The Messy Studio with Rebecca Crowell

Episode Archive

Episode Archive

173 episodes of The Messy Studio with Rebecca Crowell since the first episode, which aired on December 28th, 2017.

  • Episode 141: How Others See You

    September 5th, 2020  |  50 mins 35 secs
    art, business, marketing, personal brand, personal development, professionalism, rebecca crowell, reputation

    We create our art and conduct our art careers mostly from within the bubble of our own point of view. But our reputations are important to our success and they are defined by the way other people see us. From within our own perspectives, we can lose sight of how we come across to our colleagues, collectors, students, galleries and others who define us in the outside world. Today will be talking about shaping your reputation as an artist, and why it is important.

  • Episode 140: Seeking Validation

    August 29th, 2020  |  36 mins 42 secs
    art, career, creativity, mindset, motivation, rebecca crowell, self improvement

    As artists, we love knowing that our work is appreciated by other people—whether that comes to us via exhibits, sales, awards, positive comments on social media, or simply from friends and family who respond to what we do. And even though many artists would say that recognition and validation are secondary to making the work, it can be still hard to stay motivated without some positive input. Today we’ll talk about the desire for validation alongside the pure need to create and how they can complement each other in our art practices.

  • Episode 139: Those Awkward Moments

    August 22nd, 2020  |  42 mins 22 secs
    art, career, conversation, creativity, criticism, marketing, rebecca crowell, self improvement

    In a recent podcast, we talked about the remark often made about abstract artists --” my kid could paint that.” But there are lots of other things people say to and about artists that show a lack of understanding or even hostility toward art. When these happen in conversation, they can create some awkward moments. Most of us tend to feel defensive when this happens, and we can miss an opportunity to elevate the conversation. Today we’ll talk about some of these common remarks, consider why people make them, and ways to handle them gracefully.

  • Episode 138: My Kid Could Do That!

    August 15th, 2020  |  37 mins 44 secs
    abstraction, art, child art, creativity, rebecca crowell

    Saying that an abstract painting is something a preschooler could do sounds like the ultimate putdown for abstract art. It implies that abstraction is a scam, meant to fool the viewer into thinking it has actual importance and ridiculing the fact that it is sold for thousands of dollars. It also denies that it takes effort, skill, or seriousness to make the work. But can that same remark be viewed in a positive light instead? What do we lose as adult artists that children have naturally, before becoming self-conscious about their work? And is child art really the equivalent of adult work? Today discuss the relationship between abstraction and child art.

  • Episode 137: Roughing It: All About Texture

    August 8th, 2020  |  29 mins 48 secs
    art, creativity, fundamentals, rebecca crowell, style, texture

    Along with color, texture is one of the most evocative visual elements, engaging not only our eyes but our sense of touch—as well as our memories and associations. Many artists seek out ways of creating texture and consider it one of the most important aspects of their work. Yet because it is such a powerful element it needs to be used thoughtfully, and often with restraint. How can we use texture most effectively in our work, allowing it to take its place with other visual elements without overpowering them? What are the special qualities of texture that can be used to enhance our work?

  • Episode 136: Growing Pains and Gains

    August 1st, 2020  |  36 mins 39 secs

    A theme in all of our podcasts over time has been encouraging artistic growth. To us, growth is a given, something all of us strive as artists and as people. But what does it really mean to grow artistically and why is it important? What can you look for in your work to know if it is growing? Today we will look at what growth means in our studio practices and share thoughts about its importance.

  • Episode 135: Are You Curious?

    July 25th, 2020  |  35 mins 20 secs
    art, art researching, creativity, curiosity, growth, rebecca crowell, style, technique

    We were all curious as children and many artists retain that trait as vital to dynamic art practice. Yet curiosity can be fragile, disappearing in the face of information overload or the desire to seem knowledgeable and in control. To be curious, to wonder, to explore –all are aspects of ourselves that keep us young, with room to grow. Today we will look at how to nurture curiosity in your art practice and the importance of exploring and wondering, in art and in life.

  • Episode 134: Editing with Energy

    July 18th, 2020  |  38 mins 47 secs
    art, creativity, editing, fundamentals, rebecca crowell, skills

    Artists need to edit, too!. Of course, we’re all familiar with the idea of editing as it applies to writing. It is often said that every author needs an editor to make sure that their writing is technically correct, cohesive, and impactful. But as visual artists we don’t typically involve anyone else in that kind of role --it's up to us to do it ourselves. Today we will talk about editing our work for stronger and more consistent results, and point out that it need not be a chore or necessary evil.

