to do, how we are supposed to act, etc. When we decide those thoughts are true we create a belief-system. They are built by habit or we’ve actively chosen to believe it.


Where do our beliefs come from?

If you take a moment to think about where beliefs come from, you’ll realize that there is a huge array of influences that feed us things to believe: our families, upbringing, culture, religion, advertising, social media, etc. and even self-created beliefs. Any time we receive these things, think about them, and internalize them, they become our beliefs and we don’t think about them consciously anymore. They just play in the background over and over and over in a constant “belief-loop.” For this reason, beliefs shape the way we experience the world, the way we see ourselves, others, and the world.

Let’s take some examples from the world of art:

There are groups that believe that painting is dead, that everything that can be said using paint on canvas has already been said. There are groups that believe painting is a living, breathing force and there is still much more to be done with it. And even within those systems there are people who believe that abstract expressionism is the only way to authentically express yourself. On a different note, some people believe that you are either born with artistic talent or you aren’t, while others believe the skills to make great art can be learned. Then there are beliefs surrounding money and art that I get into on this episode. These are all examples of “collective beliefs” and they can greatly impact the results that you get in your own studio practice.

Many beliefs you hold are helpful but some are not

The point of this episode is not to encourage you to rip apart every belief you hold. There are many beliefs we have that serve us well. But if you find things that do NOT serve you well, or things that cause you to repeatedly do things in a compulsive manner, or that you do or refrain from doing things because they don’t feel like things that “should be done,” then you need to examine the inner scripts that are driving those beliefs and see if you can find untruths that are driving you in unhealthy directions.

During this episode I provide a handful of examples from Savvy Painter Community members who were open enough to share the beliefs that serve them well. I was inspired by the things that were shared. The beliefs I heard create experiences that lead to wonderful results in the studio and in our practice of art.

Listen to get the nuance of what I’m saying. You’ll probably be able to identify some areas where you could use a reset or refresh on your beliefs. My hope is that you’ll find ways to liberate yourself to do more, create more, and attain levels of growth you’ve only dreamed of up to this point.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Jan 06, 2022
What Happens In The Studio Is A Direct Reflection Of What Is Happening In Your Mind -EP 254

What would you say is the greatest tool you have in your studio. Don’t look down the page to see what I think it is… take a moment to answer the question for yourself.

Is it your brushes? The canvas in the corner? The turntable that spins the vinyl you listen to while painting?

Honestly answer, what is the most important thing in your studio?

In this episode, I want to walk you through my discovery that the most important tool I have as an artist is none of those things. The most important tool you have is not even talked about in most art classes. What is it? Keep reading and listen to this episode…

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:05] A transformational year for me and the work I’ve been doing with artists
  • [1:32] Your brain is the most powerful tool you have in your studio
  • [10:25] Your thoughts are the obstacle and that’s good news
  • [11:59] My results from making this mental tweak
  • [12:44] An example: You can’t figure out what’s wrong with a painting
  • [13:30] Another example: I have to make this painting work
  • [15:37] Start to be aware of what’s going on in your head

Your brain is the most powerful (and important) tool in your studio

The things that are going on in your mind when you enter your studio are powerfully important. I’m not talking about the latest tension you saw on social media before you opened the studio door (though that qualifies), I’m talking about the beliefs about yourself and your work that you carry into the studio with you.

Those are powerful. Those are what either enable you to do great work (the work you want to do) or do less than you hope for and less than you are capable of doing.

I want you to walk through a few examples in hopes that you can come to a vital understanding: Your thoughts are not reality.

Thoughts are merely how you interpret things

Have you ever wondered how 30 people can witness the same event and each of them will have their own unique perspective of what happened? It’s like there were 30 different versions of the event. How is this possible? It’s because each person interpreted the event differently in their own minds. That illustration helps us understand that our thoughts are not us and that if we can learn to change our thoughts, we can change our ability to do great work.

Up to this point in your artistic career you may have felt any number of things are your “problem,” the thing that’s holding you back.

  • Do you believe that your painting skills aren’t good enough to do great work?
  • Is it a belief that there are too many things in the way?
  • Do you believe that there are way too many artists and not enough galleries?
  • Are you uncertain what your style or voice as an artist is?

Any of these might be an issue and issues can be worked on specifically and diligently. But none of those is your real “problem.”

The real problem is WHAT YOU MAKE THOSE THINGS MEAN. Said a different way, the stories you tell yourself ABOUT those things is your problem. 

What you think about is what you create

As human beings, we have 60,000 thoughts a day and most of them are stories we are telling ourselves. These stories create emotion and we respond (act or not act) based on that emotion.

Let’s take an example…

You notice someone looking at your art…

  • Do you think they see everything wrong with your work?
  • Are they just being polite and are not really interested in your painting?
  • Are they thinking, “How lovely!”
  • Are they another artist who is looking to steal your concepts?

As you watch the person looking at your painting you could assume any of those things or hundreds more things. But those are ALL stories you’re telling yourself — and the feelings the story generates will impact how you act.

Do you see that the story you told yourself created the reality you’re living in? It’s an illustration of how your brain is the most powerful tool in your studio.

I say it that way because you and I can learn to use our brains to change the stories and therefore, change what we believe about ourselves and our work.

GOAL: Go into the studio with a clean, managed mind

So back to the initial point I made. When you go into your studio to paint the state of your mind is vitally important. It’s the tool that will color (no pun intended) every observation you make about your work, every decision you make as you create it, and every response to the things that occur as you work.

We all have a muscle to develop in this area — a mental muscle. When we do, and learn to use our minds to our advantage, the change can be amazing and powerful.

Stick around for the next few episodes. I’ll be covering this more in-depth as we go along.

Connect With Antrese

Jan 06, 2022
253 - Creating from a place of love in 2022

Savvy Painter is back! And I have a New Years challenge for you. If you decide to take this on, I'm certain your painting practice and your experience of painting will change completely (in a good way).

I think art is created from a place of love. It's created from the universal love, what I call Love with a capital "L" and from a love of  art itself. A love for the craft of painting and the lineage of painters who are with us today and have come before us. But can you also include unconditional love for the artist that is you. Even if you are still learning how to paint; even if your technical skills can be better; even if sometimes the work isn't quite what you had envisioned. Imagine how differently you would show up in your studio if you had absolute love for the mind and hand that creates your art.

This episode is all about love and what it means to intentionally bring it in to your work. (Bring on the woo!) 

Jan 01, 2022
Should you be happy about your art?

Have you ever felt a little lost and uncertain in your studio? Trying to paint from this space just results in overworking your paintings or piles and piles of half finished canvases in your studio.

It's so frustrating to finally get time to paint, but not use it to create something you're proud of. I hear it all the time from artists I work with in Growth Studio. In this episode, I teach you how to get past these blocks so you can paint with focus so that your voice is clear.

Aug 26, 2021
Does it have to be so hard?

Painting is hard, but the suffering part is optional. Why is it that when things are hard, we pile on extra layers of difficulty? When we are not aware of our thoughts, we don't notice how much harder we make it on ourselves when we think "this painting isn't working" or "I just don't know how to paint (fill in the blank)" 

In this episode I show you how painters use their very human brains for self sabotage AND I offer alternative perspectives so that you can practice on your own.

Aug 06, 2021
Hitting the Pause Button and Taking Mental Breaks.

Have you ever needed a mental health day? What reasons do you give yourself for not allowing yourself the time? I just took a month (and some change) to be with family and recharge my batteries. In this episode, I give you a snapshot into my thoughts about allowing what is while taking care of yourself. 

Jul 14, 2021
The Ebb and Flow of Creativity: An Interview with Artist Gabe Brown

Where are you on your creative journey? Do you have the right pieces in place yet or are you still trying to figure things out? If you feel like this last year or so has taken you through the wringer, you are not alone! Many of us are just now starting to get our bearings back after a year of isolation and adjustment. Here to help us navigate through the ebb and flow of creativity and the wild journey we find ourselves on is my guest and the talented artist, Gabe Brown. 

Gabe was raised in New York City. She received her BFA degree from The Cooper Union and was awarded a Full Fellowship to attend the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She went on to receive her MFA in Painting from the University of California, Davis. Her work is included in both public and private collections. She is an Adjunct Professor in Painting and Drawing at Fordham University and SUNY New Paltz where she has received three Merit Awards for Professional Achievement. Gabe lives and works in the Hudson Valley.

I can’t wait for you to get to know Gabe’s fascinating perspective - also make sure to check out images of Gabe’s artwork located at the end of this post. 

Perseverance through uncertainty 

Let’s face it, the last year with COVID has been challenging to say the least. While some of us have been able to leverage this time as an opportunity to try something new, there are those who have been stuck either creatively, emotionally, or otherwise. Part of understanding and adapting to your own unique ebb and flow of creativity is giving yourself space and understanding. 

If you had a friend who was having a hard time with the isolation and abrupt change that COVID has wrought, how would you treat them? Most people would be kind and empathetic - why wouldn’t you give yourself that same treatment? I found Gabe’s experience of persevering through the uncertainty of COVID inspiring but I found her compassion for those who are struggling - even more so. Remember, we are all in this together - I’ve got your back and I’m trusting that you’ve got mine! 

Absorbing and applying

Everyone's a little different and we need to find our own method and pattern for our creativity. Gabe was kind enough to open up about her own season of absorbing and applying. For Gabe, absorbing is a time of observation - reading, taking walks, going to museums or galleries, Googling different artists. Then comes the moment of application - some way those observations start to make their way through to the surface of the creative process. Her end goal is to take all the information that she just absorbed and then somehow apply it to her studio practice to help perfect her craft. 

What are you waiting for? Seriously? I know that the fear of failure can be intense - trust me, I’ve been there. But honestly, what do you have to lose? Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from exploring the possibilities that are right in front of you. I know that the journey is not an easy one, Gabe knows that too but what we want you to know is that it is worth it. I hope you found Gabe’s story an inspiring and encouraging one. If you want even more community and encouragement, I’d love for you to go deeper with the Savvy Painter community. Check out all the great ways to jump in - you won’t regret it! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:15] How Gabe got started as an artist. 
  • [6:30] The ebb and flow of creativity. 
  • [9:30] Gabe talks about her work and what she has been up to over the last year. 
  • [16:00] Are you afraid of success? 
  • [19:45] Absorbing and applying. 
  • [28:00] Intimate compression. 
  • [36:40] How do you know when it is finished? 
  • [47:00] Artists that Gabe would love to own art from. 
  • [51:15] Why Gabe likes to work on the floor. 
  • [54:00] Tips for new artists. 
  • [57:30] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 13, 2021
Lessons from Listening: An Interview with Artist Julia Cameron

When was the last time you really stopped and paid attention to your surroundings? As an artist, I have spent years training my eyes to pay attention to shapes, colors, and so many other aspects of the visual arts that listening to my surroundings was never a top priority. What can we learn from our surroundings when we deliberately slow down and begin to really pay attention? 

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to speak with hundreds of artists from all walks of life. It has been a huge honor to explore their stories, hear their unique perspectives, and bring them to my fellow artists like you! While I think I played it cool in this interview, I have to admit that was totally starstruck when I got to speak with none other than Julia Cameron.

Hailed by the New York Times as "The Queen of Change," Julia is credited with starting a movement in 1992 that has brought creativity into the mainstream conversation— in the arts, in business, and in everyday life. She is the best-selling author of more than forty books, fiction, and nonfiction; a poet, songwriter, filmmaker, and playwright. Commonly referred to as "The Godmother" or "High Priestess" of creativity, her tools are based in practice, not theory, and she considers herself "the floor sample of her own toolkit." 

I hope you get as much joy, inspiration, and encouragement from Julia’s profound insights and wisdom as much as I did! 

Learning to listen 

Are you ready to listen? Really listen to the world around you? You might be thinking that there is not much around you that is worth listening to - but you’ll never really know until you take the plunge! Julia Cameron is such a huge advocate for quieting the inner voice and tuning into the world all around that she wrote a book about it! 

In her book, “The Listening Path,” Julia takes readers on a transformational journey to deeper, more profound listening and creativity. In Julia’s experience, as we learn to listen, our attention is heightened and we gain healing, insight, and clarity. At the heart of the practice, Julia says that listening creates connections and ignites a creativity that will resonate through every aspect of our lives.

If you are ready to find a deeper connection to the world around you and unlock the creativity within you, then try spending some time with the practices and rhythms that Julia teaches about. I’ve been incorporating several lessons from her works over the years and I can not recommend her insights and wisdom enough - I know that dedicated artists like you will get a lot out of what Julia has to offer. 

Embracing playfulness 

You can’t get very far in a conversation with Julia Cameron without hearing about her passion for playfulness. Yes, that’s right, Julia is passionate about playfulness. If you've been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am a huge fan of encouraging artists to get in touch with their inner child and unlock that long-hidden impulse to play when it comes to their art. I thought I was serious about playfulness but Julia has me beat. What are you waiting for? The right moment? The perfect plan? Julia encourages you and me to stop overthinking it and just embrace our playfulness. Do something fun today! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:00] I introduce my guest, Julia Cameron. 
  • [6:00] Julia opens up about her experience writing her latest book. 
  • [10:00] Cultivating a practice of listening. 
  • [13:00] Listening to yourself. 
  • [19:30] How to deal with the inner critic. 
  • [26:00] What to do next. 
  • [30:00] Working from the heart. 
  • [37:00] Just try it. 
  • [41:00] Doing the work itself is the work. 
  • [45:00] Julia talks about her love for film. 
  • [48:00] Embracing playfulness. 
  • [50:00] Closing thoughts. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 29, 2021
Evolving In the Spirit of Exploration and Spontaneity: An Interview with Artist Katherine Bourdon 

If you were to sum up your creative career in a phrase or theme, what would it be? Has your style evolved over the years in little ways or in large shifts? If you are one of those artists that like to experiment and likes to play around and maybe feels like you are bouncing around a bit and dipping your paintbrush into many different genres of art, this is an episode for you! 

I am thrilled to introduce you to my talented guest, Katherine Bourdon. Katherine describes her work as “Constantly evolving in the spirit of exploration and spontaneity.” As an artist and a musician, Katherine thinks subconsciously in terms of sound quality with each painting. The visual and auditory senses are intertwined into a single experience as she perceives the sound as color and form, and vise versa. 

Join me for this conversation as Katherine opens up about how she got started as an artist, the challenges she has faced in her career, the habits that have helped her succeed, what it’s like as an artist with Synesthesia, and so much more! 

All over the place

If someone were to describe your artwork or your style as “All over the place.” Would you take that as a compliment or something different? How would you respond in the moment? When she heard someone describe her artwork as “All over the place,” Katherine didn’t miss a beat - was quick to explain that her biggest passion is, “Finding rhythm, pattern, and color in whatever the subject is.” Don’t be afraid to stand boldly in your vision of your artwork! It was so refreshing to hear Katherine confidently state exactly what she is trying to accomplish with her art as she invites her fellow artists to do the same.

Music and visual art explored through Synesthesia 

If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you’ve heard me mention my fascination with artists and individuals who experience Synesthesia. Katherine Bourdon was kind enough to open up about her journey as an artist who embraces Synesthesia in her artwork. 

Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway (for example, hearing) leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway (such as vision). Simply put, when one sense is activated, another unrelated sense is activated at the same time.

I was curious to find out about the connection between music and visual art that Katherine experiences - she says that she noticed it very early on when her mother would play music at the piano. Katherine would eventually come to describe her ability as “Hearing colors,” as she started to notice the difference between individual composers like Bach and Beethoven. What can you learn from Katherine’s journey? Make sure to check out the images of her artwork located at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:05] I introduce my guest, Katherine Bourdon. 
  • [6:00] How Katherine got started as an artist. 
  • [8:30] Early family influences. 
  • [11:00] The connection between music and visual art explored through Synesthesia. 
  • [20:00] Searching for style and incorporating exploration in painting. 
  • [27:30] How Katherine learned to paint and the impact that art history had on her. 
  • [29:30] Getting back into the studio after some time away. 
  • [33:30] Healthy habits that work for Katherine. 
  • [39:00] Challenging moments from Katherine’s career. 
  • [41:00] Katherine talks about her dream project. 
  • [44:00] Tips for emerging artists. 
  • [47:30] The future of art and art sales. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Apr 15, 2021
How Meditation Can Fuel Creativity: An Interview with Artist Michael Ryan

What helps you bring your full and authentic self to your time in your studio? Are there certain activities or habits that help you get in the right mindset to start your day and get those creative juices flowing? If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am a huge fan of meditation and mindfulness. I have seen the direct correlation between self-exploration and creative expression. Here to help us explore the connection between creativity and our inner life is the artist, Michael Ryan. 

Michael Ryan is an artist based in the Netherlands whose paintings have been exhibited nationally, as well as in the United States, Russia, and France. His artistic expression is influenced by being in the moment, and the act of paying attention. Ryan is especially inspired by what he observes around him. Primarily working with oils, pastels, and watercolors, he is fascinated by light, color, and the relationship formed between colors. His bold pieces are painted on metal or linen.

I can’t wait for you to get to know Michael, I know you will get a lot of valuable insight from his perspective - make sure to check out images of his artwork located at the end of this post. 

In sudden demand 

Can you imagine going from just making it as an artist and a waiter one week to find yourself in another country with suddenly 50 commissioned portraits lined up? While that scenario sounds made up, it actually happened to my guest, Michael Ryan! 

After a chance meeting with a Dutch businessman who offered to bring him to the Netherlands to paint the portraits of his two children, Michael was off to a new country and a totally new direction in his career. While some might find themselves intimidated by the sudden demand and clamoring for their work, Michael took it in stride. Looking back on this time in his career, Michael reflects on how much he really enjoyed capturing someone's essence on the canvas. 

Finding your center 

Over the years it has been an honor to speak with artists who come from all walks of life. It always intrigues me to hear how each one of my guests has managed to find their center. Some might call this their “Why,” or their “Purpose,” or their “Calling.” Some might just refer to finding their true self. For Michael Ryan, his working day begins early with yoga and long walking meditation. By taking this step early in the day, Michael finds his mind and body united, focused, and prepared for creative expression back in the studio. What practices have helped you find your center? 

Trust yourself 

As you navigate the challenges of a career as an artist, Michael and I encourage you to spend that time investing in your inner life. While some might not find as great a benefit as others, the investment is well worth it. What do you have to lose in taking the time to learn about meditation and other practices? You might just find that you learn some helpful insights about yourself along the way. Don’t let others direct your path, trust yourself - you won’t regret it. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:05] I introduce my guest, Michael Ryan. 
  • [2:00] How did Michael end up in Amsterdam? 
  • [7:30] 50 portraits in three years?
  • [9:30] Learning the Dutch language. 
  • [11:30] Was Michael intimidated by the tsunami of portrait commissions? 
  • [15:30] What drew Michael back to New York? 
  • [18:30] How did Michael deal with moving with all of his art and supplies? 
  • [20:30] What is Micahel currently working on? 
  • [24:30] Finding inner quiet before you enter the studio. 
  • [38:00] Michael describes his series, “Shimmering Mess” 
  • [44:00] How has the pandemic affected Michael’s time in the studio? 
  • [48:30] Do you incorporate your emotions and thoughts into your art as they come? 
  • [50:20] Trust in yourself. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 01, 2021
Exploring the Bush: An Interview with Figurative Landscape Artist Mary Tonkin

What is it that catches your eye when you are determining what to paint? Do you look for color that speaks to you, are you drawn to certain subjects or locations? Growing up in Australia, Mary Tonkin quickly became enamored with, “The bush” - a term mostly used in the English vernacular of Australia and New Zealand where it is largely synonymous with backwoods or hinterland, referring to a natural undeveloped area.

Mary completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1995 and a Master of Fine Arts in 2002 at Monash University, where she has also lectured. Tonkin has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney since 1999. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, and internationally in New York. 

It was my privilege to host Mary for a live session of our interview. It was a joy to have Mary open up about her process, what she sees when she’s out here in the bush, how she juggles life as a working mother, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to get to know Mary’s engaging story! 

Brining the bush to life 

When you speak with Mary, you get a quick impression that she means business when she talks about slowing down and paying attention. For Mary, phrases like stillness, being present, and “taking in” a place, aren't' strangers - they are well-known companions on her journey. While it may be challenging to have a living and constantly changing subject like the Australian bush, Mary says that the experience has been well worth it. What stands out to you when you observe Mary’s artwork? Make sure to catch images of her paintings located at the end of this post. 

Learning to adapt 

Working in the wilderness in many ways can prepare you for challenging situations you face later in life. Learning to prepare for variables that you can’t control is a helpful training ground for parents. Mary was kind enough to open up about her experience as a working mother trying to navigate her time in the wilderness with her responsibilities at home. At the end of the day, it all comes down to quality over quantity for Mary, she is grateful for the time in the bush that she can reserve. 

Feeding your curiosity 

I loved hearing from Mary about her own journey with compartmentalizing her painting life for both the good and bad, I know so many artists just like her! One big takeaway from my conversation with Mary comes down to the value of feeding your curiosity. Some of us love to explore our curiosity over conversations with friends, while others need time in solitude. What works best for you? How do you feed your curiosity and let it fuel your creativity? I want to hear from you! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:00] I welcome my guest, Mary Tonkin. 
  • [3:15] How Mary got started as an artist. 
  • [6:15] Mary describes her artwork. 
  • [10:45] How does Mary manage the seeming complexity in her paintings? 
  • [16:00] Mary opens up about how wildfires and COVID-19 have impacted her work.
  • [18:30] The challenge of conveying color from the wild. 
  • [20:30] Using collage to branch out. 
  • [23:00] What is it like working in the wild? Do you incorporate changes in the landscape? 
  • [27:15] Artists that inspire Mary. 
  • [29:30] How Mary gets “Unstuck.” 
  • [35:00] Why it’s important to Mary to nurture her curiosity. 
  • [39:15] What Mary wants people to experience when they see her artwork. 
  • [41:00] Artwork that Mary wishes she owned. 
  • [44:30] Why it can be good to embrace your stubbornness. 
  • [46:00] Compartmentalizing and focusing on what works.
  • [47:30] Mary answers questions from listeners about her process.
  • [54:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 18, 2021
No Way Out: A Conversation with Artist Dean Mitchell, Art Patron Kathy Flynn, and Gallery Director Nicole Wolff

When was the last time you encountered a painting that really moved you? What feelings did the painting evoke? Did your initial impression of the painting remain or change the more you pondered it? I love hearing stories from fellow artists who have found themselves entranced by or enamored with the artwork of their peers. On this special episode, I had the opportunity to speak with a returning Savvy Painter guest, Dean Mitchell as well as Art Patron Kathy Flynn, and Gallery Director Nicole Wolff. 

Thinking back to my first conversation with Dean for this podcast, it’s quite appropriate that we discussed the transformative power of art. Dean’s painting and the subject of our conversation, “No Way Out” is a great example of that. Dean's painting was recently added to the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Fine Art.

On this episode, you will hear Dean talk about what this painting means to him, and why he created it. Then you will hear from Kathy Flynn - Kathy's father was involved in the civil rights movement in the '60s, she fell in love with art when she traveled with her parents through Europe visiting museums. Kathy first saw "No Way Out" at the Cutter and Cutter Gallery in St. Augustine, Florida two years ago.

She'll tell us why seeing this painting again after the murder of George Floyd moved her so much that she not only bought it but worked with Dean and our third guest, Nicole Wolff (director of Cutter & Cutter Fine Art ) to get it into the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art. 

What inspired “No Way Out” 

Dean Mitchell sees his painting, “No Way Out” as an evolution of his own life, growing up as a Black kid in poverty in the American South. Looking at Dean's painting, it really draws you in and it feels like it almost wants to tell you something. Many people, Dean says, are often surprised when he tells them that the man in the painting is on the other side of the jail cell, he’s not inside where many people assume he is located. 

Dean says that he wanted to create this painting to challenge the perception of the Black male in American society. Too often, people bring their assumed narrative and transpose it onto our artwork - for good and for ill. By drawing people in with his minimalist style, Dean is welcoming discerning viewers to joining a necessary and relevant conversation about race.

This needs to be in a museum 

Last year’s heartbreaking killing of George Floyd has spurred people with platforms like myself to find a way to shine a light on the stain and legacy of racism in our society. I don’t just want to have the conversation, I want to be part of the solution. In a similar way, my guests Nicole Wolff and Kathy Flynn felt the same way about Dean’s painting. They were so moved and inspired by the message that Dean is sharing and the conversation that his painting has sparked that they knew they needed to get as many people to encounter it as possible. After a lot of hard work, Kathy, Nicole, and Dean were able to get “No Way Out” into the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:20] I welcome my guests, Kathy Flynn, Nicole Wolff, and Dean Mitchell. 
  • [5:00] What inspired Dean’s painting, “No Way Out”
  • [8:30] Kathy talks about her experience seeing Dean’s painting for the first time. 
  • [14:30] Nicole talks about how Cutter & Cutter brought Dean into their gallery. 
  • [21:00] Kathy shares some of her background. 
  • [25:00] How has “No Way Out” impacted Kathy, Nicole, and Dean? 
  • [34:20] Dean explains how he feels about his artwork featured in a museum. 
  • [40:00] When did Dean paint, “No Way Out?” 
  • [42:20] What is the “Black box narrative?” 
  • [46:45] How do we broaden the narrative around “Black art?” 
  • [54:00] Giving back. 
  • [56:30] What it feels like to have your artwork deliver the message you intended. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 04, 2021
Bringing Art to Life: An Interview with Artist, Nicholas Wilton

Have you struggled with integrating the various aspects of your day to day into a workflow that respects your responsibilities AND your passion for art? How do you avoid burning out and feeling like you’ve wasted too much of your life? 

If you’ve ever wondered if there was a way to truly bring your art to all aspects of your life - you’ve come to the right place! Here to help me dive into this critical topic that burdens so many of us is my friend and fellow artist, Nicholas Wilton. 

Hailing from San Francisco, California, Nicholas studied art at the College of Creative Studies in Santa Barbara and then went on to receive his BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Wilton’s paintings are seen in yearly gallery exhibitions, International Art Fairs, and are included in numerous private and corporate collections in both the United States and Europe. Nicholas is also the founder of Art2Life, an online platform that strives to build, empower, and inspire the creative community. 

I can’t wait for you to get to know my engaging and insightful friend as he helps us explore what it really means to bring our art to life - you don’t want to miss it!

What is ART2LIFE? 

Thousands of artists listen to and believe this lie every day and they walk away from the passion and energy that set them on their creative path - what is the lie? 

You aren’t good enough. You’ll never make it. No one wants to buy your art. Only the supremely talented can make any money off of their art. Do any of these lines sound familiar? 

What if there was a way to silence those lies that swirl around and re-train your mindset? With his Art2Life program, Nicholas strives to build, empower, and inspire the creative community. Nicholas wants to flip the script and help us shift our focus away from competition to sharing. His program is all about finding what inspires and brings you joy, and making art that is more and more like yourself.

The process of becoming yourself 

If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am passionate about empowering artists like you to fully realize your potential and chase after your dreams. It’s been so encouraging to meet and speak with artists like Nicholas who have dedicated their lives to their craft but to also helping others discover the joy of creative fulfillment. If you find yourself wondering if you’ll ever be able to talk about your art like Nicholas does - STOP! Remember, this isn’t about who you can be most like, it’s about discovering the real YOU. Give yourself patience and space to continue the process of discovery - we are all works in progress! 

Pay attention to your energy and mindset

While it might sound silly, the truth is, the energy you bring to your studio matters. Maybe for you, it is all about that cup of coffee or maybe it’s about getting in an early morning run - the actions we take before we decide to sit down and create can have a huge impact on our artwork! As you continue to explore this critical topic with Nicholas, I encourage you to begin paying attention to what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how it is impacting your creative process - the result might surprise you! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:25] I introduce my guest, Nicholas Wilton. 
  • [4:00] Nicholas talks about the moment when everything came crashing down. 
  • [8:00] Setting intentions and turning over a new leaf. 
  • [11:00] What is, “ART2LIFE?” 
  • [15:00] Why the world needs YOUR art.
  • [20:30] The process of becoming yourself. 
  • [28:45] Nicholas opens up about “getting stuck.” 
  • [33:30] Pay attention to the energy you want to bring to the studio. 
  • [37:00] How you can learn from Nicholas’ innovative approach. 
  • [40:30] Closing thoughts. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode 

Connect With Antrese

Jan 28, 2021
Why you might struggle to create (and what to do about it).

Sometimes we can sabotage our creativity without even realizing it. We think we can buckle down or toughen up to just get it done. But what if there is a better way to inspire your creativity? What if you can create from a place of authentic joy without the drama? That's what we explore in this episode of the Savvy Painter podcast!

Jan 21, 2021
Office Hours with Antrese and Elisia Keown

How do you feel heading into 2021? Do you feel like you just need the clock to strike 12:01 am on January 1st, 2021 before you can even begin to hope for anything good? This  has been a tough year, to say the least. But what if there was a way to acknowledge the struggle without letting it bog you down and rob you of your fun, joy, and passion for your art? As I’ve grown and developed professionally over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and alongside some amazing people like my good friend, Elisia Keown. 


I get the chance to chat with Elisia several times a week as we both continue to develop and grow in our respective professions and I wanted to invite you all along for one of our conversations. Pay close attention, Elisia has some helpful insights that I know you’ll find useful, don’t miss it! 


Setting impossible goals


What comes to mind when you hear, “Impossible goals.” Does it sound like a recipe for failure for you? When was the last time you set an ambitious goal? Here is the thing when it comes to goal setting, most people are terrible at it! We use excuses like New Year's resolutions to make half-hearted attempts at change but many of us find ourselves right back where we started. How do you make this time different from every other time you’ve tried and received lackluster results? You’ve got to aim higher. Yes, an impossible goal should scare you and make you a little panicky, that’s the point! 


Talk to yourself!


Do you need permission to talk to yourself? Seriously! It sounds crazy but I promise - it’s not! Our brains are designed to make sense out of complex experiences, thoughts, and encounters - talking it out helps. Whether you  write in a journal or talk out loud - I encourage you to give it a try - without feeling self conscious! Have tried this before? What was your experience like? Make sure to join the conversation, I want to hear from you! 


Thinking of failure as an opportunity 


I used to hate failure. I’d take it personally, like I’d done something wrong - or worse like there was something wrong with ME. Do you ever feel that way when it comes to failure? Instead of constantly telling and teaching myself to do everything possible to avoid failure, I decided to embrace it. What if the failure was less of a punishment and more of an opportunity to learn and grow? In my conversation with Elisia, I even compare my failures these days to coins that Mario collects in Mario brothers!


Outline of This Episode


  • [1:00] Elisia talks about how we met. 
  • [2:30] The value of setting an impossible goal. 
  • [6:30] Don’t be afraid to talk to yourself! 
  • [10:30] Sorting your thoughts and using a journal. 
  • [18:00] Looking ahead. 
  • [26:00] Setting yourself up for success. 
  • [28:30] Thinking of failure as a learning step. 
  • [38:00] Daily lessons and small tasks. 
  • [41:00] What do you do with the negative thoughts that pop up? 
  • [45:00] Finding your voice and listening to it. 
  • [47:00] Closing thoughts.
Dec 31, 2020
Dedication, Focus, and Setting the Right Priorities: An Interview with Artist Steven Walker

In this interview with the artist Steven Walker, we explore how dedication, focus, and setting the right priorities creates an environment that empowers creativity and excellence in the studio.

What grounds you in the chaos that life throws your way? Is your painting what grounds you and keeps you headed in the right direction? Maybe for you, it’s family or friends who keep you focused on what really matters in life. While the answer might change from person to person, the truth is, we all need something that helps us keep it all in perspective. 

It was an honor to speak with my guest, Steven Walker as we explored what it takes to make the most of the hand you're dealt. From parenting, understanding depression, honing your craft, and so much more - Steven was kind enough to really open up in our wide-ranging conversation - I know that artists like you will learn a lot! 

How Painter Steven Walker Learned the hard way

Every artist has that one hurdle that stands in their way - some of us deal with multiple hurdles at once and often at different times through our lives.

Steven Walker remembers learning several lessons in his life the hard way - one, in particular, was the first time he tried to mix colors for his first painting. 

Then, fresh out of high school, Steven quickly learned that being the most talented in a high school doesn’t mean much in college. Steven excelled in high school where he honed his skill at drawing but he never took the opportunity at the canvas. You would never guess that Steven’s creative journey started that way by looking at his artwork today! 

Rolling with the punches

Let’s face it, no one plans on having to struggle with mental health. For years, Steven struggled with depression, he couldn’t understand what it was that was holding him back for so long. Eventually, Steven got the help he needed to thrive and live with his depression - he learned how to roll with the punches. If you want to succeed, you need to find what works for you - every one of us has a different answer for how we will face adversity and challenges when they arise.

Finding your center

One of the best ways to weather the storms that life throws your way is to find your center. While the rest of the world might assume that we live to work, the truth is we need something that grounds us just like everyone else.

Steven's center is his family, plain and simple. When things go crazy in life, Steven buckles down and makes sure that his family is OK above all else. You can also see this theme of finding your center expressed through Steven’s artwork, make sure to check out images of his artwork located at the end of this post.


Outline of this episode

  • [2:30] I welcome my guest, artist Steven Walker. 
  • [4:30] Early artistic influences. 
  • [6:00] How Steven got started as a painter. 
  • [16:30] Struggling to get noticed. 
  • [25:00] Steven opens up about his habits and how he approaches the canvas. 
  • [30:00] Navigating COVID as a painter, partner, and parent. 
  • [35:00] Steven shares how he has lived with depression over the years. 
  • [45:00] Why family is so important to Steven. 
  • [49:00] The most pivotal moments in Steven’s career. 
  • [54:00] Balancing family life and an art career. 
Dec 17, 2020
Understanding Perfectionism 

Do you find yourself struggling with perfectionism? What do you do to turn down the volume and focus on what really matters? I’ve heard from so many of my friends and peers over the years about this topic that I decided to open it up to my Groth Studio participants. Several students were kind enough to open up about how they’ve dealt with perfectionism in the past and the strategies they used to overcome. If you are ready to wrestle back control of your life from the clutches of perfectionism - then this is the episode for you - you don’t want to miss it! 

Confusing perfectionism with excellence 

What’s so bad about perfectionism? Doesn’t a good dose of nervous paranoia help fuel you on your journey to excellence? No! Perfectionism and excellence are not the same things. Excellence is internally motivated - it causes us to reach higher, to become a forever student, and continually improve our creative process. Your baseline with excellence is that you belong at the table - you have something worthy to offer. 

On the other hand, perfectionism is externally motivated - it makes you always ask, “What will THEY think?” Perfectionism starts and ends with - I am not enough. When your starting point is “I am not enough” it encourages judgment of yourself and other people - it causes you to contract and shrink. 

Which route sounds best to you? Do you want to be constrained by what others think or do you want a more positive and healthy outlook? What are you going to do today to put you on the path that’s best for you? There’s no time like right now! 

Don’t let fear have control!

Rember that last thing you had to do that you absolutely dreaded about? Do you remember how your muscles tensed up, your temperature rose, and your heart started beating faster? Were all that worry, stress, and fear really worth it in the end? Why are we letting fear have control over our lives? It’s time we learned how to stand up to the circumstances that life throws our way in a healthy and constructive manner. Allow yourself to slow down, acknowledge the feelings you are experiencing, and then move on. Just because you experience a wave of frustration and anger, it doesn’t mean you have to lose your temper - let the feeling come and then let it pass - you have the control! 

Embrace accidents and paint from a place of love

The biggest casualty to the trap of perfectionism is often our artwork. Just think of all the amazing projects that never came to light because we listened to another voice - the wrong voice. I don’t want my life ruled by fear and the opinion of others - there is too much freedom out there to enjoy! Over the years, I have found that the best way to move forward is to remember that I paint from a place of love. I love myself, I love my life, and I love my art - it might sound silly but just starting with those intentions can make all the difference. What will you do to conquer the power of perfectionism in your life? Let me know what works for you! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:00] My introduction to today’s episode on perfectionism.
  • [5:00] Confusing perfectionism with excellence. 
  • [7:30] Jenny opens up about her struggles with perfectionism. 
  • [10:30] How fear hijacks our lives. 
  • [13:45] Dancing with fear. 
  • [18:15] We always have a choice. 
  • [21:30] How confirmation bias works. 
  • [23:30] Painting from a place of love. 
  • [30:30] The danger of falling into the comparison trap. 
  • [38:00] Choose the thought that moves you forward. 
  • [41:30] Learning to embrace accidents. 
  • [44:00] Don’t edit yourself - take your power back! 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Dec 03, 2020
From Sketching Handbags to Creating Reclaimed Earth Colors and More: An Interview with Artist, John Sabraw

Have you ever felt like you just don’t “fit in” at non-artist gatherings? What do you do with that feeling? Do you shrink back and retreat to the safety of your peers and insulate? Or do you press into the discomfort and forge your path? Everyone’s story is going to be different and that’s the beauty of our corner of society, we embrace the mosaic of diversity - but what would it look like if we were to integrate our creative outlook with other areas? 

