Slow Down to Find Your Style with Laly Mille

Laly 0:00
It's not because you see something that somebody else's has done and it's beautiful and you want to do the same. I think sometimes the art that you make, it's not for you and the art that other people make, it's for you. So it's not the same. You don't need to create whatever you want to look at from other people.

Kellee 0:27
You're listening to Unfold with Kellee Wynne when this is an unpolished, imperfect and totally honest podcast, and I'm talking to all artists, creatives, visionaries, and changemakers, who want to live a life by design and not by default. If you're ready to have thought provoking eye opening and heart centred conversations, that explore the stories that made us who we are, and break through the boundaries of expectations, then you are in the right place.

Kellee 1:01
Well, hello, hello. Welcome back to Unfold with Kellee Wynne we're here on both podcast and video recording. Look, I'm going all out for you here. Because well, you know what, sometimes it's fun to have some visuals behind the scenes of what's actually happening in my studio with my guests, and for this podcast. And today's guest is no exception. We have Laly Mille coming on. Laly is a good friend of mine. I've known her for years now, not only through the internet, and through our art practice, but we actually got to meet in person. And I'm really feeling grateful right now for this interview and for the friendship that I've been able to harness through social media. Can you believe what a beautiful gift that can be at times I know, sometimes I harp on it, sometimes we feel like it's a bit much or overwhelming. But the truth of the matter is, is that we have friends all over the globe, we are much more closely connected than ever before. And this is no exception, in this case with Laly. And the sense that in a lot of ways I feel like I owe my career to her, my art career as a teacher. Because hers was the very first course that I ever took way back, I think it was in 2017 when she launched layers of light. And it was at that time that I was really exploring the idea of whether or not I would want to teach art online and in person and make that part of my bigger plan for building a business. Well, the beautiful thing about it is because I established a relationship with Laly online as friends and as colleagues and as artists, that I could reach out to her and just asked her how it's going and kind of figure out a few of the things that I needed to know not a lot, but just enough for her to give me that boost of encouragement, that confidence that it was going to be okay. And that I could actually pull this crazy dream off, she showed me, pave the way in her success with her art courses. And I feel like that's a huge gift for me in my heart, and the way that I've been able to move forward in this world. And yes, I've learned from a lot of people, there have been a lot of ways in which I've grown as an artist and as a business owner. But I really will always have this special place in my heart for the way that Lally was introducing me to this whole online art education world. And it's just been a whirlwind since then. But the beautiful thing is, is that we've been able to collaborate many times over the years. Not only have we met in person, but she was also a guest when I formally had a membership programme for those of you who have been around in my circle for a while, there was a time where I had a membership programme, yes, but I no longer do. But she was a guest in that programme. And I thought, Ah, what a better way to reconnect with a good friend and a very talented artist and teacher than to have her in the Virtual Art Summit, which you know, is going on this whole month of May. And I just want to say to you, what a joy, a pleasure, an exciting moment in time to be able to reconnect with a friend, especially after two long years of being locked down from COVID. And we're finally starting to see glimmers of hope of travel connection in person and a lot of healing. Well. Laly is bringing it to us for both the Virtual Art Summit and this interview. I felt like it was really important that I could put her on the podcast because of our close connection and because of what she has to offer you and the truth of the matter is, is her lesson is amazing but also the way that she just genuinely and generously shares of herself. If you're looking to discover your voice. This is a great teacher for you. This is a great opportunity for you to connect because Laly Mille has always had this undercurrent of finding yourself, your voice and your path with your art work and all that she's ever taught. So having her as a guest for this year's Virtual Art Summit was a no brainer, in the sense that our theme is finding your voice, finding your style as an artist. So I just wanted to mention before we go into this video, and you're going to hear Laly talk a lot about Soulful Abstracts and her Flower Flow courses. And I just wanted to remind you that you can have access to those courses, but not through traditional means because her premium courses are all closed right now. She has a very special offer for those who join the Virtual Art Summit, you can get in for a discount for those two courses bundled together. And at the end of this podcast, you're going to hear a little excerpt from how she's designed, Soulful Abstract, specifically, the importance of this course is that it will teach you how to find your own voice. And that's really essential. I think, as we're growing and learning as artists, we may want the techniques. We want to know how to make work. We want to know which tools to use, but in the end, we want to discover what is going to light us up or what soulful. So, Laly does that for you. She brings that for sure. Here's the key though, in order to get into Laly's course you also need to get into the Virtual Art Summit. Right?

