Oil Painting Safety: Tips for Making Your Studio More Healthy

Oil Painting Safety: Tips for Making Your Studio More Healthy

You can give solvents the boot and still be able to clean your brushes.

​​As we move into 2021, wouldn’t it be great to create an even safer work space!

In this episode I answered all your questions about making your painting practice safer in the months ahead.

Rough Transcription:

Welcome to today’s AMA. If you don’t know what an AMA is, it means. You got to ask me anything. What we’re focusing on primarily though today is the impact of toxins in your studio. How to have a healthier, safer greener studio space so that you can stay healthy in the coming year. If we haven’t met before I’m Mary Gilkerson and I help artists create thriving studio and online art best practices.

[00:00:38] As well as chasing the light, catching the light across the Southeastern landscape myself. So I’m an active plain air painter. So we have a whole bunch of questions that came in. What kicked it all off was that I sent out an email this morning to my list. And in that email, I asked if people had any questions about painting in a solvent free way, because I have real strong feelings about this.

[00:01:16] Hey Sabrina, it’s good to see you here. Let me just check really quickly here. Yeah, I got the right microphone going so one of the reasons that I have such strong feelings is that two of my major painting professors when I was in graduate school. Lost their lives way too soon because of the toxic effects of what they used inside their studio.

[00:01:43] One was probably pretty aware that what he was doing, his, his habits were not safe, but just went on and did it anyway. I don’t think he was really aware of how toxic it was and the other was a pioneer in using Encaustics and at that point, I really didn’t have a complete understanding of the effects of using it.

[00:02:09] And encaustics in an unventilated or poorly ventilated space. And he worked in encaustics for a number of years in an old building that belonged to the university with basically just a window event on it. And caustics produced an enormous amount of. Of nasty stuff as you work with them and it affected his health.

[00:02:32] So both of them passed away, very young that caught my attention really fast and became one of my research areas as an academic. So I, found that painters earlier lived long and healthy, productive lives. So what was it that was creating this. This level of toxicity for contemporary artists, and a lot of it devolves down to one common thread solvents and their use beginning pretty much in the late 19th century, early 20th century, they have not been around that long.

[00:03:14] They were developed as cleaning products, not as artists products to begin with yet, we’re using them. A lot of people are using them on a regular basis every day in spaces that are not designed to be using toxic materials in. So here’s the problem with solvents go airborne really quickly and they have different levels at which they will become combustible, but they also have different levels at which they will sit.

[00:03:53] Pretty much at your nose level in the studio the most, one of the most explosive ones that does is turpentine. The odorless thinners tend to be a little bit less explosive, so fire’s one problem with them. But the other big problem is that solvents are toxic to your body. And when you breathe them in, it causes long-term respiratory problems.

[00:04:21] That was one of the other things that cued me into, maybe this is not being such a good idea to use. And I realized this when I was in graduate school. Again those early formative years for me as an artist. So I was using a lot of solvent in the studio because you know, when you’re young, you think you’re invincible.

[00:04:41] And I started getting respiratory infections. I had bronchitis a couple of times. I quit using solvents and bronchitis went away. That was my first clue. Then as a young professor of painting at Columbia college, it’s a women’s college. And I had a number of students in my class who were expecting they were pregnant with their first child.

[00:05:08] And I did not want my students to be impacted by the toxic materials that we might be using in class. So I started researching what would make oil painting less toxic. And as it turns out, if you take solvent out and you substitute less toxic pigments oil paint is pretty much the least toxic material out there that you can paint with.

[00:05:39] So what we started doing was banning solvents from the studio. Now, academia, the National art academic world caught up with those of us who were doing it early on. And it’s now standard regulation that you don’t use solvents in a painting studio, or that if you do, you have really super good ventilation with air purifying systems so that people don’t breathe that stuff in that, then it was really unusual.

[00:06:15] So once I got it out of the studio at school, I got it out of my own studio and noticed again, no more respiratory infections. So that’s one really strong reason, what happens is that when you breathe those solvents in it occupies space, that oxygen would occupying your brain. That’s why you get lightheaded with it.

[00:06:39] You don’t want to do that over a long period of time. So if you’re insistent it, you just got to use solvent. Then what I would recommend is that you use turpentine and here’s why turpentine stinks. I liked the smell, a lot of oil painters do, but a lot of people don’t, but it’s going to distinctive odor. And when it builds up to a level that you shouldn’t be using it anymore, you should not be in that space.

[00:07:06] You’ll know it because you’ll be able to smell it. The big problem with odorless thinners with any of the ones that are mineral spirit based odorless products, is that you can’t smell it. So it builds up to levels that are not safe in a fairly quick period of time without your being aware of it. Don’t do that.

[00:07:28] That’s why I don’t think they’re a good idea to use. At all the only time I use those is if I’m outside and it’s freezing cold and my paint has gotten too stiff to work with, and I need something to loosen it up because oil paint gets stiff and freezing cold weather. Otherwise, there’s just no need for it.

[00:07:51] What you can do instead is to clean with an organic natural oil. So I clean my brushes with Walnut oil in a silicone oil jar, and it has a coil in the top, actually in the whole jar. And I pull the brush back and forth across that coil that releases the pigment into the oil. And then I can wipe the brush with paper towels and go wash it with a bar of ivory soap that initial, pulling it back and forth in the silicone oil jar.

[00:08:26] It removes most of the pigment and then the pigment settles down in the bottom. And when it builds up too much pigment, you can take that pigment sludge. And either paint with it because you’ve just got oil in there or you, if you don’t want to paint with it, cause it makes great gray. You can dispose of it at your, your municipalities or counties, toxic waste dump because some of it is toxic.

[00:08:58] So substitute or oil like Walnut oil or linseed oil as a cleaning tool instead. And it’s really a good idea to use artists’ Gregg oil declaim, because then it’s, if it’s in your brush and you start to work again, It’s not going to get into the painting and not be artists, Greg. But if you want to save a little money, use food grade oil to clean with, and just make sure you wash your brush sufficiently before you start to use the account.

[00:09:25] Now, a lot of people like to use Murphy oil to clean, which is a linseed oil based soap to clean their brushes. That’s fine. Just make sure you rinse it out. Well, enough Murphy oil will remove any dried paint, whether it’s acrylic or oil based. Paint. So it’s a great product, I use that to rejuvenate or recondition my brushes when I need to, when I’ve been really hard on them.

[00:09:52] And I did get hard on them at times. So think about using Murphy oil for that. Do not use baby oil. Now I saw some suggestions on that, and, a couple of comments in another Facebook group. Here’s why. That baby oil stays in there on your brush. It’s there residually. And that means that it’s going to be in your brush when you go paint and you don’t want baby oil mixing in with your oil paint as you’re working, not a good idea.

[00:10:24] Don’t use baby oil. I carry a baby oil when I’m out playing air painting to clean my hands, but not ever to clean my brush. So don’t do that. So you can absolutely clean your brushes. And in fact, it’s better for your brushes when you clean them with oil, especially if you use synthetic brushes. Those synthetic brushes have a plastic fiber.

[00:10:50] And when you stick them in solvent, the solvent begins to break down the plastic fiber. It’s why your brush starts to splay. And if you spend a lot of money on a really good brush, you don’t want that to happen. So if you’re, especially if you’re using synthetic brushes, start cleaning them in oils.

[00:11:10] There’s absolutely no need for solvents there. So when people ask me about what to clean the brushes with, that’s what I recommend oil. If you need to get out dried paint, use Murphy oil, then wash with ivory, soap, something really simple, and you rinse lather and rinse and lather until the lather is clean.

[00:11:33] It’s white. Your brush may have a little bit of staining in there. If you’ve used a dye color. But it’ll go white when it’s completely clean. One of the things you want to remember is brushes are made out of hair. Even those synthetic ones. Would you wash your hair with Dawn dish washing detergent? No, And I see a lot of people using that on their brushes.

[00:11:53] Don’t do that. Not a good habit. Your brushes won’t last as long use ivory soap. So those are the first two things that I would recommend and making your studio more green is too. Get rid of the solvent. You don’t need it. And to use oil to clean your brushes. Another reason to use the Walnut oil is it does like catch on fire really easily.

[00:12:18] So you can actually sit a container open container with Walnut oil in it and rest your brush in it. At the end of the day, come back the next day, wipe the oil off and start painting again. And you’re not endangering anybody’s lives. By having an open container of linseed oil hanging out or an open container of solvent loved Walnut oil.

[00:12:39] So one of the next questions that I got was about pigments. And I want to talk about those, in just a second, I want to reiterate that oil paint is not inherently toxic, as long as you’re using non-toxic pigments. So when people tell you oil painting is dangerous, they’re talking about the solvent, not the paint itself.

[00:13:06] So if you’ve left oil paint, because you’re worried about it being dangerous, you don’t have to do that. Just get rid of the solvent and use non-toxic pigments. So here’s what I mean by that. The pigments that are the most toxic are the heavy metals. That means things like the cab mediums, the cobalts, anything that has nickel in it, any of those metallic sounding names led you don’t want to be using those?

[00:13:37] Yes. They’re small amounts and yes, you’d have to eat your paint for it to really hurt you. But guess what? A lot of y’all eat your pain. Ramirez said that one of my professors died young. He ate his paint. And people are very cavalier about it. And I don’t mean he took a tuba, cadmium red, squeezed it out and sucked it dry.

[00:14:00] What I mean is that he took his brush on a regular basis and he painted very detailed paintings and he used a number two brush and painted in acrylics. What he would do would be, he would take his brush. He would dip it in the paint, make a Mark. Then he would. Stick the brush in his mouth and look it to bring it to a point, dip it in the paint again and make another Mark.

[00:14:30] Every time he stuck it in his mouth, he was ingesting his paint. It contributed to his death. So don’t do things like that. So the other thing that people do, and I see it all the time, let me grab my brush here.

[00:14:51] I too am guilty of this. So, I have broken the habit, but I used to do it all the time. How many of you take your brush and stick it in your mouth? Notice I’m not doing it right now. So when you stick your brush in your mouth to hold it, you know, like a pencil, like. That any paint that is on your hand, that’s transferred from the brush to your hand, to the handle goes in your mouth as well.

[00:15:28] And when you paint over time, all of that stuff builds up in your body and it is cancer inducing. Please don’t keep doing that. If you get paint on your hands and you pick up food to eat it. You’re ingesting your paint. So I taught painting to college students for 26 years. So I know what bad habits people have and they start really young.

[00:15:58] I’ve seen people with the brush in their mouth all the time, and I’ll shrink at them and they’ll stop for five minutes. I’ve seen people eating a sandwich with Dayna blue all over their hands. Don’t do that. Be super careful about how you handle the paint. I don’t wear gloves when I’m painting, but I’m also not using heavy metals in my painting.

[00:16:22] So if for some reason I get a little bit of Italian Tara there on my finger and it goes onto my coffee cup. I’m not going to die. It’s not going to kill me. So being aware of what materials you’re working with is super, super important, develop good habits around how you handle your tools, and there’ll be so much better off.

[00:16:48] So if you’re using the double primary palette that I’ve recommended so many times, if you don’t have a copy of that list, go to my website. Now I’ll see if we can’t stick the link in here, in just a little bit, I’ll put it in the, The caption up above when we hop off. But if you’re using the double primary palette that I recommend, we’ve got colors in there that are substituting for the toxic ones.

[00:17:16] So instead of using cadmium red, for instance, which is a fantastic color, but there are better substitutes out there now. Naphthol red medium. It’s a really close substitute for it. It looks very, very similar. Pyrrol red is almost an identical pigment. It’s actually an improvement over cadmium. Cadmium is opaque and you cannot get a clear warm red with cadmium red.

[00:17:47] With pyrrol red, On the other hand, you can, it’s transparent. It is very, very, very strong as a pigment. So it doesn’t take nearly as much of it. It’s a little expensive, but so is cadmium red. It’s an excellent substitute. And there are a pyrrole reds and every paint line I know of it. Won’t say pyrrol red

[00:18:09] on the label necessarily. But if you look on the pigment list on the back of the label, you’ll, you’ll be able to find it. So think about substantiating that when you’re looking at the blues, for example, I use ultra Marine blue and yellow blue. I do not use cobalt blue. I do not use manganese blue.

[00:18:34] I do not use surreally and blue. Now there are surreally in blue cobalt, blue and manganese blue hues paints that have the name hue or the word he was part of their name. Those are not the original, pure pigments. They’ve got substitutes in there that are not toxic or cheaper. Those are safe to use.

[00:18:59] Cobalt. Blue hue is made from ultra Marine blue and they low I can mix almost exactly the same color. From those two very safe colors to work with you don’t need Cobalt’s. Same for HerCerulean cerulean is just the yellow, blue and white. So it’s a convenience color. If you’re using the hue, if you’re using the original, that’s a toxic, heavy metal, don’t do that, eliminate those things and you’ll be golden.

[00:19:30] It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, gouache, whatever the medium is. You need to know what pigments you’re using. So check some of those out. Another one that is toxic, that a lot of people use. Is cadmium yellow. Well, again, CAD yellow is no paint color. There are other substitutes out there.

[00:19:55] That like Hansa yellow, that is a much better color to be working with. I use Indian yellow, which from Williamsburg, which is the same pigment as what is enhanced, the yellow, Indian, yellow can be. Mixed with white in order to make every shade of yellow, every hit whew, tint of yellow, that there is, I can make lemon yellow.

[00:20:20] I can make the equivalent of CAD yellow. I can make cool and warm yellows from that one pigment and it’s not toxic. So another one is CAD orange. Again, there’s pyrrol orange as well, which is again, not toxic. So I hope that gives you just a taste of what you can do with getting rid of those toxic pigments.

[00:20:44, led white is another one that a lot of people still insist on using Gamblin makes a substitute called, lead white replacement that I love. That’s the main white that I use. So there are other options out there. Think about trying some of those, Didi. Yes. I have a list. Those substitutes in the double primary palate.

[00:21:05] So I’m going to try to put that link into the, description of the video after I hop off, let me look in here. Jenny said, what type of jar? It’s a silicone oil jar, Jenny, and it is, you can order those from Dick Blick or you can make one yourself. Basically what it is is a jar kind of like a peanut butter jar.

[00:21:32] And it has a metal spring inside of it. And as you pull the brush across that spring, it pulls the, the excess paint out. You can make one with a peanut butter jar and a piece of screen like chicken wire. Actually that’s a little bit too big, a smaller mesh screen and you fold it and put it in there and pull it back and forth across that something that’s like a quarter inch screen works really, really well.

[00:21:59] So you don’t have to buy one. And Andrew says he used Walnut oil when he did oils regularly, then just a good, true set. I agree. That’s exactly what I like to do, Andrew. That is a recipe for success. Deedee says, what about safflower oil? My answer to that is no, the, the. Best experts on oil, especially oil, materials and best practices suggest that safflower oil while it’s not toxic is not a good thing to paint with because it makes the paint film too slippery.

[00:22:37] And it doesn’t make a strong paint film. So I would not use safflower. And Erin says, is Walnut oil good for acrylic paint? Nope. You can’t use oil as a medium and acrylic paint and you don’t want to use that to clean up with, for acrylic, I would still use a silicone oil jar and I would simply put water in there so that you’re pulling most of the pigment off as you’re cleaning it in that silicone oil jar.

[00:23:10] That also answers a concern that a lot of people have when they’re working with acrylic switches, the idea of sending any medium, sending toxic elements down into the water table. So again, it’ll do the same thing as with an oil base. It’ll let the pigment settle down to the bottom of the jar. You can pour the water off and then dispose of that sludge.

[00:23:33] So that’s one of the best ways to get rid of that stuff with acrylics, Didi says wear gloves. Yeah, it, I don’t like to wear gloves because I’m a, it makes my hands itch and a lot of people are allergic to the materials in the gloves. So you don’t have to wear gloves as long as you’re not using things that are toxic.

[00:24:00] And I’m not a real, super messy painter as far as what gets on my hands, you had, Thibeault awesome. Yeah, he S he said on you or in you, if it’s on you, it’s going to be in you. So that’s one of the reasons I want people to be super, super careful with it, that’s a great saying I’d forgotten. He said that that’s a really good reminder.

