[00:00:00] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello. Hello, it's me again. Kellee Wynne, your host for the Made Remarkable Podcast, and we are on week two of our virtual art Summit interviews. I love being able to talk to such talented artists. And introduce you to other ways of thinking and new points of view. So bringing you all of the guest artists from the Virtual Art Summit is my absolute pleasure.

But before we dive into who we have on the podcast today, I wanted to make a special invitation for a very short time. Meaning barely a week. I have applications open for the Remarkable League, so if you missed it the first round, I have just a handful of slots available for those of you who are on the journey to become industry leaders as teachers.

Running workshops, online memberships, coaching courses, whatever it is that you have your site set on that's outside of the box of your regular selling and galleries. Then the Remarkable League is probably the right place for you. We have already 16 amazing members. Two more are about to be added.

These are. The movers and shakers of our industry. People who are really doing, the people who are really living the dream. And that's what's so exciting about this. I'm watching them take each step, having their big aha moments, launch big programs into this world. Everything from collaborative projects to their signature, offers, coaching programs, and.

I couldn't be more excited than what we're doing in the remarkable league right now. If you feel like this is the time for you to get the big old kick in the pants that you need to set the foundation for your business, rewire the whole thing and set it. On Fast Track. Well, the Remarkable League is probably right for you.

You can find out all the details if you go to made remarkable.com/league, and you can apply and if you're a right fit, we'll have an interview. You'll have a chance to talk to me and see if it works for you, and I'd be happy to welcome you in June. I don't know when we'll be opening again because my.

Intention is by the end of summer or early fall to open up our. Program for those who are maybe a little earlier in the journey still with the intention of thinking outside of the box. You know, 100 ways to make money as an artist without selling your art. That's kind of my motto here is really getting you to make an amazing income, doing what you love, serving others.

That's what the Made Remarkable podcast is about. That's what my mission is all about, and that is, What I'm building here for the future, even as we are launching the Virtual Arts summit. So the summit opens up on June 2nd, and I wanna make sure that you're all very well aware that the price also increases our early bird prices right now $97.

And I recommend signing up. Saving your seat and making sure that you're supporting all of those who maybe don't have quite the full income to be able to participate. This is how we can run it for free simultaneously and offer scholarships we usually offer. 20 full scholarships to about $600 worth of art classes in my Color Crush Creative program.

And I can't do this. I can't continue to do such an amazing thing every year. Bringing you. 16 artists with complete lessons. That's over eight hours of content if I don't have the support of the community. And when you guys show up and you cheer it on and you share it with your friends and you tell everyone about it to come listen to the interviews here on the podcast or go sign up for.

The Virtual Arts Summit, it is what keeps the fuel on the fire and keeps us going year after year. So I hope the Virtual Arts Summit is a foundation of our, our education year after year for years to come. And it's just a matter of having remarkable people like you show up and participate and sign up and get your ticket and tell your friends.

All right. Now for the podcast, we have three amazing artists, as always. Because you know, What else for the virtual art summit, but amazing artist to teach you, and you're going to hear first from Consie Sindet and I really loved having this conversation with her. She embodies everything about. Return to play, and she's a creativity coach and teacher.

She's been doing this for over 20 years, so she knows her stuff and you can feel it when you learn from her. She's just so much fun and brings so much joy to the program. Lisa Goddard is our next guest that we'll be talking to. From the uk. She actually lives near the Peak District National Park. So it inspires her with nature and her current obsession of eco dying.

And finally, we have Arlyna Blanchard . Arlyna lives in China, as you might see by her Instagram account, @abshanghai. She went there to study art painting and calligraphy and she fell in love with the country's history and she's been raising her family there and making art ever since. So I think you're gonna really love what these artists have to share with you, especially considering the message of return to play.

Is deeply ingrained in their practice and how they teach. I know you're gonna love the Virtual Arts Summit, so go grab your ticket now at virtualartsummit.com/go and make sure that you're there to cheer on these great tutors and. Our incredible program that we have designed for you this year. Thank you so much for being part of my world, being part of this podcast, listening and giving your support.

It makes all the difference in the world. And you know, I just love what I do and I love being able to show up for you. So thank you. And now, without further ado, please listen to these fabulous interviews from the Virtual Art Summit.

Hello Consie. Thank you so much for joining me in the Virtual Arts Summit and for this interview today. I am so thrilled to have you here and get to know you better because we really haven't ever met before. So welcome, how are you?

[00:07:15] Consie Sindet: Thank you so much. I'm doing good. I'm doing good. It's nice to talk to you and not just follow you.

[00:07:22] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's always better when we get to meet people instead of just seeing the feeds. Scroll by. I'm so excited that you're part of the Virtual Art Summit, and I just wanna say, What really struck me is that you took a chance and reached out to me. Now, I do get requests once in a while, but most of the time people don't have experience.

So the fact that you're already an experienced teacher and have a real clear point of view made it like a really exciting, like this is somebody I really wanna work with and get to know. So thank you for taking that chance and that risk with me.

[00:07:55] Consie Sindet: Oh, no problem. To me, as I've shared, a little bit before we talked is that as an artist we can feel like we're like one in a million, and if we wanna get somewhere, we have to stick our hand in the air and reach out and ask.

I mean, the worst that can happen is radio silence, and you never emailed me back, and then I would have moved on. But, if we don't let people know that that's what we want, then how can they. It's like letting the universe know you have to tell the universe a little bit about what you want so that it can help you achieve your goals.

[00:08:28] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I would've never known who you were if you hadn't reached out because like you said, there's millions, if not more of us artists online striving to build, our. Visibility, our feed, our following, our community, and we don't always cross paths though. It's happening more and more. So yay. We finally got to cross paths and I get to enjoy your work and have you as part of the summit, which this is our fourth year, and I love doing the summit because one of my favorite things in the world is to bring.

Creative people together in collaboration because I feel like the world is better for it. So, so I would love it if you would share a little about, just your story as an artist, your journey and where you are now.

[00:09:13] Consie Sindet: My artist journey, it's been very long. I've been doing art, I mean, all my life I've always seen myself as an artist.

Went to school for graphic design. That was not my thing. Um, mm-hmm. Yeah, that wasn't my thing, although it's surprising how much I use it in a day-to-day basis. All the lessons I learned, because you can't be an entrepreneur and not know some graphic design. Especially if you're not hiring people. I sold at craft shows and. Painted on products since I was in my early twenties. I'm 53 now, so it's been, a long time. I started teaching, in my home studio. I taught toll painting and decorative painting and one stroke painting all back in the day. And I did that for about 10 years, and I taught hundreds of women and it was all in person.

Like that wasn't, that was not during the time of let's jump on Zoom and let's record a class that, that didn't even exist then. So, To have that ability now to reach beyond your everyday world is, has been amazing. So I taught for a long time, and then, 2008 hit, which many of us remember as the crash of all crashes.

And so I had to pivot and I pivoted to, a different kind of creativity where I started doing face painting. I did face painting and body painting and henna for years. Wow. At shows, because even if. People's economy crashes their everyday world for some reason. They'll always treat their children to birthday parties and going to the fair, you know, like it was the, the easy, simple, fun thing to still make life feel enjoyable.

