Posts tagged Inspiration
Start Late, Live Your Dreams | Podcast Episode with Lisa Congdon
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Join us for a super inspiring episode featuring one of our favorite artists and role models, Lisa Congdon.

If you are worried about whether it's too late for you to be an artist and pursue your dream, listen to this interview immediately!

This episode covers:

  • Lisa's journey and breakthroughs

  • Starting later in life

  • Overcoming imposter syndrome and fear

  • Finding your artistic voice

  • Managing your time and increasing productivity while making time for fun + more

Fine artist, illustrator and author Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful paintings and hand lettering. She works for clients around the world including MoMA, REI, Harvard University, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, and Random House Publishing, among many others. She is the author of seven books, including the starving-artist-myth-smashing Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist, and illustrated books The Joy of Swimming, Fortune Favors the Brave, Whatever You Are, Be a Good One, Twenty Ways to Draw a Tulip and A Collection a Day. Her latest book, A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives, was released by Chronicle Books in October 2017. She was named one of 40 Women Over 40 to Watch in 2015 and she is featured in the 2017 book, 200 Women Who Will Change the Way you See the World. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

Learn more at www.lisacongdon.com

The Courage to Enjoy It: Podcast Interview with Andrew Salgado
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On this episode of Art and Cocktails, Kat interviews contemporary artist Andrew Salgado about the inspiration behind his recent exhibition at Angell Gallery, his approach to painting, bringing pleasure back to art-making, the importance of rest for artists and much more.

Andrew Salgado is a leading young figurative painter with over a dozen sold-out international exhibitions, including London, New York, Zagreb, Miami, Cape Town, and Basel. In 2017, Salgado was the youngest artist to ever receive a survey-exhibition at The Canadian High Commission in London, accompanied by a 300-page monograph, both of which were entitled TEN

“The large scale, gestural paintings of Andrew Salgado explore concepts relating to the destruction and reconstruction of identity – a process that he views as re-considering the conventions of figurative painting through a pursuit toward abstraction. Salgado questions the nature of identity and even the act of painting itself as something monstrous, allegorical, or symbolic. Incorporating Classical archetypes alongside a wildly inventive approach to his chosen media, Salgado’s work defies categorization. Recent works include collage, mixed-media, and even hand-dyed and hand-stitched linen and canvas. ”I am interested in how my paintings operate independently from their literal figurative foundation, and how they might deconstruct through colour choices, reduction of forms, and triumph of materiality to become something altogether otherworldly.”

- Beers London

Andrew’s new exhibition at Angell Gallery, Toronto:

BLUE RAINBOW

ANDREW SALGADO

October 4–27, 2018

"Blue Rainbow" Exhibition by Andrew Salgado at Angell Gallery

ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present  Blue Rainbow, the first solo exhibition in Toronto by London, U.K.-based Canadian artist Andrew Salgado. Featuring a suite of new paintings by the internationally exhibited artist, the show runs from Thursday, Oct. 4 to Saturday, Oct. 27, with an opening reception with the artist on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7:00 p.m.

Blue is associated with the sky and the sea - vast spaces often used as metaphors for freedom and inspiration, or signifiers of tranquility and calmness. Perhaps this is why Andrew Salgado chose this colour as part of the title of his exhibition Blue Rainbow. After years of making work in which the political was very personal, Salgado's new paintings find him unburdening. "My practice was being weighted down by my own history," he explains. "I have been vocal about LGBT issues, but I think I'm cooling down."

Salgado insists that his latest work isn't political; however, with the rise of right-wing attitudes in many parts of the world - and the anti-LGBT sentiments that often accompany them - producing positive representations of gay people can be read as a political act. Salgado, who has been the target of hate crimes, dealt directly with his experiences in earlier works such as Bloody Faggot (2011). That painting represented what he was going through physically and emotionally at the time. In 2017, when he mounted a solo exhibition at the Canadian High Commission in London - making him the youngest artist to do so - Bloody Faggot was a central work in the show.

Salgado has closed the door on that period of his life. Now, he wants his work to be about the sense of joy and discovery that he experiences while creating paintings, and he hopes that visitors to his shows feel the same when viewing them. "The process, the joy, the colours, the feelings I get ... I want those to be enough for me, and I want them to be enough for viewers," he says. "I've learned to stop talking about what my work means because what others bring to it is just as important as my intentions."

Salgado's figures throughout Blue Rainbow are situated within vibrant and textured environments that suggest the out-of-doors: quiet moments on azure beaches, walking through a garden or contemplating a cobalt sky at dusk. Serenity, freedom and expansiveness inform the paintings; they serve as meditative yet irreverent rejoinders to the socially and politically proscribed lives that people too often feel hemmed in by. "A line from the Bjork song Big Time Sensuality - 'it takes courage to enjoy it' - really hit me recently," says Salgado. "I've heard this song a million times, but suddenly I was like: Oh my god, that's so true. So, this show is me, learning to enjoy." 

