The Messy Studio with Rebecca Crowell

The podcast at the intersection of art, travel, business, philosophy, and life in general.

About the show

Artist Rebecca Crowell shares experiences and thoughts from three decades of painting, teaching and traveling, as well as her conversations with other artists. She is joined by her co-host, producer, and son, Ross Ticknor, who brings an entrepreneurial Millennial perspective. The conversations are broad and eclectic, focused on ideas, information and anecdotes that other artists may find helpful in their work and careers. A new episode is uploaded every weekend!

The Messy Studio with Rebecca Crowell on social media

Episodes

  • Episode 230: Artists Collecting Art

    November 19th, 2022  |  32 mins 30 secs
    art, barter, collecting art, creativity, personal relationships, professional relationships, rebecca crowell, trade

    We often think of art collectors as people who love art but don’t create it themselves, meaning that the work they purchase may seem to them to come from a somewhat mysterious creative realm. Yet artists are very often collectors themselves, and have a different kind of appreciation for the work they acquire due to their deep understanding of what is involved in creating art.

  • Episode 229: Pricing Quandries

    November 12th, 2022  |  34 mins 5 secs
    art, business, creativity, galleries, personal relationships, pricing, rebecca crowell

    One of the trickiest issues that artists deal with is pricing their work, especially when a situation is not straightforward. At those times, even experienced artists can find themselves feeling indecisive or worried they are charging too much or too little. Today we will explore some options for times when it's not clear what to charge.

  • Episode 228: Creative Flow

    November 6th, 2022  |  33 mins 2 secs
    art, creativity, flow, mindset, place, productivity, rebecca crowell, travel

    The experience of creative flow in the studio is one many artists crave as the source of ultimate joy and satisfaction in making art. But this state of mind is elusive—it may appear without any conscious effort or disappear when you most want to rely on it. Today we talk about this state of mind, how to cultivate it, and the role it can play in your work.

  • Episode 227: The Gift of Days: An Artist Residency

    October 29th, 2022  |  41 mins 19 secs
    abstraction, art, artist residency, creativity, influences, lisbon, materials, place, portugal, rebecca crowell, travel

    In today’s episode, Rebecca reflects on her recent 3 weeks of residency at the Obras Foundation in Portugal, and the challenges and rewards of this experience.

  • Episode 226: The Importance of Place

    October 22nd, 2022  |  38 mins 50 secs
    art, creativity, home, influences, place, rebecca crowell, travel

    The influence of specific locations on creative work is important among many kinds of artists, from plein aire painters to site-specific sculptors. On today’s podcast, Rebecca talks about the ways responding to certain places has impacted her own abstract work over the years, and specifically how this has evolved in recent years since her move to New Mexico. We hope that her thoughts invite contemplation of your own influences from both your home environment and your travels.

  • Episode 225: When Less Is More

    October 16th, 2022  |  33 mins 33 secs
    abstraction, art, creativity, elements, less is more, minimalism, rebecca crowell

    For some artists, bringing meaning to their abstract work is hard because they lack ideas, or direction, or a true sense of connection to the work. But for others the problem is the opposite. They have so many thoughts, feelings, and references they want to work with that they become overwhelmed and frustrated. Today we want to talk about the value of focus in your ideas for abstract work, and what happens when your they are too complex and create blocks in your expression.

  • Episode 224: The Challenges of Exhibiting

    October 8th, 2022  |  40 mins 25 secs
    art, business, creativity, exhibits, galleries, rebecca crowell

    Whether it’s your first exhibit or you are a veteran of many, an upcoming show of your work can take you on a wild ride of emotions and expectations. In anticipating the planning, production, and stress involved, you may even wonder, why bother? Yet for most artists, being able to show their work in a public space is important to their identity as artists. In today’s episode, we’ll look at the benefits and rewards of exhibiting and the role it plays in an art career, as well as some of the emotional and logistical challenges.

  • Episode 223: Your Upcoming Exhibit

    October 1st, 2022  |  42 mins 3 secs
    art, business, creativity, exhibits, galleries, rebecca crowell

    Nothing energizes and motivates an artist like being offered an exhibit, especially one that involves showing a lot of pieces together. Even experienced artists with a history of exhibits feel excited by the opportunity, but also a little daunted by all the work and planning involved. For artists preparing for their first big exhibit, there is a lot to learn and figure out. Today we’ll go through some of the practical aspects of preparing for a show, based on Rebecca’s almost 40 years of experience with exhibiting her work--and in a future episode we’ll consider some of the other challenges involved with showing your work.

