VAS #1 Brooke Henry, Shemi Dixon, Lisa Metcalfe
[00:00:00] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello. Hello everyone. I am so excited because we are in virtual art summit season. Yes. This is Kellee Wynne and I am your host of the Made Remarkable Podcast, where we bring you remarkable people doing remarkable things, living remarkable lives. Even in the smallest and littlest things that we do, we look for the remarkable.
And right now, what's really remarkable to me are the guest artists that we have in the Virtual Arts Summit, or the next few weeks, you're gonna be introduced to them. I've got really. Impactful and inspiring conversations with all the guest artists that we've put together for you so that you get to know them a little bit, know where they came from and how they like to create, and most importantly, the theme of the Virtual Art Summit, which is return to play.
How do you play? How do you incorporate that childlike wonder? In your artwork. So while most of the time with Made Remarkable, we focus on how to build the business for this short little period of time. The next few weeks we're gonna talk about the process of creating. And hopefully it'll keep you all inspired no matter what phase you are in your business, whether you're just getting started or you've been creating for a long time.
We all need to remember why we began in the first place, why it's so important to get back into the process and feel our way through it, rather than thinking about the un. Product, whether that end product is a, a piece of work that you wanna sell or a class you want to teach, or whatever it is that you have your big goal set for.
The whole purpose of this is to be in that process of, of playing, of making, of pulling out of the ethos of spirit, of your soul, of your heart, of your experience, and putting it into an experience of. Creating, and I'm really excited about the Virtual Arts Summit this year because we were really diving into this idea of play.
And what I found remarkable was that all of the artists pretty much gave a lot of the same advice, and it didn't sound like repetitive in a sense of, oh, this is just typical common knowledge. What it is, is reaffirming, getting into the heart of who we are and how we create.
It's reaffirming to hear from these professional artists, these teachers and kindhearted souls who teach us in the virtual arts summit. They're sharing their wisdom with us. And when you allow it to set in and you realize how important it is to create for the experience of creating, for the process, for the play, for the curiosity, the wonder, and letting go, and letting, loosen, letting, letting go of. Perfectionism. Not that there ever could be something perfect in this world of imperfectness, but that control, letting go of it and allowing the spark to happen, that's what we're looking for in the Virtual Arts Summit this year. How it really can inspire us to create. With deeper meaning. Anyhow, today I'm introducing to you three amazing artists.
Let's start with Brooke Henry. You may know her as BB Henry on Instagram. She is like a spark for me. I listen to her and I am just so inspired about how she shows up. She's younger than most of us artists. She's got a good long path in front of her to build something quite remarkable, and she comes from a very kind spirited and generous. Heart and so you can feel it in her work and how much she loves to teach it and how passionate she is.
I love that. It was her grandmother that sparked her in the fiber arts and the quilting, and it's gone into mixed media now and she's just very passionate about what she does, but she's also really fun and interesting to talk to, so I know for sure you're gonna. Love the conversation I have with Brooke Henry.
And then after Brooke, we are gonna be talking to Shemi Dixon, who is from Colorado. And I love the fact that her mother encouraged her to make art when she was young, and that's just carried on into her life. And, and after having worked in the. Healthcare industry and having had a back injury she turned art again as a mental and emotional outlet.
And now look at where she is. She's turned it into her life's work. And that is inspiring to me. And I think you're really gonna enjoy the conversation with Shemi Dixon and then following that. Is Lisa Metcalfe from the UK and you're gonna love listening to her and her story and how the pandemic was the transformation for her.
And she found Louise Fletcher, which I hope you know who Louise Fletcher is by now. She is co-host with Alice Sheridan of Art Juice Podcast. Fabulous podcast. And she's inspired so many with her program, and Lisa Metcalfe is one of them who really took off in her creative journey after that. And holy smokes, is she talented?
And I was just so glad that she said yes to be part of the virtual Arts Summit. And I love that her day job is designing greeting cards. So yes, she was always an artist and a creative. But the fact that she can unleash this other side of her to create abstract work and in her beautiful color palettes, besides the fact that you'll love this conversation, I think you're gonna love all these lessons.
And that's the best part of the Virtual Art Summit, is that bringing 15 artists plus myself so that 16 artists who are teaching you high quality. Tutorials, lessons in art making and in mindset and in creativity. New mixed media techniques and just the whole energy around the virtual art summit is undeniable.
Our returning students come year after year, looking forward to this time, and I'm so excited because this is the fourth time hosting it and it's getting easier and we're able to bring more to you. So let me tell you, I would go sign up for it now. If you go to virtual art summit.com/go.
You have two choices. You can go ahead and take the free option. I've made a commitment that will always have a free option. With a virtual arts summit, you don't get the bonuses and you don't get to keep the content. And this year we're simplifying it. We're not even taking pay What? You can just come in, enjoy it for free.
And you'll get to enjoy it from June 2nd until June 23rd, and then that's it. But you'll be able to watch all of the main lessons from each of our guest artists. However, I highly recommend if it's in your budget to purchase the course because it is worth watching and repeating many times. And also when you choose to support the business, the Virtual Arts Summit.
And pay to keep the content and the bonuses. You're also helping support all those who maybe it's not in their budget and we can keep the Virtual Arts Summit going for years to come. It's those who choose to support the business, the art business, and the Virtual Arts Summit that help those who don't have the funds to be able to participate.
And also, one thing that I love to do in the end is I give away 20 scholarships to those who are in need to my art courses and. I think that's a very special gift because not everybody can afford some of the amazing content that's out there, and we all have our eyes on it and we're ogling over it and we're like, ah, I really would love it, but it's not in my budget.
Well, this is how I can afford to give so much is because of your support of the Virtual Art Summit. But honestly, besides all that, it's really amazing. It is. So much fun. You'll get so much out of it. The artists have been so generous with what they teach, and this year for the bonus, we have an amazing co-create session that will last all day on the 17th.
It will be recorded, so if you can't make it, that's fine, but you get to see us live and in person and ask questions as we create and teach you more. About our process and what we've taught in the art summit and take you deeper, live with the actual artist. How cool is that? Anyhow, go to www.virtualartsummit.com/go, and at the very least, get your name on the list.
But I highly recommend for only $97 you get to keep the course forever. All right, now let's just get right on with the interview because. I think you're gonna love it today. Thank you so much. And without further ado, our guests from the Virtual Art Summit.
How have you enjoyed being part of the virtual Arts summit so far?
[00:09:38] Brooke Henry: Oh, I have loved it. When you told me what the theme was right away, I mean, I had ideas come into mind and. It's what I try to teach always, right?
I mean, you can have skills, you can have techniques, you can have all of this, but if you can't get into that spirit of just letting go and playing, right, you're not creating from the heart. I mean, it's, it's too much thought behind it then, you know.
[00:10:07] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's exactly it, and I just was feeling so much last year, especially like I think we've forgotten what play is like in life in general, so
[00:10:16] Brooke Henry: I think so too.
[00:10:18] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I just wanted this to be the most playful event. And I'm so glad that you get to join us, so
[00:10:25] Brooke Henry: Oh, me too.
[00:10:26] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It is so nice to finally meet you, honestly, cuz I, our paths keep crossing. I see you on Instagram all the time. I'm like, I love what she made. Again,
[00:10:35] Brooke Henry: Thank you so much. Oh, and I have loved the courses and everything that you have put out as well.
I mean, your teaching style is wonderful.