So I was able to still make a living doing creativity. It just wasn't in the world that I had come from. But all I did was change surfaces. That's how I felt. I'm still painting. I just happen to be painting on humans instead of surfaces, you know, like tables and lazy Susans, which is the world I came from.

And then from that I discovered art journaling. I found art journaling through the Documented life project, and that was probably the most life-changing art decision or art thing that came across me, my world, because as much as I spent all those years in craft shows, painting on stuff, I'm not a "stuff" person, so like it. Got overwhelming. I don't paint on canvases, I don't paint, I just don't. So to have fine art journaling and realize that all the creativity could be contained on paper in a book, and I could just keep turning the page. Was the most freeing thing ever because it didn't make me feel like I had to go find another surface or paint on all these canvases that sat around because I don't wanna sell in galleries.

That was never my thing. But that's what we did. We, we painted on things. So now I paint in books and, and I paint in crappy books because I make my own junk journals and I use cardboard and I don't care. And I just l like the idea that I can let my creativity out onto something that's not precious and it feels the most freeing that way.

It's just becomes just play. It's just fun.

[00:12:21] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's liberating. It is liberating because there is no end goal other than to enjoy the process. Right. How much fun is that? Yeah, I love it. Well that's perfect for our theme of play, which means that you are the ultimate path of play when you're doing that kind of mixed media in an art journal and all of that kind of junk journaling and layers and whatever materials you can find.

How fun. So once you discovered. Art journaling, how did that open up for you? What happened after that?

[00:12:58] Consie Sindet: Well, it was in the world of blogging, so I started, a blog.

[00:13:01] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I'm from the world of blogging too. Yeah.

[00:13:03] Consie Sindet: So I wrote a blog for a couple of, probably about three or four years, and I also did, I guess you were on like a creative team, for one of the stencil companies. Oh, the crafters workshop. So for the Crafters workshop, I was on their creative team for two years. So that was a way to get involved with so many people and, and learn outside of that. Then I discovered Skillshare and the world of let's film a class and sell it.

And so that was the next like, oh, I can film a class. So that was the next step. And by that point I had

[00:13:37] Kellee Wynne Conrad: When was that when you were showing up on Skillshare? How was it? What year was it?

[00:13:43] Consie Sindet: Oh, what year? Oh, I don't know. This had to been, it was at least eight years ago. Okay. It's been a long time.

Yeah. I had a few classes on Skillshare and then, Things changed with Skillshare, how they were running the platform. And so, I ended up moving to make them all my own. And so I pulled them off there and, and had them all my own. Then from there it was learning to be a part of collaborative classes like this, you know, where someone would have a, a group of teachers.

I got invited to a few of them. And then the pandemic hit and. Our entire world went online. And that actually was the best thing that happened cuz I started a free creative play date, almost at the beginning. It was early, probably like February, March of 2020. Mm-hmm. And that's how my business has evolved from there is like, it's happened every month since then.

I've never missed one. That's how I've met new people. They've come on, I've gone and done summits and all sorts of things. So it is just, The collaborative process to me is where you get to meet so many new people and, and have connections. The play date for me is my community, so I get to touch base with them once a month.

And so that's really, that has really been an anchor. I can't even think about stopping it. You know, a lot of people's free things happened during the pandemic and then it just went away because their life didn't support it. And I have made my life continue to support it because they keep showing up. So you know, when no one shows up, then I will stop.

But every month they show back up.

[00:15:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love that. So yeah, I guess for those of you listening, follow Consie and go find her creative play dates, it's a great, yeah. In way of, of creating and finding community, and I love that you realize that even as the pandemic has. Ended, and I'm putting air quotes around.

Yeah, you've just gone on like it's not existing anymore cause we're over it. I get it. I get it. But we still have an ability to serve the community in ways that we hadn't before because we realize how connected we are. And I agree with you so much on the collaboration Virtual Arts Summit started.

That year of the pandemic, I'm like, how can I bring people together? Okay. And I'm keeping the Virtual Arts Summit free for a certain limited amount of time, right? For everyone so that everyone can benefit from it, even if you don't have any income. And it's all the other things that we do in our business that helps support us continue to keep free and low cost options open.

And so, yeah, this is how it all goes around when people support us by buying our courses. It means we can keep. Free stuff, open for more people to enjoy. And I love that there's just this whole beautiful energy that aligns around this that in one way or another, without even realizing it, we're supporting each other.

Mm-hmm. When we support artists who are creating courses. So it's like a really, ah, it's a beautiful energy for sure. And I love that you're doing that. And from there I see that you just have, you have more options for courses and more collaborations that you're involved with. I love these collaborations because it connects us with people we wouldn't have ever known before.

Again, like you showing up here and, and connecting with me, which is just wonderful. So what would you say is like your main draw, like what you're creating now and how people connect with you besides your creative play dates, what do you love to teach? Is probably what I should ask.

[00:17:18] Consie Sindet: What I love to teach, I mean my core is art journaling. But the concept is always just to play and have fun and experiment and to try and not buy every art supply like what do you have? How can you use it in a different way? What simple ways can you just have fun, make a mark like just. Make it simple. If someone's using pastels, then use crayons. Like, just pick something from your inspiration and don't feel like you need to go and grab all those pastels. Maybe the idea of what you love is that they're using pink in their pastels. So what do you have that's pink and that you can draw from?

And so not to get so hung up in the details of. What brush are you using? Right? What color blue is that? And I'm like, it's blue. One of my favorite comments that people always ask me, I get this request or question a lot, is what brushes are you using for your watercolor? And I'm like, the dirty one that's in the water.

I don't know what it just, it probably just used gesso or acrylic. I don't care. Like I don't see myself as a purist. If you wanna do pure watercolor and learn watercolor from, like from the pure version of it. I will find you that person. Exactly. If you wanna, yeah, if you do wanna play with your supplies and make acrylic and watercolor and wax crayons and whatever, all in the same thing and using the same brushes and they're intermingling and you don't care.

Then I'm your person because I just don't care. Like, just try it. And what's the worst thing can happen? You know that crayon dies. I'm sure there's three more behind it that you bought. I'm sure you don't own one. So that to me is very much about curiosity and play and just trying. It is literally paper and paint and that's it.

When it comes down to it, you're talking about a piece of paper. It can be printer paper and it can be a pencil, and that's all you need to just get started just to try.

[00:19:28] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I find that limited supplies actually make me more creative. Being resourceful and just using what's on hand really pushes my limits to think outside the box and then it'll push you to say, what else can this do?

How could I create and have so much fun just with a box of crayons, like gold school crayons, like you said, I don't have pastels, but I wanna make some marks that might feel like pastels. I love that idea. To to be resourceful. And I have the exact same questions come up from my students and I get it.

Someone who's really new at it or they really maybe admire the process that you're doing. And they're like, if only I have those tools, will I be able to create like that? And at some point people finally break through that and realize it doesn't matter what color blue. Or, or, or oftentimes they'll ask like, what are the specific paints you're using?

