Creative Growth through The Messy Middle with Deni Rayneau

[00:00:00] Made Remarkable Intro: Welcome back. And thanks for tuning into the Made Remarkable podcast, hosted by Kellee Wynne. 

And today's episode. Kellee is talking with Deni Rayneau. To discuss the magic of pursuing your passion in business. And serving your audience. Audience authentically through art. 

 Deni shares her inspirational journey and insights into launching her successful program. The Messy Middle. Where she empowers artists to embrace discomfort and create meaningful art. Nurturing creativity. 

And self-trust. And the impact that build a remarkable program had on her business focus.

Check out the show notes and transcripts for more information about Deni exclusive promotional offers and any special links mentioned during the episode. Kellee loves connecting with those centers. So don't be shy. Reach out on social media and together let's build a community that celebrates the remarkable. If you want to be notified every time a new episode hits their waves, just hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you for joining us today and always remember. You are made remarkable. Destined to achieve the unimaginable. Now let's get to the good part. Introducing Kellee Wynne and Deni Rayneau 

[00:01:06] Kellee Wynne: Well, hello. Hello. I'm Kellee Wynn, artist, author, mentor, fiercely independent mother and wife, and the founder of a multiple six figure creative business. And I love my life, but I've been where you're at. I was slogging away at this art business thing for more than a decade. Once I finally connected with my true calling, unlock the magic of marketing and built a system that could scale, while I realize I can make an impact and make a substantial income, I'm finally running a business that I love and it makes all the.

Difference in the world. My biggest dream is to help you do the same. Let this podcast be the catalyst to your biggest success. You already have it in you because you are made remarkable.

Well, I have a special guest on the podcast. It's Deni. So nice to have you on. And in full disclosure, Deni was in my Build It Remarkable beta version of it, Tester, last fall. And so we're finally getting a chance to catch up with where she is with her program. 

[00:02:14] Deni Rayneau: Hi Kellee. And for having me on here today. Yeah, I've had a really busy, busy year and, I launched the beta version of my course, The Messy Middle, it was in February and that, went through for 35 days into February. It was amazing. 

[00:02:30] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, I am so excited to hear more about it, but before we get into it, people don't know you, so let's introduce who you are, what you do.

You're obviously not American, you are Australian, so it is early morning for you and late in the evening for me, and that's how we were able to make this work out. 

[00:02:49] Deni Rayneau: Absolutely. I'm actually a Kiwi. 

[00:02:51] Kellee Wynne: You're a Kiwi. Oh, see, I can't even tell the difference. 

[00:02:55] Deni Rayneau: No, no one would. I've been living in Australia long enough to call this home now.

[00:03:00] Kellee Wynne: How fun. Tell us about where your art practice came from and how you got to where you're at right now. 

[00:03:07] Deni Rayneau: Yeah, well, I, like a lot of creative people, did art at school and then decided or had the messaging that I wasn't going to make money from doing art. So I went into graphic design and I, art direction and I was there and I had my own, graphic design business, my own advertising agency for many years.

There got to be a point where it just felt like, kind of soulless work. It didn't have the meaning that I wanted, it to have. It was good. It was good work and I enjoyed it for many years, but then I got to a point where I wanted to express myself, in a different way. And I, Brought back my painting and, and really it started and then eventually over a period of maybe a decade, I moved less and less out of design and more and more into painting and abstract has always been my thing.

I've never, wanted to create anything other than abstract and from feeling. 

[00:04:03] Kellee Wynne: Ooh, well, I love your abstract work. I love the colors you use. They very much resonate with me. And I love the concept you had. And put together for your first run through for your program. So going back last fall, part of what Build It Remarkable does is we, we help you like harness in on what you're great at and which direction you want to go with your creative business.

And you knew what, where artists get stuck the most. That's definitely an expertise you have that helps us. Me included, this is where I get stuck too, is that messy middle. So you created a program called The Artists Guide. The messy middle and I would love for you to explain that. 

[00:04:47] Deni Rayneau: Yeah, I think as artists we inherently need to feel uncomfortable.