Kellee 6:14
Well, the good thing is, is the Virtual Art Summit includes 16 amazing lessons from different artists. Premium delivery, let me tell you, they brought it this year, the Virtual Art Summit only happens once a year. And that's this whole month of May 2022. I really recommend that you just go right now, pause this, that you're listening to or watching and go to virtualartsummit.com/go I'll wait. Always go ahead. Anyhow, I'm just kidding. I do want you to sign up, you have a choice of pay what you can for 30 days access. That means if it's not in your budget right now, for premium courses, you still get a chance to learn from the very best. But if it is in your budget, we have the best, most fabulous deal, keep forever plus bonuses for only $95. And really honestly with over eight hours of content from just our guest artists alone. I'm telling you, that in and of itself is a huge deal. And really honestly most artists come back most of our participants come back and ask to upgrade so that they can keep it forever. So go today to virtualartsummit.com/go All the details are there, everything you need to know about what you'll get, how it works, and honestly who the guest artists are, because they're all just fantastic. And you're going to want to dive deep into your creative practice with this one and only annual event. All right, thank you so much for joining me on Unfold. Now let's just get right into this interview with Laly Mille.

Kellee 7:54
Aly, it's been so long since I've seen you and yeah, everyone who's listening and watching right now I got to meet Laly in person at her home in France in 2018. It's been a while. But if it weren't for COVID I would be back there right now.

Laly 8:12
Anytime you want.

Kellee 8:14
How are you doing? Laly moved into a beautiful old farmhouse. Right? And she's been working diligently on some beautiful art courses over the last few years since the last time we talked. So we get to catch up now. And I wanted to say thank you so much for being in the Virtual Art Summit, because it means the world to me to be able to work with you again.

Laly 8:36
My pleasure. And I missed it last year. So I really wanted to be in this year.

Kellee 8:41
Yes. So good. Well, we have more heads up timing this year for you to participate. Yeah. And this year, our theme is all about finding your voice. And I love the fact that you have such a distinguished look, I know your work as soon as it goes through my feed, it feels like nobody else's. And I think that's why your students clamour to take all of your courses too.

Laly 9:06
Well, that's, that's really one of the main focuses of all my classes. It's not about doing things like me, although you can if you like, but it's really about, you know, finding your own voice finding your authentic voice, and it can take time and practice, but it's worth it.

Kellee 9:23
It is worth it. And it's very magical too, the way you present the ideas and present the courses. Your course was the very first online art course that I ever took The Layers of Light. That was beautiful then and everything you've created since then is just so dreamy. It's like the level to achieve is, can you make a course as beautiful as Laly's? and I still don't think I've managed to do that. And I know that might sound like it's too much but I've heard other people say the same thing. You really do know how to teach, you know how to share your joy of creating and you know, and you make such beautiful work to, so.

Laly 10:04
Oh, thank you. So I really like the students to feel like they're with me in the studio. And when I start recording, usually I just forget about everything. And just, it's really my process and my art that I want to share from my heart. Yes. And I think that is why it resonates.

Kellee 10:22
Yes, it does resonate so much. So, tell me well, one of my favourite things to talk about with artists who've been established for a while is what's exciting you right now? Talk to me about your creative journey. Because when we talk about your voice, we know it's going to change over time, there's always going to be this beautiful golden thread of you that touches each part of your evolution in style. But we do evolve. So I want to hear what lighting you up and what you're excited about right now.

