All things practical, magical and real when it comes to walking the artist's path. Conversations with successful artists and deep-dives with your host, Devon Walz, serving up actionable advice and soulful stories re: all things being a creative in today's world.
2020 in Review: Takeaways + Lessons Learned. Plus Answers to Your Q's!
I can’t believe we’re even here right now. So I thought I’d honor the moment by divulging the details of my art life from this past year. It’s a bit vulnerable to share what I’ve been doing in real-time, but I think there’s some good lessons here.
In this episode I share what happened, what I’m celebrating, what I would’ve done differently in 2020 and the takeaways I’m carrying into 2021. And I’m answering some fun questions you sent in along the way (re: selling online v. with galleries, my dream podcast co-host and more!).
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How to Develop a Unique Style | Q+A with Devon
How do we break away from our influences? How do we come up with something totally original out of thin air? Hasn’t everything already been done? All valid questions that I had a ton of fun answering on today's q + a all about style development.
I discuss the concept of “originality," as well as the four main reasons artists have a hard time cultivating their own style and practical things you can do now to develop a style that has substance.
Shoutout to Hannah of @hannah.andersson.art for today’s question
NOW OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT
Unique: a 4-week style development workshop series
Learn more and register: www.devonwalz.com/unique
Enrollment closes 10/30/20 at midnight PST
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Unlearning Art School + Full-Time Realities | Marisa Avila-Sayler
Today I have a super real talk for you all about the realities of working your way into being a full time artist (one of our favorite topics here-- I know!). Our guest of honor is Marisa Avila-Sayler.
Marisa has been an artist and navigating the journey of being full time for 20 plus years. As such she brings a refreshing dose of realness when it comes to the practicalities of being a working artist, how to discern what's right for your own path, and what’s happening in schools and in the art world. We also jam on failure, process, permission to make what you love and much more. This one was as informative as it was mega inspiring.
We talked about…
Marisa’s journey with her art career
Balancing life with studio time
Networking and finding opportunities as an artist
The contradiction between growing as an artist and growing an art business/brand
Making bad art, accepting failure and painting what makes you happy
Unlearning lessons from art school
About Marisa Avila Sayler
Marisa Avila Sayler is a Los Angeles native who works in drawing, painting, and sculpture using both traditional and experimental media. She earned a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 2005, and an MFA from California State University, Fullerton in 2009. An artist since childhood, Marisa has always supported her art practice with more traditional career paths, namely education. Her teaching and educational field experience ranges from art exploration
with special needs preschoolers, to traditional undergraduate drawing and painting instruction, to doctorate-level lecture, curriculum design, and administration. Since 2018, Marisa has focused solely on her studio practice with occasional guest teaching, workshops, and visiting artist lectures. She has exhibited in numerous Los Angeles galleries, institutions such as the Torrance Art Museum and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, CA, and her work is in private collections all over the world. Outside of the studio, Marisa and her spouse of 16 years are guiding their two exceptional young children in the art of being explorers of this universe.
Artists Report Back study (by BFAMFAPHD)
TED Article: “How do artists make a living? An ongoing, almost impossible quest”
ArtNet Analysis on the Income of Artists
LA Review of Books: Chances of Artist Success in the 21st Century
Hope for a new kind of education and art world reshaping: Black Arts Residency
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How to Lead with Content, Switch Your Medium + Embrace Change | Taylor Lee
Taylor Lee Nicholoson is BACK and I’m honored to have her be the first return guest on our show. It’s no coincidence that I keep coming back for convos with this woman-- she puts a ton of thought and intention behind her process and the evolution of her work, and it shows. This time around we’re diving into all things sculpture, performance, anxiety as a playmate, pivoting your business model as needed, the difference between content and style, and so much more.
WE TALKED ABOUT…
Changing directions and mediums with your art
Themes of anxiety
The importance of content and themes in your work
Pivoting your business model
Taylor Lee is an artist that draws attention to anxiety and hyperreality through exaggerated kitschy/campiness. She juxtaposes laughter and pathos to create mood-whiplash, challenge perceptions of reality, and offer anxiety-ridden millennials like herself the catharsis of feeling “seen.”
Taylor creates surreal content such as stop-motion GIFs and microfilms, sculpture, illustrations, performances, and installation for immersive experiences in both digital and physical spaces. When she's not building a paper-mache TV or another face vase, you can find her telling ghost stories…but more on that in October.
