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 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?

  • Episode 214: Emotional Territory

    July 31st, 2022  |  35 mins 43 secs
    art, creativity, emotions, producing work, rebecca crowell, selling work

    Creative work involves a myriad of emotions. In a single day in the studio, an artist can cycle through excitement, frustration, despair, relief, pleasure, and hope. Sending a finished piece into the world can bring on anxiety and feelings of vulnerability, along with more positive emotions like anticipation and satisfaction. Emotional involvement comes with the territory of our work-- but we do need to stay on track, focus, and show up in the studio. Today we’ll talk about coping with the tangle of emotions that can challenge artists and other creative people.

  • Episode 213: Artists as Entrepreneurs, with Jerry McLaughlin

    July 23rd, 2022  |  38 mins 17 secs
    art, business, creativity, entrepreneurship, jerry mclaughlin, mexico, rebecca crowell

    For many of us in the art world, making art is only part of what we do. The other big role most of us play, that of businessperson, can be one that comes less naturally. Many artists resist getting involved with art as a business, seeing it as something that dilutes creativity and true voice. At the same time, most of us get a lot of satisfaction from exhibiting our work and would like to be able to make a living doing what we really love, and it is gratifying to provide something that enriches the lives of fellow humans. Can we learn to see the business aspects of art in a more positive light, and bring to our art business the same skills we use in the studio?

  • Episode 212: Imaginary Friends and Critics

    July 16th, 2022  |  32 mins 50 secs
    art, business, communication, creativity, marketing, outside influences, personal voice, rebecca crowell

    When an artist creates, the people that the artist images viewing the work often are unseen presences in the studio. When we are deeply involved in our work these may fade away, but they tend to reappear when we are uncertain or involved in self-critique. A legitimate and important part of evaluating our work is trying to see the work through someone else’s eyes. But who are these viewers, exactly? Who are we creating art for, besides ourselves? Today we talk about those who view our work, how we imagine them and how much power to give them.

  • Episode 211: Meaning in Abstraction

    July 10th, 2022  |  35 mins 11 secs
    abstraction, art, communication, creativity, meaning, rebecca crowell

    Abstract art --especially the kind that has no identifiable imagery-- may appear to have little meaning to the viewer beyond its purely visual appeal. Certainly, we can admire and respond to abstraction without needing a story or an explanation, as long as our eyes are intrigued or delighted, and that is an important way it can be appreciated. But in fact, ideas, emotions, and other points of reference lie behind even the most purely abstract work. Today we will consider the ideas that compel abstract artists and guide them in their work.

  • Episode 210: Interview with Jason Matias Part II

    July 3rd, 2022  |  47 mins 10 secs
    art, business, creativity, design, jason matias, photography, rebecca crowell

    Today we are excited to welcome Seattle-based artist, author, and educator Jason Matias back to the Messy Studio. We published the first part of this interview back in January, which focused on Jason's approach to the business side of art. We recorded a second interview that same day so that he could tell us more about his own art, and what it takes to make his striking photographs of the natural world. We are excited to share this second interview with you today.

  • Episode 209: Abstraction and Visual Ideas

    June 25th, 2022  |  37 mins 58 secs
    abstraction, art, creativity, rebecca crowell, visual ideas

    Abstract artists are known for getting ideas for their work everywhere. If you notice someone taking a photo of a crack in the sidewalk or staring at a piece of rusted metal, chances are good that’s an abstract artist at work, collecting ideas for lines and colors and textures. Even if we don’t depict objects realistically in our work, we are constantly observing the world around us. Today we are talking about the process of gathering and using visual ideas in creating abstract art.

  • Episode 208: Counterproductive Habits

    June 19th, 2022  |  36 mins 59 secs
    art, creativity, personal development, productivity, rebecca crowell, work habits

    Being productive in the studio means different things to each artist--but wanting to grow and achieve new levels in our work is basic to the creative process. Yet there are many practices and attitudes that work against productivity, causing frustration and creative blocks, and wasting valuable studio time. Today we will talk about some of these counterproductive situations and how to challenge them in your own studio practice.

