Building an Art Career at Your Own Pace with Alice Sheridan
This is a chance to get a little bit of clarity on where you need to be right now where your energy is, Reset your energy, look at what you've done, to date and help you direct you into what's next for you.
You're listening to Unfold with Kellee Wynne 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.
You are listening to Unfold with Kellee Wynn. And I have my good friend Alice Sheridan on the podcast today. And I am thrilled to have her here because we're going to talk about our favourite subject building an art career. And this time, we're going to talk about it in a sensible way, how you can do it at your own pace. How are you doing Alice?
Well, it's so nice to be here. I also have a podcast called Art Juice, you will hear from my voice that it's not quite 100%, I've been a little bit unwell, we are up to it and ready for today, but kind of thrown me that Kellee does these with video records too, because I am not used to that. So if you're watching on YouTube, or probably if you want a little bit of a laugh, you can go on to YouTube and watch this. And you can see me pull all sorts of silly faces, and roll my eyes because I am not used to video recording. So this is this is a new experience for me. So but I know that it's gonna be fun, because it's always fun when we talk.
Yeah, I'm trying this new thing where I tried to record it with video, which is so much harder. And then now that I'm gonna put it on YouTube, but I'm finding that, a lot of people have come to me and said that they appreciate that, because that's how they prefer to listen to the podcast slash watch the podcast. And so hey, look, we're just taking it to the next level. But speaking of taking it to the next level, this is a long journey to get to this point where I'm willing to do that it's not like I rushed out and decided all these things had to be done at once. And I think that's what we wanted to talk about, like the kind of ways in which we build our art career, and the types of personalities that people might have in order to achieve their dreams and goals. So we were just, Alice and I have been talking about that a lot lately and what it actually takes to get here. But I think the most important thing is pacing yourself. So let's talk a little bit about those different kinds of artists that come into the membership. And maybe you'll resonate a bit with how it might work for you.
I think the thing is, when you start anything, you don't always have a full picture of the reality of what it's going to take, or even really a very clear picture of what the outcome is going to look like for you. And I think there is a lot of stuff in this area about, you know, visualising or being able to get clear. And I think it has its value. But if I'm honest, it's something we've always struggled with. And you know that because I've talked about that. And I think it's because almost inevitably when we start off at the beginning of something, when you know, we're not clear, we don't know what the outcome is gonna look like we have all these questions that go round in our mind about it. And I think if you're waiting for 100%, clarity on anything, whether it's how your painting is going to look or what you want your business to look like, if you're waiting for that 100% perfect clarity, you never get going. And that is the biggest killer that I see of whether it's kind of people, you know, finding their kind of creative fulfilment or business fulfilment as a business like this, because whatever that looks like for you, I think it's it's a hurdle and once you can get on board with the idea of not actually knowing fully where you're going with it, that really helps.
Yeah if we wait for everything to be right, we'll be waiting forever. I really love honesty. In fact, that kind of held me back for some of the things that I wanted to do was because I wanted the perfect timing or I wanted more knowledge and I was consuming more than I was just actually doing. And in the process of doing is kind of how we figure it out anyway, whether that's making our art or deciding how we're going to serve others or how we will sell our art. I think it's just that process of doing and being around other like minded people to help push us there.
Yeah, that part of consuming, consuming it before well, you're ready to create it. Again, I think there is probably quite a lot of guilt associated with that. I know I did it, you know, I remember there were some days where I thought, Okay, I'm going to be creative today. I'm going to be creative today. And you know, the children were at school, you know, I've got a little bit of space, I've cleared what I need to do domestically. And I'll just do something to get me started. And this was pre Instagram days. So it was sort of YouTube or nothing, really. And I'm not even sure that Pinterest was the thing when when we're talking that far back, I'd have to check my dates. But I certainly if it was, I certainly hadn't discovered it. So I couldn't. I remember the weekend that I discovered Pinterest and fell down on Pinterest. Well, that's a whole other story for Pinterest. Well, but YouTube watching and then getting to the end of the day and feeling really guilty that I've watched rather than done, but I just wonder if that is sort of an essential part of it, because it helps put everything into your world. You see other people, do you see what's possible? But then in central stage, then is that part where you start to filter out, you know, realise what isn't isn't you what you do want, what you don't want. And almost getting to that point where you're almost so fed up with yourself. You do take action, but you can't just kind of hit the ground running. Nobody can nobody does that.