[00:10:45] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Thank you so much. Yes. Well this is gonna be like the most grand. Event of the year. I'm so excited cuz it's my fourth time. So I'm just gonna make this like an annual event ever after everyone has to just tune in and mark their June calendar as this is virtual art summit month.
Nothing else matters. Right.
[00:11:06] Brooke Henry: I love that. I love that. Yes, yes.
[00:11:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So I wanna get to know you a little bit better. What is your art story like, how'd you end up doing what you're doing now? Because we all take these like strange. Pathways to get here, oftentimes making art when we were a kid. So I'm assuming you were probably creative from the beginning.
[00:11:28] Brooke Henry: Very, very beginning. So my grandma is a quilt teacher or she was, and she taught all over the world. So she made sure all of her grandkids, which the majority were boys, learned how to sew from a very young age. I love, and we knew the basics and of course I. Took to it more than some of the others.
But she was the kind of quilter where you knew the basics, you did all this, but if you had an idea, perfect, there's no, no, it's never not possible. It's just breaking down the steps. How can we bring it back to those basics to fulfill this wild idea that nobody has done before? And so I started it with that. Got away from it for a while. And, you know, I was the kid that at 13 I would ride my bike down to the local knitting shop, the yarn shop, and taught myself how to knit and crochet. And my mom was a scrapbooker, so I scrap booked some too. Card making, you know, all of, I say I dabbled in most everything. I had my own quilting business for a few years where I long armed people's quilts, all of that, and I kept experiencing the burnout where I found that I was too niched down. For me, I get bored and so mixed media, how I landed here is, it's an accumulation.
It's everything that I love. I'm able to bring in the crochet piece, I bring in the quilting and the textiles with everything I do. And so that's how I landed here. I just have felt so at home in this art journaling mixed media world because it is so inclusive for everything that I love and right in an organic way. I can bring in all of those aspects. To all of these wonderful things. You know,
[00:13:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Mixed media means nothing is off limits.
[00:13:23] Brooke Henry: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I, I love that.
[00:13:27] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I know, and I'm seeing right now an explosion of what was mixed media into something that's morphing. Into something different. And I don't know if you're noticing it, but in the last maybe few months or more, and your part, probably, I would say you're a catalyst to this too, because you've brought in the stitching and and sewing and quilting into it.
But I'm seeing everyone bring every level of every type of medium. In and saying, guess what? Mixed media is everything. Like you said to your grandma if, if you've got a wild idea, just figure out the steps. Yeah. And how to make it happen. There are no rules.
Yep. It's becoming incredibly playful, incredibly forgiving.
And really honestly, it's that idea that, like you said, Long arm stitching man. And that's a one-to-one customer. Like you have a product, you need it stitched. I do the stitching. Yeah. That one burned me out too. But it's, it's the multi-passioned can all be housed in this one place. Yep. And so, yeah,
[00:14:31] Brooke Henry: And don't get me wrong, I loved it. And I had a crochet business where even before they were popular, I was making patterns for the little animals. But again, it was just too niche down where I would spend all of these hours on it and then it was like, okay, I'm ready to do something else.
But it was like, Nope, time to start the next one. So, I'm not somebody that can do the production very well. The manufacturing I have to have, even if I'm doing kind of the same thing over and over, there has to be some level of. Creative newness and play that can be involved. Yeah,
[00:15:05] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I think you mentioning that now is like sparking why I never really stuck with one style of art long enough.
Mm, because I always wanna try all of it, although the more I've done it, you know, more than a decade in actually a lot more than a decade in, and I can see there is a golden thread through all of it. But it's having tried all those things to come to a place now where I can say, okay, I understand like where my parameters are and what I love to do, and it's all about experimentation and play and asking what if.
And that's exactly it. That's, that's the key to, the joy in creation, right?
[00:15:44] Brooke Henry: Mm-hmm. Well, and I think that's why, probably the last year, two years is when I officially started this business that I have, I considered myself a failure because I would try different jobs. I couldn't stick to them.
I am not a nine to five office person. I have. Pretty bad anxiety and depression. And so even thinking about work the next day, I would be so anxious and it's like I'm capable of the job. That's not it. And I mean, that's still something we're unpacking, but even with all the different art avenues like quilting business or crochet, I considered that I failed.
I didn't stick to it. I was capable, but I couldn't do it. And it finally came to the realization that, I never put something down forever. I may drop it for a month or two until the inspiration strikes again, and finding a new way to incorporate mm-hmm. The embroidery or whatever it is, you know?
Yeah. But I don't consider myself a failure anymore because it's, I can pick those things back up. I've taken the time to learn and have that expertise in that area. And so maybe we're bored of it for a little while. Yeah. But we bring it back in and so I that the mind shift for me has been monumental because to think of yourself as a failure all the time, that's pretty discouraging.
And so to finally have that aha moment is like everything. .
[00:17:17] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's not gone forever. It's just an all in its due time. And there's a big difference between failing and failure. Yes. Because you're not a failure for letting go of something. Mm-hmm. Yep. Failing like for me, I was just like, everything I do, I'm failing at, I was kind enough to myself to not say I'm a failure, but I was like, yep, man, this is failing. And it's not working, and I'm so glad that those ups and downs could bring me to where I'm at now and that I didn't stay down that road. Mm-hmm. But like you said, like there's a burnout when you're continuing to do something that no longer serves you.
And so then you take all those lessons and then you incorporate it and you have a new iteration and there's gonna be a time, I'm gonna guess, Brooke, for both you and I, where what we're doing shifts again. Yes. It's just gonna keep shifting and morphing and everything we've learned along the way, whether it's how we make our, or how we're running our business mm-hmm.
Is going to continue to evolve. Yeah. So instead of thinking of it as a failure, it's just a continual growth and learning process.
[00:18:19] Brooke Henry: I love what you said about a failure versus failing. That's something I need to think about more. I tend to internalize things completely. So if I failed something, I am a failure, which is so not the case because you have to have failures to learn.
If you're failing right, then you're trying, you know, even things within this business that I'm running now, it's like, okay. Doesn't quite work for me. How can we shift it? What did we learn from it? So it's all about the mind shift of how you view things. Yeah.
[00:18:47] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And I was always so determined to figure things out that if something did fail, it was like, okay, what did you learn?
What did you not like? Where are you ready to go next? Absolutely. So there was always like a future possibility with it. And to put that into real practical terms as far as making art, especially because we're probably gonna have so many new people who are just brand new at making in the style that the virtual arts summit is teaching. Nothing you're doing is a failure.
Even your worst pieces, it's like you had the guts to make it in the first place. Yes. And the experience to do it. It's like, yes. Did you have fun? Did you play? If it looks like crap, paint over it, who cares? It's just paint.
[00:19:28] Brooke Henry: Absolutely. Yes. I feel like if you're more of an analytical person, you could take each art session that you have, each art spread. And you learned something from it. Mm-hmm. It could be I learned what not to do or I learned, hey, that works really well with that, but we can take it and break it down. Not that we have to with the right session, but if you wanted to, each session is valuable and I think people always ask me, you're so free spirited when when you create, like they see me on camera and they're like, you just go for it.
And it's like, it's practice. It's a muscle like anything else. Absolutely.
[00:20:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, it's the time that you're spending doing it.
And repeating the process, no matter how often you get to do it. Yeah. It just, like you said, it's a muscle and the muscle isn't just making the work. It's the muscle of allowing yourself to make the work. However the work is made Absolutely no matter how it turns out in the end, right? Mm-hmm. And that takes practice because there's a lot of people who are really hard on themselves that if they didn't make that finished project, the finished product.