That’s where my guest and talented artist, John Sabraw comes in! Hailing from Lakenheath, England, John is an activist and environmentalist - his paintings, drawings, and collaborative installations are produced in an eco-conscious manner, and he continually works toward a fully sustainable practice. In our conversation, John opens up about his time working with Kerry James Marshall and how he got involved with Gamblin and producing their reclaimed earth colors. Trust me, you’ll find John’s perspective refreshing and engaging - I know I did! 

Throwing it all away 

You know those days where you feel like tossing everything in your studio in the garbage? Imagine doing that and then getting an invitation to Washington DC to meet members of Congress because your art was selected as the winner of a competition. Sounds crazy, right? It actually happened to John Sabraw! 

As he struggled in high school and tried to decipher the way he wanted his life to go, John reached a breaking point where he just had to walk away. He took all his artwork that he had completed in his high school art class and tossed it in the dumpster and then took off for a week. When he returned, what he saw changed the course of his career - his teacher had entered him into a contest and he had won! John’s journey wasn’t all smooth sailing from there - he faced setbacks and challenges but this initial success helped see the talent he had honed. 

Speaking your truth 

How does your truth, your authenticity show up in your artwork? Do you try to embrace it or do you try to go in a different direction? As the United States was gearing up for the Iraq war in 2003, John felt like he needed to speak out and share his conviction that war was not the answer with his art. The result was a fierce backlash that made John rethink his approach and if he wanted to make a stand that would continue to incur this type of reaction from people. John didn’t back down, he just decided to change his approach - this launched him on the path to his work with sustainability and activism. 

Exploring sustainability 

Imagine visiting a community ravished by the scourge of industrial waste and environmental destruction and finding in that mess and contamination a way to create sustainable paint colors. No, this isn’t a pipe dream, this actually happed with John’s efforts to collaborate with scientists on many projects. One of his current collaborations involves creating paint and paintings from iron oxide extracted in the process of remediating polluted streams. I hope you are as inspired by John’s story as I have been - make sure to check out images of John’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:50] I introduce my guest, John Sabraw. 
  • [4:00] How did John get started as an artist? 
  • [18:30] John describes his artwork. 
  • [25:00] Speaking authentically and truthfully. 
  • [27:30] Exploring sustainability. 
  • [33:00] How artists can help with creative problem-solving. 
  • [45:00] Why we need more artists who speak up and break out of their silos. 
  • [52:00] You don’t have to be an expert to contribute to the conversation.  
  • [55:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Nov 19, 2020
Thinking Big: From Idea to Action

How do you feel about the big idea you’ve been keeping on the back burner? Does the thought of executing your big idea fill you with excitement, dread, or somewhere in-between? Those big creative ideas that bubble up deserve their time to shine - so what are you waiting for? 

Let’s face it, most of us shy away from pulling the trigger on a big idea because we are scared or overwhelmed. What if there was a way to sidestep the obstacles that block you from executing your big idea? You’ve come to the right place! I took the opportunity to get feedback from amazing artists like you who are doing their best to forge ahead with their big ideas. I know that you’ll find helpful insights that will encourage you on your creative journey - don’t miss it!

Don’t let your doubts win 

There comes a time when everyone will have to come face to face with their internal doubts. Some people face this challenge early on in their creative journey and some face small doubts that creep in and disrupt in a more subtle way. If you really want to succeed and take on the big ambitious ideas that have been waiting to break out - you’ve got to learn how to deal with your doubts. Your doubts may never completely go away, and that’s ok - but they don’t have to control your life! 

Turning obstacles into a to-do list 

In much the same way that you can’t let your doubts control your life, you also can’t let obstacles become an excuse. Too often I’ve seen talented artists get stuck in the quicksand of chores, shortcomings, distractions, and more. You don’t have to surrender to the obstacles that block your path to executing your big idea. What if you listed out the obstacles that stand in your way and turn that list into a do-to list that will empower you on your journey? What do you have to lose? Give the to-list method a shot! 

Give yourself permission to change and adapt along the way 

One of the obvious ways to fuel the fire of creativity and take on big ideas is to give yourself permission to do the risky thing and even succeed. If you’ve been part of the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am passionate about helping artists like you adopt a healthy and growth-focused mindset. Year after year, artists with a ton of potential find themselves throwing in the towel because they can’t bring themselves to adapt and change along the way. As crucial as it is to give yourself permission to succeed, you’ve also got to give yourself room to go in a new direction. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] My introduction to this episode. 
  • [4:00] How listening to your doubts can throw a wrench in your plans. 
  • [7:00] Thinking of obstacles as a to-do list. 
  • [14:30] Are you ok with getting uncomfortable? 
  • [17:30] So what if you don’t knock it out of the park? 
  • [21:00] Have a plan but be ready to change along the way. 
  • [24:30] Why constraints can be helpful. 
  • [29:30] Are you really committed to your big idea? Give yourself permission to go for it! 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 29, 2020
Cityscapes and Shifting Perspectives: An Interview with Artist, Mike East

When it comes to your time at the canvas, do you paint from observation or with reference photos and other tools? Have you had the opportunity to experiment with the size and scale of your paintings? I know that artists like you will be thrilled to hear from the brilliant and talented artist, Mike East. 

Mike is a representational painter who lives in Flordia with his wife and two children. Over the course of our conversation, Mike and I discussed how the choice of canvas size can impact your painting, how Mike’s thought process shifts when he changes his subject matter, and so much more. I know that artists like you will learn a lot from Mike’s seasoned perspective - make sure to check out the images of Mike’s artwork located at the end of this post! 

Cityscapes and finding the right perspective

Think of your favorite work of art that you’ve produced in the last year- what is it that stands out in your mind? Do you love how the colors turned out? Are you over the moon about the lighting and textures you were able to convey? Mike East spent over ten years working almost exclusively on cityscapes as he plodded and navigated his early career. Through all the challenges over the years, Mike points out that getting the right perspective with his cityscape projects really helped him grow as an artist. In fact, stepping out of that area of success and comfort proved to be challenging and rewarding in the next phase he now finds himself in.

Making a mindset shift 

Let’s face it, most people abhor change - they construct their whole lives around avoiding discomfort and change - many artists aren’t any different. If you have any intention of growing as an artist, you need to make your peace with “Change.” Don’t look at change as the enemy, look at it as an opportunity to explore and expand your skillset. After years of working on cityscapes, Mike East was ready for a change and that journey began with preparing his mindset for a significant shift. 

The challenge and freedom of “Going big”

I love talking to my fellow artists when it comes to the subject of scale - from huge murals to small paintings - it’s a joy to see artists light up over the parameters they’ve set for themselves. When it comes to the parameters of your canvas, do you find it liberating or constricting? Does going small or going large fill you with a sense of freedom or dread? Imagine what it would look like to push past those feelings to explore new possibilities. When I talked to Mike East about the scale and scope of his paintings - I really got the sense that Mike relishes the freedom that large-scale paintings give him. What can you learn from Mike’s story? Make sure to check out the link to mike’s website and his Instagram account located in the resources section. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:30] I introduce my guest, Mike East. 
  • [6:00] Mike talks about how he got started as an artist. 
  • [7:30] What really lights Mike up. 
  • [11:00] Why Mike loves working on a large scale. 
  • [17:30] Investigating complexity. 
  • [24:00] Mike talks about his time in college. 
  • [36:00] Giving yourself permission to work outside of the box. 
  • [42:30] Mike opens up about his time visiting Europe. 
  • [45:30] How COVID has impacted Mike’s work life. 
  • [50:30] The challenge of working from life when it comes to cityscapes. 
  • [54:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 15, 2020
Empowering Young Artists: An Interview with Artist, Jerarde Gutierrez

Who was it that inspired and empowered you as you began your journey as an artist? Did you have a family member who nurtured and encouraged your creative aspirations? Maybe it was a peer or a mentor from afar - almost everyone has that special person or group of people who spurred them on as an artist. 

While our world continues to grow more interconnected with the help of the internet, it’s important to remember the critical role of in-person and local art communities and expressions. My guest is someone who benefited from and gives back to local youth initiatives to empower young people on their creative journeys. 

Jerarde Gutierrez is an artist and Arts Program Coordinator as well as a Co-Program Manager of the ACOE IL Dept. Management of program centers around coordination of Integrated Arts Learning spaces at the REACH Ashland Youth Center, a project of Alameda County. Jerarde describes his work as “Rooted in representational painting.” Lately, he has been gravitating towards painting En Plein Air as it allows for fluid brushstrokes, contrasting textures, and interplay of representational and abstraction to capture the essence of a place.

An early push in the creative direction 

Looking back on his start as an artist, Jerarde is quick to point out how much of an impact his mother had on his development. As a crafty and creative person herself, Jerarde’s mother filled him with the confidence and boldness he would need as he entered the art world. After his mother laid a solid foundation, Jerarde was able to work closely with the renowned West Coast muralist, John Wehrle. While Jerarde felt like an annoying mosquito buzzing around and annoying people with his questions, the truth is - their kindness and embrace helped Jerarde grow as an artist by leaps and bounds. 

Giving back 

After receiving so much generosity in his early years from his mother, John Wehrle, and many others - Jerarde jumped at the chance to give back and help others on their journey. These days, Jerarde spends a portion of his time as an Arts Program Coordinator. What Jerarde loves about his work with young people is seeing their potential and then watching that spark fan into a flame of passion and dedication. Can you relate to Jerarde’s story? What do you do to honor those who came before you and paved the way - I want to hear from you! 

Taking the job seriously 

Let’s face it, mastering a technique, or getting a process just right is stressful! Too often, many artists let the overwhelm, self-doubt, fear, and so many other obstacles get in the way of their creative process in the studio. Don’t let these limiting factors rob you of the joy you deserve creating the art you love! Jerarde encourages his students and peers to look at their work as an artist like they would a typical job - put in the time and effort even when you don’t feel like it! You really get the sense that Jerearde practices what he preaches - his artwork is focused and inspiring. Make sure to check out images of Jerarde’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:00] I introduce my guest, Jerarde Gutierrez. 
  • [6:00] How Jerade’s mom and his comic artwork got him into the Richmond Art Center. 
  • [12:00] Jerarde talks about mentorship fatigue. 
  • [14:00] The impact that Jerade’s mother has had on him. 
  • [20:00] Taking the job seriously. 
  • [22:15] Giving back and helping others. 
  • [24:14] Why it’s crucial to learn about the arts. 
  • [33:00] Jerarde talks about how he engages with his students. 
  • [38:00] What does “Deliberate practice” mean? 
  • [43:00] Jerarde opens up about his current obsession. 
  • [50:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 24, 2020
Office Hours with Antrese: Understanding our Fear of Failure 

What comes to mind when you think of the word, failure? Do you start internalizing the word? Do you hear that inner voice roaring the negative talk that sends you spinning? Or have you found a way forward to understand and overcome the fear of failure that plagues so many artists? 

By no means will I say that I’ve discovered all the answers or everything you need to know when it comes to recognizing your fear of failure and moving past it. I have learned from first-hand experience what works and what doesn’t and I’ve heard from my peers like you! This episode is another offering of my Office Hours sessions that give you a peek into the helpful community I’ve built with the Savvy Painter. Make sure to chime in - I can’t wait to hear how this one lands with you! 

Set yourself up for success

Time and time again, the two common issues I hear about from my Growth Studio participants is the challenge to get started and the challenge to finish a work of art. Do you ever struggle with these challenges? What about failing to eliminate distractions? There are so many factors both big and small that can impact your focus and productivity in the studio. If you struggle with these challenges and distractions, you aren’t alone! I encourage you to connect with peers either digitally or in-person (where possible with COVID) there are so many ways we can help each other. 

Don’t make it personal! 

Look, I get it - beating up on yourself can become so commonplace that you get lulled into thinking it’s normal - it doesn’t have to be! Sure, self-critique can be helpful and you do want to nurture that aspect of your growth but not negative talk. How do you spot the difference between being critical and talking negatively about yourself? Write it out! If you find yourself in a particularly critical mode, write out the critiques in your head on paper - then you can see in black and white if they are negative and personal attacks or fair critiques. 

The key to becoming a confident painter 

The key to success and confidence as an artist is to avoid failure at all costs! NO - that’s not true at all. If you were to look at the way our society shapes us - you’ll see that it does train us to avoid discomfort and pain. If you can re-train yourself to think of failure not as an ultimate letdown but as a stepping stone to success, you’ll see your confidence skyrocket. Expect failure, anticipate it, and let it be part of your story - let failure fuel your growth - you are worth the extra effort! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:30] How many artists experience failure. 
  • [5:30] Common negative thoughts we often have. 
  • [10:15] Distancing failure from your self-worth. 
  • [16:00] A visualization exercise you can try. 
  • [18:00] The key to becoming a confident painter. 
  • [21:00] Why it’s OK to make mistakes. 
  • [25:00] Closing thoughts. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 10, 2020
Solving Puzzles, Slowing Down, and Listening to Your Instincts: An Interview with Artist Sarah Intemann

How did you get to where you are right now in your career? Can you remember and identify clear moments that brought you to where you are today? How have you evolved over the years? It’s funny how often we become unaware of the passage of time - you think you’ll be stuck in a phase FOREVER and blink - 10 years go by just like that! 

I’m learning to slow down and really appreciate the time I’m in, yes even with COVID and I hope that my conversation with Sarah Intemann encourages you to do the same. 

Sarah is an abstract artist who lives in New York City. Graduating college with a Fine Art degree, she moved to NYC and has been exhibiting and painting ever since. It is on the New York subways that she constantly sketched and developed a line-focused abstract language that she uses today in her work. 

I can’t wait for you to hear Sarah’s fascinating perspective and yes, her total nerdiness when it comes to her medium. Make sure to catch images of Sarah’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Slowing down

When you are young, the last thing you want to do is to slow down. Kids love to run around the yard, speed down steep hills on bikes, and a ton of other crazy imaginations that give their parents a heart attack. While there are plenty of people who have grey in their hair that still enjoy life on the edge, most learn to enjoy the quiet and slower pace of life. 

In NYC of all places, you can imagine that the idea of “Slowing down” isn’t a popular one - something is happening all the time, the city never sleeps. Somehow, in the middle of that busy and bustling city, Sarah learned to do the impossible, slow down. When you learn to slow down, you start to notice things you’ve never noticed before - you discover little details that can become whole worlds unto themselves. I loved hearing how Sarah took the time to get into the practice of slowing down intentionally and how much it helped her professionally. 

Once Sarah was able to slow down, she started to really listen to what she wanted to do. Have you ever found it difficult to find your voice or to tune out all the noise in your life? According to Sarah, slowing down gave her the capacity to listen to her internal creative voice. 

Dreaming big

What will you take away from Sarah’s powerful example of creativity, patience, and hard work? It was great to get to include one of my favorite questions in my conversation with Sarah, I asked her what she would do if she had all the resources at her disposal for any project. Never the one to play it safe, Sarah swang for the fences - she said that she’d like to go BIG and use a whole room to create a project! Don’t you find yourself rooting for her? I know that I do! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:20] I welcome my guest, Sarah Intemann. 
  • [7:40] Sarah talks about her creative process. 
  • [18:20] What keeps Sarah coming back to abstract artwork? 
  • [22:40] How Sarah names her paintings. 
  • [27:30] What aspect of painting has been the most challenging for Sarah? 
  • [34:00] Artists that have inspired Sarah over the years. 
  • [41:00] With unlimited resources, what project would Sarah work on? 
  • [43:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Aug 27, 2020
Office Hours with Antrese: Adapting to New Challenges, How to Get Out of Your Own Way, & more! 

The last time we had an Office Hours episode I got a ton of positive feedback so I decided it would be good to feature another session. These topics and questions come from our Savvy Painter Growth Studio. Artists just like you who are looking for ways to hone their craft and move their creative process forward have all found a supportive environment with the Growth Studio. 

For just a peek into what the Growth Studio has to offer, I wanted to share some of these helpful topics and insights with the larger Savvy Painter audience. From adapting to the challenges that life throws our way to unpacking what it means to “Get out of your own way,” I know you’ll find something that will resonate with you and hope you share it! 

Learning to adapt 

Don’t you hate it when life doesn’t go according to the script you’ve written out in your head? I can’t be the only one, can I? I can’t be the only one who has made a major career change or moved to a different country, right? 

While your challenges might not look like my challenges, the truth is - we all have our own challenges to face and overcome. Part of learning to adapt to whatever life throws your way is figuring out how to assess the situation. Do you need to make temporary changes or do you need to adapt your schedule and expectations? Will this decision impact your family or your income? How will adjust to suit your goals? It’s going to look different for each person but you have to be willing to be in a mindset to adapt and that starts by assessing the situation. 

Doing the work 

Do you have a vision of where you want to be this time next year? What type of projects do you want to be working on? What are your creative goals? What are your professional goals? If you don’t have a vision of where you want to be, chances are, you’ll never get there. Setting a goal is the easy part, doing the work is where it really gets challenging. 

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that doing the work can take a lot out of you - but you have to keep pushing. One way to stay focused on the work is to narrow your focus to one area you want to improve in - you don’t have to transform overnight. By setting achievable goals on a specific area you’ll find that the process becomes more and more familiar. 

Getting out of your own way

Have you ever been told that you just need to “Get out of your own way?” What does that even mean? How do you know that you are “In your own way?” I’ve been told that I needed to “Get out of my own way” and the truth is, I didn’t know what to do with that for a long time. 

Over the years I’ve come to understand this saying as an artist who blocks themselves or sabotages their own path when things start to progress. I see this happen to artists all the time and I want to make sure you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to keep selling yourself short - all you need to do is to shift your perspective.

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:00] My introduction to this special Office Hours episode. 
  • [6:20] Learning to adapt to new circumstances. 
  • [11:00] Narrowing it down and “Doing the work.” 
  • [14:30] Push through or change course? 
  • [19:20] How do you “Get out of your own way?” 
  • [26:30] Practical ways to get out of your own way.
  • [29:30] Balancing the demand for commissions and creating your projects. 
  • [35:45] Closing thoughts. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Aug 13, 2020
Exploring Large Scale Paintings: An Interview with Artist, Jivan Lee

Have you ever stood in awe of a large scale painting? When was the last time you felt like a painting sucked you in so totally that you could almost say you lost yourself in that painting? I love to explore and encounter the sheer magnificence that large scale paintings have to offer. Here to give us a welcome peek behind the curtain of his large scale paintings is the artist, Jivan Lee. 

Jivan Lee is an oil painter based in Taos, NM. He grew up in Woodstock, NY, and studied painting at Bard College. His work explores the nature of paint as raw material, creator of image, and catalyst for emotional response, and is increasingly addressing the complexities of how humans see and shape the environment. 

Jivan's paintings have been exhibited nationally and covered in publications such as Fine Art Connoisseur, The Denver Post, Hyperallergic, Southwest Art, Phoenix Home and Garden, Art Business News, and Two Coats of Paint among others. In addition to painting as much as time allows, Jivan occasionally teaches.

Large scale paintings

Jivan says he always gets chuckles from people when he tells them that his approach to large scale paintings doesn’t differ very much to his approach with smaller-scale paintings. Of course, the real challenge when it comes to painting these large projects is the logistics - where, when, and how become a bit more complicated on a large scale. While it might sound complicated and a bit of a nightmare, the way that Jivan describes it, the process sort of unfolded before him - as he takes each logical step at a time. Make sure to check out the images of Jivan’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Letting your light shine

I know, we are all sick and tired of hearing about how COVID has impacted and changed everything - we get it. I don’t want to dwell too much on how much COVID continues to impact the shape of things in the art community but I thought it was really helpful to get Jivan’s perspective. Many of us find ourselves with a ton of emotions and anxieties around our finances, the state of global and national politics, and of course COVID. Jivan was kind enough to open up about some of the personal struggles he has experienced over the last couple of months. He shared that when he takes the time to get alone with his canvas, it allows for emotional catharsis. I have felt that way too when it comes to painting during COVID - don’t want to let my light fade, I have something to share with the world and so do you!

Creating art is a marathon, not a sprint 

As Jivan encourages us to keep shining our light even when the darkness feels like it’s closing in, it’s good to also keep in mind that the creative process is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t have to do your best work now or consistently - just stay at it. Even when it gets challenging, remember, we need your voice. I get it, sometimes it feels like you just want to throw in the towel but every artist that I’ve talked to over the years have told me that staying in the game is worth it. What keeps you in the game? How do you stay motivated when times get tough? I want to hear from you, make sure to leave a comment! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:30] I introduce my guest, Jivan Lee. 
  • [2:45] What led Jivan to his career as an artist? 
  • [8:30] Jivan talks about why he pursued grants as he got started. 
  • [10:45] Getting students engaged with art. 
  • [15:50] What is the point of painting during a time of crisis. 
  • [29:30] Jivan opens up about his solo exhibit, “Dynamics of change.” 
  • [40:15] How COVID has impacted Jivan’s schedule. 
  • [44:30] Why you need to think of your creative journey as a marathon, not a sprint. 
  • [52:00] Jivan explains his process in the studio when it comes to large scale projects. 
  • [1:04:00] Common tools and materials that Jivan uses.
  • [1:12:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Jul 30, 2020
Office Hours with Antrese: Answers on workflow, handling life’s curveballs, and more! 

I’ve been hearing a lot of questions from long time listeners of the podcast and from fellow artists who are taking some of my growth courses. This episode is the result of compiling some of those questions to provide helpful answers to artists like you! I don’t have all the answers but I have picked up some helpful tips and insights over the years and I can’t let that go to waste. If you have any suggestions you’d like to share - don’t hesitate - this community thrives when people speak up and join the conversation. 

Setting yourself up for success

How are you doing when it comes to managing your time in the studio? Do you feel like you’ve got a good system and routine down or does it feel haphazard and disorganized? I hated the feeling of losing hours in the studio because I didn’t have a plan and a thought-out approach. 

A good way to start reclaiming your time in the studio is to make a plan - even a small one - you’ve got to start somewhere. Don’t feel like you need to make a radical change overnight, those rarely work - make your goal achievable so you are setting yourself up for success. I’d also encourage artists like you to start batching your work when possible - take some time to prepare a ton of canvases or organize your supplies, or even take time to sketch out some ideas on paper. What have you found that has worked well in your studio? 

Life happens - it’s OK to adapt!

Sometimes the worst critic we face is the person looking back at us in the mirror. We make a plan and we get into a rhythm and then all of a sudden life throws us a curveball! Have you given yourself permission to make changes to your plans? Seriously? Sometimes even the act of writing out the phrase, “I give myself permission to change this plan if necessary” can be helpful. The important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself - we need you and your creative expressions! 

Dealing with creative blocks

When you get stuck, I mean REALLY stuck, what do you do? Has it helped you to just push through the creative block and keep creating what you can or have you found a different approach that works? I have had my fair share of creative blocks over the years and I don’t wish those on anyone. What I am grateful for is the support and encroachment I’ve received from my peers who have been willing to open up and share with me what has worked for them. I that same spirit, I wanted to share with you a few helpful tips when it comes to dealing with creative blocks. 

  • I know it’s hard but TRY to push through the block - I have seen this work. 
  • Start collecting artwork and images that capture your imagination and creativity. 
  • Copy someone else’s work - seriously! Try your hand at some master paintings. 

I know you’ve heard this from me before but I want you to know that I am here for you - this community was built for artists like you. I hope you’ve found something to try in your studio soon and like I’ve said - please don’t hesitate to drop your experiences and tips in the comments section!

Jul 16, 2020
Getting Your Ego Out of The Way & Discovering The Freedom To Create: An Interview with Artist, Charly Palmer

Do you remember that initial spark of creativity or that idea that ushered you on your journey to become an artist? For many of us, that spark was so long ago that we feel like we were born with it. Sometimes we can lose sight of our creative spark or it may even dim over the years - here to give us a powerful perspective from an impressive and seasoned career is the artist, Charly Palmer. 

Charly Palmer was born in 1960 in Fayette, Alabama and raised in Milwaukee. Eventually, he moved to Chicago to study Art and Design at the American Academy of Art and School of the Art Institute. As a graphic designer and illustrator, he has run a successful design studio with a Fortune 500 clientele. As an instructor, Charly teaches design and illustration and painting at the post-secondary level—most recently—Spelman College. These days, Charly devotes his life to his creative goals and has established himself as a fine artist. 

I can’t wait for you to learn from Charly’s depth and breadth of experience both as a commercial artist and making the shift to fine art. Make sure to catch images of Charly’s artwork located at the end of this post. 

Transitioning to Fine Art 

When Charly first started as an artist, he was drawn to work as a commercial artist - he wanted to create movie posters. It is quite poetic that when Charly first started his art education, it was at a fine art school which he left for a school focused on graphic design and illustration that was located across the street. After years in the commercial art world, Charly decided it was time to make the shift - he wanted to create fine art. Following his dreams - Charly jumped in and was a bit unprepared in the process - the transition from the security of work in the commercial sector to start from scratch as a fine artist wasn’t easy. 

Looking back, Charly is convinced that the change was absolutely worth it - experiencing the joy and freedom to create the art that he wants when he wants is exactly what he was looking for. Have you had a similar shift in your career? What was that process like for you? 

Responding to criticism and praise 

As you’ve heard me talk about before - the artist’s worst critic is often the person staring back in the mirror. It’s also a temptation for the artist to let in all the praise but deflect all the criticism - is that the best response or is there a better way to handle both? According to Charly, what has worked for him over the years is to get his ego out of the way. From his perspective - it all comes down to seeing yourself as a conduit of creativity - if people don’t like what you’ve created, that’s fine - if they love it and praise you for it, that’s fine too. If you truly want to create the art you were meant to create, it doesn’t matter if people love it or hate it. What do you think of Charly’s perspective?

Don’t play it safe!

Basking in the freedom that comes from setting the ego aside, Charly encourages artists to put it all on the line - don’t play it safe! I get it, taking risks is scary - what if you put your heart out there and no one responds? That’s ok - if you feel like you have something within you that needs to come out and get on the canvas - do it! Even if no one responds, that artwork is for you - you created to because you answered the call. I loved hearing Charly’s story of creating a whole series of paintings on accident - he was working in a vertical position and was putting a wash over something when he fell in love with the drips on the canvas! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:30] I welcome my guest, Charly Palmer. 
  • [12:15] How do you know a painting is done? 
  • [14:50] What is Charly working on right now? 
  • [18:15] Why Charly works on multiple projects at the same time. 
  • [21:15] Charly talks about why he loves working on children’s books. 
  • [31:15] How does Charly keep all the plates spinning? 
  • [38:15] What is it about painting that fascinates Charly? 
  • [42:30] Responding to criticism and praise.
  • [48:30] Don’t play it safe! 
  • [55:15] Surprised by your own work. 
  • [1:00:15] What is the reward for painting? 
  • [1:02:00] Art that Charly would like to own. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Jul 03, 2020
Creating Space, A Conversation about Anti-Racism with Dean Mitchell, Mario Robinson, Ashanti Branch, and Corbrae Smith

I know that talking about race and the on-going impact of racism is a challenging subject, to say the least. Given the recent events of police brutality in the United States, I wanted to do my part to create a space where we can discuss positive solutions and really understand what our black neighbours are experiencing. Many of you are scared and unsure of what the future will bring and if anything will really change this time - I’m right there with you. But we can’t let despair cloud our vision, we need to face the problem head-on if we ever hope to see a brighter future. 

For this conversation, I invited returning guests Dean Mitchell and Mario Robinson as well as Ashanti Branch, and Corbrae Smith. If you find yourself wondering if you really need to listen to this episode - the answer is, yes! Too much energy has been spent on apathy and indifference, we need to turn it around and look for ways to help move the “Moral arc of the universe,” as Martin Luther King Jr. once called it, toward justice. 

Really listen 

When was the last time someone took the time to really listen to you and your perspective on a topic? How did you know that they listened to you? Let’s face it, talking is a lot easier to do than listening. To listen effectively, you have to be actively engaged - you need to focus on what the person is saying, not just listen long enough to get your opinion in. 

Too many of our black fellow citizens feel like America isn’t listening to their pain and their suffering - it’s on us to put our hands over our mouths and actively listen to what they have to say. What will you do this week to move more toward the posture of actively listening to those raising their voices? 

You are going to mess up, that’s OK

If you are nervous about talking about race, that’s a good start! I don’t want you all to live in fear but we should be nervous about moving into a space where we don’t have all the answers. Be prepared, as you navigate your own education on what it means to be anti-racist, that mistakes will happen and that’s OK. Resist the urge to get defensive, remember, it’s best to move forward in a posture of humility and listening. No one expects you to get everything right 100% of the time, give yourself the permission to mess up and learn along the way! 

Constructive steps you can take 

How do we move forward both individually and collectively? Will this movement be any different than movements and touchpoint cultural moments in the past? We can’t expect black people to educate the rest of the population on what it will take to dismantle systems of oppression. If we start from a place of really listening to the struggle and pain of our black neighbors, then we can begin the process of righting societal wrongs one step at a time. 

On an individual scale, each person’s journey is going to look different. If you have the ability to encourage and financially support artists of color, I hope you take that step. I want to challenge you to use one thing that many people take for granted, your right to vote. Beyond national politics, in your local elections, you have the chance to choose sheriffs, mayors, school board members, and so many more. Don’t let this moment overwhelm you and dive you to inaction, pick one thing you can do to be part of the solution and do it! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:00] I welcome my guests, Dean Mitchell, Mario Robinson, Ashanti Branch, and Corbrae Smith. 
  • [4:00] Dean Mitchell introduces himself and shares his feelings about recent events. 
  • [7:00] Mario Robinson talks about his experience over the last week. 
  • [9:30] Ashanti Branch shares his thoughts on what’s going in the United States. 
  • [13:20] Corbrae Smith opens up about what the last week has meant for him. 
  • [19:20] Why the protests can bring hope. 
  • [22:00] How older generations are reacting to what happened to George Floyd. 
  • [31:40] Ashanti talks about the way forward with positive solutions. 
  • [38:00] Why you need to get over your fear and get involved. 
  • [46:30] We can’t forget our history if we want to move forward. 
  • [53:00] How young people are reacting, movement or trend? 
  • [57:00] Steps you can take to be part of the change. 
  • [1:13:00] What is the 100K Masks Challenge? 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 18, 2020
Painting From Memory: An Interview with Artist, Edwige Fouvry 

Have you ever tried painting from memory? How did it turn out for you? Have you ever thought of a picture as a thing in and of itself rather than a memory of the image it captures? I was thrilled to get the opportunity to speak with the talented and engaging artist, Edwige Fouvry who often takes the approach of painting from memory. 

Edwige Fouvry was born in Nantes, France, in 1970, and currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She received her Masters degree from École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre in Brussels in 1996. She has exhibited widely across Europe and North America.

As you get to know Edwige in our conversation, I hope you catch the raw simplicity and dedication she has to bring not only her own imagination to life but the imaginations of others as well. You can catch images of Edwige’s artwork located at the end of this post.

Letting memory and imagination lead the way

How do you begin to paint from memory? Where would you start? For Edwige it comes down to a combination of photographs, childhood memories, and even scenes she sees in everyday life. She doesn’t choose her photographs at random, rather each image she paints comes from a place of deep connection and inspiration - the photo evokes emotion in Edwige. In many cases, a photo may hang in Edwige’s studio for years before she decides it is the right time to put that image on her canvas. 

Trusting your intuition 

Edwige’s creative approach is fascinating, at the heart of what she is able to bring to the canvas is her cultivated attentiveness to her intuition. Most of us are trained either by our culture or by well-meaning institutions to root out our intuition. We are often taught that you can’t trust what you can’t touch, feel, test, and observe. By cutting out or dulling our deep-seated drive to explore and express what we feel, we are limiting ourselves unnecessarily. It was refreshing to hear from Edwige as she enthusiastically described her comfort in her own skin and how that approach has impacted her time in the studio. What can you learn from Edwige’s perspective? 

Rooting out complexity 

Over the course of your career would you say that your artwork has become more complex or more simplified? As I’ve interviewed hundreds of artists over the years, I’ve found it fascinating how often the theme of simplicity and complexity arise. Edwige has honed her abilities over the years toward rooting out complexity and relying instead on simplicity and freedom to guide her creative process. Looking back at her years in school, Edwige is quick to point out that she wasn’t always the best student because she was intent on listening to her intuition and carving her own path. To her credit, focusing on simplicity has really worked out well for Edwige.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:30] I introduce my guest, Edwige Fouvry. 
  • [3:00] How Edwige got started as an artist. 
  • [6:00] Edwige describes her artwork. 
  • [10:00] How does Edwige choose which photo to paint from memory? 
  • [20:00] The freedom to explore and evolve over the years. 
  • [23:00] Learning to trust your intuition. 
  • [28:45] Edwige talks about the challenges she has faced on her journey. 
  • [31:45] How Edwige spends her time in the studio. 
  • [38:30] Reactions to Edwige’s artwork. 
  • [41:00] Artists that have inspired Edwige. 
  • [48:30] A painting that Edwige would never part with. 
  • [50:00] Go where you are appreciated. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 04, 2020
Realism, Social Justice, and Telling the Truth: An Interview with Artist, Max Ginsburg

When was the last time you saw a painting that really challenged you? How do you typically react to paintings that portray suffering or difficult political topic? I am grateful for the opportunity I had for a long-ranging conversation with the artist, Max Ginsburg. 

Max is a native New Yorker, many of his paintings center on people and places around New York City. Max also draws on themes of peace and justice; deep outrage to war, injustice, and torture as they are conveyed in some of his paintings. 

I can’t wait for you to learn some of the fascinating insights and lessons that Max has developed of the years - you also don’t want to miss images of Max’s paintings located at the end of this post. 

Political and painful paintings 

When I spoke with Max, I really wanted to get to the root of what energizes this passion for depicting pain, suffering, and torture in his artwork. Why paint such painful and evocative images - who wants to see these types of paintings? 

It has always been Max’s desire to bring truth and reality into his paintings - sometimes that means a peace image of a couple on a walk and sometimes that means a painting of a man being tortured in a prison in Iraq. When you are so focused on painting reality and what you experience - you are going to get a mixture of the peaceful and the painful - such is life.

Are you drawn to Max’s style and approach? What do you think of his commitment to painting reality in all its glory - good and bad? When you look at Max’s artwork, you really get the sense that his compassion and heart shine through - what can you learn from Max’s story? 

Time to teach 

Never one to shy away from a challenge - Max has not only flexed his muscles as an artist, but he also has spent time as an art instructor. Much of Max’s passion for teaching stems from the way he views the art world from a macro perspective - he feels like there isn’t enough focus on realism. It was refreshing to hear that Max wasn’t willing to see realism take a hit - he got in the trenches and decided to teach! 

Let me tell you - teaching isn’t for the faint of heart. You really have to have a passion and a well of patience to gently guide students toward the objective. I would have loved to learn from Max as a student and I hope you catch a bit of the valuable insights that he has to share! 

Paint what you see, not what you know 

Time and again through our conversation, Max kept coming back to this phrase, “Paint what you see, not what you know.” It seems like this phrase isn’t just an empty platitude that Max picked up over the years - it is more of a theme that runs through all of his work as an artist and an instructor. You can almost hear Max chanting this phrase with each stroke of the brush on canvas. Do you have any phrases you live by? What have you picked up over the years that have become part of your approach as an artist? 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:15] I introduce my guest, Max Ginsburg. 
  • [2:45] Max talks about how he got started as an artist. 
  • [7:00] Why museums aren’t really interested in Max’s political artwork. 
  • [14:30] Painting tragedies - is it difficult? 
  • [24:45] Max describes his work as an art instructor. 
  • [31:00] What is Max’s creative process like? 
  • [37:00] Why the value system in the art world is messed up. 
  • [41:00] Strong reactions to Max’s artwork. 
  • [43:00] The impact that Max wants to have on his students. 
  • [46:15] How “Crutches” can sometimes help you grow as an artist. 
  • [51:45] Paint what you see, not what you know. 
  • [55:30] Max talks about how he approaches the canvas. 
  • [58:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 22, 2020
Painting Family Life and Adapting to COVID-19: An Interview with Artist Ricky Mujica 

What subject matter do you love to paint? For you maybe it’s going outdoors and painting en plein air or to a crowded marketplace. Each artist has to find their own source of inspiration and motivation as they travel on their artistic journey - for Ricky Mujica - it’s all about family. 

Ricky is an award-winning artist whose work appears in collections all around the world including Africa, Norway, Germany, and Mexico. His paintings have been exhibited at the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, The Bennington Museum of Art, The Salmagundi Club, the Museum of American Illustration and is in the permanent collection of the Portrait Society of America.