I agree with you. I mean, even like, it doesn't matter what skill you're trying to learn there does take that point of time where we kind of need to see what's out there in the world and be educated on it to one degree or another. I have the same problem. And it was really my great uncle who said, Okay, put the books down. You're not gonna learn by reading you actually have to do it, you know, because I guess at that time, yes, I had Pinterest. But I was also like, I kept buying books on brushstrokes. And I'm like, okay, this is ridiculous. This is a bit ridiculous. But maybe it's a confidence level. Really, in all honesty, we think that if we watch enough videos, read enough books, look at enough Instagram, you're gonna have confidence. But I think it's definitely a blend of doing that. Because we're in that learning mimicking phase, but actually making work or actually working on our business taking the first step and figuring out how to build a website or how to build a better Instagram following. It's each of those things. We can only learn so much. Before we have to do it in order to know what's going to work for us and what's not because there is no one size fit all. Oh, look at Puppy in the background.
She's not a puppy. She's 14. She's an old lady dog. She kind of gets whatever she wants and lifted and carried everywhere and cuddles. Yeah, but she does still look like a puppy. People stop in the park and say, Oh, puppy dog. Yeah, no, you're absolutely right. I think it's that inertia, isn't it? And I suppose what I'm saying is, I think that there is a lot of stuff out there now that is or vision. It's perfect, do it. And what I'm saying is I think there is a reality of getting to that point of quite actually getting quite irritated with yourself. Right? I think that has to be part of it. And I don't know if it's just me, but I it still crops up for me. Me too. And when you have something, yeah, you have something on your to do list and you just reschedule it, keep shuffling it into the next week. Keep shuffling it into next week, until you get to the point where you're so annoyed with yourself. Just get it done already. Like just that one thing, just get it done already. And then you do you go oh, well, that wasn't so bad. I could have done that three weeks ago and save myself all the angst.
There have been eventually things get put up pushed off on your to do list for so long that you just finally say I guess it's not important enough to do.
Exactly, off the cliff!
For sure. As artists, we're hurdle. We're trying to hurdle over all these different obstacles, making the art understanding how to show up with our art, figuring out what at what level we want to be able to build our business. Are we doing this in a in a casual way like, or are you like me crazy, and you're just like, eat, sleep, breathe, can't do anything else until you've built the business, which is not always the healthiest way come to look and reflection. That the hustle mentality. We're over that like it doesn't serve your mind or spirit at all to just be on the hustle mode. So like how do you navigate that? That's where I turn to people like Alice and have our long chats and say what's the best next thing? And I will tell you ours quite often says, Do you really need to be doing that? Well, that's why we both love the book essentialism because sometimes you do have to cut some And, and just pace yourself.
Yeah, I think there is quite a lot on our shoulders of feeling like you have to you have to do it all you have to do all right now you have to do it perfectly. And I know that that is something that I still carry. I like to do things well, like, I know that about me. You know, what if I'm doing something and it's not just proficiently? Like, I want to be in a position where I feel proud of it, whether that is a painting, the framing, you know, a course I've made so you know, we've just finished a short Time to Shine course. And I was at the beginning of that. I was like, okay, well, what's worked before has worked brilliantly. I don't need to redo any of that. And then I looked at some of it, and I was like, oh, well, I'll just rerecord that and add that bit in and do that as an extra. But what I've noticed is that there is an element of that that could be said to be perfectionism. It's not necessary, you don't have to do it. And I think that that is worth recognising, particularly at the beginning, when you're waiting to try things. Like I said, if you wait for things to be perfect, you will never get going. But I also know that for me, and I think this is where art is so interesting, as a guide, and as a career to understanding yourself and how you operate best. What I know about me is that if I have those elements that I want to redo and change, that then puts me in an energy set where I am freshly excited about something where I am reinvigorated with it, where I can talk about it, where I remind myself why it works. Not feeling stale, is massive with me. Because I need that energy and that momentum for something. And that enthusiasm and excitement in order to create it creating something takes energy. You know, that's I've forgotten my GCSE physics, but like, you know, you take energy from one thing and it comes from it goes into something else, you can't do it from nothing, it has to come from somewhere. So knowing what feeds you what sources your energy and how you put that into your creative output, whatever that is, understanding that has been really, really important. And that's an ongoing thing. You don't get to the end of that. And I think that's quite exciting.
It is quite exciting. It's a lot like how I operate as well, because when I'm like in creation mode, then I'm ready to talk about it, I'm ready to share it. And I know that I can connect better with other people. And it delivers better. And I think that's probably why everyone loves time to shine is because you showed up for it fully. Time to shine is still available, though, right?