Yes. I mean, more than half of my works don't turn out if that makes anyone feel better,
[00:20:38] Brooke Henry: Yes. If you look around my studio here, there's things that it's like, wow, I tried that a month ago. That didn't work out, but I often leave it around because it's like, okay, what idea can that spark going forward that may not have worked exactly how I wanted it to.
But it could in something else, you know? Yeah. It's, yeah, yeah,
[00:21:02] Kellee Wynne Conrad: yeah. And honestly, I look back to some of my earlier works and I'm like, what was I thinking? That was horrible, but that's what pushed me forward to the next thing, right? So that's why you just get into the process of play.
So speaking of, I love that we can just chat so easily and you really obviously embody the whole idea of play and making and the purpose of it. And I just love that. So just gimme some ideas of like actual playful things that you love to do in the studio that are not for the end result.
[00:21:34] Brooke Henry: Absolutely. So, I mentioned a little bit my mental health, so for me, the spirit of play has what has been what saved me. And that may sound dramatic, but it is what it is for my life. It has saved me.
[00:21:45] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I've heard that, that story so many times. So I think that it's an important one to repeat. And mental health is, yeah. Not something that we can just bypass. It's something important to bring into the story because I struggle with mental health as well, and there are a lot of things that, you know, can push you to that next level of Yes.
Healing. And I would love to hear from your point of view how that's worked for you.
[00:22:07] Brooke Henry: Yes. So with that being said, I don't always have the energy to create. People always comment on my work, you're so prolific, you make so much, how are you making so much? And it is true that I mean, I've made a hundred journals this year for the play along journal series.
That is insane. Yeah. I made 40 all of last year and I thought that that was a crazy number, which it is. And now in two months I've made a hundred anyway. That's not how I am all the time though. And so I don't want people to think that you have to be this energizer bunny to create and to play.
So one of the things that I love to do, if maybe I'm not feeling it so much, but I want to be. In my studio. This is my happy place. I want to be here, but I don't wanna get discouraged by everything I do. Simple mark making. So I bring out some different papers. It could just be plain white paper. And if all you have with you is a pencil and a paper,
Fine, make repetitive art marks maybe they're a little mind numbing at first. You don't have to have a lot of brain power to do them, but the act of just touching your supplies, for me, being around my supplies gives me immense inspiration. So Mark making is a very, Powerful thing for me.
And the bonus is, I can often use that in my work later. Right? They're collage papers. , but you wouldn't have to, you could just sit there and scribble as hard as you wanted to with your pencil. But you're in your space, you're making art. It's more powerful than maybe it sounds because you're amongst everything.
Another one for me is I'm a very hands on. Textural person. So simple stitching, even if it's just straight line stitching over and over, that works for me too. it's often the simplest things that help me to return to play. And then as I talked about, I may layer them all together to something more complex, but if you break down my work often, it's a lot of really simple techniques just brought together.
[00:24:06] Kellee Wynne Conrad: There you go back to grandma's lessons. Yep. Doesn't matter how wild the idea is. Break it down and it's usually simple techniques that will take you to that wild idea. I love that. And I do see that with that repetitive of Mark making, honestly, I find as one of the most therapeutic things for me to do as well.
Mm-hmm. Because like you said, you've disconnected from the screen. Mm-hmm. Cause you're like literally there making marks. Mm-hmm. You can listen to something, and then you just feel all that tension go and it does become playful. And I was just thinking about how much I would doodle while I was listening to my teachers in school.
Mm-hmm. It's just that freedom of like, how does your hand wanna move? Right? Yes.
[00:24:48] Brooke Henry: Yep. Yeah. I love it. I completely agree. Another great thing to return to play is if you are not even in the place where you can. Mark make. That's okay. Put on an art video. I have a ton of art classes I've bought and I haven't watched, but what about the free ones on YouTube? YouTube, yeah. Go turn on YouTube and so many artists out there have playlists of just them creating, put that on,
[00:25:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: yeah, well, I'm guilty of having too many courses that I should be finishing watching it. It's just mostly because I wanna connect with other artists. Yes. And when you're in that energy, and the same goes for like, Going to an art gallery or a museum or something. If I'm not in the mode for making, which honestly, I'm more in the mode for making than I am for leaving my house, but, oh, me too.
[00:25:38] Brooke Henry: I agree. I mean, you sit there and I think about, okay, I sat on Instagram scrolling for what I thought was five minutes, but it was an hour. You know, it's like you have the time. It's just what you choose to do with it. Right. And you may not have the time. I'll give you that if you, Or thinking, I wanna finish a whole big thing right now.
Right. You know, I wanna finish a 40 by 40 canvas today. You know? Mm-hmm. Okay we have to be realistic. But you could start it, you could do a section, you could do the first layer, you know? .
[00:26:12] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And realizing that a lot of little moments of time add up to something bigger.
[00:26:18] Brooke Henry: That's key. Yep.
[00:26:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It really is. And, and like you said, one minute you're Mark making, you've got yourself a little time. My studio's upstairs, but I've been putting stuff down on the kitchen counter, so I at least mm-hmm. Touch it and make some marks. Mm-hmm. In between all the other things that I'm doing, which is usually work, sometimes it's taking care of a family.
Yes. But you're right, because it could be social media, but it could also just be making a few marks. But if you do marks and you do some stitching and you do some like sketching and next thing you know you've got all these beautiful layers you can mix together for a project. Yes. But that really honestly took part in a lot of little playful moments.
[00:26:59] Brooke Henry: Absolutely. Yeah. If you break down a project it's like, oh, I made that piece six months ago. And here it's showing up. For me, I always try to tell people I need to have those components on hand when I actually go to create, usually what they're seeing.
And so I have staes of tags pre-made, I have staes of whatever. And so then I have different play days where it's like, okay, today we're gonna replenish and have fun you know, little stitched elements or whatever. And not everybody works like that. I am a batch creator where I want to do a bunch of stitching at once or a bunch of dying fabric at once.
Or just a jelly plate day. Exactly, exactly. So I mean, I can never run to my jelly print in the first print be amazing. I don't know about you, but you have to kind of get into it in order for that to work. And so then you have that. Stack on hand.
[00:27:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I agree. Mm-hmm. Like a lot of little fun. Moments that just add up to, wow, now what am I gonna do with it? And that's also important is while you're doing the play for you, you may have your end goal, for those listening and those who are new at this, you don't need an end result to make a lot of little things that sometimes in those bits and pieces that you've made, the jelly plate printing, the mark, making, the slow stitching, whatever it is that you're playing and practicing, suddenly you'll look at these. Amazing little fun projects you've done, and the idea will spark on how to put it all together.
[00:28:26] Brooke Henry: And that's something to be said too, just create for the sake of creating. Mm-hmm. For example, my mom does mixed media as well, and so we're lucky we live a mile apart that we can get together and play.
She always says about me though, especially since I've started this business, is she says, well, you're lucky you have something to put. All of those too, you know, you're making journals and you're selling them. There's a purpose, and I agree. I feel like I am lucky. I needed that purpose. Mm-hmm. But not everybody.
Is intended to go make things and sell them. That's not for everybody, but to have that sake of just, we're making papers because it's fun. We're doing this because it's fun. I think that's a tough concept sometimes to wrap your head around because I like things to have a useful purpose, but I think if we can just play while we're playing later, look at everything and be like, okay, what could that turn into?
That's, and that's a mind switch.
[00:29:19] Kellee Wynne Conrad: We do often as just as normal creatures of this planet, but also as Western world capitalists feel like everything we do has to have a purpose, right? A useful purpose. We can say this over and over again. Just do it for the joy of doing it without an end result.