Drawing from a wide range of artists, Ricky has forged his own creative path that is clear and distinct. While constantly honing his technical skills, Ricky also has an eye for the human experience - capturing scenes full of heart and emotion. I can’t wait for you to hear from Ricky’s unique and fascinating perspective - you might even catch a few helpful tips along the way. 

Painting power 

Who did you idolize when you were younger? Did you look up to an older sibling or maybe one of your parents? From great warriors to majestic mountains, artists throughout time have been drawn to powerful subjects. Ricky Mujica started painting scenes with mothers because he was drawn in by their power - the power to create life and sustain it. 

In our conversation, Ricky was kind enough to share a fascinating story about why he painted an image of his wife breastfeeding their child on a subway - simply put - he was in awe. Hearing from Ricky, you really get the sense that he seeks to capture the essence of the moment in his paintings. Make sure to check out the captivating images of Ricky’s artwork located at the end of this post.  


Let’s face it, life as an artist isn’t for the faint of heart - we go through a lot! We also get the profound privilege of honing our craft and showing the world what we see through our creative eye. In the midst of these difficult times with COVID-19 - I wanted to see what insights and advice a seasoned artist like Ricky had to share for those of us going stir crazy at home. In our conversation, Ricky opened up about his painting method he calls OPPA. Before each stroke of the brush, Ricky goes through the OPPA formula. 

  • Observe - Be a detective, look around for clues that will inform your painting. 
  • Plan - Wait and plan your stroke - don’t go on autopilot, be deliberate. 
  • Put it down - Don’t wait too long, put something down on the canvas or paper. 
  • Assess - Is it right? Did you miss anything that you need to change? Take an honest look.  

As deliberate and planned out as Ricky’s approach seems, this is just the first pass. Ricky will often take a second, third and fourth pass before he is ready to continue. What can you learn from Ricky’s approach? Do you have a formula you’ve created over the years? 

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:00] I welcome my guest, Ricky Mujica. 
  • [8:00] Ricky talks about why he enjoys painting mothers. 
  • [18:00] Adapting to life under COVID-19. 
  • [27:30] Is it OK to work from photos? 
  • [30:00] Positive habits that Ricky has picked up over the years. 
  • [36:30] Ricky explains technical details about his painting. 
  • [41:15] What is OPPA? 
  • [48:00] Taking a second, third, and fourth pass. 
  • [57:00] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

May 07, 2020
Taking Up Space and Large Scale Paintings: An Interview with Artist, Teresa Oaxaca 

What comes to mind when you think of the phrase, “Taking up space?” Does your mind go to something large and inviting or intimidating and serious? Too often the idea of “Taking up space” has been reserved for negative connotations - what if we flipped the script? This week’s guest focuses a lot of her time in the studio creating large-scale oil paintings and is no stranger to the idea of “Taking up space.” 

My guest is the talented and charming artist, Teresa Oaxaca. Teresa is an American born artist based currently in Washington D.C. She is a full-time painter whose works can be seen in collections and galleries throughout the US and internationally. Teresa’s talent has been recognized and rewarded by museums and institutions such as the American Museum of the Cowboy, The former Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Art Renewal Center, The Elisabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Posey Foundation, and The Portrait Society of America and the Museu Europeu D’Art Modern in Barcelona.

I can’t wait for you to jump in and get to know Teresa - she has some powerful insights that you don’t want to miss! 

It’s OK to take up space

On your journey as an artist, you can likely recall those who have built you up and encouraged you along the way - are their voices as strong in your mind as those who were quick to critique? Let’s face it, as artists, it can feel like we have to constantly justify why we matter and why creating art is so important. While that feeling is real - you don’t have to follow it! 

Here’s the thing, you can take up space - you have a right to be here as much as anyone else does. Don’t let anyone make you feel small or make you feel like your art has to “Fit” in a certain box. One of the many reasons why I invited Teresa to join me to talk about her experience as an artist is due to her powerful and bold example. Teresa isn’t afraid to take up space with her paintings - literally - her artwork is made to “Take up space.” What can you learn from Teresa’s engaging story? Have you learned that it’s OK to take up space? 

Finding your “Voice” 

When did you find your “Voice” as an artist? Did you find it as you finished art school? Are you still looking for it? Finding your voice is one of those things that you can’t really teach - you can help, nudge, and encourage but you can’t really lead someone to find their “Voice.” 

While studying in a four-year program at the Angel Academy of Art, Teresa started to grow as an artist and as a businessperson. Before long, Teresa had found a way to sell her art and pay her tuition as she finished college. Still, through all this success, Teresa had a challenging time finding her voice - and that sounds like most of us! Success doesn’t always lead to a clear path forward and that’s OK. When advising artists who are just getting started, Teresa encourages them to avoid posting their work online or even allowing anyone to critique it - you need time to find your voice on your own!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] I welcome my guest, Teresa Oaxaca.
  • [3:30] Getting lost in Florence. 
  • [5:00] Teresa describes her artwork. 
  • [8:30] What inspires Teresa? Where does she get her ideas from? 
  • [12:30] How Teresa’s process has changed over the years. 
  • [19:30] Finding your own “Voice.” 
  • [26:15] How long do Teresa’s paintings take to complete? 
  • [33:00] Teresa explains how she uses her portrait in her artwork. 
  • [38:30] When and how does Teresa varnish her artwork? 
  • [43:40] How did Teresa get started selling her art? 
  • [49:30] Book recommendations from Teresa. 
  • [54:20] Advice for artists getting started. 
  • [1:00:20] Dealing with doubt. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 23, 2020
Building Businesses and Visual Memory: An Interview with Artist, Lucy Kalian 

What does it take to hone your visual memory skills as an artist? Can you really build a successful business by selling your artwork? Isn’t (insert any age here) too old to get started as an artist? What am I supposed to do with all this time at home caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

Thankfully, my guest, Lucy Kalian was kind enough to take the time to discuss her answers to these questions and so many more. Lucy is a brilliant and talented artist who started honing her skills at 40 years old. She’s built two successful businesses and she’s an absolute joy - I can’t wait for you to get to know Lucy and her fascinating perspective on a wide range of topics! 

Building your visual memory 

What comes to mind when you hear the term, “Visual memory?” 

Visual memory is the ability to remember or recall information such as activities, pictures or words that have been viewed in the past. 

Is your visual memory game strong or could it use some strengthening? Like all muscles, if you want to increase your capacity, you need to exercise! Over many years of practice both in the studio and in her everyday life, Lucy has managed to hone her visual memory skills like a precision laser. According to Lucy, the secret to her success is nurturing curiosity and taking the time to study the world around you. 

Delegating and working smarter 

You’ve heard the old phrase, “Work smarter, not harder!” 

While it might sound like a phrase that works best in the board room the truth is, it applies to businesses big and small. When it comes to the growth of your business as an artist, you are the bottleneck. You can’t do all of the things, all of the time if you want to grow - sooner or later, you are going to need some help. If you can handle the business side of things, great! If you can’t, no problem - just find someone to help you in that critical area. Do yourself a favor and learn from Lucy’s inspiring story of delegation, growth, and success!

There is no substitute for time in the saddle 

Do you ever find yourself wondering what it will take to unlock the potential you know you have within you? What do you feel like you are missing in your art career? While many artists find themselves looking for that one key tip or insight that will help them flip the switch, the hard reality is, “There is no substitute for time in the saddle.” Speaking with Lucy the message is clear, she is a firm believer in putting in the time and honing your craft. Don’t lull yourself into a false sense of complacency - keep striving!

Lucy’s creativity challenge

I wanted to try something a little different and I thought that now, while we are all stuck at home doing our part to “Flaten the curve” that it would be a good time to introduce it. I asked Lucy to take a minute and think of a creative challenge she could offer our community. 

Lucy’s challenge: 

Even when you can’t sit down to produce a finished piece of art - don’t put all that pressure on yourself. Use all of your observational skills all of the time. Really look at things. Something happens when you give yourself permission to think outside of the box and use your imagination. Wherever you are, take a minute to really look and think about how you would mix that color or arrange that composition. What do you have to lose? 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] I introduce my guest, Lucy Kalian. 
  • [2:40] Lucy talks about how she got started as an artist. 
  • [6:30] What age is too late to become an artist? 
  • [8:00] It’s not about the money. 
  • [13:20] Lucy describes her artwork. 
  • [20:00] The power of visual memory. 
  • [25:00] Delegating responsibilities and freeing up more time for your art. 
  • [36:00] Defeating the inner critic. 
  • [41:45] How Lucy discovered that she was colorblind.
  • [51:00] There is no substitute for time in the saddle. 
  • [54:15] Lucy’s creativity challenge. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 19, 2020
A Look Inside The Artist’s Studio

What type of magic happens in the artist’s studio? Is there some special formula that “Successful” artists use that helps them maximize their creativity and studio time? 

I wanted to take this opportunity to explore this critical topic with the vast spectrum of artists we have represented in the Savvy Painter community. From all over the country and the world, artists like you have shared their struggles, successes, and helpful tips when it comes to making the most of their time at the canvas. 

Make sure you have a pen and paper close by, you don’t want to miss a minute of this powerful exploration of the artist’s studio! 

Recognizing when resistance shows up

Let’s face it, at some point in your career, you’ll face resistance. I focused a whole episode dedicated to this important topic: How to Beat Resistance (Advice for Painters)

“If you’ve read Steven Pressfield’s book, the War of Art, you’re familiar with Resistance. Even if you have not read his book, I’ll wager you are familiar with Resistance, you just didn’t know it had a name, a proper name with a capital “R.” It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a sneaky little bastard who’s not always easy to spot.

Pressfield uses a lot of war analogies in his descriptions of Resistance, and he’s right to do so because it’s serious business. Resistance is at war with you, it can destroy you. Resistance wants to take you out, so I do see Resistance as an enemy. If I let him have his way, I’d stop showing up for you. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere – I want to help artists like you find your way to beat Resistance and do the work that matters most to you!”

After that episode, I heard from a ton of artists like you who were eager to share similar challenges and helpful strategies they’ve deployed to help them beat Resistance in their lives. As I stressed on that episode, the first step to beating Resistance is recognizing how it shows up - and for many of you, Resistance shows up before you even step into the studio. From surges of anxiety to even building a physical wall of objects that prevent you from getting your studio, we all face Resistance differently. 

The one thing that will help you combat Resistance in your personal and professional life is by setting an intention, it doesn’t have to be big but it does have to move you in the right direction. What have you found work for you as you combat Resistance in your career? 

The artist’s studio, sanctuary or soul-crushing? 

When you think of your studio, do you consider it a sanctuary or somewhere that is fraught with pain and anxiety? To say it another way, do you have a healthy relationship with your studio right now or is it a bit more complicated? 

Cody, an artist from Indianapolis, described his studio space as a “Refuge where stressful things can sometimes happen.” This description speaks to the struggle of facing deadlines or starting shakily on a new project but that it always happens in the confines of a creative space.

Remember, your space is your own. There is no “right way” to set up your studio - if it works for you and spurs your creativity then go with it! 

My challenge to you 

If you find yourself struggling to create the artist’s studio you’ve always dreamed about, here are some helpful tips from me and other fellow artists. 

I challenge you to re-frame your thoughts when you think about your studio. Don’t let your thoughts automatically go to the stressful or frustrating aspects of your task at hand, instead think of what you get to do in your creative space. 

A helpful practice I’ve picked up over the years is to center myself as I cross the threshold into my studio. When I cross that physical threshold into my studio, I take a deep breath and say “This is for me, I am here and I have something to say.” 

If you don’t have a ritual that works for you to center yourself and start your studio time with intention, why not give mine a try, what do you have to lose? 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:40] I introduce the topic of this week’s episode. 
  • [4:00] Artists like you who struggle and cope with resistance. 
  • [14:45] How do you view your studio? Is it a sanctuary? 
  • [28:00] Vicki Sulivan and other artists talk about their relationship with their studio. 
  • [34:00] A helpful practice you can try as you enter your studio. 
  • [36:30] Studio tips from artists like you. 
  • [43:30] Closing thoughts. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 09, 2020
Using Art To Tell Stories, with Rob Rey 

When you approach the canvas do you find yourself trying to tell a story with your artwork? Do you think you are telling a story with your art whether you like it or not? Here to explore these questions and many more is my guest and fellow artist, Rob Rey. 

Rob’s artwork is often inspired by his interests in both natural sciences like astronomy and physics as well as social sciences like psychology and sociology. These interests commonly influence his work, as do a multitude of inspiring artists from classical art to golden age illustration and contemporary representational art.

In our conversation, you’ll hear how Rob approaches his creative process, what he has learned from his career over the years, which artists have made the most impact on him, and so much more. I can’t wait for artists like you to learn from Rob’s fascinating journey!

Telling a story

Have you ever watched a scene in a movie that said a thousand words without using a single line of dialogue? What about an instrumental song that evokes feelings of joy or dread without using any words? From paintings and sculptures to music and movies, artists have been using their medium to tell stories since the beginning of time. What are the resonant, positive, and awe-inspiring stories of today? How can our expanding scientific knowledge drive our enchantment with the natural world and grow our empathic interests toward our fellow humans? Exploring these questions visually, Rob Rey hopes to promote or create the stories that best help us to achieve these goals. Make sure to check out images of Rob’s artwork located at the end of this post. 

Chaos vs. Order

Do you ever find yourself struggling with the tension between chaos and order on your creative journey? What do you do to cut through all of the noise and focus on what really matters? According to Rob Rey, he found a good balance between chaos and order in his artwork through trial and error. After years of practice and persistence, Rob feels like he has a good handle on the balancing act required to navigate chaos and order. What do you think of Rob’s response? What has worked well for you on your creative journey?

Advice for fellow artists

Listening to Rob describe his approach to the creative process and how stories have captured his imagination gets me thinking about what I love about my life as an artist. If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that I am always looking for ways to improve as an artist and I hope you never stop learning either. I wanted to get Rob’s take on what advice he would pass on to fellow artists. Rob is a huge fan of taking time to practice your craft - log in the hours! Let’s face it, the only way to learn how to avoid making the same mistakes is by practicing a new approach. What can you learn from Rob’s story? 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:40] I introduce my guest, Rob Rey.
  • [2:30] What led Rob to his career as an artist? 
  • [6:15] Rob talks about his interest in stories and storytelling. 
  • [13:15] Telling a story with an image. 
  • [15:30] Resolving chaos vs. order. 
  • [20:00] Rob talks about reactions to his artwork. 
  • [31:15] Rob’s dream project. 
  • [38:00] Relating science to our daily lives. 
  • [40:00] Rob opens up about his creative process. 
  • [49:00] Advice for fellow artists. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 20, 2020
Identifying and Overcoming Resistance in Your Creative Journey 

Webster’s Dictionary defines Resistance as, “an act or instance of resisting: opposition. b: a means of resisting. 2: the power or capacity to resist.” 

What comes to mind when you think about resistance? Do you start thinking about all the things that are giving your resistance in your life? Do you have a resistant family member? What about that project that keeps giving you a headache? Imagine what it would be like to clearly identify and manage the resistance you face both personally and professionally. I’d like you to join me as I share some insights about my journey with resistance and some tips I’ve picked up along the way. If you are ready to make 2020 a more productive year - you’ll want to pay close attention! 

Identifying resistance 

I first learned about resistance when I read Steven Pressfield’s book, “The War of Art” in 2005. Before then, I had a hard time understanding why painting, writing, or any other creative endeavor was so hard. 

Since then, I’ve re-read that book at least once every single year. Each time I read it, I have a different insight. If you’ve read Steven Pressfield’s book, the War of Art, you’re familiar with resistance. Even if you have not read his book, I’ll wager you are familiar with resistance, you just didn’t know it had a name, a proper name with a capital “R.” It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a sneaky little bastard who’s not always easy to spot.

Pressfield uses a lot of war analogies in his descriptions of Resistance, and he’s right to do so because it’s serious business. Resistance is at war with you, it can destroy you. Resistance wants to take you out, so I do see Resistance as an enemy. If I let him have his way, I’d stop showing up for you. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere - I want to help artists like you kick this jerk to the curb!

Antrese’s rules for overcoming resistance 

Resistance will encourage you to overthink, over analyze and over research to the point that your mind is so filled with data, you’re immobilized. I am the queen of overthinking and self-inflicted analysis paralysis. Since I know that is my tendency, I’m learning to make action my default. Over the years, I found a few helpful ways to combat and even overcome Resistance’s influence in my life.

Here are a few rules I’ve made for myself, in time I may adjust them but for now, they’re working for me:

  • Given the choice between consuming and making, I will always choose making.
  • I can only research for 20 minutes at a time.
  • After I research I ALWAYS take action. That means if I’m researching a technique, I can only spend 20 minutes before I try the technique.
  • I only need to know enough to take my next step. Most of the time, that baby step is enough to get me going.

So there are a few examples of rules I have created for myself and I’d like to challenge you to make your own. You may not be prone to analysis paralysis, but you’re prone to something, and Resistance will find it and use it against you. Take the time to identify Resistance’s power in your life and plot steps to mitigate and even remove its power. Trust me, I know it’s hard work but it’s worth it! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:01] My introduction to this episode. 
  • [3:00] Some awesome feedback from artists like you! 
  • [5:00] Let other people inspire you. 
  • [7:00] How resistance shows up in my life.
  • [9:30] Helpful rules that I’ve come up with to combat resistance. 
  • [12:30] Using resistance to your advantage. 
  • [17:30] How artists like you are dealing with resistance. 
  • [21:00] Closing thoughts and helpful tips. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Feb 06, 2020
The Growth Of An Artist, with Shana Levenson

As you look at your career as an artist, do you notice how much you’ve grown and changed over the years? What led to the big moments of growth and change for you? It was a joy to sit down with my guest and fellow artist, Shana Levenson. In our conversation, Shana opens up about her experience as an art instructor, how her children have influenced her art, how she’s grown over the years, and much more. I know that artists like you will get a lot out of Shana’s helpful and unique perspective! 

Empowering others

Who was it that helped you along in your growth as an artist? Did you have a family member who took special interest in your creative development? Were others in your family supportive of your creative and artistic pursuits? Following in her brother’s footsteps, Shana Levenson had wanted to pursue a career as an artist from a young age. As she slowly carved out time to go to art school over the years - Shana fell in love not only with art but also with teaching. Shana got into teaching as a necessity but found that she really enjoys empowering others as they develop creatively. 

Parenting and painting 

As she finished her Master’s degree, Shana was also dealing with the end of her marriage. Not only did Shana have to navigate the challenges of life as an artist, but she also had to figure out parenting and life as a single mother. Juggling both parenting and painting wasn’t easy for Shana - especially when her ex-husband said that she could not continue using their children in her artwork. I couldn’t imagine facing the challenges that Shana has faced as an artist and a parent - I hope artists who navigate both find Shana’s story inspiring!

Dealing with criticism 

How do you respond to criticism and critique? Let’s face it, criticism and less than positive feedback are the worst part of putting something out there for the public to consume. In spite of the challenge that facing criticism can cause - doing so confidently is a key area of growth for most artists. Shana is the first to admit that she has had to strengthen her muscles over the years when it comes to dealing with criticism. Don’t assume that criticism won’t come - it will! You need to decide right now, how you plan to respond when negative feedback comes your way. What can you learn from Shana’s story? 

Push yourself

Do you have a habit of pushing yourself creatively? Does a new challenge thrill and excite you or do you find yourself running in the opposite direction? As I got to know Shana over the course of our conversation, I really wanted to get to the heart of what makes her tick. Considering my question about her positive habits, Shana was quick to point out the fact that she loves to push herself beyond her limits. A good example of Shana’s desire to push herself is her desire to work with lace in her paintings - something she had never done before. You can find images of Shana’s artwork located in the resources section at the end of this post. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:40] I introduce my guest, Shana Levenson. 
  • [9:00] Shana talks about her experience as a teacher. 
  • [13:00] How Shana’s art changed after her divorce. 
  • [19:00] Pushing through difficulty and finding a new way forward. 
  • [23:00] Dealing with rejection. 
  • [28:00] Shana’s criteria for entering art competitions. 
  • [32:30] Negative and positive reactions to Shana’s artwork. 
  • [38:45] Shana talks about pushing herself beyond her limits. 
  • [49:00] How does Shana approach the canvas? 
  • [55:30] Closing thoughts. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 23, 2020
Defeating Overwhelm and Finding Clarity 

If you are anything like me, you find yourself fighting back the feeling of overwhelm from time to time. What do you usually do when you start to feel overwhelmed? How do you cut through the usual complexity that life brings and find clarity? As we start the New Year, I wanted to take some time to go over some helpful tools and insights that I've gained over the years through experience and learning from my peers. I hope that artists like you will find something of value as I share some useful practices and lessons that I've gathered over the years. 

Beginning with the end in mind 

If you want to start finding clarity in your life, it can be helpful to begin with, the end in mind. Too often, people get overwhelmed with the idea of significant change that they give up before they get started. To make big change more manageable, try breaking it down. 

Author Annie Dillard once wrote, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days."

How do you want your year to look? Why not set some goals and start to work your way backward from there? If you're going to make a trip to another country, start planning out what you need to do each day, week, and month leading up to the trip. What works for trips can work for your art projects as well! 

Say no to the right things

One of the hardest lessons that I've had to learn over the years is to disappoint the right people and to say "No" to the right things. Let's face it, you can't make everyone happy, and you can't do all of the things! Part of ordering your life and your career is learning how to prioritize your time, energy, and relationships. You may want to take every opportunity that comes your way, but the truth is, that is not sustainable. If you're going to keep a healthy work-life balance, you need to decide on your priorities and stick to them. 

Take action! 

One of the worst aspects of getting overwhelmed can be finding yourself frozen with inaction. How do you react when you feel overwhelmed? If you want to make some positive changes in your life, you need to start somewhere. Even if you need to make a small step toward change, take it! I challenge you to write down the one thing that you will do today that will make you feel accomplished. Here are a few examples that you can use: 

  • Knock out a small painting like an 8x10 or even a 3x5. 
  • Set your studio up for tomorrow, so you are ready to go. 
  • Open your sketchbook up and sketch for just 15 minutes. 
  • Prepare canvases for the weekend, so you are ready to paint. 
  • Choose one small section of that large painting that you will resolve today. 
  • Write that email that you've been avoiding. 
  • Make that decision that you've been agonizing over. 

These examples are just intended to get you started. Pick an action step that makes sense for you - but don't put it off!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:30] I give a shoutout to a few listeners. 
  • [6:40] Why you need to figure out your life design. 
  • [9:00] Where are your priorities? 
  • [11:30] I describe my ideal day. 
  • [19:20] Finding clarity and focus. 
  • [22:00] Saying “No” to the right things. 
  • [24:00] Action steps you can take today!
  • [26:00] Closing thoughts.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 09, 2020
Why Art Matters In The Painful Places Of Life, with Erin Mcgee Ferrell

It is difficult to honestly talk about the most painful places of life - the times when cannot avoid facing our mortality or need to come to grips with our value as human beings. But in this conversation, Erin McGee Ferrell spoke about those issues with such ease that I was grateful. The ease with which she deals with those subjects is a testament to the healthy way in which she's faced those issues herself.

Erin lit up my day with what she shared and the way she shared it, and I know that you’ll be inspired and encouraged as well. A few jewels you can look forward to from this episode:

  • Erin’s current studio: in a church rectory, overlooking a cemetery
  • How Erin got involved in healthcare-related work - and the difference she’s making
  • The relationship of art to the deeper things we all experience in life
  • A South American experience where Erin discovered a culture losing its artistic history
  • How Erin’s art serves as her personal diary

Creativity poured out when Erin faced her mortality

Amazingly, as Erin and I recorded this conversation she had just passed the 1-year anniversary to the discovery that she had breast cancer. Throughout that year she had experienced all the emotions and procedures you might imagine and many that you can only know if you’ve been in those shoes.

She says that the experiences of the last year pushed her to a new place of expression, a place where she had to release the thoughts and feelings that were bubbling to the surface from the deepest places in her soul. She wrote bad poetry in the middle of the night and she created art related to the things she was experiencing.

She says…

“When you tap into those really deep places of facing your death - stuff just has to bubble up. When you go that deep, you hit something and it has to bubble out of it.”

A research project that proves the power of art on cancer patients

Even before her own experience battling cancer Erin was deeply interested in the impact art could have on those fighting life-threatening diseases. She was awarded a research grant from the state of Maine to do an 8-week study which was called, “The Effects of a Live Painter in a Chemotherapy Treatment Facility.” The project was designed to provide exactly what the name implies - and measure the results.

With the help of a friend who is a Social Psychologist, they conducted the study and published their findings in the Journal for Oncology Nursing. What did they discover? There were four primary findings...

  1. The presence of the artist lowers anxiety
  2. It changes the feeling of the environment
  3. It creates a spontaneous community among the patients
  4. As a side-benefit: the project lessened the degree of compassion fatigue experienced by the nurses

Clearly, art and the creation of it matters in life and death contexts, making not just the experience of those undergoing treatment better but also helping those who care for them to provide even better care.

Art is about the human soul - and we don’t touch it as much as we need to 

Perhaps one of the most powerful points Erin makes has to do with the greater function art has in relationship to the human soul. In her mind, art helps us touch the parts of ourselves that are the most important, give them expression, and benefit others in the process.

Art provides a vehicle through which to express things like fear, loneliness, mortality, hopes, and dreams - and to process those things through our expression. Erin sees our honest connection to those parts of ourselves as being vital to health and our growth as human beings. 

In all of that, Erin sees herself being a “seed slinger” - a person who tosses things out without a lot of planning but with the hopes that they will take root and grow to the benefit of others. A recent experience regarding the placement of some of her books in the Alumni Center of her Alma Mater (Mount Holyoke College) affirmed that at least some of her seeds are doing just that. I believe it’s even more extensive and I am encouraged that she’s reaping the fruit through experiences like these.

“My art is my diary”

True to her description of the function art plays for us as human beings, Erin says her art is her diary. She creates as she experiences and responds to life. That admission is apparent in this conversation even if she hadn’t described it that way. Many of her projects and paintings are clearly drawn from the chapters of her own story and she has learned to have joy in the journey and to infuse what she does with fun.

I so enjoyed this conversation and believe you will too. Please don’t miss it. Erin is a treasure and her contributions to the world through her work are far-reaching and significant.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:32] The joy, humor, and faith in the future behind Erin’s overall work
  • [5:05] A quick description of Erin’s artwork - loose, figuration, abstract, observation
  • [7:01] Erin’s work process involves lots of play and experimentation
  • [11:06] The outlet Erin found in art while battling breast cancer
  • [16:55] How Erin’s experienced the loss of artwork skills and traditions in South America
  • [23:15] “The Pirate Crew Paper Dolls” project
  • [29:08] The organizations Erin is working with - and why she’s so involved in health care
  • [39:15] Erin’s current project - 6 X 6 paintings - and the future work she dreams of doing
  • [42:51] The most challenging things to Erin as a painter and artist
  • [45:43] Art as a diary
  • [49:34] Erin’s advice to herself as a younger artist

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Dec 26, 2019
Letting Go of Art “Rules” with Michael McCaffrey

Do you ever find yourself wondering why you feel like a square peg forced into a round hole when it comes to following art “Rules?” Is there something wrong with you, the system, gatekeepers, or all the above? I was thrilled to sit down and discuss this topic and much more with my friend, Michael McCaffrey. In our conversation, we also touch on his work inspired by his father, the difference between figurative and abstract work, why putting in time matters, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to learn from Michael’s fascinating perceptive and expertise! 

Follow the “Rules” or forge your own path? 

Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker? Most people who see that question will automatically know which category they fall in. Have you always been on one side of that question, or have you shifted over time? For Michael McCaffrey - permission to break from certain art “Rules” evolved. Practically, Michael had to change is approach to painting his father because he simply wouldn’t sit still for portraits. Even when he took photos of his father and brought them to the canvas for a reference point - Michael still had to give himself permission to push the boundaries and create his own set of “Rules.” 

A unique take on the familiar 

When I first visited Michael’s website, I was like a kid in a candy shop, seriously! Taking a look around at all the different subjects and perspectives he paints is truly inspiring. Most notably, I wanted to hone in on Michael’s work with his father. Michael and I both have parents in their 80’s, and I was curious to hear how Michael’s experience has been spending time and incorporating his father into his artwork. As he observed his father in his home of nearly 40 years, Michael started to notice how his father would pay particular interest and care to one part of his home while neglecting other parts for years. Make sure to check out the images of Michael’s work located at the end of this post - I know you’ll find it as fascinating as I did! 

Putting in the time

If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for very long, you know that one of the big mantras that we often hear from seasoned artists like Michael is to put in the time at your canvas. It’s tempting to succumb to apathy or indifference, but the truth is, nothing can get you out of a funk quite like time in your studio. It’s also in the studio where you begin to refine and hone your skills as an artist - you can’t microwave skill and success. Think of your time growing and developing as an artist like slow cooking a good meal - you have to give time for those flavors to work together! 

Tearing it down and building it up again 

While Michael is quick to point out the “Rules” that don’t work for him as an artist - he’s also quick to explain that tearing down inevitably leads to building something in its place. Facing the institutional challenges and personal struggles of life as an artist isn’t easy, but don’t forget that there is a community of peers who can help spur you along. Michael found that through the process of tearing down rules, ideas, or even his own artwork, there was a kind of freedom to reinvent and breath new life into his artwork. What do you think of Michael’s perspective? 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:30] I introduce my guest, Michael McCaffrey. 
  • [3:00] Michael describes his work. 
  • [6:40] Working from photographs and memories. 
  • [12:00] Michael explains how his concepts develop from his time with his father. 
  • [17:00] Bucking against the “Rules.” 
  • [26:30] Abstract vs. figurative work. 
  • [32:30] Putting in the time. 
  • [37:40] Why Michael likes the idea of deconstruction and reconstruction. 
  • [44:30] Change is growth. 
  • [48:20] Art that Michael would love to own. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Dec 12, 2019
The Transformative Power of Art, with Dean Mitchell

Can you think back to a point in your career where you started to appreciate the transformative power of art? Maybe for you, it was the first time you went to an art museum or that one art class that opened your eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. From early childhood experiences to forging his own path in the art world - my guest, Dean Mitchell, came prepared to explore the whole spectrum in our wide-ranging conversation. I know that artists like you will really appreciate Dean’s valuable and seasoned perspective!

Early influences matter

As you look back on your start as an artist, was there an individual who encouraged you along the way? How did your early influences shape your journey as an artist? For Dean Mitchell, two key influences changed the course of his career and his life. The crucial first influence for Dean was his grandmother - not only did she raise Dean, but she also encouraged and empowered him on his journey to becoming an artist. The other key influence for Dean was his junior high school art teacher who wouldn’t let him drop out of art competitions. While we often shrug off these early influences in our lives, the truth is, they matter more than we care to give them credit for!

How art can make you feel

One of the most amazing aspects of art is the ability to evoke an emotional reaction out of the viewer. From sculptures that draw you closer to watercolors that transport you to another place entirely - art has the power to take you on a deep and personal journey. In our conversation, Dean was kind enough to open up about what he hopes to accomplish with his art. Beyond painting what most people want to see, Dean has been able to position his career in a way where he can challenge people with his art in ways they never thought possible. When was the last time artwork on an emotional level moved you?

Taking risks

Dean Mitchell will be the first person to tell you that the road hasn’t been an easy one throughout his career. From growing up poor and isolated from many of the opportunities, his peers outside of the south had to institutional roadblocks that are all too real for many black artists - Dean knew he was in for a challenge. To overcome these challenges, Dean needed to take some risks that most people would shy away from. Facing rejection and defeat at an early age would crush most budding artists, but Dean was determined that all these risks would eventually pay off - and he was right!

Looking beyond social constructs

What hope do you have for our society? Do you think things are getting better or are they getting worse? Let’s face it - headlines and news stories often push and pull us toward confirming our biases and keeping our culture compartmentalized. Imagine what it would look like if we started peeling away and tearing down harmful social constructs like the idea that one group of people is inherently superior to others. Dean Mitchell is convinced that art exists to play a definitive role in growing our imaginations and our expectations of how the world should work. What can you learn from Dean’s fascinating perspective? I hope you enjoyed getting a peek inside the mind of this talented and renowned artist!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:15] I introduce my guest, Dean Mitchell.
  • [4:20] Dean talks about what led him to his career as an artist.
  • [10:50] Family dynamics and growing up poor in Flordia.
  • [17:00] The value of early childhood art education.
  • [26:50] Beauty in the midst of pain.
  • [31:30] How art can bring hope.
  • [38:00] Going to college and taking risks.
  • [45:30] Dean explains how he became financially stable.
  • [57:00] An insight into the mindset of many art collectors.
  • [59:20] Dean opens up about his experience entering art competitions.
  • [1:06:30] How art can grab you on a visceral level.
  • [1:20:00] Why we need to see beyond our social constructs.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Nov 28, 2019
Landscape Painting and the Power of Persistence, with Adam Hall 

When was the last time you found yourself moved deep in the core of your being by a work of art or natural beauty? As an artist, you can appreciate the power that we have to draw on people’s perceptions and emotions. It was a pleasure to speak with the talented Nashville based landscape artist, Adam Hall. In our conversation, Adam was kind enough to open up about his connection to the ocean, how his time working in the music industry influenced his artwork, challenges he has faced along the way, and much more. You’ll want to pay close attention, Adam has some helpful insights and suggestions for fellow artists and parents. 

Disaster and opportunity 

Do you remember that moment when you realized that you needed to commit yourself to become an artist? Was it a decision to go to art school? Or did you find yourself slowly realizing that you needed to start drawing out your creative side? For Adam hall, the turning point in his career came when he went with his musician friends to volunteer for the Red Cross.

In the wake of a massive tornado storm that impacted the Nashville area, Adam and his friends decided that they wanted to help the situation. In a twist of fate, Adam and his friends found themselves at the home of renowned Nashville artist, David Wright. Seizing on the opportunity, Adam peppered David with questions and sought his advice on how to move forward in his budding career as an artist. 


Fast-forward many years later, and you’ll find Adam thriving as a landscape artist in the Nashville area. Adam’s journey hasn’t always been an easy one; he has experienced his fair share of stress, creative struggles, and moments of overwhelm. Do you think that feeling overwhelmed could ever be a good thing? What if you could draw on the enormity and scale of an image or scene that was so powerful that it elicited an emotional response? 

When Adam was faced with a particularly busy season of his life, he found himself going for an early run one morning. His mind was weighed down by the stress and frantic energy that seemed endless. Reaching the end of his run at the beach - Adam was moved to tears as the sun crested over the horizon. At that moment at the ocean, Adam experienced something that transcended all the chaos in his mind - it was almost like hitting the reset button. In Adam’s experience, feeling overwhelmed can lead to a positive outcome. 

Navigating parenthood as an artist 

I love to take the opportunity to explore the insights and lessons that my fellow artists have for their peers who also happen to be parents. Having explored this facet of life with many of my guests over the years, it never ceases to surprise me that while there are many similarities, everyone has their own unique take on parenting as an artist. For Adam and his wife, they found that their creative and professional lives thrived when they were able to plan and schedule their time effectively. Instead of a combative and haphazard approach to parenting - Adam and his wife were committed to carving time to their creative pursuits. What can you learn from Adam’s story?

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] I welcome my guest, Adam Hall. 
  • [3:00] Adam talks about how he got his start as an artist. 
  • [14:00] How has Adam’s approach to the canvas changed over the years? 
  • [16:00] Artists who have influenced Adam. 
  • [20:00] Adam talks about his connection to the ocean. 
  • [26:45] How does Adam describe his style and artistic approach? 
  • [31:20] Adam shares his routine and studio practices. 
  • [35:00] How has Adam navigated life as a parent and an artist? 
  • [40:00] Building relationships and networking. 
  • [48:00] Refusing to take no for an answer. 
  • [51:15] Adam talks about the challenges he has faced along the way. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Nov 14, 2019
Fine Art Prints Q&A, with Jake Hawley from Picture Salon

Normally when I do these question and answer episodes, I get anywhere from 20 to 30 questions to ask my guest - for this topic - the questions numbered in the 100’s! Thankfully, Jake Hawley from Picture Salon was willing to take time out of his schedule to answer many of your questions here on the podcast. In our conversation, Jake touches on file sizes, how to take the best pictures of your art, tips for pricing your fine art prints, and much more. If you’ve ever considered selling prints of your artwork - this is the episode for you! 

Should I buy a large format printer? 

Finding a good print shop to work with can be difficult, and you may be tempted to invest in a large format printer to take care of it all yourself. While buying a large format printer might work for some artists, the truth is - unless you are planning on using the printer regularly - it’s a poor investment. Instead, consider taking the time to research and explore some of the print shops in your area or even using a service like Picture Salon.

How to get the best lighting

One of the challenges of getting good fine art prints is taking a high-quality picture of your artwork. Many artists think that snapping a photo on their iPhone will suffice - unfortunately, there are many additional factors to take into consideration. Jake encourages artists like you to use a tripod when taking a photo of your artwork; he also stresses the value of paying close attention to your lighting and how it impacts the image. Ultimately, if possible, Jake suggests connecting with a professional photographer who has experience photographing fine art for reproduction. 