[00:24:23] If it’s on you on your hands, on your clothing, it’s going to be inside of you. Be very, very careful. Joanne asks, what about the masters brush cleaner? It is safe. Yeah. The masters brush cleaner is basically Lyndsey. It’s the, Oh, the mulch McCall. The, the sub I was just talking about and I’m having a brain fart right at the moment.

[00:24:48] I use it all the time, cleaning in the house. It’ll come back to me as soon as I scroll down. But yes, Masterson’s brush cleaner is fine. It’s a linseed oil based cleaner, and it is fine for your brushes. It’s, it’ll recondition them. You can get the cheaper version, by going to the grocery store and buying the, darn it.

[00:25:17] I can’t think of it. Somebody type it in. What was I just talking about? As far as cleaning some money was talking about it earlier. I’m going to have to come back to it Murphy. Well, thank you. Thank you. Trish Murphy oil Murphy oil Masterson is basically Murphy oil that is hardened into a cake. Thank y’all.

[00:25:38] I was just having one of those moments there, Laurie Liam says, what do you think about GAM Saul? GAM Saul is an odorless spirit. So that kind of tells you what I think I use GAM salt. If I’m outside, I do not use it in the house because you cannot tell how much of it is building up and it does build up and you don’t want to have that occupying your brain cells instead of oxygen.

[00:26:04] So no GAM Saul is a solvent and I appreciate all of the work that. Gambling has done on developing it and on how they feel about how safe it is. But I still would suggest that you need to not use it. I would only use it outside. So GAM salt is a solvent and I would not use it. I really wouldn’t gamble in his made a really, really wonderful medium called solvent free, medium, and solve it free gel.

[00:26:35] So it’s a liquid and a gel and it’ll help the paint dry just a little bit quicker, but I would use that instead, if you want to use a medium, while you paint. Julie brothers says I just used Windsor neat and distilled turpentine to clean my brushes for the first time just doing that, threw me into an allergic reaction.

[00:26:55] Yeah, it will, some people are allergic to it on their hands, you know, skin contact, but yeah, it can be a problem. Deedee says, what about Liquin Liquin, gal keyed, any of those Al keyed mediums have a little bit of solvent in there, it’s it’s got enough, more solvent in it. Then the gambling solvent free that you cannot travel with.

[00:27:24, gal Kate or Liquin in your carry on, on an airplane because it does have solvent. So I don’t use it for that reason because like I said, I’m solvent free and sign. So I also have some real hesitations about using alkyd products anyway, so I would probably avoid them. Let’s see, glad you under you appreciate that pigment education there and you’re welcome, Jenny Whittaker.

[00:28:04] Roxanne said a plastic pot scrubber in the bottom of the sour cream container. Yeah. That’s a great idea. Just be sure. It’s not one that’s really rough because that’ll eat your brush up. But yeah, that’s a, that is a great solution. So Roxanne Celeste suggested a plastic pot scrubber in the bottom of the sour cream container or a yogurt container would do the same thing with your Walnut oil poured on top.

[00:28:31, Yeah. Marla says that she’s had several painting, friends who’ve died of cancer and she doesn’t have for certain there’s a connection, but it is concerning. It is. And when you look back at history at people like Leonardo, Michael, Angela Turner, Rembrandt, the great masters, Rosa Bonner, all of the.

[00:28:58] People that we study in art history. Now there are a handful who die young. Most of them lived into their eighties. Painting is good for you. It makes you live longer. As long as you’re careful, you don’t start having artists die young and have cancer so frequently until the 20th century. It’s because we’re careless is hack with our materials and we’re using solvent and we’re using things that are.

[00:29:25] Toxic. So one of the questions that I got, let’s see if I can pull this up. This is from Sally Hutchinson and she sent this to me via email. She said, I work in acrylics and just started in water-soluble oils, which I love. I recently heard the, that they are quite toxic. I was thinking of an air purifier, but I wonder if you had any other suggestions.

[00:29:50] the water soluble oils are not inherently toxic, I don’t like them because of the consistency of them. They’re kind of like, pudding and it it’s not, it doesn’t work well for me when I’m painting thickly with a palette knife. But as long as you’re using pigments that are not toxic, water-soluble oils are not toxic.

[00:30:14] They’re not going to hurt you now, acrylics, on the other hand, I love, but most acrylic paint has something called formaldehyde in it. And the formaldehyde is in there. To prevent mold from growing on the paint, as it sits in storage. And as it shipped out, I can smell it. And I started having a react, slightly allergic reaction to acrylics when I was really young.

[00:30:41] So I became real aware. I could tell when they were in the studio, I don’t use them that often as a result, if I do use them, I’ve got to have really good ventilation. So for me, one of the problems with acrylics. Is that they have stuff in all of them that gives an, off gases off gases formaldehyde.

[00:31:06], and I find that problematic for a whole lot of different reasons. One my nose. And another, what it sends out into the world. The other problem I have with acrylics as far as sustainability goes, and the environment goes, is sending all that plastic down the drain. And I know at least two other people emailed me about that.

[00:31:30] When you rent your brushes out in a sink, you’re sending plastics down your pipes. And if it sits brainy length of time, those plastics dry out. So you actually can clog your own drain by washing your brushes in the sink. If you clean them first in a silicone gel jar or in that yogurt, container that we talked about, you’re going to have less of it go down the drain.

[00:32:02] But you’re also sending those plastics into the water treat search system and the water treatment system and contributing to the increase of plastics in our environment. I saw some heinous article that scared the, you know, what out of me the other day, and it was talking about finding microplastics in the umbilical cord of babies.

[00:32:28] And that is a very, very, very scary idea. So I think the less plastic we send into the environment, the batter. So that’s my problem with acrylics watercolor. The only real issues that you have watercolors are again, the pigments. Same for gouache. They’re not inherently toxic, you’re not sending plastics down the drain and you’re not, creating.

[00:32:54] Things that are not biodegradable oils, watercolors squash. There’s a biodegradable. And as long as you’re using non-toxic pigments, you’re not hurting the environment. So that is something definitely that I would consider there, yeah, Tricia Paige had that same question for cleaning brushes. So if you want to clean brushes and you’re using acrylics and you want to be conscious of what you’re doing, get a silicone oil jar or get a yogurt container sour cream container.

[00:33:26] Put the cleaning sponge down in the bottom of it. And after, It builds up enough sludge in the bottom, pour the water off into another container and dispose of that plastic sludge at your areas, hazardous waste dump, because they can dispose of it in a way that’s not in our, the environment. So that would be a real strong suggestion that I would make now, Sally Thompson had a question because she had followed my advice and started using Walnut oil in her painting.

[00:34:02] And she had something happened that I’m not sure why, she said it, it feels like it stiffens the paint and dries too fast when using it as medium. And I’m wondering Sally, if you’ve got Walnut Al Cade, when you’re doing that, because that would dry fast, normally Walnut oil dries a little bit more slowly than linseed oil.

[00:34:24] So I have a sneaking suspicion, you got a little Al Qaeda in there, and that’s why it’s drying so quickly and stiffening things up. So be careful that you’ve got pure Walnut oil and not a Walnut Al-Qaeda. And, let’s see. Kathy Levinson said, I’ve been wondering about the dangerous from pigments. We just went over those and she says, I hate wearing gloves, especially in the hot summer weather.

[00:34:51] So try to paint without getting much pain on my hands. So, yeah, the knowing the ones that are toxic, I think helps to prevent that. And like I said, I don’t wear gloves, so I don’t think gloves are a must, as long as you’re careful with what pigments you’re using, because if you’re using non-toxic pigments, if you get it on your hands, it’s not going to be a problem other than, you know, they low blue.

[00:35:14] Goes everywhere. And I have found it before on my sink, my washing machine on the side of the cabinets. So just be careful with that, but it’s not going to hurt you. Say what other questions we’ve got in here? Alice says I do cold wax and encaustic. Is there any way to make encaustic safe in terms of ventilation?

[00:35:41] Oh Alice, cold wax. I go there first. I know a lot of people love cult wax, and I love the way it looks. It’s great as a final finish on a painting an oil, because it gives it an even Shayne and it’s fairly easy to apply, but it’s got a ton of solvent in it. So if you use cold wax, you’re going to have to be super careful about having really, really good ventilation because it’s full of solvent.

[00:36:19] And as far as a safe way goes to using caustics here, here’s what makes encaustics so toxic. It’s got solvent in it. And if you’re using toxic pigments, it gets heated up. So part of the problem with encaustics is everything is done hot when it heats up, it releases the solvents into the air. And if you’re using pigments that have toxic elements in them, it releases those toxic elements into the air.

[00:36:56] So encaustics produce fumes that are deadly. I personally think the only way to do in cost access is to do them outside. And, and I know people who have created a elaborate ventilation systems in their studios in order to be able to use them, I would not do that. I just have known too many people who had really, really bad health problems because of doing that.

[00:37:25] So. I don’t have a good answer for you. Not one. That’s going to be one you want to hear. So if you want to build, or if you have a garage where you can open the garage door, that would be a safe way to do it, but she pretty much have to be outside in order to be safe doing and caustics. That was, what killed one of my professors.

[00:37:55] And it was because, and he had a ventilate ventilator going, I mean, a ventilation fan going, it just wasn’t enough. It couldn’t pull enough of the fumes out of the studio. So, and he ended up with dementia early onset dementia at a very young age. And I don’t want that to happen to anybody. So as much as I love the way they look, I don’t think it’s worth it.

[00:38:19] So get an outside studio and then I think you’ll be okay, but not inside. If anybody knows of any better way to do it, I’m, I’m wide open to hearing it, but I haven’t heard of any really good ventilation system for that. It’s really a dangerous material to use super, super dangerous. I would just do cold wax if you really, really love that.

[00:38:44] The look of wax and I would not do encaustics, yeah. Thank you all for giving me the soap. Yeah, ACV, I think that was when we were talking about Murphy oil and awesome. Y’all saved my life there. Yeah, Alison just don’t think there is a way to make encaustics safe. Other than working outside. John says my studio air cleaner shows the air quality decreasing.

[00:39:20] When I clean my brushes with odorless solvent. I just discovered that. Yeah, it really will because it occupies the, the airspace instead of oxygen, you have. Solvent in the air. So not a good thing. So that’d be really, really, really careful with that, Sue says I use water-soluble products, no gambling, but was told that the water soluble paint are full of chemicals.

[00:39:50] Yeah. What they have to do to make oils soluble in water. It’s a chemical process. I’m not sure what’s in there, the only time I use water solubles is when I’m doing monotypes, because I like to do them very thin and I don’t want to use solvents anymore, I’ll have to check that out because I’m not sure Sue what they are doing, what chemicals they’re using in the process to make them miserable.

[00:40:25] But, you know, I can ask one of my chemist cousins and I’m sure they’ll know, but off the top of my head, I’m not aware of it being an increased level of toxicity, but I will research that and check back in and let y’all know what I find out about it.

[00:40:47] No paint itself. I’m not sure that it is full of chemicals. I’m not sure I. I think that’s really what happens. Linnea says. What about terpenoid for brushes? Nope. It’s got a solvent in it too. I would not do that. If you want something that you want to clean, like, a palette or a brush handle with there’s something called citrus solve.

[00:41:14] Which is a citrus cleaner, and it’s an organic one that you can buy in health, food stores, and a lot of grocery stores. They also sell it in the art supply stores. And I use that to clean my palette off if I’ve got stuff stuck on there. But again, it’s not toxic. It’s not a solvent that is going to harm you.

[00:41:34] that one is good to use, the, another one that will work is, lavender oil, spike lavender. It is what people like Michelangelo used. That was the solvent and air quotes of the time. And if you can get true oil spike, lavender now, and you can, it’s expensive, but you can, you can use that to dilute your paint and you can use that to clean your brushes.

[00:42:05] It’s hard to find the actual stuff. There’s some companies out there that have it on the market, but it’s actually a chemical substitute for it. And I’m not sure how safe that is and how close to solve it. That is, Roxanne, I’m glad this is so helpful. And D says, I find it more difficult to claim brushes.

[00:42:28] When I use liquid, I often use brush cleaner outdoors, not sure what cleans it adequately. I think you’ll find that the oil will help clean the brushes way better than the solvent will. So again, clean them in Walnut oil and then wash it with ivory soap. And if you’re still having trouble with it, use Murphy oil, that’ll get out the rest of that adequately.

[00:42:53] Oh Tricia. Great question.

[00:42:59] Trisha says one of the problems with using soft pastels. I am a huge lover of pastels and I used them for the first half of grad school because I love how rich the colors are. And I was doing big, huge pastels that were four by six feet. In my studio. And again, I started hat. That was when I ran into the bronchitis, both from solvent.

[00:43:27] And from that I, kept having bad sinus infections, bronchitis. And one time when, this is going to be really gross, I blew my nose and it was blue. And that was my first clue that I needed to do something a little differently. So if you’re going to use soft pastels, It’s going to be critical that you wear a mask and not just a dusk mask, you need to wear a respirator.

[00:43:58] So I have two respirators that I use in the studio when I’m doing soft pastels. And I looked like Darth Vader. You know, it has the two canisters on the front and you go to breathe. So you look really weird, but you’re safe. And what really sold me on that was having to change the filters. When you change the filters in your respirator, and you see all of the pastel dust on those filters, you’ll never work in pastels without a respirator on again, with pastels, it is more important than with any other material you’re working with that you use non-toxic pigments because everything that you’re working with goes airborne.

[00:44:43] So if you’re using cobalts and pastel, you are breathing in cobalt. If you’re using cadmiums or nickel, yellow, light nickel, ISO yellow, I’ll go in airborne and you’re breathing it all in. It’s going directly into your system and it doesn’t leave. So you have to make some real serious color choices in there and substitute.

[00:45:10] There are great substitutes out there for pastels as well, but get non-toxic pigments because not only are you breathing in, but if your studio is in your home, everybody else in your home is breathing it into because those pastels go into your ventilation system and get circulated. Throughout your house.

[00:45:33] That’s the other problem with using solvents in a home studio is everybody else shares in the, the effects of your using those materials. So get a respirator, you can get them at Lowe’s home Depot, Amazon, and get the con has changeable filter cartridges, and where it, even if you look weird, Where, even if you’re outside doing plan a, or you need to be at least wearing a dust mask because that stuff goes airborne close to the easel and you’re breathing it all in.

[00:46:09] I actually don’t do pastels that much anymore, as much as I love them, because they are literally the most dangerous medium there is, I love charcoal, soft charcoal. But again, the same thing, you’re breathing it all in and you can damage your lungs. So please, please, please everyone who’s using pastel.

[00:46:37] Promise me, you’re going to get a respirator and you’re going to remove those toxic pigments from your boxes. There’s not any good way to get rid of them other than to just quit using them. I usually tell oil painters and acrylic painters watercolorist that if they’ve got some of those toxic pigments in their pallet, use them up, don’t throw them away.

[00:47:04] But I’m telling all the pastels list. If you’ve got those toxic pigments in your box, get rid of them. Because they are that dangerous, do not breathe that stuff in it. Isn’t the most hands down, dangerous, medium that there is only because so few people take the proper safety precautions, especially important.

[00:47:28] If you have a home studio in anybody else’s breathing, not air. So keep that in mind, Yeah, Trish as Trish Harrington says don’t ever blow pastel off of a paper surface because it’s so easily inhaled. Yeah, pastel dust is just awful. Alice says she’s done in caustic outside, but doesn’t know any other encaustic artists who do it outside.

[00:47:55] Ana people think they’re going to live forever and they ignore the recommendations. Alice and there used to be an artist who had her studio right down the hall from mine. And. She worked in encaustics without adequate ventilation and the whole building would reek of fumes, and it didn’t matter how many times my landlord talked to her, she would.

[00:48:25] Sometimes remember, turn on the ventilation, but she just didn’t take it seriously. And a lot of artists don’t until you see somebody suffer from the effects of it, it just doesn’t hit home. But if you’re already working outside with it, I think you’re doing everything you can do. And you’ll get picked on by some artists about it.

[00:48:46] Ignore it because you’re taking care of yourself and everybody else around you, you’re doing the right thing. So kudos, my friend, keep doing the right thing. If you can figure out a way to make it work, go for it, Jane know, Don had built her studio. I think her latest studio around creating an environment that was safe for working with encaustics.