But almost everyone who's listening say, yeah, I like to do that too. But then we're in the moment, we're like, what is the use of this? Yes. And so there is a part where we have to identify what our personal needs are, like you said, like I really like whatever I'm creating to have a purpose.
And it's not necessarily to sell, sometimes it's just to teach. Yeah. And for many people, they don't wanna sell, they're not teachers. Mm-hmm. What is it that they're gonna do, but maybe not knowing what the end product's gonna be, but knowing that there is a purpose and you can put it all together, giving gifts, supporting other, what else is important about mm-hmm. What you can do and create that doesn't have to be a product to sell. Mm-hmm. I mean, think outside the box there, you know? Mm-hmm.
[00:30:23] Brooke Henry: And I think for me, the key has been separating the two in my mind, playing just to play when I'm playing and know that I have. Enough times backing me up that I have then, even if it's six months down the road. Thought of something to do with that. I mean that it doesn't always come right away.
Sometimes it's like, well, this was a tedious little fun project that was fun. What am I ever gonna do with it? Well, sometimes it doesn't come till a year later, and then it's like, ah, that's, that's why I spent the time doing it, because now I can turn it into something. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:30:58] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Or in my case, sometimes I tear it up and throw it away.
[00:31:02] Brooke Henry: Yes. Or paint over it. Yes.
[00:31:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Or paint over it or burn it or whatever. And I don't feel bad about that because Yep. That activity of learning taught me what I needed to know for the next thing I was gonna do. Absolutely, absolutely. It informs the next decision, the next play. The one idea begets another.
If you really wanna come up with more ideas for your work, start working. Right. That's true. Start creating. If you want more ideas, like that's when it all opens up. It's like, mm-hmm. Ooh, I have an idea. And then once I start, I'm like, Ooh, you know what else I could put this on, or mm-hmm. Do this with, or another material I can use.
Mm-hmm. To make this mark.
Some of your specialties is making those books and stitching and stuff, and what are you like really obsessed with right now?
[00:31:47] Brooke Henry: Hmm. So, I'm kind of in a lull, because I want to be, if that makes any sense. Mm-hmm. Because I've done the play along journal series and that's an ongoing, it's gonna be all year, which, was really exciting. So I've been making all of those journals, so that's been kind of an obsession.
And then I filmed at actually a couple different things for the virtual art, the summit before deciding. And so it's gonna be fun. so my obsession right now is kind of transitioning a little bit because I have been so focused on the production of those journals. Mm-hmm. That the relaxing time has been really nice for me. But I'm thinking I'm gonna get back into a little bit of, stitching for some covers. Which will be really fun.
So I've been working with paper a whole lot right now, and so I kind of go back and forth between paper and fabric and then of course I bring them together. But, just the stitching projects too. I'm thinking I wanna get some covers made and that's kind of how I do it. I make them and so I have five or whatever, and then I go and make the journals
[00:32:51] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I am. Really fascinated with the slow stitching, because I used to sew a lot. Mm-hmm. Like all through my school and my early twenties, I did every kinda like sewing imaginable prom dresses. I made them blankets. That's fine. I made them, and then of course those parts go because where's the use in this?
But that's your whole saying like it comes full circle. Because now I'm like looking at this and How could I incorporate fabric back into the mix meeting? Mm. In my way and in my voice. I'm really kinda excited. Plus it's also another like little treasure hunt to go on. Like, where are the found fabrics that I can pull together for this?
[00:33:33] Brooke Henry: Absolutely. I haven't done a lot of work on canvas, but I have some ideas of bringing in that stitching and it's even, you could stitch through the canvas, but on a big canvas that'd be a little bit more difficult. But I'm thinking even like little bits, little clusters, like I made for last year's a hundred year project.
Yeah. In a bigger form and like, could you like use heavy gel mat and like put it in and like, Give paint distressing to like blend the edges. I don't know, but like this is where the ideas come from. What if like, that may not turn out fun, but what if it did? What fun texture would that be to add the stitching and then put the, bring the paint in with all of it and maybe do a, I mean, I'm thinking here dripping down in it, like how fun would that be?
[00:34:22] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. Why is slow stitching just a small thing? Why not supersize it? That's how I've been thinking about the Grid Journal. Like these things are awesome. I could blow up each individual grid, but what happens if I made a supersize grid? I love this idea of like taking your wild ideas and just supersizing them.
[00:34:41] Brooke Henry: Oh, I love it. And that's like, I have a canvas over there that's really ugly. Really ugly because it was a, let's just see what happens kind of thing. And that's one example. I don't know all the proper techniques for Canvas painting yet, but that's okay.
It was like, okay, we're trying, well that didn't quite work. Let's keep going. But now what if I add stitching to it and like get crazy with the drips and. Yeah, how cool. Right?
[00:35:07] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Look at that. Look. You're like, just thinking of all the fun, playful things to do. Well. I wanna ask, the one question I like to ask everybody who comes on the podcast slash these interviews are going multiple places, but what is your big audacious dream?
[00:35:24] Brooke Henry: It kind of sounds silly, but I'm, right now, I'm kind of living it
[00:35:27] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Oh, that's not silly. That's beautiful.
[00:35:30] Brooke Henry: I mean, I do wanna accomplish more. I do, but right now I'm kind of having my toes dipped in all the different things that I. Have, been wanting to do my words or whatever for the year was kind of delve in last year.
It was growth. I made it a goal to post on Instagram every single day, and that's not necessary for everyone, but for me, proving that I could have that consistency when I said earlier, like even showing up to work or whatever was, was a struggle for me setting that goal. Was very important for me.
And it could be anything. You could set a goal for doing anything, but for me it was just, okay, can I show up in that kind of public setting where I'm putting myself out there? Cause I'm a pretty introverted verted person. I can have good conversations with people and I'm extroverted when I'm around people that have the same interests as me, but I'm pretty introverted.
So could I put myself out there 365 days and do it? And I did. And I was beyond proud of myself even though that's. Okay. I shouldn't downplay myself. I have a, such that habit of downplaying that is, it's a huge, so people don't have that struggle. so this year it was delve in, I started my YouTube channel this last year and then this year it was like, okay, can I do a series that really is engaging for people, you know?
Can I get to my email subscribers more? Can I offer more freebies? So it was kind of a delving in to think the seeds that I had really planted last year. But man, I gotta think about that. Like big audacious dream
[00:37:02] Kellee Wynne Conrad: and it doesn't have to be just art or business related.
[00:37:06] Brooke Henry: Most of my things are right now, it's kind of where my life has really been focused on.
I mean, financially is a little like my husband has been the one that has worked. We don't have kids, so I've always kind of thought that it was like, man, it's justified to be a stay-at-home mom, but what if you're not a mom and you stay at home? Like, that was a big thing for me to wrap my brain around.
And that's kind of in the last two years I said I kind of had that mental switch, and so I just feel so much more at peace. And I'm in the place I'm supposed to be finally. And I've always said I have very supportive people around me, but I always said, well, they have some doubt about them.
About what I'm doing. And honestly, it wasn't true. It was the doubt that I was casting onto them from me. It was always, until I finally fully accepted it for myself, that I could see that they accepted it in me all along. They never pushed me to go and do the nine to five or whatever and I'm lucky to have that support. Yeah. But it was me fully accepting it in myself that it's like, Hey, they've been there all along, you know?