There's a part about art that you know you need to be in a bit of discomfort to push to push yourself forward and to push yourself into work that Is growing and so I find that most people in general love splashing paint on. I do too onto a blank canvas and there's lots of color and it starts off being amazing.

And without a doubt, we get to that point of just discomfort where where we reach something that suddenly doesn't look good. And I noticed in the people that I surround myself with the artists that I do. is that there would be canvas after canvas after canvas that would be stacking up in studios and not a lot of work getting finished.

And that's that point that you reach where you just feel uncomfortable, so it's better off to push it away than to continue and know that there's a process and that that is so important in the process, that discomfort. It actually leads to deeper, more meaningful work. 

[00:05:55] Kellee Wynne: I'm guilty. I'm guilty of piles of canvases unfinished.

I totally get that. It's so much easy and honestly not just piles of canvases, sometimes piles of other ideas and projects I've been working on. It's so much more fun to start something new than to work through the discomfort, the challenge of now what do I do now that I've done this and get to the end.

But the end is satisfying. How do you help them get to the end?

[00:06:22] Deni Rayneau: Well, I Honestly, it's about building capacity for sitting in discomfort. So I, I find I do that with my work. So if I'm going through, you can feel when a painting, you know, when it's loose and when it's free and when You've put that part of yourself into it and you can feel a painting when it starts getting tight and restrictive.

And so there's just this part of number one, not having expectation of having an end product. As soon as there's an expectation of wanting to get somewhere, then you lose The magic in the moment. So a big part of what I'm teaching in the messy middle is to be with what's just one step ahead. And to be honest, everything I do is about painting, but it's also about life because it's just one's a mirror for the other.

So it's just like, can you sit with just what's my next move? Rather than how am I going to get to a finished painting? So you just respond one step ahead. And it's uncomfortable for people because they're always wanting to go three steps ahead. So often, because I would do critiques during the group and I'd, I'd often get the question, how do I get to the end?

And it's just like, let's pull back. Let's take it one step at a time, rather than it's. And I use the analogy of like, I'm listening to a song, when you listen to a song, you're not looking to get to the end of the song, you're enjoying it as it's being played. 

[00:07:50] Kellee Wynne: I love that! It's a great analogy. 

[00:07:54] Deni Rayneau: And so paintings like that, you know, the enjoyable part is the creation of it.

[00:07:59] Kellee Wynne: So, sitting in the messy middle. And one of the things that I, it took me a long time to learn, but now that I understand it, I pass it on to everyone else, which is test your ideas, test and test, run it live, rather than what a lot of creative people do when they want to create a digital product, they want to create a course or whatever, they're going to, they're going to create this thing online.

They go hide out in the back room and they start recording and building and making and editing and they spend forever without seeing. Is this idea actually viable? What do I need to know for my customer to make it better? So instead of creating the finished product, I really encourage my clients to do a test run or a beta run or a beta run, as they say in the UK.

I say beta, but a beta test, basically, I encourage to run through it live on zoom. I know you have some experience having done it live. In workshops, you've done a lot of in person workshops, but you ran it as a version online with Zoom. I like doing that because I can test ideas, I can validate the ideas, I can reiterate it, and then go in and go deeper the next time I go and launch it.

And so you went ahead and did that. Jumped in with a beta test, but I love a lot of the things you discovered about it. So I want to talk about you launched this in January, right? You made the offer to your audience in January and ran it through and into February. 

[00:09:31] Deni Rayneau: I did. And, when I joined with you, I knew I kind of had it in my head that I wanted to, I was thinking of launching Late last year and at your suggestion, I put it back a couple of months, which I'm so glad I did.

But at the same time, a little bit like you, I resonate with, doing things live and and finding out as you go. And, you know, I've got all the knowledge there, but I'm quite good at being live and bringing it all forward at the time. So I'm not, I think you'll lose a little bit of magic if you're too prepared.

 The group in itself, kind of sets the tone. There's a, I call it a co creation between the people that, are called into the course and myself. So I can respond to exactly what they're looking for. So actually that worked really well and I'm also a big start before you're ready person.

You know, you never going to be ready. You're never going to be prepared enough. So I think that I resonate with your style of doing things in that way. 