Yeah. So that it started as a section within the membership, then I thought this would be brilliant as a standalone. So we did a live version. Now it's something that's available all the time. So it's grown. So this idea of iterating things, of enjoying things in step development. If I'd started off with, okay, you've got to create a standalone course. No, I started off by talking to people I felt I knew within the membership, I could see that there was a need, I could see what they needed. And I thought, okay, how is this going to be really easy to consume for them to get them over this hurdle? And so it's developed out of that. And I think that, you know, with experience, you learn that just like you do with making art. You know, the first time you make a painting, you don't just go from a blank canvas to a completed painting in one day. You know, it doesn't happen like that. You have to put that kind of work into how the process develops for you. And it's just, yeah, so excited.
Well when you when you go to start painting, especially in your .... actually even in our case, even after a decade or two of painting, you come to a new idea, and it takes time to work it out. And there is always an evolution of it, whether you know whether we're talking about art, or we're talking about an art career choice that we're making, the first step is usually not your final perfect masterpiece. So I resonate with you in wanting to present my best self forward because we are a representation of ourselves. So there's always this room for growth and improvement. But yeah, I like things to look good when it first hits the floor. But I do recognise that if I can just get to the B +, I'm good to go. If I look for perfectionism, I probably never put the art out or put the course out or whatever it is that I'm working on. But I like that kind of idea that you're talking about that. It started as one idea and it's changed with your Time to Show which is a how you know how to grow your social media. But it's a it's a really sensible way. It's not like, okay, now you're gonna do these spammy kind of things, it's really about shining from within, and showing up authentically. And I love that you even did that, and how you brought that course to fruition in steps and stages. And I'm finding, now, if I look back over the last decade of my career, everything happened in steps and stages. Anytime I tried to do everything all at once and have it the right way, the first time out the gate, it was impossible, even looking at my art courses, how many times did I release an art course and realise that I could change it a little bit, fix it up and make a better progression, as I learn more, as I, you know, get feedback from my customers, as I kind of experience life better, and kind of see a better way of doing something, I will even revamp some of my art courses. And even my sales process with how I sell my artwork, or any of those things that I'm working on to keep growing my business, I realised that it just takes time. And I honestly that long road belong game, however you want to call it, has been the best path towards success for me.
Yeah, and it's more relaxing as well, like, once you realise that, it's a relief. Like it takes the pressure off. And if you think about it, where else? we don't do it to other things in life, we don't send children to school, age five, and go right now, you know, leave with your A levels, or whatever you call them in the States, you know, it's gonna take time to go through all the stages, you've got to learn. You know, you've got to learn to walk before you do the next thing. And I think that somehow, it's almost like people can be in a hurry to jump to the end result of something. And I think that....
Then you miss the whole point, right?
A little bit, a little bit. And, you know, in people there might be people listening who kind of go yeah, well duh we get that we realise that. But I think even when you understand something intellectually, you can still feel pulled to do things a different way. And I think that kind of disconnect is something that's really interesting. Now, I don't promise to have all the answers for that. But I think that gap between those two things, is really interesting. And I think that's where, you know, art, how we develop our art and our understanding of what that is, and, you know, knowing those mental blocks about it, how we overcome that. That's why it's so rewarding. It's just so humanly rewarding, you know?
isn't it kind of nice too in the art industry that we work on our career paths in a different way than maybe the rest of the industry is working on right now? There is such a hustle culture around building a business, like, if you are not running out the gate this year and making a million dollars, then you're failing at business. And yet, as artists, you know, we especially artists who have been making art for a long time, we know how we know how long it took, just to get to the point where we were proficient enough to feel confident to show our artwork. And now, you know that there's this pathway that we can either choose to sell our art or to make courses or whatever it is that we decide to grow our business, if you even decide to go down the career path, that I think there's a gentler approach to business building, and maybe why as artists, I don't know about you, but every time I've tried to take business courses, outside of of the art community, it really ends up being difficult because I don't understand that path as an artist. We're multi passionate, we're oftentimes easily distracted by our next great idea whether it's a different way that we want to create our art a different way we want to be able to show up online, the new project, we're very excited about the new thing. Artists love to have their hands on all the things plus what other businesses might be running is straight out a business or a career path for them, where we're balancing our creativity with the business and how do we do both of those. So if you come out the gate and say, I'm gonna build this art business, and I need to be on Instagram and YouTube and Tik Tok, and have a blog post, and have my YouTube channel, and I'm going to sell and find galleries, and I'll make
the art and make the art.
And well, at some point, you're gonna have to figure out how to make the art and all of that too. But this is a lot of pressure. If you think that you're going to jump into business and have to do all those things. You'll quit before two months is up. And so I think if that's one really big aha that both you and I have gone through is that pacing yourself through each phase of your, of making your art and making your art career. It doesn't have to happen all at once.