I'm like, just grab yourself a red, blue, and yellow and have some fun. Like it doesn't matter what paints are you drawn to? What do you feel like? Like I can understand, like if there's like a shade of yellow that you're like, Ooh, what is that? I'm like, it's Indian yellow hue. That's my favorite. Okay.

Right. So I can get it, like you might want to know, but if you're wanting to know, because you think that having the exact same colors, the exact same brushes and the exact same materials are gonna give the exact same results, then you know, I think you'd be sorely disappointed. You could go Oh yeah. To China and study the way they do in China where everybody does have to create the.

Mm-hmm. Exact same thing, but that's not what we're about. Right? No. This community and collaboration that we've created, it's about just exploring, having fun and expressing ourselves with what we have.

[00:21:06] Consie Sindet: Yeah. And, and also, being yourself. Like part of our journaling to me is about finding out about myself.

So that's what I encourage my students to do. I've even told people to judge me. I want you to watch what I do. And judge it in this way, I want you to judge it and go, I would never have done that. But then I want you to ask the next question, what would I have done? What would I have done differently?

Why did I feel like she did that? And it bothered me, like, why did I love what she did? How could I do it myself? So, you know, I'm like, go. And when you watch YouTube videos, a lot of people just look, Ugh, I would never do that. And they judge you in a. What is she doing or what are they doing kind of way.

But to me, I want you to judge it in a way that starts to find out who you are. So if you were like, I would never have covered all that in black, then stop and say, okay, well what would I have done differently? Would I have not used that black so heavily? Would I have grabbed a paint pen and done some simple marks as opposed to, grabbing black gesso and scraping the hell out of the painting?

So, That's how you find your way through it, is to look at someone else's work and find out what you do and don't like about it, and then try it your way and then, play it your way. And, you can judge me till the cows come home. I cannot change who I am. I am who I am. This is how I play, this is how I sound, I curse a lot.

It's just who I am. So, And you can judge me for that, but I want you to judge it in a way that makes you go forward in your work. I want it to be the exploration of the why and why not, and to move forward in your work and find your own way.

[00:22:52] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's really powerful. I love that. And we can really apply that in almost everything in our life, because how we feel about someone, or somebody's art or what they're doing is really a reflection of our own belief systems.

Mm-hmm. Right? So if you challenge yourself in every question that you have and in every judgment you have, you're right. You are gonna, Dig deeper into you, especially when you're like, we're all scrolling and like, we'll stop. Why do we stop and love this one? Why do we pass by that one? Or if we're watching a video, you're right.

Then when you're like, no. Why do we, why do we feel that way? Which is right. What I realize now, that's a really great way of teaching, which is probably why you're working your way towards a new special kind of offer that you're gonna be able to hold space for more people in kind of a coaching capacity.

[00:23:44] Consie Sindet: Yeah, for 2023, I'm. Working towards building a group coaching program. I've had smaller versions in the past, so I'm looking to see if I can expand on it and take what I learned from those kind of groups and, and teach people either that, you know, be judgey.

I find that to be a very odd way of telling people, but be judgey. It also is about rekindling or just expanding on your creative practice and how you can do it in a simplified, fun way without this overwhelming, I need to do it every day. I need to do it this way. How can you find your way through it?

And. Allow creativity to just show up in however, however it shows up. It doesn't have to be touching art every day. Creativity is not about that. Creativity as it, and in its essence is problem solving. So it's not, has nothing to do with art. We are the ones that are making it about art because in our world, that's what we do.

We are artists, so we're creative, but everybody is creative. It's just, If you wanna find it through art, then that's what I want to help you do. And, but in a simple way, a fun way, a playful way, not a not a serious way, this isn't a deep dive into supplies, it's more of a deep dive into all the ways you can bring creativity into your life.

So I'm working on that so people can stay tuned and, and that will come out hopefully by the summertime.

[00:25:14] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. Good. Yeah. It's a way to keep our, our hearts, our souls connected to our creative energy. Right. And to figure out what that is and how to live in it to embody it.

Like that's what we really want as artists. That's why we came here to make, cause if we are making work for the end product only, we've missed the heart and soul of the whole process. So it's that ability to just express ourselves. And I've been personally missing it so much because I've been so deep in the business for the last two years that I realize now that that's what I'm craving and I'm kind of pulling back on some of the things that I planned in order to make space just for making for the pure joy of making and experimenting and.

I'm making things that I've never made before and they're not even to show. I think that that's one of the things that I've finally, like, I know I'm visible all the time. I know I'm teaching, I'm coaching, I'm showing up, so I always have to have something to show. But when I give myself this space to make stuff that I never show anyone, maybe even tear up and throw away, then I have that creative space that play for myself again, and that's what I'm really encouraging.

Everyone here in the Virtual Arts Summit is. Play like we are missing that element of play. Things got very serious during the pandemic. We turned inward a lot. We did work hard to support our family, but there was like this burnout level that was happening by last year. I could just, I still feel it and a lot of times we talk about it and we're like, we're coming out of our shells now.

However, I think we've forgotten like the true joy of what. Living here on this planet can be like, why did we come here in the first place? I think it's joy, it's love. It's fun, it's play. And I know that the world is a serious place, and if we don't have this outlet, what's the point? So that's why the virtual arts summit's all about play, and that's why I'm trying to tap back into it for myself.

What would be some of your favorite ways to play? Like we know the purpose of play, but what are some of your favorite ways to play obviously in the art world, but if you have any other ideas outside of, making art outside of it? Um, well, either, which way? Either which, what are your favorite ways?

[00:27:33] Consie Sindet: I would say within art, Playing is just about, for me, it's just about picking a starting point. It can be just a color, like, and just explore a color. It can just be, scribbling, like taking all the color pencils and just scribbling, just make marks and then they keep building and you keep building.

And, I think it's hard for me to say like, what's my favorite way to play because my entire art practice is play. Everything is about just. Putting something down and reacting to it and seeing what comes. So as a whole, my entire practice is about play. It's about making sure that you're choosing. Simple things like putting together a cardboard journal that's made of, Amazon boxes or the cardboard that's in a cat food box or whatever, because it takes that element out, like so visual. I'm getting this very weird visual element of kids making mud pies. You know, like it's just mud in a tin pie, tan tin pie thing.

And that's basically what you know, I'm a cardboard journal and some acrylic paints and maybe a colored pencil. A lot of glue stick and bits of paper and you know, there's no planning. I think that's also important with play. If you hand kindergartners a bunch of art supplies, they're not sitting there going, well, let me think about the plan for the day.

They're just like, glue, slap. Put their hands in the paint. So to me, I feel like you need to just tap into that inner child part. There is no wrong thing. I'm getting like these crazy visuals, Kellee, it's so fun that you're bringing,

[00:29:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: well, mud pie is totally up my alley. I did that as a kid, so I'm like relating to you completely now.

[00:29:20] Consie Sindet: So when I taught, toll painting for all those years, toll painting is very specific. Like you used this kind of brush to make this kind of stroke and that was definitely like you take an angle brush and it must be a half inch angle brush.