Laly 10:54
All right. So just before we started recording, I finished the first page of my brand new art journal, I finished one recently, so Art Journalling, is really one of my passions. And one of the things that I'm most excited about. It's like, I'm creating my personal story book. And it's just for me. So that's one of the things that I'm excited about, and that I do all the time. And the other projects that I'm working on right now, they are mostly in my head, and in a notebook. And I'm really feeling the need to, you know, go back to some of my first loves of assemblage and collage and working with old objects and materials, and textile as well, because I have accumulated so many beautiful materials, and I just love to touch them, but sometimes I don't know what I'm going to do with them. So I feel that now is the time to do some of that.

Kellee 11:51
It's like the ideas are all percolating...

Laly 11:56
down downloading, downloading. Yeah, they're downloading. And I'm like writing my, in my notebook. And yeah,

Kellee 12:03
Saving the ideas. You know what, I think there's something in the air because a lot of artists I've talked to recently are like in a big flux and transition, where they're like really looking at how they make things and maybe going back to their beginning their first loves, or they're, they're evolving what they want to do. And there is something interesting about the fact that things are becoming like a need for something more textile, I wonder what why that is, the texture, the feel

Laly 12:31
of it. To me, it's the connection. One of the things that I talk about in my classes when we work with texture, is that really texture is all about connection, connecting to each other. And because that's touch, you know, and anything that is soft, and art that you can touch, it's going to speak to you in a completely different way.

Kellee 12:52
Oh, man, that's so exciting. So when I came to visit you in 2018, you took me into your beautiful little town, and you guys if you ever get to a chance, pronounce your your town for me, or at least the town that I visited, because I always say it wrong.

Laly 13:06
But it's Angers.

Kellee 13:09
oh Angers. So when I was there, you notice that like my one of my favourite things was like the the collection of old and beautiful things. And boy, France has a lot of that. But even in your studio, it's like there was just all these little magical bits, like everywhere you turn in your studio, and I know you can't be in your studio right now, because there's not Wi Fi out there.

Kellee 13:39
I mean, no Wi Fi in my studio, I know that for sure. Would it be okay, if I share the little tour, even though it's your old studio?

Laly 13:47
if you want me to take a quick video of the current studio, I can send it to you. Yeah, and I can add that

Kellee 13:56
to the the other video so that we can see like how things have changed and evolved. But I think when you talk about all of those textural things, and the assemblage art that you've made, and like, you know all the layers, I can really see what you're talking about. There's just something about it as just so connected, and it's exciting. So do you think you'd be making an art course out of it eventually?

Laly 14:23

Kellee 14:24
I mean you do have the one weaving course....

Laly 14:28
I have a weaving in course, and there's going to be a paper clay course. Because you know, I make little paper clay ladies and been asked by so many people to do a class, but it's a very different process. And up until now I didn't feel really ready to teach it because it's so personal. But yeah, before the end of the year hopefully there will be a class on that.

Kellee 14:52
well, you know, I'm going to sign up for that because I've been asking forever too look you know, when you admire your friends work, you want to know how done. That's why I like people like you to be on my Virtual Art Summit because I want more behind the scenes. That's why everyone watching wants behind the scenes, you know this, this way that we find our voice is really unique. We can follow other people and copying in the early years of making art that happens. But eventually, you start stumbling upon your own way. Yeah, can you describe a little bit about how you developed your voice over the years?

Laly 15:27
Well, one of the things was trying not to look too much at what others were doing. So that's for sure, because it can get so overwhelming. And even though at the time, I didn't have Instagram, but I still had Pinterest, it was the beginning. And it was really so inspiring. And at the same time, I knew I had to be careful and try and not replicate what others were doing. So that's one thing. And the other thing that that really helped me find my style, I think it's that it's just like the assemblage that I want to do. And it's not here yet. I think my art was in me already for a while, and it was percolating, and at some point, it had to come out and I just had to welcome whatever was coming out and just look at it and really observe it. And, and notice what I like what I don't like, what do I want to improve? What do I want to try? It was also all about trying out the supplies because it was all new to me. So every time I found something I liked, I added it to my practice. And every time I saw something, I didn't, I just let it go.