I think it's I mean, you mentioned about learning from different places. And I'm very selective about where I learn from because I know my time is limited. And I all the people that I've chosen to work with or learn from, I have had to feel quite instinctively. Yeah, that feels a good fit for me right now. Like, yes, if I have a hesitation about it, if I'm a bit like, Yeah, I'm not sure, then I've tended to avoid it. But I think that there is quite a lot of that I see that I have to be quite careful not to get distracted by like, well, a horse with blinkers on, because you see, you should do the thing, do this thing, do this thing. And I'm like, Oh, I could No, stay in your own lane. I could do it that way. Nope. But it's got to feel right. And I think that connection with your own drive and energy levels. That's really important. And I think for artists, whether we're just just working on building your own art practice, you know, establishing your studio time establishing what your creative voice is, looking at your work and understanding it and knowing where you want to take it next. When is it ready for showing and putting in galleries? And how do you even start doing that whether you're at that stage, or whether you are more established? And you've got, you know, maybe you're thinking, Oh, I should be doing Commission's or, you know, I should be getting licencing set up? Yeah, there's loads of things you could be doing. But, but giving yourself that time to pull into what is instinctively right for you. That is such an important lesson.
Yeah, there's so many different ways that we can move through the art career path. But it's really important to be doing it at like, at the pace that makes sense for us. And to not jump the gun like I, in all honesty, let's just take one example. So many artists who are like, I just learned how to paint, how do I make prints and I'm like, keep taking the next step, see if your artwork will sell first and see which ones are your most popular. And then when you get to that point, because it takes a lot of energy just to sell original art, then you'll know when it's time to make the prints. But if you try to do it all at once, it's like there's no energy to even make the art anymore, you'll burn out so fast, you won't even want to make the art. And I've been through that phase before. And so you do you have to like selectively choose month after month or year after year, which new task are you going to take on one step at a time and keep building towards that.
And I think what's important at that stage as well, is like I often think of it as like a new seedling of something. Like if you expose it, if you take this new seedling that's just put up its shoots, and you put it out in the storm, like it's gonna get washed away or blown away is not going to survive. Knowing what stage you're at with something whether you need to protect that rather than expose it everything. And I think, you know, that's a great example, should I take my paintings into prints, you can get all excited about it. But if you do it, and you put them into, you know, prints and then nobody buys one, it's very easy at that point to feel battered. This isn't working, no one likes it, you know, jumped all those kinds of conclusions. And actually, you really got to strengthen your kind of root system. You've got to get yourself in that space.
I like that analogy. Yeah, I made prints right off the bat, I invested a lot of money and having prints to sell. And I still, I'm still trying to get rid of them because my works improved and evolved since then. And doesn't really suit my style. And I found that to sell a $20 or $40 print, they were small prints, that it was just as much work to sell to 20 people as it was to sell one painting, and learn how to sell the painting, learn how to market just that one thing first, before I moved into all the other layers of building the business. So it's kinda like getting, like you said, building up those roots, getting your footing and moving yourself forward at a pace that like really so you can absorb and know in hindsight, you can see how much you've learned but at the time, it's like it's such a huge learning curve to get over. If you're trying to do it all at once. It's like it's just a mountain it'll just avalanche on top of you crush that little seedling.
It's giving you yourself that space to nurture yourself so that you go strong as well. I'm just thinking of a conversation literally this morning in the membership group somebody came in and he said so. Just have this comment on a Facebook group for our open studio kind of county wide event, you know, who are these artists because they can't really paint, you know? And he said, you know, actually, it doesn't, that would have really upset me. And it doesn't, it doesn't bother me. Anyway, there are some funny replies to it, which may gave everybody laugh. But the point is, you know, this guy has just, he's a fairly new ish artist. But he's taken steps this year, like he's made, he made bigger paintings for the first time, not only did he get chosen for things that only went one flipping award in this show, so you're, because he's taken the steps and the time to actually grow from within himself. When you get those outside kind of attacks, you're able to laugh it off. And it doesn't even have to be strangers on the internet. Instagram is a lovely place. People don't make nasty comments on Instagram, in my experience in the circles we move in.,
I've found that it's much nicer than like Facebook or other places,
Oh, you give YouTube a terrible, or your family and friends...
Right! I was gonna say it doesn't even have to be strangers. It can even be an a side comment from somebody in your family or a friend or even somebody saying, Oh, so you're still doing the painting thing, then? that feels like it could be a bit dismissive, even if it's not how they intend it. But if you're at that space, where you're feeling a little bit fragile with it, and you feel it that way that can knock you back, when you're fully grounded. Water off a duck's back.