And then I got into art journaling and I realized that nine times outta 10, I didn't pick up a brush. I kept putting my fingers in the bottle and I was like, I don't understand what is going on. But that was my. Letting go of the structure of the toll painting was to, instead of picking up a brush, I just would stick my fingers in the paint and just smear them around.

And so I kept bringing myself back to play because the structure had stifled it. That to me is like, what's the play part of that for you? Like as a child, did you make mud pies? Did you go out with a stick and draw in the sand If you were lived at the ocean and you were making mandalas all the way back then, or you were doodling if you were just taking a stick and going with the sand and play.

[00:30:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: My mother would send us out with buckets of water and brushes and we would paint everything and we thought like we were painting, but it was just water and we were making marks. Yeah. And then would dry and we'd do it again. Yeah. I mean like I remember these very like nonspecific projects we do.

You respond to what you're doing, you just do some more.

[00:30:42] Consie Sindet: Yeah, exactly. I mean, and. If you're talking about just taking your art out into the world. Like I've gone to the beach and grabbed a stick and drawn a mandala on the beach, right? People will think you're crazy and wonder what this woman is doing, but, do that or go out into the woods and grab a bunch of stones and start, you know, piling them up and make a cairn or whatever you wanna do.

That's all play. It's just trying and, and interacting with the world around you. I love doing mandalas. I love drawing them. They're one of my absolute zen focus things. I, I was in a business meeting the other day and half a mandala came out because that's how I focus.

Mm-hmm. But just to go out into nature and grab a bunch of leaves and put them in a circle and make patterns with them, that's just play. It means nothing. I will use quotes for that too, because it means nothing. As in, there's no, other than if you took a photo of it, there's no end result to it other than you went out and did it and then the wind takes it and off it goes and you can do it again.

[00:31:42] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's so exciting. I love how you approach it. It's actually very refreshing. You have a very clear point of view, so it really helps me see like what kind of journey your course is and your coaching would take me on, and I can imagine it being very liberating in all honesty. So that's beautiful. If you could give anyone piece of advice to the listeners right now, you've given us a ton of advice, but like something from Consie's point of view. What could you, my point of view before we wrap it up?

[00:32:18] Consie Sindet: I had to give this some thought before for something else, but it was, Along the lines of again, we keep coming back to the play, but what came to mind was like, just maybe have a dance party with your art supplies.

Ooh. Like put that

[00:32:33] Kellee Wynne Conrad: once. You did? I did. No, no. I've probably done it more, but I did it once on camera where I got a really, really big, like butcher paper and put it on the wall, and I just danced around and made marks and saw where my body moved and it was so much fun. I love that. There you go. Dance and just see where the marks go.

[00:32:53] Consie Sindet: Just see what happens. React to what's happening. I will challenge anyone to put on ABBA and not be able to, like, you can't sit. And listen to Abba. I know Abba's not everybody's cup of tea, but put on Dancing Queen, grab a pen or some colored pencils and a piece of paper and just boogie around and, and come back to your paper and make a mark and see what happens.

And just try it. Literally, what's the worst that can happen? You tear it up and glue it into something else.

[00:33:21] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Or put it in the garbage. Who cares? Process.

[00:33:25] Consie Sindet: Yeah, just do it. Just do it. Awesome. Yeah.

[00:33:27] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. I love it. So everyone who's listening, where are they gonna be able to find you online, of course, will link all of this.

And by now everyone should know who you are because hopefully they've already joined the Virtual Arts Summit. Yeah.

[00:33:40] Consie Sindet: My website is called atopserenityhill.com and I'm mostly on Instagram, which @consie_atopserenityhill. So those are the best places to find out. Everything. And, join my newsletter and, and the community hub and everything.

That's the best place to find it.

[00:33:57] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's wonderful. So everyone reach out and tell Consie how much you enjoyed this conversation and which of the ideas she planted in your mind today. Even if it's making mud pies. What are you gonna do for play? Come back and tell us please. Thank you so much, Consie. And. Extremely grateful that you've been part of the Virtual Arts Summit, and how much fun are we having this year?

[00:34:23] Consie Sindet: Oh, it's awesome. Thank you so much. I'm so excited that you had a theme that I'm like all about play.

[00:34:30] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. Well, of course that helped it make it really easy to decide you'd be perfect as a guest for this project.

Thank you again. Thank you everybody. Talk to you later. Bye.

[00:34:43] Consie Sindet: Bye.


[00:34:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello Lisa. I am so excited to have you here for an interview for the Virtual Arts Summit.

This is our first time meeting via video. I've been following your Instagram for ages. Love your work so much, and I am so, so honored to have you as part of the Virtual Arts Summit.

[00:35:01] Lisa Goddard: Thank you. I'm excited to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

[00:35:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I am so excited about this summit this year and our theme with Return to Play.

I just think it's something we need so. Much in the world right now. Definitely. So what I'd love to just start off is getting to know you a little bit better, your story of how you became an artist and your, a little bit about your journey.

[00:35:24] Lisa Goddard: Okay. Yeah, yeah, I started I suppose, I did a fine art degree when I left school.

Which feels like a long time ago now. That was, very much contemporary art. I did a lot of sculpture, and I came out of that kind of a bit lost really. And I didn't know quite what direction to take. And I did a lot of research on the internet and, I came across art journaling, which I'd never heard of before.

I didn't know where to start. I didn't know what you were supposed to do. I had absolutely no clue. So I ended up emailing one of the artists that I'd found and she got back to me and she was really good. She just said, just play just. Let go and play and see what happens. And don't worry about the end result.

Just enjoy it.

[00:36:08] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Best advice ever, huh?

[00:36:11] Lisa Goddard: Exactly the best advice ever. And I did, I started, and that's like 20 years ago now, and I've never looked back really. I've art journaled ever since. And then along that path, obviously, I then got into making my own journals. I've carried on with a lot of the other stuff, like the painting and drawing from university.

But, it feels like art Journaling's been like the constant since then.

[00:36:34] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. And when did you start, moving into the realm of teaching and creating courses?

[00:36:42] Lisa Goddard: So, probably I started. Teaching probably around 2012, I'd say. My kids, were at school by that point and, had a bit more time and I decided that I wanted to actually do more with my art.

I went and did an adult teaching qualification. And just did face-to-face. It was just all face-to-face, for a long time. And I was working alongside my other jobs. And it was only last year that I took the plunge and became a full time artist. Oh. So yeah. Love it. Yeah. Moved into more of the online stuff.

It's been. Interesting, but I feel like I'm still at the beginning of the journey. I've got a lot to go, a lot to learn, and a long way to go.

[00:37:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, but life is a journey and so is art and the process of just discovering and rediscovering and figuring out what the next best step is.

But you're plunged into teaching and it seems like you're popping up everywhere now. So that's good that you're getting a lot of visibility. People are seeing your work, and of course you have a distinct style, so people wanna jump in and learn some of your techniques, which is so great for us here with the Virtual Art Summit, is that we get to, learn from so many different points of view.