[00:49:11] And I think Jane has roll up, roll up doorway. That she uses for that, but I’ll have to ask her more specifically about that because she is also very concerned about the health effects of things like that. She knows those same professors. We both went to the same school for grad school. She knows those same people who passed away young.

[00:49:31] We don’t want that continuing so great question there. Let me chat one line last time here to make sure I’m not skipping any that came in via email. Before I hop off, let’s say have some more. Let’s see.

[00:49:59] Yeah. Art says, I’ve seen mortar miscible paint then not with water. And it also chocks off with dry. What do you think about an acrylic than acrylic underpainting? That isn’t, an absolutely great way to start with a wash on a painting is to use thinned out acrylic and what you’re talking about there with the water miscible oil, then out with water is something that also happens when people thin oils out with water, regular oils out with not water with solvent.

[00:50:32] When you spread the paint out too thin when you break it breaks down the bonds that glue the pigments to gather the molecules together. And it’ll wipe off with your finger when you do that. So that’s another reason not to do a wash with solvent and oil paint and not to do all wash with water miscible oils.

[00:50:56] It’s not a good idea. So you can. Some of that can happen with acrylics as well, but there’s more of the, the medium in there even when it’s diluted. So it holds together a little bit better. So you can absolutely use an acrylic then layer of acrylic under an oil painting. And it’ll be fine. That’s been done for a long time.

[00:51:21] So yeah. This is from Karen Dungy. I think I’m saying your last name, right? She says, John McDonald talked about the loss of a peer of his due to toxicity in his studio. Wonder if it may have been one of your profs? I don’t think so, but it’s not uncommon. There are a lot of artists of that generation, who just.

[00:51:46] Didn’t think about the studio safety issues. It’s a big factor now, but artists I’m of the generation ahead of me were not necessarily as careful. So, Karen says I’ve totally switched to water miscible oils and love them. Yeah, you can absolutely use those. Just make sure again that you’re not diluting them with too much water, because they’re not meant to be diluted with water.

[00:52:13] Just cleaned up with water. And. So Tom Gardner says, I saw a 64 ounce bottle of Sulu Walnut oil and refined cold press oil for $29 on Amazon reviews for cooking were bad, which I don’t care about. Spectrum oils are very expensive. Would you recommend it or is it good to be too good to be true? Sidebar. I used odorless mineral spirits and the smell haunts me when I’m in, and other rooms.

[00:52:43] Yeah, it definitely will. Cause it’s gotten into you, I think a lot of people experienced that because it’s gotten into inside your body. So it’s, it’s in your nose at the haunting is real. It’s going everywhere. I’m not familiar with Sulu Walnut oil and. I’ve found actually that spectrum Walnut oil is about that same price in the stores.

[00:53:12] So I would check around where you’re looking for it. If you look in a regular grocery store, you’ll find it in there now as well. But I think almost any Walnut oil and that one sounds like it’s fine. We’ll work for cleaning. Just make sure you’re getting that out of your brushes before you start to work with it.

[00:53:31] But that should absolutely be fine. Let’s see if I catch any last questions. I think that’s the last one that came in via email. So great questions. Y’all and Marna says, where do I buy Walnut oil? You can get it at the grocery store. So if you go to a grocery store and go to the cooking oil section, You’ll see a range of different oils besides vegetable oil.

[00:54:02] And you’ll see things like olive oil, you’ll see things, things like Walnut oil. And so you can get a bottle of Walnut oil. Here’s what makes it not so expensive. I’ve used the same bottle of Walnut oil for life three years. And the way I do it is is I have multiple silicone oil jars for cleaning. I have three of them.

[00:54:25] So I’ll use one filled with Walnut oil and when it gets too mucky, it’s got like, it’s turned totally gray and it’s just, it’s not cleaning the brush anymore. I will put the lid on it and let it sit so that the pigment falls to the bottom. I have a second jar. That I feel with Walnut oil, fresh Walnut oil.

[00:54:50] And I use that then to clean the brush while the other one is sitting and the pigments falling down to the bottom. When the one that I’ve put to the side rests long enough that the pigment excess pigments at the bottom, I pour that clear oil that’s on top into the third jar. Then I dispose of the.

[00:55:13] Sludge that’s in, in that first jar. And now I have clear oil in jar. Number two and jar number three, dispose of the sludge wipe out jar. Number one, then when jar number two gets too yucky. I pour that into jar number three, and I feel jar number one with fresh oil, but I can keep that going with the same oil.

[00:55:42] Between the three jars for years, because it really does settle down to the bottom that easily. So it doesn’t have to be expensive for very long, Vanessa says I missed something. You use Walnut oil as part of your medium, or just as cleaning both. If you use it as your medium, you need to use artists grade Walnut oil.

[00:56:06], it’s been used for centuries. There’s nothing wrong with using it. And if you’re going to use it just for cleaning and you want to save a little money, then you can use food grade Walnut oil. So for both, I use it for both. I also love linseed oil is a medium and a mixed linseed oil was standard oil.

[00:56:28] If I’m going to use a medium, but both of those are fine to use. And Michelle says what device shows air quality. So I think that Joan has an air purifier in her studio, and a lot of the air purifiers will have a readout dial that lets you know, what the air quality is in your room. And so John was saying that when she’s cleaning her brushes with solvent.

[00:56:58] The air purifiers dial shows that the air quality goes down. So it definitely is, is something you want to be aware of, redo LA. I would not use liquid handset to clean your brush and here’s why. There’s a lot of other stuff in hand soap. It’s got perfumes and other things in there, and that’s one of the reasons it’s taken you longer.

[00:57:27] If you clean the pigments out first and then use the bar of ivory soap, it’ll get your brushes cleaner, faster. That would be what I would recommend. Yeah. Michelle says the art store has Walnut oil. Yeah. My local art store has Walnut oil and, that’s the easiest place to get it. You can order it from the online suppliers as well, but I’d go to your local art store.

[00:57:51] First. I tend to do that anyway. Support your support, your local art store. Sarah says, I heard that you should refrigerate Walnut oil to keep it from going rancid. That’s true for any oil, if you’ve got a really hot climate. So if you’re working in an un-air conditioned space that is subject to extreme heat, then yeah.

[00:58:14] You want to stick it in the fridge or in some sort of refrigerated. Situation, but, I have not experienced that when I’ve painted with it, but then I’m not painting with a large volume of it. So I’ve got a small bottle that I use for cleaning. That’s just not an issue. That’s not something you need to worry about.

[00:58:37] And Patty, Oh, you’re welcome, Sue says rubbing. Alcohol’s great to clean palettes. Yeah, it is. It’ll work to rubbing alcohol. I just love the smell of citrus salve. It’s what I used to clean my house with two. So it gets me started on the whole cleaning process, Laurie, I would not use baby oil to clean your, your paint off of your brushes because bits of it will remain in your brush and get into your paint as you’re making your painting.

[00:59:10] And that’s not sound painting practice. So I recommend that nobody used Walnut or baby oil to clean brushes. We talked about that earlier. And we talked about the rancid newness already. Yeah. Y’all stop using baby oil and don’t use Dom dishwashing detergent. You shouldn’t use anything on your brush that you wouldn’t use on your hair.

[00:59:35] So this brush that you see right here, it’s stained because I’ve used it with Failla blue and lots of. Dye colors over the gears and the handle looks terrible because I have not cleaned the handles super well, but anybody guess how all this brushes it’s a good 20 years old. And the reason this brush is still in good shape after 20 years is because I’ve taken care of it.

[01:00:11] And I don’t use Dawn dishwashing detergent on it, and I don’t use baby oil on it. I clean it just with oil and I don’t use solvent on it. It’s a natural bristle brush. So it’s hair, just like my hair is, and I’m not putting anything on it that wouldn’t put on my own hair. So think about that. Is she used other products on your brushes?

[01:00:37] Don’t do it. Dawn is much, much, much too strong, a detergent to use on your brush. You’re going to wear your brushes out faster. The only thing that’s happened to this one over time, she might be able to tell. That it’s worn down on the sides from being used, but that just makes it more personal. I can still use this for another 10, 20 years.

[01:01:05] The. Fibers are going to start falling out eventually, but it’s still in really good shape. So be kind to your brushes and they’ll last forever. If you treat them badly, they won’t last six months. I know people who have complained and I’ve seen the complaints, on Rosemary brushes website, I’ve seen people complain about.

[01:01:30] The synthetic brushes splaying after being used to very short period of time. And in almost every case, they’re taking that synthetic brush and they’re cleaning it and solvent, and then washing it with Dawn. And they’re responsible for those brushes. Not holding up. It’s not Rosemary’s brushes are fantastic.

[01:01:50] They are very, very high quality, but they’re not meant to be cleaned like that. So be careful how you take care of things like that. Be super, super, super gentle with them. And they’ll last a really, really long time. So now baby oil and no Dawn for sure. Yeah. Joan has put in her air filters, name, brand name in here, et cetera.

[01:02:17] W I N I X Winix, something like that. Yeah. Michelle rainbow lung. I had rainbow lung at one point. It cleared out, but it took a while for it all to clear out. Yeah. The Cobra brand is from talents is fine. If the water miscible oils, Sarah, it’s a good one. Yes, Bob says, does that go for oil pastels as well?

[01:02:38] No, it doesn’t Bob. You’re safe with oil pastels and here’s why oil pastels don’t create dust. They are bound already with oil. And when you go and make a vigorous Mark on paper or canvas with an oil pastel, it’s not sending stuff airborne. So oil pastels are as safe as oil paints, as long as you’re not using toxic pigments.

[01:03:02] So oil pastels are great. Highly recommend them. Yes. Sarah charcoal, if you’re not wearing a mask is bad as well. Yeah, it’s fine to use, but you’ve got to wear a respirator. So you cannot use things that produce dust without covering up your mouth and nose, because it’s all going into your body. So be super careful with that.

[01:03:27] Yeah. I met myself really sick with all of that, no, Don Alice it’s N O D I N E. Jane. No dine. And I know she’s active in the encaustics group, that’s in the States. So you’ll probably be able to find her there, and I’ll also try to pull Jane on and maybe we can do as, Facebook live together and she can talk more about it.

[01:03:59] I’ll ask her about that and see if we can’t do that in early January. So y’all can ask some more questions there. Yes, you’re welcome Tricia. And let’s see. Yeah, Leslie O’Hanlon says when I was in college that closed the print room for a year to swap to non-toxic inks. Everyone used to get high on the themes on a same here.

[01:04:25] And that was one of the things that convinced me when I first started teaching painting, and I still allowed solvents in the studio. Everybody would get high. You know, when you have 20 students, all using solvent in one space, it just is overwhelming. And you don’t want to do that. But yeah, printmakers have gotten super, super conscious of toxicity as well.

[01:04:48] So all of us who deal with pigments oils and with solvents have become much, much more aware of that, D D yes. So you can use linseed oil to claim while you paint. It’s absolutely fine. You just don’t want to leave it uncovered because linseed oil can catch on fire spontaneously. And the best example of that I can give is that one of my favorite oil paint brands, which is blue Ridge oils.

[01:05:20] Caught on fire. I think it was two years ago, maybe three years ago, and because somebody left the lid up on the oil can waste can, and it spontaneously combusted. So you could absolutely use Lyndsey oil to clean. And as a medium, but you just have to remember at the end of the day to put a lid on it, literally so that it doesn’t have a chance to get exposed to oxygen.

[01:05:52] You should take all of those oily waste, drags or paper towels that you make. When you paint outside and dispose of them every day so that they don’t catch on fire because it’s, it’s devastating, blue Ridge was down for a good six months. You don’t want that to happen. Okay, Carol? Yes. She says I die fabrics.

[01:06:15] That is absolutely a one that has a lot of toxicity of involved with it. So she says she does it outside, wearing a respirator. And after she blew her nose and it was blue. Yep. Some of those are really, really toxic. And I know I have a friend who had a really horrible tragedy happened in her family as a result of that.

[01:06:36] So be very, very careful with dyes and I don’t know enough about fabric dyes to even tell you which ones were the ones that are so highly toxic, but be very, very careful with that. And oil pastels are safe. Maggie charcoal. You need to wear a mask for sure. Yeah. Medula says I do the jar thing. Awesome.

[01:07:03] That is fantastic, Jenny, I mix standard oil with linseed oil. Standard oil is a kind of linseed oil it’s just thickened up. So it has a different consistency. And I really liked that, I would not use hair conditioner on my brushes and there’s some people who do, if you need to condition the brush, the best thing to use is Murphy oil and.

[01:07:34] Leslie says, I can’t imagine food grade Walnut oil isn’t equal to artist’s grade, except it discolors that’s enough, right there. It discolors, food grade Walnut oil has impurities in it. So what makes artists grade is that they filter it extra filtering processes and those extra stuff, those extra things that are in food grade can make your paint yellow faster.

[01:07:59] That would be why you would want to use, are described. So,

[01:08:09] if you want to mix linseed oil, Joanne is asking how do you mix linseed oil and artist’s grape Walnut oil. You just pour them in the same container. I don’t do that. I mix linseed oil and stand oil, but at any oil you want to mix, you just mix them in a bottle. It’s it’s super easy. Mix them together, stir it up.

[01:08:30] D D says, what brush is that? I love this brush. I have a dozen of them. It is a number 12 and it’s a white bristle brush series two Oh nine. I’ve used him for decades from new track. They’re my favorite brushes. It’s a Filbert. So I buy them by the dozen and I am hard on them. So my favorite sizes are number sixes, number eight, and number twelves.

[01:09:01] This is a 12 and they still make them, they look a little different. This has the older ones have the blonde handle. The newer ones have a dark handle, but it’s the same, same series. So it’s a natural fiber brush. They last forever looking over at my brush container. Can you see it back there? and most of them that are in there are, Utrecht brushes.

[01:09:28] I like you track and Rosemary bristle brushes. I don’t use synthetics very much. I prefer bristle brushes, sometimes I’ll use Princeton if they’ve got a good sale. And I think it’s Royal Langnickel makes a silver handled brush that they sell, like for. $5. All the different sizes. They’re not expensive and sometimes they’ll lose fibers, but I buy those when I’m going to be traveling with them.

[01:09:58] So I don’t worry about losing them and you can get those@cityartonline.com. Vanessa says, do you dry your brushes bristles up or hang them down or flat? After I washed them, they go back into that big old coffee can back there and they stand up with their bristle end up that way they can air dry. So that’s all I did to him.

[01:10:26] It’s a, let them air dry and you’re welcome. Amy and Sarah. If that has said I joined three months ago and only completed module one. We’ll keep going. Aveda. If I’m assuming you’re talking about composition color in light. So dive back in, you’ve still got access. I don’t take access away from the course.

[01:10:49] So dive right back in and keep going. You’re on your own schedule. There’s no such thing as late or behind, awesome. Alice, let me know what Jane says.

[01:11:07] Ah, Danuta says, how would you claim watercolor brushes? Great question. So, same thing I do with acrylics, I would use the same container. Move the watercolor brush across the top of the screen or the coil to release most of the pigment in the water. Then let that settle down so that you can dispose of the pigment and then wash the brush and ivory set.

[01:11:34] Now watercolor brushes. I use. I’m a real kicker for natural fibers. So I’m still using a natural fiber there. I do have some synthetics, but it’s even more important with a soft hair brush that you wash it in ivory soap. I do use cheap brushes. I use really big brushes for big paintings. So I go to the dollar tree and buy the dollar house painting brushes in sizes from like one inch to six inches.

[01:12:07] And I use those for really big paintings. And I’m not worried about how I clean those because they cost a dollar and I’ll toss them when they get too nasty. So that I use all kinds of tools to paint with not just good tools, but, you do get. Better results using the best tools that you can possibly afford.

[01:12:30] Marina says, what should you do with your paper towels that have been covered in GAM Saul dispose of them every single day. So I keep, you know, like a plastic grocery bag hanging from my easel, and I think it’s not on there right now, and then I take it out and throw it in the trash can at the end of the day.

[01:12:53] Because I don’t want paper towels that have solvent on them if I’ve used solvent for some reason. And I don’t want paper towels to have paint or linseed oil on them sitting in the studio overnight. So just dispose of them, just like any other paper towels outside. Yeah. The trash every day at the end of the day.