Materials matter

Did you know that the material you choose to have your art printed on can make all the difference? It’s true! In our conversation, Jake’s answers to various material questions took us on a tour of papers, metals, and more. I’ve had first-hand experience working with Jake and his team while I agonized over which type of paper I wanted to use when printing my art. If you are wondering what type of paper to use with your art - consider giving Jake a call. At Picture Salon, they’ll help you figure out what paper works best with your art and they’ll even send you some free samples. 

Tips for setting a price on fine art prints

If I had one, I had a dozen questions about pricing fine art prints. I get it, putting a number on your art can be challenging - especially when it comes to prints of your artwork. In our conversation, Jake was kind enough to share several tips on accurately pricing your fine art prints. Jake suggests pricing a print between 3 and 5 times the cost it took to produce the print. Make sure to factor into your price the time the original took you to create as well as the time it took to get the captures. Follow up with Jake and his team at Picture Salon to get more helpful information like this!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] I welcome my guest, Jake Hawley. 
  • [2:00] What do I need to know about setting up a print shop on my website? 
  • [5:40] Should I buy a large format printer or just use a print shop? 
  • [8:40] What are the minimum requirements for a photograph of a painting for reproduction?
  • [15:00] Is there a difference between flat color images and something that is more textured when it comes to file sizes? 
  • [19:45] I share a story about trying to ship some of my paintings. 
  • [26:45] Dealing with an under-exposed print. 
  • [30:10] Why it’s a good idea to get paper samples before printing. 
  • [34:50] Why lighting is so important when photographing artwork. 
  • [43:30] What is the best way to take a picture of a painting with a glossy finish? 
  • [52:50] How large should my photo capture be? What about file sizes? 
  • [56:40] What does it take to keep an art reproduction safe in high humidity? 
  • [59:30] Do you include an invoice when shipping to customers? What about dropshipping? 
  • [1:06:30] What is the best way to sell your art? 
  • [1:10:20] When blowing up an image 10 times the size, what is a good approach? 
  • [1:17:00] Why it’s a good idea to keep in mind how your customers will hang your art. 
  • [1:21:00] Jake shares some helpful tips for pricing your art prints. 
  • [1:23:00] How to connect with Jake. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

  • use coupon code: SAVVY20 for a special discount 
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Connect With Antrese

Oct 31, 2019
Exploring Creativity and Understanding How You Tick, with Andy J. Pizza

As an artist, one of the hardest things you can do is to push past your limits and dive right into exploring creativity. Do you find pushing the boundaries of your abilities exciting or nerve-racking? My guest, Andy J. Pizza, is ready to explore this question and a whole lot more. In our conversation, Andy opens up about his creative journey, what it’s like to embrace his ADHD, the challenge of copyright laws, and more. I know artists like you will get a ton of value from Andy’s valuable and unique perspective!

Helping others

Why in the world would someone start a podcast? I get that question a lot! While every podcaster will have their own unique spin on this question - I wanted to hear from Andy J. Pizza. According to Andy, the reason he started his podcast was to help more creative people like him! Too often, Andy saw podcasts and books written by creatives who looked a certain way and acted a certain way, but no one quite like him. Banking on the fact that there were others out there who wanted a fresh take on the creative journey - Andy launched his podcast, Creative Pep Talk. Make sure to listen to Andy’s podcast; you can find the link in the resources section at the end of this post.

Let your freak flag fly!

Have you ever felt like you were a square peg that was forced to fit into a round hole? That’s what Andy felt all those years as a creative who couldn’t quite fit in. After years of introspection and reflection, Andy finally concluded that he shouldn’t minimize what set him apart from others but that he should embrace it. How do you feel about Andy’s take? Are you ready to take on the challenge and let your freak flag fly high, or are you more comfortable playing it safe? Let’s face it; we need both bold leaders and pragmatic individuals who are ready to put in the work - which one sounds more like you?

Finding the right pace

I am so honored to get amazing questions and comments every day from artists like you - some just want to ask a simple technical question, and others want to dive right in with challenging ones. Over the years, I’ve learned a healthy balance between my work on this podcast and my own artwork. Have you found the right balance in your career? Andy encourages artists like you to jump at every opportunity you can get when you are young and inexperienced. He also urges more seasoned artists to slow down and find the right pace as they become more experienced in their careers. What do you think of Andy’s advice?

Know thy self

What is at the heart of your desire to create? Do you love to push the boundaries of your abilities, or do you simply enjoy the process? Maybe for you, it’s the ability to go at your own pace and follow your own inspiration that draws you to your work as an artist. Whatever your unique offering to the world is - discover it and embrace it! You are the only you that has ever been made - the world needs your voice and your creativity. Don’t be content to sit on the sidelines, learn from Andy’s helpful advice, and leverage your unique abilities to make the world just a little bit brighter.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:45] I introduce my guest, Andy J. Pizza.
  • [2:30] Andy shares his background and why he started his podcast.
  • [12:30] I share a personal story about my family.
  • [15:00] The real story behind ADHD according to Andy.
  • [19:20] Andy talks about the impact his father has had on him.
  • [22:50] Let your freak flag fly!
  • [27:40] Andy and I talk about copyright laws.
  • [46:00] Should you take that opportunity or let it pass by?
  • [56:00] What to do when the opportunities start to slow down.
  • [58:40] A missed opportunity.
  • [1:01:30] Why masterminds and coaches ROCK.
  • [1:05:45] Understanding how you tick.
  • [1:13:30] Closing thoughts from Andy.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 17, 2019
Painting from Sketch Drawings, with Tom Hughes

Do you ever find yourself fascinated by the stories of artists who paint from sketch drawings? What do those artists look for when they sketch? How do they remember the right colors or where the light was coming from? Hoping to get some answers to these questions and a whole lot more, I was pleased to sit down with the artist, Tom Hughes. In our conversation, Tom opens up about how he found his path as an artist, what it was like working for the Christian Science Monitor, and more. I can’t wait for you all to get a peek into the world of Tom Hughes! 

Hearing the call

Can you remember that moment when you decided you wanted to pursue your career as an artist? Or maybe for you, the draw to an art career was more of a gradual revelation. Slow or sudden, each artist has their own version of realizing their unique path as an artist. For Tom Hughes, the decision to embrace life as an artist was more along the lines of answering a “Calling.” If you are religious, spiritual, something in between, or nothing at all, I’m sure you can relate to what Tom talks about when he describes his draw to art as a “Calling.” For some reason, I’ve found that language to resonate with many artists, does it resonate with you? 

Picking up skills along the way 

As you’ve grown as an artist over the years, do you attribute it to practice or learning new skills along the way? While some artists love to explore new methods and push the limits, others like to hunker down and become proficient at one particular approach. Tom Hughes did not receive formal art training at a university for college; he took the route that included self-education. As you can imagine, Tom’s journey hasn’t always been easy. He has had significant moments of confidence, like his time at the Christian Science Monitor, and he’s had periods where he had to take a break and step away. 

Finding the right process

Through all of the highs and lows of Tom’s career, the one constant that gets to the heart of Tom’s career is his willingness to adapt and discover the right process. Rarely do artists get described as process-oriented. We artists often get painted with a broad stroke and labelled as flighty, inconsistent, and emotional, just to name a few! Tom worked hard for years to hone in on the process that would work best for him. One of the ways Tom likes to work is by sketching his subjects before he goes to the canvas. Are you drawn to a more process-focused approach in your art? 

It’s OK to change over time

I am still blown away when I look back to the start of this fledgeling little podcast and the few friends I knew who would listen to see the massive following we enjoy today - it’s incredible! There are a few elements from those early episodes that you’ll still notice as part of the podcast today, but there have been many changes. If you don’t learn and adapt over time, what is the point? Too often, I find my fellow artists are more adverse to change and evolution then I had expected. We are the ones who get the opportunity to push the envelope and help the public look deeper - it’s OK to change over time!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] I introduce my guest, Tom Hughes. 
  • [2:20] How Tom got started as an artist. 
  • [9:00] Skills that Tom picked up and learned along the way. 
  • [14:00] Tom’s studio process. 
  • [19:00] Diving into the details of Tom’s sketching sessions. 
  • [26:40] Tom’s process when it comes to plein air painting. 
  • [34:15] What is Tom’s color pallet like? 
  • [40:00] How we change as artists over time. 
  • [46:20] Tom’s struggle with watercolours. 
  • [50:20] Why I love watercolours and life as an artist. 
  • [1:00:00] Have tolerance for your bad paintings! 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 03, 2019
Oil Painting and Learning to Manage Distractions, with Michelle Dunaway 

When was the last time you really took a moment to slow down and notice your surroundings? Do you find that you are easily distracted by your cell phone notifications or the million other things demanding your attention? You aren’t alone! I’ve struggled with managing my distractions for years, so I was thrilled to hear my guest, Michelle Dunaway address this critical topic. In our conversation, we also discuss Michelle’s oil painting, her recent arm injury, how to be honest with yourself, and much more. I know that artists like you will get a ton of value from Michelle’s thoughtful perspective, enjoy! 

Space to daydream and wonder

What was your childhood like? Did you have a ton of expectations placed on you from an early age or were you free to find your own path? While many parents have nothing but the best of intentions - the truth is - a carefree childhood can quickly get pushed to the wayside. Thankfully, Michelle was given permission and encouragement to explore her creativity. Looking back, she is especially fond of the moments where she would get lost in a daydream or playing in a field. Michelle also points to a critical influence in her life, Richard Schmidt - he also took time to invest in Michelle and encourage her abilities both professionally and as a peer.

An unexpected injury 

Don’t you hate it when life throws you a huge curveball that you never saw coming? Maybe for you, it was an unexpected expense like a car repair or the illness of a loved one, or maybe your story is a lot like Michelle’s and you’ve experienced a personal injury that you have to overcome. After recovering from a misstep that caused an injury to her arm, Michelle started to get back into the swing of things. Before long, she realized that she wasn’t able to put in the hours painting as she had before the accident. It turns out that Michelle had re-injured her arm and now has to undergo surgery and an extensive recovery process. 

Managing distractions 

The experience with her arm injury highlighted an important aspect that Michelle had been working to focus on for years - managing distractions. From her cellphone to the news and everything in between - Michelle’s life felt like it was full of distractions. As a spiritual person, Michelle looks to prayer and meditation to help her find her center. Cutting through all the noise of daily life is no easy task! The injury to her arm has forced Michelle to become more aware and present - she still struggles with the distraction of her cell phone, but she’s making progress. What can you take away from Michelle’s story? 

The moments that make you smile 

Have you had a moment in your art career that made you pause in gratitude? Let’s face it; gratitude is not an easy attitude to cultivate. We can get so focused and caught up in what we don’t have or what isn’t going right that we fail to reflect on the good things in life. Michelle will be the first person to tell you that her life is filled with things to be grateful for. Looking back on her career - Michelle points out one person’s reaction to her oil painting of Richard Schmidt as a particularly remarkable experience. The man that was viewing her painting was moved to tears and explained that Michelle’s painting made him feel like he had met Richard Schmidt. What a compliment!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Michelle Dunaway. 
  • [2:30] Michelle talks about her influences and why she started a career in art. 
  • [5:30] How has Michelle’s arm injury impacted her journey? 
  • [19:20] Michelle and I discuss the “Artist’s eye.” 
  • [21:00] Learning to be honest with yourself. 
  • [29:30] What does Michelle look for in a subject? 
  • [39:00] Michelle talks about her experience working with Faso. 
  • [42:00] A typical day in Michelle’s studio.
  • [50:00] Removing distractions. 
  • [54:40] Proud moments from Michelle’s career. 
  • [1:04:00] Michelle shares a story about a painting that moved her. 
  • [1:13:30] What is Michelle’s dream project? 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 19, 2019
Painting Americana and Looking Deeper, with Susan Lyon

Have you found artists who paint Americana inspiring? Are you drawn to the romanticism and grandeur of the genre? How do artists who focus on painting Americana feel about their genre of work? I was thrilled to sit down with the talented and generous artist, Susan Lyon. In our conversation, Susan opened up about what led her to her career as an artist, why she decides to change things up, her dream of mentoring young artists, and much more. I can't wait for you to get to know Susan's inspiring story! 

A captured imagination 

When you look back at your start as an artist, who do you point to for inspiration? Was your imagination captured by the likes of Georgia O'Keeffe and N. C. Wyeth? Susan Lyon's imagination was ignited by a whole range of artists, including O'Keeffe and Wyeth. Today, Susan finds herself encouraged and inspired by her peers who paint Americana. Susan also enjoys studying and painting the faces of people she loves. Listening to Susan, you really get the sense that her heart is poured out into her artwork. 

Practicing meditation 

How do you deal with all the stress and challenges of life as an artist? What practices help you focus and unlock your creativity? For years Susan Lyon would practice meditation, but it wasn't until the last couple of years when everything started to "Click." By practicing meditation, Susan has learned how to calm her nervous system and ask open-ended questions. Meditation has given Susan the gift of perspective and peace - key elements for a healthy career as an artist! What can you learn from Susan's story? What practices have helped you in your career? 

Don't chase perfection! 

Have you been caught up in the perfection game? Some artists learn quickly how detrimental the pursuit of perfection can be - for others, it can take years. We've all been there - you have a particular idea of how you want your artwork to turn out but reality jumps in and messes everything up. It's at that point where you need to decide if you are going to keep pouring in your time and energy or cut your losses and start something new. Susan recalls how challenging it can be to realize that you've sunk way too much time into a project that needs to end. I hope you find her advice and insights as helpful as I did! 

The power of group energy

When was the last time you got so caught up in the electric energy and positive influence of your fellow artists? Some artists love to get alone with their canvas and explore the depths of their creativity while others feed off of and thrive in a more communal environment. Beyond personal preferences - Susan makes an excellent point about the power of group energy, especially when it comes to artists. In her experience, when like-minded artists gather and encourage one another - powerful energy is unlocked. Have you experienced that time group energy?

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] I introduce my guest, Susan Lyon. 
  • [3:05] What led Susan to her career as an artist. 
  • [12:00] Susan talks about changing things up. 
  • [17:15] Reverting back to a safety zone. 
  • [19:50] Susan shares the benefit of practicing meditation. 
  • [29:30] Why Susan enjoys painting the image of people she loves.
  • [35:00] The challenge of chasing perfection. 
  • [40:10] What is Susan’s process like in the studio? 
  • [45:30] Susan’s dream of mentoring younger artists. 
  • [50:10] The power of group energy. 
  • [53:30] Branching out with a one-person show and teaching. 
  • [1:06:00] The power of vulnerability. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 05, 2019
How to Build a Presence on Etsy and Sell Your Art, with Jenni Waldrop

What does it take to branch out from traditional practices and sell your art on platforms like Etsy? Can you make a living off of an Etsy business? What should you look out for? Good news! I put all these questions and more to my returning guest, Jenni Waldrop. 

In our conversation, Jenni opens up about realistic expectations, why it’s not enough to just build a shop on Etsy, how to plan for seasonal changes, and much more. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to build a presence on a platform like Etsy - this is the episode for you! 

Addressing Criticism

The last time I had Jenni on as a guest, we had an excellent discussion that resonated with a lot of Savvy Painter listeners. Just recently, I received a message that had some pointed criticism for Jenni and the numbers she shared regarding her Etsy earnings. In our conversation, Jenni breaks down why she shared the numbers that she shared and why she had to split up her shops to increase her earning potential. After our conversation, I’m confident that you’ll have a greater understanding of what to expect when it comes to building a presence on Etsy. 

Don’t be afraid to test

What is the best product to sell on Etsy? For each artist and seller, the answer to this question will change - especially depending on the season! While small prints will sell well for one artist - large prints will sell better for another. The key is to give yourself permission to test the market and find out what works. When it comes to selling your art - there is no one size fits all solution you’ve got to be willing to make adjustments and learn as you go. Jenni encourages artists to look around at what is selling, especially given the season. 

If you build it - will they come? 

Remember that old Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams?” Wouldn’t it be nice if your business were as simple as setting it up and waiting for the customers to flock to your doorstep? Unfortunately - as many of you know - selling your art isn’t easy. Just like nurturing relationships with a gallery - you’ve got to nurture a relationship with your audience on platforms like Etsy. Consider sharing part of your story or starting a blog to feature artwork and projects you’ve worked on in the past. 

One step at a time

How do you feel about starting your Etsy store? Does it sound daunting and overwhelming? If so - you aren’t alone. There are so many artists out there who want to begin selling on Etsy and other platforms, but they don’t know where to start. I get it - I’ve been there! Don’t think that you need to have everything up and running right away - you don’t! Listen to Jenni’s advice and start one step at a time - break it down into manageable steps that you can accomplish at your own pace. For more information on how to start an Etsy shop - make sure to check out Jenni’s website!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] I introduce my returning guest, Jenni Waldrop. 
  • [5:00] Jenni addresses some criticism from our first episode together. 
  • [12:30] Setting realistic expectations. Jenni shares some helpful examples. 
  • [19:50] Testing what works and learning from what doesn’t. 
  • [27:00] Should you be worried about people ripping off your artwork on Etsy? 
  • [35:30] What is going on with Etsy’s shipping promotions? 
  • [38:30] If you build it - they will come - right? 
  • [42:30] Jenni explains how to break down your priorities. 
  • [45:00] How do you deal with audience burnout? 
  • [50:20] Preparing for seasonal trends. 
  • [53:30] Building a presence and making a connection. 
  • [56:45] Tips for building up your business and planning out your month. 

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Aug 22, 2019
Reflections and Lessons Learned from Various Artists 

I still can’t believe that it’s been five years since I started the Savvy Painter podcast. Back when I first started, there were hardly any podcasts about, by, or for artists. Today, there are a ton of options out there, and I’m happy to call many of them friends! On this episode - I decided to do something different - I sat down with a handful of fellow podcasters to answer three questions. 

  1.  What is one common thread you noticed from speaking to so many artists? 
  2. What advice would you give to an emerging artist who sometimes questions their resolve? 
  3. What is the worst advice you hear given to artists? 

Not surprisingly, each of my guests had varied answers that kept me engaged and curious. I can’t wait for artists like you to dig in and hear from their unique and fascinating perspectives!

A common thread

What would you say is the common thread that ties artists together? As I asked this question to my guests, I was encouraged by their answers. Again and again, the common thread that binds many artists’ seems to be freedom and autonomy. Each person that chooses the path of an artist will follow the call to creativity by creating their own path. I love the boldness that each of my guests tapped into when they answered this question - they weren’t afraid to get it wrong! I hope you get a lot of helpful insights from their unique perspectives and make sure to check out their podcasts.

Advice for emerging artists 

There are so many things that I wish I would have heard when I first started out as an artist. What are some of the tips and insights you wish you could have heard? Many of my guests stressed the value of putting in the work - and hard work at that! Too often artists get portrayed as struggling and starving or esoteric and whimsical - but what about the hard-working artist? At the end of the day - if you aren’t working hard and creating - do you really want to be an artist? Another one of my guests encouraged their peers to give yourself permission to call yourself an artist - yes, you can wear that title. 

Terrible advice to avoid 

Sometimes the best advice is to avoid bad advice. What are some terrible pieces of advice that people have given you over the course of your career? I can think of one person who decided that it was their calling to make sure I knew how unbelievably hard it would be to make it as an artist. Yes, it is hard to succeed as an artist, but it’s also hard to succeed as a doctor or a business leader, but we don’t go out of the way to highlight the difficulties of those professions! My guests have a ton of bad advice that you should avoid - let me know which ones resonated with you.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:20] I introduce the three questions I ask fellow podcasting artists. 
  • [3:00] Amanda Adams and Nicole Mueller (Beyond the Studio) answer question #1. 
  • [6:10] David Sherry (Creative Caffeine) answers question #2. 
  • [8:00] Kaylan Buteyn (Artist/Mother) answers question #1. 
  • [11:10] Marissa Huber (Carve Out Time for Art) answers question #1. 
  • [12:50] Yoshino (Artist Decoded) answers question #1. 
  • [20:30] Andy Pizza (Creative Pep Talk) answers question #1. 
  • [28:40] Erika Hess (I Like Your Work) answers question #1. 
  • [31:00] Andy Pizza answers question #2. 
  • [41:15] Brian Alfred (Sound and Vision) answers question #2. 
  • [43:30] Erika Hess answers question #2. 
  • [44:30] John Dalton (Gently Does It) answers question #2. 
  • [46:00] Stan Prokopenko (Draftsmen) answers question #2. 
  • [49:50] Amanda Adams and Nicole Mueller answer question #3. 
  • [51:45] Erika Hess answers question #3. 
  • [55:30] Andy Pizza answers question #3.
  • [59:00] Brian Alfred answers question #3.
  • [1:02:20] David Sherry answers question #3
  • [1:03:55] Kaylan Buteyn answers question #3.
  • [1:10:00] Yoshino answers question #3. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Aug 08, 2019
The Joy of Painting Animals and Exploring the Color Palette, with Jennifer Gennari

When was the last time that you found deep and abiding joy in your artwork? Have you explored the joy of painting animals and pets? Most of you know how excited I am about Trekell’s new Pet Portrait Competition. Guess what? I’ve got the judge for that competition joining me for this episode of the podcast! 

Jennifer Gennari is a classically trained figurative artist. She graduated in 2005 from Ringling College of Art and Design and in 2008 left for Italy to study at the Florence Academy of Art where she spent three years abroad studying classical realism. In our conversation, Jennifer opens up about her time at the Florence Academy, how she trained herself to see colors differently, how she views commissioned paintings, and much more. 

Florence Academy

I don’t know about you, but for years I dreamt of attending the Florence Academy - so I jumped at the chance to get Jennifer’s insights from her time there. While she was overwhelmed by many aspects of her time at the Florence Academy - drawing was not one of them. Jennifer was able to pull from her rich childhood memory of obsessively drawing the same Disney characters over and over again. When the time came to drawing with charcoal - Jennifer was out of her element - but thankfully that didn’t last long.

Looking at color differently 

How did you develop your feel for using color? Did it come easy for you, or did you find the work challenging? I remember one torturous assignment I was given in school where I had to match the color of this massive collage that I had created - the result? I can now match just about any color I encounter! Jennifer’s story is a little bit different - but she also struggled with finding the right way to incorporate color into her artwork. Looking back - Jennifer notices that while the Florence Academy was great for many valuable lessons - color development wasn’t one of them.

Painting animals 

Some of you love painting animals and pets in particular - if that is you - you’ve got to check out Trekell’s new Pet Portrait Competition. Jennifer got started painting animals when she got tired of painting people. Still wanting to improve her skill at painting skin - Jennifer came up with a great solution - painting hairless cats! From there - Jennifer branched out and starting painting animals with fur and then she started dabbling in commissioned paintings of animals and pets. If you are interested in entering Trekell’s Pet Portrait Competition, make sure to check out the link in the resources section! 

Are you a “Sell out” if you create commissioned paintings? 

Speaking of commissioned paintings - what is your take? Have you created a commissioned painting? Do you feel like creating commissioned paintings is selling out? I know that many of you have strong feelings about commissioned paintings - but I’d love for you to hear Jennifer out. In her view - commissioned paintings are only as good as the joy and fulfilment you experience creating them. Creating a commissioned painting for someone who has a special connection to animal or pet is what makes the endeavour worth it. Jennifer only sees creating commissioned paintings as a “Sell out” when the artist is in it exclusively for the money. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:05] I introduce my guest, Jennifer Gennari. 
  • [3:10] Jennifer shares her early artistic influences and her first career moves. 
  • [9:20] What was it like at the Florence Academy? 
  • [16:00] How did Jennifer train herself to see color differently? 
  • [30:30] Jennifer talks about why she loves painting animals. 
  • [38:00] What is Jennifer’s studio process like? 
  • [44:40] Jennifer talks about her color pallet. 
  • [51:20] Why does Jen always start off with warm colors? 
  • [56:00] Commissioned paintings - is it “Selling out?”
  • [1:04:00] What is Jennifer currently obsessed with? What is she working on? 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 25, 2019
Dealing with the Inner Critic and How to Stay Creative, with Danny Gregory

If you are anything like me - you’ve struggled with how to deal with your inner critic over the years. There are a few things that have helped me deal with my inner critic, but I am always excited to hear what my peers have done to address this common issue in the art community. Here to share his unique and valuable perspective is the artist - Danny Gregory. 

Danny is an artist, and he has written nearly a dozen internationally best-selling books on art and creativity. He is also the co-founder of Sketchbook Skool with tens of thousands of students worldwide. In our conversation, Danny opens up about how he got started as an artist, why he loves working on “Zines,” how he deals with his inner critic, what it takes to stay creative, and much more. I know you’ll get a ton of benefit from Danny’s thoughtful perspective. 

Find your people!

If you’ve been around the Savvy Painter community for any stretch of time, you know that I am passionate about encouraging artists like you to find your people. Let’s face it - life as an artist can be a lonely existence - but it doesn’t have to be! Even back in the ’90s, artists like Danny Gregory found a way to connect with peers who would encourage and challenge them in their creative pursuits. Discovering an artist from eastern Oregon by flipping through a “Zine” at Tower Records in New York City changed Danny’s life. He quickly befriended this artist via correspondence, and the two went on many trips together. Have you found your people yet? 

Why “Zines” are so appealing

Speaking of “Zines,” have you ever encountered one before? When Danny mentioned reading zines in Tower Records back in the 90’s I had a total flashback to my college years. For my millennial followers - zines or fanzines are publications produced by enthusiasts of a particular niche interest. Traditionally, zines are circulated free of charge, or for a nominal cost to defray postage or production expenses. There are so many amazing things you can do with the zine medium - and according to Danny, they are starting to make a comeback!

Nurturing a creative focus 

A few years ago, Danny wrote a book called “Art Before Breakfast.” I love that title by the way! His book explored several small ways he incorporated his drive for creativity each day. From keeping a sketchbook next to the kettle in the kitchen to sketching an image while waiting for his wife to finish shopping - there are a ton of helpful ideas that artists like you can use. At the heart of Danny’s message is this - you can fit creativity and art making throughout your day if you just redefine what that means. For many of you - Danny’s approach will be a bit of stretch - after all, we are conditioned to think of “Art-making” as a structured and specific time we set aside. 

Dealing with the inner critic 

Another book Danny wrote is called, “Shut Your Monkey: How to Control Your Inner Critic.” In this book, Danny explains how he’s dealt with and learned to live with his inner critic. Do you still struggle with silencing your inner critic? If so - I can’t recommend Danny’s book enough! He dove deep into where the inner critic comes from in our minds and how to better understand it. Danny discovered that the voice of the inner critic actually is there to protect us from making risky decisions - which is great when it comes to danger - not so great when it comes to creating art. Make sure to check out the links to Danny’s website and his books in the resources section - I know that many of you will find them helpful! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:15] I introduce my guest, Danny Gregory.
  • [2:50] How Danny got interested in art. 
  • [9:10] Danny explains how he connected with like-minded artists. 
  • [11:15] What is a “Zine” or “Fanzine?” 
  • [13:40] How Danny came to publish drawings from his sketchbook. 
  • [20:15] Creating vs. consuming. 
  • [22:00] Dealing with the inner critic. 
  • [31:00] Being uncomfortable with the label, “Artist.” 
  • [34:40] A special message from Kate Zambrano about using Trekell Art Supplies. 
  • [41:30] Art before breakfast - feeding your creativity. 
  • [52:00] We are meant to be making things!
  • [59:00] The book that has made a huge impact on Danny. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 11, 2019
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. 

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 27, 2019
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.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 13, 2019
Special Q&A: Navigating Art Competitions, Argentina Update, and Productivity Tips, and more!

I’ve got a special episode in store for you all this week including questions and answers to a few select topics. I wanted to experiment with a new format, and I’m glad to have you along for the ride! On this episode - I cover how artists like you can navigate art competitions, I give an update about my move to Argentina, and I go over some productivity tips. I’m so thankful to all of you who have been so supportive and encouraging as I’ve made the transition back to Argentina - I excited to roll out some exciting new interviews and innovative episodes like this one!

How to find the right art competitions

I know it might feel that way, but here is the truth - not all art competitions are shady. It is also unfair to lump them all into the same category, some art competitions will be a great fit for one artist, and they’ll be a terrible fit for others. Here are my four tips for finding the right art competitions.

  1. Understand your goal.
  2. Do your homework.
  3. Celebrate when you get in!
  4. Just move on when you don’t get in.

You are responsible for your own career - so act like it! Don’t get upset about the cost of entering into an art competition, if you think it’s a right fit and that you have a shot then go for it. As you can tell, I’ve got a lot to say about this topic, and I know it’s not an easy one. I’d love to hear from you - what tips do you have to share about finding the right art competitions?

Argentina update

We did it! We’ve made it to our new home in Villa Carlos Paz in Argentina. It’s been great to hear from many of you as you’ve patiently waited to hear from me during this whole transition process. My new studio is all set up, and I am ready to jump back into my routine. One thing that is a bit of a love/hate factor of life here in Villa Carlos Paz is all the mom and pop stores. I love that I get to directly support the local economy with my purchases - I hate that it can take weeks and weeks to get something as simple as binder clips. All-in-all life is good, and I’m glad for this new chapter of life!

Be kind to yourself!

As an artist, you want to create worthwhile art, and that’s great! Let’s be honest - when you fail to create the stellar art you have envisioned in your mind - you let yourself have it. We are notorious at holding ourselves to such high and lofty standards that when we fail, we are our own worst critics. Self-reflection is great! Beating yourself up is not so great. Think of it this way - you wouldn’t let your friend beat themselves up - so don’t do it to the person in the mirror! I firmly believe that you cannot create from a place of frustration or negativity - if that sounds too fluffy - too bad :)

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:15] I introduce this special question and answer episode.
  • [2:20] My tips for navigating juried art competitions.
  • [8:00] What is a reasonable price to expect for entering an art competition?
  • [10:00] I give an update on my move to Argentina.
  • [12:20] How do you keep moving forward when life keeps getting in the way?
  • [17:00] Tips for good results when plein air painting.
  • [19:30] Closing thoughts.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 30, 2019
Why You Need to Follow Your Gut and Create Art, with Kristin Cronic

When was the last time you decided to quite all the voices and just focus on your desire to create art? Is it hard for you to carve out the time in your life or have you found the right formula to make it work? Wherever you are at in your journey, I know you’ll appreciate hearing from the amazing Jacksonville based artist - Kristin Cronic.

In our conversation, Kristin opens up about how she got started as an artist, what it was like navigating life as a Navy officer, how she recovered when her whole world was flipped upside down, and so much more. Don’t forget to check out images of Kristin’s artwork located at the end of this post.

Paint on the floor and permission to create art

Do you remember when you were first given permission to paint? Remember the joy you had? What happened to that joy? Have you fanned those flames over the years or are you just now starting to re-light the fire?

Kristin Cronic looks back to the early years of her life when her mother would allow her to paint and explore to heart's content. Her mother still has a paint-covered floor in her room at that house to this day! Kristin also received early encouragement from her aunt, Kathy Strauss who is also an artist.

Surviving a hurricane

Several years ago in 2017, Hurricane Irma struck the Florida coast, the Florida Keys, and the Caribbean. Irma also happened to strike just as Kristin and her family were planning a major shift in their lives - Kristin was resigning from the Navy to pursue her career in art. Also - Kristin was six weeks pregnant with their second child.

As crazy as that time was, thankfully, Kristin and her family made it through the whole ordeal safely. In the ensuing months, Kristin and her family went to work picking up the pieces as they began to rebuild. Two months after the chaos - Kristin started to really struggle with all the challenges that were building up. Thankfully, her husband stepped in with some helpful advice.

Follow your gut

In the middle of trying to bring order to chaos, Kristin followed her husband’s advice, and she started painting again. He knew, even when she had forgotten that taking the time to create art would help her find peace. It’s wonderful when you have people in your corner who help you follow your gut even when you can’t hear it speaking up!

As Kristin started to follow her gut and get back into what brought her joy, she found herself struggling with a direction. Listening to the Savvy Painter podcast helped Kristin reconnect with her inner artist and begin the path toward creating art again. Listening to the podcast wasn’t the silver bullet for Kristin, she also reached out to a local artist, and she enrolled in the Savvy Painter Growth Studio.

It’s never too late

Hopefully, you’ll find Kristin’s powerful story of finding her way and following her gut inspiring - I know I did! What I want artists like you to know is this; it’s never too late. You aren’t too old or too out of touch with the art community. No excuse is big enough to keep you from creating art.

The world needs your story and your art just as much as it needs Kristin’s! I’m so encouraged that this podcast and the community we’ve built has helped artists like Kristin find their way. Please, continue offering your feedback and your insights as we continue to work together to create something meaningful in this space.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:08] An update on my move to Argentina.
  • [2:00] I introduce my guest, Kristin Cronic.
  • [3:20] How did Kristin get started as an artist?
  • [7:30] Kristin talks about how this podcast and a local artist encouraged her to get back involved with painting.
  • [13:00] How Kristin’s world turned upside down.
  • [17:30] The differences between the Navy culture and life as an artist.
  • [21:15] Kristin explains how she started to find her voice.
  • [26:45] How Kristin got her art featured in two art shows.
  • [34:00] Insights Kristin has learned by listening to artists featured on this podcast.
  • [37:30] Advice that Kristin has for fellow artists.
  • [39:45] Closing thoughts.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 16, 2019
Your Questions Answered! With Gamblin Artist's Colors

Do you have questions about oil painting and the best materials to use? Look no further, it’s here! Robert Gamblin, Mary Weisenburger, 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 Gamblin 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!

Apr 11, 2019
A Peek Inside the World of Collecting Art, with Tracy Kinnally

What is that people look for when they invest time and money into collecting art? Are they looking for a particular style? Is it for their personal enjoyment or do they want it to serve as a conversation starter? Here to give us a great peek inside the world of collecting art is art advisor, Tracy Kinnally. In our conversation, Tracy explains how she got started as an art advisor, where the art market is headed, advice for artists and collectors, and much more. I know that artists like you will really appreciate our conversation especially the turn it takes toward the end.

How do you get started as an art advisor?

Have you ever wondered how someone gets started as an art advisor? Did they dream of helping people find art from an early age? Tracy Kinnally studied at Christie’s in London and then went on to intern at the Chelsea gallery in New York and the Guggenheim in Venice. These days, Tracy is hard at work on her business helping people all over the world find the right art to feature in their home or workplace. You can connect with Tracy by going to her website; the link is located in the resources section.

What are art collectors looking for?

As many people can attest to, collecting art can become a sort of obsession. What is it that these collectors are looking for? Do they get connected to a particular artist or a style? Tracy has found that each person is looking for something a little bit different and that is why she enjoys meeting people in their homes to get a sense of what would fit for that individual. She even finds that what a collector says they want and what they really want are two different things. I found Tracy’s perspective fascinating and helpful, and I know that you will too!

Advice for artists and collectors.

If you are going to start collecting art, you should connect with someone like Tracy Kinnally, seriously. Art advisors can help you make the right decision and even expose you to options would have never otherwise considered. If you don’t want to connect with an art advisor, Tracy says that you should follow your gut. When you see something you like, go with it, don’t buy a painting that you are unsure about.

As for artists, Tracy says that they should make their work as easily accessible as possible. She encourages artists to build up a body of work and to have contact channels easy to find and responsive. The worst thing you can do is to ignore or never follow up with a collector who is interested in your artwork!

Where the art market is headed.

Without a doubt, the art market is headed into an exciting period. Even right now, there are so many possibilities open to artists and those collecting art. Gone are the days where you could only sell your art in a gallery or at an art show, the internet has made it so much easier than it was in the past. Yes, there are challenges that come with this new direction for the art market, but there is no going back, you have to adapt. What is your take on this topic? Do you agree with Tracy’s take, let me know!

Outline of This Episode

  • [5:20] I introduce my guest, Tracy Kinnally.
  • [6:45] How did Tracy get into her work as an art advisor.
  • [9:30] Tracy talks about her work with private art collectors.
  • [17:00] How does Tracy create her catalogue of paintings and artists?
  • [20:40] Tracy talks about curating a space and picking the right piece of art to feature.
  • [32:00] Advice for collectors and artists.
  • [35:20] Where is the art market headed?
  • [38:00] Tracy and I talk about some of the artists that we are obsessed about right now.
  • [45:00] Where did portrait paintings come from? Why do we collect them?
  • [47:00] Painting the female image.
  • [54:30] Closing thoughts.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 28, 2019
What does success mean to you?

Last week I sent out an email to my subscribers asking them, “What does success mean to you?” I received over two hundred responses from Savvy Painter followers! People have a lot to say about this topic and as you can imagine each answer was different and had a unique perspective.

I want to take this opportunity to highlight some of those responses and engage in a larger conversation about life as an artist trying to attain “Success.” I want you to join the discussion about success, and I want to hear what other topics you’d like me to showcase.