[00:10:28] Kellee Wynne: Take some action, get the feedback, make it better, get some momentum. Another nice thing about running something in that fashion where it's not fully prepared.

Perfect. Nothing's ever perfect, but you're in your tester beta phase is you're getting feedback and you also have customers that can help you talk about the program when you go to launch it again, which is kind of why I have you on here anyway, because you went through build it remarkable. Now you were saying something because build it remarkable was in the fall and we had a little bit of implementation period, but I didn't really get a chance to catch up with you about your first run through with.

The messy middle, but you were saying that you changed at the last minute from one model in which you were going to deliver it over several weeks to a 35 day program. Talk to me about why and how that impacted the experience. 

[00:11:24] Deni Rayneau: Yeah, I'd always knew that I was going to do somewhere between five to seven weeks.

And I was preparing for that. But I also knew, I know the way I create and I know the way I present. And I knew that there would be a, very much a live component to it. And it was maybe three weeks out. I just, I work very intuitively and I just woke up one day and just went, you know what, if I really want to impact the people that are coming into this course, I'm I think I need them to be in it every day.

And so I wanted it to be a daily practice because consistency is probably the one thing that's changed my art practice the most is doing something every day, whether it's Five minutes or whether it's three hours. It's just, it builds this, self trust if you do something every day. So that was a big change up just before putting the course out to this 35 days, but you've got to do something every day, but it really, it really worked.

I think it worked and I think I'll refine it for next time. Because I got really good feedback about it, but there needs to be a little bit of integration time. So I'm going to build that into the next one of just allowing a little bit of time for different practices to sink in.

[00:12:40] Kellee Wynne: Gotcha. So do you feel like you want to run this? Live again. 

[00:12:46] Deni Rayneau: Oh, for sure. I work best live. You know, Kellee, like you, I really want the people that take the course to shift. , I'm passionate about that. So it's like, what can I give that's going to help these people move and the live components so important.

So getting on the live calls, having everyone there, bringing up people's work and working with them. With them one on one, what will help you shift, it's such a big part of it. 

[00:13:12] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, I agree so much. I have a graveyard of courses I haven't watched. But when I know that there's live components, there's something compelling to show up, interact, get to know the other people and get the energy from the person leading it, it changes everything.

It's like, Oh, all right, I'm here and I'm present for this. I'm going to do this. Integrate it into my life. I'm going to make it happen. And I felt like we had some pretty good success from the people who participated in Build It Remarkable in the beta version, where we had them showing up every week. In the end, there is really no way to stop the little trickle out at the end of any program.

Did you have a problem with that in 35 days? Or were you able to keep messaging and say, come on, I'm pulling you back in. 

[00:14:03] Deni Rayneau: Yeah, well, there was a little bit, I mean, there was a little bit that naturally happens, but I was actually quite, surprised at how many stayed with it. And the feedback I had after it was, one in particular said, I've never completed a course in my entire life.

This was the very first one. And I'm like, wow, that's pretty cool. And another woman who, messaged me not that long ago to say, I have just stuck with it. I needed to stay at the beginning a bit longer, but I've just been following along with the 35 days and I've just got to the end.

And it's just changed my work so much. So there's the two scale, one that's did it through. 35 days and one who's just finished maybe two months later. So both of those are good. And, I've also added on bonus calls so that those that didn't complete it, I can still get on live with them and, talk through whatever else is.


[00:14:57] Kellee Wynne: I think there's no other way. If you really care about your success of your students or your customers is you want a pathway for them to be able to complete it. Yeah. And I'm passionate about that too. I really do feel like in a lot of ways, what we learn as building businesses and understanding marketing is not something that can be done in just a few weeks.

It's most of my clients, it takes them a year or so to implement the things that they learn. I mean, right off the bat, you can get started with things like, building up your newsletter list and your marketing systems and stuff, but really So the business is working more like clockwork. It takes a while.

[00:15:36] Deni Rayneau: Yeah. And particularly with learning art, I mean, I think pretty much, most artists will, have to have lots of courses. Like you say, they've got lots of courses sitting there. They'll see the next shiny course and they'll sign up and they may have just finished another one. And one thing I cautioned the people in my course was just allow the time for this information to sink in before going to the next one.