What would you say is your favorite thing about art journaling or the materials that you use?

[00:38:10] Lisa Goddard: I feel like it's almost like a necessity for me. Art journaling. Now if I don't work in a journal, I feel like a bit antsy, like I need to, to do it. For me it's that kind of release.

It's my relaxation, it's my mindfulness, it's my play. And it feels like a real essential part of my life. I need it.

[00:38:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And the materials that you use,

[00:38:34] Lisa Goddard: I have my favorites, I have my go-tos. I love using, quite a lot of natural stuff like coffee and, turmeric and things like that.

But I also love my watercolors and, soft pastels and things like that. So, I have my favorites. I do like to explore other things and You'll always see lots of new materials coming in. You're like, Ooh, I want to try. I want to try. But yeah, there are certain ones that I always come back to.

[00:38:58] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So tell me more, Lisa, about how you're using natural stuff like coffee, turmeric. Is it just like an exploration and what natural, organic stuff can cause different kinds of color and. Just explain this to me because I'm fascinated with it. I see many artists like tampering with these different ideas, boiling tinctures and feet, root and dirt.

Mm-hmm. And who knows? Like, it's like such a really cool idea. I've only played with, like tea stained stuff before. Mm-hmm.

[00:39:33] Lisa Goddard: Think I started off, when I came across eco dying when I was making journals and I came across the eco dye pages and the gorgeous sort of prints of the leaves and things that you could get.

And I was just completely like, oh, that looks so good. I just wanna try it. And that led to, oh, well what else can I do to create color from the natural environment? I'm quite inspired by the natural environment around me. I live, nearby the, national Peak District Park over here.

In the UK is a beautiful place. So actually getting out and, seeing what plants will produce different colors and what marks I can get from eco dying. It's a real fun exploration for me. I've been really enjoying just exploring it really, and seeing. What colors I can create next.

[00:40:19] Kellee Wynne Conrad: What kind of marks it makes and just the reaction you get with it. Do you have a course in Eco Dyeing? Have you ever taught that before? I'm sorry if I don't remember like the different offerings that you have, but that. That's something I would sign up for, is what I'm saying.

[00:40:36] Lisa Goddard: I haven't yet. I've recently done a, course called the Mini Marks course, which is a collaboration with, Autumn Moon and Sarah Strandquist and, Sophie Decor and that we each did, some mark making and made a journal from scratch. And I love you.

[00:40:54] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Your journal. I saw it in my feed this morning and I'm like, I wanna do that.

[00:41:00] Lisa Goddard: It's been really good actually, cuz I've got to see their workshops as well as like, playing around with mine. Yeah. But for me, I took that opportunity to making a natural journal, from start to finish and natural mark making and dyeing and things like that. So there is that one. But I haven't done an eco dying one per se,

[00:41:19] Kellee Wynne Conrad: and with the, color Crush creative, we're doing a hundred days. The hundred Day project, so we decided we're featuring and talking about like a hundred ways to, to be able to play in making art. And that leads up to it. It ends like two days before the virtual art summit begins. So it's like I keep seeing all the eco dying. So I'm like, definitely like that. My interest peaked about it, but you make so many other.

Gorgeous layers and textures. I see fabrics in there. I see. like ephemera and silhouettes of people or whatever. In your work, and I love that you incorporate so many different elements.

[00:41:59] Lisa Goddard: I like to. Create stories quite a lot of time. I will take images. I love the vintage images and the people, people especially, and I tend to sort of then add them, but sort of create a story around them.

Who were they and why are they there? And it usually ends up linking back to my own life. So, you end up, telling your own story through others, if that makes sense. So I don't often put personal photographs in my work, but my own personal story comes through those, photographs that I find.

[00:42:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Do you go on like to flea markets and vintage places to like find these bits and pieces? Where do you, where do you get them?

[00:42:41] Lisa Goddard: Yeah, I think you guys in states have. Better thrift shops and things than we have over here. We've got like charity shops, and the junk shop, but nothing like you have over there, I don't think. I'd love to come over and just spend or whole time in your thrift shops.

[00:42:59] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well there are like these big gatherings in the south, like I think there's this massive one in Texas and I've been dreaming about like these fantastic. Flea markets where you can find all the old postcards and ledgers and diaries and everything.

Yeah. Oh, one of these days. But I love going to Europe and finding vintage stuff there because it's older. You can find older stuff there.

[00:43:24] Lisa Goddard: Yeah. It's the junk shops. So the antique shops, tend to be a good place to look, but they, they do mean the price. They're a bit bosier cause things tend to be, quite old car boot sales in the summer.

That's the other source. So I guess that would be like, a garage. Garage, garage sale. Yep. Mm-hmm. So just a big field full of cars and people selling things out of their boots.

[00:43:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love that. And for those of you who don't know what the boot is, that's the trunk. That's right. The trunk of the car.

But I love that. That's, that's a fun way to do it too. Do so I oftentimes, I just resort to finding things on Etsy. So that's a great resource. And then even printables to resource some of those vintagey kind of feel. But I guess with Eco, you can age anything, right?

[00:44:15] Lisa Goddard: Yeah. Yeah, you can. I've kind of become a bit addicted to just aging papers and you know, even if I get vintage papers, I find myself aging them even more.

[00:44:25] Kellee Wynne Conrad: What would be your favorite technique doing that? Do you use paints or do you go ahead and use some of the like coffee staining and such?

[00:44:32] Lisa Goddard: Coffee and tea staining? I say mainly, yeah. Yeah.

[00:44:36] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Do you do actual journaling in your art journals or is it mostly just visual journaling?

[00:44:43] Lisa Goddard: If I ever do it, if I ever do journaling, it's first, it sort of becomes, it comes first and it gets covered up,

[00:44:49] Kellee Wynne Conrad: and then it gets covered up and that way. Yeah. You know, like you said at the beginning of this conversation, the meditation, the, the expression, the how that natural process.

[00:45:00] Lisa Goddard: Exactly. It sort of sets a mood if you start writing in it, it sort of sets the intention and then I don't mind covering it up.

It's like it's there. I know it's there and I can work over the,

[00:45:12] Kellee Wynne Conrad: yeah. Now that you've got it as a full-time job, how do you balance making sure you make time for art? In your busy schedule or is it, or have you really like literally made daily practice because it is your full-time career now?

[00:45:29] Lisa Goddard: I think I've been doing art journaling so long. It is just in a natural daily practice that's just inbuilt in my schedule. I do try and hold back a couple of hours, for just. Me my artwork that usually tends to be painting and things, which I don't get as much time to do on top of everything else.

Yeah. So like portraits you can see in the book?

[00:45:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love it. So because this is, the theme is all about, You know, returning to play, I'd love to just discuss as everyone who's joined the virtual arts summit has come because they're either curious about creating art or they've already decided art is their thing.

Making, the visual process, the materials, the expression, but. I know from experience that a lot of artists, a lot of creative people who start this, they have this fear of perfection. They wanna be able to sit down and create some masterpiece every time that they sit down and, and that's one of the reasons why for the Virtual Arts Summit we're like return to play, to try and break that habit in their brain, like thinking that.

