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


  • Episode 189: Interview with Jim Scherbarth

    September 25th, 2021  |  40 mins 39 secs
    art, creativity, focus, jim scherbarth, passion, practice, purpose, rebecca crowell, teaching, voice

    James Edward Scherbarth was a dear friend, colleague, and teacher, and artist who developed profound and personal ways of working in just a few years following his retirement in his mid-60s. Today we share our interview with Jim near the end of his life in which he discusses his life, work, and teaching philosophy. Jim passed away a few days after this recording, on June 22, 2021. We are very honored to have had this opportunity to hear what he wished to share with our listeners.

  • Episode 188: We're Back!

    September 18th, 2021  |  30 mins 40 secs
    art, creativity, life changes, moving, process, rebecca crowell, stress

    Those of you who follow the Messy Studio know that we have taken time off this summer because each of us was involved in a major move from the family home in Wisconsin. The process of moving is no fun, as anyone who has done it knows—it’s hard work physically and emotionally and there is plenty of stress. But now that we are each settled in we’re happy to be back with producing the podcast. Today we join you with thoughts about changing situations and what Rebecca has been seeing in her current work in the studio as a result.

  • Episode 187: Role Reversal: Interview with Ross Ticknor

    July 17th, 2021  |  36 mins 22 secs
    3d printing, art, crypto currency, encryption, entrepreneurship, liberating technologies, ross ticknor

    As artists --engaged for the most part in fairly traditional and long-established ways of working—it may be hard to understand or embrace new technologies. Yet artists have always been involved in revolutionary advances in culture and technology. Today we will discuss some technologies that have liberating potential for artists. In a bit of role reversal, our guest today is Ross Ticknor, and his focus is on the uses of 3-D printing for artists.

  • Episode 186: Decluttering: Can A Messy Studio be Too Messy?

    July 10th, 2021  |  32 mins 17 secs
    art, creativity, downsizing, messy, moving, older work, personal development, rebecca crowell

    This episode includes a shocking revelation from Rebecca. Even Messy Studios need to be purged of clutter and old works of art once in a while.
    Artists are always given the good advice to be productive as they can, to make lots of work, to go to the studio nearly every day. That’s because only by doing a lot of work can you really progress and explore your full potential. Yet the results of all that creative output will inevitably pile up in the studio and in your home, leading to storage problems and other more personal issues. Today we will talk about the challenges of dealing with the accumulation of your own artwork.

  • Episode 185: Approaching Galleries and More: Interview with Jason Horejs:

    July 5th, 2021  |  41 mins 8 secs
    art, business, creativity, galleries, interview, jason horejs, marketing, rebecca crowell, sales

    We interview Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery and on the best way to market yourself and your work to galleries.

  • Episode 184: Ask Me Anything LIVE #1

    June 26th, 2021  |  35 mins 48 secs
    art, children, creativity, early life, memories, moving, rebecca crowell, simplifying life, support

    This is the audio recording of our very first AMA on Facebook Live. We opened up the session to listeners who had questions and chatted about the challenges of moving.

  • Episode 183: Our Powerful Words

    June 20th, 2021  |  36 mins 4 secs
    art, creativity, forgiveness, honesty, kindness, mindset, motivation, positivity, rebecca crowell

    Words that we say and the words we remember being said to us can have impact that goes far beyond the moment in which they are spoken. For better or for worse many of us remember things said to us decades ago, And we have all said things that have lodged in other people’s minds in an equally powerful way—and most of the time we don’t even realize that has happened. While we may say and receive words that are meant to have an impact, other times it is a casual remark that looms large in retrospect. Today we look at the ways we are influenced and can influence others with our words, including how words can affect our creative selves and others.

  • Episode 182: Dealing with Disrespect

    June 13th, 2021  |  39 mins 33 secs
    art, business, career, creativity, disrespect, personal development, rebecca crowell, respect

    Anyone who cares about the work they perform wants to have that work appreciated and respected. And while certain professions and high-level positions can elicit that respect almost automatically, people in many other fields have to build that regard from others over time. They need to constantly reinforce respect for what they do-- and most importantly, feel it within themselves in order to create it. Those in creative fields may have special challenges in building respect in a society that tends to look at what they do as unimportant, a hobby or sideline, or something they do simply to please themselves. Or their work may be regarded for its commercial or decorative value only. Today we’ll take a look at the ways artists and other creative people struggle to establish respect in the circles in which they move

  • Episode 181: Respecting Your Artist Self

    June 5th, 2021  |  35 mins 14 secs
    art, business, career, creativity, personal development, rebecca crowell, respect

    Self-respect is one of the central ingredients for a healthy mindset yet can be one of the hardest to achieve. As artists, we may lose our grip on it when encountering the larger art world or lack of self-respect may interfere with our art practice itself, keeping us from dedicating time and resources to our work, or behaving in ways that undermine our success. Is your self-respect as an artist firmly in place or does it waver or fade in some situations? Today we’ll talk about ways to build and maintain your self-respect inside and outside the studio.