Because if you're just going from course to course, you're not going to get the amount out of it that is there. So just taking that time. Between or, do one and, and, and give yourself six months, give yourself a good period of time for it to sink in before just going to the next one, because you won't get the same amount of depth out of it.

[00:16:21] Kellee Wynne: Right. It's in practice and repeat that we really grow. So, I'd like to talk a little bit like where your biggest growth has been since taking Build It Remarkable, the things that it helped you with the most any aha or light bulb moments that you might have experienced? 

[00:16:39] Deni Rayneau: I think that what it was that really attracted me to doing it was this idea of, really, finding your one thing.

Thing and refining it. And I still think that that I'm doing that. I think that that is like I was saying before. That's an ongoing thing. That's just going to get better. I'm going to get more and more and more refined at that. And I think the beta course was really good because. You naturally do draw people to you that you're there for, as teachers.

I mean, I'm an artist, people are attracted to me because of the art I create, but there's also an energy between your student and you. So you're going to draw to you the people that are attracted to who you are and your, Reason for being. And so I guess just knowing to go all in on who I am and what I'm about.

I think that was the biggest thing, but also having a group like we did it held us accountable and that's a big thing. Just knowing that you needed to show up every week, knowing that there were steps to put in, you know, that helps me. I, I love having that consistency cause I'm a little bit loose and how I go about life.

So I really do need a bit of a structure behind me that helps. 

[00:17:49] Kellee Wynne: Yes. I love being around other like minded people. It was what I was missing the most in the early years of my career. And the fact that I can surround myself with other dynamic creatives that are ambitious, building businesses. And I know that I hear that from the clients all the time.

It's like, Oh, it's finally finding your people that, you know, a lot of the same ethos. Like you said, I try to attract people who are ready to be as, open, honest, real, and serving as possible to their audience. Because that's important to me, I get a lot of people who are like that.

So then they get along pretty well. And I loved seeing that energy. What about your marketing systems though? What did you feel like there was anything That helped make a difference there. 

[00:18:38] Deni Rayneau: it's just showing up consistently showing up with a, really clear message. And also probably a major part that I, Have, let's slip is my mailing list.

I've built a good following on Instagram and I became kind of lazy, with lazy or just kind of didn't focus on the, the mailing list side. So that's something that, I really changed my focus through being in your group was the importance of putting out something that is gonna draw.

 Your people into you. And I think it's also, what I enjoyed was, coming from that real place. I don't want to just sell to artists just to sell. I actually really want to, to, to do something here that feels good and that serves, and I can really feel that In you and in your work.

So it felt like while we were in a business group, it wasn't like it's just kind of push, push, push. It was more about finding that right message and getting that message out so that you can serve the people that you're here to serve. So yeah, really refining, I think Kellee, refining the message, refining your voice and being consistent with that message out in the marketplace really helped.

[00:19:52] Kellee Wynne: That's my. Biggest passion is we changed the whole world of what marketing and selling is into having a clear point of view and helping the people that hear what we have to say and staying true to ourselves so that we can serve them. Like, I love that. Nothing makes me more excited than hearing you say like I could be more myself and figure out what it was that I needed to say that would help more people.

Then it's like, Okay, this is what we're doing this for. Sure. We need an income. This is, you know, normal for this planet that we all have to have an income to support ourselves, but doing it in a way that we're helping other people and having fun and bringing more light and joy, like how exciting is that?

[00:20:35] Deni Rayneau: It is. It is. And when you see a light bulb go off in someone else, and you can just see that excitement and the way that they are creating work or the change that that gives, particularly with this messy middle, because if you can get someone to sit in that place and actually be comfortable there.

Be more comfortable there. It always is a bit of discomfort and sitting in a mess, but just see the value of it. It releases this other level of play in your work and that's fun. Suddenly it's like, Oh, this is like, I can actually go somewhere here. I can make my work even deeper by being here. It lights me up.

It's why I don't just paint and sell my work. I really love impacting and seeing the impact on other artists. 