Creating must mean the final product. Can you give some advice. We just wanna hear your point of view of, how you help artists kind of break through that barrier.

[00:46:49] Lisa Goddard: When I first started out, I think that was my barrier. I found, you, you kind of. Caught up by trying to be a perfectionist or creating something that looks how you want it to look in your head, and it doesn't work that way.

So I think over time, developing my style of just kind of my style is very intuitive. So I've got to the point where I just let the materials do what they want. I, I focus completely on the process and not the outcome it's quite difficult to just kind of let go and not worry about that outcome, but I'd say, start off on a substrate that you don't care about.

You know, um, and yes, doesn't matter then, or

[00:47:33] Kellee Wynne Conrad: cheap paper, like Exactly.

[00:47:36] Lisa Goddard: Yeah. Don't pick up your most precious journal that you've been saving for best and try and work in that. Just grab a page from a magazine or an old scrappy piece of paper, like you say cardboard and work on that and just allow yourself to kind of let go and play.

Without worrying. And if you don't like it, it doesn't matter. It just gets ripped up and it's collage and you know. Yeah. It doesn't matter. Exactly.

[00:48:01] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It can be used again for something else. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. One question that I usually ask podcast guests, which we are turning these into podcasts, but I love asking anyway.

It's like, I, I like hearing what people's vision of their future as they move forward. Like, yes, it's important to be in the present. I'm so grateful that, I just have the opportunity to talk to you to make art, to run my business. But I know that dreams fuel us. So I wanna ask you what your vision for your future is.

What your big audacious dreams are and what you see happening, what kind of ways people will be able to connect with you moving forward.

[00:48:41] Lisa Goddard: I'm just hoping to grow, my online presence, my online courses, long-term goals. I'd love to be able to do something like your retreat.

Get people over to the uk, get them walking in the hills, get them creating, that's a long-term goal. But I'd love to do something along those lines.

[00:48:59] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, just be able to meet in person and have that energy again.

[00:49:04] Lisa Goddard: Yeah, absolutely. I love, I love the online stuff and I do online, like the self-paced kind of online courses.

And I also teach a lot of virtual, face-to-face. Yeah, sessions where I get to chat to people, which is lovely and I absolutely love getting to meet people from all over the world. But there is also something about having you there face to face and being able to connect in that way.

[00:49:28] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, for sure. And then that's something that we've been missing so much, well after we can say the pandemic, but I think that we've all kind of turned more inward and inward with the advent of different ways we can connect through the screen, which I'm again grateful for.

It's great that we have this resource that I wouldn't have met you if it wasn't for Instagram, right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Time. I think we're craving that. Personal connection, that actual maybe being able to hug again? I don't know. Yeah, I visited, an art gallery opening for the first time last week in like four years.

I'm like, why is it taking me so long to, to get back into this? Swing of things, but I think you're right. Mm-hmm. Having those retreats, those gatherings and, and you know, maybe switching how people think about that again. Cause a lot of people have like pushed it off like, well, we don't do that anymore.

We do it all online. But let's maybe reframe that idea again. Like bring it to the forefront. Like the gathering is important, right?

[00:50:31] Lisa Goddard: Exactly. Yeah. It's a different. Connection that you get when you are face-to-face with somebody, isn't it? Right.

[00:50:36] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And real realtime feedback if you're learning art, that was one of my favorite things about teaching in person is, is the questions that I get back are immediate and immediate answers, and that's been really lovely.

I guess you can do that when you're doing like the online, live in time video chats too.

[00:50:55] Lisa Goddard: Yes. Yeah I think what you miss is the inspiration from the other people around you on the course. Mm-hmm. Because you're being inspired by the person teaching you, and you can all converse and it's great.

You can get a really nice atmosphere going, but you can't see what the other people are creating. Right. And so it's, it's getting that inspiration from all of you. In one room.

[00:51:17] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's a synergy that can't be quite replicated on camera, can it?

[00:51:24] Lisa Goddard: Exactly.

[00:51:26] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So why don't you just share again, where we can find you online and if you have any like, upcoming events or offers or anything that the listeners and the people of the Virtual Art Summit can connect with you about.

[00:51:41] Lisa Goddard: You can find me at my website. Which is lisa-goddard-art.co. Uk.

You can see all my courses and things on there and I'm always on Instagram, so you'll find me always on there. In terms of offers and things, I'm gonna be offering,

A discount on one of my courses for the people at the summit,

[00:52:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: which is for those on the summit. So come and join the summit and on the inside of the summit there will be a discount for a specific course.

[00:52:12] Lisa Goddard: Yes. It's gonna be my Echo of Footsteps, course, which is a walking art journal.

So it's a course that I put together. And I go on walks in my local environment all round and about and I'm then inspired by what I see to create an art journal page. And I take you along with me. I show you lots of different art journaling techniques as I go. But it's trying to get people to get out and explore and be inspired by their surroundings.

[00:52:43] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love that. What a beautiful idea. Get us outside away from the screen, or as Kelly Herrick says, sky before screen so that we can like spend a little time connecting with the real world

[00:52:57] Lisa Goddard: and then come back and.

[00:52:59] Kellee Wynne Conrad: And then we get to create. Yes. Wonderful. Thank you so much, Lisa. I'm so glad I got to connect with you and for you to join us in the Virtual Arts Summit.

It's been amazing.

[00:53:11] Lisa Goddard: Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:53:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Bye.

[00:53:14] Lisa Goddard: Bye.


[00:53:15] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello Arlyna. I am so happy to have you here with me. We're interviewing for the Virtual Arts Summit, and I'm very excited about having you on the Virtual Arts Summit because I. Love your artwork. Every time it comes through my feed, I'm just like, Ooh. All that. Layers and textures and colors, you, I have a very distinct style, so I appreciate you so much for joining me.

[00:53:36] Arlyna Blanchard: Oh, thank you, Kellee. I've always been a fan of your work as well. I think it's been like, what, more than five years, since I've started following you. And so, you know, I'm one of your longest fan.

[00:53:49] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's so wonderful to know. Like, I'm glad our paths finally crossed and that I get to see in real time, like in your video, how you create your work. It's gonna be really exciting. I know everyone's gonna love it. Your Instagram account is @abshanghai because you are actually in Shanghai.

[00:54:11] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. I couldn't find the right name, but yeah, no, I love it myself. Back then it's been, I think I've been on Instagram since 2010 or 12, probably around that time.

[00:54:24] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Which means you've been in Shanghai for quite some time, but it is not your home of birth. No. No. So please tell us a little bit about your story, where you come from, and how you ended up in Shanghai, and what you're doing now.

[00:54:38] Arlyna Blanchard: How long do you have? Oh, we have a while. I'll just try to shorten it up a bit. But, I was born in the Philippines and I'm part Chinese and Filipino.

So I studied university there. I studied art because ever since I was little, I've always been drawing and basically it's drawing, the only pastime. There's no phone or not much of TV going on. So I used to draw a lot of Wonder Woman and I've always been creating art since I was little.