[01:13:15] Yes, Joanne, I’m going to post the video, Facebook automatically saves them and we’ll post it here after we’re done and I’ll post it on my website too. Oh, D D says when I was three, I drank turpentine that was left in a Coke bottle on the bathtub by my dad got a stomach pumped. Yeah. I did S equally similar things.

[01:13:38] So yeah, I’m really conscious of that. And you know, a lot of people. Keep their thinner in cups that looked like this. And I have drunk my, before I quit using it, I’ve taken a mouthful and then had to spit it out. So yeah, you can do really nasty stuff to yourself. Make sure if you’re using water with watercolors or acrylics that you’ve got a tub there that is distinctly not a coffee cup.

[01:14:03] I know almost everybody I know has done that at one time or another. Yes, you can watch it again. Amy. It’ll be right here. Awesome. Hey, Susan, I’m glad to see you. Roxanne says when you clean your brushes with Walnut oil and then don’t wash them out with soap don’t they get sort of gummy. No, they don’t. I mean, they will, if you leave it that way for weeks, but actually when, if you’re doing that with Walnut oil, don’t do this with linseed because it can combust, you can clean your brush out with the Walnut oil at the end of the day.

[01:14:35] Wipe it off, get rid of those paper towels and pick that brush up without washing it and use it the next day, because it’s not going to get gummy overnight. It takes longer than that for it to oxidize. So yeah, you don’t have to use soap every day for using Walnut oil. Yes, Jenny, my Southern accent is making it hard to hear, but I’m talking about stand S T a N D oil stand oil.

[01:15:10] And Vanessa says, where do we go to see your available courses? If you, excuse me? one of the best places to go is, And I’ll pop it into the caption up above is just the, the link on my website to learn with me. And it outlines all of the courses, but I’ve also got a blog post where I talk about what happens.

[01:15:39] It’s got a chart, so that it’s a little easier to see and compare the different courses. Let me see if I can grab that really fast here and then I can drop it into. If I can, I can drop it into the link. It’s not letting me search for some reason. It’s just refusing to cooperate. So let me see if I can get another tab open and that should do it.

[01:16:16] There we go. No, I’m gonna have to put it into the caption. It’s not going to let me do it because of the camera. I am broadcasting using an app called AKM and it’s just not letting me get to, the web to do that, but I’ll drop it into. The caption and I’ll also come back and tag you to make sure you see it.

[01:16:39] But I do have a blog post that has a chart that makes it easy to see what we’re doing in those courses. And then I have a website that has just the courses listed as well. Awesome. Leslie, I’m glad you found it. Helpful. Yeah, Susan. Susan says, if you’re in any of the courses, it should show the available course, her available courses.

[01:17:00] Yes, it will, Vanessa is not in any of the courses right now, Susan, Susan’s been in almost all of my courses so far, Yeah. Leslie says don’t use all food containers to store solvers. Definitely not, definitely not. So for newbies, Diana de mean course wise, The course that I recommend for newbies that I offer is composition color and light.

[01:17:31] It is basically my beginning painting class that I taught for almost 30 years at the college. So highly recommend that if you’re starting out, that you dive into composition color and light, you don’t have to have had a whole lot of experience. You can start from ground zero in there. Susan says your Southern accent is that half as bad as my Tennessee one.

[01:17:53] Nah, that’s true. But the more I, if I start talking fast, it goes super Southern, Tammy says is clove oil okay to use? No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Don’t mix clove oil with your paint. It will never dry clove oil slows down the drying process. You can use it in your pallet box to keep the paint open longer, but if you mix it in with your paint, It won’t ever dry.

[01:18:20] So be careful with clove oil. Absolutely careful with that. Awesome. I think we’ve gotten through all the questions. Thank you all for joining me today. It’s been a lot of fun talking about this. It’s one of my favorite topics. I can go down that rabbit hole for a really long time. If you have any other questions about it, drop them into the comments here and I’ll come back and see if I can’t catch some of those too.

[01:18:45] Sarah said, what about individual mentoring and coaching? I do have that too, Sarah. So I’ll try to make sure I give you a link to that. And no, don’t clean with clove oil because it’ll get into your brush and it’ll, you’ll never get your paint dry. It’s also too expensive to use, to clean with.

[01:19:06] It’s good to see you. You’re most welcome. My friend y’all have a wonderful new, could you say it again, please? Siri just decided to pop up on my phone does that sometimes. So having great new year and I look forward to talking with you in 2021, we’re going to have a fantastic 20, 21. I’ve just decided it’s going to be good.

[01:19:31] So everybody take care and stay safe. Bye-bye for now.

Magnetic Paintings Webinar

How to Use Value, Color, and Composition to Make Compelling Paintings

You're invited to a special free workshop I’m hosting where I'll share how you can leverage composition, value, and color to make compelling paintings. If you missed this earlier now's the time to save your seat.  You can learn more here and find a time that fits your schedule.

Why Sharing Your Art Matters Even More in 2021

Why Sharing Your Art Matters Even More in 2021

Join me as we chat about leadership and why your art matters even more in 2021. 

This is the recording from the webinar that I did on January 8, 2021. Coming the day after the attack on the Capital, I widened the angle of my original topic, “3 Steps to Get Your Art in Front of More People in 2021” to talk about the impact your art makes, why it’s important to paint now, and why your audience needs your painting now. 

Then we discuss three steps you can take to grow that audience and create an impact.

 Transcript

[00:00:01]First off, welcome.

[00:00:03] And thank you for joining me here this afternoon. Thank you for being part of the artwork, living community, because if you’re here, that means that you are either on my email list or you are a frequent visitor to my website and knew that I had a webinar scheduled for today. First off. I’ll just want to say how much I appreciate you and appreciate your being part of the community.

[00:00:30] And one of the things about being in a community is that when stuff happens. Communities need to come together. So I have a whole different day planning afternoon planned for what we were going to do this afternoon in talking about art, our art, and getting it in front of an audience. And I’m still going to cover that because I know there are people who made time to be here, but I also want to talk a lot about why it’s important to still make art.

[00:01:04] So for those who are not in the us, we had a great tragic day yesterday here. We had violence erupt on the grounds of the Capitol. And that is as traumatic for all of us in the U S is not 11 was. And I want to acknowledge that right out the Gates. Yeah, I know Susie. It affects Canada too. It affects everybody.

[00:01:31] It’s a catastrophic moment. And that means that we can’t just go on business as usual. And I can’t just talk and blindly pretend like yesterday didn’t happen. So like I said, I’m still going to talk about audience, but I want to talk first. About why it’s still important to make art. And it’s still important to share art, even when things feel chaotic and 2020.

[00:02:00] So really chaotic year, I think 2021 is going to settle down. So if I could make predictions about 2021 is I do think that the world is going to be less chaotic. I do think things will settle down. But we are still going through some ups and downs and some chaos. And I think if we ignore that that’s being horribly naive, but the flip side to that yes.

[00:02:28] That I know. And I’m hearing from a lot of artists, both in the free Facebook group and via email that they are so unsettled that they feel like they can’t paint. And that there’s no reason for them to paint and that there’s no reason for them to share their art. I just read ,  an email from someone ,  that really does break my heart.

[00:02:50] She feels like there’s no reason for her to try to sell her artwork now because too much bad stuff has been happening in the world. And I want to say right off the bat, The world needs your art. The world needs your art now more than it ever has before. However you want to deliver it out into the world, whether you want to make it be the thing that is how you’re earning a living, or you just simply want to share it for impact.

[00:03:25] The world needs you because art is an antidote to chaos. And if ever there was a time we need that antidote to chaos it’s now.

So now is absolutely the time to be sharing your work. You don’t have to be asking for a sale to share your work, but you do need to share it. It will benefit not just the people who are seeing it.

[00:03:59] It’ll benefit you because one of the surest ways to navigate through chaos is to stay connected to the things that matter the most to you. And I know that your art matters to you, and I want you to understand and believe that your art matters to other people. And that simply seeing your painting, even if it’s of something that you don’t think matters, I’m promising it matters to somebody out there.

[00:04:33] It’s going to lift them up during a time when they’re feeling love. It’s going to lift them up during a time when they need to focus on something else, it’s going to lift them up and give them a pause, a space. To not be swept up in the chaos. So I think it’s super important for people to realize just how important it is to create it doesn’t mean that you have to become a professional artist.

[00:05:07] It does that mean you have to be marketing your work. It doesn’t mean that you have to be promoting yourself out there now. Please keep creating. Please keep painting. And know that this too shall pass and we can be part of the agency of helping all of us move through this. So don’t let your paintbrush down.

[00:05:34] We can paint the world back together again. We can pay our way through it, but you can’t stop painting. You have to pick your paints back up, you have to pick your brushes back up and we have to keep moving on. We have to keep sharing our work with the world. It is more important now, and it’s more important today than it was last week.

[00:06:00] And it’s more important today than it was last year. So I want you to know that your work matters. And it matters on a very, very deep level to the community that you’re a part of, even if that community is only three or four people. I actually don’t think it’s just three or four people. Our world is much smaller now and they used to talk about six degrees of separation.

[00:06:29] And I think it’s down to really about three degrees of separation worldwide now because of the internet. So you have a huge audience out there that you may not even be aware of. And every time you share one of your paintings, a piece of art out into the world, you are sending it out to transform other people.

[00:06:54] Don’t shut that off. Don’t lock it away and don’t lean into despair. Now’s not the time where you’re going to get through this and we are going to be okay, but we have to keep sharing our work. Super, super important. So I want you to understand that, and I want you to know that you may never know the person who sees your painting and is impacted by it.

[00:07:25] Sometimes those things happen in a way that somebody sees something and it’s never shared with everyone else. You may not ever hear. You may hear what impact it has. But if you hide it away, then you’re hiding it from somebody who needs to see it. So I want you all to promise me that you’re not going to put your paint brush down and you’re not going to stop sharing your work and that you are going to focus on sharing the creativity that you’ve got inside with the rest of the world, because I firmly believe that’s the responsibility.

[00:08:08] You don’t have to make money from it. That’s completely up to you. It’s not bad if you decide that’s what you want to do, but you do have a responsibility to sh to the world to share your creativity in whatever way, whatever form that it takes. There are people out there who need to hear from you.

So your audience already exists.

[00:08:31] It’s out there. And they’re listening to you and they’re paying attention. So now’s the time to stand up and now it’s time to share. So it is absolutely crucial that you do yeah, Josephine says thanks for the affirmation that we have to keep going with our art. It’s really true. And it is critical right now.

[00:08:52] I know a lot of people. May ask themselves the question, how, why does my painting matter? When there, there are people who have lost their jobs, people who are sick, people who are struggling with lots and lots of horrendous things.

The reason is because what you share has the potential to give them that little tiny piece that they need to keep going.

It’s that important? Really important yet. Nancy says, painting puts me in my happy place. Absolutely true. And that in and of itself is enough reason to be painting. Because if you lift yourself up by going to pay, then you are even nevermind the painting part. You’re sharing that uplifted self.

[00:09:52] With everybody else who’s around you. So that is the important message that I want to get across today. Absolutely important. Pamela, yes. Thank you for sharing that. And she says, I agree that as an artist, we have a responsibility to share our visions with the world. It’s crucial that you do that. It really is.

[00:10:13] Nobody else has the voice that you have. That’s why it’s so important. Each one of us is unique. And I see people all the time thinking a lot of people thinking that they’re, there’s so many other artists out there, what does my work matter? Or how could I possibly compete with these people? Who’ve been painting longer than I have knew, or who had more education that I have, or who have whatever else it is that you feel like is blocking your ability to make it and to share your work.

[00:10:45] They don’t have you, they don’t have the thing that makes you and there are people out there who need to hear from the person you are with the things that matter to you. So I was talking to a coaching client about a week and a half ago, and we were talking about what it is that matters to her, that she shares with the world.

[00:11:10] And. It really comes down to real simple things. What do you care about, what are you passionate about? What are the most important things to you? What are your values? Now? Values is an overused word, but it’s important for a reason. What are the things that you care about tremendously? And it’s not just painting.

[00:11:37] It’s also other things it could be like for me, one of the things I’m passionate about, passionate about the landscape, not just painting it, but I’m passionate about preserving it, caring for it, caring for the creatures that live on it. That’s part of the passion that I share with my audience. No people didn’t need to hear that and need to hear it from the way that I say it in my paintings, same is true for you.

[00:12:06] And there’s an audience out there for whatever the things are that are most important to you. Don’t try to be somebody else be you. And when you’re you and you share your uniqueness with the world, you’re going to find that audience. Greg, thank you for sharing that. Greg says, this is quite emotional.

[00:12:26] I didn’t realize I’d buried a lot of these feelings. That is one of the reasons I came on today. I thought about canceling the webinar, but I don’t think that’s right either, but I do think we have to talk about the things that are important. And then PNS says, what are the best ways? What’s the best way to share that depends on you.

[00:12:49] Now the things that I had listed that I want to talk about, wanted to talk about today. I’m still going to talk about, cause I think they’re still important. And oddly enough, they do really apply to what we’re talking about. One is community. I think that after the year that we had last year, Community is more important than it ever has been before.

[00:13:15] People have been isolated from their communities physically, and we’ve turned to online communities as a way to maintain that sense of connection. So one of the ways that you can share one of the routes is to look for communities. Around the things that you value around the things that you care about and share your work with them, not to promote it.

[00:13:44] So I’m not talking about going into Facebook groups and going, here’s my painting by my painting that don’t do that. They’ll kick you out. But if you are going into a Facebook group, that is about the things that you value the most, and you share your work in an authentic and honest way. It’s going to give value to that community.

[00:14:06] You’re going to be sharing your uniqueness with that community. So community is super important. And right now a lot of that is online. So think about where you can find those communities. You can find them on Pinterest. You can find them on Twitter. You can find them on any social platform. We think about Facebook groups first, but they are certainly not in the only plus you can create your own community.

[00:14:37] So if there’s something you feel passionate about, start a Facebook group about it, great place to share your work. So build community. Build authentic community. One form of community is an email list. So an email list is a way to share your work with them authentically, but also share that sense of community shared joint experience, allow people in, in a more personal way.

[00:15:12] That’s the second thing that I think is even more important in 2021. So I think in back up a second, I promise it’s going to be a little more rambling today than I would have intended because I do want to touch on more points than, or touch on a little bit different way based on what’s been happening.

[00:15:31] But I think community is crucial and it’s part of our obligation as artists. Is to be a part of a community it’s to be in community. And I know a lot of us tend to be very a little bit shy, a little bit introverted and be more comfortable letting our art D talking instead of us do the talking too.

[00:16:01] And I want to challenge all of y’all to not do that as much.

Don’t hide away. Start talking about why your art’s important to you.

That’s one of the most attractive things that there is out there for your audience is to share why it’s important to you and share it. Honestly. So I know that y’all have heard the word authentic before in terms of marketing, if you followed any kind of marketing stuff at all, and it’s another one of those words that gets overused and it becomes a little meaningless when people throw it out there all the time.

[00:16:36] So I’d substitute the word, honestly. Instead you don’t try to be somebody else. One of the biggest downfalls that I see artists. Trap themselves in is trying to be what they think the market in quotation marks once, which means trying to make art for the market. And that just does not work. You have to make art that speaks to those values, whatever those are.

[00:17:10] And when your values are in alignment with the values of the audience. That’s when the exchange of art and audience happens, even if it’s not a monetary exchange, that’s the important connection. And that’s the community.

So you build community when you share your work with people who share your values, and it’s part of the responsibility that we have as creatives to do that.

[00:17:43] So it doesn’t mean you need to go out and, and rush to find that audience, but just start sharing and the audience will gather around you. So my number one suggestion for the ways to share your work and to be part of the solution and not part of the problem is to. Be in community to share your work in a community, to be part of building community, to be able to be part of building connection, because we really, really need that right now.

[00:18:18] That’s how we walk stuff back and get to a point where we’re all talking again. So be in community, let your artwork be part of that. And don’t overthink what it is that you need to paint. Paint, what matters to you? The rest of that will follow it. So paint, what matters to you, share it with people who share your values and then you’ll create community number two.