- Bill Clarke




Anything is Possible: Bridgette Mayer's Powerful Story and Career Advice for Artists (Podcast Interview)

On this episode, Bridgette shares her story and how she overcame major obstacles in her life and built an incredible career as an art dealer, curator, art advisor, author, and entrepreneur. She has empowered many artists and helped them build successful careers, sell work and get incredible opportunities. Tune in to this special episode for invaluable career advice, marketing tips and authentic ways of sharing your story as an artist to build your career from a leading art expert. 

Bio

Bridgette Mayer is an art dealer in Philadelphia, PA. She opened Bridgette Mayer Gallery on Philadelphia’s historic Washington Square in 2001. In July of 2016, the gallery evolved to a private gallery and consulting practice. Mayer represents artists from Philadelphia, New York and around the world, specializing in contemporary painting, sculpture, and photography. The gallery also deals in secondary market artwork sales and private and corporate consulting.

Gallery artists have won many prestigious awards including the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Guggenheim Grants, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Awards, the Miami University Young Painters Competition and the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Grant.

Bridgette Mayer Gallery has been featured on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 as a small business “On The Rise” and was recognized as a recommended Philadelphia arts destination in The New York Times Magazine. In 2013, Mayer was named one of the top 500 Galleries in the world by Boulin Art Info and was also featured in the Tory Burch Foundation’s “Women To Watch” series.

Mayer has been a featured speaker on many panels in the Philadelphia area and has guest lectured at a number of Universities, where her talks focus on how emerging artists can promote their work and sustain a career in the arts.  A graduate of Bucknell University, Mayer was an active member of the University’s Arts Board for several years. She is currently a board member of the Arts & Business Council, Philadelphia, PA & Vox Vopuli, Philadelphia, PA.

Bridgette’s Book:

Introducing the New Podcast "Art and Cocktails"

Casual conversations about art, creative business and more. An art podcast by Ekaterina Popova, artist and founder of Create! Magazine. 

This is your show to hang out, enjoy a cocktail and join us for casual conversations about art, creative business and more. I will be sharing my experiences in the art world as well as inspiring interviews with leading contemporary artists, curators and creatives.

Subscribe on iTunes or visit the website to stream the latest episodes! 

Episode 1: Artist Blocks, Books and Baileys: a conversation with The Jealous Curator

Episode 2: The Good Witch of The Art World + Tips on Making Magic Happen in Your Art Career (chat with Sarah Potter)

Bad Dads VIII: An art show tribute to the films of Wes Anderson

Spoke Art is proud to present the eighth annual Bad Dads exhibition - a dynamic showcase of over ninety artists from around the world celebrating the cinematic career of American director, Wes Anderson. Held at Talon Gallery in Portland, OR - Spoke is excited to bring this beloved show to the Pacific Northwest for the first time.

Started as a pop-up exhibition curated by gallery owner Ken Harman, Bad Dads has now blossomed through the years into a highly anticipated, memorable, and costumed art event. Gaining international recognition, the exhibition has evolved along with Anderson’s eight feature films (as well as numerous shorts and commercial features) giving each artist a well of inspiration to draw from.

Comprised of original painting and sculpture as well as a multitude of limited edition prints, Bad Dads VIII is a wide-ranging display of different styles and talents. Each artist was free to choose their own film for subject matter, resulting in a spectacular range of character portraits, highly detailed environments and iconic themes and motifs, prominent in each of Anderson’s films. Please join us for Bad Dads VIII, opening Friday, October 27th, with an opening night reception from 6pm-10pm. Guests attending in costume will receive a special gift and some artists will be in attendance. The exhibition will be on view through Sunday, October 29th, 2017.

Participating Artists: Eric Althin, Nicole Anguish, Zard Apuya, Ana Aranda, Derek Ballard, Brighton Ballard, Jonathan Bergeron, Ryan Berkley, Isaac Bidwell, Eric Bonhomme, Joshua Buddich, Ivonna Buenrostro, Sandi Callistro, Julian Callos, Keith Carter, Mar Cerda, James Charles, Matt Chase, Rodrigo Cifuentes, Codeczombie, Concepcion Studios, Benjamin Constantine, Camilla d'Errico, Max Dalton, Mai Ly Degnan, Tim Doyle, Matt Dye, Pippa Dyrlaga, Tom Eglington, Eron, Evanimal, Valentin Fischer, Jayde Fish, Fnnch, Blaine Fontana, Alex Garant, Sam Gilbey, Ian Glaubinger, Greg Gossel, Rebecca Green, Bill Green, Lauren Gregg, Dan Grissom, Nicole Gustafsson, Maryanna Hoggatt, Kevan Hom, Christine Hostetler, Primary Hughes, Charlie Immer, Ryan Inzana, Tim Jordan, Andrew Kolb, Conor Langton, Nan Lawson, Brin Levinson, Daliah Lina Ammar, Matt Linares, Adam Lister, Kemi Mai, Marni Manning, Harry Michalakeas, Guillaume Morellec, Reuben Negron, Jeany Ngo, Chelsea O'Byrne, Lily Padula, Anna Pan, Rich Pellegrino, Kat Philbin, Patrycja Podkościelny, Corinne Reid, Allison Reimold, Fernando Reza, Matt Ritchie, Miles Ritchie, Yohan Sacre, Leo Santamaria, Bennett Slater, Nick Stokes, Meghan Stratman, Lindsay Stripling, Dean Stuart, Maria Suarez Inclan, Halsey Swain, George Townley, Geoff Trapp, Liz Vowles, Chris Walker, Casey Weldon, Jan Willem. 