You need to determine your definition of success.

Let’s face it; the answer to this question is not an easy one. As many of you noted, a quick definition might pop into your mind, but upon further consideration, you struggle to come up with a definition that fits. Ultimately, I believe that each person has to answer this question for themselves, but they do need to answer it. Don’t trick yourself into believing that you can leave this question unanswered and still somehow become “Successful.” How can you achieve something that you haven’t taken the time to define?

An action step, if you dare, come up with a working definition of success that fits you. Once you’ve got that definition, write it down!

Can we talk about the financial side of success?

I know it’s a “Dirty” word, but we are going to talk about money. So many of you, and rightfully so, are concerned about the financial side of the success conversation. I know that you didn’t get into your career as an artist for the money, nobody would choose this profession with that goal. Unfortunately, our society often propagates the idea that our income level is tied to our worth or value. There is no way around it, the financial aspect is part of the success conversation, but I’m so glad that many of you know that it’s not the only factor defining of success. Here is the truth, you need money to live and deserve to get paid for your hard work!

Show up and put in the work.

Whatever your definition of success is, the fact is, you won’t succeed if you don’t stay in the game. It’s not easy to stay in the habit of working on your artwork; this is why I ask so many of my guests to give us a peek behind the curtain and let us in on their process when it comes to time in the studio. Every day that you choose to paint, you are choosing in your favour. Are you putting in the time? Do you have a process that works for you and keeps you on track? If so, let me know!

My definition of success.

Thank you to everyone who joined the conversation by responding to my question, I read all the replies, and I was so encouraged to hear all your perspectives! I’d like to leave you with my definition of success.

Success is continued growth; it means continually expanding my horizons. For me, success means staying true to my values and staying curious.

This whole art journey for me is about the process. The process of painting is more important to me than the outcome. I don’t mind failing; I don’t see failure as the opposite of success. I can learn from failure; I can’t learn if I quit on myself or my art.

I hope you find this conversation on the definition of success helpful. The final message that I want to leave you with is; you are so much more than the Hollywood version of success!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] I introduce the topic for this episode; “What does success mean to you?”
  • [6:45] Why you need to define success for yourself.
  • [16:00] Considering the financial aspect of success.
  • [21:20] You need money to live, there is no shame in getting paid for your art.
  • [28:30] Showing up and putting in the work.
  • [31:15] Success is multifaceted.
  • [35:20] I share my definition of success.
  • [39:00] You are so much more than the Hollywood version of success!

Connect With Antrese

Mar 14, 2019
Plein Air Painting on the John Muir Trail, with Therese Morgan

Have you ever wanted to grab your materials and head for the mountains for a plein air painting session? While that specific scenario may not resonate with every artist, I know the desire to change things up and get out of a creative slump will. My guest, Therese Morgan along with her friend and fellow artist, Mark David took off for the adventure of a lifetime backpacking the John Muir Trail.

In our conversation, we discuss what led Therese to embark on this crazy expedition, challenges she faced along the way, how the trip impacted her artwork, what she learned from her journey, and much more. Caution, this episode may cause you to pack your bags and head for the hills (in a good way!)

Hitting a wall.

If you’ve been an artist for very long, chance are you’ve hit a wall, creatively. If you haven’t yet, consider yourself extremely lucky! What should you do when you hit a wall, find yourself in a slump, experience a creative block, or whatever you want to call it? Many artists have a unique take on how to get past a creative block. Some will say, to keep your head down and stick to your schedule while others will encourage you to take a break and pick up a book. Then there are crazy people like Therese Morgan who pack up their studio and go for a hike, and not just any hike, a twenty-seven-day hike along the John Muir Trail in California!

Plein air painting, where?

Have you experimented with plein air painting? Where have you explored and enjoyed the outdoors with your artwork? Have you ever done something as crazy as a twenty-seven-day hike with your shelter, clothing, food, water, and painting supplies strapped to your back?

To some, plein air painting while on a multi-week hike might sound crazy, and to others (like me) it sounds like fun! Therese Morgan and her friend Mark David came to this idea one night over dinner. Their idea seemed great on paper, but they both wondered, could they pull it off? You might be under the assumption that Therese and Mark are avid and experienced backpackers; they were not. You also might assume that they had just received a generous grant or they had some other means of financial security; they did not.

Lacking experience and the requisite finances, Therese and Mark forged ahead, convinced that their dream would be worth all foreseen and unforeseen challenges they’d face along the way. After some careful planning, the pair decided to embark on an almost month-long journey on the John Muir Trail. The John Muir Trail is a long-distance trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. The trail's length is 211 miles long with an elevation gain of approximately 47,000 feet. For almost all of its length, the trail is in the High Sierra backcountry and wilderness areas, not exactly a “relaxing” experience.

Lessons learned and brush miles logged.

As you can imagine, Therese and Mark’s journey was challenging, to say the least. Hiker after hiker in the backcountry would pass them by, surprised that they’d take on such an adventure with their art supplies. Looking back, Therese is proud of the amazing feat that she accomplished by finishing her journey but also of the artwork she had created along the way. Combining their efforts, Therese and Mark have created the “Brushmiles” project. Brushmiles was a term their mutual teacher, Craig Nelson would say to them, in reference to putting in the effort to paint often, to put in the miles as a painter. You can get a glimpse of their journey by checking out the link to their page located in the resources section below.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] I introduce my guest, Therese Morgan.
  • [2:40] How did Therese get involved with painting?
  • [5:30] Therese talks about her post-college creative slump.
  • [11:50] The challenge of finding the right artistic community.
  • [17:00] What led Therese and her friend to hike the John Muir Trail?
  • [29:20] Therese talks about hitting the John Muir Trail.
  • [36:00] What did Therese learn from her trip?
  • [41:00] Things that went wrong on Therese’s trip.
  • [43:15] How many paintings did Therese complete on the trail? What was her schedule?
  • [46:30] Therese talks about the benefits and challenges of hiking with her peer.
  • [48:30] How has the John Muir Trail experience influenced Therese’s artwork?

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 28, 2019
Creating a Body of Work and Appreciating Moments of Transition, with Constance Mallinson

How do you create a body of work that displays your abilities and passions as an artist? What thought process is required to curate and develop your own body of work? Artist Constance Mallinson was kind enough to join me to discuss this important topic.

Constance is a California based artist. Her most recent exhibitions include Pomona College, UC Riverside, The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and Angles Gallery in Los Angeles. She was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship as well as a City of Los Angeles Artist’s grant. She has also taught every aspect of art at all the major universities and colleges in Southern California including UCLA and Claremont Graduate School.

Throughout our conversation, Constance shared her early artistic influences, what led her to consider a career as an artist, how her art has evolved over the years, why we need to pay attention to moments of transition, and much more. I can’t wait for you to learn from Constance’s fascinating and thoughtful perspective.

Creating a body of work

Every artist at some point agonizes over the thought of creating a body of work that captures both what they are good at and what they love to create. Do you have a curated and developed body of work? What has helped you develop your body of work over the years? For Constance Mallinson, it all comes down to letting her skillset and her intuition guide her. As she looks back on her career, Constance remembers her early work with minimalistic landscape paintings and how she transitioned from that to her work with the pattern and decoration movement. What can you learn from Constance’s journey?

Embracing each step along the way.

When do you get to the point where you’ve “Arrived” as an artist? Does it ever really happen or is it just a made up ideal of fame and fortune? Instead of looking at a pinnacle moment of fame or glory, Constance decides to look at her life and art career as building blocks or steps taken on a journey. Each step is valuable because they build upon each other. You can’t take away the step of minimalistic landscape work because it contributes to her work with the pattern and decoration movement. You also can’t take away motherhood without taking away the new perspectives that aspect of Constance’s life brought to her work. Constance is passionate about helping artists not only enjoy the moments of prestige, but she also wants to help us value in-between moments as well.

Do what you want to do!

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to do what you want to do as an artist? Seriously! Too often we can get caught up with the idea of what we “Ought to be doing” or what people expect us to do that we fail to consider what we want our body of work to look like. If money wasn’t a factor, what would you be working on right now? I loved putting this question and the whole idea of following your desire to Constance Mallinson. She was quick to light up when we talked about shirking the expectations of others to focus on what we feel like we need to do. I hope you get as much enjoyment out this conversation with Constance as I did! 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Constance Mallinson.
  • [3:45] What led Constance to a career as an artist?
  • [6:15] Early artistic influences.
  • [8:30] How has Constance’s art evolved over the years?
  • [20:30] Art-making is the interfacing the personal and the cultural.
  • [23:50] How far women have come in the art community.
  • [29:00] The way that parenthood shapes life as an artist.
  • [32:15] What is Constance working on right now?
  • [44:30] Valuing the in-between moments and times of transition.
  • [52:00] Why don’t we do what we want to do?
  • [56:00] Constance’s dream project.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 14, 2019
Capturing Emotion in Art and “Getting it Wrong” with Linda Christensen

Can you really capture emotion in art? Is there something that you can convey on the canvas that transfers to the viewer? Emotion is such a complicated and complex human experience that the effort to capture it on canvas seems like an impossible task. My guest, Linda Christensen is proving that notion wrong with her amazing artwork.

Linda is a Northern California based artist who paints a moment in time in women’s lives, she looks for the emotional connection and tries to capture it. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree and her Graduate Certificate from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

In our conversation, Linda opens up about how she got started as an artist, habits and rituals that keep her in a creative flow, how a David Park painting influenced her, why she is ok with “getting it wrong,” tips for connecting with a gallery and pricing artwork, and much more. I know that artist like you will get a lot out of our wonderful conversation.

Expressing emotion in art.

Have you ever had that moment in your career where you finally found someone who expressed themselves creatively as you do? Who was that artist for you? What was it in their work that resonated with you? For Linda Christensen, that moment came when she was viewing a painting by the figurative artist, David Park. When she saw one of his paintings, Linda had an immediate and emotional connection that she’d never experienced before. That encounter with the David Park painting told Linda that emotion could be captured in a painting.

Embracing distraction.

What is your process like in the studio? Do you have a checklist you go through so you can get into your creative flow? Some artists love to work with music playing or after they’ve spent time in an art book, but everyone has to find their groove. I’ve found it helpful over the years to hear from my peers like Linda Christensen who are more than willing to share what they’ve found useful as they approach the canvas. Linda likes to knock out all of her errands and personal tasks before she steps foot into her studio. She also loves to have an old black and white movie playing in the background that she’s seen before so she can have a contrast to her painting process. I loved hearing all about Linda’s studio process and her love for Catherine Hepburn movies; I hope you enjoy it too.

Getting it wrong.

Do you ever find yourself jumping through hoops and trying to please someone else or working fulfill some idea of what you “ought” to be doing with your artwork? Do you give in to those voices and let them shape your art or do you try to silence them? Artist Linda Christensen has embraced the idea of “getting it wrong” because she knows that she’ll never “get it right.” Someone will always have a critique ready but Linda is ok with that, and she encourages other artists to embrace this mindset as well. At the end of the day, none of us are, as Linda says, “movie-ready” we all have flaws, why not embrace them?

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:30] I introduce my guest, Linda Christensen.
  • [4:00] What led Linda to a career as an artist?
  • [5:30] Linda talks about how David Park influenced her artwork.
  • [7:45] How Linda describes her artwork and how her process plays out.
  • [11:20] Habits and patterns that help Linda in her studio.
  • [15:30] Silencing the inner critic.
  • [17:15] How do you decide if you’ve finished a painting?
  • [19:40] Linda talks about how she navigated her early career.
  • [22:00] Advice Linda has for artists trying to get their artwork featured in galleries.
  • [26:00] How does Linda price her artwork?
  • [31:45] Linda talks about how her process changes each time she goes to the canvas.
  • [37:00] What does it mean to “get it wrong?”
  • [43:00] What does Linda hope people walk away with after viewing her paintings?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 01, 2019
The Influence of Dreams & How to Start Painting, with Suzanne Unrein

Do your dreams impact your creative process? Have you ever explored this aspect of intersection between your imagination and your art? Does your approach to starting a painting differ from your peers? My guest, Suzanne Unrein took the time to explore these fascinating topic and much more throughout our conversation.

Suzanne is a California native and current New Yorker. Her paintings and works on paper explore a vibrant world of humans and animals. Her work is characterized by vibrant colours and expressive gestures.

In our conversation, we discuss intuition and how dreams influence her paintings from time to time. We also touch on some differences in how we start painting. I can’t wait for you to learn from the fascinating insights and unique perspective that Suzanne brings to the table.

Is there a “right way” to start painting?

Where you ever taught that there was a “right way” and a “wrong way” to start painting? Did that direction cause you to have a dogmatic approach? Suzanne Unrein explained to me that she doesn’t have a set pattern that she goes back to when she approaches the canvas. She wants to put herself in a position to hear from the canvas in a new way each time she goes to start painting. As she explained her process, Suzanne did confess that she occasionally slips into some technical patterns but that emphasis to listen to the canvas is always in the back of her mind. What approach has worked for you as you’ve developed as an artist?

Exploring the influence of dreams.

Dreams are such a fascinating topic, from poetry and song to film and artwork, as a species we’ve long tried to understand and come to grips with what our minds process while we sleep. Have your dreams seeped into your creative process or vice versa? Suzanne shared with me that she once dreamt that she was getting eaten by a lion. She shared this with me in the larger context of her exploration of animals and the influence they have on our imagination and our society. Animals also play a huge role in Suzanne’s artwork. Have you played with the concept of dreams or animals in your artwork?

Getting unstuck.

What does it take to get past a creative block? Do you have any tips or tricks that have worked for you throughout your career? I’ve been stuck plenty times creatively, and I am always eager to hear from my peers to get their perspective on getting unstuck. Suzanne says that she gets stuck from time to time due to her perfectionist nature, she’ll focus on one aspect for too long that she can’t see anything else. When that happens, she’ll just pull back and remove the section that has her stuck, and she’ll start fresh the next day. I hate getting stuck but hearing from artists like Suzanne can be helpful in developing different remedies to this common occurrence.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:30] I introduce my guest, Suzanne Unrein.
  • [4:15] What led Suzanne to her career in art?
  • [7:30] Suzanne talks about getting her start in LA.
  • [10:30] How does Suzanne describe her artwork?
  • [17:30] Is there a good “way” to start painting?
  • [23:00] Suzanne talks about her process and a project she is working on.
  • [30:40] Is there anything that scares Suzanne about painting?
  • [35:15] Questions that Suzanne is interacting with in her artwork.
  • [40:00] How does Suzanne deal with creative block?
  • [43:30] Art that Suzanne would love to have from a living artist.
  • [49:00] Where you can find Suzanne’s artwork.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 17, 2019
Exploring the Role of Truth in Art, with Vincent Giarrano

What comes to mind when you consider the phrase, “Truth in art?” Do you think of artists who have a bold message in their artwork or do you think of more subtle approaches? It was my pleasure to speak with the artist, Vincent Giarrano. Vincent received his BFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his MFA from Syracuse University. In our conversation, we touched on the vital role of truth in art and how that concept has shaped him as an artist. We also discussed what it means to leave a legacy, how writing can fuel the creative process, what it looks like to create a business plan, and much more. I know that artists like you will enjoy hearing from Vincent’s wonderful perspective.

How writing can fuel the creative process.

Does writing play a role in your creative process? If not, have you ever considered taking up the practice of writing? I’ve seen writing impact my artwork over the years, so I love taking the opportunity to explore this important practice with my peers. Vincent Giarrano also enjoys the practice of writing; he says that writing helped him as he transitioned from his work in illustration to fine art. He also credits his writing for helping him work out ideas for various projects, staying focused and organized, and with his research. If writing doesn’t help you in the ways that it has helped Vincent, what is it that fuels your creative process?

Leaving a legacy.

When you think about your legacy as an artist, what is it that you want to be known for? Do you want to be known for your excellent technique? Your innovative style? Your bold message? Or do you want to be known for something completely different? After surveying the landscape of the art world, Vincent Giarrano yearned to create art that communicated truth and sincerity. Vincent isn’t after complexity for complexity’s sake; he wants to produce a body of work that is true to his convictions. Make sure to check out images of Vincent’s artwork located at the end of this post.

Building a business plan. 

Let’s face it as a community; artists aren’t known for their business acumen. How have you fared when it comes to the business side of your art career? Have you found certain practices and strategies that have helped you succeed? For artist Vincent Giarrano, it all came down to taking the time to develop a business plan. In this particular area, Vincent says that he approached building his business plan logically. Step by step, he thought through how he’d promote his artwork, how he’d sell it, who his ideal customers were, and what level of craftsmanship he’d need to commit to. While this process wasn’t easy for Vincent, looking back, he is glad that he took the time to put together a cohesive plan.

The challenge of pricing your artwork.

It is the dreaded decision that every artist has to face, what price to place on your art. Do you still struggle with this aspect of your career? Some artists figure out this aspect of their business easily while some struggle for an extended period. According to Vincent Giarrano, the best practice is to take a look at the marketplace and see what other artists, comparable to your skill and experience are charging. There is no need to leave this aspect of your business up to guesswork; you can come up with a good idea on what to charge based on what your peers are doing. Vincent has a ton of helpful insights to share with artists who are just getting started, and I know that seasoned artists will also benefit from his unique perspective.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Vincent Giarrano.
  • [2:45] Vincent opens up about how he got started as an artist.
  • [7:00] How did Vincent get involved with illustration?
  • [10:45] Vincent talks about how working with comic books shaped him as an artist.
  • [13:30] How writing helps Vincent’s creative process.
  • [20:00] Why it’s helpful to get into the right frame of mind.
  • [28:00] What impact does Vincent want to have with his art?
  • [31:45] How Vincent chooses his subject matter. Where does he find his models?
  • [38:30] Discussing the use of photography.
  • [45:00] Vincent talks about constructing his business plan.
  • [48:20] What is the best way to price your artwork?
  • [54:20] Vincent talks about what he is currently working on.
  • [58:00] Why did Vincent decide to paint a subject looking at the viewer?
  • [1:00:30] How does Vincent choose which painting he enters into a contest?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 03, 2019
Happy Holidays! Here's to an exciting 2019

Happy Holidays!

Last week we celebrated over 2 million downloads of the Savvy Painter podcast!

None of this would be possible without you. I'm so grateful that you choose to tune in, that you share your stories, and continually support this podcast.

This is a recap of just a few of the behind the scenes highlights of the year and what that means for 2019.

If you're in the L.A. area, hopefully we can meet :)

And if you've been curious about painting in Italy with JSS in Civita... I have some news! I hope to see you there in 2019!

Enjoy your holidays with your family and friends, may 2019 bring you loads of love, laughter, and painting bliss!

Talk soon,


Dec 23, 2018
The Process behind Encaustic Art, with Lisa Kairos

Have you ever seen encaustic art and found yourself drawn in? There is something about encaustic artwork that grabs the viewer in a way that is different from other techniques. My guest, Lisa Kairos is an accomplished encaustic artist who was kind enough to open up about her process. In our conversation, we also touch on the positive impact that motherhood has had on her development as an artist, why she loves to write, books that have helped her grow, and much more. I can’t wait for you to learn from Lisa’s refreshing perspective!

Exploring the positive impact of parenthood.

Over the years as I’ve interviewed artists who are parents, I usually get a mixed bag of responses. While they’ve all said that they enjoy family life, there tends to be more of a focus on the challenges that parenting brings to the profession. When I broached this topic with Lisa Kairos, we kept the discussion on the positive impact that parenthood has had on her career. One particular aspect that Lisa honed in on was the fact that she is quicker to dive right into her creative flow since she has become a parent. She used to take her time and ease into the work at hand; now she jumps in with vigor!

Let your curiosity guide you.

When was the last time you genuinely let your curiosity guide your creativity? Has your interest taken a back seat to some of the more goal driven aspects of your career? For Lisa Kiros, the two thankfully melded into one expression with her recent Periphery Project. Chasing her curiosity, Lisa began walking 400 miles of the San Francisco Bay Trail sketching and taking photos along the way. She started his project as a way to connect to the memory of her father who has passed away. It was fascinating to hear Lisa talk about this deeply personal and beautiful project, make sure to check out images from this series located at the end of this post.

Encaustic Art.

Do you get the chance to view encaustic art very often? I found myself enamored with this technique as Lisa Kairos opened up about her studio time and how she creates her artwork. If you need a refresher, encaustic art is also known as hot wax painting and involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. Lisa Kairos has been working with the encaustic technique for the last 15 years. She works hard to embed layers of imagery into each layer of wax meaning that each painting has between 15 and 25 layers. As you can imagine, this particular method is not for the impatient or timid.

How writing can make you a better artist.

Have you discovered different avenues and channels that deepen your abilities as an artist? Maybe for you, it's your rockclimbing hobby that enhances your creative process. Artist Lisa Kairos can trace a direct link between her growth as an artist and her growth as a writer. Learning from the likes of Anne Lamott and Ted Orland, Lisa says that she has learned more about the creative process from writers than her fellow artists. She has found so much encouragement and growth by reading these authors talk about the creative process in ways that few artists have. What can you learn from Lisa’s story? Do you have a similar outlet that enhances your artwork?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] I introduce my guest, Lisa Kairos.
  • [2:45] What led Lisa to follow her desire to become an artist?
  • [5:00] Lisa opens up about parenthood and how it has impacted her career.
  • [9:45] The positive advantages that parenthood brings to Lisa’s art.
  • [14:30] Allowing your curiosity to fuel creativity.
  • [22:40] Why you need to be flexible when it comes to your artwork.
  • [25:00] Dealing with disappointment.
  • [28:45] Lisa talks about her process in the studio.
  • [39:00] How writing has impacted Lisa’s artwork.
  • [48:30] Lisa shares some book titles that have helped her grow.
  • [51:30] The best work comes from not knowing.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Dec 13, 2018
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.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Nov 29, 2018
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.

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Nov 15, 2018
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.

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Nov 01, 2018
Going Deeper Than The Surface, with Nicolas Uribe

It can be a challenge in the art world to stand out and appeal to art collectors and stay true to who you are as an artist. Have you faced these struggles in your art career? My guest Nicolas Uribe is familiar with this challenge in his career and was kind enough to explore the topic in our conversation. Nicolas graduated with Honours from School of Visual Arts in NY. He has had numerous solo exhibitions both in the US and South America and has exhibited his work in Mexico, Spain, Egypt, among other countries. We cover a wide range of topics in our conversation including the path to finding your artistic voice, exploring your technical limitations, what it takes to contextualize the prices for your paintings, and much more. I can’t wait for you to get a glimpse of Nicolas’ fascinating perspective!

Finding your voice.

One of the universal experiences of an artist is the journey of finding your voice as an artist. Many of my guests over the years have opened up and shared their story of finding that unique creative voice within. In my conversation with Nicolas, it took a bit of a different direction as we discussed the technical aspects of forging your own path. Nicolas says that it was a challenge for him to clear the voices of his instructors from his mind as he sought to understand the uses of color in his artwork. While he is thankful for the amazing education he received, he acknowledges that part of growing as an artist is not only finding your unique creative voice but finding your own technical understandings as well.

Looking beyond the surface.

As artwork becomes increasingly accessible to the public via the internet, there seems to be a renewed focus on the immediate and the surface value of artwork. Let’s face it, much of the general public struggle to see the layers and complexity of the artwork that we labor over. What is the solution? How do we move past the surface and help the public to look deeper? Nicolas doesn’t just lay this at the feet of the public, he says that artists are looking deep enough too. He encourages fellow artists and his students to force themselves to dive deeper and ask the tough questions that make them go beyond initial impressions.

Paint what matters to you!

When you consider your unique abilities as an artist, do you factor in the emotional element? How do you bring forth your unique knowledge of your subject through your artwork? Nicolas is convinced that the primary advantage artists have is the unique way they know their subject, especially when they know the subject intimately. Don’t let yourself fall for the trap of creating something that anyone could make. Let your unique perspective shine through! What can you learn from Nicolas’ perspective? How do you view your subject matter in a way that no other artist can?

Contextualizing the price for your artwork.

What is your artwork worth? That can be a stressful question to answer for many artists. How have you set your prices over your career? Do you hope to sell one piece for a large sum or do you want to sell multiple pieces for a more modest amount? Nicolas has had the challenge of contextualizing the prices of his artwork as he made the move from the New York market to Bogotá, Colombia. At the end of the day, it’s Nicolas’ goal to reach as many people as he can with his art, he less focused on that big sale, now more than ever.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] I introduce my guest, Nicolas Uribe.
  • [2:40] Nicolas opens up about what led him to become an artist.
  • [15:00] Why did Nicolas move back to Colombia?
  • [18:00] Nicolas talks about struggling to find his voice and his own technical process.
  • [23:00] Discovering the purpose behind the art.
  • [31:20] How does Nicolas choose his subject matter?
  • [36:20] Falling for the surface quality of images.
  • [40:00] Why it’s important to paint what is unique or valuable to you.
  • [47:00] Does your geographical location really matter as an artist?
  • [53:30] Contextualizing the price for selling artwork.
  • [56:45] Start small and stay humble!

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Oct 18, 2018
Following Your Intuition, with Jordan Wolfson

What role has your intuition played in your development as an artist? Have you always followed it or has it been a struggle to give yourself that permission? 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!

Wandering in the dark and finding a path forward.

Can you think back to the start of your career in art? Did you have a clear moment when you knew that this was what you wanted to dedicate your life to or was it more of a gradual awakening? The way Jordan Wolfson tells it, his path into an art career was more of a discovery than an actual experience or decision. For the longest time, Jordan had a deep desire to spend time painting and he’s kept following that desire which led him through college and into his career today. Looking back, Jordan speaks fondly of the studio classes he took during his undergrad at UC Santa Cruz. During that time, Jordan felt like he had fallen in love with the craft of painting. Do you have a similar story, what set you on your path?

Honing the craft.

As an artist you are constantly honing and refining your craft, let’s face it, you never truly, “Arrive.” This process can look different for each of us and a lot of benefits can be found when we take the time to hear each other's stories. Jordan Wolfson’s story is no different, he has several stories to tell of renowned artists like John Walker and Andrew Forge who entered his story at critical times in his development to challenge and encourage him in his work. Listening to Jordan, you really get the sense that he knows that he has a lot to learn even though he’s quite accomplished!

Can you really follow your intuition?

Which is more important to follow, your training or your intuition? Do you have to choose between the two? In my experience, if you want to follow your intuition, you’ve got to develop an ear for it as you progress in your career. If you are constantly ignoring your intuition, eventually it’ll fade into the background. Jordan Wolfson describes following his intuition as tracking down a glimmer of light or thread to see where it came from and where it’s leading. While Jordan is quick to emphasize the influence of his art school training, he also points to this cultivation of listening to his intuition that has had a huge impact on his artwork over the years.

Clearing the mind and getting centered.

What are some of the most important aspects of your creative process? Do you have certain rituals that you follow when you enter your studio space and approach your canvas? For Jordan Wolfson, his process starts with a morning practice of sitting and meditation. He places a lot of value on being present in mind and body before he proceeds with his work at the canvas. Its Jordan’s hope that this deliberate practice of presence and centering his mind have a direct impact on his artwork. Take a look at some of the images of his art located at the end of this post and see for yourself!

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:20] I introduce my guest, Jordan Wolfson.
  • [4:50] How Jordan decided to become an artist.
  • [7:00] Jordan talks about his post-college pursuits.
  • [10:30] What it took for Jordan to hone his painting skills.
  • [15:30] Painting and presence.
  • [17:20] The contrast between language and art.
  • [20:45] Jordan talks about what he is currently working on.
  • [26:00] Trusting your intuition and seeing where it leads.
  • [33:30] Jordan opens up about his process of creating his artwork.
  • [44:15] The value of meditation and centering your thoughts.
  • [46:45] Artwork that Jordan would love to own.
  • [48:50] Jordan talks about the recontextualization of painting.

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Oct 04, 2018
A Glimpse Inside the World of An Artistic Director, with Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt

What does an artistic director do? How do they curate and plan a multifaceted event like an art fair? I had the pleasure to sit down with renowned artistic director, Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt. In our conversation, Christia opened up about how she got started organizing art fairs, what the whole planning process looks like, what artists can expect when they get featured in an art fair, how digital images are impacting the art scene, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to get to know Christina and see things from her unique perspective as an artistic director!

How it all started.

Can you imagine getting the offer of a lifetime? It doesn’t happen to everyone! Christina had been enamored with art since she was a child growing up in Cologne. As an adult, she found herself working in an art gallery when she was approached by the organizers of the Moscow Art Fair, Art Moscow. They presented her with a challenging and unique opportunity to join them as the artistic director of the fair. From that point on, Christina has been honing her skills and putting in the time curating and crafting unique experiences for the public to enjoy the beauty and creativity of various art installations.

A patient and long view approach.

How do art fairs work? What is the process like for artistic directors like Christina? It turns out that artistic directors have to be incredibly patient and able to plan for a long-term approach to their events. It’s not just six months ahead of time or even a year, it takes several years to properly plan and execute a successful art fair! Beyond the long-term logistics, Christina also helps to facilitate an atmosphere of collaboration and networking between artists, collectors, galleries and the public. I couldn’t imagine having that enormous perspective and patience but I am thankful for dedicated and passionate directors like Christina.

What artists should expect from an art fair.

As an artist, what should you expect if you get to be featured at an art fair? According to Christina, one of the most important things an artist can do is to show up and be available with their artwork if possible. Not only is an art fair an opportunity to expose your art to the public, but it’s also a selling opportunity! If you get featured at a fair, do what you can to support the gallery that features you there, collectors will notice. Have you been fortunate enough to participate in an art fair during the course of your career? What tips or perspectives do you have to add?

The impact of digital images on the art scene.

As many of my regular followers know, I am always interested in hearing from my guests about their take on the relationship between art and the internet. While there are many helpful aspects of viewing art online, there are also many drawbacks and challenges. I was thrilled to hear Christina’s helpful and fascinating perspective on this topic. Christina takes a hopeful view of the future between art and the internet, she believes that exposure online will lead people to go and view the art they are moved by in person. I loved Christina’s view on this topic and I’m certain many of you will too!

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:20] I introduce my guest, Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt.
  • [4:50] How did Christina get involved with organizing art fairs?
  • [6:30] Art fairs work in cycles.
  • [11:00] What does Christina look for in artists featured in her art fairs?
  • [15:30] How Christina makes her fairs financially viable.
  • [19:15] Unexpected circumstances at art fairs.
  • [25:00] The logistical challenges of running an art fair.
  • [28:40] How artists can make the most of getting featured at an art fair.
  • [33:10] Do art collectors typically want to meet an artist?
  • [36:00] What is the general state of art fairs?
  • [39:00] How the availability of art images online impacts art fairs and art in general.
  • [50:15] Christina talks about her upcoming art fair.

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Sep 20, 2018
The Love of Literature & Telling Stories Through Art, with Susan Lichtman

Does literature have an influence on your artwork? Where do you draw your inspiration? How can we tell stories through our art in a compelling and engaging way? My guest is Susan Lichtman, an accomplished artist and educator who has been shaped by her love of literature. In our conversation, Susan opens up about how she got started as an artist, the role storytelling plays in her artwork, how she constructs a painting, projects she is currently working on, and much more. I can’t wait for you to get a glimpse of Susan’s amazing artwork and her fascinating perspective!

Observational painting and storytelling.

Do you have a favorite observational painter? I’ve been exposed to so many wonderful observational painters throughout my career that I could never choose just one! Susan Lichtman is an immensely talented observational painter who has dedicated the last 30 years of her career to painting various rooms and angles in her home. Susan is an absolute inspiration for her ability to tell a compelling story through her work and keep the subject matter engaging after all those years. Make sure to check out the images of Susan’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Celebrating a love for literature.

It is really amazing how much literature and painting are so closing linked through the ages and even today. As an avid reader, I find myself continually inspired and drawn to literature, in fact, I believe it makes me a better artist. In our conversation, Susan Lichtman was kind enough to open up about her love for literature and how it’s influenced her career. The authors that Susan zeroed in on in her early career were Marcel Proust and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Fusing her love for literature and art, Susan currently co-teaches a course with her friend and Dostoevsky expert, Robin Feuer Miller. After they study the literature, Susan leads the class to make art in response to their reading. I loved hearing about this innovative approach to art and education and I know that artists like you will enjoy it too!

Get to know yourself as an artist.

As you progress through life you realize that with each passing year start to become more and more comfortable in your own skin. Does this same logic apply to your role as an artist? Don’t think of it as a zero-sum game, it’s not a yes or no question, your development as an artist takes time. Give yourself room to breathe and experiment, cut yourself some slack! As you evolve and change over the years, allow that same fluidity and sense of discovery to apply to your art career too. At the end of the day, listen to your gut and follow your intuition!

Putting a mirror up to society.

What is the role of the artist in our culture today? Have you ever really stopped to consider this question? It seems that now, more than ever, challenging artistic voices are needed to create a contrast to some of the darker corners of society and politics. Embracing creativity and disruption are political activities that need to increase. Does every artist need to have a political opinion and message? No. I find it immensely hopeful that as artists we can be part of the solution, cultivating a robust and diverse community where more and more voices are welcomed.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] I introduce my guest, Susan Lichtman.
  • [2:50] How Susan got started as an artist.
  • [11:00] Susan talks about storytelling and observational painting in her artwork.
  • [16:00] How does Susan construct a painting?
  • [19:45] Discovering when to paint and when to look at your subject.
  • [24:20] Getting to know yourself as an artist.
  • [27:00] How does Susan choose her pallet?
  • [32:30] What is Susan working on right now?
  • [39:00] Habits that help Susan with her creative process.
  • [41:10] What is the role of the artist in today’s society? How will the art market change?
  • [44:50] Advise that Susan has for an artist trying to get their career started.

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Sep 06, 2018
Gouache Portraits & Telling #MeToo Stories, with Diana Corvelle

What does the process of creating gouache portraits look like? Where did the idea come from to create these portraits alongside the #MeToo stories of women who have survived sexual harassment and assault? I can’t wait for you to get to know the talented artist, Diana Corvelle! In our conversation, Diana and I discuss what inspired her to start this series on #MeToo stories, how she grew up encouraged to pursue a career in art, why she loves working with gouache, how politics can shape art, why we need more diverse voices in the art community, and much more!

Why gouache?

Have you ever worked with gouache before? What was your experience? Did you love it or find it challenging? For artist Diana Corvelle gouache was something that she fell in love with in art school. While everyone else around her pushed through their gouache work begrudgingly, Diana took to it like a fish to water. Looking back on that moment in her early career, Diana is so happy that she got to experiment and explore the medium that she would end up utilizing in some of her most experimental projects. Take a look at what Diana has been able to do with the gouache medium by checking out images of her work located at the bottom of this post.

The power of telling your story.

Have you ever felt marginalized or silenced? Have you ever felt like your perspective was worthless? If so, you can stand in solidarity with countless women who have risen up all over this country to speak the truth of their encounter of sexual assault or harassment through the #MeToo movement. Many of these women have hidden their stories deep inside for years and some, even longer, decades. Diana Corvelle is taking the bold step to highlight this movement through her artwork. She paints these amazing gouache portraits of women who have been subjected to sexual harassment and abuse alongside text describing their experiences. While it is a somber subject, Diana is grateful for the role she gets to play in empowering these courageous women.

The intersection of art and politics.

Art has a powerful way of conveying and often times critiquing political topics and messages. Since the 2016 election, many artists are searching for a way to push back against the current administration through creative and artistic means. While many artists opt for a more visceral message of attacking the head of this administration, there are those who look for a more subversive approach. Diana Corvelle counts herself among the more discreet but opinionated subsection of those artists. She is not afraid of a sending a political message but she wants to convey it on her terms. Understanding this aspect of Diana’s perspective, you can see a whole new layer of meaning and depth behind her current series.

Why the art community needs more diverse voices.

Like any segment of our society, the art world would only benefit from more diverse and unique voices getting a seat at the table. Have you seen any trends toward embracing more minority voices in your corner of the art community? How can you be part of the change? Artist Diana Corvelle is convinced that our culture will only be enriched when more voices of women and people of color are elevated and appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s all about visibility for Diana, she wants to see a wide array of minority groups and marginalized voices come together under the kaleidoscope of art. What is your take on this topic? How can we create a more inclusive atmosphere?

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] I introduce my guest, Diana Corvelle.
  • [3:00] Growing up surrounded by art.
  • [6:00] Diana describes her artwork.
  • [11:20] How does Diana use her oil pastels?
  • [14:15] What led Diana to work with gouache?
  • [17:30] Diana talks about what inspires her work.
  • [27:00] Reactions that Diana has received about her recent work.
  • [30:30] What is Diana most proud of in her work?
  • [34:30] How politics can shape art.
  • [37:20] How would Diana like her series viewed?
  • [43:30] Why we need more diverse voices in the art world.
  • [48:30] The role of privilege in art and society.
  • [50:30] How Diana approaches her time in the studio.
  • [56:00] Questions that Diana often gets from her students.
  • [58:00] Why it’s helpful to have a healthy suspicion of the “Right way.”
  • [1:06:00] Bumps and hiccups along the way are normal!