[00:38:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And look at what a beautiful opportunity that entrepreneurship really leads to. Mm-hmm. Especially for those who are very nine to five adverse. And I understand that like, I think the only quote unquote nine five mm-hmm nine to 5 24 7 job that I was ever good at was actually in the military, which is crazy cuz everyone was like, you're not gonna succeed in that because I'm a rebel.
I don't like being told what to do. I want to be able to dream up how my life is gonna be and then execute. Yes. Whereas with a nine to five, you don't really get that. But with your own business mm-hmm. You really do get to dream up the wildest of ideas and thank you Brooks, grandma, again, just lay out the path.
If you have a wild idea for your business, break it down. What are the steps? And then let's dream big and go for it. But yes, honestly, it's a beautiful thing to say. That you're really happy with how things are mm-hmm. Right now, because that's probably the most important thing. Like, we can dream of money, we can dream of travel, we can dream of.
When I have the dream home dream studio, then everything's gonna be all right. Mm. I do believe that dreaming is part of our natural human. But if you're dreaming to escape, you're missing the point of now. And I was just listening to a podcast cause I'm a big podcast junkie before we began and I was listening to Jesse Eisler.
He's an entrepreneur, but he's also the husband of Sarah Blakely, who started spanx.
So they're like big entrepreneurs and he's got some great advice. And what I loved is, is he really has a belief of be where your feet are. Mm-hmm. So that's really about loving the life that you're in now, being present in this moment.
And I'm with you, Brooke. I love this right now. Mm-hmm. I have nothing more than this right now than mm-hmm. I'm already as happy as I can be, but because I like set out with this dream of, of helping a million. Women fulfill their dreams. Hmm. That means I have a lot more work to do.
[00:40:29] Brooke Henry: I went back and forth with your remarkable league so many times and I still sometimes kick myself in the butt. I think it is awesome what you're doing because you have so much to share. And one of the biggest things that I. Will admit that I struggle with is marketing. I don't like putting myself out there and being like, buy from me. I'm the best buy from me. That's not who.
[00:40:52] Kellee Wynne Conrad: But people don't see that in you, what you've done. Yeah. The most important thing to do is you've shown up as yourself, you've given generously, and marketing is just communication and the fact that you can just keep 365 days of showing up on social media.
That in and of itself is a remarkable feat. Thank you. It's wonderful. Yeah. I just, I'm just so grateful that you're part of the Virtual Art Summit this year, and I know everyone needs to go find you at BB Henry, right?
[00:41:23] Brooke Henry: Yes. BB Henry underscore art on Instagram. Yes. And bbhenryart.com. Yeah.
[00:41:29] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And that way they can follow you, but they're gonna find out because everyone is listening after hearing you is gonna be like, I've gotta go do the Virtual Arts Summit now.
[00:41:37] Brooke Henry: Oh, I think so. I am so excited. You have so many other amazing artists that are teaching. No, that I cannot wait to watch everybody's, I know. It's just gonna be like an explosion of inspiration.
[00:41:47] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It is. It's so exciting and like every year I'm like, I can't outdo this year. And then the next year I'm like, wow. I'm so excited, but I choose the virtual Arts summit based on what I really want. Mm. And so that makes it even more fun for me.
[00:42:03] Brooke Henry: I love that. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that says something about me saying, I'm happy where I am right now. I still have things I wanna accomplish. I wanna put out more classes, all of this.
And it's like, how could the summit be even better than last year? I think it resonates to like what place we're in. It's exactly what we need right now, right? We need to return to play, like that's what we're feeling deep down. And so that's why it resonates and it's such a big thing and it's so good.
And next year, whatever the topic is gonna be is gonna be like, Ugh, that's exactly what we need. No, exactly.
[00:42:37] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Thank you so much for joining me on this. Really amazing conversation. Oh, I loved it. We have to catch up again, thank you, Brooke.
[00:42:45] Brooke Henry: Thank you so much, Kellee. Have a good one.
[00:42:48] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So how do you pronounce your name? Shami Shami. Yes. Shami more French style, huh? Yes. I love that. Where do you live?
[00:43:03] Shemi Dixon: I live in Denver, Colorado. Okay, great. You're out in the Rockies, is it still pretty?
I am. I love it. It's really pretty here.
[00:43:11] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Oh, great. So thank you so much for being part of the Virtual Arts summit, for contributing all of your joyful art. I am so thrilled to have you participate. So it's an honor. Thank you. Thank you so much. I just wanna get to know you a little bit better, and then as the participants of the summit get to listen to this or watch it, they're gonna get all the inspiration from you and, and just what you're up to in your story.
So tell me a little bit, like, how did you become an artist?
[00:43:46] Shemi Dixon: So I've always been a little bit crafting. My mom would send me to art classes when I was in middle school, and I've just always loved creating, but I kind of took a different career path. I started working in a hospital and I had a back injury, that was really bad.
I was preventing a patient from falling and, art became something. Different from me, from from then on. I basically used it as a way to kind of escape my pain and um mm-hmm. Just as a way to kind of cope with being depressed because it was a pretty huge blow. I wasn't able to go back into that career path.
So what I started doing was starting diving deeper into art, especially with process art. So I started making like these abstract watercolors, Maybe like 15 minutes a day, you know, when I could get my pain under control. And it really, just helped me. I really saw that art wasn't just about making something that was beautiful, but it was really healing and it had that possibility.
So, then I started YouTube channel and I started sharing videos and it's kind of, Just expanded from there. But that's how it started.
[00:44:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's how it started. I can tell you're very process oriented too, which is really fun because I'm like, at that point, like for the first decade of making art, it was like, what's the product I'm gonna make?
Yeah. But it's so much more now I realize that. All I care about is the process because that's the whole point of doing it, and that's when our best work comes out anyway. But I can tell like in your feed and just the work that you create is very process oriented, very maybe personal, therapeutic, and, and joyful in a lot of ways.
So I see that and I recognize that and love that about your work.
[00:45:27] Shemi Dixon: Thank you.
[00:45:29] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Tell me a little bit about like your process, like what inspires you, what materials do you love? How do you like to make your work?
[00:45:37] Shemi Dixon: So I definitely, love mixed media. So I love a lot of different layers. I usually use acrylic paint and collage. And I'm just inspired by, I love color and I love Mark making. We have a lot of, really beautiful natural things in Colorado. So I'm inspired by that too, by a lot of, um, like wildflowers and, just things that I see. I live in a very urban neighborhood, but it's filled with art, so it's so inspiring to just see all the art here all the time and all the marks and the colors. So I'm definitely inspired by that too
[00:46:11] Kellee Wynne Conrad: oh, yeah. And the materials that you like to use, it seems like sometimes you like to like resource things that are non-traditional.
[00:46:20] Shemi Dixon: I do, I do. I love upcycling for sure. Like I will definitely paint on a piece of packaging and try to incorporate it into my signaling.
And I actually started one of the first classes that I taught, cuz I taught in-person classes here at this place called Colorado Free University. And it was, Altered objects. So literally we went to the thrift store and got a whole bunch of objects and we just taught people how to like, basically use lots of mixed media to create objects of art that they could display in their home.
So like freaks and faces and it was so much fun.
[00:46:54] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love it like so much. Wanna see that? Like how. I am like a thrift store junkie and I love that. And I'm always like, how do you transform this into something completely different? You know, blue paint more layers, papers.
[00:47:09] Shemi Dixon: Yes. That's what it's lots of embellishment. That's great.
[00:47:14] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So how long have you been teaching?
[00:47:16] Shemi Dixon: So I've been teaching for four years. Yeah. In-person classes.
[00:47:21] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, absolutely. Except for that break, you know, for that one year where things got a little wild.