Yeah, I mean, things can always sting. But I definitely agree with you. Now, it doesn't bother me nearly as much because I understand so much more the nuance of how an art career goes and how even making art goes, that not everybody's gonna like it. And that's okay. And I don't have to be the best at anything. I just needed to be good enough to keep connecting with the few people that I need to connect with. You know, I mean, in all honesty, there's a billion people in the world or almost, we don't need all of them to buy our art, we just need a few people to like our art. And so when you surround yourself by people who can really support you through that journey, I think it makes a huge difference. Because on the other end of it, it's not nearly as stinging, like you said, for sure.
If you look back to the beginning, now, when you started, what would be your biggest gap? Because I often think back to this, because often the question is, you know, what advice would you give to your younger self? We've had that conversation before. But the thing about that is often you wouldn't have listened to yourself.
Yeah I wouldn't have listen to myself. Because, yeah, it's hard, because I'm a very ambitious person. So if you're really looking at the different personalities of how you would like, work your way through this art journey, career journey, I was, I've always been like, for the longest time, the hustler, I will do anything, and try to figure it out. And I'm really grateful for that, because I've failed so many things. Before I found the one thing that worked for me, you know, because there are, there are hundreds of different paths. But if I could go back now, I would have spent more time making my art and focusing on my voice before I tried to launch out and sell it. This was this is like the first thing I'm like, Oh, I made a few good paintings, I'm gonna go put them in galleries. And the nice thing is, is that I got in galleries quite rapidly. But then I couldn't stay with that consistency. And then I became dissatisfied with myself because I wasn't making work that I really knew was my voice yet. And then I switched so quick to the next thing. So I never really gave myself time, especially at the beginning to really develop that foundation, like you said, to get the roots. And I wish that I had.
So working on you, any your own work and making sure that that was developed. First I'm looking at my phone because I'm trying to find something that I shared yesterday. I can't find it I gave up which was basically I think it's a Michael Jordan quote, and he's talking about you know, everybody says he's this you know, amazing player, but he said, You know, I have also missed, you know, however many 1000 goals last however many matches. Point is I still keep showing up on court.
Because we don't have a win every single time. That's what I've looked at all those things that didn't work out for me, meant that I understood how to make things work eventually. I do wish that I hadn't sat so long on my desire to create art courses and teach because that's since elementary school, I was always playing the role of the teacher, right, you know, the creator making the events, putting on the parades. And so I wish that I hadn't been so fearful of that. So I probably sat on that for two or three years before I finally had the courage to do it. There are times where, you know, taking your time is good. And there are other times where being afraid is holding you back. So it's kind of a fine balance between the two for me.
I don't think it's unusual, though, is it for it to take a bit of time to get to that point where you trust yourself that you're making the right decision, I would put the full stop way earlier in that sentence. I wish I hadn't sat for so long on my own desire. Full stop. Yeah, and you know, that that was it. For me, really, that was one of those, you know, just penny dropped moments that I just thought, I do not want in 10 years time, five years time, 15 years time whenever to say, I wonder what would have happened if.
Yeah, as I say, no pain, the pain of staying small, eventually outweighs your perceived pain of of blooming into what you want, and what you desire. And no, I'm really, I couldn't be more happy than to have taken the chance on myself, and building a career out of my art. I know, it's not the right path for everyone. But it was just like, even to this day, you know, I know some people get burned out and they quit the whole business thing. And there were many times I don't know, I don't even want this to be confused. But there were many times where I thought I was going to have to quit this job because it's hard. But to stick it through and to see the results now and how much satisfaction I haven't been able to build my own business. I just learned in hindsight, looking back, it just took time. What about you, and I'm gonna flip, I want to flip the switch, though, and talk to you about what you would tell your younger self?
Well, I think I probably would have said, trust your knowledge and your own capabilities to figure this out. You know, you don't have to know the outcome, what all the answers are. But you do know that if something is important to you, you can you can figure it out. Like, none of none of this stuff that we're learning, whether it is how you want to paint and create, you know, make your creative voice true to you and create something that visually you find satisfying and appealing, and all of those things, whatever you want for your art, or whether it's what you want career wise, none of these things are hugely complicated, to be honest, other people are doing them, like someone else is doing it, you can work it out, too. And I think that that is one of the things that has helped keep me on track is that I am not trying to be like the next Nobel Prize winning scientist and create something that really doesn't exist yet. Or, you know, I'm not trying to do anything that actually is that complicated. So stop telling yourself that this is so complicated, and tell yourself that you can figure it out. And I think that's what sort of kept me going when I when I decided that I was going to commit to this and do it properly. And I was like, fine, you know, all these things, oh, you need a website wasn't as easy, then I don't think even Squarespace existed then or any of those things. You know, it was like much more complicated. And I remember, you know, sitting for evenings trying to figure out and quite frankly, tearing my hair out a little bit. And my husband saying why are you doing this, I'm like, because there's no alternative. Because the alternative is paying a webcoder to do this for me. And I don't have that kind of money. So this exists, I must be able to work out how to make it work for me. I'm going to make it work for me. And the first version was, you know, wasn't even about art, quite honestly, first version was about something completely sideways direction. But doing that gave me the confidence in my ability to go okay, now I want to do something that I really want to do. So let's do that. And often we have these kinds of circuitous routes to get to where we really want to go. But, you know, they're annoying, but they also help actually propel us into making the decisions that we really need to take I think.