Interview: Heather and Marissa from Carve Out Time For Art

“Our mission is to empower people to stop dreaming and start doing, especially when it comes to carving out time for art. 

We are passionate about building community, encouraging others (especially women), and connecting people.

We want to cultivate a positive and nurturing community for creatives who want to find time to satisfy this part of their identity. We do this by fostering conversations, connecting creatives with resources, and showing people they are not alone.”

— Marissa + Heather

http://www.carveouttimeforart.com/

https://marissahuber.com/

http://www.heatherkirtland.com/

Marissa Huber

Marissa Huber

We are really inspired by your message to make time for art, no matter what your life looks like. When did you originally come up with the idea to start your community? 

Heather: After the birth of my first child, I floundered a bit in trying to define what a mother artist looked like and was disheartened by the lack of examples. A few years later serendipity put Marissa in my path and once we joined forces and created an Instagram account it just all happened so organically. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that the community itself is a force to be reckoned with in terms of its positivity and creativity. We were lucky enough to take that drive and focus it the best we can. 

Marissa: I think the true answer is that I have a rebellious streak in me and was aggravated that so many people tell women (and also men) how they will never be able to do anything for themselves once they have children. There was an inherent suggestion if you wanted to do something for yourself, you were selfish. I took many of these comments as good natured because that’s what people say. But it bothered me because that is what many people truly believe. How many women don’t have alternative examples? Of course life will shift and yes, the early days of motherhood can be tough, but let’s encourage each other instead!

There was a moment that the message and idea of COTFA formed for me. I was asked by a designer to do watercolor illustrations of her interiors, but they had to be done right after my son was born. I was on maternity leave from my day job, and had my mom in town. I decided to go for it. I had to break up my process into 20 minute blocks, but I got it done. I will never forget the relief of sitting down that first time to paint. I felt like myself. I was not just a person with the slightly scary responsibility of keeping another human alive, but I was still me. And it gave me the thread to my life before motherhood and gave me hope that I could do things my way. I wanted to find others, and share their stories and had a secret goal to write a book on this one day. 

Heather Kirtland

Heather Kirtland

How did you meet each other? 

Heather: We haven't met. Ha! True story. We are virtual friends. I found Marissa when someone I followed on Instagram was featured in her mother interview series. I thought, "Where have you been all my life?" this was just the thing I was hoping would of existed in my first year as a new mom. So I said just that in a comment and from there became an interviewee...the rest is history. I am amazed at what a great relationship we have formed never meeting face to face. 

Marissa: I have to remind myself often that I have never met Heather in real life yet! I have a clear memory of our first phone call. I suggested we talk because we were both interested in writing a book on the same topic. I knew in 10 seconds that we would be a great fit and remember blurting out, “Let’s do it! Let’s figure out how to write a book on this together.” There was instant chemistry, nonstop talking, and such a deep personal interest in helping other artist mothers find their own way. Oddly, we don’t speak often, but when we do it is always epic.

What kind of influence has your website and community have on your own art making? What positive changes have you seen in your own lives because of COTFA?

Heather: The COFTA community has been such a positive place for me. It has made me simultaneously aware of the unrealistic pressure I put on myself and provided confidence to go after big goals. 

Marissa: It holds me accountable to practice what I preach. Our community makes me braver, kinder to myself and more confident with my work. In terms of positive changes, it made me realize that I’m a connector – whether that is ideas, resources or people. Connecting others lights me up, and feels like a fun problem to solve. (For example someone looking to do a meetup in Chicago and I can connect them with others). On a personal note, COTFA emerged during a lonely time in my life when I had moved back to Florida from and was spending much of my time at work or commuting. I missed my friends in Philly, and my family who I wasn’t getting to spend as much time with. Being able to take 5 minutes on a coffee break to “hang” with friends on Instagram was renewing during really tough months.

What is a common obstacle that's keeping artists from creating based on your observation and what are some tips to help overcome these blocks?

Heather: Doubt and fear top that list, followed closely by time. I think having a bit of grace with yourself is important. The "why" you create is something to continue to come back to. It helps to cancel out the noise and refocus on the joy you find in making art. As for time; I think adjusting the way you think about it can help. You don't need hours on end. Make it work for you within your day. I found that sometimes being force to walk away actually helps me not overwork a piece. 