[00:18:48] The second thing that I think is super important and more important in 2021 is that people need personal contact. What do I mean by that? Because certainly in the time of COVID that doesn’t mean running out and standing on the street corner and giving everybody a hug. That’s probably not a great idea, but what it does mean is that instead of trying to speak to an anonymous audience, that’s out there, that’s kind of faceless.

[00:19:26] That you want to begin to build personal one-to-one connection. You want to begin to build conversations with an audience with your community. So number one, start building community. Number two is to develop that personal contact. That’s how you’re going to impact people’s lives right now. That’s how you’re going to begin to build relationship.

[00:19:54] People don’t want anonymous connections and automation. They want conversation with a person, a real person. So be the real person and respond to people. Answer questions. Like I said, I know we’re introverts, but this is not a time for hiding behind her introversion. What are the beauties of online?

[00:20:17] Which is where we are right now for the most part is that it’s the perfect space for us introverts. We don’t have to put on fancy clothes and go to an opening and actually talk one-to-one with all those people in there. We can talk one-to-one through the computer screen. In a way that may feel a little bit less intimidating to you, but the more you begin to talk to people, the more impact you will have and the sharing of your work that you do one-to-one will have a tremendous impact.

[00:20:56] One that you may not even realize at the time. I know of plenty of artists who’ve shared with me stories about. What’s happened when they’ve shared their work with someone and the impact that it’s had. I’m thinking about an, a friend of mine that is a painter who shared her work with someone and it reminded him so much of someone who had lost that he wanted to buy the painting.

[00:21:22] And then when he passed away, it became a family airline because it reminded the family of how much that thing had mattered to him. Your work has impact when you build that relationship and that connection, you literally are helping to save the world. And I know that sounds Pollyanna-ish, but it’s true.

[00:21:44] We saved the world one person at a time. Back when I was still teaching full-time at the college I taught for almost 30 years. I did teach for 30 years, but I taught one course in particular for almost 30 years. And it was the senior exhibition course. And as part of that course, my students had to develop a body of work, a plan for a body of work, and they had to talk about, had to talk about the concept behind it.

[00:22:16] And one of the things that happens to 21 year olds 22 year olds, when they’re asked to come up with a concept for their work is that they are young, they’re idealistic, and they want to save the world. And so they want to create artwork. That’s going to save the world and they would talk about how their work was intended to end world hunger.

[00:22:38] Their work was intended to end homelessness there, where it was intended to fill in the blank. And all of those are absolutely wonderful goals, but as single artwork is probably not going to accomplish that huge big goal for humanity. But what it does do is impact one person that impacts another person and then impacts another person.

[00:23:06] And once those students realized that they didn’t have to say the whole world at one time, it was tremendously freeing. So I would talk to them about not trying to solve the whole big problem, but how can you solve a problem? How can you address something you think is an issue? How can you speak to what is important to your values in a one-to-one conversation?

[00:23:33] Think of your paintings as being a one-to-one conversation. So they are sharing one-to-one. With your viewer, they become the enemy Erie between you here and your viewer here that you may never meet, but your artwork meets in the middle. And it’s the contact point for that conversation. So I want you to think about your paintings as being a one-to-one conversation.

[00:24:00] You’re going to build community and you’re going to create conversations. And yes, you will make a difference when you do that. It’s not based on your skill level. It’s not based on your style. It’s not based on your medium it’s based on you and the conversation that you have with the world.

The third thing, the third part of that, the third thing that really is super important is to remember that one of the things that has happened is that people are, for the most part in their homes, a lot of people are working from home so that the internet gives you a chance to share directly into someone else’s home that you’ve never met. There are hundreds of different ways that you can approach delivering your work to the people that need to see it.

[00:25:07] And you don’t need to be everywhere. You need to be in the places that feel like the most normal and honest ways for you to share your work. So sometimes people ask me, well, should I be on Facebook or Instagram? Should I be on Twitter or Pinterest? And the answer is maybe the answer is what platform feels most normal for you.

[00:25:35] What platform is your audience on? And then what you need to do is to show up consistently. Now’s not the time to put your brush down and hide. Now is the time to stand up and share your paintings with the audience that’s out there, share your artwork, even if it’s not painting whatever your art form is, your creativity.

[00:26:00] So that means that figure out which platform is the one that is most natural for you to enter somebody else’s home space on. Think about where people are when they are looking at your work online, they are in their homes. So pad those personal conversations with them create a sense of community. And I promise you’ll be making a difference.

[00:26:30] You’ll be making a huge difference. So let’s see what other questions we have here in the group.

[00:26:38] Yeah, Stefan said the question is always, when we look for excuses or opportunities, there are plenty of opportunities out there. And I think that, as I said before that now more than ever people need to see it. So as soon as the. Kind of the secret sauce in there is that when you show up and when you share your work on a consistent basis, then it is not necessary for you to become salesy.

[00:27:09] You don’t have to do that. You never have to cross that line into making conversations that feel uncomfortable. You can share your work. And if you’re showing up for your audience that you’ve created through building community, then you don’t have to become a salesy person. You can simply share your work and sales will tend to follow.

[00:27:34] If that is your desire to do, but you’ll definitely have an impact with your work when you do that. Now, uh, thank you. It says your community building work is as important as the technical knowledge you share. Thank you. You’re welcome. Creating community is a big, important thing. To me. Connection is one of my values and I think it’s super important and I don’t want people to get feel like they’d have to fall off track.

[00:28:00] In a lot of ways because of what’s going on. So decide on an Avenue for yourself to create community, decide, and commit to building those conversations. Having those one-on-one personal connections with people, commit to the fact that you’re going into other people’s homes with your work. Through the internet, pick that platform and show up in some way every day.

[00:28:30] It doesn’t mean you have to make a long, deep thought out post that dives in great depth and detail into the motivations behind your artwork every single day on Instagram. That’s not what I mean. It can be as simple as the beginning as showing up. And posting an image of your painting and talking about it or showing up and sharing a video of the twice that you like to paint or the process that you go through when you’re for pain.

[00:29:02] So there are all kinds of things that you can share. And he says often stop myself from painting because I think I have nothing to say, but you’ve reminded me that appreciation of nature and beauty of design and form are sufficient values to express. They sure are. And again, people need to see those nails.

[00:29:19] So what your the part of your art that matters could be as simple as beautiful color. That isn’t enough. It doesn’t have to be something that is a big picture, huge solution to an issue. Josephine says I’m lucky to have local art community. That’s fantastic. So Canvara area visual arts. In County Galway Ireland.

[00:29:49] Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to meet face to face, but we did have a 40 minute like drawing club, a regular with regular exhibitions by members. That’s awesome. Yeah. And she said, we just share our work on the WhatsApp group and Instagram page. That’s a great way to do it. So one of the things that you can do right now, And I know that Stefan, I think it was you that had a question that you yield email to me about whether there’s a market in sharing your work with other artists, whether other artists to collect art and the answer to that is yes.

[00:30:23] So one thing you might want to do right now is form a community. Like the one that Josephine is talking about an art community, where you share our ideas with other artists. Yeah, not necessarily what the goal of selling your work to those other artists, but simply with the goal of building a community of artists, then you might group together and share names and market to people that members of that group know.

[00:30:56] So you can absolutely share resources that way. And that’s a way to build community, but Stefan, yes. Artists do collect art. I collect art and I know a lot of artists that collect art, I would say probably 20% of my collectors are other artists. So it’s entirely possible to do that. I would not advocate that you think of artists as being your only target market.

[00:31:29] But I think they can definitely be part of your target market, but think about the people that share the same values that you share around your work. All of those things were important. Talked a lot about values and talked a lot about community. And I’ve talked to a lot about that personal contact at one-on-one and when all three of those things are in alignment, then you’ll have an audience.

[00:31:55] And once you build an audience, then you can figure out how you want to have impact, whether that’s through creating profit for yourself, creating profit for others, or simply transforming lives through the sharing of the work. It’s completely up to you. Garrett says, I tell him all dog, this, that all the time, if he is not part of the solution, he’s part of the problem.

[00:32:20] Absolutely. Yeah. There’s not really an in-between. I totally agree with that. So Jada says this isn’t there. Oh, there’s no dumb question. Let me stop first right there and say that I’ve taught. All of my adult life. And in all of my years of teaching, I’ve gotten a stupid question one time, literally once.

[00:32:46] And there’s no such thing as a stupid question there really isn’t. So ask any questions that you want to ask right now? So there’s no way, no problem with doing that. So Jada says, do you have an online community where your students followers share their work? And if so, had I become a member of that? I shared it.

[00:33:07] I have a free Facebook grid and I will give you the link to that. In just a second, I’m pulling it up in my browser so that I can pop the link here into Okay. Chat role. So that group is not for selling, but it is for sharing ideas and getting feedback and critiques. So we don’t allow selling in there, but you absolutely are welcome to join and share your work and get critiques from fellow members.

[00:33:43] So Sujata put the link right down here at, in the chat role. Okay. And hopefully you can see that right down there. It should take you straight to Facebook. And there’s some questions. We have rules in the Facebook group around sharing and kindness and all those other sorts of things I think were important as part of community.

[00:34:06] And as soon as you answer those questions, say yes, that you agree to the rules, then you’re automatically in. Yeah. Let’s see. And says, please address the question about hashtags. Let me scroll back up and see if I see an earlier question about hashtags, or if you just have a general question about hashtags and yet Josephine I’m so glad I sent you an email just a few minutes before we got online live, just being just joined my course this week.

[00:34:43] And I want to see if you have a specific question around hashtags. And if you do drop that in here, if not, I’ll give you my general overview here. Cool. I don’t see anything. Oh, here it is. Sylvia says, how do I know which what hashtags I should use when I’m on social media to generate community? So the hashtags hashtags are just searched tacks.

[00:35:20] Think of them as words that people use to search for things. So when you know, what are your most important values? The things you value the most. Those are your first search tags. So if you look at the tags, the hashtags that I use, one of them is landscape. That’s one of my big values and it’s on there because I want other people who find the landscape to be important.

[00:35:51] To find me through that landscape painting is another hashtag. So start with the things that are most important to you, the values that are most important to you, then look at hashtags that other successful artists are using in the same niche that you’re in. And you have to test those to see if they’re going to work for you.

[00:36:16] You won’t know whether they’ll work for you and your audience until you’ve. You’ve run them a little bit. You can only use 30 hashtags at a time. And I put them into the first comment that way they don’t get the caption all stuffed full of the little hashtag beyond son every now and then I’ll put a hashtag into the caption on Facebook and Instagram, if it fits in the context of the caption, otherwise.

[00:36:48] I only put them on Instagram in the first comment. So that’s the best way to get started. You can also include things like location, where you are location. If you’re a realist painter location of the subject that you’re painting, because that’s going to draw in community. So that’s where I would get started.

[00:37:13] Look at the values that you want to share, look at the location that you were in and your subjects in. And then look at the hashtags that people are just ahead of you are using in your niche and test them out. You can see in the analytics and we get a sway here.

[00:37:36] You can see in the analytics, which ones are getting the most reach. Which ones are bringing the most people to your Instagram’s account. And those are the ones you want to keep on using ones that people aren’t responding to, those the ones you want to let go of. So it’s something you build up over time.

[00:37:56] Don’t use the same ones all the time, shift them, so that they’re appropriate. So let me know if that answers your question, Sylvia. It was a great and. Let’s say, I think that was the other big one that just pain says. Yeah. Josephine said I’ve had some great feedback, critique and constructive suggestions from sharing on some different Facebook groups for artists, including the artwork, living grid.

[00:38:29] I’m glad that you’re enjoying that one, but yeah. I think that artists groups on Facebook can serve. Tremendously right now to provide community that sense of shared experience that we have as creatives. So find a group that’s feels like it’s right for you. People have different needs and critique, and you want to make sure that the one that you’re joining and sharing in is going to be the right fit for you.

[00:38:56]Stefan, you mentioned one of my mentors, somebody whose work, I adore Seth Goden. So one of the first online courses I took was from Seth Gooden back in, I think it was 2013, 2014, but yes, he is precisely, right. Stefan rhe, Seth Godin says, figure out what you stand for. It is the heart of your work. And it’s, I’ve said it in multiple different ways and multiple different times, both on my blog and my emails and in my webinars.

[00:39:32] You need to know your, why, your, why, or your values what’s important to you? Why don’t you stand for what is stuff you’re not willing to let go of? What is stuff that is non-negotiable that you’re not going to let go of. That’s what you stand for. And there’s an audience out there that shares those values that needs to see your work.

[00:39:59] It’s super important. To share that. And I would highly recommend any books by Seth Goden. If you’re looking at how to find a tribe and an audience and how to share your work with the world, he just wrote one. That came out three months, two months ago, I think on, about sharing your art. And he’s talking about art in a big, broad sense in the sense of anybody who’s creative and he considers business and marketing creative as well as I do.

[00:40:37]But yes, the practice. Thank you, Stefan. Yeah, it is an awesome book and it is precisely written for us. It is an excellent book. I think I have my copywriter over here on the side. So yes, highly recommend that book. There are that. I can’t think of any book he’s ever done that doesn’t apply. And a lot of my ideas around creating an audience and growing an audience, go straight back to what I’ve learned from him.

[00:41:06] One of the things that impressed me about Seth Goden years ago was that he doesn’t do it as much anymore, but because he’s, his audience is just too huge. He responded. To his audience. So if you really were struck by something that he wrote and you wrote back to him, he would write back to you. And I wrote to him one time and he wrote back to me, he responded to questions in his courses in a one-on-one way as very well known is he is.

[00:41:45] And I think that’s one reason. So many of us like me and Stefan are super drawn to him because he builds community. So I’ll type that again, down here. Nancy it’s Seth Godin, G O D I N. It’s in the chat role. It’s Seth Godin and the name of the book is the practice. It’s about what goes into being a creative and being committed to your work.

[00:42:19] It’s not about how to sell your work. It’s about how to share your work with the world, with the people who need to see it. So highly recommend that book. It’s a great one. Let me see if there’s anybody else who has a question or comment that they want to make. I think I have caught. The questions that were in the grid, but I want to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

[00:42:47] That was important. I got the one about the hashtags. So just to reiterate the things that are important right now, more than ever, your art matters, your work matters. And please still keep painting. Don’t put the brush down. Okay. The more that you pick the brush up, the more that you’ll be able to paint. I know that chaos can be a block to creativity, but it’s also painting is the way through that.

[00:43:21] So paint. Paint and share your work. Think about how you can help to create community. Think about the communities that already exist, that you can share your work with. And you find those communities through knowing your values, knowing what’s important to you. Don’t try to share your work with a community that doesn’t share the same values because it’ll fall flat.

[00:43:48] Absolutely fall flat. Remember that making a one-to-one personal connection is more important than ever right now. And that you want to find the platform that you feel comfortable on, that your audience is also using. Yeah, that’s part of that community so that you can begin to build a community. You can begin to have those one-on-one conversations.

[00:44:15] There’s no right or wrong social media platform to be using. It needs to be the one that you’re actually going to show up on. So there’s no point in saying I’m going to use Instagram. If you hate Instagram or I’m going to use Facebook, if you hate Facebook, use the one you love, but also make sure that your audience is on there.

[00:44:36] So look for people who share those same values. Nancy, I’m glad that makes sense. Cool beings. Heather says she just joined artwork living this afternoon. Are you? Couldn’t go to a great with chats. Hmm. I’m not sure what you mean, Heather artwork living. You just share the grid for a minute because it’s just a Facebook group. So we don’t have separate chats in there.

[00:45:11] So that may be what you’re asking about, but we don’t have separate chats in there because we can’t monitor them. The grant is huge. That’s one of the pluses. It’s also one of the minuses. Sometimes the free group is big. My courses don’t, aren’t filled with as many people as that. I like to split things up.

[00:45:31] So I’m a little bit more personal, but the free group has. 15,000 people in there. So we can’t monitor individual chat rings or chats inside the free groups. So that’s why you can’t do a chat in there, but you can absolutely have a conversation by posting and asking a question and then answering comments in feed, and you’ll see people do that.