  • Episode 133: Creative Collections

    July 11th, 2020  |  38 mins 8 secs
    art, collecting, creativity, rebecca crowell

    When artists collect, it’s often--but not always-- related to our art practices. We tend to collect works of art that we’ve bought or traded for, art books, memorabilia like announcements and posters, and of course, art supplies. But what about the more unexpected things we gather in our homes and studios? What do our collections tell us about ourselves and our attraction to certain kinds of objects? Today we’ll report on what some artists had to say when Rebecca posed the topic on Facebook, along with our own musings about the meaning of collections.

  • Episode 132: The Power Of Beauty

    July 4th, 2020  |  29 mins 43 secs
    art, beauty, creativity, rebecca crowell

    We often say “That’s beautiful” in response to a work of art, but the word beautiful can have many meanings. Most of us recognize it as a heartfelt compliment when it is said about our own work, but we may wonder what specifically prompted the viewer to use the word. And while we may strive for beauty in our work we may have not thought much about what that means. Today we look at what deeper ideas or responses the words “beauty” and “beautiful” can hold.

  • Episode 131: The Power of Intention

    June 27th, 2020  |  28 mins 47 secs
    art, creativity, intentions, personal development, rebecca crowell

    A key aspect of establishing your personal voice is figuring out what is most important to you in your work. What do you want to communicate to other people? What responses do you hope to evoke? The process of defining intentions can be challenging, involving some basic but important questions, and may take some time to process and refine. But clear intentions are a powerful tool. Today we will look at the process of clarifying your intentions and the advantages for doing so.

  • Episode 130: Being Authentic

    June 20th, 2020  |  38 mins 38 secs
    art, authenticity, being authentic, creativity, influences, inspiration, rebecca crowell

    This is a topic that we have considered covering for a while. It dovetails nicely with past episodes addressing what inspires and motivates our work. But it seems especially relevant now given the worldwide pandemic and recent social unrest, which have many artists thinking deeply about the meaning and honesty of their work.

    Being authentic in your work means being true to yourself, and unafraid in your creative explorations. During this time we are experiencing massive changes all around us. Examining how authentic we are being in our work can lead to new insights and growth. The more challenges we are facing in life, the more important it becomes to bring our whole selves into our work. This results in better work and a better mental state.

  • Episode 129: Considering Scale

    June 13th, 2020  |  36 mins 50 secs
    art, fundamentals, rebecca crowell, scale

    Scale is an aspect of visual design that is perhaps the easiest to overlook. This is because there is a default mode that generally works—that is, medium-sized works of art, and imagery that fits in expected ways within those boundaries. But challenging habitual ways of using scale can be an exciting path. As viewers, we notice immediately when someone steps outside the expected and calls attention to scale. Today we have some thoughts about using scale in dynamic ways.

  • Episode 128: Composition: It's Complicated

    June 6th, 2020  |  36 mins 30 secs
    art, composition, creativity, fundamentals, rebecca crowell

    We touched on today’s topic in our last episode when we went briefly over through some important design elements. Basically, we were talking about composition—how to arrange the visual elements on a 2-d surface so that they “work.” This is complex because each aspect of a composition affects others in subtle or not so subtle ways. Intuition plays a role in composition—something just “looks right”—but to make really strong work we need to balance that with understanding. Today we are going to look more closely at composition and its role in your art practice.

  • Episode 127: Visual Language

    May 30th, 2020  |  33 mins 47 secs
    art, creativity, elements, fundamentals, principles, rebecca crowell, visual language

    Learning to use the visual elements and design principles in your work is often compared to acquiring vocabulary and then being able to use those words to communicate. It also means being able to understand better what other artists have to say in their work. This understanding is basic and contributes to your growth for your whole artistic life. It also grows in tandem with intuitive responses and understanding. Yet many artists do not progress much beyond a limited vocabulary, used in only a few repeated combinations. Today we will give a perspective on the benefits of growing your visual vocabulary.

  • Episode 126: Handling Critique

    May 23rd, 2020  |  39 mins 36 secs
    art, creativity, critique, rebecca crowell, teaching

    It can be very unsettling to put your work in front of someone else for a critique. We may fear harsh, judgmental comments. Yet the value of critique is exactly that, the chance to gain an outside perspective and insight, and very often criticism can be given and received in a supportive way. Today we’ll talk about the positive aspects of critique as well as handling negative criticism with regards to our work.