  • Episode 180: When to Settle

    May 30th, 2021  |  33 mins 17 secs
    art, compromise, creativity, rebecca crowell, settling

    One of the challenges of your art practice is being able to evaluate your finished work in terms of what is excellent and what is just good or all right. Many of us want to be able to identify our best work and also to accept nothing less than this for ourselves. But do we have to push everything we do to this highest standard? Can we allow some things to be less than our best and move on? And are we really able to be objective in evaluating our own work anyway?

  • Episode 179: Creative Frustration

    May 22nd, 2021  |  30 mins 27 secs
    art, branding, creativity, frustration, personal voice, process, rebecca crowell

    It’s an all-too familiar situation in the studio, coping with a work of art that seems to fight against you at every step, making each day with it a struggle. It’s so easy to become obsessed with a piece like this, trying to persuade it to cooperate, just as you might with a stubborn person. It can feel like an exhausting contest of wills, made all the more frustrating by your awareness that you are actually fighting with yourself. Today we’re going to talk about those pieces that make you want to tear out your hair or throw them out the window -window. Because we all know that feeling, right?

  • Episode 178: Sparking Creative Passion

    May 15th, 2021  |  35 mins 18 secs
    art, creativity, motivation, passion, personal development, rebecca crowell

    Passion is a vital ingredient to staying motivated and focused on our creative work. It helps us find our own direction and voice and keeps us going even under hard personal circumstances or times when the outside world is failing to provide validation. Passion is a source of creative energy that sustains and revitalizes us. But is creative passion something we just have as an innate part of our personality? Or can it be nurtured and developed if we lack it? Today we talk about creative passion, and how to nurture and honor its role in our lives as artists.

  • Episode 177: Searching for Stories

    May 8th, 2021  |  35 mins 1 sec
    abstraction, art, communication, connection, creativity, process, rebecca crowell, story

    Since the beginning of time, artists have told stories with their work. Sometimes the messages are straightforward and other times open to interpretation. Stories can be told with recognizable imagery, with symbols, and even with purely abstract elements. At the heart of telling stories is our desire to communicate and the human love of narrative. Do you think of your work as telling stories? In today’s discussion, we hope to open your mind to the narrative aspects of your work and perhaps enable you to mine your stories for new ideas.

  • Episode 176: Visual Ideas

    May 1st, 2021  |  37 mins 18 secs
    3d printing, art, brand, creativity, personal voice, rebecca crowell, unique ideas, visual ideas

    Artists often worry that their work is derivative of another artist’s work and may be very concerned about being overly influenced by someone else’s style or technique. This problem certainly does exist in the art world and is something to guard against because most of us do want our work to be original and unique. But in every field of endeavor, people build on and respond to the work of others, and this is no different for artists. Today we talk about building on, rather than appropriating, other people’s ideas.

  • Episode 175: Authenticity

    April 24th, 2021  |  26 mins 30 secs
    art, authenticity, brand, creativity, personal voice, rebecca crowell

    The artist’s life is challenging in ways that go beyond producing strong work, as difficult as that may be. An art practice also makes huge demands of us on a personal and emotional level. Although we love what we do, all of us sometimes feel overwhelmed by these demands, which include the need for constant self-examination, brutal honesty, and being willing to push through difficulties. Yet we know that these challenges come with the territory and are the path to true personal expression. Today we will focus on the challenge and rewards of being authentic and honest with ourselves in our studio practice.

  • Episode 174: The Messiest Studio... EVER!

    April 16th, 2021  |  34 mins 17 secs
    art, biography, creativity, francis bacon, history, messy studio, rebecca crowell, uk artists

    Did you know there was a well-known artist whose studio was so impressive for its mess that the entire place was reproduced piece by piece in a museum after his death? We are talking about British painter Francis Bacon, famous for his expressionistic figurative work, and whose reproduced studio is permanently housed at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin, Ireland. Today we’re going to look at the story of his studio chaos –and offer words of encouragement for those whose studios may not be famous, but perhaps almost as messy as Francis Bacon’s.