[00:46:00]And talking about ideas. Within the Facebook group. So it’s absolutely fine to do that. Does that answer your question? I think it did, but I’m not sure. So Heather, let me know if that answers the question that you put into the chat role,

[00:46:19] if not elaborate a little bit more and I’ll be happy to answer that. So one of the things I would like to know is. How many of you feel like you really know? What are the things that matter to you the most? What are the values that you hold dearest? What are the things that you feel like are in your non-negotiables?

[00:46:43] If anybody is ready, I would like to, I was willing to share what are some of the things that matter to you most type those into the chat role, share one thing, one value that is most important to you. So Corrine says her Fe. Absolutely. That’s true for a lot of people. Greg says expressing something of my soul.

[00:47:05] So that sounds like spirituality is important to you. Those are really big issues, the exact abuse. And I think that you want to hold on to those as you’re sharing things, Nancy says my truth. Absolutely. And your truth is your values. Jane says, learning the journey. Yeah, I think education learning, always being a A constant learner is an important value.

[00:47:33] Cheryl says expression and art. Mary Jane says multi, Oh, it’s going fast here. Multi-ethnicity equality for all. Yeah. Building bridges is what NELA says. I think that’s a great one, Noah. Stefan says, make it look effortlessly done, set Stefan. Is that something you want to do in your art or is it a value?

[00:47:54] Something that’s a deep core feeling. So you want to Make it feel effortless, make it feel easy. Ease would be a great core value. So Jada says honesty with self that’s. A great one. Barb says sharing a sense of hope and love. Yeah. Kay says stay positive. And the fragility of life. Absolutely. Just being seen as being true to myself.

[00:48:23] Love of nature. Experimentation. Yeah, that’s a great one. Paula Sylvia says sharing the beauty and landscapes for those who can’t get out in nature. That’s a fabulous value. So when you think about what’s important and what values are you just look back through that list of values that people just shared.

[00:48:44] All of those things are things that other people will share as well. And all of those are things that you can find communities around. So all of those are also things that can help change people’s lives. All of those are things that can help you be something that is part of making a difference. So homework for everyone.

[00:49:16] Like I said, I’m not going in the exact direction I’d planned to go on today’s webinar. In other words, I’m not going to start outlining other stuff in programs. I want to talk about what your next steps are. What can you do next? Take a little time with yourself. Fix a cup of tea, a cup of your favorite coffee and make a note.

[00:49:43] This is what you, this is what I mean. Paula, I want you to think about what are the things that you value the most, make a list of four or five different things. Then one place to start, even if it’s not where you want to create a community is to do a search for groups on Facebook around that value.

[00:50:10] Search for things that are connected to that value communities that already exist. And that’s a way to get started. Paula says I’m stuck on finding communities. Do you mean by using hashtags? Here I’ll show you Paula really quick. That’s a great question. So let me share my screen here for a minute, and I’m going to go back to Facebook.

[00:50:35] So if I want to find communities on Facebook, around things that are really important to me, one of the things that’s important to me is the physical landscape and preserving that landscape. And so I could tie it in conservation and it’s going to give me a list of things that relate to conservation.

[00:51:06] And to start with, it’s going to get me a list because I haven’t asked for specifics yet, it’s going to get me a list of posts on Facebook, people on Facebook, photos, videos. Marketplace not going there. Pages, places, groups, and events. Well, if you’re looking for community, one of the places to start is groups.

[00:51:30] So look for groups. Okay. So I’m looking for conservation, not conservatory. Conservatory is somebody who is, who. Fix his paintings that are broken. I’m looking for people interested in nature. Well, this group nature, forest and wildlife conservation looks like a grid that would have some people who share the same values.

[00:51:55] I have wildlife conservation, environmental issues looks like a group that might have some things that people who are interested in, the things that I care about. So I would go and join asked to join the group. That’s one, I’m not a part of. So I’m going to ask to join that group and

[00:52:20] it’s going to all this, all of them are going to ask questions and you want to answer those questions. So I’m going to actually do that while we are on. Okay.

[00:52:49] Okay, and agree to the group rules. And we have the same kind of questions in our grid. And. Always pay attention. See, most groups are going to send out promotions and spam. That’s why I said you can’t go in there and said, buy my art. That’s not what you’re there for. You’re there to build community.

[00:53:09] The people coming to find your art will happen naturally, but you’re looking for community right now. So that’s one way is to search on Facebook. You were asking about hashtags. That is absolutely a way to find pages, accounts on Instagram that are applicable. So if I go to Instagram and I type in, in the search and you can use hashtag and type in, in the search title, or you can just.

[00:53:52] Search by keyword. It’s going to give you accounts that have that keyword in the title. So you’re liable to get better results by having a hashtag in there.

[00:54:10] And it’s going to give you all the posts that have hashtags. That deal with landscape. And you can look to see if there are images that you connect with. That seemed to be part of what you might be interested in. So I live on the coast near the coast, and that’s something that’s important to me. I might click on the ones that have to do with that and follow some of those people.

[00:54:38] That’s another way to create or find community. You can also. Use the hashtag like I did in conservation

[00:54:53] and you’ll see all sorts of different possibilities, wildlife conservation, Marine conservation, ocean conservation, conservation education. And I’m going to go to that for a minute and see what I see.

[00:55:11] Yeah. And then again, look for images that you connect with and see if you see groups that are people that align with what you’re interested in. But that’s a way to begin to find community is absolutely through either search hashtags and Instagram. Or Pinterest, it works on Pinterest too, or through groups on Facebook and pretty says this webinar be available to be later.

[00:55:45] Yes, it will. It’s being recorded. Absolutely. And you can share it with friends later. So you’re going to get a link to the replay after the fact. And I’m fine with your sharing that with friends. Absolutely. Like I said, this is just going to be an educational webinar because of what we’re going through right now.

[00:56:06]Yeah. Make it look visually organic and juicy. Any posts that you share? Yes, absolutely. Make it look like that. So I think I’ve caught all the questions, but I want to remind everybody. Look at community. Remember your arts importance, still paint pick up that brush. Yes. There’s an audience out there for you and they need to hear from you now more than ever.

[00:56:33] So share your work in social media platforms that feel in alignment with what you do remember to have absolutely honest, authentic conversations with your audience. Remember, you have a responsibility to share and you don’t have to save the world all big picture. At one time. Every time you have a connection with another person you’re saving the world, you’re saving it one person at a time.

[00:57:03] So happy painting everyone, stay safe. Now that we’re going to be fun and we will paint the world back together. Again, talk to you again soon. Bye bye for now.

[00:57:19] Yeah.

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Creative Living: What’s Your Creative Purpose

Creative Living: What’s Your Creative Purpose

Creative living is something innate. Every last one of us is born creative. Every. Last. One.

That creativity just takes different forms in different people. And multiple forms in most people.

In this episode, I’m covering three different ways that creative living can express itself. Which one is YOUR creative purpose right now?

In the episode:
01:03 –There has to be alignment between what you do and why you do it
02:00 –The main reason that people are painting or making sculpture or making any sort of creative endeavor is because it’s fun or it’s pleasurable, or it’s a passion
02:20 –The second one is profit and profit tends to be something that’s looked down on in the art world
03:00 –The third one is impact and impact is when an artist has a message they want to get out
03:51 –Artists go through those states, each one of those things, at different stages
4:47 –Which one is it for you? Is it pleasure? Is it profit or is it impact
5:10 – Questions from the audience

Transcript:

What I want to share with y’all this evening is talking about what kind of artist you are, what point you’re at on your art journey, and how it affects your work? Thinking about the fact that every time you pick up a brush or a knife, every time you step up to the easel, you’re consciously, or a lot of times unconsciously choosing where to spend your energy, where to spend your time, what to focus on and what to ignore, what to let go.

[00:00:34] These decisions affect the results that you get and more importantly, they impact how you feel about the results you get. So to say it a little bit differently, if you want to feel successful in making art or really anything else for that matter, because this is not just specific to art, you really need to know first, how you define success, what success means to you.

[00:01:03] There has to be alignment between what you do and why you do it. So there are three main drivers, three main kinds of drivers that I see for artists. Usually one stands out as being more important than the others. Those three are pleasure, profit and impact. There’s a little bit of all three motivating, most people that I know and talk to, but usually there’s one that stands out above all the others.

[00:01:38] There’s one thing that is the most important thing to an artist. That changes over time. It doesn’t have to stay the same forever when you’re usually starting out. The main reason that people are painting or making sculpture or making any sort of creative endeavor is because it makes them feel good.

[00:02:00] It’s fun or it’s pleasurable, or it’s a passion. It’s something that they are dreaming about and thinking about all the time. So it’s, or it can be entertainment, but it’s, it’s something that fulfills an emotional need. The second one is profit and profit tends to be something that’s looked down on in the art world.

[00:02:26] It’s a dirty little word and it shouldn’t be because there’s no reason why an artist shouldn’t make a living from what they love to do. So if making money at making art is what you want to do, go for it own. It don’t feel bad about it at all. Because if you do, if you feel you feel bad about it, if you denied that, that’s really what you want to do at that time and walk away from it.

[00:02:58] It’ll bite you in the butt. Because it will cut. It’s still there. You’re just denying it. So you’ve got to acknowledge what it is that you really want and then go for it. The third one is impact and impact is when an artist has a message they want to get out. The message is the most important thing, not the internal emotional driver, not the profit, but the message is having an impact on the world. It’s transforming people, whether it’s transforming the way they see things, the way they act or the way they do things. But art with a message. The artist is messenger means that they’re really trying to impact those that are around them.

[00:03:51] And artists go through those states, each one of those things, at different stages. So an a young artist might be purely interested in the passion of making art to begin with. Then think maybe I can make some money at this. Maybe I can even make a living here. Yes. And then the profit can become important.

[00:04:15] And then once they become. More stable in their business. The impact can become the thing that’s more important. But bottom line, you have to know which one it is for you right now, because if you don’t, you’re not going to and be able to feel that sense of completion that happens when you’re achieving or you’re in alignment with what you really want and need.

[00:04:47] So, which one is it for you? Is it pleasure? Is it profit or is it impact? Let me know right here in the comments, if that, if one of those strikes a chord, if one of those resonates with you, which one is it for you? Let me see if I can pull this for some reason, my comments are hidden here. I’m going to see if I can get them up over here on the other device. There we go. Now I can see them. Um, Oh good. We’ve got some great comments in here. Yeah. Diana says agree to all three, but pleasure is my number one. And if you know, that’s the main thing, then you want to orient what you’re doing and how you do it to make sure that you enjoy what you’re doing.

[00:05:40] So awesome. And Josephine says satisfaction, pleasure, and some profits so I can keep painting. Absolutely. I actually like to get my students to think about which percentage is the most important for you? Is it 50% pleasure? 25% profit, 25% impact. Or is it 90%, one and 10, the other, which one is it? Because once you know that, then you can figure out which path you need to take so that you can really optimize for that end result, because there are different kinds of challenges you run into depending on which type of motivator.

[00:06:25] It’s really driving it. So people who are really motivated by pleasure can get really frustrated when they don’t have the skills that let them paint with ease or let them sculpt with ease. When the skill stuff gets in the way, it’s not as much fun anymore. If you’re working towards impact, I mean, working towards profit, the challenges that can get in the way or not really knowing how to market and sell your work, that can be a huge challenge and a huge de-motivator.

[00:07:03] It can really get in the way, but just like the technical skills, it’s something that’s fixable. Something that you can learn about. And the last one impact if getting your message across, if delivering a message, if changing people is really what is driving you, if you don’t know how to create an engaged audience, How to find an audience of people that you’re trying to reach, then you’re talking to the wind and that’s extraordinarily frustrating.

[00:07:37] You have to have an audience in order to make an impact. And an audience is important for profit as well, but if you don’t know how to get that audience, then you’re not going to be able to achieve either one of those things. So super important to know which one of those three is the thing that’s going to drive you towards feeling successful.

[00:08:02] Then you can chart out your roadmap to get there. So let’s see who else has something that they’ve dropped here into the comments? Diana says, I am my own worst enemy. I may not think it’s good. And then someone else says, I am. I got to love this. That is not unusual at all. My gallerist has a, a thing. He says, artists are not always the best judges of their own work, that we don’t always see it with a degree of objectivity.

[00:08:33] Part of that is because we made it we’re too close to it. And we have high expectations for it. A rule that I really frequently cite is the 24 hour rule. And it means that. He can’t destroy the work until you’ve been away from it for 24 hours. So if you think it’s awful, step away, look away for at least 24 hours before you throw it in the trash.

[00:09:00] Because a lot of times it’s actually pretty darn good. It’s just that you’re too close to see it. And you’re stuck right in the messy middle where you can’t see what’s working. So be careful with that messy middle stage. Yeah. Pat says pleasure and profit. Awesome. I think that’s important. Dennis says all three, nothing wrong with that.

[00:09:27] And thinking about which proportion is super important. Y’all so keep thinking about which one’s important to you. And let me know how you’re thinking about getting there.

Which one is it for you? Is it pleasure? Is it profit or is it impact? Let me know right here in the comments.

And if you know of anybody who would be interested in today’s episode, please feel free to share them.

How to Find a Style

How to Find a Style

Finding a style as an artist can be a struggle. I want to share 3 tips, techniques and ideas on how to develop your own style! These are all things that have helped me as well as my students, so I hope they will help you too.

I want to share a message I got from Lisa P., a subscriber on my email list. She said, “My biggest challenge right now with my artwork is trying to find my style. I think I’m pretty good at drawing and painting, but I find my paintings to be boring. I want to love my work. I like it, but don’t love it.”

Any of y’all ever feel like that?

“I’m not sure if that can really be taught. I paint every day with the goal of someday loving what I practice, what I produce, I’m loving the process, but get frustrated at times.”

Hey there. I’m Mary Gilkerson. And today we’re going to be talking about finding a style as an artist.

It can be a real struggle. I know I’ve gone through that at one time or another. In fact, I don’t think any artists can honestly say they haven’t faced that struggle it one point in their career or in their practice.

So I want to share three tips in particular, three tips, techniques, or ideas about how to really develop your own style. These are things that have helped me as well as my students hope they’ll help you too.

The first thing to understand is you really don’t find your style. You create it.

Style doesn’t happen by you going out and making this search through the universe for where your style is. Like the children’s book titled, Are You My Mother? I’ve been reading that to my granddaughter lately.

And you know, the little bird goes around going, are you my mother? Are you my mother?

Well, we tend to do that as artists. It’s not super effective style happens by your creating it in it. You create it. As Terry says right here, it finds you. You create it through the act of painting. So you’ve got to paint.

Painting creates style.

Style happens through the act of painting on a consistent basis. So let’s talk first about some of those things that can happen, things that you can do to create that style.

I’ve talked in the past, not that long ago, maybe about two weeks ago, about how to find more time to paint and developing that regular painting practice.

That’s the first thing to do.

If you paint on a consistent regular basis, your style can’t help but develop. You will be creating it.

Whether you’re spending 10 minutes a day, or two hours a day or five minutes a day, do something towards your painting practice. That’s the first, first very first thing that will make a difference.

The next thing to think about is to work in a series. Working in a series is one of the fastest ways to jump start to creating your style.

First, let’s talk about what a series is. A series is any art that’s connected together by a theme or a subject or a color or a size.

It is art, a body of art that when you look at it, you know, That it was created by the same artist. So there’s some sort of visual connection there. So when you work in a series, some of the benefits why you should think about doing it is when you focus on something it’s going to make better art. It’s going to help you create better art because when you work on something consistently over time, It’s going to improve the SACA benefit to working in a series is that when you paint in a series, you’ll come to understand your subject matter better.

You’ll connect to it on a much deeper level. And when you’re working with the same subject matter over and over and over and over again, building that deep connection, you’ll begin to relate to it in a consistent way. It’s that consistency thing here out comes up over and over again as a theme over and over.

So working consistently with the same subject, you’ll create a style. So. Third thing that will happen when you work in a series, the third benefit is it makes it easier for your audience to figure out what you’re doing and why it makes it easier for your audience to figure out what you’re talking about and not just your audience out there, but your audience in here too, you’ll have a better idea of what it is that makes you want to paint.

When you create a series, you will be able to talk more clearly to yourself about what’s important when you work in a series. So think about working in a series in order to create your style show up consistently work in a series.

