Savvy Painter is a weekly podcast for artists who mean business.
Antrese Wood talks to experts in the field about the business of art and how it gets created. Want to know how leaders in the fine art world of plein-air and landscape painting got their start? What habits do top artists have in common? Every week, we talk about representational painting, abstract art, alla prima painting, art competitions, art materials, watercolor, oil painting, how to get into an art gallery, how to succeed with your art business and so much more!
Empowering Young Artists: An Interview with Artist, Jerarde Gutierrez
Who was it that inspired and empowered you as you began your journey as an artist? Did you have a family member who nurtured and encouraged your creative aspirations? Maybe it was a peer or a mentor from afar - almost everyone has that special person or group of people who spurred them on as an artist.
While our world continues to grow more interconnected with the help of the internet, it’s important to remember the critical role of in-person and local art communities and expressions. My guest is someone who benefited from and gives back to local youth initiatives to empower young people on their creative journeys.
Jerarde Gutierrez is an artist and Arts Program Coordinator as well as a Co-Program Manager of the ACOE IL Dept. Management of program centers around coordination of Integrated Arts Learning spaces at the REACH Ashland Youth Center, a project of Alameda County. Jerarde describes his work as “Rooted in representational painting.” Lately, he has been gravitating towards painting En Plein Air as it allows for fluid brushstrokes, contrasting textures, and interplay of representational and abstraction to capture the essence of a place.
An early push in the creative direction Looking back on his start as an artist, Jerarde is quick to point out how much of an impact his mother had on his development. As a crafty and creative person herself, Jerarde’s mother filled him with the confidence and boldness he would need as he entered the art world. After his mother laid a solid foundation, Jerarde was able to work closely with the renowned West Coast muralist, John Wehrle. While Jerarde felt like an annoying mosquito buzzing around and annoying people with his questions, the truth is - their kindness and embrace helped Jerarde grow as an artist by leaps and bounds.
Giving back After receiving so much generosity in his early years from his mother, John Wehrle, and many others - Jerarde jumped at the chance to give back and help others on their journey. These days, Jerarde spends a portion of his time as an Arts Program Coordinator. What Jerarde loves about his work with young people is seeing their potential and then watching that spark fan into a flame of passion and dedication. Can you relate to Jerarde’s story? What do you do to honor those who came before you and paved the way - I want to hear from you!
Taking the job seriously Let’s face it, mastering a technique, or getting a process just right is stressful! Too often, many artists let the overwhelm, self-doubt, fear, and so many other obstacles get in the way of their creative process in the studio. Don’t let these limiting factors rob you of the joy you deserve creating the art you love! Jerarde encourages his students and peers to look at their work as an artist like they would a typical job - put in the time and effort even when you don’t feel like it! You really get the sense that Jerearde practices what he preaches - his artwork is focused and inspiring. Make sure to check out images of Jerarde’s artwork located at the end of this post!
Outline of This Episode [4:00] I introduce my guest, Jerarde Gutierrez. [6:00] How Jerade’s mom and his comic artwork got him into the Richmond Art Center. [12:00] Jerarde talks about mentorship fatigue. [14:00] The impact that Jerade’s mother has had on him. [20:00] Taking the job seriously. [22:15] Giving back and helping others. [24:14] Why it’s crucial to learn about the arts. [33:00] Jerarde talks about how he engages with his students. [38:00] What does “Deliberate practice” mean? [43:00] Jerarde opens up about his current obsession. [50:00] Closing thoughts. Other artists mentioned on this episode John O. Wehrle Jasper Johns Resources Mentioned on this episode www.artofjerardefgutierrez.com Instagram 1: @Jerarde (personal artwork and murals) Instagram
Office Hours with Antrese: Understanding our Fear of Failure
What comes to mind when you think of the word, failure? Do you start internalizing the word? Do you hear that inner voice roaring the negative talk that sends you spinning? Or have you found a way forward to understand and overcome the fear of failure that plagues so many artists?
By no means will I say that I’ve discovered all the answers or everything you need to know when it comes to recognizing your fear of failure and moving past it. I have learned from first-hand experience what works and what doesn’t and I’ve heard from my peers like you! This episode is another offering of my Office Hours sessions that give you a peek into the helpful community I’ve built with the Savvy Painter. Make sure to chime in - I can’t wait to hear how this one lands with you!