It's the quote, success is sequential, not simultaneous. From Greg Keller, which I just heard yesterday in a in a book I was reading and I just was like, oh, that's right, it's one step after another, it's not all at once. It's really important to for those, especially who are a little bit newer in this path one, y'all have it easy. You got the social media, you have easy website builders, everything is like like Canva is like a godsend because you don't even have to worry about Photoshop or anything. And, everything is just so much easier. But it's still that like getting over yourself enough. Or like you said, trusting yourself enough to just show up and take that next step. I will tell you one thing that I wish I had, that everybody has access to now and not to make such a heavy pitch. But damn, I wish I had community. That was hard to find in the beginning, we had to create our own community. I did early on start Facebook groups. But if I could learn from other people who were in, on the same path as me trying to build a career just being around people like that would have made such a difference to make steps faster towards what I wanted. You know. And so I think that it's amazing that you have the connected artists membership, because that gives people a way to connect on many different levels, you know, whether they're there to build a stronger portfolio, or they're there to actually figure out, you know, what they need to put on their website, or their CV or whatever. I think that's something like I really had to Google a lot of stuff and watch a lot of terrible YouTube video.
Yeah, and Google can still be your friend. So like, you know, Google is a great solution to a lot of things. But isn't it funny how sometimes the things that we resist most of the things that we absolutely need to do or are going to be the things that help us the most. I remember the first thing I had to join a Facebook group for, and I kind of did it heals dug in. Yeah, not quite kicking and screaming, but like, I did not want to do this thing. And joining that group. And what I saw in there, it wasn't it was a non art related group. But what I saw people doing in terms of challenging themselves getting things off the ground was so eye opening to me, it was just so exciting, that people had this kind of verve and momentum and, you know, creative ideas and things that they were putting into action. And, you know, not even now the different communities at different levels that I'm part of, and some of them I'm not in all the time, but maybe you'll just see one thing, just one thing, and you just think, oh, that I didn't even know I was missing that. And I have this phrase at the moment I really love which is, you know, when you have FAQs, frequently asked questions. This is SAQ should have asked question. And it's the point is that often you don't even know what the thing is, you're missing or you don't even know what the thing is that you should be Googling for. Because you don't even know it exists.
Which is why we need community because we learn these things. Yes, faster.
Yes. I had this the other day and something and I was like, What's the thing where you need to do you know the whatsit? And you see people doing it. And someone just said, Oh, this and I'll say, Yeah, okay, I didn't even know what that phrase was. I knew it. I've seen it. But I didn't even know what that phrase was. So I can't go looking for it. And I think that's what helps in terms of, you know, having other people around you and a very loose pathway. I don't like framework, I'm okay with blueprint, no blueprint, window framework that I can be a little bit of a little bit of a rebel against and just say, well, okay, I'll take that part. But now I don't want to do that. But yet,
yeah, right, that I can choose your adventure. It's pick and choose,
Pick and choose for when you're ready. And what happens which is often interesting, as you come back to that afterwards, you think, oh, I could do that. Now. The thing that terrified me six months ago, now I'm ready for.
Exactly. Yeah, like the things that seemed like running a Facebook ad seems so daunting, and now it's like okay, well I know how to put this together without it, but I can do it. And I can look at the results and see if it's working. It's the same even in art I can look at things that I understand and comprehend now that I didn't know at all 10 years ago, my knowledge and level of colour is significantly increased through my own research and doing Yeah, and some of it started from reading books and and watching YouTube videos, but then it's really came down to you know, hosting my own Facebook group or hosting my membership when I had a membership that was all based off of colour and having questions asked I had to search deeper for those answers. And a lot of that was through experimentation. And it's the same with my business. Does this work? Does this not work? Every time I launch the Virtual Art Summit? What's going to be the best month to do it? How many people are the right? What's the right time? You know, lengthen. So these are all things that you just like you just go off of experience and iterate the next version of it. And it's with our artists with our business, it's, it just takes time to get there. And what the problem is, is that people are in too much of a rush to get there.
