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 253: Dealing with Rejection
May 27th, 2023 | 36 mins 3 secs
art, business, creativity, exhibitions, growth, mind set, rebecca crowell, rejection, shows
It’s never easy putting your work in front of others to be judged and scrutinized, but if you don’t it’s very hard to gain a wider audience or grow as an artist. Submitting work to galleries, grant panels, juried shows, and competitions tends to become a routine part of what artists do. But for every time you’re chosen for an opportunity, there are many more times when you are rejected or simply ignored. And despite the thick skins many of us develop, rejection is never easy. Today we’ll talk about coping with rejection and try to gain some perspective on its inevitability
Episode 252: Personal or Formal?
May 15th, 2023 | 31 mins 43 secs
art, creativity, formal, personal, rebecca crowell, structure, style
We tend to think of artistic expression as being very personal, as coming from the artist’s experiences, emotions, memories, and responses. But there are also many works of art that are not focused on personal expression. Instead, the artist is motivated to explore a more impersonal realm of ideas, patterns, and more universal concepts. For most artists, there is a balance between sources that are more and less personal, a balance in working between the heart and the mind. That individual balance is basic to the artist’s voice and unique expression. Today we’re going to talk about these two different approaches to making art and the balance in your own art practice.
Episode 251: Travel Tips for Artists
May 8th, 2023 | 35 mins 48 secs
art, creativity, hacks, listener suggestions, rebecca crowell, tips, travel
The ideas and energy gained from travel are important to many artists, and when you travel, you seldom leave your art self behind. The stimulation of travel and new experiences tends to create strong impressions and bring on the urge to create while you’re away from home, no matter the overall reason for your trip. This means bringing along at least some art supplies, and lots more if the focus of your trip is a residency or workshop.
Episode 250: Expressions of Gratitude
April 29th, 2023 | 30 mins 15 secs
art, business, communication, creativity, experience, gratitude, personal, rebecca crowell
As artists, what role can gratitude play in our work and practice? On a personal level, we know that focusing on what we’re grateful for is good for overall mental health and contentment. Today we’d like to talk about specific situations in which appreciation and gratitude can help artists cope with some of the tougher aspects of art practice. Expressing gratitude can also help in your professional life to build mutual appreciation and respect in your dealings with the art world. Today we’ll talk about the importance of gratitude on both personal and professional levels.
Episode 249: Explaining Abstraction
April 23rd, 2023 | 36 mins 28 secs
abstraction, art, artist statements, creativity, explaining your work, personal relationships, rebecca crowell
Lots of people misunderstand abstract art and don’t respect it as a valid form of expression. We’ve all heard remarks that imply that abstract artists lack talent or skill or are trying to fool people into appreciating something that has no value. If you are an abstract artist, how do you deal with this attitude? Do you have family and friends who dismiss your work? Do you let negative remarks pass by or do you try to provide some background or insight into abstraction? Today we’ll explore why abstraction confounds many viewers and some ways you might provide some insight.
Episode 248: Feedback Time
April 15th, 2023 | 38 mins 21 secs
advice, art, creativity, development, feedback, mentors, rebecca crowell
As artists, we know it’s good to get feedback now and then so we can understand how our work is seen by others. But managing how and when to solicit feedback can have a lot to do with how valuable and appropriate it will be. While feedback at the right time and situation can be exactly what you need, feedback can also have the opposite effect, and even experienced artists can be thrown off track. Today we’ll talk about exerting control over when and how to receive feedback to make it most valuable.
Episode 247: Making Progress
April 1st, 2023 | 29 mins 2 secs
advancing, art, creativity, development, failure, movement, process, progress, rebecca crowell
It seems to be a given that as artists we want to see growth and progress in our work --and many episodes of this podcast have focused on taking on the challenges and mindset that feed progress in the studio. But what does it really mean to make artistic progress? Is there any way to measure or quantify progress as an artist? And how is a sense of progress linked to our basic satisfaction as creative people?
Episode 246: Balancing Art and Business
March 25th, 2023 | 37 mins 9 secs
art, balance, business, creativity, finances, organization, rebecca crowell, strategies, systems, taxes, tips
For many artists that want to market and sell their work, finding a balance between studio practice and business life is challenging. There are pitfalls in spending too much time on the business side of your practice, and drawbacks to not paying enough attention to this. Finding a good balance between your art and your art business is not simply a time management issue, but also one of your focus and emotional investment. Today we’ll talk about some considerations and pitfalls in navigating this territory.