And here’s the third tip. Write about your art as much as you paint. And by that, I mean, get a journal, use your sketch book, but jot down ideas as you’re painting, give yourself some reflective time as you paint.

I used to tell my students at the college that they needed to spend as much time sitting in a chair and looking at their paintings as they did painting their paintings. Because that reflective time helps you figure out where you’re going and what you’re doing. It helps you figure out why you’re doing it.

Don’t try to figure it out all ahead of time. It’s a process that you’ve got to participate in that process. So let’s reflect on those three things. Again, the first work consistently, the second is work in a series. So that you can create your style. And the third is reflect on your work because in that reflection, you’ll begin to see where the consistent threads are.

Look for those consistent threats. I hope this has been helpful if it’s helped you. I hope you share it with a friend and let’s look here in the comments. Oh, Hey DD. And Pam, Pam says I’m all over the place and it drives me crazy. Well, one of the ways to get out of that, Pam is to think about picking one subject.

And really focusing in on that doesn’t mean you’re not going to paint those other subjects later, but it means that you’re going to give that subject your attention right now and what you focus on grows. So if you give your attention to that subject right now, it’s going to help you develop that consistent style.

And here’s the real secret sauce. The real secret benefit of doing this when you work in a series. You get led to the next thing and it truly doesn’t matter. Once you develop your style, what you paint, it’s gonna look like it came from you because you’ve gotten your signature, you found your voice and isn’t that what most of us really want.

So focus on that one thing for a little while, and it really will help that that actually true is true for almost anything. You know, when our culture gives us this myth tells us this myth that we can multitask, that we can do multiple things all at one time, the truth is human beings. Can’t multitask. We have a real short attention span and it’s getting shorter and shorter.

And if we try to multitask, we’re not focusing on any one thing with any depth. Pick that one thing. And then when you’re F you feel like you’ve come to completion on focusing on that one thing, then move to the next thing. So hope that helps there and let’s see. Oh, Nancy says Nancy Alexander says, I think I’ve finally found my style after several years.

Awesome. That is a really good feeling and good place to be. Hey Sally Chan and Sandy Roberts and Oren Thompson. We’ll move the comments up here. Second. See them a little closer to the camera and I’m not looking down then. Hey, Laura, Laurie Miller. I’m glad that’s helpful. And Warren Thompson. Awesome to see y’all.

Hey, Yvonne. I’m glad to hear from you too. And Don, I’m glad that’s helpful. Yeah. YouTube Kim, huh? Yeah, it really helps when you focus on one thing. So working a series, which is another way, simply a focusing on one thing, show up consistently and then give yourself some time for reflection. And also, I think Leslie Miller is bringing up a really great part of that.

She says, I, it took me a long time, but through experimenting, I found my style through experimentation. We don’t give ourselves enough time to experiment. Give yourself plenty of time to experiment and to play. Play is an underrated activity. Play happens when you let go of the outcome and you just enjoy the process.

So dive into that process, enjoy it and let yourself experiment, definitely experiment with it. So hope that’s been helpful. Thank you for joining me here this evening. I’m going to be hopping on again soon. Talking about how you plan out a series of paintings. So the how to have a series of paintings and not just the why.

So in the meantime, play experiment, focus on that one thing. Show up consistently. And give yourself time for reflection. This has been helpful. I hope you’ll pass it on to a friend. Happy painting everybody. Remember to stay resilient and paint on bye bye for now.

Magnetic Paintings Webinar

How to Use Value, Color, and Composition to Make Compelling Paintings

You're invited to a special free workshop I’m hosting where I'll share how you can leverage composition, value, and color to make compelling paintings. If you missed this earlier now's the time to save your seat.  You can learn more here and find a time that fits your schedule.

Can You Sell Art on Social Media?

Can You Sell Art on Social Media?

Today’s question is on social media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn: are any of these worth joining for selling art?

I’ve been collecting questions from my Facebook group and email list and this is one several folks had.

And the short answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as just posting a painting and naming a price.

In this episode I’m covering

  1. why you should start using social media to promote your art,
  2. how to decide which social media platform to use, and
  3. the single most important thing you can do to make it work.

Got a question??

In the episode:
01:39 – How to decide which social media platform to use
02:37 – Pick the platform where you’re comfortable and your perfect clients hang out
03:41 – What social media can do for you
04:36 – We are personal brands
05:17 – The second stage is engagement
6:46 – The last stage is called conversion
8:28 – The HOW
10:35 – Questions

Transcript:

I’ve been collecting questions from my Facebook group and from my email list lately for these little quick live videos. And the question that I’m going to be covering today is what about social media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn: are any of these worth joining for selling art?

And the short answer is yes, but not in the way you may be thinking about it.

Hey, there. I’m Mary Gilkerson and I help artists create compelling paintings, sustainable thriving studio practices and online art businesses. So today, as I said, we’re going to be looking at social media hubs.

What do you do with them? Can you use them to sell art? The short answer is yes, all of those can be effective, but not necessarily in the way that most people think about it.

Most people think about social media as having the potential to make those direct art sales on. That’s not its most valuable use. It’s not really the best approach to it. So while you’re going to make some direct sales on social media, you’ll actually do much better. If you think about it as a place where, or as a way to rather.

Grow your audience and move people from not knowing who you are at all to having a little bit more familiarity with you gonna come back to that in just a minute. So the answer about which one to choose is two fault. They’re two different parts of it. You have to think about number one, you have to think about which one are you most comfortable with.

So there’s no magic answer about whether it should be Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, or even Twitter. The answer is which one are you going to actually pick up your phone and use? Because if everybody you hear about is making sales on Instagram and you hate Instagram, it ain’t going to work.

So which of the social media platforms is the one that you feel the most comfortable on that you’ll actually use. You’ll interact with, that you will do on a consistent basis. The second consideration, there is equally important. You need to know the one that your niche hangs out on. So you need to pick the platform.

That’s the intersection of those two things, where those two things overlap, the one you’re comfortable with and the one where your people, your perfect people hang out. Because if they’re not on that platform, it doesn’t make any sense, no matter how much he loved the platform for you to be on there. For example, I don’t think that Tik TOK is going to tend to be the place where most of our art collectors are going to be hanging out.

I could be wrong, but in fact, some I’d go out there and prove me wrong. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s there yet. So you may love Tik TOK, but it’s probably not where you’re going to be growing your perfect collectors. So think about that intersection of those two things, which one do you enjoy and love and actually participate in.

And where do your people hang out? Where’s your niche hanging out? Once you figured out which one, then I want you to think about what social media can do for you, why you actually should be using social media. And yes, I do think you should be using social media. It’s a huge component of what I teach my students to do, how I teach them to move from having no sales, no hub online.

No, no real web platform to having an engaged audience and launching their own small collections of art. You have to think about why, what social media going to do for you? Well, there are three stages of moving people from not having a clue who you are to their feeling, comfortable purchasing art from you online or anywhere else from that, for that matter.

So the first stage is called awareness and it’s really brand awareness because newsflash artists. Our personal brands. We are personal brands, just like musicians, big popular musicians are personal brands. So your name matters. People need to become familiar with you, not just your art or, but you, because they buy not just because of the work, but because of a relationship with the person who made the work.

o brand awareness. Realizing we’re a personal brand. That’s a huge one. And social media is one of the best ways to move people from not having a clue who you are to becoming aware that you’re an artist and this is the kind of stuff you make. The second stage is engagement. The second stage is relationship building.

This is something that all human beings crave. It’s something all human beings need. And it’s a crucial phase of the sales process. If you don’t build relationships, I guarantee you, you will not make any sales. You can make the most spectacular artwork that there is out there, but if you don’t build relationships, whether it’s with.

Clients collectors directly or with gallerist and have them sell your work. You’re not going to be able to make a living at this. You’re not going to be able to make even the money to cover your supplies. You’ve got to get good at relationship building doesn’t mean you need to go and meet every one of these people for coffee.

But if you begin to think about social media as a coffee shop, as a place to meet people and become familiar with them and then become familiar with you in a safe environment, it becomes a whole lot easier. And remember you can have the computer screen between you and them. You don’t actually have to go out and meet them in person.

So engagement, super crucial, crucial. It’s the second stage of that journey. So they go from not having a clue who you are to becoming familiar with who you are and what you do. And then beginning to actually build that relationship, but they’re still not ready to buy yet. That last stage. It’s called conversion and conversion is when people make a decision and that conversion can be small or it can be really large.

So an example of a small conversion would be when they join your email list, which is something all of you need to be building. And it’s a crucial part of being able to warm up that audience and build relationship so that small conversion could be. Inviting them to join your email list. Then the larger conversion, the one that we started talking about tonight is art sales.

That larger conversion is not going to happen until multiple smaller conversions have happened until people have gotten to feel comfortable with saying, yes, To the things that you’re asking them to do yes. To hang out on a Facebook live, where you talk about your work and answer questions. Yes to joining your email list.

Yes to sharing it with friends, all of those are little tiny conversions along the way that lead up to the point where people can feel comfortable enough to purchase the painting doesn’t mean you won’t ever get that one off. Person who never heard of you before and immediately buys a painting on Instagram directly can happen, but please don’t wait around for that.

It’s the exception rather than the rule. So those stages, again, awareness, engagement, and conversion, super, super important. Then the last part that I want to talk about tonight is the, how. And actually it’s the simplest part, the, how has to do with consistency and the importance of consistency, because the biggest problem I see most people have with using social media is they’re terribly inconsistent.

They don’t show up very often. They post maybe once a week or they forget to post for three weeks and then they come back in and post. For two days, then they disappear again for another two weeks that ain’t going to work. So I got some great advice. One time from a mentor, I took a marketing and sales course from Seth Godin about six years ago, something like that.

And I had a chance to ask him questions directly. So I asked that what would be one of the most effective ways to market and sell my artwork online. And he had a really simple answer. He said, show up for your audience in some way every day. You know, I tell people to paint every day. Well, you need to show up for your audience in some way every day too.

And that doesn’t mean you’re sending an email every day, but it does mean that you need to do something to touch your audience’s lives in some way every day. Because newsflash Seth was right. It works. You got to show up and if you show up, it doesn’t have to be that you’re making a long video or writing a long essay for your blog or having a complicated post on social media.

It can be super simple. If you follow Seth you’ll know that his, his emails are short. They’re like maybe 150 words. They’re really more like tweets. But he sends them every day or you can follow him on his blog every day, the same deal, but because he’s shown up every day for years and years, he’s following is huge and tremendous.

That could be you too, but you’ve got to be consistent. So I want to see if there are any questions over here in the question box. Hey Terry Gergen, it’s good to see you and Hey Reed and rise. Awesome. And a dealer, the dealer says I figured out five or is the best for me now. Fiverr is not really a social platform.

It’s a sales platform. So that’s a little bit different. So you do need to know what sales platform is best for you. Social media is that connecting platform. It’s social. So you probably are doing something too to get people, to look at Fiverr, Fiverr’s where you send them, but Fiverr’s a fantastic platform.

It’s a platform for illustrators and designers and people involved in any aspect of the online business. And Hey Deborah from Melbourne. And portrays. It’s good to see you too. So I had a great time chatting with y’all today. Let me know if you have any other comments in the chat role there in the chat role, in the comments section, and I’m happy to answer those.

Oh, thank you, artists. I’m glad that you find that good advice. That’s fantastic. yeah, it’s super easy. It’s actually way easier than most people think that complicate it too much. Remember that you want to move people along from awareness to engagement, to conversion and do it by showing up consistently.

Terry says, do you remember recommend anyone over the others? Like I said earlier, the one I recommend is the one that you enjoy and actually will show up in use. It’s not going to do any good for me to say. I really think Facebook is a super effective platform. If you detest Facebook and you’re not going to use it.

So it needs to be that the intersection again, of the one that you actually use and love. And the one that your niche will use in love. Now, the easy answer is Facebook because Facebook is the largest one of those platforms, but it doesn’t mean the others won’t work too. I know people who sell on Twitter using Twitter, using Instagram, using LinkedIn, Pinterest is the largest driver of traffic for me to my website.

It drives. Large volumes of traffic, way more than Facebook. others that you can think about using YouTube is another one. Pinterest and YouTube are a little bit different. They don’t have the same degree of social interaction, but they’ve begun to build it in there too. So all of those are possibilities.

So think about it, Terry, which one do you use the most? And which one do you enjoy using their ways to develop? Things that you enjoy about whatever platform you’re on, but which one’s the one that you really, really do have a passion for which one do you love? So if I had to say which one I enjoy interacting on the most, it would be Instagram and Facebook.

I don’t really do very much with Twitter for art. I use Twitter for other things, but Twitter’s not really the platform I enjoy for that. So Terry says, would you create a Facebook page to promote your art rather than you individually? again, you’re a personal brand, so it needs to have your name on there.

Don’t use a cute name. Cuteness is not going to sell your paintings. I would not call your Facebook page for your art, my fluffy little pony or my wild amazing Western views. Because it’s you as a personal brand that selling your work, that’s kind of, different from what some people recommend where they’re talking about social media marketing, but selling art.

It’s different than some other types of products. musicians, same deal. You want to create a personal. Brand for your Facebook page. So it would have your name and it would be a Facebook business page, not just your personal profile and yes, Terry you’re right. You can connect Instagram and Facebook together.

So you can kind of kill two birds with one stone. They are, it’s not the best long-term way to do it, but absolutely you can connect them up together. It works beautifully. I, I recommend students do that when they’re first starting out so that they don’t get too overwhelmed with trying to manage more than one platform at a time, really focus on one and really get that up and running rather than trying to be everywhere.

You cannot be all over the place everywhere at one time and do it well. Pick one, the one you enjoy and do it well. Mary Claire says, would you use Facebook for your art only? I’m not sure. Quite sure. What you mean, Mary Claire, do you mean, would you sell only your art on Facebook or do you mean use Facebook?

You shouldn’t use your personal profile. Okay. So there are ways to use your personal profile to promote your art, but you cannot sell your artwork on your personal profile. Facebook frowns on that, and it’s actually a violation of their terms of service. They can close your account down so you can share your paintings onto your personal profile.

You can even share a link to join your email list on your personal profile. But you can’t make direct sales on your personal profile. It’ll get you into a heap of big trouble. So I recommend that you create the business page and that you share to your personal profile. So there are all kind of other ways, strategies to use, that we can’t go into tonight.

They get a little bit more complex than that. But at the heart of that whichever platform you’re on, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, any of those or YouTube, you want to have a business account because you get other tools that you don’t have with a personal account. All of those platforms have business accounts.

Available they’re free. You don’t have to pay for them. You have to pay for advertising, but you don’t have to pay for the account and you can start it up and you can actually accomplish an awful lot just with organic traffic that you don’t pay for. But the key is to get started. So pick out the one that you really enjoy.

Start that business account and get it up and running the best time to have done. It was 10 years ago. The second best time to do it is today. Connie says, do you use FASA for your web and email platform? I don’t, but that is because I am a former web designer. So I’ve been designing websites has started back in the early nineties or whenever it was that the web really opened up, I was an early adopter.

So I’m a control freak on that. So I don’t use fast. So I actually have designed my own and coded my own site. So I use WordPress. And that is not what I recommend from a Stardust, because you don’t need to be spending your time on the back end. They’re so fast. Those are really good options. Squarespace’s a really good option too.

Munez, the way that you connect Instagram and Facebook is through either one of those business accounts in the settings. It’s you’re able to go in there and link the two together, and then you have the option when you post for it to go to both. So great question there. So yeah, there, there are all kinds of platforms out there that will allow you to easily create a website and fast.

So is one that’s just for artists, love that one and Squarespace is another one that’s beautiful and, has lots of wonderful templates. So those are the main two that I recommend don’t really recommend Weebly and Wix because they, they have some limitations to them that make them not the best platform to try to transition off of.

Great questions. That’s all for today. No, I would not use WordPress for your email list. That’s not going to be a good way to manage it. You’re liable to violate a whole bunch of laws around email lists.

What to do about an email list. Well, I’m going to make that the next question we cover. So tune in tomorrow, I’ll try to post a, an announcement about when I’ll go and do that, but, let’s talk about that in a separate, broadcast because email lists and platforms are a key, huge, huge topic.
So y’all have a great rest of the evening and I’ll look forward to talking with you again soon. Bye bye for now happy painting and paint on.