Yeah, and what I often say is people not pausing and giving themselves credit for what they do already, we tend to absolutely take for granted what we can do already what we know already, and we, you know, pushing for the next thing, whereas actually taking that pause to, to stop to look to acknowledge what you do know what you have done. That's your bedrock, that's your, that's your springboard for, like, where you're going to move to next. And we don't give ourselves enough credit for the things that we've already learned, and the other people respect you for, you know, we're always pushing for something new creatively, like the next level of us the next version of us the next, you know, the new round of painting, but other people might be looking at you going, wow, that's amazing that a you can paint that or, you know, I remember the time where it took me an entire year to make, I think the first time I did an open studio, actually, it took me two years to have enough time around family to make I think it was 19 paintings that year, that felt like enough to put on as an open studio event. Took me two years to make those paintings that felt a massive achievement. You know, and other people looking at that. I remember, because applying for that was really nerve racking.
But just I am thinking about damn, I wish I give myself two years to do that.
Yeah, I have no choice. That's what that's how long, you know, that at the time was as much that I felt I could commit and it's okay to be at that stage. Yeah. But I think I could have I think I would have speeded that up. I could have got that stage quicker. Had I had a bit more support in it. Yeah, rather than just doing it on my own for sure.
For sure, sure. So let's talk a little bit about what you're opening up this week. I believe it opens your Refresh programme.
Yeah, Friday this week. So this is a little bit of a follow on from the end of last year. Kind of everybody is feeling a bit drag and heavy. Do you remember?
Yes. And it was weird. Because we're still feeling drag and heavy, right about now. Alice to the recue!
Slightly different vibe. So we did an event and it was with Meghan Wood Johnson. We kind of thought I was doing it. And she reached out and said, you know, would you like some help with this? Yep, great, lovely. Come on, come and help me. And we just did this lovely free event in a in a Facebook group. And it was just a kind of chance to kind of get together and recalibrate so that everybody could celebrate Christmas and have a good new year. And it was lovely. It was four days. And it was a really good event. And at the time, people said I hope you do this again. And I thought well, I don't know I'm done that I'm done with that. I've done that. I'm doing it again now with a different vibe. So it's kind of a mid summer. It is not quite mid summer till the 21st. But we're starting early. So you're ready for mid summer. Creative, refresh, realign, it's going to be slightly longer this day. So we're not going to pack it all in because this is what I'm noticing at the moment, people are feeling a little bit overwhelmed and bombarded with a lot of things to do. So this is going to be a gentler this is going to be a gentle, gentle vibe gentle guided exercise some live discussions. And I hope that at the end of it, you're going to leave with your sense of creative direction restored so that you are ready for your next stage of artistic growth. So this is about getting you ready for what you might be doing in the summer. What you might happily park for now.
Like I always need to do, right park some of those ideas.
Put them on the some-day-maybe shelf until Autumn you can come back to things in the Autumn. So this is a chance to get a little bit of clarity on where you need to be right now. Where your energy is reset your energy, look at what you've done to date, and help direct you into what's next for you. So we're not going to be doing it in a separate group this time. The kind of conversation elements of it are going to be happening within my free Facebook group, which is called the Art Explorers. But the lessons will be sent out by email, and then you will be able to catch up and watch replays, all of those will be kind of hosted on a page that you can check in with. But in order to access those, I'll be sending you the information and the links for that via email.
Yes, and I believe since I'm going to kind of jump in and have some fun in your Art Explorers group and enjoy a refresh for myself and kind of help you with this fun project. You can also sign up through me at Bit.ly/kelleerefresh spelled K e l l e e, thank you parents, refresh. And then that way you can sign up on the page, get the emails, all the information, watch the videos and come join us in the Art Explorers group. And we'll be talking a lot more about creating your, your know your art artists lifestyle, or your art career at your own pace. Because this is something I think that everyone wants to be able to do. And not feel the hustle and the burnout, but rather build something that's more aligned with their own personal energy flow. Because you know, not all of us can do it in the same way in the same fashion, or even have the same goals. I think that's the other thing, we'll probably get clarity through this Refresh and Reset what your goals even are what's important to you. Because as we're talking about all things you might need to know, as an artist, as for your art career for your business, not everybody has to do all the things, there's a there's a million different paths for us. So figuring out the right path. And like you said, just pick and choose the information that works best for you. And the way you want to move forward, I think is probably the best message we can give to artists right now. Because there is so much pressure to like, be the superstar in the art industry. And that's not necessary to be successful. You being happy with your art and your art career is what successful, whether that's to make you know, enough money to cover your art supplies. Or if you wanted to be in galleries, or however you want to be some of you may want to make, you know, six figure salaries or more. But in order to do that, it's got to be your dreams, your desires, and not what a society or the outside world is saying that you need to do in order to be successful. So I like the idea that we can kind of reset put aside some of those notions of what maybe we think we have to do, and then focus on the things that we really want to do. I think when we focus on what we love the most, and show up with that we're more likely to be successful in the long run anyway, because that's allowing our own true voice to come through. As a person, as an artist, as if you even want to say as a brand, or your reputation, allowing your true nature to come through is going to be how you're going to be the most successful anyway.