  • Episode 222: Self Assertion for Artists

    September 25th, 2022  |  40 mins 49 secs
    art, business, confrontation, creativity, personal relationships, rebecca crowell, self assertion

    When artists deal with the world outside their studios, they are often called upon to state their needs, assert their rights, and sometimes to confront unfair actions by galleries, organizers, or clients. Most of us don’t have agents or employees to handle these situations for us, and so we need to handle them on our own. To be effective, you need to be confident and straight-forward with the discussion. But instead, your personality may cause you to feel shy, socially awkward, or less than confident when you need to be self-assertive. Today’s episode is for those of you who struggle with confrontation and self-assertion in your dealings with the art world.

  • Episode 221: Creative Momentum

    September 18th, 2022  |  33 mins 12 secs
    art, business, creativity, galleries, mindset, momentum, rebecca crowell, sales, work flow

    Studio practice has noticeable ebbs and flows in terms of productivity, sales, exhibiting and marketing. There is also an energy flow that is less specific and harder to quantify that runs through our days in the studio. Sometimes our energy is strong, and we feel carried along by ideas and excitement, and other times we feel sluggish, lack ideas, and must push ourselves to even go to the studio. When we lose creative momentum, it’s hard to feel we’re doing our best work. What is creative momentum, and how can we create and sustain it?

  • Episode 220: The Blank Canvas

    September 10th, 2022  |  38 mins 58 secs
    art, blank canvas, creativity, getting started, materials, practice, rebecca crowell, time

    Beginning a work of art is a leap into the unknown. Facing a blank canvas or panel or sheet of drawing paper, a lump of clay, a block of wood, a freshly prepared litho stone, or the untouched material of any art form is exhilarating but also a bit intimidating. How do you approach starting new work? Do you feel the energy of a fresh start, or is there some worry about how things will go? How do you overcome resistance to starting something new? Today we will talk about the ups and downs in launching into new work.

  • Episode 219: The Confidence Game

    September 4th, 2022  |  33 mins 18 secs
    art, attitude, business, confidence, creativity, personal development, rebecca crowell

    As artists and as creative entrepreneurs we all know the challenges of building confidence—in our own attitudes and in our encounters with people we want to engage with our work. To a large extent, we invent ourselves as we go along, developing a vision for our work and an audience to appreciate it. And often we tackle all of this without much emotional or practical support, and the times when we struggle have a way of depleting our confidence. Today we will talk about understanding the role of confidence in your work and in your business dealings.

  • Episode 218: About Teaching Workshops

    August 27th, 2022  |  43 mins 50 secs
    art, business, creativity, entrepreneurship, rebecca crowell, teaching, workshops

    Last week we talked about workshops from the point of view of artists taking them, what they look for, and how to make choices from the many options available. Today we want to talk about workshops from the perspective of workshop instructors. Many artists who have ideas and experience to share are drawn to workshop teaching. And teaching can be a very rewarding, interesting, and lucrative side job that fits well with an artist’s own studio practice. But it’s also a completely unregulated territory where success depends largely on personal reputation and endorsements, and where sometimes the best laid plans fall apart. What does it take to do well as a workshop instructor? What are some of the rewards of teaching workshops and what are some things to watch out for?

  • Episode 217: Navigating Workshop World

    August 20th, 2022  |  40 mins 15 secs
    art, creativity, education, rebecca crowell, students, teaching, workshops

    Workshops serve many purposes for artists, including learning new skills and information, connecting with other artists, and receiving feedback and critique. A workshop with the right instructor at the right time can provide an important breakthrough for your work. But attending a workshop can also be challenging on a personal level, involving travel, a commitment of time and money, and working in a group environment. And not all workshops are well organized or worthwhile. Today we will be talking about workshops from the perspective of artists who have taken them--what was gained, and what difficulties were encountered.

  • Episode 216: The Personal and The Professional

    August 14th, 2022  |  41 mins 50 secs
    art, business, creativity, galleries, openings, personalism, professionalism, rebecca crowell, sales

    In every field of work, there are some interactions that are professional and some that can be more personal, and the lines between them are not always clear. How casual, how revealing, how personal can you be while keeping a businesslike and professional attitude? In an art career, this issue impacts your interactions in many ways—in talking with dealers and collectors, when you give talks and interviews, in setting the tone of your website, and any time you are meeting the public. Today we’ll talk about the boundaries between personal and professional situations in an art career.

  • Episode 215: Being Vulnerable

    August 7th, 2022  |  33 mins 19 secs
    art, business, creativity, emotion, professionalism, rebecca crowell, vulnerability

    Situations in which we feel unsure, insecure, and vulnerable are a common experience for many of us. As artists, that feeling of vulnerability may come with exhibiting our work, promoting ourselves, explaining what we do, and even when we’re alone in the studio making art. Today we will share some thoughts about what it means to be vulnerable as an artist. Is vulnerability something to avoid --or tolerate-- or even embrace? What can we learn from situations in which we feel vulnerable?