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 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.
Episode 229: Pricing Quandries
November 12th, 2022 | 34 mins 5 secs
art, business, creativity, galleries, personal relationships, pricing, rebecca crowell
One of the trickiest issues that artists deal with is pricing their work, especially when a situation is not straightforward. At those times, even experienced artists can find themselves feeling indecisive or worried they are charging too much or too little. Today we will explore some options for times when it's not clear what to charge.
Episode 228: Creative Flow
November 6th, 2022 | 33 mins 2 secs
art, creativity, flow, mindset, place, productivity, rebecca crowell, travel
The experience of creative flow in the studio is one many artists crave as the source of ultimate joy and satisfaction in making art. But this state of mind is elusive—it may appear without any conscious effort or disappear when you most want to rely on it. Today we talk about this state of mind, how to cultivate it, and the role it can play in your work.
Episode 227: The Gift of Days: An Artist Residency
October 29th, 2022 | 41 mins 19 secs
abstraction, art, artist residency, creativity, influences, lisbon, materials, place, portugal, rebecca crowell, travel
In today’s episode, Rebecca reflects on her recent 3 weeks of residency at the Obras Foundation in Portugal, and the challenges and rewards of this experience.
Episode 226: The Importance of Place
October 22nd, 2022 | 38 mins 50 secs
art, creativity, home, influences, place, rebecca crowell, travel
The influence of specific locations on creative work is important among many kinds of artists, from plein aire painters to site-specific sculptors. On today’s podcast, Rebecca talks about the ways responding to certain places has impacted her own abstract work over the years, and specifically how this has evolved in recent years since her move to New Mexico. We hope that her thoughts invite contemplation of your own influences from both your home environment and your travels.
Episode 225: When Less Is More
October 16th, 2022 | 33 mins 33 secs
abstraction, art, creativity, elements, less is more, minimalism, rebecca crowell
For some artists, bringing meaning to their abstract work is hard because they lack ideas, or direction, or a true sense of connection to the work. But for others the problem is the opposite. They have so many thoughts, feelings, and references they want to work with that they become overwhelmed and frustrated. Today we want to talk about the value of focus in your ideas for abstract work, and what happens when your they are too complex and create blocks in your expression.
Episode 224: The Challenges of Exhibiting
October 8th, 2022 | 40 mins 25 secs
art, business, creativity, exhibits, galleries, rebecca crowell
Whether it’s your first exhibit or you are a veteran of many, an upcoming show of your work can take you on a wild ride of emotions and expectations. In anticipating the planning, production, and stress involved, you may even wonder, why bother? Yet for most artists, being able to show their work in a public space is important to their identity as artists. In today’s episode, we’ll look at the benefits and rewards of exhibiting and the role it plays in an art career, as well as some of the emotional and logistical challenges.
Episode 223: Your Upcoming Exhibit
October 1st, 2022 | 42 mins 3 secs
art, business, creativity, exhibits, galleries, rebecca crowell
Nothing energizes and motivates an artist like being offered an exhibit, especially one that involves showing a lot of pieces together. Even experienced artists with a history of exhibits feel excited by the opportunity, but also a little daunted by all the work and planning involved. For artists preparing for their first big exhibit, there is a lot to learn and figure out. Today we’ll go through some of the practical aspects of preparing for a show, based on Rebecca’s almost 40 years of experience with exhibiting her work--and in a future episode we’ll consider some of the other challenges involved with showing your work.
Episode 222: Self Assertion for Artists
September 25th, 2022 | 40 mins 49 secs
art, business, confrontation, creativity, personal relationships, rebecca crowell, self assertion
When artists deal with the world outside their studios, they are often called upon to state their needs, assert their rights, and sometimes to confront unfair actions by galleries, organizers, or clients. Most of us don’t have agents or employees to handle these situations for us, and so we need to handle them on our own. To be effective, you need to be confident and straight-forward with the discussion. But instead, your personality may cause you to feel shy, socially awkward, or less than confident when you need to be self-assertive. Today’s episode is for those of you who struggle with confrontation and self-assertion in your dealings with the art world.