Kellee 16:34
Let it go that....

Laly 16:38
it's not because you see something that somebody else's has done, and it's beautiful, and you want to do the same. I think sometimes the art that you make, it's not for you and the art that other people make, it's for you. So it's not the same. You don't need to create whatever you want to look at from other people.

Kellee 16:56
Right? Yeah, I find that the art that I like to collect and hanging on my wall is completely different from the art Yeah, make anyway. Exactly. Which is good. But in the early years, there's a lot of trial and error thinking, oh, I want to try on this hat. And I love I love going through the failures, too. Are you afraid of failing in a work of art? If you make something and it just doesn't turn out?

Laly 17:22
Well, no, I'm not afraid of it. Because it's a little embarrassing to admit, but I have hardly ever not finished a painting. I mean, I have loved them all, because I'm so stubborn. And I won't give up on the painting. And sometimes I will put them in storage for a year, two years, three years. And at some point, I will take them out, I will look at them with new eyes, and I will make something out of them. So I can I have loved every painting that I've made, because I have just embraced their imperfections. And I have loved them. And I have also known that they're not for me in the end. So maybe if I see their flaws, and I and I'm not satisfied, maybe someone else will.

Kellee 18:07
There you go. I don't know many artists who can manage to finish almost everything that they start. I know I have piles and piles of art that I haven't finished. And sometimes I come back three years later, it doesn't even resonate with me anymore. But that's mean, it's fun, because you can evolve it and paint over it and add to it. Yeah, your new perspective to it for sure.

Laly 18:29
That's what I love about mixed media too, because mixed media is about layering a lot. So you can always cover up something you don't like and start over and make it evolve. And it's always interesting to start on an old painting instead of a blank canvas.

Kellee 18:44
I know I love to do that too. It's like it adds all that extra whatever was there before kind of Yeah, almost like using all of the textured items to make assemblage you're using what was old and making it new again. There's something fun I call it reblooming because I've done a lot of florals. So I call it re blooming my old work when I like add, it's a lot of fun to to look at it that way.

Kellee 19:12
Laly's quote that she picked right now is from Beatrix Potter, which I think is a really lovely connection because there's something quite special and romantic about Beatrix Potter's work, which Laly's work is very romantic and beautiful too. And it says this "there's something magical about writing the first words of a story you never quite know where they'll take you." So if you don't mind, Laly, just tell us a little bit why you picked that quote.

Laly 19:45
I picked it because to me there is something really important about starting points in my process. I very rarely start on a blank canvas or a blank page in my art journal and even in the way that I teach, even in my classes, I always give starting points and the warm ups and things that will just kickstart your creativity, just even making your space inspiring and nurturing and surrounding yourself with things that inspire you all of that. It's like the first words of a story. And you never have to know what the outcome is going to be, you never have to know what your painting is going to look like if you're doing a painting. And this way, also, you can't be disappointed and have too many expectations. So it's really about opening up to good surprises, really.

Kellee 20:35
And just getting started sometimes, yeah, sometimes it's hard for us to just get started, especially when you're like, No, you're limited on time, or whatever. And I love the warm ups that you offer your students because they do push you out of your comfort zone, to just play and explore. And that's like when the magic really happens.

Laly 20:58
And you end up with little art pieces that you didn't pressure yourself to make them because you thought they were warm ups or liberal studies. But usually when you're so spontaneous, and you're just in the flow and getting started, that's where you create something beautiful.

Kellee 21:13
Exactly, I agree so much. So I love I have like a bunch of really fun exercises for play and warm up. And then that ends up being what I want to do next. It really doesn't spark so many new ideas. Since the theme in the Virtual Art Summit is well we call it express yourself. But really the heart of it is finding your voice or your style as an artist. And of course, every single one of us get to it a different way. And we've talked about how you've kind of followed through on that. But I'd love for you to give some advice to the artists that are listening now. Especially those who have like, tried all the things and they still feel frustrated, where do they go next?