  • Episode 207: Art and Aging

    June 11th, 2022  |  32 mins 40 secs
    aging, art, creativity, family, rebecca crowell, spirituality

    Many of our listeners to this podcast are in their older years, and the rest of us can only hope to find ourselves there one day. Aging brings with it many challenges—these are as specific and diverse as our own personalities and yet as common as anything else shared by millions of people. While physical abilities and stamina may decline for older artists, aging can also contribute to creative work in positive ways.

  • Episode 206: Dealing with Hard Times

    June 4th, 2022  |  33 mins 9 secs
    art, creativity, family, hard times, rebecca crowell

    We are really happy to be bringing this podcast episode to you this week, the first one after a long hiatus due to a very difficult situation in Ross's personal life. Today we’ll be talking about how the past few months have gone for us and offering some thoughts about how reconnecting with your creative practice is a solid and healthy step toward getting your life back on track.

  • Episode 205: A Brief Explanation For Our Recent Absence

    February 5th, 2022  |  4 mins 43 secs
    explanation, life, rebecca crowell, ross ticknor, special announcement

    Rebecca and Ross sit down together in person to discuss recent events in their personal lives.

  • Episode 204: Jason Matias Interview - The Art of Selling Art

    January 15th, 2022  |  39 mins 18 secs
    art, branding, business, creativity, fairs, jason matias, marketing, pricing, rebecca crowell, selling art

    Today we are excited to welcome Jason Mathias to the Messy Studio. Jason is an experienced professional artist, an author, and an educator, who lives in a loft in the woods outside Seattle, Washington. Following seven years of military service, Jason pursued a bachelor's degree in business and a master's in organizational leadership and began to apply what he learned to his passion for photography. These days, in addition to his creating his own artwork, Jason runs the online teaching platform The Art of Selling Art, a membership site that teaches business skills, strategies, and practical approaches to the business side of art practice. His aim is to demystify the art world so that artists can sell more art. We're going to find out much more about what he has to offer other artists in today's episode.

    This interview is available on both audio and video versions on our Facebook page.

  • Episode 203: Moving Forward in the New Year

    January 8th, 2022  |  32 mins 52 secs
    art, creativity, goals, intentions, new years, rebecca crowell, resolutions

    The new year is a traditional time to reflect on the past, set goals for the future, contemplate your current situation, and identify ways to move forward. Even if you are not someone who makes formal New Years' resolutions, most of us feel an underlying urge to take stock of what we’d like to improve upon or work toward in the coming year. Today we’ll talk about evaluating how things are going in the studio and in your art business, and what role your goals and insights may play in 2022.

  • Episode 202: Are You Overthinking?

    January 3rd, 2022  |  37 mins 55 secs
    art, artist statements, authenticity, creativity, overthinking, process, rebecca crowell

    We talk a lot on the podcast about the importance of thinking about your work—of identifying intentions, strategies for developing your ideas, describing your work, researching other artists, and practicing self-critique. All of these are important, but we never want to neglect the more intuitive side of an art practice. So much of what we do is the result of hunches, impulses, and flashes of insight. And the bottom line is that as visual artists, whatever we do needs more than intellectual underpinnings. Today we will talk about the balance of thinking and overthinking when it comes to making art.

  • Episode 201: Social Media: Friends and Followers

    December 17th, 2021  |  39 mins 55 secs
    art, brand, business, creativity, personal voice, rebecca crowell, social media

    Many of us enjoy social media as a convenient way to share our art with others, for the sense of community it offers, and the easy way it lets us keep up with people we seldom see in person. But artists who are not enthusiastic about social media can feel pressured into participating because of the benefits it offers, yet squeamish and awkward when they do. Today we’ll talk about the role of social media in art practice and how to find a comfort level with participating if you’ve been avoiding it.

  • Episode 200: Our Milestone 200th Episode: Behind the Scenes

    December 12th, 2021  |  50 mins 23 secs
    art, collaborating, creativity, gratitude, looking back, milestone, personal development, podcasting, rebecca crowell, review

    We have reached a milestone here at the Messy Studio that we are excited to report. We recently surpassed half a million total downloads of our episodes, which we first published in late December 2017. This week also marks our 200th episode, and we are also coming up on our 4th year anniversary as well. We’re proud of our podcast and grateful to our many listeners, and to celebrate we decided to talk today about the podcast itself—how it got started, how it has grown, and the challenges and rewards of this project.