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Aug 23, 2018
Exploring Embroidery Artwork, with Cayce Zavaglia

Where does the inspiration come from to explore embroidery artwork? What is the process like going from the canvas to the embroidery and back again? How do the two mediums complement and contrast? I put all these questions to my talented guest, Cayce Zavaglia. In our conversation, Cayce opened up about how she got into embroidery artwork, what led her to the theme of family portraits, what it was like returning to Australia, how failure is a close link to success, and much more. I know artists like you will get as much joy as I did hearing from Cayce’s intriguing perspective.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

You’ve heard the phrase, necessity is the mother of invention, right? That saying really rang true for artist Cayce Zavaglia. During a period of creative flux, Cayce was also pregnant. This reality forced her to look for ways to continue to create in a non-toxic studio. After experimenting for a whole summer with various mediums, Cayce still hadn’t found what she wanted to work with. Back in the recesses of her mind, she kept coming back to this embroidery work she had done as a child. Tugging at this thread, Cayce decided to start experimenting by sewing a portrait. Little did she know, that this experiment unleashed a new creative endeavor that would stay with her for years to come. Make sure to check out images of Cayce’s embroidery artwork located at the end of this post.

You don’t have to choose between parenthood and an art career.

It seems to be an unwritten rule in many circles that you can’t be both a parent (oftentimes more specifically, a mother) and an artist. These two roles in society are often pitted against each other, you have to choose one or the other. Is that really accurate, do you have to choose? While some may choose to devote themselves to parenthood or their art career for a period of time, artists like Cayce serve as a prime example that you can embrace both! If you are struggling with navigating these two roles, I hope you see Cayce’s story as an encouragement!

Viewing failure as a close link to success.

What is your relationship like with failure? Do you fear it and avoid it at all costs or do you lean into it? What if I told you that failure has a closer link to success than you may have thought? Artist, Cayce Zavaglia says that she goes out of her way to look for mistakes, accidents, and failures in her artwork. Sounds crazy, right? Cayce has learned to view failure as the closest link to creativity and then to success. In her view, if you are putting yourself out there creatively, that means you are taking a risk and that’s where the greatest opportunity for success thrives! Do you agree with Cayce’s perspective?

Don’t stop creating.

While the draw of instant recognition and reaction to your artwork is enticing, Cayce Zavagila urges caution. Let’s face it, Instagram can serve as both a blessing and a curse. It can be a wonderful resource for inspiration but it can also serve as an unhelpful sounding board. Cayce says that one of the best practices that an artist can get into is the habit of spending time alone in their studio honing their craft. It’s not sexy or flashy advice but it is good advice! I’m sure there will be a wide range of opinions on this topic but I’m really thankful that Cayce is willing to step out there and provide her helpful insight!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Cayce Zavaglia.
  • [4:00] How did Cayce end up working with embroidery?
  • [8:30] Cayce talks about how her embroidery work influences her painting.
  • [11:45] What led Cayce to work with the theme of “Family?”
  • [16:00] How did Cayce get back to Australia for her project?
  • [18:30] Memorable reactions to Cayce’s embroidery work and challenges she has faced.
  • [21:15] You don’t have to choose between being a parent and an artist.
  • [24:00] How did Cayce get exposure for her artwork?
  • [29:00] Failure is the closest link to success.
  • [39:00] What is the next project for Cayce?
  • [41:00] Cayce talks about her children and how she encourages them to create.
  • [42:30] Where does Cayce go for inspiration?
  • [45:00] The habit of making.
  • [48:20] Advice Cayce would give her younger self.
  • [50:15] Merging craft and art.
  • [52:00] The role of gender and how art is perceived and recognized.
  • [56:00] What advice does Cayce have for artists just starting in their career?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

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Aug 09, 2018
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?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 26, 2018
Creating Accessible Art, with Bartosz Beda

What does it look like to create accessible art? How does that topic become a passion project for an artist? What comes to mind when you think of “Accessible art?” My guest, artist Bartosz Beda is working on a project that centers on this very topic! In our conversation, Bartosz opens up about what led him to his career as an artist, where his residencies and fellowships have taken him, the role themes play in his artwork, why he started Execute Magazine, and much more! There are some many wonderful paths that our conversation takes, I can’t wait for you to get to know Bartosz!

What is the $7.25 project?

On a quest to create accessible art, Bartosz Beda started the $7.25 project during his summer residency at GoggleWorks in Reading, PA. Bartosz started this project to engage with the issues and challenges that minimum wage workers face every day. Inspired by immigrants from Mexico and Puerto Rico who are settling in Reading at record numbers, Bartosz wanted to represent their struggle and that of many people in the area who strive to meet the demands of daily life while working position that pays minimum wage. With this in mind, Bartosz decided to paint one hour per day throughout his residency at GoggleWorks. Each day, the resulting painting, produced in one hour of work, will be offered for sale at $7.25, or Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.

Perceptions of color.

As an artist, you know that your relationship to certain colors can take on an almost personal relationship. Have you ever thought about your use of color in terms of seasons of life or different geographical locations? I was really impressed with Bartosz’ unique take on his particular relationship with various colors in his artwork and how he sees color as it relates to the different countries that he’s visited. For instance, Bartosz says that blue is the primary color that he thinks of when he considers America. This perception comes from the blue in our national flag, the uniforms of police officers, and the general sense of adventure and creating something new that our country represents. I found Bartosz’ take on the perception and use of color absolutely fascinating and I have a feeling that you will too!

When you create work you are passionate about, people will find you.

Which one comes first, recognition or work that deserves recognition? The chicken or the egg? In some ways this question seems like an easy one to answer, the artwork comes first and then the following/recognition. But be honest, which one are you chasing? I’m not trying to give you a hard time but let’s face it, there are too many voices out there telling us to go after a following or chase recognition when we should be focused on creating artwork that we are passionate about! Artist Bartosz Beda shares a similar perspective, he isn’t too worried about who will connect with his work - he’s focused on creating projects that come forth from his passion and creativity. I hope you can catch a bit of Bartosz’ passion and perspective, I found it really helpful!

Execute Magazine and creating more platforms for artists.

On a similar vein of creating accessible art for the public, Bartosz Beda has also gone to work creating a platform for artists who are looking for ways to hone their skills and learn from fresh perspectives (sounds kind of familiar). Seeking to serve the art community and looking for a way to create something that he could share with his young daughter later in her life, Bartosz created Execute Magazine. While he’s still working to improve and refine the operation, Bartosz is very proud of the work he and his team have been able to create. Make sure to check out images of Bartosz’ artwork and the link to his magazine by checking out the resources section at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] I introduce my guest, Bartosz Beda.
  • [3:20] Bartosz talks about his start as an artist.
  • [6:00] How does Bartosz choose residencies and fellowships to participate in?
  • [9:15] Bartosz explains why he started his current project on the minimum wage.
  • [14:45] How does Bartosz describe his artwork? What is his process?
  • [19:00] Memorable reactions to Bartosz’ work.
  • [21:00] Changing color combinations and branching out.
  • [24:30] Bartosz opens up about facing challenges and building his business.
  • [29:15] How did visiting New York impact Bartosz?
  • [31:30] When you create work you are passionate about, people will find you.
  • [33:00] It’s OK to talk about business and art.
  • [36:45] What is Execute Magazine? Why did Bartosz start it?
  • [40:45] The habit of hard work and fighting back procrastination.
  • [42:45] How does Bartosz fight through challenging periods?
  • [47:30] What will the end of the Bartosz’ residency in Reading, PA look like?

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jul 12, 2018
Honing Your Craft and Replenishing Your Creativity, with Aubrey Levinthal

As an artist, you’ve likely struggled with honing your craft and finding ways to replenish your creativity over the years, I know I have! That’s why I loved my conversation with Aubrey Levinthal and I know you will too! In our conversation, Aubrey opens up about how she got started as an artist, her experience in art school, how she’s honed her craft, what she does to replenish her creativity, and so much more! I know many of you will also enjoy images of Aubrey’s artwork, located at the end of this post, don’t miss it!

Honing your craft.

What have been some of the unique challenges you’ve faced on your journey to hone and refine your artistic craft? Have you been plagued with self-doubt? Do you struggle with a block in creativity? You are not alone! There are so many of us who have been there and struggled in silence. Artist Aubrey Levinthal has had her fair share of milestones and struggled along the way. The constant in Aubrey’s story is an inner drive she’s cultivated and nurtured over the years. Aubrey holds herself to a very high standard and wants to bring her work to a level of creativity and quality that goes beyond her wildest dreams. Can you relate? What can you learn from Aubrey’s story?

Lessons learned from what doesn’t work on the canvas.

Too often we can get so focused on what we can learn from the good that we forget the lessons we can learn from the negative or challenging aspects of the creative process. Have you learned some valuable lessons recently? Aubrey Levinthal has a refreshing perspective on what doesn’t work when she approaches her canvas, she sees an opportunity to learn. I love that! You and I need more positive perspectives like Aubrey’s! Let’s leave the negative terminologies and negative mindsets behind and see setbacks as opportunities to learn. Imagine the impact that simple shift could have on your creative process and your career as an artist.

Replenishing your creativity.

Do you have any tips on replenishing your creativity as an artist? What have you tried? Are you looking for a way to reset and refresh right now? In my conversation with Aubrey Levinthal, we touched on this important topic. Aubrey says that one of the best ways to replenish her creativity to step away and visit a museum or an art gallery to tap into the reason why she loves creating art. Everyone needs to find what works for them, don’t let yourself burn out! The world needs your unique artistic voice, take care of yourself!

The answer is in the paint.

When you are young and inexperienced, you tend to make mountains out of molehills. At least that was the case for me! Too often I would get sidetracked or let myself get distracted by some seemingly larger than life challenge, I wish someone would have shared with me Aubrey’s wonderful advice! Looking back at herself ten years ago, Aubrey would tell herself, “The answer is in the paint.” Instead of allowing herself to get overwhelmed at all the options or all the possibilities, Aubrey wishes that she would have given herself the permission to try and fail. At the end of the day, as an artist, your job is to create. Whatever you need to do to cut through the noise and put your paintbrush to canvas, do it!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Aubrey Levinthal.
  • [2:45] How did Aubrey sense the call to become an artist?
  • [4:15] Artists that inspired Aubrey from an early age & how her parents empowered her.
  • [6:00] Aubrey talks about her experience at art school.
  • [9:30] Discovering your voice and working through criticism.
  • [12:45] Aubrey describes her artwork.
  • [14:00] What catches Aubrey’s eye for her motifs? How does she use her sketchbook?
  • [17:15] Aubrey’s process in her studio.
  • [19:30] Honing in on surprises and a sense of mystery.
  • [23:00] Aubrey opens up about her habits and routines.
  • [29:00] Lessons learned from what doesn’t work on the canvas.
  • [31:00] What is Aubrey working on right now? What does she do to refresh herself?
  • [34:00] Grappling with the perception of the romanticized artist.
  • [40:00] Does Aubrey have a painting that she’d never part with?
  • [41:30] If Aubrey could have artwork from any living artist who would she choose?
  • [43:30] The answer is in the paint.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 28, 2018
Large Scale Paintings and Trusting Your Instincts, with Palden Hamilton

What captures an artist’s imagination to create large-scale paintings? How do you tap into the boldness that's necessary to follow your instincts and create something that feels impossible? My guest is Palden Hamilton, a representational painter from Baltimore, Maryland. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his BFA. In our conversation, we talk about chaos and order, finding your voice, what materials Palden uses to paint on, his upcoming large-scale paintings, his desire to connect with the external world and so much more! I can’t wait for you to hear from Palden’s unique take on life as an artist.

Life lessons from observing trees.

What is it that inspires your creativity? Is it great literature? Is it beautifully composed music? What resonates so deeply in you that it ignites the spark of creativity? For artist, Palden Hamilton it's a desire to connect with the external world. It was a feeling of longing and an emotional response to nature that led Palden to start drawing. In our conversation, Palden also touched on some life lessons he has learned from observing nature and in particular, trees. As an artist in residence at the Ladew Topiary Gardens, Palden enjoyed studying the trees and observed how they are a great analogy to many aspects of life.

Branding, telling your story and cultivating curiosity.

Let’s face it, in the art community, “Branding” is often a dirty word. It doesn’t have to be! Think of it this way, branding is just a way of communicating your story. What is the story that you want to tell with your art? As an artist, you’ve cultivated a sense of curiosity for the world around you. Don’t stop! Continue to cultivate and nurture that sense of curiosity in your work and use it to tell your story. Palden Hamilton is passionate about telling his story and continuing to explore various aspects of his creativity as an artist. At the end of the day, Palden refuses to let others dictate his direction as an artist and he encourages artists like you to do the same. Tell your story with boldness, the world needs your voice!

Pursuing the dream to create large-scale paintings.

When was the last time you allowed yourself to go crazy and chase that rabbit on an unexpected adventure? As you follow your curiosity, you’ll discover different angles that will spark a new perspective. It’s up to you if you are ready to pull that thread and see what unravels. Palden Hamilton has been pulling those threads for a while and has arrived at a new project, large-scale paintings. He’s been considering this new project for some time and now he is ready to move forward. I loved hearing Palden’s passion and excitement for his new project and I know artists like you will geek out with me as he describes his intended approach.

Find your voice and be you!

One of the biggest themes from my conversation with Palden Hamilton was the desire to find, articulate, and communicate his voice as an artist. I’ve struggled with this topic over the course of my art career and I know that many of you have as well. From our discussion about his new large-scale paintings to his observations from nature, Palden was kind enough to open up about these topics and everything in between. I hope you are inspired by Palden’s boldness and the risks he takes with his art. Don’t forget, your voice is valuable! Make sure to check out images of his artwork located at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Palden Hamilton.
  • [2:30] Palden talks about how he started with his passion for art.
  • [5:00] What was it like growing up with Japanese and Himalayan influences?
  • [8:20] How Palden decided to pursue an art career.
  • [10:20] Life lessons learned from observing trees.
  • [12:30] Tackling the unknown and cultivating curiosity.
  • [15:40] Palden describes his artwork.
  • [17:15] A desire to connect with the external world.
  • [20:20] How dreams have impacted Palden’s imagination.
  • [24:30] Palden talks about his plans to create monumental paintings.
  • [33:20] Stepping back and getting perspective.
  • [35:00] The struggle of second-guessing yourself.
  • [41:00] Why it's important to find your voice and be you!
  • [42:30] Trust your instincts.
  • [46:00] Why we shouldn’t live with regrets.
  • [51:00] Wrestling with the “Truth.”
  • [54:00] Palden talks about getting an “Epiphany.”
  • [57:00] Setting parameters on creativity.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jun 14, 2018
Plein Air Artwork and Studying the Landscape, with Matt Smith

What goes through the mind of a plein air artist? How do they study the landscape and come up with that one viewpoint that draws them in? Do the habits for success come quickly or do they unfold slowly over time? My guest, Matt Smith is an accomplished plein air artist who has spent much of his developing years in Arizona. In our conversation, Matt opens up about artists who have influenced and mentored him, how he studies the landscape, what it takes for an artist to find their voice, the value in self-criticism, common mistakes made by inexperienced artists, and much more. I can’t wait for you to hear from Matt’s seasoned and helpful perspective!

Celebrate what ignites your passion!

Can you think back to that moment when you first noticed that passion and excitement that awakened your desire to create? What was it that moved you in such a significant way? Did that moment lead you to find your artistic voice? For artist Matt Smith, it all came down to spending time in the desert and paying attention to what that environment awakened within him. He looks back at that period of his life as a turning point that really unlocked a new stream of creativity and direction in his career. What can you learn from Matt’s story? How do you celebrate your passion? Make sure to check out images of Matt’s artwork located at the end of this post!

The value of self-criticism.

Let’s face it, we all hate those artists who give off an air of having “Arrived” in their art career. What’s the solution? How do you fight back the ego and maintaining a healthy dose of humility as you grow as an artist? According to Matt Smith, a great way to stay humble and keep growing as an artist is to practice self-criticism. While this can be a slippery slope and lead some people to be too hard on themselves, it’s value and merits shouldn’t go ignored. What stage are you on in your journey? Do you need to up your game and give yourself some long overdue critiques?

Studying the landscape.

How do pick your next project? As an artist, I’m always fascinated with what captures my peer's eye as they go about creating their next work of art. I feel like by understanding how others see the world around them, it starts to grow and heighten my awareness too. When I asked Matt what it is in the desert that captures his imagination he said that it generally comes down to contrasts that catch his eye. He was quick to add that it tends to shift from painting to painting but he always tries to circle back to the fundamentals of drawing, value, design, and color. Hearing from Matt’s viewpoint was really eye-opening and hope you get as much value from it as I did!

Slow down, pay attention, and don’t be in such a hurry!

Time and time again when I sit down with experienced artists I keep coming back to this theme of slowing down and paying attention. When I ask my guests like Matt Smith to share some advice they’d have for their younger selves they all end up saying, in one way or another, slow down. Are you slowing down enough in your routine and schedule to notice the scenes around you? What practices or habits have helped you slow down and pay attention? At the end of the day, we all could use a good reminder to stay aware of the beauty and significance that we pass by each day.

Outline of This Episode

  • [4:30] I introduce my guest, Matt Smith.
  • [6:00] Artists that inspired Matt along the way.
  • [7:30] How spending time in Europe impacted Matt.
  • [9:20] What is it that moves and inspires Matt to create art?
  • [11:30] How did Matt connect with artists he admired?
  • [16:30] Transitioning from “Art student” to professional artist.
  • [19:00] The value of self-criticism.
  • [20:30] How does an artist find their voice?
  • [22:30] What is Matt currently obsessed with?
  • [26:00] How has Matt’s setup changed over the years?
  • [29:30] What catches Matt’s interest for motifs?
  • [32:00] Common mistakes made by inexperienced artists.
  • [34:30] Does Matt finish his painting outdoors or does he finish in his studio?
  • [37:00] Challenges with bringing a larger idea into the studio.
  • [40:30] Encouraging and discouraging trends in the art world.
  • [43:30] Artwork that Matt would love to own from a living artist.
  • [45:30] Slow down, pay attention, and don’t be in such a hurry!
  • [50:30] The failures make the success so much more exciting.
  • [52:00] What does Matt have coming up on his schedule?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 31, 2018
Observational Art and Finding Your Way, with Elana Hagler

What comes to mind when you think of observational art? Are there specific artists that you think of? Have you dabbled in observational art? My guest is art educator and observational artist, Elana Hagler. In our conversation, Elana opens up about her journey as an artist, early influences in grad school, how she struggled to find her way post-grad school, what she looks for when she starts a project, the role of art in our world today, and much more! I can’t wait for you to hear from Elana’s unique perspective. Make sure to check out images of Elana’s work located at the end of this post!

The challenge of finding your way as an artist.

Whether you went the traditional route via grad school or you found your way as an artist on a different path, most of us have all faced that moment when we had to ask ourselves, “Now what?” For many of us, this question comes after the structured environment of grad school, was that your experience or did it come at a different point? Artist Elana Hagler had just finished grad school and had experienced some significant losses in her family when she and her husband decided to move to Denver to be closer to his family for support raising their young children. During this “Exile” from her community of artists, Elana had to find a new way forward. While it was a scary and difficult time, Elana looks back and is grateful for the changes and challenges faced that helped her grow as an artist.

Observational art and finding a “Problem” that’s almost too hard to solve.

What is it about observational art that draws the viewer in? Is it the focus of the artist? Does something get telegraphed from the subject to the artist to the painting? How does this all play out from the artist’s perspective? According to Elana Hagler, it’s the “Problems” that draw her in and help her to focus her attention on a specific subject. Elana loves to challenge herself with juxtapositions and contrasts that are almost too difficult for her to handle. These challenges for Elana go beyond just light vs. dark and sharp edges vs. soft edges, she looks at the contrast of the intimate vs. the monumental. I know artists like you will appreciate and value Elana’s distinct viewpoint of her subject matter and how she approaches the canvas.

How influences and styles show up in artwork.

When was the last time you looked at a piece of artwork and knew almost instantly where that artist had studied or who their major influences were? I don’t know about you but I do this constantly and I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing. In my conversation with Elana Hagler, we discussed the ways that different styles and schools of thought show up in today’s artwork. I also share my personal thoughts on the divide between west coast and east coast artists and how that connects with Elana’s helpful viewpoint as an art educator. Who have been some of your greatest influences? Do you think they show up in your artwork?

Why it’s important to slow down and pay attention.

Too often, in our world today, we are trained either actively or passively to make quick judgments on things that are valuable and worth our time and the things that aren’t. This quick and reflexive discernment can be attributed to the rise of technology and our seemingly endless stream of visual stimuli. The benefit that art brings to our world today is the call to slow down and pay attention to a crafted and cultivated object that is worth consideration. I hope artists like you can find some hope and encouragement from Elana and I’s conversation around this important topic.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Elana Hagler.
  • [3:00] How Elana got started as an artist.
  • [6:00] Elana talks about her art education.
  • [10:30] How Elana describes her artwork.
  • [12:30] Leaving grad school and figuring out how to start a career.
  • [19:00] Elana tells a story about stepping out and taking a risk.
  • [26:30] What does Elana look for when she starts a work of art?
  • [29:00] Elana shares some technical aspects of her process.
  • [36:00] How influences and styles show up in artwork.
  • [41:30] Elana goes over some observations from her role as an educator.
  • [46:30] What is the role of art in our world today?
  • [50:00] Don’t be afraid of painting something you find beautiful!
  • [51:30] Artwork that Elana wishes she could have back.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 17, 2018
Expanding Your Painting Skills, the Drawback of Viewing Art Digitally and more with Claudia Rilling

On your journey as an artist, have you experienced a season where you wanted to expand your painting skills? What helped you in that season? What would you suggest to others who are in that season right now? My guest, Claudia Rilling was kind enough to open up about this topic as it relates to her own career as an artist. In our conversation, we also touch on Claudia’s search for direction, her time studying under Israel Hershberg, the technical details of her time in the studio, what attracts her to a subject, and much more. I can’t wait for you to hear some of the powerful insights that Claudia has to share.

Searching for direction.

As an artist, you are most likely very familiar with the sense of searching for direction in your artwork and in your career in general. What has helped you on your journey? Were you better off finding your path on your own or did it help to be connected to an art community? In my conversation with Claudia Rilling, she shares aspects of her journey and how she struggled and then eventually found her voice and diction as an artist. Specifically, Claudia points to a season of life in her twenties where she struggled with mark making. Before long, Claudia ended up going to grad school where she would continue to wrestle with and then hone her voice and approach as an artist.

Honing and expanding your painting skills.

What does it take for an artist to get to the point where they finally feel comfortable with their painting skills? Is that even possible or does the artist have to come to terms with a lifelong struggle in this area? Artist Claudia Rilling explains that in her experience, expanding and honing your painting skills is something that most artists continue to work on throughout their career. Having said that, there comes a point where an experienced artist feels more comfortable with their skill sets and abilities. I hope artists like you get as much out of the technical aspects of my conversation with Claudia as I did! Also, don’t forget to check out images of Claudia’s work located at the end of this post.

The drawbacks of viewing art digitally.

One of the questions I like to put to experienced artists like Claudia Rilling is finding out what they see in the painting world as it sits in today’s landscape. As usual, I was intrigued by Claudia’s response. In her opinion, due to the numerous closures of art galleries and the increased proliferation of art being viewed online, we’ve lost an important feature in the art world. While many artists are becoming more technologically and digitally astute, Claudia maintains that the move to a digital and virtual experience with art is not necessarily a good thing. What do you think of Claudia’s take? Do you agree? Do you view the digital movement as a positive step or a negative one?

How to tell when a painting is finished.

A question many artists struggle to answer is; when is a painting “Finished?” Do you still struggle with this question? What strategies or methods have you used to help you conclude your paintings? While there is no perfect answer, my guest, Claudia Rilling was kind enough to share her thoughts on this important step in creating artwork. In Claudia’s experience, it all comes down to getting the input of fellow artists. She quips with a great expression, “How many artists does it take to make a painting? Two! One to paint and the other to tell them when to stop.” Are you the type of artist who has the confidence to stop on their own or have you found it helpful to get the opinion of fellow artists?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Claudia Rilling.
  • [2:40] How Claudia got started painting.
  • [4:00] Artists that inspired Claudia early on.
  • [9:00] How Claudia describes her work.
  • [12:00] What was Claudia’s post undergrad career like?
  • [15:00] Claudia talks about lessons learned in grad school.
  • [20:00] How Claudia chooses her subjects.
  • [22:00] What does Claudia do when she approaches the canvas?
  • [28:30] An update on Claudia’s process and why she changed it over time.
  • [30:00] Claudia talks about different adhesives she’s used.
  • [32:30] How do you know when a painting is finished?
  • [36:00] What is Claudia currently working on?
  • [42:00] The drawbacks of galleries closing down and view art digitally.
  • [44:00] What Claudia wishes she would have known as an inexperienced artist.
  • [47:00] Overcoming challenges along the way.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

May 03, 2018
Interior Landscapes, Still Life Paintings, and the Absence of Curation with John Lee

What does the journey of a responsive painter focused on interior landscapes and still life paintings entail? How do you cultivate an awareness of the world around you in a way that can come to life in your art? My guest is artist and painter, John Lee. In my conversation with John, we cover his journey into artistry, how his ideas for projects from, his perspective as an art instructor, what he’s been working on during his break from teaching, the insufficiency of labels, and so much more! I can’t wait for you to hear from John and his engaging story.

Interior Landscapes and Still Life Paintings

John Lee’s work is based on what he sees in the world around him. He doesn’t like to paint things that he doesn’t see, rather he focuses more on genres like still life paintings and interior landscapes. In the end, it’s kind of hard to really nail John down in one particular vein, he enjoys the complexity and ambiguity. I know that artists like you will really enjoy and appreciate John’s unique voice and style. Make sure to check out images of his artwork located at the end of this post!

Learning to see, not look.

How does the role of an art instructor impact the work of an artist? Does that responsibility bleed into and influence their creative work? How can teaching draw out different aspects of the artist? My guest, John Lee teaches in Williamsburg, Virginia at the College of William and Mary. What’s fascinating about many of the students that John teaches is that many of them do not end up pursuing a career as an artist. In light of this, John focus on exposing these students to a world they are unaware of through art. He hopes that time in his classroom helps students learn to see, not look at the world around them.

The absence of curation.

When you look at the channels for art in the world around you, do you notice that there is a distinct lack of thoughtful and intentional curation? What is the solution? How do we start to move back or begin to appreciate once again the careful attention to detail that curation provides? In my conversation with artist John Lee, we discuss how increased access to art databases can actually have a limiting effect on the creative mind. John also touches on what he is doing as an art instructor to help expose students to resources that will grow their perspectives.

Paying attention to what captures your interest.

As an artist, what is it that captures your imagination and ignites your interest? How do you nurture those impulses and learn to make them part of your creative process? According to my guest, John Lee, it is vital for us as artists to make note of what lights us up. John encourages artists to experiment and find their way to inspiration through trial and error. He also explains how he tunes out the noise that can be distracting to focus on the task at hand. What can you learn from John’s story? What has worked for you with your creative process so far?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, John Lee.
  • [2:30] John talks about his start as an artist.
  • [7:00] How does John describe his artwork?
  • [13:30] What does John do with ideas that come to him? What inspires him?
  • [19:00] John talks about his time away from teaching and what he’s been working on.
  • [25:00] What’s going on with art students? Is there a moment happening?
  • [30:00] How art schools impact students.
  • [40:00] What role does art have for the non-artist? Learning to see, not look.
  • [46:00] How do you tune out all the influences or only focus on the ones you want?
  • [49:00] Paying attention to what captures your interest.
  • [51:00] John talks about his post art school career.
  • [54:30] One step forward, two steps back.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 19, 2018
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.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Apr 05, 2018
Paint Brush Care, Techniques, and Q&As with Trekell Art Supplies

As I’ve been promising, here is my special conversation with Brian Trekell and Courtney Bridges from Trekell Art Supplies. In our conversation, we cover a ton of ground. Everything from how Trekell got started, what inspired Brian to get into the paint brush making business, a bunch of technical questions you sent in for Brian and his team, some history behind paint brush making, and so much more! It’s a ton of information but I know artists like you will appreciate the detailed explanations. Make sure to check out the special offer Trekell has made available for the Savvy Painter audience and the YouTube video of artist William Whitaker explaining his approach to brush care, you can find both in the resources section at the end of this post.

Letting curiosity lead the way.

Have you ever wondered how successful art suppliers like Trekell got their start? Are they just a faceless corporation or is there a heart somewhere behind the name? I had the privilege of sitting down with Brian Trekell and Courtney Bridges from Trekell Art Supplies. Brian founded Trekell over 30 years ago after spending time backpacking through Japan where he was first inspired by the art of brushmaking. Soon after, he traveled to Bechhofen, Germany, to fine-tune his skills. Now, Trekell is an established name in art. Brian continues to lead the organization with a relentless focus on delivering high-quality products to artists like you. I hope you are inspired by Trekell’s humble beginnings as much as I am.

Brush care really does make a difference.

As an artist, chances are you’ve picked up some bad habits when it comes to brush care over the course of your career. Brian and Courtney from Trekell Art Supplies are here to help remedy some of those bad habits and answer questions from the Savvy Painter community that will help you get more life out of your brushes. In our conversation, Brian and Courtney cover topics like which solution you should keep your brushes in, if using conditioner is a good idea, alternatives to rinsing the paint out on your hand, and much more. Don’t leave it all up to trial and error, get the best advice right from the supplier!

Expanding the product line.

While focusing on one specific product can lead to a lot of success, Trekell has taken the path of expanding their product line to bring their dedication and experience to other areas in the art world. In my conversation with Briand Trekell and Courtney Bridges, I got to hear their passion for working with other suppliers like Gamblin to bring creativity and high-quality products to a larger network of artists. Find out about Trekell’s offerings including panels, frames, primers, varnishes, and much more. I’m excited for you to get to know Brian and Courtney and their unique approach to offering as many tools to the art community as possible.

Maintaining a robust relationship with artists.

As you take the time to listen to Brian and Courtney explain their methodology and approach at Trekell Art Supplies, I hope you come to glimpse their passion for truly serving the art community. Through their partnership with the Savvy Painter podcast and hearing stories of how they’ve incorporated artists input throughout their history, I am confident that they care about their products and the people who use them. Trekell offers a number of professional grade sets, kits, and packages designed by the Trekell Pro Team which is made up of artists like you! From their partnership with William Whitaker to their efforts creating the Trekell Pro Team, they’ve taken the time to show that they are invested in the success of artists.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:25] I introduce my guests, Brian Trekell & Courtney Bridges.
  • [3:30] Why did Brian go into the brush business? Where did the name come from?
  • [8:00] How are acrylic brushes created differently than oil brushes?
  • [9:30] Who should use which brushes? Does it matter?
  • [12:30] What is the best way to treat your brush between uses?
  • [17:30] Why is wood used over other materials as the handle for brushes?
  • [21:30] Why did Trekell switch the color for their Legion handles?
  • [22:30] Why do brushes splay, even after they are properly cared for?
  • [24:30] How are the quill mops are made?
  • [25:30] When do you need to glue a brush, versus crimp it?
  • [27:00] Why does Trekell make some shapes and not others in each type of brush?
  • [30:00] Why is it so difficult to create a synthetic version of the natural mongoose brush?
  • [32:00] Is it true that I should not use brushes interchangeably between acrylics and oils?
  • [38:00] Any recommendations on how to soften edges with wet-on-wet?
  • [39:30] Do I need to seal the wood on the backside of the panel to prevent possible cracking?
  • [40:30] Courtney talks about Trekell’s coffin-shaped panels.
  • [42:00] How do you decide which is the best wood to use for your wood panels?
  • [44:30] What made you decide to start offering aluminum panels?
  • [46:00] How do you create the wood floating panels?
  • [48:00] Why did Trekell start expanding their product line from just brushes?
  • [50:00] How to do you measure spring in a brush?
  • [52:00] Should I try to make brushes with the hair of my animals? Does Trekell use animal hair?
  • [54:00] What is the most versatile brush? Which brush line is the most popular?
  • [55:30] If you could make a brush exclusively for a deceased artist and a living artist, who would you choose?
  • [56:00] Who was the first person to officially join the Trekell Pro Team?
  • [57:30] What should I use to clean my brushes before I'm ready to paint?
  • [1:02:00] What brushes would be best for me to use, using water mixable oil paints?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 08, 2018
How to Crush the Inner Critic, Get Over Perfectionism, and Get Out of Your Own Way So You Can Create Your Best Work

I’m trying something new on this special episode! I want to tackle some of the common questions that I get from many of my listeners and fellow artists like you. 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!

Why mindset is so important.

Did you know that your mindset impacts everything in your life? It’s true! It affects how you see your paintings, how you manage your career, your family life, the list goes on and on. What steps can you take to actively engage and direct your mindset so you can grow and thrive as an artist? The first step is becoming aware of the current state of your mindset, are you in a good place producing good results or have you taken a bit of a nosedive lately? Once you recognize what state your mindset is in and the tendencies you lean toward, you empower yourself! I hope you get a lot of value out of this framing of mindset mastery, I truly believe it can transform the way you work and create as an artist.

Keeping a schedule can be a game-changer!

What has your relationship with your calendar been like? Are you on good terms or is it in need of some rehabilitation? While most people don’t fit into that stereotypical “Type A” personality, even the most unstructured individuals among us would benefit from the use of a schedule or calendar. This simple shift can help organize and prioritize the most important things we want to dedicate our time to. It’s been said that what you put your attention on becomes important. Based on how you spend your time, what are the most important things in your life right now? Do you want to make a change and shift your time to something else? Schedule it! I’m not saying that it’s easy by any stretch and I’m happy to share my struggles, but I’ve learned the hard way that keeping a schedule can be a game-changer for your creativity and productivity.

Don’t let that inner critic hijack your life.

The first thing you need to know about your inner critic is that you aren’t alone! As I’ve talked to and interviewed many artists over the years, one thing is constant, we all struggle with pushing back the voice of our inner critic. Don’t fall for the lies that your inner critic likes to pedal! Here are three helpful starring places to minimize the influence of your inner critic. One, hold on to the truth that you aren’t alone, these negative or critical thoughts happen to every artist, this helps to break it’s isolating power. Two, you can choose to ignore your inner critic, you have that power. Three, you can opt for defeating it with humor, laugh at it, go ahead what is it going to hurt? Some artists have found this approach to be really effective! Find what works for you and consider taking the step to discuss it with your fellow artists, this can help break it’s power too.

Make sure to be strategic about your focus.

If you are looking to make a change in your mindset and your general approach to life as an artist, consider how you can be strategic about your focus. This goes back to what we talked about with scheduling, what you put your attention on becomes important. Don’t put it off and think that you’ll make changes down the road, now is the time! As an artist, you know that where you put your focus can significantly change the way you view your subject. Take the time to consider and implement some of these concepts, your career and your life is worth the investment! I’d also love to hear about what strategies and practices have helped you find focus, get in the right mindset, and battle your inner critic.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:05] I introduce this special episode tackling some of your questions.
  • [1:00] Mindset impacts everything!
  • [2:10] How do you carve out time for painting between life with kids, a partner, and everything in between?
  • [4:15] I share a personal story of how I struggled to find enough time to paint.
  • [10:00] Why it’s important to schedule your time, especially down time!
  • [14:00] What you put your attention on becomes important.
  • [17:00] Be aware of what is going on inside of your head!
  • [19:00] How you can start fighting against the inner critic.
  • [24:00] Why you should be strategic about your focus.
  • [28:30] Mastering your mindset is about being present.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Mar 01, 2018
Narrative Painting and Discovering Your Artistic Voice, with Gabriela Dellosso

I’ve heard from many of my fellow artists about the struggle to find their artistic voice. Have you struggled with finding yours? What has helped you in your pursuit? 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!

Finding your artistic voice.

It’s a given that at some point, an artist will struggle with finding their voice or articulating it in a way that other people can understand. What is your story? Did it come easy for you early on or did you struggle to find your voice for some time? Gabriela Dellosso, like many of us, struggled with finding her artistic voice for quite a while. She looks back on that process as vital to shaping who she would become as an artist. Gabriela's advice for those who are struggling to find their voice is to go with what they are passionate about and meditate on ways to communicate that passion and concept to a wider audience. Gabriela has a wonderful way of talking about this topic and I hope that those of you who are currently struggling to find your artistic voice and find some encouragement!

The challenges and distractions of social media.