Kat Sanchez Standfield -- @fiberess
Andy J. Pizza
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Beauty, Defying Stigmas + Developing Your Voice | Dan Lam
DAN LAM. What a pinch-me-moment it was to have her on the show. SO many interesting topics got touched on in this conversation: how and why beauty is easily dismissed in art, Dan’s thoughts on a recent negative comment and the issue of gatekeeping in the art world, the stigmas she’s protesting (like fun! and psychedelic use!), how she’s dealt with copying, advice for creating strong work and tons more.
It was powerful to talk to someone with so much experience who’s holding down very healthy and important perspectives for the whole art community. In fact, I almost titled this episode “Dan Lam is Awesome,” (true story) because that was how I walked away feeling from our chat. I know you all are going to appreciate it as much as I did.
WE TALKED ABOUT…
Dismissing beautiful work
Balance and self care
Gatekeeping in the art community
Copying vs Influencing
Advice for artists
Dan Lam’s work straddles the line between numerous dichotomies. By navigating the
realm between attraction and repulsion, organic and inanimate, seriousness and
playfulness, soft and hard, Lam conjures up her idiosyncratic vision. As a result, the
work strikes a deft balance between seemingly disparate concepts, subsequently
inspiring a range of emotions and ideas from the viewer.
Known for her bold and unique sculptures, she rose to popularity and prominence
through social media, particularly Instagram. Her body of work ranges from gallery
exhibitions to large scale installations to brand collaborations. She exhibits in the US
Lam was born in the Philippines while her family was immigrating from Vietnam to the
United States. She was raised in Texas where she received her Bachelor in Fine Arts
from the University of North Texas in 2010. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in
2014 from Arizona State University.
Lam currently resides and works in Dallas, TX, USA.
Dan on IG: @sopopomo
“Playing to the Gallery” by Grayson Perry
The Botany of Desire (documentary)
“How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan
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Bridging Plant Medicine, Process + Meaning in the Work | Erin Loree
I’ve been wanting to weave plant medicine and psychedelics into the conversation for a while now and I can’t think of someone I would’ve rather done this with than Erin Loree (who’s luscious abstract paintings are to DIE for, by the way). I’m eternally grateful for her openness and wisdom. Not to mention, I had the BEST time talking with her.
In our conversation, Erin shared about what it’s been like for her to speak about ayahuasca publicly, how she’s navigated the topic within the exhibition world, the correlations she’s found between healing, ceremonies and the creative process itself, how she uncovers meaning in her work and tons more. Whether you’re interested in plant medicine or not, there are beautiful perspectives for all artists in what she shares-- and some fascinating stories about her adventures in the jungle, too.
Erin Loree is Canadian painter based in Toronto. Her work explores themes of transformation, inversion, and duality, with an emphasis on the process as a journey of discovery. She completed her BFA at OCAD University in 2012 and has since exhibited nationally and internationally in Toronto, Montreal, New York, San Francisco, and the UK, with a recent solo exhibition at the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound. Loree was awarded the Robert Pope Artist Residency at NSCAD University in Halifax and has participated in residencies in Toronto and in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle. Loree’s work has been featured in YNGSPC.ca, MOMUS.ca, CBC Arts, the Toronto Star, Beautiful Decay, Booooooom, and Huffington Post. She is represented by Peter Robertson Gallery in Edmonton.
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Customer ReviewsSee All
The October episode on developing your unique style was exactly what I needed to hear. I’d been doing so much introspection lately, going on my own spiritual and emotional journey here, and wasn’t sure how to make that jump to translating those changes within me into visual changes in my artwork. Devon provides PRACTICAL advice in this episode, as opposed to the “just keep swimming!” advice we typically hear. Loving this, and can’t wait to delve into past episodes to see what else I might uncover! Thank you, Devon!
My favorite podcast!
As well as being a magical artist, Devon is so interesting to listen to. Her interviews are deep, engaging, and mind-expanding. Every episode shifts my perspective in a more creative way and leaves me inspired! Love this podcast!!
My favorite podcast right now!!
I’m truly so grateful for this podcast! The guests are always amazing and Devon is such a great communicator and is really good at asking in depth questions. I can always turn to this podcast for inspiration and a confidence boost. My art practice has been expanding rapidly since listening! :)