Laly 21:59
Slow down. First, to take your time, that would be my first piece of advice, I love it slow down. It's okay, you're going to find it. No worries, you haven't hit new, it's already in your your style your voice, you have it, you don't have to go find it, you have to uncover it. So it's already there. And and then what you have to do is really take the time to notice the things that you like the things that you love, the things that really make you come alive, and especially the things that feel that they resonate with you and maybe you don't know why. But you can really observe that around you in your home, in your clothes, in your surrounding your garden, if you have one and everything. It's part of your life parts of things that are you already and and then you can start observing maybe the colours, maybe the textures. Maybe if you do some some quick doodling or things like that, what comes spontaneously to you? and then accept that these are yours and and just put them together and integrate them into your style. And maybe that's not what you were expecting. And maybe at first you won't think it's pretty or trendy. But that's how I think it's it comes to you. It's not by scrolling through Instagram, looking at other people's work. It's really looking at you, your life, what makes up all the things that you have chosen in your life already, that you have surrounded yourself with.

Kellee 23:34
I love that. I think that's really where where my heart goes to as well. Looking at that golden thread through your life. And it starts tying together. But what about those who want to try all the things? one minute they're doing an oil painting of a bowl of fruit and the next minute, they want to do some wild abstract or a weaving or something? and, and they're trying to figure out how to like create some sort of cohesiveness. That's, let's be honest, that's presentable as a professional as a as a proficient artist, or somebody who wants to sell their work, is a time to cut off the edges? I do notice that you have a lot of different mediums but yet when I look at whether it's your weaving or your mixed media or your sculptural pieces. They all sync together so beautifully.

Laly 24:32
Thank you. Well, that's I think that really comes from that, from taking the time and just infusing myself into every piece that I create whatever it is, and I really love all the techniques and I really love doing abstract and doing florals and doing lots of different things. But I think what ties it all together is is really to take the time and let it evolve and emerge. But if you really feel that you have this pull towards a still life, for instance, and then the next moment, you have a pull towards abstract, by all means, do all of it, do it all and explore it all. And then you will find things that you love more than others. But don't try to find your style before you have gone exploring all of that.

Kellee 25:22
Oh, perfect, gotta explore first and then maybe there's certain things we don't love as much as others, and then eventually that that it kind of just narrows in just a little bit of what you do absolutely love. And what I noticed in your work, too, is like there's a lightness, a softness of femininity in it. And you can see that carry through and some of the colour palettes you use themes, even the paper mache women show up in your artwork, and your mixed media as well. And so, and the textures, you can see this kind of overlap. So it's not like for all of those who are listening who say, I don't want to give up anything. Well, you you eventually do narrow in a little bit. But there are ways that it all just kind of go together that comes from your heart and soul. So I think, Laly, you are a perfect example of how trying all the different styles and still finding a way to make it your voice and make it shine is just go everyone go to Laly's feed on Instagram, check out her work, you will see that there is a beautiful golden thread through all the things that she does. It's a great example of letting go of some things but really honing in on the things that light you up. And I love that about your work.

Laly 26:42
I think that, it's really what lights you up. It's exactly that just if you are able to recognise that feeling every time you you know, it's right. You know, you're on the right track. If you follow that feeling, it's just feel it inside and follow that inside.

Kellee 26:58
Yeah, trusting what's in here, instead of looking out there.

Laly 27:02
Yeah, but then you can create it out there on their canvas.

Kellee 27:07
Yes, for sure. So I wanted to talk about your special offer for the Virtual Art Summit. And as everyone knows who's watching right now, if you haven't heard, the Virtual Art Summit is open and it's either pay what you can for 30 Day access, or for $95 you can keep the content forever. And inside the Virtual Art Summit Laly has a very special offer. All of her really special high end courses are closed right now. And two of the most favourite the floral one and the abstract, Soulful Abstracts. Yes, that's it. And what's the other one called? Flower Flow. So it's a perfect little bundle offer. But you have to go inside the Virtual Art Summit to get the link, to get the link to her special offer. And I think I know Soulful Abstracts kind of ended up being one of your most popular courses, of course Layer of Light was your first but Soulful Abstracts really great course and being able to find your voice. What is it that your students said, love so much about taking this course what what will they get inside the course?