[00:47:26] Shemi Dixon: Absolutely. Yeah. That was kind of crazy. So I figured out how to use Zoom.
[00:47:32] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, exactly. That's great. So I could tell I knew that you had taught before, so that's one of the things that I kind of seek out in people to participate in Virtual Arts Summit because that means you have this flare for wanting to share all of the goodness that's inside of you and spread it. Like that's a great gift.
[00:47:50] Shemi Dixon: It is and it's just an honor to be able to watch people create. I mean, oh my goodness, I would have so many people come to my classes and it was just amazing. A lot of them kind of had this injury cuz someone had said something bad about their art. And just to see them work through that and just listen to their voice.
Cuz even when I did my. Painting classes in person. I did an abstract painting class and an art journaling class. It was very process based, so there was not like really any like, your, art needs to look this way. I just taught a lot of techniques and people would kind of come up with their own kind of painting and, it was just beautiful to see people .
Listen to their creative voice and trust the process and just be able really to heal that injury that they had from someone saying something not so nice about their art, you know, when they were a child and being intimidated by the art process. It was absolutely a wonderful experience. I love that.
Beautiful creating with other people. It really is. Yeah. It's a whole different thing.
[00:48:55] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's such. Almost a universal truth for most people, that we start off so creative and somewhere along the line we're told, unless you can do it perfectly, you're no longer an artist.
[00:49:08] Shemi Dixon: You're totally right
[00:49:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And then all the joy in it is taken away.
And so we just say that's for somebody else, which is a lie cuz we all have the ability to be creative and to be artists and then it just takes so much to get over those. It does curses. And so to nurture that in people again, and really honestly, the only way you're gonna know. How to make your art is to make your art, right?
[00:49:31] Shemi Dixon: Yes, it's true. It's kinda like you have to do it right?
[00:49:34] Kellee Wynne Conrad: You have to do it. So then to have someone like you coming a along and nurturing it out of them, do you have a lot of play processes in it? Like I would love to hear some of your ideas. One of the things I saw you do was like just one square at a time on Instagram.
Like I was watching how you're like, let's just play one square at a time. But I would love to see or hear. Some of your other like favorite processes for play.
[00:50:01] Shemi Dixon: So I really love collage too. I just love making kind of these intuitive collages. So I just basically will grab images from a magazine and go through them, and then I just pick things that kind of speak to me.
And you can do this in your journal. I do it a lot in my journal. I just kind of think about the images and then sometimes words will pop out at me too. So I love that process. , it always helps me, it kind of helps me to tap into what I'm going through and it's amazing the things that come up.
So I really love that. That's a really fun process. And another thing too that I love to do is, just kind of lay down colorful watercolor. And that's super fun too, so you can do like so many cool techniques. And then I just add doodles and marks. I really love kind of mark making. So, I do a lot of that too.
Like this is one that I shared a couple days ago, but just watercolor and then adding markers and very simple. Just 10 minutes or 15 minutes and just. Relaxing and watching the colors blend together and adding marks. Yes. Yeah. And the challenge that you were talking about was start with the mark. So you're exactly right.
We started with a grid. I did mine on watercolor paper, and then every day there was a prompt on, different things that you could do. So like echo tracing through a stencil, lines. Spin in thick lines and then, at the end of it, I just covered it with pain and just let a little bit peek through.
But it's just, you can start small. It doesn't have to be anything huge.
[00:51:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. For those who are listening and don't get to see, it's just a lot of intuitive mark making that you're sharing color and mark making and doesn't have to be anything No representational, which is really fun and freeing.
Absolutely, yes. And of course, share. We'll share a lot of this in the show notes for the, podcast. Cuz this goes on the podcast as well. We'll put it in the virtual art summit and everything. And everyone's gonna get a taste of your style and your flavor and your inspiration.
Anyway. So tell me more about a time as a child that you were making art or introduced to creativity. Like you were talking about that your mom even got you signed up in art classes and what was that experience like and how did it shape you?
[00:52:21] Shemi Dixon: So it was a really wonderful experience. I wasn't really excited about it before it happened, but she was like, it was the summertime and she's like, you're gonna go do a class, which I'm so grateful for her for it. And she's a painter too, so we definitely saw art in our house a lot.
And she makes beautiful oil paintings, so the first class that I took was a colored pencil. Art, and it kind of just blew my mind because we layered all this color down and you basically like picked an image. We picked a image from like a magazine, and the first image that I picked was a sunset.
And it, and over the course of six weeks, we painted it in, we sketched and we, figured out how you layer on, colored pencil and how you create shadows and all that fun stuff. And, It was amazing. I enjoyed it so much and at the end of it, I gave it to my mentor. And she loved it so much and I think that was the first time that I saw that, art can also make people happy.
It can really bring joy to them, and she still has it hanging in her house, you know?
[00:53:22] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's so awesome.
[00:53:24] Shemi Dixon: So special to her and I thought, wow, this is pretty amazing. You know, that art can be so important to people that it can touch them, that the colors and everything can mean so much. So I think you definitely have to create, and it's nice even if you make little cards or something to give to people.
I love doing that because they really appreciate it. If you little sketch or just color or whatever,
[00:53:49] Kellee Wynne Conrad: The whole point is, is when you're given a gift to not hide it from everyone. Right? That's true. But your beginning experiences sound very positive.
So you can carry on that energy to the students that you're now coaching and teaching. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. I love that. Well, I can tell it kind of just exudes. So what advice would you give them, as they're learning, as they're exploring, even if they've been a lifetime artist, how to loosen up and play more?
[00:54:18] Shemi Dixon: So I think the first thing is to embrace imperfection. So the main thing is to give yourself permission to just let your art be what it's supposed to be. Cuz I think we can get hung up on how we think things should look, or it should look like this one, this person's art, or I'm not doing something right.
But you need that time to play and to give yourself permission to make art, with freedom in order to, really. Loosen up, because if you're intimidated all the time, if you're afraid you're never gonna start. Mm-hmm. And it's gonna be such a terrible experience for you. And you don't want that because it's just a piece of paper.
It's just a canvas. You can turn the page, you don't have to show anyone. There's no pressure, which is what I love about art. And I think the. Other suggestion that I would have too is to celebrate small wins or small successes. Mm-hmm. If you maybe just have five minutes to just lay down some color, you should celebrate that.
That's some way that you nurtured your creativity. I think that we need to celebrate those small wins too. And got encouraged by that. Because it's a huge accomplishment with our busy, crazy lives to be able to just make some time, you know, to create something, to spend some time, with ourselves.
[00:55:34] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I totally hear that. I need to make a list of the great advice that I've heard since working on this summit, but the, we don't celebrate the small wins enough. Do we like, whether it's just making, having made the time to paint in the first place or make art in the first place?
Absolutely. Or something even better. Like someone gives you a kind compliment or you get a chance to show your work, or you've given your work to somebody that's made them feel joy. Like those are small accomplishments, but they're still big in the grand scheme of things because we're furthering our own.
Creativity, nurturing our souls and nurturing other people with our art.
[00:56:13] Shemi Dixon: Absolutely. Yes. And that's super important. That's true.
[00:56:16] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Very. What do you have going on right now? Like, what's exciting in your life and what projects are you working on? Like how would people be able to connect with you and, and learn from you?
[00:56:27] Shemi Dixon: So I share, weekly videos on YouTube, normally tutorial style videos. I'm working on that. And then I'm working on an ebook too. It's called The Art of Letting Go. It's gonna have like 20 process art based exercises, for your art journal, cuz I think that's a really. Approachable surface to start on.