Which Coach, Mentor, or Program Is Right for You?

Which Coach, Mentor, or Program Is Right for You?

Having the right art mentor can fast track your success, no matter the stage you’re at in your art. Look for someone that’s gone before you and had success at the same goal. Then use these 3 steps to get the guidance and support you want in your art practice.

Mary also walks you through the programs she currently offers, what they cover and what you need to get the most out of each one.

 

Mini-Courses in Painting, Social Media Marketing, & Online Art Biz

The Art+Work+Living Community Membership

Composition, Color, & Light

The Painter’s Path

The Accelerator Small Group Coaching Mastermind Standard
6 Month Program
The Accelerator Small Group Coaching Mastermind Intensive
6 Month Program
from just
$47-$297
USD
only
$37
USD/mo
only
$997
USD
only
$1997
USD
By application only
$3000
USD
By application only
$5000
USD
Private 1:1 coaching calls with Mary (monthly)
Value: $3,000
Private Weekly Members Face to Face Group Call with Mary
Value: $3000
(8 during the program)
Weekly Group Q&A/Critiques  with Mary for 1 year
Value: $3,500/year
Monthly Group Art Critique Call
Value: $1,500/year
Monthly Group Art Biz Q&A Call (Including recordings)
Value: $1,500/year
Instant Access to 52 Trainings (and counting) on How to Create Your Own Thriving Studio & Art Biz Practice
Value: $2,444
Instant Access to Community Groups
Value: $600/yr
Access to Bite-sized Topic Specific Training
Value:$5,988/year
GO GO GO GO GO GO

Got a question??

In the episode:
00:25 – 3 steps to get the guidance and support you want in your art practice
00:44 – 1. Know yourself
02:01 – 2. Look at who’s out there
06:29 – 3. Research & Connect
09:23 – Create a filtering system to make sure it’s a good match
17:44 – A reader’s question about getting back into art making
18:10 – A look at Mary’s programs
18:30 – Bite-sized mini-courses
20:26 – The Art+Work+Living Community Membership
21:53 – Composition, Color, & Light Course to learn to maximize your paintings’ visual impact
22:39 – The Painter’s Path Course to create a thriving online art business
23:45 – The Accelerator small group coaching mastermind

Transcript:

Having a right art mentor can really fast track your progress towards your goals. No matter what stage you’re at in your art. I’m looking for someone that’s gone before you and had success at that same goal. That same thing you’re working towards. It’s one of the fastest ways to actually get there.

So we’re going to be talking today about three steps that you can take to get the guidance and support that you want in your art practice. Let’s dive on in.

The first step to really beginning to identify the right mentor, the right coach or program it’s to know yourself.

You’ve got to know what’s important to you right now. Not what was important six months ago, or what might be important in six months, but what’s important to you right now.

What are your short-term goals? What are your longterm goals?

What are you good at already? All of us have certain skills that we already have. We’re usually not very good at identifying what those are, but see if you can slow down and think about what it is that you’re already good at.

What do you need help with to move further, faster? You have to know what it is that you need, what’s missing.

Just as important as knowing what you’re already good at is knowing where the holes are, where the things are, so that you can find somebody else to plug in to give you that success that you’re looking for.

The second thing that’ll help you get there is to know who’s out there.

Look at who’s already out there. And you may remember that I said a video, not too long ago, you don’t even have to be talking about somebody who’s alive right now. It could be somebody from the past.

Your mentor doesn’t even have to know that they are your mentor. They’re all kind of different levels of mentorship. So you can learn a lot from somebody in the past who’s already achieved or who did achieve what it is that you’re trying to do, know who you want to be like, who do you admire?

And the thing that you’re trying to achieve, who’s already done it. Start making the lists. When you find people who’ve gotten a part of that thing that you’re trying to get to write their names down so that you can start creating a list. Third thing, and this is super important. I see so many people mess up on this.

One is not enough. You need to get multiple people to bounce ideas off of you don’t need just one mentor or coach. You need multiple ones, preferably two to four.

So for example, A couple of years ago, I was advising one of my students from composition color and light about what to do about taking her art further after she finished the course. And my advice to her was actually the same advice I gave, have been giving actually to all of my students. For years, you need two to four different instructors.

You should never study just with one person. You need to get a multiplicity of viewpoints. You need diversity in your education. That’s how you begin to form your own opinions. If all you do is study with one person, the tendency is to try to become a clone of that person. And that’s an important thing that you not do.

You want to be yourself. And the way to do that is to get input from a multiple range of sources and then hold on to what works for you and put away what does not, that’s how you sent the size, what you learn to become your own artist. It’s super important that you have enough voices giving you input.

The flip side to that is you don’t want to have so many that you’re overwhelmed by information that’s too contradictory. I’ve seen as, has everybody else who’s teaches, students who’ve gotten caught in the workshop loop. They’ve started taking workshop after workshop, after workshop, and they can’t develop their own style.

In fact, they can hardly paint because they’re so jammed up with conflicting stories about how to make art that they can’t decide what to do first.

You want to find a balance between not having enough different influences coming in and having too many, but it’s very, very important that you get at least two different voices that you’re listening to.

They can come from all kinds of sources. They don’t have to be people that you go sign up to be their mentee. It can be people from the past. Look at artists who’ve been successful in the past.

One of my favorites to look back at is Rosa Bonheur. She was a woman artist who was fabulously, fantastically successful in the 19th century in France. And I think of her as one of my mentors and one of my role models.

So you don’t even have to be able to talk to them. You just need to watch, look at what they did. How did they take steps to get where they are now or where they became successful on Rosa Bonner’s case? Look at the path that they took to get there, look at what might work for you and what you don’t really want to do.

You also want to think about step number three, which is to research and connect.

You need to look at who else is out there. I mentioned that a little bit before, but you also need to then figure out how to get in contact with, or connect to these people who are in front of you.

Who’ve already created a path. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just need to figure out which path is the right one for you. And then find somebody who’s already cleared that path. So you want to ask yourself how, who are these folks? And then you want to make a list, a target list of people that you’d like to connect with.

Again, keep it limited. You don’t want to connect with everybody in the world. You know, I I’ve done that before. I’ve had shiny object syndrome and bought way too many courses, and then not been able to implement all of them because. I’ve got too many courses in my portals and I don’t have time to do it all.

So make sure you’re being very targeted in the list that you’re creating, learn about them. You know, research them online. We’ve got the internet. Now people didn’t have that even 50 years ago in order to be able to research possibilities and the opportunities use the internet to research these artists.

Even if they’re from the past, you can find an awful lot out before you even come into direct communication with them. That you may never come in direct communication with them. One of my favorite ways to learn and be mentored is by listening to podcasts and YouTube interviews. One of my favorite artists who I definitely consider to be an influence it’s Wolf Kahn, and I love listening to Wolf Kahn, speak about landscape painting and about art and about what drove him to paint the way he did. And it’s all recorded. Even though he’s passed, it’s all recorded and it’s there for free on YouTube. I’ll go listen to him while I paint. So think about looking for where those folks are and we’re searching what’s out there, learn about them, then figure out how to make a connection.

That connection can come in the form of. Signing up for a free workshop, signing up for an online workshop, signing up for a course, signing up for something small to start with to see if there really is alignment. You don’t have to dive right into the deep end of an expensive program until you decide first.

That there’s a real good match there. Look at what free content they’ve already got that’s out there and see if some of that meets your needs first and whether or not you really want to dive in deeper with that person. So I have a filtering system that I use when I’m deciding, do I really need to buy this program or is it a shiny object and the squirrel because I’m easily distracted by them.

Everyone needs to filtering system.

Here are the things that I use to filter out. What’s a good fit and what’s not a good fit. What is a need and what is a no I want, or I really would like to buy. So, is it a small or a large goal? Is it something that is a little bite size thing or is it a big long-term goal?

For example, I have a, an occupation that I love doing that has nothing to do with the way I make my living or the profession that I’m in. I love to knit. And I have a friend who has a knitting program. So one of the questions I’ve asked myself lightly because I’m real tempted by everything she puts out there is how is that going to fit into my life?

What is it going to do for me? How does it move through this filtering system? So I’m going to use my friends knitting course. Knitting program. And I’ll tell you right now, I’m definitely going to buy one, some part of it because I do it for pleasure. Just like some people paint for pleasure. I knit for pleasure.

It’s meditatative. And it takes me out of myself and I don’t have to think about things. So I say, is it a small or a large goal? It’s a small goal. It’s not a huge big long-term goal in the sense of, uh, Big life goal, but it’s a life enhancing goal. Is it something I want day for just a short period of time?

Or is it something I want to do over a long period of time? Well, why it’s kind of a small thing in itself. It’s something I want to do pick back up again. I used to do it a lot, so it’s kind of more of a long-term thing. Is it a pressing need or our longterm desire. That’s where it’s a longterm desire. I don’t need to, to get back into knitting.

I don’t need to learn new knitting patterns in order to be able to feed myself or in order to be able to pay for the house. But knitting helps to feed the things that. Pay for my food and my housing. So doing something that’s in a different creative field really feeds my creativity and it keeps me from being a workaholic painting.

So it really does fulfill a need. It’s just not the need, that’s immediate within the business, but I can definitely justify it from the business standpoint. And from the artistic standpoint of it being a creative need. And it’s a, it’s a pleasure. It makes me a nice and being all of my family likes it when I’m a nicer human being.

Decide if it’s a pressing need in this case. It’s not, it’s a more long-term pleasure. Thing then how much time do I have? So do I want something that is an intensive, that’s like an eight or 12 week in depth program? Or do I want something that’s more like an ongoing membership where I can dive in for just a few minutes.

A day or, you know, an hour or so a week. Hm. Well, which one of those things do you think fits what I’ve described as where I want to place knitting into my world? I don’t want to make a sweater by the end of the week. I’d like to, but I’m not that good at it anymore. I have to get back into shape with it, but it is definitely something I want to fall back into my routine.

So I want that ongoing thing. So a membership sounds really good to me because it’s something I can pick up and put down. It’s not going to disappear in eight to 12 weeks. It’s something that I can hold on to and I can fit it in around my other activities. So how much time do I have? I have small blocks of time to do that.

Do I need personal access to a mentor or a coach to do that? In other words, do I need to have her on the phone or on a zoom call in order for me to be able to. Accomplish what I want to set out to do. Probably not right now. Although if I make a hash of making a sweater for my granddaughter, I might, but I am probably going to be fine with the recorded videos.

That’s going to be a really good fit for me and group zoom calls would be fantastic along with other people who are interested in some of the same kind of things. So I don’t need one to one interaction for that. Right now. I might at some point, but not right at the moment. Is this person in alignment with me?

Well, I know this person well enough to know. Oh, heck yes. She’s in alignment with me. She has many of the same values I do, and I know how she loves on her community. So she is a fantastic community leader. So that aspect of it is very attractive. I know that the people that she pulls into her membership are people like me.

And that’s important to me. It’s that community aspect of it that becomes an important factor as well. So I’m taking things all the way through that filtering system from, is it a small or a large goal? In other words, is it going to have a big impact on my creative career or is it going to have a smaller impact?

Is it a pressing need or is it something that’s more long-term is it something how much time do I have to devote to it? You know, I have small chunks or big chunks of time. Do I need personal access to the coach or do I just need the information or somewhere in between? Is this person in alignment with me?

Those are really, really important filters because not every program is a good fit.

So just a quick little recap of where we are so far, we’ve talked about three steps to get the guidance and support that you need to go forward in your art practice. And the first one was to know yourself, know where you are. What’s important to you, what your strengths are and where the holes are that you need plugged.

Number two, to look at who’s out there. Who do you want to be like? Who do you admire? Who do you want to follow along behind as your guide? Number three, have you researched yet or connected with some of those folks? So it’s know yourself, look at who’s out there and then research and connect take action.

We talked about creating a filter system for, to make sure for making sure that it’s a really good fit. That you need to have some criteria to judge by. And I shared the ones that I use for myself when I’m trying to identify. Whether or not a mentor is a good fit for me because yes, I still do use mentors and coaches.

So we talked about thinking about whether it’s a small or a large goal that you’ve got going, whether it’s a pressing need, something that you need to fix immediately, or whether it’s more longterm. Is it, how much time do you have, I mean, to, uh, devote to it? Is it something that you’re going to have to do in small amounts or is it something that you’re going to be able to concentrate some time on?

Is it something you need personal access to the person? Do you need to have some quality time with that person in order to move faster? Or do you just need the information? We talked about whether or not this person is in alignment with you, with you and your values, super important part. So they don’t want to talk about a little bit about the programs we have.

Mary’s programs: who are they for?

I recently got a question that’s actually what sparked this whole discussion. I got a question from one of my readers about how to get back into the swing of things as an artist, after being outside of the whole art world for a good while. She wants to get back into art making as well as making enough money to fund her art making.

She wants to fund her passion. She wants to make enough money to pay for materials and supplies and do workshops take workshops and things like that. A perfectly great goal. And so we talked about ways that she can go about doing that.

And there are some programs that I have for instance, that are predominantly designed for people who need that immediate information only in small chunks. That’s not really where she was at. Certainly a couple of those could help get her started and kick-started in the right direction.

Those programs, mini courses, are small bite-size chunks meant to be consumed in a short period of time.

Those are to fix things that you might have identified as small holes in your own art practice, your own online art biz. There’s no real personal contact with me on those.

We have one called The Online Art Biz Boot Camp which is a great fit for somebody experienced all of the galleries closing at the beginning of the pandemic, and didn’t have a website, didn’t have a way to begin to generate some income. It is a way to get a real fast jumpstart on that without having to invest a whole lot of time in getting all those other systems up and running.

Another mini course that we have is on palette knife painting. So that is for people who really have a clearly identified need. And they need to go for it right now. They don’t want to wait for a bigger course. So that might be something that is for you.

It’s important to ask yourself whether it’s a long-term need or short short-term need.

The Art+Work+Living Community Membership is a great fit for those with a nine to five job and only small chunks of time in a week in order to devote to growing their studio practice or growing their online art biz. That’s a paid membership, not the free Facebook group. Those are two different things. This is a paid membership that people can join on a monthly or annual basis that includes information, topics, and trainings around how to create that balanced, sustainable creative life.

There are trainings in three main areas: creating compelling artwork, creating a thriving mindset and creating that thriving studio business. We have a training released every month, a behind-the-scenes backstage pass trainings each month and two live Q&A calls, one for art biz questions and one for critique.

If the gap you’re trying to fill is making faster progress on a the long-term need, if you’ve got bigger chunks of time to devote to your learning, then there are two courses that are great fits depending on which direction you’re going in.

If you are looking to develop your painting more than Composition, Color, & Light is a great fit for you. Its main thrust is developing compelling magnetic paintings through using composition, value, color, and light to maximize your paintings’ visual impact.

It is a painting course only, and focuses primarily on oils and landscape painting. It’s also suitable for people working in acrylics or pastels or even watercolors, although the demos are in oil. So people need to be aware of that.

The other courses, for those who really want to develop their online art business and turn it into a thriving studio business. That’s The Painter’s Path, which opens just a few times a year. We’re going to be opening it up again in January, but have a wait list right now. It covers how to create a thriving online art business through launch your artwork to an engaged audience.

Its focus is on how to create the mindset to thrive, the artwork that’s compelling, the platform that is going to help you grow an audience (your website, email list and social media hub) and the systems to grow your audience and convert them into buyers.

Then if you need long-term help, have more pressing need and you really want to make change fast with much more access to me directly, I have a small group coaching mastermind called the Accelerator. It is by application only.

The range of programs go from the mini courses that cover everything from painting demos, to Instagram for Artists and the Online Art Biz Bootcamp as a short term, information only to a long-term membership that you can join on a month to month or annual basis, The Art+Work+Living Community Membership, the two courses, Composition, Color, & Light, and The Painter’s Path, depending on whether you need to work on those compelling paintings or work on the online art biz.

And then an ongoing mentorship, the Accelerator small group coaching mastermind program.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email. I’ll be happy to answer any of those that come my way.

And if you know of anybody who would be interested in any of these programs, please feel free to share them. I would really appreciate that.

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