What is your relationship with social media like, as an artist? Do you find it useful and encouraging or do you find it supremely distracting and frustrating? My guest, Gabriela Dellosso and I talked about the role of social media and how it impacts artists in our conversation. While we both find it can be incredibly distracting and lead us down the path of comparing ourselves to other artists, we do note it’s helpful aspects. Have you found a helpful balance between using social media and taking the time to step away for a break? Do you have any helpful tips or best practices when it comes to this topic?

A parent’s love and support.

Who was it that nurtured and encouraged your growth as an artist? Was it a family member, a close friend or a mentor? What was it about their encouragement and support that helped you locate your artistic voice and passion? In our conversation, Gabriela Dellosso opened up about the impact that her mother had on her growth as an artist. She was kind enough to share with me some heartwarming stories about her mother serving as her model for many projects, one which led to her creating a whole series on clowns. I hope you can get the sense of love and support that Gabriela enjoyed in the early stages of her career from her mother.

Finding the right inspiration.

What is it that really moves you and fuels your inspiration for your artwork? How did you find it? What do you do to incorporate into your creations? My guest, Gabriela Dellosso has found her inspiration in the women artists who have gone before her. As Gabriela studies and learns about the incredible women who had to fight for a place at the table and still were able to produce stunning works of art, she feels compelled to lift them up and celebrate them in her own work. How can Gabriela's amazing work and beautiful inspirations inspire you and your creative expression? Make sure to check out images of Gabriela's work at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:45] I introduce my guest, Gabriela Dellosso.
  • [3:30] How did Gabriela get started as an artist?
  • [14:30] Gabriela talks about branching out and finding her voice.
  • [19:00] Advice for artists trying to find their voice.
  • [26:00] The challenges and distractions of social media for the artist.
  • [31:30] What is Gabriela currently working on?
  • [33:00] Learning from women artists.
  • [49:00] How Gabriela chooses artists to research and draw inspiration from.
  • [53:30] What is Gabriela's process and approach in her current series?
  • [58:00] Where do we get our influences as artists?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 22, 2018
Constantly Learning and Refusing to Quit with Figurative Artist, Vonn Sumner

What is it that keeps you going as an artist? Where do you find your “Can-do spirit?” Is it a constant struggle for you to stay motivated and energized in your work? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! My guest is figurative artist Vonn Sumner. In our conversation, Vonn talks about growing up in Palo Alto, CA where he was exposed to a lot of art, specifically bay area figurative artists. Vonn also talks about his decision to study at UC Davis and his experiences there with the artist, Wayne Thiebaud. Further on in our conversation we talk about painting, the eternal gap between the artist's vision and what comes out on the canvas, and much more!

Why it’s important to have a mindset of constantly learning.

As many eager art school graduates launch out into the choppy waters of navigating their new careers, the mindset often shifts from learning to creating. What has been your experience of the shift from formal education, if you went that route, to building your portfolio and marketing your work? My guest, figurative artist Vonn Sumner shared with me what his mindset was after leaving UC Davis. Vonn worked hard at continuing to cultivate a mode of constantly learning and questioning. He points to this attitude and mindset when we talked about his inspiration for painting. What can you learn from Vonn’s unique take? Make sure to view images of Vonn’s work located at the end of this post!

Wisdom learned from studying under Wayne Thiebaud.

Which individuals have been some of the important figures that impacted you in your career as an artist? Were they family members, mentors, instructors, or someone else? For figurative artist Vonn Sumner, it was his time studying under renowned artist Wayne Thiebaud at UC Davis. In our conversation, Vonn shared a few important gems of wisdom that he learned from Wayne. As hard as it can be to convey through words, Vonn said that Wayne taught him and his peers “How to see.” Vonn says that this is more than translating the world through art, it had a deeper component, it was about how to see painting and the world in a way that was rigorous and personal. I loved hearing all of Vonn’s stories and insights from studying under Wayne and I hope you do too.

Setbacks and challenges along the way.

What has your journey as an artist been like? Have you been through the mountain tops of success and down in valleys of despair? What have those experiences taught you? In my conversation with Vonn Sumner, he walked me through his early career and what it was like to find success and then make the decision to walk away when the market started to change. While Vonn’s move from sunny and artsy California to quiet Pennsylvania was difficult at the time, he now looks back at that episode as a period of growth and flourishing. It was really refreshing to hear Vonn’s take on this chapter in his life and I hope artists like you can connect with his journey.

You’ve got to make the decision to refuse to quit.

As many of you know, the life of an artist can be full of exciting highs and frustratingly long lows. What do you do to keep sight of the reason why continue to create? My guest, Vonn Sumner was kind enough to open up about his own struggles and some important advice he received on this topic. When Vonn was working at UC Davis as a teaching assistant under Wayne Thiebaud, he approached him looking for advice about his career. In response, Wayne said that most artists quit when they are about 45 or 50 years old. From that experience, Vonn walked away with a determination to stay in the game and refuse to quit. How does Vonn’s take resonate with you?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Vonn Sumner.
  • [2:30] Von talks about early art influences.
  • [6:00] The gap between what you imagine and what you can create.
  • [12:00] Von talks about his inspiration for painting.
  • [16:30] The mindset of constantly learning.
  • [23:00] Takeaways from learning under Wayne Thiebaud.
  • [28:30] What did Vonn do after art school?
  • [38:30] How 9/11 impacted the art scene in New York.
  • [43:00] Setbacks and challenges along the way.
  • [55:00] Refusing to quit and pushing through.
  • [1:02:00] The struggle with art and business.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 15, 2018
Enriching Relationships with Fellow Artists, with Karen Offutt

What has your journey as an artist been like? Have you benefited from rich and vibrant relationships with fellow artists? Or have you struggled to find your tribe of peers who you can collaborate and travel the journey with? My guest, Karen Offutt was kind enough to open up in our conversation about the impact that her fellow artists have had on her, struggles she’s endured along the way, how she’s navigated relationships with galleries, how parenthood has impacted her art career, and much more! I can’t wait for you to hear from Karen’s dynamic perspective!

Finding your tribe and learning from fellow artists.

Can you think back to that moment when you realized that you found your tribe? What was it like once you felt like you belonged among your fellow artists? My guest, Karen Offutt described for me the moment when she finally found a community of fellow artists and experienced a challenging and enriching environment. Before she found a community to “Belong” to, she struggled with expanding her skills and never really felt sure in her journey as an artist. Once she found her tribe, everything changed for Karen. Through the highs and lows that many artists struggle with, Karen is thankful for her fellow artists who have been there with her, every step of the way. What can you learn from Karen’s story?

Early challenges with galleries and finding the “Right one.”

What has been your experience connecting with and featuring your artwork in galleries? If you are anything like most artist’s I’ve spoken with, you’ve had your fair share of challenges and successes. Figurative artist, Karen Offutt experienced some difficulties early on as she tried to navigate her way through interacting with galleries that wanted to feature her paintings. She looks back at those early opportunities with gratitude due to the positive experiences she had before some of the more negative ones that came along. A big takeaway from Karen’s story and a maxim that I often repeat when it comes to good galleries is to cherish them and treat them like gold because they can be hard to come by!

Navigating the ups and downs of parenthood and life as an artist.

Trying to figure out life and balancing your art career and parenthood can be extremely difficult. I’ve had the privilege to speak with many artists, both fathers and mothers who have told their story and how challenging this balancing act can be. I believe there are some really helpful lessons to be learned by taking the time to hear from our fellow artists who navigate this path with grace and endurance. Karen Offutt took the time to describe her journey and unique challenges that she’s faced along the way as a parent. I hope you feel as inspired as I was by the tenacity and passion that Karen exudes for both her family and her artwork.

For the love of figure painting.

What do you love the most about the type of artwork you create? Is it the landscapes that draw you in and make your imagination come to life? Or maybe it’s the abstract colors and shapes that spark your creative pursuits. For Karen Offutt, it’s the idea of figures coming out of her paintings and the various ways she is able to play with different images that excites and animates her as she approaches her canvas. Karen was kind enough to describe her process and her deep love and passion for figurative artwork in our conversation. I know artists like you will get a lot of enjoyment out of the way she talks about her process and her creative journey. Make sure to check out images of Karen’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:50] I introduce my guest, Karen Offutt.
  • [3:00] How Karen got started as an artist.
  • [8:30] When did Karen get the instruction that she needed?
  • [15:00] Karen talks about how she learned to loosen up with her painting.
  • [17:00] How did Karen start to get her work in galleries?
  • [21:00] Challenges Karen faced working with different galleries.
  • [23:30] Karen talks about her children and how parenthood has impacted her career.
  • [36:00] What is Karen’s process? How does she spend her studio time?
  • [40:00] How does Karen choose her models?
  • [43:00] What is it that makes Karen so drawn to figurative painting?
  • [45:00] Karen’s pride in her work.
  • [47:30] The goal to put more time in the studio.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Feb 08, 2018
An Exciting Journey as a Self Taught Artist, with Erin Spencer

What does it look like to build a career as a self taught artist? What are the unique challenges and thrilling rewards of forging a path on your own? Can you really succeed and thrive as a self taught artist? My guest is self taught, landscape and cityscape artist Erin Spencer. Her work is greatly influenced by her time spent in Holland. In our conversation, Erin and I talk about her early start selling her art on Etsy, struggling with the imposter syndrome, making the time to paint with a young family, and much more. I can’t wait for you to get a peek into Erin’s exciting journey and the fascinating perspective she brings to the table.

Taking the leap into the unknown as a self taught artist.

What has been your journey as an artist? Have you been through formal education or does your story look more like Erin Spencer’s? What does that leap into the unknown look like? How do you navigate it? While the journey wasn’t always easy, Erin says that as she looks back, she knows that this path was meant for her to travel in her own unique way. Erin describes her journey as going through a lot of trial and error, studying art at museums and shows, and reading about her craft. While she doesn’t describe her path as easy, Erin is passionate about how much the process has meant to her and her growth along the way. Make sure to check out images of Erin’s landscape and cityscape work located at the end of this post!

Knowing your own limits and setting goals for growth.

How often do you push yourself in your abilities as an artist? Do you find it easy to stretch yourself or is it painful and difficult for you? If you struggle with going past your personal limitations, you aren’t alone! Artist Erin Spencer revealed to me in our conversation how much she struggles with the idea of going to art workshops to work around and learn from other artists. I applaud Erin for knowing her own limits and boundaries and finding the determination to set a goal for stretching past those limits in the future. What can you learn from Erin’s story?

Making the time to paint as an artist and a parent to young children.

How do artists with children find the time to focus on their artwork when the demands of parenthood constantly rear its head? Is it possible to do both without failing at one? My guest, Erin Spencer spoke with me about how she has been able to make time in her day to focus on her painting. She also talks about how her children have grown up in her environment as an artist and they’ve learned to understand and adapt to her space and creative work. If you’d like to get a good understanding of what life as an artist and parent looks like, you’ll enjoy hearing from Erin’s honest viewpoint.

Accepting opportunities and discovering your roots.

When was the last time that you accepted a challenging opportunity? How did that go for you? Can you think of a time when you followed an impulse or a whim to find yourself embarking on a new and exciting project? In our conversation, Erin Spencer was candid enough to share with me what she is currently working on and a fun personal journey she is taking to explore her roots. Both projects capture Erin’s imagination in different ways, the first project is stretching her abilities and the second project is taking her on a creative journey with her family background. I hope you catch the excitement and passion that Erin exudes as she talks about both of these projects.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:05] I introduce my guest, Erin Spencer.
  • [2:30] How did Erin get started as an artist?
  • [5:30] Taking the leap as a self-taught artist.
  • [11:30] What have been some of the more difficult techniques for Erin to learn?
  • [17:30] Where does Erin sell her art?
  • [19:00] Struggling with the imposter syndrome.
  • [27:00] Why workshops are intimidating for Erin.
  • [30:30] A moment of personal success for Erin.
  • [39:00] Dealing with challenges along the way.
  • [46:30] What is Erin working on right now?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Feb 01, 2018
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?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 25, 2018
Fueling a Passion for Art, with Kelli Vance

What is it that fuels your passion for art? Can you trace your passion back to an early age or is it something that was awakened in you later in life? How do you continue to fan the flame? My guest is artist Kelli Vance. Kelli is a figurative artist from Texas, she got her BFA from the University of North Texas and her MFA from the University of Houston. Kelli’s current paintings of women explore spirituality and invite the viewer to decipher their meaning. In our conversation, we discuss how Kelli fuels her passion for art, where her ideas come from, how she brings her vision to life with the help of friends who model for her, and so much more. I can’t wait for you to hear Kelli’s story and her fascinating perspective.

Falling in love with creating art.

Do you remember that “moment” when everything clicked for you and you just fell in love with making art? If you didn’t have a specific moment, what was it that pushed you to start your journey as an artist? Kelli Vance and I had a wonderful discussion where we both took the time to share how we both had a moment where everything clicked for us. It was really exciting to hear from a peer who had a similar experience as I did. We both marveled at the fact that there was nothing spectacular about the assignments that we were given but we fell in love with craft all the same.

The difficulty of wrestling with personal expectations.

Holding to high standards and rigorous expectations for yourself can really be an asset that keeps you focused and striving to create good art. However, there is often another side to that coin. In our conversation, Kelli Vance and I discuss our relationship with personal expectations and how they’ve helped and hindered us over the years. We also touch on a sort of antidote to our high expectations, getting around other artists who can look at our work and assure us that we don’t have to critique every little thing along the way. What has been your relationship with personal standards and expectations?

Stoking the flames of passion for art.

As with many things in life, the longer you live with something, the more ordinary it begins to feel. Something that once took your breath away, can easily be lost to boredom or indifference. What have you done to keep the passion for art alive in your mind? How do you keep that flame lit after so many years? My guest, Kelli Vance opened up in our conversation and shared with me a few examples of what she does to keep stoking the flames of passion for art in her life. One aspect that she mentioned is how she is moved by art shows like the one she recently viewed in LA. Kelli also says that getting away and exploring nature has a rejuvenating effect on her creative spirit. What can you learn from Kelli’s story? What helps you keep your passion alive for art?

Nurturing a habit of curiosity.

It is so fascinating to hear all the different responses from all my guests when they talk about habits that have helped them succeed as artists. Kelli Vance says that the habit of curiosity is the one habit that has helped her grow and find success in her career. She describes herself as constantly curious, researching ideas, talking through them with friends and cultivating an ever-present awareness of things all around her. Kelli also points to a specific friendship she has with a fellow painter who has challenged her and acted as a sounding board for all of her creative ideas. What habits have helped you on your journey? What role has curiosity played in your development as an artist?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Kelli Vance.
  • [3:00] How Kelli got started as an artist.
  • [9:00] Kelli and I talk about that “moment” when we fell in love with creating art.
  • [13:00] Kelli talks about her time in Roswell as an art resident.
  • [17:00] What is Kelli working on right now?
  • [20:00] Having friends participate as models.
  • [24:00] A moment of personal success for Kelli and responding to challenges.
  • [29:00] Wrestling with personal expectations.
  • [32:00] What keeps Kelli excited and passionate about art?
  • [36:30] Artwork that Kelli would love to own.
  • [38:00] Kelli’s relationship with fiction.
  • [42:00] The habit of curiosity.
  • [43:30] Why Kelli doesn’t keep any of her artwork around.
  • [45:30] Just make the painting.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 18, 2018
The Ebb and Flow of Art Sales, with Kenny Harris

How do you as an artist navigate the ebb and flow of art sales? Is there a method to the madness or is it all guesswork? What lessons have you learned in your career to help you navigate this important topic? My guest, artist Kenny Harris joins me on this episode as we discuss the ebb and flow of art sales and many other topics. Throughout our conversation, we touch on self-promotion, personal development, questioning assumptions, Kenny’s marriage to fellow artist Judy Nimtz, and much more. I am so excited for you to hear from Kenny’s distinct perspective!

The wisdom of understanding there is an ebb and flow to art sales.

What have been some of the best advice you’ve received in your art career? Did it come from a mentor, family member, or close friend? Did you have the opportunity to connect with a community of artists with seasoned members? My guest, Kenny Harris was kind enough to open up to me about his journey from life in New York to moving to Venice, California. His move started out as a visit but he quickly found himself embraced and welcomed by the art community, particularly among the “Old guard.” It was during this transition in his career that Kenny received the advice that art sales are cyclical and to why it’s important to fight the impulse to play to fashion. Have you received similar advice like Kenny received? Did you take it?

What is it like being married to a fellow artist?

Do you have someone close to you who shares your passion for art? Is there a family member or close friend who you can collaborate with and learn from? Can you imagine what it would be like to have your partner share in your profession as an artist? During our conversation, artist Kenny Harris spoke at length about the special connection he enjoys by sharing the same career as his spouse and fellow artist, Judy Nimtz. Kenny speaks fondly of the influence that Judy has had on his artwork and how he sees his influence coming out in her work as well. They also enjoy filling their time bonding over painting together, going to shows and exhibits, and giving each other feedback. I enjoyed hearing Kenny describe the influence his wife has on his work and I hope you benefit from it too.

Questioning your own assumptions.

Sometimes you can get to the point in your career where you inoculate yourself to criticism and introspection. Have you experienced that? How do you fight against that impulse? My guest, Kenny Harris was candid about his own struggle and revealed to me that it took going back to school to really help him begin to question his own assumptions. This led to him becoming cautious about his own use of caution in his artwork. Kenny’s journey led to massive growth both internally and professionally. While the process sounds exhausting, reflecting back on this season in his life, Kenny says it was ultimately rewarding. What has been your experience with challenging your own assumptions?

The benefit of preparing for tomorrow’s work.

What steps have you taken to push yourself to get into a rhythm of productivity in your studio? Do you have a process that you feel comfortable with? What habits have helped you on your journey? Kenny Harris says that it wasn’t one single habit that helped him get on track and make progress in his career but multiple little things that have helped along the way. One step that Kenny tries to practice on a regular basis that stood out to me was the habit of preparing for the next day’s work the night before. It sounds like such a simple step but the way Kenny described it had me fascinated. Does Kenny’s process sound like anything you’ve tried before?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:30] I introduce my guest, Kenny Harris.
  • [3:30] How did Kenny get his start as an artist?
  • [7:30] Kenny talks about getting settled in with the LA art community.
  • [16:30] Questioning assumptions in your own work.
  • [19:00] What makes Kenny so curious about artwork?
  • [21:00] Is there a difference between voice and style?
  • [27:00] Kenny talks about breaking his own rules.
  • [29:30] What is it like being married to another artist?
  • [33:30] A marker of personal success and growth.
  • [43:00] The struggle of simplicity and focusing on what matters.
  • [49:30] Habits that have helped Kenny succeed.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 11, 2018
The Benefit of Being Part of an Art Community and Taking Risks, with Julie Beck

The results are in and I am happy to announce the three winners of our art competition. Take a look at the end of this post for images and links for our second and third place winners. Our first place winner is Julie Beck. Julie is an artist from upstate New York who currently lives and works as an art instructor in Boston. In our conversation, we discuss the benefit of being part of an art community, why it’s important to take risks, how she signs her paintings, and much more! I can’t wait for you to hear from all three of my guests, starting with the talented Julie Beck.

What is so great about titling paintings?

Maybe you are like me and you really don’t enjoy the process of coming up with a title for your artwork. Then again, maybe you are more like my guest, Julie Beck. Julie loves the process of deciding on a title for her paintings. In fact, Julie talks about the process a bringing a further depth and layer to her artwork. In our conversation, Julie opens up about how she decides on a title and she even shares that she has a list of “Orphaned titles.” What is your process for deciding on a title like? What can you learn from Julie’s process and passion for this task?

Why is it important to be connected to an art community?

What has been your experience with getting connected to an art community? Have you had good and positive experiences or have you struggled to find your tribe? Artist Julie Beck says that finding a vibrant and robust artist community has had a profound impact on her development and growth as an artist. Julie goes on to share that one of the best ways to break out of a funk or difficult season as an artist is to get around other creative individuals, it doesn’t have to be other artists. I hope artists like you get the chance to connect with a supportive and inspiring art community like Julie has!

How taking risks can grow you and help you succeed.

Does taking risks come easy to you or do you find it to be difficult? What has informed your relationship with risk? Were you taught to avoid risks or were you taught to chase them? Do you see risks as beneficial or dangerous? My guest, Julie Beck has, at times struggled with taking risks. Her painting that won our contest serves as her evidence that she is fighting her impulse to avoid risks. In our conversation, Julie shared with me how she came to branch out and try something different with this painting. As she describes it, this was a departure for Julie, she usually works in a very controlled and measured process. It was fascinating to hear from Julie’s perspective and how she embraced this scary, vulnerable, and rewarding experience. Make sure to check out the image of Julie’s work that won our contest at the end of this post!

The power of reminding yourself that you are a professional artist.

What habits have helped you build your confidence and succeed as an artist? Are you still looking for tips and insights that will help you as you grow in your profession? Artist Julie Beck was kind enough to share a helpful practice that might encourage artists like you as try to find ways to stay motivated. For Julie, things started to click for her when she made that decision to take herself seriously as an artist. To keep the momentum going, Julie created a folder on her computer desktop titled, “I am an artist.” As she continued to create and build her portfolio, she would add to that folder, gaining more and more confidence each time. I hope you pick up on the sense of accomplishment and success that comes across from Julie’s story and I hope you find your way to a similar experience!

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:00] I introduce my guest and first place contest winner, Julie Beck.
  • [3:30] Julie talks about her painting that won the contest.
  • [11:00] Why Julie loves titling paintings.
  • [15:00] Julie and I talk about signing our paintings.
  • [18:30] Finding efficient ways to accomplish tasks.
  • [20:00] Julie talks about her process working with oil paintings.
  • [26:00] When does Julie choose to pick which brush to use and why?
  • [30:00] Julie opens up about her work at The Academy of Realist Art, Boston.
  • [36:00] The artist’s struggle of wondering if you are good enough.
  • [38:00] Why community is crucial to creative expression.
  • [40:00] Julie and I talk about our dream to create an artist commune.
  • [45:00] The impact of the book, Free Play has had on Julie.
  • [50:00] Julie talks about her love of cozy and intimate spaces.
  • [52:00] Is there a painting that Julie won’t sell?
  • [54:00] Julie talks about the artists whose paintings she would love to own.
  • [55:30] Habits that have helped Julie succeed.
  • [59:00] I introduce my second guest, Suzi Zefting Kuhn.
  • [1:00:00] Suzi talks about the artwork she creates.
  • [1:02:00] The impact of being part of robust art community.
  • [1:04:00] Advice for artists who are considering entering contests.
  • [1:06:00] Dealing with disappointment.
  • [1:08:30] Habits that help Suzi succeed.
  • [1:10:00] I introduce my third guest, Randall David Tipton.
  • [1:11:30] Randall talks about his process and where he gets his inspiration.
  • [1:13:30] What is Youpo and how does Randall use it in his artwork?
  • [1:16:00] Randall talks about his artwork that won third place in the contest.
  • [1:17:30] Advice that Randall has for artists who are considering entering contests.
  • [1:19:00] Habits that have helped Randall succeed.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Jan 04, 2018
Cityscape and Landscape Art, with Adam Harrison

What does the process of creating cityscape and landscape art entail? How do those artists choose their locations? What does it even look like to create a portable studio? My guest, Adam Harrison is a cityscape and landscape artist who paints on location and lives in Santa Monica. Adam’s paintings range from four to six FEET! In our conversation, we talk about Adam’s process and strategy, how he connects with the public who live around his various locations, and so much more! I can’t wait for you to hear from Adam’s unique perspective and get the chance to view images of his artwork located at the end of this post.

The first approach to painting outside and on location.

What is it like taking your studio outside for the first time? What lessons do you learn in the process? My guest, Adam Harrison was kind enough to open up and share with me his first experience going outside and on location to start a project. Adam says that on his first outing, he carried two 4ft by 4ft panels made out of a quarter inch birchwood plywood, his studio easel, a lawn chair, a glass pallet, and a couple of reusable bags full of odds and ends. Can you imagine the scene? He took this setup to the Dodger Stadium area where he would end up spending the next year creating his first landscape work. From this experience, Adam came away with a lot of lessons, most notably, making sure to pack sunscreen next time. What can you take away from Adam’s story? What have been your experiences painting outside?

The benefit of having a deadline.

One of the most important things for any creative individual to find out about themselves is how they are motivated. Are you internally motivated and find that you can hit goals and benchmarks that you hold yourself too? Or are you more externally motivated and thrive when you set yourself up with deadlines that other people are counting on? My guest, Adam Harrison shared with me that he operates out of external motivation. Once he realized this, Adam was able to set up external deadlines and benchmarks that others would be dependent on, and this allowed Adam to thrive. Which process works best for you?

The process of picking a motif.

How do you pick your projects and motifs? Do you find inspiration in the settings around you or do you like to branch out and look past the familiar? Artist Adam Harrison has developed three “Have to’s” in his process that helps him pick his motifs. These are the three criteria he uses when he starts a painting.

  1. A sense of “Wonder” or “Wow.” Something that blows him away, that he loves looking at.
  2. Does this image resonate? Does he continue to think about it days and weeks later?
  3. How practical is it to get in front of the image on a weekly or daily basis?

Adam says that these criteria have been instrumental in helping him filter through all the options and ideas that he comes across to pick the right one for him to spend his time on. What has worked for you? What are your criteria for picking a motif?

How predictable patterns and habits lead to success.

What habits and practices have contributed to your growth and success as an artist? Are you still looking for those patterns that will help unlock your creativity? My guest, Adam Harrison was candid enough to share with me some of the daily practices and habits have led to his success as an artist. Adam points to his practice of having between 5-7 paintings that he works on throughout the week that allows him the freedom and flexibility to create wherever his work week takes him. While Adam’s approach may not be for everyone, it is really fascinating to get his take and the creative journey and how he discovered what works for him.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:30] I introduce my guest, Adam Harrison.
  • [3:30] Adam talks about how he got started as an artist.
  • [5:30] Artists that influenced Adam early on.
  • [7:30] What would Adam do when he felt inadequate.
  • [15:00] Adam talks about his first experience painting outside.
  • [20:30] Struggling with frustrations in the creative process.
  • [22:30] The benefit of having a deadline.
  • [28:30] Lessons learned from painting outside.
  • [34:30] Interactions with the public while working outside.
  • [40:30] What makes Adam pick a motif?
  • [43:30] Habits and rituals that have contributed to Adam’s success.
  • [49:00] Adam talks about a setback early in life.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Dec 28, 2017
Abstract Painting and the Freedom to Create, with Allison Gildersleeve

What is the evolution like for an artist that focuses on abstract painting? How can the work of abstract painting provide additional avenues that encourage a freedom to create? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve was generous with her time and candor as she opened up about her journey as an artist and her work with abstract paintings. We also discussed her time working in Vermont and Sweden, why she paints with layered images, navigating her career as a parent, and so much more! I can’t wait for you to get a glimpse into the journey and story of this talented painter!

Layered artwork and evolving as an artist.

When was the last time you really stretched yourself and experimented as an artist? Is it something you do often or do you have intentionally put yourself in situations where you can experiment? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve was kind enough to share about her time working with a printmaker in Sweden. During that time, Allison was able to experiment with layered drawings. You can tell from how she describes her time in Sweden that this was a very formative and liberating time for Allison. I hope you can catch the joy and enthusiasm that was evident in Alison's perspective like I did!

The struggles and inspirations of navigating an art career as a parent.

What has been your experience as an artist and parent? Do you find challenging, inspiring, or a mixture of both? How can you encourage and support your fellow artist who is at this stage of life right now? Artist Allison Gildersleeve discussed with me her experiences as an artist and parent, the challenges and the inspiring points in our conversation. While her life as a parent and artist was difficult at many points when her children were little, she also looks back at early parenthood as a time that required her to focus more intentionally on the time she had to create. What lessons can you learn from Allison’s experience? Do you resonate with what she shared?

The value of being part of a thriving art community.

Are you a part of a local art community? Do you connect with other artists to commiserate, collaborate, and get encouragement? Or do you find that life separated and isolated from the hustle and bustle give you more freedom to create? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve shared with me about the impact that being part of an artist community had on her years ago and continues to impact her today. She looks back at her time as an art assistant for Joan Snyder as being a pivotal point where she was able to connect with other artists and enjoy being part of that unique type of community. How has being part of an art community impacted your journey?

The hard work of slowing down and paying attention.

Do you ever find it challenging to slow down and pay attention to what is going on around you? What about your process, do you find that you have to make a deliberate effort to make sure you are challenging yourself? My guest, Allison Gildersleeve says that her challenges at this point in her career as an artist are to slow down and yet at the same time continue to challenge herself. They sound like they’d be opposites but both of these areas really make sense for Allison’s current stage in her career. I hope you can find some encouragement in Alison's story and don’t forget to check out images of her work located at the end of this post!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:20] I introduce my guest, Allison Gildersleeve.
  • [3:30] Allison talks about how she got started as an artist.
  • [7:30] The value of being part of an artist community.
  • [10:00] A key moment of personal success for Allison.
  • [13:00] Allison talks about leaving behind certain aspects of her work.
  • [18:00] How has Allison’s work changed over time?
  • [23:00] Allison talks about disconnecting and creating a space for free form.
  • [30:30] Advice for artists with young kids.
  • [37:30] Rituals and habits that empower Allison in the studio.
  • [42:30] Learning from setbacks and challenges along the way.
  • [49:00] Why it’s important to slow down and think things through.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Dec 21, 2017
Art Critique, with Melinda Cootsona

What does it take to whether an art critique and come out the other side ready to continue to create? How do you receive criticism and move forward? I had the pleasure to sit down with the artist, Melinda Cootsona. In our conversation, Melinda opened up about how she transitioned from her work in interior design to painting, how she organized her very first open studio, why it’s important to put yourself out there early, her work with cold wax, and so much more! I know that artists like you will get a lot of enjoyment out of Melinda’s distinct perspective and her helpful advice to budding artists.

What it’s like to organize and hold your first open studio.

Have you ever held an open studio for your artwork? What was it like? What kind of feedback did you receive? How early in your career did you hold it? Artist Melinda Cootsona held her first open studio early on in her career. She held the open studio in her home and enjoyed the feedback via purchases and responses from her viewers. She’s had several since that first one and encourages artists getting started to go for it and hold an open studio as soon as they have a good collection of work to display. What can you learn from Melinda’s experience?

How to receive criticism and move forward.

How do you receive a critique of your artwork? Do you seek them out and look forward to learning from them or do you struggle with receiving them constructively? My guest, Melinda Cootsona was candid enough to open up and share from her perspective and how she faced critiques of her artwork. Melinda says that she experiences a sort of detachment from the criticism that she hears regarding her work. She doesn’t take the criticism personally and encourages artists to do all they can to cultivate that sort of healthy detachment that keeps them from taking the critiques personally. What has been your experience with criticism?

Why it’s important to connect with a mentor.

Do you have people in your circle that you go to and receive feedback on your artwork? Are there other artists that you are in contact with whose opinion you can trust? Artist Melinda Cootsona shared with me during our conversation that she has relied heavily on mentors as she has progressed in her career. She also encourages artists who are just getting started to take the initiative and connect with a mentor as soon as possible. Melinda says that connecting with a mentor can have a huge impact on an artist's ability to get feedback, push toward goals, and expand their perspectives. Have you connected with a mentor? What was your experience?

Overcoming self-doubt and the downward spiral.

What do you do when you run into self-doubt and the occasional downward spiral that can plague the experience of an artist. Are there best practices that have helped you address this difficulty? My guest, Melinda Cootsona took the time in our conversation to open up about her own experience with self-doubt and the downward spiral. There is two point that Melinda touches on in addressing this difficulty among artists; first, she says it’s important to understand that every artist goes through this, you are not alone. Second, Melinda makes the point that the only way to the work is through the work, meaning, if you want to break out of the downward spiral and figure out what to do next, you’ve just got to start working. Can you relate to Melinda’s perspective? Share what’s worked for you!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:00] I introduce my guest, Melinda Cootsona.
  • [2:30] Melinda talks about how she got started on her journey as an artist.
  • [4:00] What was Melinda’s first open studio like?
  • [6:30] Receiving an art critique.
  • [9:00] Melinda talks about personal successes along the way.
  • [13:00] Why it’s important to connect with a mentor.
  • [18:00] Learning from setbacks and failures.
  • [24:30] Melinda talks about her work with cold wax.
  • [31:00] How Melinda starts a painting.
  • [35:00] Melinda’s habits in the studio.
  • [37:30] Using music during the creative process.
  • [40:30] Don’t wait too long before you approach a gallery!
  • [45:00] Dealing with self-doubt as an artist.
  • [47:00] Artwork by living artists that Melinda would love to own.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Dec 14, 2017
Figurative Art and Choosing Women as Subjects, with Amber Lia-Kloppel

How are women represented in figurative art? Can you tell the difference between figurative art created by a woman and a man? What is it about women painting women that stands out? Figurative artist, Amber Lia-Kloppel was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss these questions and so much more. In our conversation, we also touch on her time at the New York Academy of Art, why she chooses women as her subjects, voyeurism, confrontation, navigating motherhood as an artist, and so much more. I know artists like you are going to enjoy Amber’s unique and fascinating perspective.

The Female Figure

Throughout the ages, the woman’s figure has been explored by artists the world over. But with each artist, the inspiration is a little bit different. I wanted to know why my guest, Amber Lia-Kloppel was so drawn to painting the female figure. Amber opened up and shared with me that the reason she is so drawn to the female figure, in part, is because they are self-portraits. She means this both literally and figuratively as she occasionally uses herself as a model but she also sees a reflection of herself in the models and the work she creates that are represented by the female body. It was a joy to hear Amber’s take on figurative art and the portrayal of the female figure. Make sure to check out images of Amber’s work at the end of this post!

Navigating an art career as a parent

How do parents and mothers, in particular, manage their time in the studio? What does it look like to navigate an art career as a parent? How does parenting influence the artwork of an artist? Amber Lia-Kloppel was gracious and candid in our conversation as she shared her experience navigating her role as an artist and a mother. She told me about projects she created that reflected moments she shared with her daughter. Amber also went on to describe how parenting has brought her to cherish and make the most out of her time working in her studio. I got the sense from my conversation with Amber that parenting enhanced her imagination and scope in some fascinating ways. I’m curious to hear what you take away from my conversation with Amber.

Evolving as an artist

How have you evolved as an artist over time? Have you made subtle changes here and there or have there been dramatic shifts in your approach and style? What caused the changes you’ve made over the years? My guest, Amber Lia-Kloppel described for me a pivotal moment in her career as an artist when she started to attend the New York Academy of Art. It was in this environment that Amber developed and refined her approach. Amber told me about how she learned new techniques and enjoyed the freedom and permission to expand her abilities in this environment that challenged and empowered her. Have you had an experience like Amber’s?

Learning how to let go of a painting

As artists, when we create, we pour part of ourselves into the process and ultimately into our creations. What are the ramifications of this creative process when we are unable to complete a project? What happens to that energy and passion that were poured out? My guest, Amber Lia-Kloppel discussed this artist's dilemma with me in our conversation. I appreciated Amber’s honesty as she admitted that she still struggles with letting go of her paintings that she just can't seem to finish. She hates to let go because, as she has gotten older, her starts are better, so there is so much there to salvage. Amber also holds herself to a high standard, she wants every painting to be her best painting. Can you relate to Amber’s struggle?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Amber Lia-Kloppel.
  • [3:00] Amber talks about how she got started as an artist.
  • [10:00] What attracts Amber to painting the female figure?
  • [15:00] Amber’s process and using herself as a model.
  • [19:30] How Amber incorporates being a mother in her painting process.
  • [23:00] Amber talks about approaching the canvas.
  • [29:30] Pivotal moments in Amber’s career.
  • [35:00] How art school helped Amber evolve as an artist.
  • [37:00] Amber talks about her current project.
  • [39:00] Learning how to let a painting go.
  • [42:30] Artwork that Amber would like to own from a living artist.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Dec 07, 2017
Mural Art, with Ralph Gilbert

Have you ever been involved in creating mural art? Do you know the intricacies and details involved with creating artwork on such a large scale? What about commissioned mural artwork in public spaces? My guest, Ralph Gilbert was kind enough to open up and share about his experience creating mural art and winning several commissioned art projects. He also goes on to share about his personal artwork, how poetry influences his art, his creative process, habits that have helped him succeed, and much more! Make sure to check out images of his artwork located at the end of this post.

Mural Art and working in public view

An interesting aspect of mural art is it's large a scale and how rooted in place it is. These are just two of several aspects of mural art that artist Ralph Gilbert and I talked about in our conversation. Ralph shared a couple of fascinating observations from his recent work at the Saint Paul Union Depot in Minnesota. During this project which included arched tops and much of the work on scaffolding, Ralph experienced unique interactions with the public as his work was ongoing. He tells of one interaction with a community member that influenced an on the spot change in the work he was creating, it was to include a depiction of an individual with a physical disability. I was enraptured with Ralph’s stories of creating mural art and I know artists like you will get a lot of enjoyment out of it too.

