216 episodes

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 Rebecca Crowell

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

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 Personal and The Professional

    The Personal and The Professional

    In every field of work, there are some interactions that are professional and some that can be more personal, and the lines between them are not always clear. How casual, how revealing, how personal can you be while keeping a businesslike and professional attitude? In an art career, this issue impacts your interactions in many ways—in talking with dealers and collectors, when you give talks and interviews, in setting the tone of your website, and any time you are meeting the public. Today we’ll talk about the boundaries between personal and professional situations in an art career.


    Self-promotion is an important area in which personal and professional may collide. We are often advised in marketing art to be personal, to tell our story, to let our audience into our private lives to some extent. At the same time, setting boundaries around what we choose to reveal and be open about can provide a comfort level for both our audience and ourselves. Treating professionalism as your default mode is preferable in almost any situation in which you are presenting yourself to the public.


    Specific situations in which crafting a professional image include making posts on social media, creating your website, and in your relationships with galleries. For some people, feeling a little insecure and wanting to make a good impression can lead to over-sharing, while others with similar fears back away from revealing anything personal that could help others understand their work.


    Understanding the audience you are aiming to attract is important, especially if you are hoping to engage with galleries, curators, and collectors who have high professional standards. We do need to be ourselves in interacting with people interested in our work, which after all is personal, and where our ideas come from are impoirtant. But in public contexts erring on the side of being more formal, more reserved, and more dignified is a good strategy. If you are showing your work, selling your work, you need to have a bit of remove from the work, an objectivity, and that is best expressed by knowing the boundaries around professional behavior.




    Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.

    When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.


    www.messystudiopodcast.com/blick

    What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
    The Summer Quarter of Cold Wax Academy's membership program is now underway. Rebecca and Jerry's upcoming weekly live, online sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information.


    Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing info@coldwaxacademy.com. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!


    Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
    "Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement i

    • 41 min
    Being Vulnerable

    Being Vulnerable

    Situations in which we feel unsure, insecure, and vulnerable are a common experience for many of us. As an artist, that feeling of vulnerability may come with exhibiting your work, promoting yourself, explaining what you do, and even when you'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 you learn from situations in which you feel vulnerable?


    Feeling emotionally vulnerable means feeling uncomfortable, exposed, or having your feelings open to attack or damage. It applies to situations in which you acknowledge your shortcomings and insecurities, and when you fear that someone else is seeing them too. It can also mean that you are speaking your truth to skeptical people who don't know anything about art. Vulnerability can happen anytime you are not putting up defenses around your true self, either because you can’t just then because you are taken off guard, or you choose not to.


    Your art is extremely personal and in the best case it is also authentic and honest in representing your true self. Being open and vulnerable in that way can lead to valuable feedback or meaningful discussions, and iit allows you to seem approachable. But other times you may find you have exposed yourself to an emotional attack that serves no real purpose, and these situations should be avoidedif possible. For example, you can control who comes into your studio or refuse to defend your work to someone who is hostile to art.


    Finding ways cope with vulnerability is important in negotiating an art career. If you constantly avoid the risk of exposing yourself, you may miss opportunities. At the same time, taking risks that may make you uncomfortable can end up being positive. For example, being vulnerable to your own feelings about your work can help you undertand how to proceed. Other aspects of vulnerability are negative--they can stall you or distress you in ways that are not productive, and you need to set boundaries to preserve your dignity and sense of worth. Learning to distinguish these different kinds of vulnerability can be tricky, but ultimately give you more confidence in your career.




    Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.

    When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.


    www.messystudiopodcast.com/blick

    What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
    The Summer Quarter of Cold Wax Academy's membership program is now underway. Rebecca and Jerry's upcoming weekly live, online sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information.


    Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing info@coldwaxacademy.com. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!


    Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
    "Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approac

    • 33 min
    Emotional Territory

    Emotional Territory

    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.


    Emotional involvement in your work is part of the territory of creativity. Positive emotions help us stay motivated, experience satisfaction, and feel connected ot our work. These positive feelings are evidence of our passion for our work.
    Without them our process can feel flat, boring, rote, and mechanical. But along with more negative feelings, the range of emotions connected to your work can be exhausting and confusing and get in the way of productivity.


    Feelings of fear, inadequacy, and pessimism can be very discouraging. These are generally rooted in your personality, and if so, you also face them in other areas of life. But as an artist you do have a path to working through them. The process of making art or engaging in other kinds of creativity is a way of feeding and nurturing positive feelings. Art and other creative endeavors teach us so much about ourselves--about trust, patience, and persistence. Just by engaging in your work, by overcoming the challenges that it presents, there can be a shift over time in attitude and how you cope with negative emotions.


    We all differ in how intensely we experience the emotions connected with creative work, and this can shift over time if it is intense, as you better recognize how to cope with ups and downs and understand their role in your life. Art can become your steady anchor no matter what kinds of emotional upheavels you may experience.




    Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.

    When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.


    www.messystudiopodcast.com/blick

    What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
    The Summer Quarter of Cold Wax Academy's membership program is now underway. Rebecca and Jerry's upcoming weekly live, online sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information.


    Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing info@coldwaxacademy.com. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!


    Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
    "Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."


    Have an art related product, service, or event you would like to advertise on the Messy Studio Podcast?
    Email Ross at

    • 35 min
    Artists as Entrepreneurs, with Jerry McLaughlin

    Artists as Entrepreneurs, with Jerry McLaughlin

    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?