Yeah, and I think that so often, you know, we all have busy lives, we don't give ourselves the chance to do that. And, you know, I would love to do an impersonal retreat.
We've been talking about that for a while.
But, you know, we have talked about that. But you know, by its nature, that would be a small number of people. And I did this for myself recently, over a weekend with some friends. And it was, you know, nourishing and lovely, and, you know, refreshing and all of those things. But, you know, it also involves planning and travel and food, and you know, all of those things, whereas this is, this is just a time, I think this is a really busy time. And when I think back to times with children, or people are planning their summer holidays, and you've got fates and all of that stuff. And you're thinking How come is it June already, you know, how did that happen? I started this year in June already. It's okay, you know, don't be panicking about that stuff. So this, this, doing this now, I've just noticed that in my own work, I have these seasons and I have these patterns of where I do different types of work. And the summer is this nurturing nourishing time it is when I refill is when I tend to do the majority of kind of extra information research wise in my sketchbook. This is just it's just the right time for this element of it now so I think it's we're going to be talking through about how you can recognise all of those different elements and those different flows in your kind of creative pattern throughout the year. So it kind of makes sense. We did a winter one. Now I'm gonna do a summer one.
I love it. I think it's a fabulous idea. Because it's like having a little mini retreat online. That we You get to kind of walk away knowing knowing a little more about ourselves and what our desires are. Like, it doesn't matter what phase you are in your art journey even to need this over and over again, if we don't know how was long enough to reflect, to to reset ourselves, like you said, and refresh, we get off on the wrong track. And it's like, Oh, how did I end up over here when I really meant to be over here. And so being able to realign that way, like, I need this just as much as everyone else who's listening right now, I need this chance to reset and refresh myself. Because I do have big dreams about where I still want to go. Even after everything I've accomplished, I still have big dreams and ideas, and being able to come around others, especially when you get to bounce it off of other people talk with other like minded artists, and be able to come to this point and see how, honestly how beautiful and generous the community is, I am always blown away. And the kindness and goodness of the artists in my life that I've met through social media through through the internet, I mean, like, how lucky are we, and so if we can all come together and kind of give us that extra like, like you said nourishment, and and that we kind of need, you know, summer is a time of play and adventure. And I love the idea of being able to just lean into this.
So it's it's not, I should say is not kind of this is how I'm going to be showing you how you make art. Because everybody has such different approaches to that. There will be space for you know, for you to create that for yourself. And I'm going to be giving you some prompts around that. Also some exercises around understanding really what works for you, in terms of your creative life, and also in terms of your sort of broader life. So yeah, it's going to be multifaceted, because I just think that all of those things work, they have to work together. Yeah, they have to work together, we can't just focus on one element and expect everything to kind of work in sync for us. Looking at all of those different parts. It's it's how I've grown, it's always been core to what I do, it's why you know, within the bigger membership, the paid membership, you know, we look at all of these different areas together, because without keeping all of those in sync, it's not gonna work. So you know...
Which is why those want to be in art business or create an art career really need to be able to tap into that part with other artists, with leaders with coaches, who understand that artists path, it's very different from any other business, career path, you know, all those other career paths, you know, you need to, I don't know, your let's just go with what my kids do tech, right? You learn tech, you show up, you do tech, well, we are creators, and then we also have to be business people. And we have to find a balance between the two. So being within the creative community and finding leaders and other like minded people within the community to balance those sides of ourselves. It's so it's just a different, it's just a different need for us as creative beings and what we need in order to succeed.
Yeah, it's just time for you. We had a we had a real life get together the other day, and I asked people in the in the group for it as okay, right, um, pre ordering drinks, what do you want Red Wine, white wine, lager, they all started writing Pimms, you know and all these other things.
Pimms, it's not as popular here, but if you want to get yourself a mojito or a margarita, that's pretty much where we're gonna go.
I've just written that down. We are definitely going to be adding that into one day. I want everybody turning up with a Pimm's party or Mojito party or whatever you want.
Let's, get together for the summer refresh. I think we need it. So anyhow, for all of you. Thank you so much for listening today to Unfold and with my guests Alice Sheridan, please go to Bit.ly/kelleerefresh so that you can sign up for this fun little summer getaway.
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 Kelleewynnestudios 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.
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