Marissa: The damn comparison trap! Looking at someone else and thinking they have it all figured out without regarding their circumstances and own struggles. Feeling like there is no point to do anything because it has all been done before and nothing is original. Basically the recurring existential crisis that some of my friends and I have. I’m writing this with a smile, but it feels like crap when you’re in that valley. My advice is to just mix paint colors for fun or paint with some ink and make shapes. Don’t think at all, just enjoy the pure bliss of brush to paper. Arrange some leaves. Draw with your kid. Just do anything. We started a hashtag #CreativeCrankiness (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/creativecrankiness/) because I get that way if I don’t create something with my hands for too long!

From your experience, is it possible to have a full-time career or raise a family and be an artist? What words of encouragement would you offer someone who is scared they can't do both?

Heather: Hell yes!!! It may be seasonal, and it is a juggle but no one is checking your time clock.  Your work speaks for itself and ultimately people will believe what you do about yourself. Make art, you're an artist. You may wear a lot of other hats too but that doesn't diminish your artistic endeavors. If you are scared that you cannot do both my advice would be visit our community.  You can check out examples of all the different ways artists make it work.  There isn't one way.  Remember to have confidence in your creative self. Artistic sensibility, more times than not comes with an amazing ability to think outside the box. Use that to your advantage and find a way to make it a part of your life. 

Marissa: What I want to tell everyone is this---I think you can have anything you damn well please, but you can’t please everyone, it may not look like you think it will, or what others think it should. (Not the catchiest motto for a t-shirt…) It took me a long time to call myself an artist again, and in many ways motherhood forced me to own it in a good way. When I was facing limited free time, a new baby, a full time job, and the casual side gig, I realized art was what I most wanted AND needed in my life. That must mean I was an artist after all. So I prioritized it in my free time or woke up early. I feel strongly that becoming a mother made me more efficient, decisive, and confident in my art work. I no longer wasted time procrastinating by rearranging my workspace if I was scared to mess up a project. I knew I literally had 20 minutes before Henry woke up and I better make it count. That is the part I want people to know that is not uncommon. This is why Heather and I are going to find a way to make a book for others on this, even if it’s all on our own. 

My advice is to find supportive people who understand your needs for both. I have so many artist mother friends from COTFA who understand that a need to create is in us, and if it doesn’t come out, we’re miserable. I’m also lucky to have a supportive partner in my husband, Mike East (www.mikeast.com). He’s an artist and former art professor who always encourages me to find time to create, and reminds me why it’s worth it when I’m feeling cranky. 

I will say that it can be hard at times, as all life is. I’m sad that I’m with my coworkers more than my family, or that sometimes I get home from work and my son is asleep. There have been many tears. There is also a longing to have more free time for my own work, but guilt to not cut too much into my time with family or friends. But hell yes. It is possible. There are no rules. Make your own and just let other things take a backseat – preferably vacuuming.
Name a few of your favorite aspects of COTFA. 

Heather: Our followers tops that list. They are incredible and always inspire me.  I am grateful for the connections that I've made.  I also really love our Artist Takovers ( https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/artisttakeovercotfa/ ). It's so cool to see a day in the life of fellow creatives.  

Marissa: It gave me a home base when I was feeling adrift as stated above. And so many amazing people that I consider true friends. As in real friends – that mean something special to me. 

Heather Kirtland

Heather Kirtland

How can our readers get involved and support your organization?

Instagram is where we are the most. We always encourage people to join our newsletter too it's the best place to not miss when we do challenges and events. You can use our hash tag to tell your story and share your work. That is where we find the artist we feature too. We encourage your readers to spread the word and invite others to join us.  

Marissa: I absolutely love the #CreativeConvosCOTFA (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/creativeconvoscotfa/ ). Each week or so we ask a question. Some deep, some light hearted, and we get the most vulnerable, wonderful, and thoughtful responses. Conversations are started, ideas spread. Come join in there first, it’s a great way to instantly feel part of the gang (and anyone who is a nice person is instantly part of the gang – that’s how we roll).

Marissa Huber

Marissa Huber

What do you hope to accomplish within the next year? 

Heather: Marissa and I would like to finish our book! We are also going to introduce a Creative Pinkie Swear challenge to help our community accomplish some of their goals with the accountability of the group.  

Personally I would like to expand my wholesale sales and make some room for more commission work as well.

Marissa: I first want to humbly celebrate a personal win for myself this year. My goal for 2017 was to license a pattern and create a fabric collection. Heather told me to enter a Minted.com competition earlier this year and I won several Editor’s choice awards there and now have 6 patterns in 5-10 colorways each for sale on fabric, lamps, pillows, etc. This has been a new direction for me and I put a lot of work in to learn Adobe Illustrator and the pattern processes (still learning). To balance that out I want to finish our book. We rehashed what we wanted to do and the new version makes me so excited that I can’t wait to get all of my other commitments over with so I can focus on it! We are going to make this happen, somehow!  https://www.minted.com/store/marissahuber

Heather’s Photos: Head shot credit is: Kirsten Smith Photography.