So I'm working on that and it will have kind of videos to go with the exercises. So it's a big project, but I'm super excited about that too. Cool. I love that. So those are kinda the two big ones.
[00:57:00] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's Ambitious youTube in and of itself takes a lot of time and energy. Oh, it does. It's a great way to connect with a new audience on a regular basis.
Absolutely. So we'll make sure that everybody has. The links to that and connection, so that they can, learn from you more besides just in the virtual arts summit that they can connect with you. Mm-hmm. One thing I love to ask my guests is, what is your big audacious dream when you look at your future, what would be like the dreamiest, coolest, amazing thing for you to do or accomplish in your life?
[00:57:38] Shemi Dixon: Let's see, well, I went to, Italy before the pandemic and I kind of fell in love with it. So my dream would definitely be to move there and I was able to connect with lots of like artists there. So to maybe do workshops where people would come there and just soak in all the beauty. that is Italy.
Food and the art and it's just so beautiful there and it's so inspiring. So I'd love to do retreats. That's kind of my big, big huge dream to do that. That's the most thing for people to create, so,
[00:58:10] Kellee Wynne Conrad: oh, I love it. So there you go. Everyone go and cheer her on and say, we wanna do that. Oh, that's so cool. Okay, so they can connect with you on Instagram. @shemidixon. Right.
[00:58:27] Shemi Dixon: I'm, that's great.
[00:58:28] Kellee Wynne Conrad: S H E M I D I X O N. Great. I want them to connect with you and encourage you to do a retreat in Italy, cuz I think we'd all right about now could use that kind of letting loose and the little, finer things in life and Italian style. I like that. I need travel too. So much right about it.
[00:58:50] Shemi Dixon: Absolutely. Me too.
[00:58:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. Thank you so much for joining us in the virtual arts at, thank you so much for joining us in the Virtual Arts Summit. I am so grateful to have you here.
[00:59:04] Shemi Dixon: Absolutely. It's been a pleasure. So happy to be here too. Thank you.
[00:59:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: We'll talk to you soon.
[00:59:12] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Welcome Lisa. It's so nice to finally get to know you. I've been following your heart journey for quite a while, so thank you for joining me in the Virtual Arts Summit and for this interview today.
[00:59:24] Lisa Metcalfe: Thank you for asking me to join it's really exciting.
[00:59:26] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I was just saying I had to look up on the map where Yorkshire is because I don't know where everything's laid out in the UK Very well. So you're like right in the middle.
[00:59:37] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah. Smack dab in the middle
[00:59:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And I haven't, like it's on my bucket list. Iceland, the uk. These are some of my bucket lists right now. And I'm like, I just, I don't know. Why have I not gone? I probably have family from your town if I was to look up my genealogy. Like that's my ancestry. So it's kind of fun to see where people are from around the world. And I love the fact that the internet brings us together, which I talk about all the time.
Like, I wouldn't have known you otherwise.
[01:00:05] Lisa Metcalfe: Well, yeah, definitely. Yeah. It's great to find all these different people from around the world.
[01:00:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And thank you so much for doing the Virtual Art Summit. I'm so excited about it this year, and I'm really excited to see your point of view because, you have such a beautiful color palette.
Every time I'm like, oh, I love how she puts those colors together. So I'm really excited to see how that all comes about. I just wanna kind of dive into who you are and, and your little art story and your journey, like when. You started making art and then where you're at now?
[01:00:38] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah. Well, I've always been creative. I've always been doing something all through my life., and I've dabbled with all sorts. I've done crochet and cake baking and decorating, , weaving, , always, but I've always painted and drawn and it was really locked down 2020 that I was put on furlough with work. And I just had the time then just to, really sort of dive into the painting.
I found Louise Fletcher online and took her free. Find Your Joy Class and that's what really set me off. Mm-hmm. And I've just not been able to stop painting since. Yeah. Just little bit.
[01:01:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And look at you so,, so many, many artists who. You know, have this conversation. It's like they've been lifelong creatives and then at some point the painting and, and visual arts comes out.
But 2020 wasn't that long ago, and yet you're like so prolific and so established now in such a short time.
[01:01:34] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah, I feel like I've really come on these last few years. I learned a lot just through the process of just trying things out and just playing and. Just seeing what, what happens.
[01:01:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Do you get to paint every day now?
[01:01:47] Lisa Metcalfe: Not every day, no. I work four days a week. I'm a greeting designer during the week, um, and then sort of Fridays is my day off, so I usually get in the studio then. And then whenever I can on the weekends. I've got two children too, so I've got to work it around those as well.
So, but they, they're a bit more grown up. They're 11 and 14 now, so I can sort of sneak in my studio a little bit more now.
[01:02:12] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Because that's when they don't really want mom bothering them. Right.
[01:02:16] Lisa Metcalfe: Just as long as I'm taxiing them around to their friends and things, then that's fine. Yeah, exactly.
[01:02:21] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That same, like there is a lot more freedom once they're a little more independent and not so reliable. Yeah. But yeah, there's still, for some reason they wanna be fed dinner every night.
[01:02:33] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah. That's a good, sure. , especially I'm the only one that can cook. I need to try and train them up.
[01:02:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, for sure. I make my kids try and help out with dinner at least once or twice a week. So you did greeting card design that's really creative in and of itself. How long have you been doing that and how does it influence your work?
[01:02:53] Lisa Metcalfe: I think I've been doing it about 18 years. Yeah. I didn't go to university. I did an art foundation course after school and did the yearlong Art Foundation course, and I couldn't really decide what I wanted to do. I looked at university courses and things, but still just didn't know what to do. So I got a job in a craft shop and, I just, serve the customers, helped with orders. I demonstrated all the products cause right then it was like lots of scrapbooking and card making and things. So Uhhuh I loved that little world. And then, I saw the job for the in Greetings card designer role, and it was asking for sort of degrees and things and I thought, you know, there's no way they're gonna want me.
But I thought, well, I can try, I'll just go for it and see. Took some of my cards along and they were really impressed and they could see that I'd like the creative flare and that they could sort of train me up with Photoshopping illustration things. so yeah, I've just been doing that for 18 years.
Yeah, really like it. It's great just to get that little creative bit of time. Yeah, it's great.
[01:03:55] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And has it had any influence on the art that you make now or do you keep them completely separate?
[01:04:02] Lisa Metcalfe: I try and keep them separate, but then again, with doing all the painting, I suppose I've become a little bit looser with the, the drawing and the style I do at work.
I do try and bring a little bit in, cuz I enjoy it. I enjoy getting the paints out sometimes and scanning things in, but most of it's on the iPad using Procreate that we do. Okay. And then work it up on Photoshop, on the Mac computers.
[01:04:24] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So I imagine that having, the iPad and procreate has shifted the way you do, the art quite a bit.
[01:04:32] Lisa Metcalfe: Mm-hmm. Definitely. It's much looser and yeah, not too graphic and things. I like things sort of more hand drawn and stuff, so, yeah. Oh yeah. Like it.
[01:04:42] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Tell us a little bit about your art style, what you make and what inspires you. It seems to me as I'm watching you on video. For those of you who are listening, you'll have to tune into the video as well.
It seems like nature and your surroundings are influencing you a lot.
[01:05:00] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah, they do. Yeah. I mean that, this piece behind me is a bit more landscape based and I do some sort of bit more landscape, but most of it is abstract. Where I live, it's, 10 minutes up onto the hill onto like the mos and it's so gorgeous up there and I'm constantly taking photos of, you know, the little bits of things that people don't often notice.
