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!
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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.
Episode 237: Finding Your Artist Community
January 21st, 2023 | 34 mins 48 secs
art, cold wax academy, community, creativity, jerry mclaughlin, rebecca crowell, technology
Art is primarily a solitary activity. Although some artists collaborate or share studios, most of us spend our time alone with our work and our thoughts, and we value that solitude. But art is also a form of communication, and other artists are often very savvy about understanding the work of others and connecting in that way is valuable. And who better to understand the ups and downs, the challenges and rewards of art life than another artist? Today Rebecca and Jerry discuss the benefits of being part of an artist community.
Episode 236: Clarity and Focus in 2023
January 14th, 2023 | 34 mins 12 secs
ambition, art, business, creativity, goals, new year, priorities, rebecca crowell, resolutions
The beginning of a new year is a time to consider what will bring clarity and focus to your art practice in the months ahead. For many artists, that means setting goals and intentions, and to do that means gaining clarity about what to prioritize. Artists’ goals tend to cover a lot of ground--some may be for the work itself, for improving and advancing skills and techniques, or for completing projects. Others may be more personal, like taking steps to overcome procrastination or negative self-talk. Still other goals fall into the realm of career or professional goals like gaining gallery representation. Which are most important for you?
Episode 235: Lessons from an Art Practice
January 7th, 2023 | 31 mins 41 secs
art, creativity, habits, identity, lifestyle, productivity, rebecca crowell
A studio practice of any kind is an optimal learning environment. As an artist, every day that you work, you set challenges for yourself in your work and figure out how to meet them. But beyond learning how to produce the best work you can, there are also personal life lessons that come from a studio practice. We learn patience, perseverance, the ability to live with uncertain outcomes, and much more. Today we will look at some of what art can teach us on this personal level
Episode 234: A Deeper Look, Step by Step
December 18th, 2022 | 33 mins 58 secs
analysis, art, communication, creativity, going deeper, growth, meaning, personal voice, rebecca crowell, style
In the process of making a work of art, the artist deals with many questions and decisions. There is a constant evaluation of asking if the piece is on the right track, and considering what is needed for the next move. What will best convey the artist’s ideas and intentions? Many of these decisions are quick and intuitive, but sometimes a more reflective and conscious process is called for.
Episode 233: The Compulsion to Create
December 10th, 2022 | 31 mins 15 secs
art, communication, compulsion, creativity, drive, rebecca crowell, spirituality
There is something compelling and mysterious about the urge to make art. Those of us that make art today are part of a tradition going back many thousands of years. What is its role in your own life? What basic needs does making art satisfy? Today we toss around some ideas about what motivates us to create and the satisfaction it brings.
Episode 232: The Demons of Procrastination
December 3rd, 2022 | 37 mins 22 secs
art, business, creativity, procrastination, productivity, rebecca crowell, work habits
Procrastination may be human nature but identifying its role in your life can be a big help in moving forward. Instead of simply laziness or looking for distractions, procrastination can also be active avoidance behavior in which you channel energy into activities other than what you really want to achieve. Today we look at how artists in particular are affected by procrastination and ways to confront it in your own studio practice.
Episode 231: Thanksgiving Thoughts
November 26th, 2022 | 35 mins 22 secs
art, creativity, gratitude, rebecca crowell, specials, thanksgiving
It seems to be true for us as humans who sometimes struggle in our lives that identifying the good things in life--what you feel grateful for-- is a practice that leads to more contentment and joy. Thanskgiving in the United States is a traditional time to count one’s blessings and share time with family and friends. Today, Rebecca and Ross share a few things they are feeling gratitude for in their own lives and hope their conversation inspires you to think of what has been good in the past year for you, our listeners.
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.