Marissa’s Photos – Marissa took them..

Interview: Megan Elizabeth

I grew up in Maryland, just outside of DC, enjoying childhood summers swimming in lakes and at the beach and always exploring outdoors. My elegant, feminine and often abstract artwork is inspired by travels all over the world.  I have lived abroad in Spain and traveled much of Europe and the Caribbean, collecting impressions and memories from each place.  Currently, I reside in Brooklyn NYC with my family and am the leader of the Tuesdays Together NYC chapter, and serve as the Regional Director of the Northeast for Honeybook.  

www.artbymegan.com

When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?

I grew up doodling, coloring, imagining, dreaming, daydreaming and always wanting to make art.  The making of the art was never a decision I made, it is something that has naturally just happened throughout my life.  I can't stop! 

When I am happy, I make art.  When I am sad, I make art to clear my mind.  When I am inspired, I think of making art.  It's always just waiting in the back of my mind for a chance to come to fruition. 

Tell us about your process and inspiration. How does each painting come to life?

I often tell people that my mind is like a camera. I see beautiful things (sunrises, sunsets, florals, and fleeting moments) and those images become stored in my brain for a later time. Then, usually I have a dream about a painting and then the next day (ideally) I paint it!  It's a very crazy process, but traveling and seeing new things definitely, accelerates the creative process for me.  

We are really inspired by your business sense in the arts. Tell us a little bit about how you got started selling paintings and collaborating with others. 

I began selling my art at pop-up shops, small local shops, and online with an Etsy shop.  I soon realized that in order to make my business effective, I was going to have to take it to the next level by taking it really seriously and dedicating much more time to it.  

I was super lucky, thanks to a shift in our lives and a new job for my husband, to get to start my business full-time 2 years ago.  When I started, I went 100 mph in the direction of my dream, because I had waited so long for the timing to be right. I was so excited (and still am) to wake up every day and follow my passion. 

One of my fundamental business practices is to meet people in real life.  I believe that as a business owner, you can leverage the power of online communication to a point, but that the REAL interactions still have to be happening over coffee, drinks, or, ideally, bagels.  Instagram has really helped my business grow, but I love even more when those "IG friends" become REAL friends! 

My role as the leader of a group of creatives called TuesdaysTogether (as part of The Rising Tide Society) and as a Creative Strategist for the Community Team at a start-up in San Francisco called Honeybook has been so pivotal in learning my business savvy. I love giving back to my creative community by sharing ideas, leading meetings each month, and making sure that all creatives feel welcome and able to ask others for help. I also love the challenge of brainstorming and having a unique perspective as I help contribute to helping a start-up company grow and serve new audiences. I firmly that believe if we all help one another when we can, that the creative economy can succeed more.  

I am the kind of person that learns best by doing.  I need the "trial-by-fire" in order to succeed. I am ok with mistakes the older I get and I appreciate the life lessons in each chapter of life.  

What are some of the biggest fears and challenges that you overcame as a creative?

Fear of failure, at first. I wanted my business to work so badly and I was very fearful of it failing and being embarrassed or having to reinvent myself AGAIN.  

Fear of success, next. I was worried that once it started working, I wouldn't be able to sustain my business as it grows or that I would burn out or fall out of love with it. (Note: I won't ever fall out of love, but I DID get an AMAZING intern thanks to a feature on Create Magazine!) 

Currently, not feeling so fearful. I'm learning to re-channel that energy into gratitude. It's a much more productive thing for me to "worry about". I secretly love worrying. :) 

How do you like to unwind? Tell us about your favorite things to do when you are not painting. 

TRAVEL.  If I could just be a travel blogger on the side, my business would really thrive.  (not kidding)

Also, I love spending time with my family, taking walks in the park, pretending to be a tourist in NYC, getting lost and discovering new places on accident, eating delicious new foods, doing yoga, reading books. 

I LOVE reading.  I am currently reading like 4 books at the same time.  

What advice would you give other creatives looking to take their career to the next level? 

Step 1. Tell yourself that you are going to do it, even when it isn't glamorous, even when it's really hard. Resign to not giving up. 

Step 2. Ask for help. Make creative friends and trust them.  

Step 3. Give back. Give to others. Help others grow. In turn, you will grow. 

How do you feel about your creative community? Do you like to attend art openings or workshops?

As a total extrovert, I thrive on human interaction and new experiences. I LOVE meeting new people. I love discussing new ideas with others and challenging my brain to think from new perspectives.  I attend meetings, meet-ups, art shows, and any other event that I can, but not with the motive of getting people to buy my art. I think you genuinely have to love what you do in the research capacity, I love learning. And when I learn, my business thrives indirectly. I almost always attend events and forget to give out my business cards, and then I return home and my husband teases me for being such a people person that I forget to be a business person.  