Episode 245: Art and Technology
March 18th, 2023 | 41 mins 39 secs
art, communicating, creativity, history, marketing, materials, rebecca crowell, technology
As artists, many of us honor the age-old tradition of creating our work with nothing more than our hands, a few tools, and materials that have stood the test of time. Yet we also live in a high-tech world, and that impacts all of us. How artists view technology ranges from a necessary evil to a full embrace of its creative possibilities. But we should all understand that technology itself is not a new factor in making art. Today we’ll look at some of the ways technology has been used over time in art and ways to think about it in our current world.
Episode 244: Abstract Painting: Exploring Media
March 14th, 2023 | 41 mins 28 secs
abstraction, acrylic, art, creativity, experimentation, materials, mixed media, oil paint, rebecca crowell, water color
Each type of painting media that an abstract artist uses has specific qualities that make it suitable for certain approaches-- and less so for others. As part of your studio practice, it’s important to understand and work with the qualities of different media rather than trying to push against their nature. And it is also exciting to explore outside your typical media to see what each has to offer. Today we’ll look at several media used for abstract painting—oil, acrylic, encaustic, watercolor, and mixed media approaches and touch on the benefits and challenges of each.
Episode 243: Being Seen
March 4th, 2023 | 31 mins 5 secs
art, communication, creativity, history, marketing, purpose, rebecca crowell
A basic human desire is to truly be seen. We long to be understood by other people, acknowledged, appreciated, and accepted for who we are. As an artist, you have a literal way of being seen, of communicating who you are in a visual way. The hope that people will be able to connect with you through your work is a basic motivation for making art. Today we’ll talk about the desire to be seen and understood by the people who view your work.
Episode 242: The Challenges of Consistency
February 25th, 2023 | 34 mins 5 secs
art, brand, consistency, creativity, development, galleries, personal voice, rebecca crowell, style
As artists we know it’s good to be open to new ideas and changes—but for marketing purposes we’re also expected to have an identifiable style that is consistent and recognizable. This basic dilemma is frustrating when you have wide-ranging interests and like to explore new ideas or media. Your work can appear to be “all over the place” and seem to lack focus. At the other extreme, being overly concerned that your work is consistent can inhibit your growth as an artist.
Episode 241: Where Are You Going?
February 21st, 2023 | 31 mins 9 secs
art, creativity, goals, momentum, outcomes, process, rebecca crowell
Carrying out a creative project is rarely a straightforward process. A basic aspect of creative work is the way that ideas evolve during the process, rather than being known from the beginning. The outcome is unknown as the artist dives in, and the end is often surprising and exciting for its creator. Yet understanding and accepting this process is very difficult for many people.
Episode 240: Your Studio Privacy
February 11th, 2023 | 33 mins 46 secs
art, boundaries, clients, creativity, family, friends, rebecca crowell, studio space, time management
Privacy and solitude are important factors in producing creative work, allowing an artist to feel secure to explore and take the time needed to develop meaningful work without judgement or observation. Yet the outside world can sometimes push against these needs. It may seem hard to set the boundaries around your studio time, to preserve the time and space you need to focus exclusively on your work without distractions.
Episode 239: Trusting Your Intuition
February 4th, 2023 | 33 mins 54 secs
art, communication, creativity, intuition, personal voice, rebecca crowell
As artists we all recognize that intuition plays a role in what we do, but what that role is can seem mysterious and elusive. Like many concepts in art, we tend to use the words intuitive and intuition loosely because they defy exact description. But a closer look may help you understand its place in your own way of working, and to better access its power.
Episode 238: The Laws of Creativity: An Interview with Joey Cofone
January 28th, 2023 | 36 mins 18 secs
art, creativity, failure, fear, joey cofone, process, rebecca crowell
Artistic expression is driven by an inner need to be your authentic self, to express what is true and unique in your individual experiences and thoughts. That may sound straightforward, but as we know, there is nothing easy about finding the creative voice that is yours, dedicating your time and energy to its expression, or putting the work that results out into the world. Today we are really excited to welcome our special guest -- author, entrepreneur and award-winning graphic designer Joey Cofone, author of an exciting new book, The Laws of Creativity.