Set yourself up for success Time and time again, the two common issues I hear about from my Growth Studio participants is the challenge to get started and the challenge to finish a work of art. Do you ever struggle with these challenges? What about failing to eliminate distractions? There are so many factors both big and small that can impact your focus and productivity in the studio. If you struggle with these challenges and distractions, you aren’t alone! I encourage you to connect with peers either digitally or in-person (where possible with COVID) there are so many ways we can help each other.
Don’t make it personal! Look, I get it - beating up on yourself can become so commonplace that you get lulled into thinking it’s normal - it doesn’t have to be! Sure, self-critique can be helpful and you do want to nurture that aspect of your growth but not negative talk. How do you spot the difference between being critical and talking negatively about yourself? Write it out! If you find yourself in a particularly critical mode, write out the critiques in your head on paper - then you can see in black and white if they are negative and personal attacks or fair critiques.
The key to becoming a confident painter The key to success and confidence as an artist is to avoid failure at all costs! NO - that’s not true at all. If you were to look at the way our society shapes us - you’ll see that it does train us to avoid discomfort and pain. If you can re-train yourself to think of failure not as an ultimate letdown but as a stepping stone to success, you’ll see your confidence skyrocket. Expect failure, anticipate it, and let it be part of your story - let failure fuel your growth - you are worth the extra effort!
Outline of This Episode [2:30] How many artists experience failure. [5:30] Common negative thoughts we often have. [10:15] Distancing failure from your self-worth. [16:00] A visualization exercise you can try. [18:00] The key to becoming a confident painter. [21:00] Why it’s OK to make mistakes. [25:00] Closing thoughts. Resources Mentioned on this episode https://drphm.co/savvy Connect With Antrese On Facebook On Pinterest On Instagram On Twitter
Solving Puzzles, Slowing Down, and Listening to Your Instincts: An Interview with Artist Sarah Intemann
How did you get to where you are right now in your career? Can you remember and identify clear moments that brought you to where you are today? How have you evolved over the years? It’s funny how often we become unaware of the passage of time - you think you’ll be stuck in a phase FOREVER and blink - 10 years go by just like that!
I’m learning to slow down and really appreciate the time I’m in, yes even with COVID and I hope that my conversation with Sarah Intemann encourages you to do the same.
Sarah is an abstract artist who lives in New York City. Graduating college with a Fine Art degree, she moved to NYC and has been exhibiting and painting ever since. It is on the New York subways that she constantly sketched and developed a line-focused abstract language that she uses today in her work.
I can’t wait for you to hear Sarah’s fascinating perspective and yes, her total nerdiness when it comes to her medium. Make sure to catch images of Sarah’s artwork located at the end of this post!
Slowing down When you are young, the last thing you want to do is to slow down. Kids love to run around the yard, speed down steep hills on bikes, and a ton of other crazy imaginations that give their parents a heart attack. While there are plenty of people who have grey in their hair that still enjoy life on the edge, most learn to enjoy the quiet and slower pace of life.
In NYC of all places, you can imagine that the idea of “Slowing down” isn’t a popular one - something is happening all the time, the city never sleeps. Somehow, in the middle of that busy and bustling city, Sarah learned to do the impossible, slow down. When you learn to slow down, you start to notice things you’ve never noticed before - you discover little details that can become whole worlds unto themselves. I loved hearing how Sarah took the time to get into the practice of slowing down intentionally and how much it helped her professionally.
Once Sarah was able to slow down, she started to really listen to what she wanted to do. Have you ever found it difficult to find your voice or to tune out all the noise in your life? According to Sarah, slowing down gave her the capacity to listen to her internal creative voice.
What will you take away from Sarah’s powerful example of creativity, patience, and hard work? It was great to get to include one of my favorite questions in my conversation with Sarah, I asked her what she would do if she had all the resources at her disposal for any project. Never the one to play it safe, Sarah swang for the fences - she said that she’d like to go BIG and use a whole room to create a project! Don’t you find yourself rooting for her? I know that I do!