    Today Rebecca and her partner at Cold Wax Academy, Jerry McLaughlin discuss the exciting possibilities of integrating art and entrepreneurial ventures. As artists we have passion, commitment, focus, the willingness to take risks, and ability to make decisions and move forward with projects. All these qualities can also help us create income streams as related to our core identity as artists.


    As a term, entrepreneur may be more appealing than businessperson because we may associate the idea of business with something restrictive or overly structured. Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, implies a more creative and expansive focus and can include other people on an informal basis as well as more formal collaboration.


    Examples of entrepreneurial ventures for artists include writing, teaching, mentoring, developing products and materials for artists, creating studio/living spaces for artists, licensing artwork in various ways, working with the film industry or real estate staging, and starting a small gallery. None of these need to be entirely separate from your life as a studio artist. Though they do require commitment and focus, they can also help you grow creatively as well as providing income.


    Our advice is to welcome the idea that other ways of generating income can be exciting and rewarding and can play a very positive role in your creative life.

    Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.

    When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.


    www.messystudiopodcast.com/blick

    What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
    The Summer Quarter of Cold Wax Academy's membership program is now underway. Rebecca and Jerry's upcoming weekly live, online sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information.


    Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing info@coldwaxacademy.com. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!


    Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
    "Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."


    Have an art related product, service, or event you would like

    • 38 min
    Imaginary Friends and Critics

    Imaginary Friends and Critics

    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.


    Most artists say they do their work primarily for themselves, that it is a compulsion or inner drive, and that they work the way they do because it feels right to them. Whether or not others like what they do may seem secondary. But a basic aspect of art is communication. We want to give our viewers something to respond to, to get involved with, and to bring out some thought or emotion, and perhaps respond enough to own the work.


    From the artist’s perspective, working alone in the studio, this communication can seem very one-sided. We don't have an actual person with us to be another set of eyes, even though we are aware that people will eventually be in that position when we show the work. As a result, we often create viewers in the studio who are imaginary. And as such they tend to be an inconsitent, vague conglomerate with shifting opinions and advice.


    The best advice has always been to make your best art for yourself and If it is good work, it will attract viewers who appreciate it. Thinking of it first as your own expression means that your work will be meaningful and authentic to you. But given that it's hard to avoid thinking of imaginary viewers as you work, it's also helpful to form a positive image of who they are. And rather than letting this be only a vague idea, it is helpful to get specific about the characteristics of your ideal, imaginary viewer. This viewer may be quite similar to yourself, but also enough removed to be able to offer constructive advice.


    Many of us deal with invisible presences in the studio, and at times they are confusing in what we imagine them saying. And as with many aspects of the creative process, awareness of how you are affected is key. When our imaginary friends and critics are not useful, we need to be careful not to give them too much power. Inviting your imaginary ideal viewer into your studio can provide guidance, inspiration, and truly constructive criticism.




    Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.

    When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.


    www.messystudiopodcast.com/blick

    What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
    The Summer Quarter of Cold Wax Academy's membership program is now underway. Rebecca and Jerry's upcoming weekly live, online sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information.


    Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing info@coldwaxac

    • 32 min
    Meaning in Abstraction

    Meaning in Abstraction

    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.


    While a painting can never be fully explained, and can definitely be over-analyzed, understanding the general realm of ideas that lie behind an abstract work adds to your experience as a viewer. In reading artist statements and biographies, we can see that their sources of ideas in abstraction can be surprisingly specific and autobiographical. The process of interpreting ideas, images, emotions, information, and memories in visual language is challenging and requires a balance of intuition and intellect.


    Abstract painting requires abstract thinking for both the artist and the viewer. Avoiding literal or illustrational approaches when working from specific ideas means being open-ended, flexible, and treating specific references more as jumping off points than as something you insist the viewer take from your work. There is a huge component of interpretation in all types of abstraction, and an abstract artist needs to allow guidance from ideas but without a need to dictate how others respond to the work.


    Finding and expressing meaning in your work, however you create it, is key to having passion and involvement in the studio. For abstract artists there are special challenges in interpreting their ideas, and for viewers it means entering a world without labels and strict definition. A very different kind of conversation happens outside the realm of easily identifiable imagery. Intuition and imagination are important to both seeing and appreciating abstraction.




    Thanks to everyone who has been sharing the show and donating! If you would like to donate to the Messy Studio Podcast donate here.

    When you buy art supplies at Blick remember to use our affiliate link to support the podcast! Bookmark this link and then you don't even have to think about it again. This is one of the best ways to support the show. It takes a few seconds and costs you nothing! The Blick website works exactly the same way, but we earn 10% every time you buy art supplies.


    www.messystudiopodcast.com/blick

    What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
    Rebecca and Jerry are busy planning the Summer Quarter of their membership program which begins on July 13. These exciting sessions will explore Personal Voice and Composition and continue the topic of Professional Development with some special guests. Member Critiques and Painting Clinics, Cold Wax Academy's new feature, are ongoing. You can join the membership program anytime and catch up with past recorded sessions at your own pace. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information


    Also-- stay tuned for information coming soon about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. You can learn more and make a reservation by emailing info@coldwaxacademy.com. A dedicated Espacio website is coming soon!


    Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
    "Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."


    Have an art related product, service, or event you would like to advertise on th

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Mhairead ,

So useful and supportive

I have been listening to your podcasts ( a new discovery ) your cover such great topics, engaging and inspiring . I am very grateful .

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