Commissioned Artwork

Have you had any opportunities to create commissioned artwork? What was your experience like? What impressions or assumptions do you have about commissioned artwork? My guest, Ralph Gilbert had the opportunity to work on a handful of commissioned pieces throughout his career as an artist. In our conversation, he explained what the process was like to enter and be considered for committed artwork in a public setting. While commissioned artwork only represents a small portion of Ralph’s portfolio it was great to get his input and perspective on this important and public expression of art in communities all across our nation.

Visual imagery and text

What are the subjects that inspire you and spark that impulse to create your artwork? Is it a landscape, the human body, everyday objects, or something different entirely? My guest, Ralph Gilbert shared with me that poetry captures his imagination and provides that creative spark that inspires him often when he approaches his canvas. Ralph doesn’t see this work he creates as an illustration per say, it truly is more of an inspiration than anything else. He went on to describe the type of poetry that he associates with his creative process and they tend to always focus on human relationships and an insight into the nature of being and desire. It was really intriguing to hear Ralph describe his relationship to poetry and how that informs and inspires the artwork he creates.

The Habit of Showing Up

What are some of the habits that have empowered you in your creative journey as an artist? Is it a ritual you go through each time you approach your canvas? Or maybe for you, it's music or that one art book that just somehow seems to get the creative juices flowing. When I asked my guest Ralph Gilbert what habits have helped him on his journey as an artist, the first thing he put forward was the habit of showing up. It may not sound sexy or unorthodox but it is a very real and honest truth. As the saying goes, “80 percent of life is showing up.” Ralph finds a lot of truth in that saying and how it plays out in his success as an artist. He also shared with me that the habit of working on multiple projects at once has really allowed him the freedom to move in and out from one piece of artwork to another one depending on where he feels like spending his time on that given day. What lessons can you take away from Ralph’s story? What habits work well for you?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Ralph Gilbert.
  • [3:20] How Ralph got started as an artist.
  • [9:00] Lessons Ralph learned from working at Disney.
  • [10:30] Ralph describes his mural artwork.
  • [16:30] How public input influenced Ralph’s mural work.
  • [23:30] Commissioned and public artwork.
  • [33:00] Ralph talks about his personal artwork.
  • [35:00] Poetry and it’s impact on Ralph’s artwork.
  • [38:30] The association between visual imagery and text.
  • [40:30] A series based on the dream life of babies.
  • [45:00] Ralph talks about his process when creating his artwork.
  • [48:00] How being colorblind has impacted Ralph’s work.
  • [53:00] Habits that have helped Ralph succeed as an artist.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Nov 30, 2017
From Freelance Artist to Art Instructor, with Jane Davies

What is it like to move from working and earning a living as a freelance artist and begin a career as an art instructor? What impact does that transition have in the creative process? My guest, Jane Davies was kind enough to open up and share parts of her journey and how she left her work as a freelance artist behind to throw herself into the role of an art instructor. Jan has some helpful insights and lessons to share about her journey and how she grew and evolved as an artist over time in light of this pivotal point her her career. It was a joy to have Jane share her story and I know artists like you will get a lot of enjoyment from hearing her unique perspective.

Embracing the role of Art Instructor

Jane Davies spent over fifteen years creating production pottery and taking on other roles as a freelance artist. She eventually got to a point in her journey where she didn’t want to make art that way any longer. Now, she focuses less on selling her work, though that would be nice, she has turned a lot of her energy toward her role as an art instructor. Talking with Jane, I could really get the sense that this is where a lot of her passion and excitement are rooted. It was great to hear Jane’s angle on this subject and to hear where she is spending her time expressing herself.

The Need for Community Among Artists

Do you have a community of fellow artists that you connect? Where do you turn for inspiration and camaraderie? Have you been looking for that missing piece on your creative journey? In our conversation, my guest Jane Davies and I discuss the impact that being in community with fellow artists can have on your own creative output. While each person’s journey will have its own variables, don’t neglect this important aspect in the life of an artist. Even if you can’t be part of an artistic community locally, find other ways to connect either digitally in a community like this one or find ways to meet up once or twice a year with other artists. What steps are you taking to stay connected to a creative community?

Art is Never Easy

Have you ever had someone tell you that art is easy? How did you react? While there may be moments of inspiration where the creativity just flows through your fingertips, by and large, the work of an artist is far from “easy.” In my conversation with artist Jane Davies, we discuss this topic and misnomer that once you find your “voice” as an artist, the work becomes easy. Jane shares her experience as an art instructor and assumptions she encounters from young artists who are longing to find their voice. While techniques and concepts might become easier to hone and master, the work of an artist will always include striving, struggling, and challenge. What has been your experience? Do you resonate with Jane’s perspective?

A Commitment to Constant Creation

What habits and routines have helped you succeed as an artist? Do you take comfort in rituals and processes? How do you tap into a current of motivation and inspiration that can keep you focused on the work that you create? My guest, Jane Davies shared with me that it’s her commitment to constantly create that keeps her focused and drawn back to the canvas over and over again. Jane also gives herself the permission to just create, she doesn’t hold herself to a perfectionist standard, in these sessions she gives herself the freedom to just create, it doesn't have to be perfect or “good.” What are your takeaways from Jane’s story?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:30] I introduce my guest, Jane Davies.
  • [2:30] Jane talks about how she got started as an artist.
  • [14:00] A pivotal moment in Jane’s career.
  • [17:00] Jane talks about her role as an art teacher.
  • [21:00] Mistakes Jane made as a teacher.
  • [24:30] Positive experiences as a teacher.
  • [30:30] Art is never easy.
  • [34:30] Jane talks about her time in her studio.
  • [42:00] What led to Jane’s decision to start writing books?
  • [48:00] Jane and I talk about formulas and basic concepts for artists.
  • [53:00] The future of art and culture.
  • [58:30] Jane talks about her habit of constantly painting.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Nov 23, 2017
An Evolving Approach to Selling Art, with Jose Trujillo

What is the best approach to selling art? Have you found it more effective to be your own advocate or to connect with galleries and agents who promote your art for you? My guest, Jose Trujillo was kind enough to open up in our conversation about his journey and his evolving approach to selling art. We also discuss Jose’s artwork, how he got started as an artist, what it takes to connect with an audience, the importance of consistency, and so much more! I know artists like you will get a lot of value out of the insights and lessons that Jose has to share.

Marketing and Presenting Artwork

What makes for a great and compelling presentation of artwork? Have you been able to present and market your work in a way that draws people in? In my conversation with Jose Trujillo, we discussed his approach and the components he has found useful in marketing his art to a large audience. From a young age, Jose has been searching for an audience for his artwork. I could tell from listening to him that his passion and eagerness really shines when he talks about getting his art in front of people. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your willingness to put your artwork out there, again and again, adapting and learning from each interaction with galleries in the process. If you want to know more about what it takes to approach a gallery and evolve your approach over time, you’ll find some helpful insight from Jose in this conversation.

Finding Channels to Promote Your Artwork

Where do most people go to interact with artwork? Where does your target audience tend to spend their time viewing art? Don’t underestimate this vital aspect of knowing your audience and getting your artwork in front of them! Artist Jose Trujillo is passionate about connecting with people who want to view his artwork. He doesn’t expect them to come to him, so he does everything he can to get his work in front of them. In our conversation, Jose explains the many channels he uses to find his audience and expose them to his artwork. What steps are you taking to bring your artwork to a receptive audience? What lessons can you learn from Jose’s approach?

The Power of Consistency

One of the most important aspects of success for an artist is producing content. Is there any hope to sell your work or gain a reputation if you don’t produce content and practice your craft? My guest, Jose Trujillo shares from his own experience of committing to a regime of constantly creating artwork. It sounds easy but Jose will the first to tell you that it can be a struggle to show up and continue to practice, especially when you don’t “Feel inspired.” I really resonated with much of what Jose had to share on this subject and I hope artists like you can connect with it in a similar way.

A Practice of Gratitude

What practices or habits have helped you in your evolution as an artist? Do you find habits and rituals to be helpful or do you feed off of chaos and unpredictability? I enjoyed discussing this topic with my guest, Jose Trujillo as he opened up and shared how practicing gratitude has impacted him on his creative journey. I have also found a lot of benefit out of practicing gratitude and think artists like you will be able to connect with the positive impact that these habits can create. Jose talks about this practice as grounding him and helping him through the ups and downs of his career as an artist. Have you experienced this same grounding experience?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Jose Trujillo.
  • [3:00] Jose talks about how he got started as an artist.
  • [5:00] Marketing and presenting artwork.
  • [9:00] Jose talks about pricing his work.
  • [13:30] Jose describes his artwork.
  • [19:00] The impact of technology in the art community.
  • [27:00] Finding channels that can help your artwork succeed.
  • [29:00] What is the ‘Game?”
  • [33:00] Reaching an audience that’ll connect with your artwork.
  • [41:30] The importance of consistency and showing up.
  • [49:30] A habit of gratitude.
  • [52:30] What excites Jose about his artwork?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Nov 16, 2017
Collage Work & Mixed Media Art, with Lorette Luzajic

Have collage work and other forms of mixed media art been a part of your artistic journey? What influence have different forms of artistic expression had on your development as an artist? I had the pleasure to sit down with the wonderfully talented mixed media artist, Lorette Luzajic. In our conversation we discussed her journey as an artist, how she got her start creating mixed media art, how literature has impacted her journey, and much more! Lorette brings a fascinating and unique experience that I know artists like you will appreciate. Don’t forget to check out images of Lorette’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Discovering a Career as a Visual Artist

What led to your career as an artist? How did you become convinced that art would become the work that you would end up dedicating your life to practicing? Was it intentional or an accident? My guest, Lorette Luzajic opened up in our conversation and shared how she came to discover and embrace her path as a visual artist. Lorette was firmly on the path to becoming a writer and had dedicated much of her education toward this goal when she fell in love with visual arts. To hear Lorette tell how she got started with visual arts is inspiring. Believe it or not, it all started with a desire to learn and then create tarot cards. I hope you find Lorette’s story as captivating as I did!

A Joyous Encounter with Art

One of my very favorite questions to ask an artist is if they’ve had any memorable reactions to their artwork. Have you had any unique reactions to your artwork? Have you found yourself reacting to other artist's creations in a particularly noteworthy way? I put this question to my guest Lorette Luzajic and as usual, I got a fascinating story in response. She tells the story of when she presented her work at an outdoor art festival that featured an odd creature. The image she created drew the attention of a nearby two-year-old child. This child was enamored with the creature that Lorette created and ended up with a joyous encounter with her artwork. This story definitely tops the list of notable reactions, I’m so glad Lorette shared this story!

Keep Pressing Forward, Don’t Give Up!

How do you stay motivated when things don’t seem to be going your way in your career? Do you find yourself spiraling downward? What helps to break you out of a funk and get back on track? My guest, Lorette Luzajic was candid in our conversation and shared how she has pushed through difficult situations to remain motivated and determined to succeed. Lorette recalled an encounter she had with another artist where they explained that if their work impacted one person, that it would be worth it. Ultimately, we create art because we resonate with the creative process and what it does in us.

Organization is KEY

What steps have you taken to become more organized as an artist? What role has organization played in your journey as an artist? While artists are typically portrayed as cluttered and unfocused, that’s not necessarily a fair depiction. In our conversation my guest, Lorette Luzajic shared with me how vital a role organization has played as she has evolved over the years as an artist. It took her some time to figure it out but once Lorette was able to move away from procrastination to embrace a more regimented and focused approach she saw her artwork flourish. What can you learn from Loretta's story?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Lorette Luzajic
  • [3:00] Lorette shares how she got started as an artist.
  • [9:00] How does Lorette’s writing intersect with her art?
  • [10:30] Memorable responses to Lortette’s work.
  • [12:30] Overcoming fears and disappointments.
  • [15:00] Where does Lorette’s inspiration come from? How does she begin a project?
  • [22:00] Lorette talks about her studio process and archival considerations.
  • [25:30] Does Lorette ever get stuck?
  • [27:00] Lorette shares how she uses her notebooks.
  • [30:00] Book recommendations from Lorette.
  • [33:00] Routines and habits in the studio.
  • [38:00] Keep pressing forward and don’t give up!
  • [40:00] Lorette’s dream project and art she’s like to own from a fellow artist.
  • [43:00] Organization is key for a successful artist.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Nov 09, 2017
Finding the Freedom to Create Your Art, with Lynn Whipple

Do you ever struggle with finding the freedom or giving yourself the permission to create your art? Maybe you try to convince yourself that the work you make to pay the bills is the art you want to create if that’s the case, great! But if you struggle with the tension of creating your art and creating art to keep food on the table, then you will find my conversation with Lynn Whipple relevant. Lynn is such a gracious guest and our conversation branches out from creating your own art to daily routines, to how she got started as an art teacher and so much more. I hope you enjoy hearing from Lynn as I much as I did!

Creating “Your Art”

Have you reached that point in your career as an artist where you were able to finally put in the time working on “Your Art?” What did it take for you to get to that point? If you haven’t reached that point yet, what steps are you taking to inch closer to it? My guest, artist Lynn Whipple struggled for a long time working as an artist for Universal Studios. She eventually reached that point in her journey where she was able to settle in her mind that it was time for her to start creating artwork that was “hers.” Coming from a similar background, I really resonated with Lynn’s story and I hope artists like you can find inspiration and encouragement from what Lynn has to say on this subject.

Working with Art Collectors

What has been your experience connecting with art collectors? Have any collector's been attracted to your artwork? Has it been more of a transactional relationship or have you been able to build a more organic one? Artist Lynn Whipple took the time in our conversation to open up about the relationships she has built with art collectors over the course of her career. Lynn speaks of the relationships she has built with art collectors as a unique privilege and one, you can tell, that she holds dear. It’s refreshing to hear an artist speak about the business side of her career that still connects on a personal level. What can you learn from Lynn’s story?

The Benefit of Deadlines

As you navigate your own journey as an artist, what have you found to be helpful practices? Are you internally motivated or are you externally motivated? How does that impact the structure of your time in the studio? My guest, Lynn Whipple shared about her difficult transition from working in a structured environment at Universal Studios to working for herself. I also connected with Lynn’s struggles in this area as I transitioned from working in a professional setting to working on my own projects. Lynn and I both discussed the role of setting deadlines and how that has been a helpful aspect in our growth as artists. What role has the use of deadlines played for you?

The Art of Noticing

What daily rhythms and rituals help get your creative juices flowing? Is it that cup of coffee you just have to have each morning when you wake up? Or is it that same routine and flow as you approach the studio that does it for you? My guest, Lynn Whipple had a beautiful aspect of her day that she was kind enough to share with me in our conversation. Each morning, before anything else, Lynn goes out to the dock by her house and sits there with a sketchbook. Sitting there, Lynn forces herself to pay attention to the world waking up around her. With each thing she notices that morning, Lynn challenges herself to linger a few seconds longer than she usually would. Lynn calls this captivating and motivating daily practice the “Art of noticing.” The way Lynn described this daily ritual moved me and I hope it has a similar effect on you.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Lynn Whipple.
  • [2:50] Lynn talks about her background as an artist.
  • [5:00] Lynn describes her artwork.
  • [7:00] How Lynn built her business as an artist.
  • [9:30] Connecting with galleries and building a cohesive body of work.
  • [17:00] Working with art collectors.
  • [20:30] Lynn talks about getting started as an art instructor.
  • [23:00] Facing and overcoming challenges and setbacks.
  • [31:30] Creating deadlines can make a huge difference.
  • [33:30] Scheduling out the whole year.
  • [36:30] Advice for artists starting out.
  • [43:00] Honing the art of “noticing” and Lynn’s daily routine.
  • [48:00] What Lynn would tell her younger self.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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Nov 02, 2017
Art and Business, with Katherine Sandoz

One of the most pressing topics on the minds of many artists these days is the role of art and business. This subject can lead to heated debates about the difference between making “Pure art” and art for profit. What is your opinion on this subject? Is there room for nuance and flexibility on this subject? My guest, Katherine Sandoz provides a helpful perspective on the role of art and business. In our conversation, we also discuss Katherine’s artwork, lessons she has learned as an art teacher, her use of mixed media art, how to approach art you dislike, and much more! I know that artists like you will enjoy the unique perspective that Katherine brings.

Lessons Learned as an Art Teacher

How can teaching concepts, theories, and subjects shape the way you think about them? Have you had an experience where conveying the topic has made you look at it in a new light? Artist and educator Katherine Sandoz was kind enough to open up about this subject with me in our conversation. Hearing from Katherine, you can really get the sense that teaching art has had an impact on the way she interprets and even reconsiders some of the topics she presents to her students. I was honored to get such an honest and transparent take from Katherine on this subject and I hope you find her insights and candor as stimulating as I have!

The Role of Art and Business

Does there need to be a defined and hard-line in the sand between “Pure art” and art made for profit? What is the right approach to the role of art and business? Could it be that a hard-line approach to this topic is unproductive and unhelpful? My guest, Katherine Sandoz shared her thoughts on this subject with me during our conversation. Katherine believes that a more balanced approach is necessary when we discuss art and business. She sees things existing more on a spectrum meaning, as, with a diverse array of types of art, there also exists a range of avenues where profit can come into play. What has contributed to your opinion on this subject? Do you agree with Katherine?

Using Mixed Media Art

Have you experimented with mixed media art? Is it still part of your regular pattern of creation and exploration? How can playing with other mediums expand and enrich your primary mode of creative output? Artist Katherine Sandoz started to utilize mixed media art primarily as a way to stay busy. Because you can’t paint effectively or on a large scale in a moving vehicle, Katherine found her way to experimenting with quilting and stitching as a way to exercise her creative expressions while she travels with her family. Katherine uses this example to explain why she encourages her students and as many artists as she can that the present is the best time to start practicing your craft with any means possible. Don’t hesitate and kick the can down the road! Does Katherine’s story resonate with you?

How to Approach Art that Doesn’t Connect with You

What is your reaction to artwork that doesn’t connect with you? Is there a constructive and beneficial way to respond to art that we don’t necessarily like? Could it be that the old adage is true, “If you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all?” My guest, Katherine Sandoz was quick to explain her take on this topic. Katherine says that there is a reason why we don’t like certain works of art and if we can communicate that reason to ourselves and others what we feel isn’t working that we’ll both be better for it in the long run. What is your opinion on Katherine’s perspective?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] I introduce my guest, Katherine Sandoz.
  • [3:00] How did Katherine get started as an artist?
  • [5:00] Lessons learned as an art teacher.
  • [11:30] A blossoming art career and starting a family.
  • [15:30] Katherine describes her artwork and her process.
  • [22:30] What caused Katherine to branch out to mixed media art?
  • [27:30] The role of art and profit.
  • [37:00] Katherine and I discuss our perception of art that we don’t care for.
  • [40:30] What makes Katherine want to create a painting?
  • [48:00] Which artist’s work would Katherine like to own?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 26, 2017
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.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 19, 2017
Symbolic Art, with Noah Buchanan

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Symbolic Art?” Are there certain assumptions and presuppositions that come to mind when you think of that phrase? My guest, Noah Buchanan uses symbolism frequently in his artwork. He is attracted to images where there is a divine force or mythological reference. In our conversation, we discuss what drew him to become an artist in the first place, what emboldened him to create artwork on a large scale, surprising reactions he’s had to his paintings, and so much more! I know artists like you will enjoy hearing from Noah’s unique perspective. Don’t forget to check out images of his paintings located at the end of this post!

Inspired by Giants

Who helped usher you into the world of art? Was it a fantastic art teacher? A mentor or a family member? What was it that captured your imagination and fueled your creativity? My guest, Noah Buchanan was fortunate to have a stellar art teacher who encouraged their students to marvel at and become inspired by the work of artistic giants like Albrecht Dürer and Michelangelo. It’s amazing how the passion and empowerment by one person and change the course of someone’s life. Who is that person for you? Do you think you’ll ever have that kind of impact on some else’s creative journey?

Working On a Large Scale

Have you ever taken your work to a large scale? I’m talking 80 inches by 62 inches LARGE. Needless to say, work on that scale is striking, to say the least. My guest, Noah Buchanan was kind enough to open up about his current project that fits that exact dimension. The figures he has created in that work are actually life-sized, which is impressive. Noah’s project is inspired by a recent trip to New York where he saw the work of 17th-century French painter, Valentin de Boulogne showcased. The sheer scale and grandeur of Boulogne’s work captured Noah’s imagination. You’ve got to hear him describe it, he takes you right there to the exhibit in New York. You can also catch images of Noah’s current project at the end of this post.

Surprising Reactions

All artists want their work to evoke something within the viewer. What reactions do you think your work evokes in others? Are there notable reactions that you’ve received from other regarding your artwork? Artist Noah Buchanan has on occasion created paintings for the Catholic Church. Having created artwork that would be displayed in such a sacred and worshipful setting, Noah has received some unique responses, typically by email that are markedly different from the response to the artwork he typically shows in galleries. I hope you find Noah’s stories and insights as riveting as I did!

From Live Models to Using Photographs

Among many artists, this is a contentious issue; live models vs. using photographs. What side of the debate do you come down on? Have you always felt that way? Are you willing to hear the other side out? My guest, Noah Buchanan use to be staunchly in the camp opposed to using photographs as did I. In our conversation, we discuss what caused our opinion to change, why we embrace the use of photography, how the change has impacted our work, and more! Whichever side you find yourself on, I think it’s helpful for us as artists to really hear out and understand where the other side is coming from and appreciate the end result on its merits regardless.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:45] I introduce my guest, Noah Buchanan.
  • [3:30] What led Noah to get started in painting?
  • [7:30] How does Noah choose his motifs?
  • [9:30] Noah talks about the project he is currently working on and it’s scale.
  • [19:30] Notable reactions from Noah’s work.
  • [24:00] Personal successes along the way.
  • [36:00] Noah describes his studio process & working from photographs vs. live models.
  • [44:00] Where does Noah get his models?
  • [49:00] What habit has beneficial for Noah?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 12, 2017
The Role of An Artist in A New Technological Age, with Frank Lombardo

With headlines about plans to send people to Mars and other groundbreaking technological accomplishments, do you ever wonder, “What is the role of an artist in this new tech centric age?” This is one of many questions that my guest, Frank Lombardo ponders aloud with me in our conversation. Frank also opens up about how he became interested in art, what draws him to certain subjects, how he approaches galleries, and so much more! Frank has a fascinating perspective on the world and how artists bring out unique and valuable qualities to our society. I know artists like you are going to intrigued by our wide-ranging conversation.

The Role of An Artist

For so long, the role of an artist has been to help bring shape, image, and meaning to some of our culture’s most profound and mundane concepts. As we rapidly approach a new digital era that is starting to leave behind much of the old systems we’ve become accustomed to, what role can the artist hope to play in this radically new space? My guest, Frank Lombardo is at the point in his creative and personal journey where he has really started to consider this broader question. He hopes to see art continue to play a role in keeping our society grounded and rooted in the ways of poetry and aestheticism. Where do you think the role of the artist is heading?

Facing Setbacks and Pushing Forward

How do you respond when something you’ve poured your heart, soul, time, and resources into utterly fails? If you are anything like me, you can’t help but feel at the very least, that tinge of bitterness and disappointment. Is there anything to be learned or gained from these disappointments and setbacks that we all will inevitably face? Artist Frank Lombardo is no stranger to setbacks on his creative journey but he is convinced that there is something we can recover from encountering failure. In Frank’s case, he was able to come to a place where he could admit that he wasn’t getting where he wanted to go with a particular project. Once that happened, he was able to acknowledge what happened and move on, starting fresh with something new. What lessons can you learn from Frank’s story?

Approaching Galleries

One of the most difficult aspects of being an artist can be the process of promoting your work. Some artists take to it seemingly effortlessly, others find themselves constantly looking for ways to improve. Where do you land? My guest, Frank Lombardo shares his approach to promoting his work and holding himself to a preset plan. Frank’s goal is to approach one gallery or publication a day or do something that moves the ball forward for his artwork. This method really seems to motivate and keep Frank on track, what works for you? What can you take away from Frank’s approach?

On Colorblindness and Asking for Help

Is there an aspect of your workload that you need help with? It could be trouble with scheduling studio time or technical aspects of your art, or maybe for you, it comes down to promoting your artwork. What is holding you back from reaching out? In our conversation, Frank Lombardo was kind enough to discuss the topic of his colorblindness and how it has impacted the way he works in the studio. Frank says that after trying to overcome this difficulty with technology, he ultimately had to rely on help from others to better utilize his time in the studio. It was an honor to have someone as talented as Frank really open up about a sensitive subject. I am grateful for his candor and I hope you will find encouragement from his story.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Frank Lombardo.
  • [3:00] How did Frank move toward a career as an artist?
  • [9:30] Frank describes his artwork.
  • [11:00] Why is Frank drawn to the subject matter he chooses?
  • [21:00] Frank’s strategy for approaching galleries.
  • [25:30] What is Frank’s role in society as an artist?
  • [29:30] Facing setbacks and pushing forward.
  • [34:00] Negative feedback from one of Frank’s paintings.
  • [38:30] Frank talks about his colorblindness and how it impacts his work.
  • [49:30] What is Frank’s dream project?

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Oct 05, 2017
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.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 28, 2017
The Process of Artistic Development, with Sally Strand

What really goes on behind the scenes when it comes to artistic development? Is it a straight path or are there a number of twists and turns along the way? What part of the process is active and what part of it is passive? My guest, Sally Strand opens up in our conversation about her journey and the process that led to her development as an artist over the last thirty years. Sally is open and transparent about the difficulties along the way but she is also quick to relish in the joy and beauty of the process as well. I know artists like you will get some helpful encouragement from Sally’s unique perspective.

Evolving As An Artist

How have you evolved as an artist over time? Has your artistic development been incremental or have you had specific moments that have shaped you along the way? There is no right answer to this question! Some artists make intentional shifts and some take the more gradual route. My guest, Sally Strand describes her development as more of a gradual process. The way she describes her past and how it slowly opened up to who she is as an artist today is fascinating! What will Sally’s story stir up in you? Let her story encourage and inspire you as you push forward on your journey!

Overcoming Challenges Along the Way

How do you react in difficult situations? What impact has that left on you as an artist? There are helpful lessons to be learned as we encounter difficulty and adversity on our creative journey. Sally Strand has learned that the best way to handle difficulty is to push forward and don’t let it bog you down or change you in a negative way. She also recounts a particularly difficult episode in her life where she struggled to understand what was happening in the world around her and how it would come to impact her artwork. I hope you find Sally’s perspective as captivating as I did!

Deciding What to Say “Yes” To

One of the most difficult aspects of the life of an artist is navigating your time as a friend or family member. You can feel like you are constantly torn between two worlds that you love deeply but you can’t inhabit simultaneously. How do you decide where to draw your lines? My guest, Sally Strand was kind enough to open up and explain how she works her way through this complicated and difficult area that all artists face at some point in their life. Sally’s method of dealing with this conflict is taking a moment to ask herself, “What can I not repeat?” This question allowed Sally to decide what moments in her life needed her attention and which ones could be accomplished at a later date.

Habits of a Successful Artist

What are the habits that have contributed to your success as an artist? Each one of us has a different spin on the answer to this question. As we continue to explore our artistic development, it can be immensely helpful to get the perspective of other artists, especially ones as experienced as Sally Strand. When it comes down to it, Sally says that scheduling her studio time and sticking to it has been a huge part of her journey of success as an artist. She doesn’t paint it as an easy task, but she does believe strongly that if you can commit to an appointed time and stick to it, creativity and inspiration have a high probability of making an appearance.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] I introduce my guest, Sally Strand.
  • [3:00] Sally talks about her start as an artist.
  • [7:00] The struggle for meaning and purpose as an artist.
  • [9:00] The impact of travel on Sally’s development as an artist.
  • [14:00] Everyday life as a theme in art.
  • [17:00] Sally talks about her decision to go back to school.
  • [21:00] Evolving as an artist.
  • [27:30] Overcoming challenges as an artist.
  • [29:30] Deciding what to say “Yes” to.
  • [31:30] What does it mean to be a “Successful Artist?”
  • [36:30] Habits of a successful artist.
  • [45:00] Sally talks about her studio routine in light of caring for her mother.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 21, 2017
Graffiti Art, Acrylic Painting, and more with Greg Simkins

What does a creative journey that starts with graffiti art then moves to video game work and then ends up on a smaller scale working with acrylics look like? What lessons and tips can other artists learn from such a journey? My guest, Greg Simkins opens up about all these various transitions in his life and how he has been able to build a thriving art business with his wife. Greg’s story is fascinating and unique and I hope you can catch the lively and infectious passion that he exudes for his work. Don’t forget to catch some images of Greg’s artwork located at the end of this post!

Encouragement Along the way

How did you get started as an artist? Was it a gradual progression? Did you know from a young age? Or did you come to the realization later in life? Who helped you along your creative journey? Did you have mentors, friends, or family members who encouraged you along the way? My guest, Greg Simkins describes the wonderfully supportive relationship he shares with his father who was vital in encouraging and nurturing his creative impulses early in his journey. What can you learn from Greg’s story? Does the impact that other people have had on your journey as an artist inspire you to do the same for others?

Graffiti Art

How does a mild mannered and shy AP student find himself involved with the skating and punk rock crowd? How does this association and engagement translate to a career as a successful and respected artist? My guest Greg Simkins shares the story of how some students in high school noticed his drawings and introduced him to the world of graffiti art. From there, the encouragement of his friends and his father led to greater confidence in his artistic abilities. Greg’s story is an interesting and non-traditional one that will leave you intrigued and curious to how many other paths exist out there for artists to find their way.

Working With Acrylics

Do you remember the first piece you completed in a new medium? Can you remember what you learned through that process? Was it frustrating or rewarding? My guest, Greg Simkins described to me his first experience completing a piece of art using acrylics. This experience also happened to be Greg’s first foray into being commissioned for his artwork. Greg recalls the experience as being difficult and not absent of errors he had to correct along the way but ultimately, this encounter led Greg on a path to begin working with acrylics more and more. Now Greg works predominately with acrylics and looks back fondly on this moment as one of the first steps of his journey.

Struggling With Time Management

What do you do to structure your time as an artist? Do you try to spend some time each day in your creative flow or do you designate whole days that you can dedicate to projects? Artist Greg Simkins explained to me his struggles with navigating the complexities of raising a family and balancing his time in the studio working on his projects. At the end of the day, Greg had to get to a place where he could really learn to slow down and structure his time. He had taken his time for creative endeavors for granted when he had his father close by to assist him, but when his father moved away he found himself in a state of chaos. What lessons can you learn from Greg’s story? How will you ensure that you have time to complete the work you are passionate about?

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] I introduce my guest, Greg Simkins.
  • [3:30] Greg talks about how he got his start as an artist.
  • [13:00] The first time Greg painted with acrylics.
  • [18:00] Moving from big scale work to a smaller scale.
  • [20:30] Greg talks about working with acrylics.
  • [28:00] Experimenting with different mediums.
  • [36:00] Struggling with time management.
  • [43:00] Running the business as an artist.
  • [45:00] Greg’s advice for artists who run their own business.
  • [52:00] What is Greg working on right now?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 14, 2017
The Future of Painting, with Burton Silverman pt. 2

What is the future of painting? How will the next decade of painting stack up given the current trends compared to what’s come before? Is the painting community on a positive trajectory? Or do we need to make some course corrections? My guest, Burton Silverman joins me for part two of our conversation. Burt opens up about the impact of past artists, how he chooses his subjects, the future of painting, and so much more! Burt has such a depth of experience and knowledge I know you will find his insights and perspectives as fascinating as I did!

The Future of Painting

Do you have an idea of where the painting sector of the art community is headed? Does it leave you troubled or optimistic? I put this question to artist Burton Silverman and he provided a helpful and nuanced response. Burt used the word hopefully to describe his outlook and I found that really encouraging. He was also quick to add that he wants to see the future of painting push the bounds and really challenge the concept of authenticity that has been proclaimed as of late. I loved Burt’s take on our corner of the art community and hope that you find the hope and challenge as welcome as I did.

The Difference Between Style and Voice

What is the difference between an artist’s style and their voice? Is there a difference in your mind? How would you explain it? What illustrations would you give to describe it? Artist Burt Silverman explained how he sees the difference between style and voice in our conversation. Burt says that your style is the language by which your voice may or may not come through. He goes on to explain that if you change your language or your style, then your “voice” shifts and gets expressed with a different sound or accent to it. Burt really has a wonderful way with words and describing these complicated topics in a helpful and imaginative way.

Advice to Young Artists

What does it take to succeed as an artist? I’ve had just as many answers to this question as I have had guests to interview! Consider this, what would you say to someone who is just starting out on their journey as an artist? What do you think would be helpful advice for them to follow? Artist Burt Silverman struggled to answer this question because he is sensitive to the unique journey and circumstance of each artist. Having said that, he did manage to explain the importance of really knowing yourself and why artists should spend the time to plumb the depths of their interior and let that experience inform their art.

Seeing Without Observing

What skills are necessary for an artist to create meaningful works of art? Does it all rely on talent or is there something beyond the technical ability that makes for compelling and captivating art? Going back to the question of the future of painting and pairing it with the question about advice to young artists, Burt Silverman explained that we need more artists who practice the skill of observation. He used a wonderful line from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that says, “You see but you do not observe.” Does that line resonate with you? I think that Burt hit the nail on the head and I hold out hope for the art world and for myself - may we observe more and more each day.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:50] I introduce my guest, Burton Silverman.
  • [4:00] Burton and I discuss the lasting impact of bygone artists.
  • [8:20] How Burton chooses his subjects.
  • [15:00] What is the future of painting?
  • [22:40] Is there a difference between your style and your voice?
  • [32:30] What advice would Burt give to young artists?
  • [38:30] The problem of seeing without observing.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Sep 07, 2017
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.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Aug 31, 2017
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.

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Aug 24, 2017
Narrative Painting, with Nathan Lewis

What comes to mind when you think of narrative painting? Do you think of a particular painting or a series of paintings? What is it about painting with a narrative that captures an audience? My guest, Nathan Lewis is an accomplished narrative painter. In our conversation, Nathan and I spoke about the language of painting, multi figure paintings, painting through frustration and doubt, and so much more! I know artists like you will enjoy hearing from his unique perspective. I am really excited for you to get a glimpse into the world of narrative painting by hearing Nathan’s fascinating story and insights.

The Draw to Narrative Painting

Do you remember what drew you to your style or type of painting? Was it an artist that captured your imagination, a teacher that opened it up to you, or was it more of a gradual revelation? For artist Nathan Lewis, he was drawn to narrative painting through his personal pursuit of finding meaning in life. Nathan describes his attraction to art as an attraction to live a life of meaning and to find some way to interact with the world. He goes on to explain how once he got a handle on his understanding of art forms, the narrative connection just started to fall into place. Make sure you take a minute to look over Nathan’s artwork at the end of this post.

Pushing Past Fear and Failure

What do you do with fear of failure as an artists? Does it over take you sometimes? Do you use it for fuel? What is a helpful perspective we can have on this subject? Nathan Lewis has struggled with fear, doubt, and failure as an artist. To get through those difficult and potentially self defeating emotions, Nathan commits himself to his artwork at hand. He has found pushing through (not ignoring) those emotions and engaging in his art to be a helpful solution. What has worked for you in the past? What is your plan for when those feelings creep back in? I hope that hearing from Nathan can help you start to wrestle with these emotions in a way that’s helpful for you.

The Role of Memory in Art

As an artist who also works from photography I was curious to get Nathan Lewis’ perspective on what role memory has in his artwork. The fact of the matter is, there are aspects that get lost, and some aspects that get captured when we utilize photography to assist us in our paintings. Nathan explains how he enjoys using photography to take his time with a subject. This allows him to avoid the need rush to capture something that he won’t be able to remember from the subject or scene later on if he were forced to rely on his memory. I really resonated with a lot of what Nathan had to share on this subject and I hope artists like you can connect with his unique perspective.

The Artist’s Social Life

As an artist it can be a struggle to engage with others on a social level. There are a few factors involved in this difficulty. One is that non-artists don’t really understand the demands that our craft has on our time and availability. Another struggle arises when we only socialize with fellow artists and lose that connection with other sectors of society and culture. Which one do you find yourself more drawn to? Have you taken the time to consider why that is? In my conversation with artist Nathan Lewis, we discuss our own experiences with each side of this coin. I hope you find our conversation encouraging and helpful as you navigate how this plays out in your life too.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:35] I introduce my guest, Nathan Lewis.
  • [3:15] Nathan describes his work and how he got started as an artist.
  • [8:30] What drew Nathan to the narrative style of painting?
  • [17:00] Pushing past the fear of failure.
  • [19:30] How Nathan chooses his motifs.
  • [30:00] What is the role of memory in Nathan’s work?
  • [42:30] Connecting with a non-artist social circle.
  • [46:30] What is Nathan currently working on?

Other artists mentioned on this episode

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Connect With Antrese

Aug 17, 2017
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 o