Beautiful Podcasts for Art Ideas and Creative Inspiration

We love listening to podcasts during our commute or even in the studio. We decided to compile a list of beautiful audio programs and podcasts you can use to discover contemporary artists, get tips, inspiration, latest news in the industry and business advice from the top creative professionals.

By Monocle Magazine

Weekly cultural nourishment with Monocle 24’s international critics in the fields of art, music, theatre, literature, film and television. Enjoy conversations with the directors, artists, authors and musicians and minds behind it all. 

2. Art For Your Ear

2. Art For Your Ear

By The Jealous Curator

Art For Your Ear brings you stories from some of my favorite contemporary artists. When I studied Art History, the best part was, well, the gossip. I loved finding out why artists did certain things, what was going on in their personal lives, and behind-the-scenes details about other artists they knew and worked with.

By Daphne Cohn

Daphne Cohn is the host of The Creativity Habit Podcast: conversations with artist, creatives, and makers about art, creativity, and courage. 

4. The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show

4. The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show

By Chase Jarvis

Chase Jarvis is a visionary photographer, artist and entrepreneur. Cited as one of the most influential photographers of the past decade, he is the founder & CEO of CreativeLive. In this show, Chase and some of the world’s top creative entrepreneurs, artists, and celebrities share stories designed to help you gain actionable insights to recognize your passions and achieve your goals.

By TED

Some of the world's greatest artists, designers, photographers and architects showcase their work and visions onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

Interview: Stephanie Hirsch

Stephanie Hirsch appropriates iconoclastic images and sayings and infuses them with the anarchistic spirit from whence they came. Through her use of beads, sequins and embroidery, Hirsch's canvases are literally 'illuminated' with words of enlightenment and hope. Her simple text and quips often cause the viewer to question their moral standings and beliefs, all the while offering aesthetically charged images that are simultaneously foreign and familiar.

Hirsch states, "Mental and physical blockages in life are often self-inflicted, both literally and figuratively. I explore my journey through life as a quest to uncover the truth around me and to express my position through the multifaceted meanings inherent to the words we use and actions we do."

Stephanie Hirsch is currently the PS3 artist in residence through Art Production Fund at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Her residency runs from April 15 – May 10. 

www.stephanie-hirsch.com

When did you first start using text and positive messages in your work? 

In 2008 I had a dark night of the soul where literally and figuratively my life shattered and my shell cracked open. I desperately needed to pull myself out from the darkness. Words have power, and spirit guided me to put the eternal truths of hope and enlightenment onto the canvas. 

It's refreshing to see such inspiring words and sayings in the midst of the current art world chaos. Does your work have a personal meaning to you? 

image3.jpeg

Yes, it is everything to me (besides my kids). It is my meditation, my soul, my lover, my friend. I read a beautiful saying that "art reflects the times and it is the job of the artist to speak of the eternal truths." In these times of darkness and chaos where so much negativity bombards us, I use my gift to connect to a higher consciousness. If my work resonates and uplifts others, I am blessed. 

How long have you been an artist? Tell us about your creative journey. 

I was born an artist. I don’t know any other way than to create from what soars within my soul. My first endeavor into the artistic world was as a fashion designer. I created works of art on a resort and swimwear. When I sold my company in 2008, another form of artistry came to me, and that was to work on canvas. 

Congratulations on your recent success at Art Miami. What would you say helped push your art career to the next level? What tips would you share with our readers? 

Thank you! I authentically live from my truth. If this inspires others and gets them to gravitate to my work I am grateful. Each and every one of us is given our own divine gift. It is our job while in physical form to find it, devour it and release it into the universe. 

How important is fun and experimentation to you? Describe a typical day in the studio. 

I deeply love what I do. I am constantly reading, meditating and connecting to source. Experimentation and joy are a constant in my life and art. My studio is my solitude. 

What are your plans for the near future? What should be we on the lookout for?

I am finishing up my 5th solo show at Lyons Wier Gallery in NYC this winter. I have a busy spring ’17. I am participating in 2 group shows and have a solo show out West (details shortly). I am also working on a public art installation. 

Interview with Artist and Psychotherapist Timothy Walsh
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TJ Walsh, BFA, MA is a Counselor/Psychotherapist, Painter, Art and Higher Education Administrator. Prior to receiving his M.A. in Clinical Counseling Psychology from Eastern University in Saint Davids, PA, TJ received his BFA in Graphic Design from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

TJ has extensive experience working with young adults, university students and young couples with a focus on artistic and creative personalities. In addition to his work in a group and private practice, TJ is a seasoned Student Affairs/Student Life professional with foci in the areas of Counseling, Conduct/Judicial Affairs, Title IX (specifically within the realm of campus sexual assault), and Educational Accessibility (ADA).

TJ writes and speaks about topics of art, culture, faith and mental health. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. He is on the faculty at Eastern University in the graduate school's Counseling Psychology department.

www.tjwalshtherapy.com
www.tjwalshartist.com

Tell us about your journey to becoming an artist. Was it something that always interested you?