[00:21:21] Kellee Wynne: I know, me too. There's nothing more amazing when someone says, I found you at just the right time and it made all the difference. And I always struggled with this, Oh, is, is my work really that important?

I'm not out there, like, you know, saving lives after an earthquake or a hurricane. I'm not, you know, a rescuer kind of person. And then when you start realizing that we all have a different path in which we can serve the world and what a difference our creativity makes, it's like, Oh, wait a minute.

I'm helping in the way I was meant to help. 

[00:21:56] Deni Rayneau: Right? 

[00:21:57] Kellee Wynne: And that's you too. You're helping in the way you were meant to help because you figured out a pathway to be able to create large, beautiful abstracts, very expressive, a lot of mark making. They're fun and exciting. Really? I love seeing your work when it comes through my feed.

So you've been through that path yourself and you understand the pitfalls and now you're able to take that and serve other people and help them through those pitfalls. And believe me, there are so many artists who want to be able to paint abstract and they get so hung up on it. They're like, how do I know when it's done?

And am I making a good composition? Are these the right colors? And when we can push past that and start trusting ourselves, everything changes. 

[00:22:41] Deni Rayneau: Yeah. If you just followed the things that you love, you know, like that's a big thing. for a long time I had it in my head, Oh, my paintings are so colorful.

Are they meaningful? It was almost like they needed to be deep and dark in order to have that kind of meaning. And when I, you know, let go of that and just went, you know what, this expresses something in me that's important. And now I look at it completely different. And I think there's so many dark things.

That happened on this planet to put out a bit of light and color and joy, is a good thing and not a bad thing. It's actually a really good thing. So allowing that permission to do these things is also, you know, if you, if I have someone in my group and they're questioning something in their work, I have quite a few students who are patterns keep coming up.

I'm like, we'll follow that. And they're like, but it feels too structured. I'm like, well, where can we find the balance between structure and letting loose? Rather than trying to hide away from what's inherently you, how can we find a way to bring that out even more and give you permission to create in the way that you create? 

[00:23:49] Kellee Wynne: I was wondering, how do you help them get past Looking at other artists and wanting to be like them, how do they get back to, okay, follow that urge. There's a pattern. There's a color I want to use. How do you get them to stop? Like, I mean, this is such a hard, maybe this is too, too loaded of a question, but stop a comparison of looking at.

How someone else is making their art or have this idealized like this is the end product I'd like to make and learn how to trust themselves that they're going to find their own path to their own voice. 

[00:24:28] Deni Rayneau: Okay, well, I believe that what inspires us is also really important. So every week or every, 

seven days, we started with an inspiration and that inspiration could have been another artist, or it could have been a previous work of your own, or it could have been a song or a quote, something that just lights you up at the beginning of a week, you know, so that you can start with this whatever it is.

So if it isn't an artist that you admire, then find that piece of work, put it up on your wall and hold it loosely because while it inspires you when you take it and put it into your voice, it's going to turn out completely different. And I definitely saw that in the course where someone would say this was my inspiration.

This is what I created. And it's like, well, that doesn't look like their work. So that's where you take an essence of what someone else is creating and you make it your own. And I think that comes with time. It's a self trust. So if you've got somebody that's walking beside you, which is what I look at myself.

 As you know, I'm walking beside my students, just kind of nudging and encouraging. And it's just showing them the magic that is in each of their pieces. Even if it's still in the mess, there's always magic. There's always something that's asking you to follow it. I like to think that art's already been created and we're finding our way there from the, so it's like a reverse looking at it. So it's what's the art asking for now. And that's so personal, like abstract expressionism is so personal that you can't look at someone else and how they're doing it and, and want to be anywhere other than where you are, because you're expressing something so unique to you.

It can't be bad. It can't be wrong. It's always right. It's just following it. That's kind of how I look at it. Everyone has something personal to say in this world. And when you get an artist to see that, then they don't look at other people's work because they're trying to express from inside out.

[00:26:33] Kellee Wynne: Ooh, your students are so dang lucky to have you. You're going to be running this program and I'm so glad that you picked up on the thing that I'm really encouraging all these creative business owners, and I am guilty of this too. They just want to add on more and more and more things until they're overwhelmed and inundated with people.