And then I insisted, to my dad, I was going to go to study art in college, but you know, mentality of Chinese was that, art doesn't pay. So it was either you go into business or you go nursing or doctor or something. Yeah. Anyway, I went to manage to get degree, in art and ever since then I've been working in the art field.

And then after graduating college, I moved to Taiwan where I also wasn't planning on staying for long, but I ended up stand staying there for 12 years. And in between then I was tired of it. And, during the halfway through my 12 years, I decided to come to China. and I also insisted to my dad that I was coming. So I studied, Chinese painting. For six months, because that's all how much I could afford. But the experience was amazing. and then I just thought I had that connection, especially because my grandparents, were from China, and then I went back to Taiwan, then, got married and then moved to Shanghai and. Our plan was to stay for two, three years and then we just ended up staying here and now it's been 23 years. Yeah. Wow. This year's 23rd year.

[00:56:32] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Do you have family here in Shanghai?

[00:56:35] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. I have two kids. They're twins, boy and a girl. Uhhuh. So in the Chinese culture, having twins and especially a boy and a girl, that's so very auspicious.

So everyone's like, Ooh, you're very lucky. Because the Chinese culture is, the dragon in the phoenix. Mm-hmm. Male, female because it's a rare, occurrence to have twins who are boy and girl. And they're going to be graduating from high school next year, so. Things will change as well, I think, or things are already changing

[00:57:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: your parents don't live there, siblings? No. Well, they're, they're in another country. No.

[00:57:16] Arlyna Blanchard: No. So it's been quite hard, especially during the covid years. I would call that the covid years, especially because, it's in the news where China has got this very, strict covid policy since 2020, so I haven't gotten home and seen any family since except via, zoom.

So it's been hard. But yeah, this year we're looking forward to seeing family again.

[00:57:42] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Oh, that'll be great. Well, then, I guess art has helped keep you busy through the years of being in Shanghai and especially during pandemic shutdown.

[00:57:51] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. Especially because we had it first, right?

And no one's had that experience and we were like, not knowing, is it like the end of the world, you know, what is really going on? And we all felt that, especially, yeah. And especially when it hit China. It was like during the Chinese New Year when everyone was supposed to be gathering and being together with family.

[00:58:17] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Were you able to celebrate the new year this year with, friends in the area, or you still have some restrictions on getting together?

[00:58:26] Arlyna Blanchard: Oh no, everything's, open. But. My kids and I don't really celebrate much of the Chinese, New Year except for food, the kind of food we eat, during this time.

But we celebrate more of the Christmas season and Uhhuh, I dunno, somehow that's just how it is with a mixed culture background.

[00:58:47] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Very mixed culture background. Yeah. But still I think all celebrations are fun, personally. Love to just celebrate. But yeah, that was a theme. We incorporated a bit of that theme with the Chinese New Year into the deck of dreams that I've been working on my, my course.

Mm-hmm. Our first month, January we used. The beautiful colors of red and gold and fortune. And so I was doing a little bit of studying and research about the year of the rabbit and all that kind of fun. Goodness.

[00:59:18] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. That's the year of the water rabbit.

[00:59:21] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Water rabbit. Yeah. It's so one element, one animal.

[00:59:28] Arlyna Blanchard: I think on, on my feed on Instagram, I shared the, the Lantern festival or the Light Uhhuh Festival. Um, and they had the, the rabbit coming out of the waters and, with a whale kind of like coming out as well or doing a flip. How fun.

[00:59:48] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So tell me a little bit about your journey as an artist.

So you studied, and you went to art school, which is great. And then from Taiwan you went and studied more in China, but it looks like you've got like definitely your own path there with art journaling and mixed media. Yeah. So how did that evolve for you?

[01:00:11] Arlyna Blanchard: Well actually at university we were taught so many different kind of, using different medium and of course I found my love for watercolor then.

So, and then somehow going, being in Taiwan, it didn't really give me that much of a chance to actually sit down and, and do some art, but it was like that time, the advent of computers and using, Photoshop 1.0 for, for designing stuff. So that's how old I am.

[01:00:46] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Both same camp.

[01:00:49] Arlyna Blanchard: And then, studying Chinese painting was a whole different discipline because with the Western art or you know, your university, when you're studying paint, you're studying art and you are doing all these different medium, it's a lot of expression. And whereas you go and study Chinese painting, which to me was quite a shock because Everything has to go on step by step, like, and you cannot just express your painting until you are a master of your paint, of the art.

And you have to follow each of the, the rule and the steps. And so for me that was kind of very controlled thing, but it's still a kind of watercolor, which for me was basically what I loved to use. Mm-hmm. So a few years forward, I'm a graphic designer, so I've been mostly doing graphic design and then I've decided that I needed something else, like an outlet out of my

usual computer work. So that's how I kind of got into a bit of art journaling. So it started with, Creating little ATC and then a little bit of art journaling here. And then I think, when you have this kind of thought in your head that you want it to be perfect or it's not good enough and all that, and then I kind of stop doing anything else except for watercolor, like doing art journal for, for a couple years.

And then I kind of slowly got back into it without really. Knowing that I was back into it, it was just, starting with collage. and then for me, this studio, so the arching part is basically my outlet for, doing self-expression basically. And that was a big help during our lockdown in China, you know, when Covid started,

[01:02:46] Kellee Wynne Conrad: so, It's funny, I hear this more often. I'm actually coming to this full circle too, where art is a profession for a while and then eventually art becomes a hobby again. It's like I just need a chance to express myself without the pressure of what it will be. You know, as a finished product.

And, and I think that's really beautiful. It's like we make art our career and then somehow we find a way to make art our hobby again. Yeah. Yeah. And that's a beautiful circle, you know, finding that joy in it again that way.

[01:03:22] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. Do you enjoy the, using your hand, like apart from, using a mouse, like just touching and putting things together and even a five minute collage, I think that, that's somehow good enough as long as you're kind of busy with your hand.

[01:03:38] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Something to just like get it out, so that we're not so computers and task oriented, that it just kind of becomes, yeah, play. Play, which is our theme anyway. But you know, like it really does just become play again. And when you can finally get into that play spirit, it just changes everything.

So how would you describe that for you? How you incorporate play? Into your work, the fun, the play, the joy. Cuz our whole theme is return to play.

[01:04:07] Arlyna Blanchard: For me it's always, I always kind of look back into when my kids were growing up, when my kids were little, we'd always have a lot of art sessions together and I would see them like, putting their hands on the paint and I could see my daughter like, basically just having paint in her hand.

And that was good enough for her. And I could see how happy she was just touching, things like that. And then for some reason that just comes to me as something that is natural and, and there's no pressure and just enjoying what you're doing and the, the feel of. Paper, the feel of paint in the hand, and you know, somehow that's liberating in a way.

Or just if you're cutting up pieces of paper like, or painting flowers and then cutting them up. And for me, that's, that's fun. And it's basically anything that, I think the, the important thing is to have that mindset that, you're creating something for yourself and not, and I think. Yeah. I, I don't know.

I've been hearing that a lot in, in, podcast for yourself. Yeah.