Laly 28:19
There's a whole first part where you really gather inspiration and just what I've talked about, like creating a space that will inspire you finding your your, what I call your soul palette, really your colour palette that really really comes from deep inside and, and looking for your sources of inspiration. And then to me, abstracts is a wonderful opportunity to explore all the different elements of your art language, your personal language, that you only have to make your art. Because with abstract, you don't have the pressure of making something that looks like something or something else. It's just very liberating I find. So we explore colour, texture, mark making composition and a whole lot of serendipity also, and and this is really about finding all the elements of your art. And then we make some beautiful paintings. And we also explore what are the stories that you want to tell with all of these elements?

Kellee 29:18
That's a perfect course for someone to get going being able to find their voice. Perfect.

Laly 29:24
Yeah that's the whole point of this course. This is really a course just about that. So yeah,

Kellee 29:29
and that's what that's the number one question I get all the time is how do I find my voice So if you're stuck, and you need a little bit of letting go then this is this is the one to take. Plus you have the Floral Flow. So if you want to add on top of that beautiful feminine flower lusciousness then that would be a perfect pair. You did say one word which is one of my favourite words in creating in that serendipity. And that's really that's the secret to making is just allowing whatever is gonna happen and surprise you. Hmm, yeah,

Laly 30:03
exactly. Yeah. Just let yourself be surprised. Don't try to plan too much. Just surround yourself with all your supplies and everything that looks fun to you. And then just follow the flow and let it go.

Kellee 30:17
Yeah, follow the flow. I love it. Well, everyone who's watching now you can go to virtualartsummit.com/go. And you can sign up right away. And also, don't forget to check out Laly Mille and her Instagram account and her course inside of the Virtual Art Summit. And I'm really grateful for you to come and chat with me today.

Laly 30:40
And I'm grateful to and that your beautiful flowers, you're just making me smile with all your beautiful flowers behind me.

Kellee 30:47
And just as I'm working on flowers, I'm like now I want to go totally abstract. So your conversation has inspired me so much. So thank you so much for joining us and we'll chat again soon.

Laly 31:01
Yeah, bye, thank you.

Laly 31:11
Sometimes there are no words, no images that can fully express what we hold deep within. And it's up to us to create something new, something unique to tell our stories. To me, this is the true magic of abstract art. Soulful Abstract is a unique art journey where we will create one of a kind paintings that radiate with soul. In the safe space of our beautiful online classroom. We are going to start by opening up, listening to the whispers and giving ourselves permission to play. What if the studio or the kitchen table became a nurturing portal of inspiration, where we can feel a whole workbook with our artsy experiments? What if the rules became tools that are only here to help us tell our stories, our way. With a spirit of freedom and self discovery, you will be able to no avail your own abstract language. The colour palette that makes your heart sing, the meaningful marks and symbols that resonates so deep and the textures that delight your fingers and just feel like home. Working in a series will allow you to anchor what you discover. Gently expand your comfort zone and get ready for the next step. The canvas will be our playground, where it's okay to get messy. Dream bigger, create with intention. Be vulnerable, and find a sense of connection. Together with a whole community of like minded artists, I will be by your side every step of the way. And I have no doubt that the beauty you hold within is ready to take shape and be seen.

Kellee 33:44
All right, I'll see you again next week on the podcast. Please share this episode. If you loved it, please just hit that reshare on Instagram. Come to Kellee Wynn Studios and let everybody know that you've been listening to Unfold and what you thought of it and how it's making a difference to you. And I'll see you again next week. Thank you.

If you'd like to listen to or learn more about the podcast visit https://www.maderemarkable.com/blog for our show notes and links to the main players.