I was always encouraged to create. When I was young, I wasn’t interested in sports and when I did play sports, I was always out in left field (literally) daydreaming and getting lost in my imagination. As I grew older, my teachers and mentors encouraged me to pursue my art even when the art was unconventional to what everyone around me was creating. My work went from expressive, figurative work to completely abstract during this time and I haven’t turned back. My work harkens back to those days in the left field, exploring my imagination and responding to my emotions – with the hope of evoking imagination and emotion in others.

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When did you decide to pursue therapy as your second career? What inspired you to follow this path?

I took the step to pursue helping others professionally about five years ago when I arrived at a crossroads. The crossroads was the decision of whether I was to go back for my MFA or to get my graduate degree in psychology. The MFA would mean that I’d disappear into myself, while the psychology degree would allow me to explore other people. One thing that I know about myself is that when I am allowed to disappear into myself, I become self-destructive. I chose to pursue helping other people over myself. This decision played out marvelously for me because not only do I get to learn from and help other people navigate their path, but my artwork and insight about myself has grown and increased exponentially, too. It was the right decision.

How do you relate your art practice to the therapy room? How are they connected or different?

My art practice is not directly connected to my therapy practice insofar as they inform one another. However my art practice provides release and distance from the heavy emotional work that I put into sessions with my clients. Much like I encourage some of my patients to utilize making as a way to release stress and process emotions, my art practice is that for me. Making creates the necessary space to process experiences, interactions, and relationships.

What have been some interesting observations you found regarding the connection between art and mental health?

As researched by Zorana Ivcevic Pringle, Ph.D. at Yale University, it has been found that people who engage in everyday forms of creativity are revealed to be more “open-minded, curious, persistent, positive, energetic, and intrinsically motivated by their activity.” Individuals who score highly in daily creativity report that they have a greater sense of well-being and personal growth compared to their peers who engage less in everyday creative behaviors.

Creating can also be therapeutic for those who are already suffering. For instance, research shows that expressive writing increases immune system functioning, and the emerging field of posttraumatic growth is showing how people can turn adversity into creative growth.

Do you encourage your patients to express themselves visually and if so, have there been positive benefits as a result?

I do encourage patients to express themselves visually. It’s through the use of a creative expression that develops opportunities for exploration and growth.

One thing to remember is that, with the discretion of the therapist, often less structure, more fluidity and openness, can produce a productive session. Art is a useful tool to uncover one’s deepest sense of self, one's psyche, and also a means of getting to know the client. As themes in the artwork emerge, it is important to remain sensitive, as the artwork is just as ‘alive’ as the client. The art is a connected extension of himself or herself.

From your experience, what are some tips and best practices for artists to overcome blocks?

When experiencing creative block, it’s important that you don’t browbeat yourself. Lulls in creative energy are necessary to the overall creative process, and even though the lack of creative energy can be frustrating and psychologically painful, it’s important to move toward viewing these periods as times of growth. The in-between times is when creativity gets its start. It’s important to have a lot of thinking time – and thinking time happens when you least expect it to happen. When experiencing a creative block, try these helpful tactics for working through it:

-Come up with many solutions – not just one. Try to come up with a list of 20 ideas.

-Look for patterns in episodes of your creative block.  When a creative block occurs, take notes and see if a trend emerges.

-Draw blindly for half a minute. You can’t criticize the results. Give yourself a theme. This can work for free writing, too. Without having expectations, you can break through to being able to work on your blocked project.

-Redefine the problem to find it more compelling. By looking at your project with from an unfamiliar angle, and a new perspective, you may be surprised that the block will become dislodged.

-Dirty your canvas. Put an ink-stained handprint in the middle of the problematic work. This will give you something to fix.

-Keep a sketchbook or notebook. Always carry it with you.

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Tell us about your approach to painting. What is your process like?

My approach to painting is a process of call and response. I lay a spot or field of color down, place a mark or blemish on a surface and respond to it with another color, mark, or blemish. The work is an investigation into what it means to make marks on a surface to convey emotion. The process can be meditative or manic, as it is informed by many hours of listening to people share their stories of transition or struggle with me in the therapy room. The immediacy of mark making is therapeutic and healing. Making marks and pushing paint is about breaking through the noise of life to unearth the conversation beneath.

When you experience a tough time, what strategies do you use to overcome it?

When I experience a tough time, I make sure that I am seeing my therapist regularly. It is only through working things out with my therapist that I can dislodge what is stuck. I also make sure that I am in my studio as often as possible. This allows me to keep a flow open and continue the process of gaining insight and perspective on my relationships, the world and myself.

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Please share the best piece of advice for staying grounded and maintain a healthy creative practice with our artists and readers.

1. Microcreate. Allocating regular time to create is vital, but we can also create in short bursts whenever windows of opportunity open. On busses or trains, for instance, we can do some mental practice or jot down ideas.

2. Be resilient. Given that creating involves experimentation and missteps, it takes mental toughness to keep pushing our limits. When problems arise, or if we receive criticism that hurts us, we need to be able to bounce back and press onward.