You know, the little flowers in the wall and the moss on the stones and things and the, lines in the field, you know, just with all the, the dressed on walls and things. Yeah. So I think I definitely do bring that into my work. So definitely nature and I just love the use of color.
Love the use of creating texture and patterns in different ways
[01:05:40] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Are you mostly acrylic painting or do you do mixed media as well?
[01:05:45] Lisa Metcalfe: Mixed media, it's mainly acrylic, but then I like to bring in some of my own collage papers. I tend to make my collage papers more than, Pieces I found, although sometimes I'm bringing, like, I like the insides of envelopes and stuff like that.
Mm-hmm. But I love Gelli printing, so I'll spend a couple of hours just fill in the floor of jelly prints. I love that. And I love using, like drawing materials, pencil cranes, and I've just got myself a nice big sentence. Those, neo color
[01:06:16] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, that my favorite, I have a whole oil pastel course, and I'm just, I can't stop using them. They, they go in everything now, and I don't even care that they're oil pastels, like oil and water are supposed to mix, and I'm like, I'm gonna break. It's good to have a go. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So I mean, the whole theme of Virtual Art Summit is return to play, which you returned to in a big way in 2020 and made a big influence on you.
Coming back to something like painting, like visual arts, we are creative. We do a lot of different. Playful things. I love that idea of crochet or baking or whatever, until you fall into the thing that really lights you up, which for you, I can see painting is really your thing. You're so good at it. But I wanna hear like your point of view of like how you allow play and your artwork and your creativity, and the work that you do. Any advice that you would have for our listeners?
[01:07:18] Lisa Metcalfe: I would just say be like, Be curious with all the app materials that you have and just try them out and gather lots of different tools. Like I have lots of different tools I always collect to use with my paint, so I don't just stick to paint brushes, I've got like this funny little thing here, a hairbrush cleaning tool and that's great. So I like to use tools and find out different ways of using them.
So rather than just doing the obvious, you know, drag some paint through. How about stamping the paint in or. It on with the the end. So yeah, I'd just like to find anything that's heading for the bin. I'd like to just gather, old, like debit cards or bottle tops, and I think it's just good just to play and just see what sort of maps they make.
I love playing with color as well and I often work with, a limited palette and, I know you work with limited palettes too, and it's just amazing to see the amount of colors you can get just from using just a few colors. Yeah, love that.
[01:08:16] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And it makes it more cohesive anyway, when you have a limited pallet, but, I like that point of just using whatever you have in being exploratory of like, how could you use it differently and, and explore the materials, the, the tools, or even found objects and how you make interesting marks or play around with it.
So right now I know that you're working towards an exhibit, is that correct? That was one of the things that we talked about when I invited you into the virtual Arts summit, is that you had a exhibit coming up around the same time.
Tell me a little bit about that.
[01:08:54] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah, well, there's two things actually. I've got, an exhibition coming up in Milan. So Oh, wow. When I did C V P in 2021, there's nine of us artists who sort of got together, we met whilst we did the course, and we're all organizing our own exhibition in Milan, which is in May.
, And then I've got open studios that's coming up in June. So that's my first open studio event. So that's gonna be lovely just to invite people in, see my little studio and have a look at my artwork and maybe I'll demonstrate while they're there, or have an easy look for people to just have a play on.
And, yeah. Maybe some kicks.
[01:09:34] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Cool. Like tell me more about Milan. Like did the, group of you pick a place to show together or did you pitch it to a gallery?
[01:09:43] Lisa Metcalfe: We're working with young art hunters, so I think they've got a place that, that we use in there. So we're just all busy painting ready for that, ready to ship them all over.
[01:09:54] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. And you're gonna be able to go to the exhibit. So does that mean you get to go hang out in Milan?
[01:10:00] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah. Yeah. So there's a few of us that are able to go and meet up for the opening Oh, fun opening event and for the few days before. So yeah. I've never been to Italy before, so, yeah. Cat wait.
[01:10:10] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And then to me, that's what's beautiful. That's what I meant like when we started this conversation. The internet connects us in the weirdest, most beautiful ways, artists that you would've never really known if it weren't for having connected through cvp, which for those listening is Nicholas Wilton's big master course.
Create a Visionary program, that a lot of people have taken and really have benefited from, but to meet up with a group of artists and have that kind of camaraderie and connection is pretty special.
[01:10:42] Lisa Metcalfe: And we're sort of all from all over the world as well. So yeah, the lovely to, to meet up, I've met a couple of them before, but yeah, to meet with some more of them.
[01:10:49] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love to ask everyone in the podcast is like, what are you forecasting for your future?
And then also, what are your big audacious dreams? I dunno. Like we all have something. So what are you looking forward to in the future? What kinda things are on the horizon? Where do you see your art going? What would you like to create? Is there something that you've been meaning to explore? Something playful.
[01:11:17] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah, just to keep painting. Maybe go bigger. It's tricky. I dunno.
[01:11:25] Kellee Wynne Conrad: See, and I have the opposite problem because I have like 300 million ideas and not enough time to paint, so I never get to it.
I think that's it. I think I don't always have the time, but I'd love to, I like the idea of. Maybe doing some like YouTube videos. I love the idea of inspiring others to create art, so that'd be great to work out something I can do with that. I've just started doing a couple of workshops in like a local cafe, so that's like pushing me out of my comfort zone to do that
[01:11:56] Lisa Metcalfe: so this is new to you to be teaching online and everything. Yeah. Yeah. This is the first sort of video I've done. Um, is that the first thing I've done?
[01:12:05] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, I feel so honored that you said Yes. I'm looking forward to it because this, this is the benefit of me running the Virtual Arts Summit is that I have my eye on somebody for a year or two, and I'm like, oh, I really wanna learn from them.
And so I get to have you on the Virtual Arts summit and learn from you. So thank you for taking that big, big leap, but I'm sure it's gonna be amazing. And what a cool idea though, if you, begin to offer more of that for. The people who are following you and love your work and wanna be inspired by you, YouTube videos, workshops, courses, collaborations, they're all like a really beautiful way of, you know, continuing to spread that joy and play of painting, right?
[01:12:49] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah. Yeah.
[01:12:50] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I'm gonna push you out of your comfort zone. Now you have to think of something big. I mean, yes, you already have a big show in Milan, so you're already hitting bucket list things, but what, what other big things, what dreams do you have for your future? The big audacious ones.
[01:13:06] Lisa Metcalfe: Just to be a full-time artist, I suppose, and that'd be nice. I suppose. I went to a gorgeous place in France, that was beautiful and I could easily just like, yeah, move out there and I'll just have some, like little workshops I could retreat.
That'd be nice. It gather people together for a. Yeah,
[01:13:26] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I'm gonna push you into seeing like, we've gotta dream big because you know, this is all, we've got this one time here on this wild, crazy planet. We gotta like make the best of it. The thing that's part of play is dreaming still like a child, you know?
Cause when we were kids and we'd imagine all the things that the future could hold and I don't think we should ever stop dreaming. Well, thank you so much. I, I am so incredibly excited to watch your video and to learn from you and, and see how everyone responds.
Everyone can find you @lisametcalfeart on Instagram, correct? Yeah, Lisa. Awesome. So definitely check her out. Follow her and I'm so glad that I got to meet you today.
[01:14:13] Lisa Metcalfe: Yeah, it's been lovely. Yeah, thank you. Thanks for asking me to do this. And yeah.
[01:14:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Bye.
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