Outline of This Episode [3:20] I welcome my guest, Sarah Intemann. [7:40] Sarah talks about her creative process. [18:20] What keeps Sarah coming back to abstract artwork? [22:40] How Sarah names her paintings. [27:30] What aspect of painting has been the most challenging for Sarah? [34:00] Artists that have inspired Sarah over the years. [41:00] With unlimited resources, what project would Sarah work on? [43:00] Closing thoughts. Other artists mentioned on this episode Jackson Pollock Lucian Freud Mitchell Johnson Cy Twombly Giorgio Morandi Anselm Kiefer Resources Mentioned on this episode www.sarahintemann.com www.instagram.com/sarah_intemann_art/ www.facebook.com/intemannstudios
Office Hours with Antrese: Adapting to New Challenges, How to Get Out of Your Own Way, & more!
The last time we had an Office Hours episode I got a ton of positive feedback so I decided it would be good to feature another session. These topics and questions come from our Savvy Painter Growth Studio. Artists just like you who are looking for ways to hone their craft and move their creative process forward have all found a supportive environment with the Growth Studio.
For just a peek into what the Growth Studio has to offer, I wanted to share some of these helpful topics and insights with the larger Savvy Painter audience. From adapting to the challenges that life throws our way to unpacking what it means to “Get out of your own way,” I know you’ll find something that will resonate with you and hope you share it!
Learning to adapt Don’t you hate it when life doesn’t go according to the script you’ve written out in your head? I can’t be the only one, can I? I can’t be the only one who has made a major career change or moved to a different country, right?
While your challenges might not look like my challenges, the truth is - we all have our own challenges to face and overcome. Part of learning to adapt to whatever life throws your way is figuring out how to assess the situation. Do you need to make temporary changes or do you need to adapt your schedule and expectations? Will this decision impact your family or your income? How will adjust to suit your goals? It’s going to look different for each person but you have to be willing to be in a mindset to adapt and that starts by assessing the situation.
Doing the work Do you have a vision of where you want to be this time next year? What type of projects do you want to be working on? What are your creative goals? What are your professional goals? If you don’t have a vision of where you want to be, chances are, you’ll never get there. Setting a goal is the easy part, doing the work is where it really gets challenging.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that doing the work can take a lot out of you - but you have to keep pushing. One way to stay focused on the work is to narrow your focus to one area you want to improve in - you don’t have to transform overnight. By setting achievable goals on a specific area you’ll find that the process becomes more and more familiar.
Getting out of your own way Have you ever been told that you just need to “Get out of your own way?” What does that even mean? How do you know that you are “In your own way?” I’ve been told that I needed to “Get out of my own way” and the truth is, I didn’t know what to do with that for a long time.
Over the years I’ve come to understand this saying as an artist who blocks themselves or sabotages their own path when things start to progress. I see this happen to artists all the time and I want to make sure you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to keep selling yourself short - all you need to do is to shift your perspective.
Outline of This Episode [4:00] My introduction to this special Office Hours episode. [6:20] Learning to adapt to new circumstances. [11:00] Narrowing it down and “Doing the work.” [14:30] Push through or change course? [19:20] How do you “Get out of your own way?” [26:30] Practical ways to get out of your own way. [29:30] Balancing the demand for commissions and creating your projects. [35:45] Closing thoughts. Resources Mentioned on this episode The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (2002) Do The Work (2011)
Exploring Large Scale Paintings: An Interview with Artist, Jivan Lee
Have you ever stood in awe of a large scale painting? When was the last time you felt like a painting sucked you in so totally that you could almost say you lost yourself in that painting? I love to explore and encounter the sheer magnificence that large scale paintings have to offer. Here to give us a welcome peek behind the curtain of his large scale paintings is the artist, Jivan Lee.
Jivan Lee is an oil painter based in Taos, NM. He grew up in Woodstock, NY, and studied painting at Bard College. His work explores the nature of paint as raw material, creator of image, and catalyst for emotional response, and is increasingly addressing the complexities of how humans see and shape the environment.
Jivan's paintings have been exhibited nationally and covered in publications such as Fine Art Connoisseur, The Denver Post, Hyperallergic, Southwest Art, Phoenix Home and Garden, Art Business News, and Two Coats of Paint among others. In addition to painting as much as time allows, Jivan occasionally teaches.
Large scale paintings Jivan says he always gets chuckles from people when he tells them that his approach to large scale paintings doesn’t differ very much to his approach with smaller-scale paintings. Of course, the real challenge when it comes to painting these large projects is the logistics - where, when, and how become a bit more complicated on a large scale. While it might sound complicated and a bit of a nightmare, the way that Jivan describes it, the process sort of unfolded before him - as he takes each logical step at a time. Make sure to check out the images of Jivan’s artwork located at the end of this post!