A bloated business, and you're keeping it pretty streamlined. You're moving forward with the same idea. I'm putting it on repeat and making it bigger and better every single time. So you're planning on running it again this year. 

[00:27:09] Deni Rayneau: Yeah, I'm looking for a beginning of September. Launch, which is kind of perfect because my work is well, actually more up for down here cause it's spring.

So we'll be coming into spring here, but you know, at the moment, Kellee, I'm thinking, you know, it's a beautiful time of the year, the autumn spring to be going into, you know, a bit of a new beginning in your arts, a bit of a refresh. So that's what I'm looking at loosely at the moment is, around about September, around about March.

[00:27:39] Kellee Wynne: Well, how will people be able to connect with you until then? Cause we've worked on a lot of these ideas inside Build It Remarkable with our building our list and continuing to show up. I know they can find you on Instagram. 

[00:27:51] Deni Rayneau: The other thing that Build It Remarkable did was encourage me to start my YouTube channel.

So that started. And that's been amazing. I really, I love this kind of, live painting. So I've got a YouTube channel, which is Deni Raynaud art, which I'm also on Instagram is Deni Raynaud art. And I'm working, you know, the most difficult thing for me is calling in people to my mailing list.

So I'm working on different ways of, I can give value. I can give. so that people can, find me and then, come onto the course. So I do have my top three ways to get unstuck. That was also something I did when I was with you. So you can go onto my website and download it's three videos of how I move myself past.

When I'm stuck in a, you know, what do I do? What can I do now? Which is a big question I get asked all the time when I'm in. A mess. What do I do? And so I have three major go to's so you can download my three videos, to go into my, 

[00:28:52] Kellee Wynne: I'll make sure that that's all linked in the show notes. So people will be able to find you, find your website and connect with you that way.

I'm so glad you have a juicy lead magnet, not a boring lead magnet, but a juicy one that people have a hard time resisting because I mean, artists get stuck always. I mean, if you haven't gotten stuck as an artist, are you even an artist? So that's a great juicy lead magnet. We want to definitely keep building your list.

And I'm so glad you started YouTube. I'm still sitting here years into this saying. You should start a YouTube channel to everyone. I still haven't done it myself, but it'll happen one of these days. 

[00:29:35] Deni Rayneau: Yeah. And it's a good one actually. Cause it's fun, but again, it's one of those things that you've really got to be consistent with.

So I didn't want to do it until I could really, Go into it, in a consistent way. So I've been doing that and I can definitely see the results. 

[00:29:50] Kellee Wynne: Awesome. So if you could give any advice to anyone who's thinking about joining Build It Remarkable, if they're on the fence. What would you say?

[00:29:58] Deni Rayneau: Well, look, I mean, there's no doubt about it. It's shifted my business and given me a lot of focus. If you're looking for different ways, if you're naturally someone who wants to do something. build courses, build your business in different ways. It helps to have somebody, honestly, Kellee, on the calls when we were on the calls, what I was really impressed with, with you was your ability to see someone else's business.

And they were also different and really be able to help each one individually find, that little bit of magic or that way that they could refine the message because, we were all so different and yet in a lot of ways, we were all so similar and you were able to really kind of find our unique gifts or our unique message.

So I would just say, go for it. It will really help. There's a lot of wisdom there. 

[00:30:50] Kellee Wynne: Thank you so much. It's one of my favorite things to do is think outside the box and see each of us as unique potential, the gift that they have in this world. So I really am so grateful you came through the Build It Remarkable program with me.

I'm so excited to see where you're going and don't be surprised if I end up signing up with you because I get so stuck in the messy middle and it doesn't matter how many years I've been making art. I feel like this is something everyone needs really to be able to push back past our own blocks. And so I'm really glad that you're out there in this world doing that.

Put the magic into the world. 

[00:31:32] Deni Rayneau: Thanks so much, Kellee. I appreciate it. We've all got something special to give each other, right? It doesn't matter how long we've been creating. 

[00:31:40] Kellee Wynne: I hope so. Thanks for joining me on the podcast, Deni. 

[00:31:44] Deni Rayneau: Thanks so much, Kellee. 

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