[01:05:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I like your reference to watching how children Create, because they don't really think about the end product. They are just in that process. They're making a mess. How it feels. Yeah. How it looks like just as they're doing it and the, and just the joy of the process.

[01:05:36] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. And then, when you're in that moment of being a parent and then you see as like, why are you just making a mess? You know, you're not doing anything. You should do it like this. You have that kind of says like, this is how it's supposed to be. And then for some reason, looking back at those times, it's like, no, and in a way I was kind of jealous that she was just doing that, you know? With the pain and just making a mess,

[01:06:03] Kellee Wynne Conrad: oh, to be jealous of a child again, there's an idea. Yeah. So I'm like leaning in on this feeling like, I get it. Like thinking about how a child plays and to, to not have the worries. Yeah. Yeah. Well, because they're not worried about what other people are gonna think.

What are your favorite materials that you like to work with now that just kind of helps you feel that freedom and that playfulness?

[01:06:29] Arlyna Blanchard: For me it's anything really. I don't really have anything favorite, but once in a while when I'm do doing a process video, if I'm, sharing something on Instagram or sharing something that you would see, there's paint in my hand. It's only because, whatever I was doing, just like to have stuff in my hand. So depending really on what I could. Put on the surface or like scroll or, or whatever.

But I think watercolor's definitely a big thing. And, anything really that, that I can play with. So, This probably not the right answer

[01:07:06] Kellee Wynne Conrad: No, that's great because it's like, makes sense. You're drawn to all the stuff and how they, they mix together then, like Yeah. You use them in very unique ways, I can say that.

Is there, are there any tips of incorporating watercolor in the mixed media or do you keep them separate?

[01:07:24] Arlyna Blanchard: I don't really use it as much on the page itself, but I usually like to create little bits and pieces that are ephemera, if you call it that. Mm-hmm. And then cut them up and then add that as a, as a top layer on some of my pieces.

And then, but usually I would, I like to use the distress, crayons, because I could water them down or, you know, just. Rub something on top and just let the water slide or whatever. But yeah,

[01:07:55] Kellee Wynne Conrad: the Distress Crayons aren't they from Ranger Tim Holtz?

[01:07:59] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Those, okay. Or the neo colors?

The neo colors, I think my favorite. Yeah.

[01:08:06] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, I have those two. Cause are you able to get a lot of those supplies or do you have maybe some unusual supplies that you get? Access to there in Shanghai.

[01:08:19] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah, you could get them, but of course, because the import duties for China is quite high.

Mm-hmm. So they cost a lot more. But there are quite a lot of very local brands. . If I remember right before there was, the distress crayons, my kids were playing with something similar already with a local brand. And they were very, intense pigments. And, and we used to play with them a lot because, they're also easy to clean according to the manufacturer's, instruction because they're for kids.

So I constantly. Look for, interesting materials that they have on the Chinese web, local website, an online shopping site. Yeah. Because even if they're local brand, they, um, they're quite good actually. Yeah,

[01:09:12] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I would imagine There's gotta be all kinds of really amazing products that I don't have access to on a regular basis.

Yeah. Plus the inspiration. Now it's your home, so it's all the same old, same old to you. But for me, I would, I mean, and that should be our goal anywhere we go, is to open our eyes with, with that kind of like sense of wonder. But there definitely has to be a lot of interesting places and spaces to inspire your artwork.

[01:09:39] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. Unfortunately we don't have as many, physical art supply stores, a lot of it now have moved online. Yeah. But the interesting thing with, with China, or at least Shanghai, is that a lot of places are kind of like similar places are kind of packed or within that same kind of, Area in the city.

So for example, the art supply stores are like, you go to this one area, okay. And there's all the different art supply stores, like one after the other, you know, so if you wanna go buy hardware, there's like an area specific to hardware, material hardware, you know, so, so it's kind of easy to go there

[01:10:21] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's your favorite section to go to then, right? I would love, yeah. That's probably where I'd wanna be all the time too. In the art supplies I saw on your feed. I, I was just enthralled and I looked as closely and in detail as I could. You were just in an art exhibit with other people from your city? Yes.

[01:10:40] Arlyna Blanchard: Yeah. Yeah. It's an urban sketching group, so, I was actually talking to some of the people who's been part of the group and, we were just saying that I've been with the group for over, six years now, I think, or actually maybe more. So it just started as a hobby by a person who wanted to sketch, every Saturday.

So it's been a regular thing that we've been sketching. And the theme for this time, for this year's exhibit was how immortalized, I'm not sure if that's the right word, immortalized those old Shanghai, urban landscapes that are. Slowly disappeared because of the urbanization and, you know, modernization of, of the city.

Ok. And so, yeah, so the historical sites. Yeah.

[01:11:32] Kellee Wynne Conrad: To definitely put a focus, shine a light on that. That's really good. Wonder. I was very attracted to the work that I saw, what I could see from the photos that you shared of the work on the walls and the group of you all together, and I'm like, how fun is that?

I kind of miss. That community aspect, and maybe it's time for me to spend a little search a little more for my in-person friends. I think urban Sketchings kind of popular throughout the world now. It's become really Yeah. A great outlet.

[01:12:02] Arlyna Blanchard: So, yeah. Yeah. I mean, the one thing with, with the group is that it meets on every Saturday morning.

So it's like a regular thing. Mm-hmm. And the thing is, like I've been, going to places that I would probably not, Even think of going so in a way it's kind of opened a lot of new possibilities or, just, showed a lot of Shanghai that I've never seen or not would not think of going or, or seen.

Yeah. You know, so, I think that's the, the extra part. Unfortunately, , it used to have a lot of experts. Joining the group, a lot of, designers are a lot of architects actually, and there's even some people who are not artists who are part of the group. They just come and just be with people and start sketching and, you know, with no art background and, and it's quite a diverse group.

[01:12:58] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I'm gonna just ask, it's a question I love to ask everyone who's on my podcast, and we'll probably put this on the podcast as well as playing it for the Virtual Arts Summit. But what is your big, audacious dream if you were to just like look into the future and there's something amazing that you'd like to accomplish, have do with your art, with your life, with your family? What's your big, audacious dream?

[01:13:26] Arlyna Blanchard: To be able to retire and just paint and create art. That's a beautiful dream. It's probably not as, how do you say that? As unique but for me, that is probably it, especially, with kids going off to college soon and I'm thinking, Hmm, now I have more time to, to do art or.

You know, does that mean I can leave Shanghai and go maybe home to the Philippines or somewhere and you know? Mm-hmm. Just paint? I don't know. I mean, just for me right now, it's like that's starting to be closer and closer. Like that's really beautiful

[01:14:08] Kellee Wynne Conrad: more time to play, right? Yeah. Yeah. Wonderful. Thank you Arlene, so much for joining us. Remember everyone who's listening and will give all the details to find her at AB Shanghai

so that you can follow Arlene and, thank you. Join us in the Virtual Arts summit so that you can see her.

[01:14:27] Arlyna Blanchard: Beautiful. Yeah. And listen. Yeah. Thank you so much

thank you so much.

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