Letting your light shine I know, we are all sick and tired of hearing about how COVID has impacted and changed everything - we get it. I don’t want to dwell too much on how much COVID continues to impact the shape of things in the art community but I thought it was really helpful to get Jivan’s perspective. Many of us find ourselves with a ton of emotions and anxieties around our finances, the state of global and national politics, and of course COVID. Jivan was kind enough to open up about some of the personal struggles he has experienced over the last couple of months. He shared that when he takes the time to get alone with his canvas, it allows for emotional catharsis. I have felt that way too when it comes to painting during COVID - don’t want to let my light fade, I have something to share with the world and so do you!
Creating art is a marathon, not a sprint As Jivan encourages us to keep shining our light even when the darkness feels like it’s closing in, it’s good to also keep in mind that the creative process is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t have to do your best work now or consistently - just stay at it. Even when it gets challenging, remember, we need your voice. I get it, sometimes it feels like you just want to throw in the towel but every artist that I’ve talked to over the years have told me that staying in the game is worth it. What keeps you in the game? How do you stay motivated when times get tough? I want to hear from you, make sure to leave a comment!
Outline of This Episode [1:30] I introduce my guest, Jivan Lee. [2:45] What led Jivan to his career as an artist? [8:30] Jivan talks about why he pursued grants as he got started. [10:45] Getting students engaged with art. [15:50] What is the point of painting during a time of crisis. [29:30] Jivan opens up about his solo exhibit, “Dynamics of change.” [40:15] How COVID has impacted Jivan’s schedule. [44:30] Why you need to think of your creative journey as a marathon, not a sprint. [52:00] Jivan explains his process in the studio when it comes to large scale projects. [1:04:00] Common tools and materials that Jivan uses. [1:12:00] Closing thoughts. Other artists mentioned on th
Office Hours with Antrese: Answers on workflow, handling life’s curveballs, and more!
I’ve been hearing a lot of questions from long time listeners of the podcast and from fellow artists who are taking some of my growth courses. This episode is the result of compiling some of those questions to provide helpful answers to artists like you! I don’t have all the answers but I have picked up some helpful tips and insights over the years and I can’t let that go to waste. If you have any suggestions you’d like to share - don’t hesitate - this community thrives when people speak up and join the conversation.
Setting yourself up for success How are you doing when it comes to managing your time in the studio? Do you feel like you’ve got a good system and routine down or does it feel haphazard and disorganized? I hated the feeling of losing hours in the studio because I didn’t have a plan and a thought-out approach.
A good way to start reclaiming your time in the studio is to make a plan - even a small one - you’ve got to start somewhere. Don’t feel like you need to make a radical change overnight, those rarely work - make your goal achievable so you are setting yourself up for success. I’d also encourage artists like you to start batching your work when possible - take some time to prepare a ton of canvases or organize your supplies, or even take time to sketch out some ideas on paper. What have you found that has worked well in your studio?
Life happens - it’s OK to adapt! Sometimes the worst critic we face is the person looking back at us in the mirror. We make a plan and we get into a rhythm and then all of a sudden life throws us a curveball! Have you given yourself permission to make changes to your plans? Seriously? Sometimes even the act of writing out the phrase, “I give myself permission to change this plan if necessary” can be helpful. The important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself - we need you and your creative expressions!
Dealing with creative blocks When you get stuck, I mean REALLY stuck, what do you do? Has it helped you to just push through the creative block and keep creating what you can or have you found a different approach that works? I have had my fair share of creative blocks over the years and I don’t wish those on anyone. What I am grateful for is the support and encroachment I’ve received from my peers who have been willing to open up and share with me what has worked for them. I that same spirit, I wanted to share with you a few helpful tips when it comes to dealing with creative blocks.
I know it’s hard but TRY to push through the block - I have seen this work. Start collecting artwork and images that capture your imagination and creativity. Copy someone else’s work - seriously! Try your hand at some master paintings. I know you’ve heard this from me before but I want you to know that I am here for you - this community was built for artists like you. I hope you’ve found something to try in your studio soon and like I’ve said - please don’t hesitate to drop your experiences and tips in the comments section!