3. Create through turmoil. Life brings unexpected complexities. Instead of being derailed by disturbances, if we keep creating through tough times, even at micro levels, we support our motivation.

4. Refuse to procrastinate. Many would-be creative people put off starting or finishing projects. But such procrastinating behaviors are actually manifestations of angst that arises when we worry about rather than dive into artistic problems. If you tend to sidestep your creative work, take up some anti-procrastination techniques. For example, think about your creative work just before you sleep and then do some micro creating as soon as you wake up in the morning.

5. Collaborate. Creating with others lifts our artistry. But before we commit to collaborative projects, our partners and we should clarify our objectives and roles.

6. Counter negativity. If we find ourselves harboring toxic thoughts like, “I’ll never have new ideas,” we should respond by disputing the negativity, affirming our ability to create, and then getting to work.

7. Maintain energy. Creating takes a lot of energy. It’s important to commit to healthy lifestyles and also schedule restorative time. Especially when we wrap up large projects, vacations—even brief ones—ward off burnout and recharge our motivation.

8. Be accepting. Sometimes our creativity will soar; other times we’ll fumble. In order for our creative paths to continue to be open, we have to accept the bad days with the good. Ultimately, what matters most is that we are consistent in our work. If we do that, we liberate our creativity, and our lives are meaningful.

Best Books for Creatives

We picked seven of our favorite books for art and creativity to get you motivated. The topics vary from overcoming blocks, silencing your inner critic and tackling the business side of your art practice.

1. Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative

By Danielle Krysa

"This book is duct tape for the mouth of every artist's inner critic. Silencing that stifling voice once and for all, this salve for creatives introduces ten truths they must face in order to defeat self-doubt. Each encouraging chapter deconstructs a pivotal moment on the path to success—fear of the blank page, the dangers of jealousy, sharing work with others—and explains how to navigate roadblock."

2. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

"Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration."

3. ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career

By Heather Darcy Bhandari and Jonathan Melber

"The most comprehensive guide of its kind, Art/Work gives artists of every level the tools they need to make it in an art world so competitive one dealer likens it to "The Sopranos, except nobody gets killed." Whether you're an art school grad looking for a gallery, a mid-career artist managing a busy studio, or someone just thinking about becoming a professional artist, this indispensable resource will help you build your career and protect yourself along the way."

4. The Art Cure: A Memoir of Abuse and Fortune

By Bridgette Mayer

"How did a young girl who came through social services and foster care end up in the art world with a multi-million dollar gallery and consulting business? 

Through the kindness of strangers, fierce determination, and a survivor's sheer will, Bridgette Mayer's is a success story for the ages. In her inspirational memoir of gross neglect, violent abuse, and ultimately redemption, she shares her journey from the projects of Jersey City to eventually becoming one of Philadelphia's most celebrated gallery owners."

5. Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artists

By Danielle Krysa

"Creative block presents the most crippling—and unfortunately universal—challenge for artists. No longer! This chunky blockbuster of a book is chock-full of solutions for overcoming all manner of artistic impediment. The blogger behind The Jealous Curator interviews 50 successful international artists working in different mediums and mines their insights on how to conquer self-doubt, stay motivated, and get new ideas to flow."

6. Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist

By Lisa Congdon

"You don't have to starve to be an artist. Build a career doing what you love. In this practical guide, professional artist Lisa Congdon reveals the many ways you can earn a living by making art—through illustration, licensing, fine art sales, print sales, teaching, and beyond. Including industry advice from such successful art-world pros as Nikki McClure, Mark Hearld, Paula Scher, and more, Art, Inc. will equip you with the tools—and the confidence—to turn your passion into a profitable business.

7. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

By Austin Kleon

"You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side."

The Art Cure by Bridgette Mayer

banner-1 We are thrilled to announce Bridgette Mayer's book release! Get inspired by her story of strength and resilience.

"How did a young girl who came through social services and foster care end up in the art world with a multi-million dollar gallery and consulting business?

Through the kindness of strangers, fierce determination, and a survivor's sheer will, Bridgette Mayer's is a success story for the ages. In her inspirational memoir of gross neglect, violent abuse, and ultimately redemption, she shares her journey from the projects of Jersey City to eventually becoming one of Philadelphia's most celebrated gallery owners.

By following her heart and passion for art, Mayer's interests evolved from a means of escape into her salvation and her security. She used her inherent self-assurance, natural curiosity, and scrapper work ethic to overcome the damage inflicted on her as a child and create a harmonious, rewarding, and charitable life--for herself and the artists she represents.

The Art Cure is for anyone who aspires to a career in the arts and who has been told it's too difficult or impractical to pursue. With bravery and tenacity, anyone can achieve the life of their dreams, no matter how out of reach it may seem. Mayer offers readers a bridge to color and a lifeline of hope for the future."

Get your copy!

The Art Cure: A Memoir of Abuse and Fortune