[00:00:00] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello all my dear friends and artists and supporters out there. This is Kellee Wynne and you're listening to The Made Remarkable Podcast. And we are well underway for the Virtual Art Summit. Have you heard, have you heard? That is my question. Every year I put on the Virtual Art Summit. This is the fourth year and what's really fun is this year I've.

Pre-interviewed all the guests so that you could hear their points of view about creativity and making art, and especially our theme return to play. I think we all need a little play in our lives. You know, the world's been a crazy place, and I know you've been very busy and maybe a little worried and.

Oh man. Putting your head in the sand. That's what I've been doing. Yes, but we turn to art as our solace. We turn to art as our comfort and our joy, and when we forget about how much happiness it brings us, how much play it means in our life, then we've kind of lost the whole purpose of why we're doing it in the first place.

Isn't that true? When we were kids, we just played with paper and paint and bits and pieces until at some point we got it in our head that it had to be perfect. And I don't know how that happened. We started comparing ourselves to other people. We started trying to produce finished products. I don't know.

None of that makes sense to me as to the purpose of creativity. Yes, of course. As artists, especially professional artists, we're looking for a finished product that maybe we can sell or we can show. But the whole reason we do it. So that we can play, so we can express ourselves, so we can feel the joy of making.

And so I wanted to bring that feeling back to you with the Virtual Art Summit this year. And the artists that I pick are so outstanding, like amazing artists, super talented, and they're gonna really help you dive into mixed media, which I think is the most playful medium of all. That's my personal opinion.

Maybe because. Everything goes with mixed media. Everything goes, whether you're playing and paint with your fingers, or you're cutting and gluing, making your marks spray, painting, sketching, Gelli plating, stencils and collage, and bits and pieces, and all the collected stuff along the way. That's just how it goes with mixed media, when you let yourself get carried away.

It's not long before you realize you're beginning to play. So if you haven't signed up yet, I'm gonna encourage you to do so now because the only way you're gonna get the early bird price is if you sign up before June 2nd. We've only got a couple weeks to go till the doors open and you get to learn from all of these artists.

So get your ticket. Now. Of course, if. You find that it's not in your budget. We still have a free option, but I really encourage you to support the project, support the artists that are here and support the scholarships that I create every year to. give more back to the community. So when you purchase, not only are you supporting, but you get to keep it indefinitely.

For as long as Kellee Wynne Studios and my art school online exists, you'll be able to enjoy these lessons over and over again. And, with 16 artists giving you high quality lessons for less than a hundred dollars, Can't beat that price anyhow, so just go to virtualartsummit.com/go get your tickets, secure them.

Come back here and listen to the artist. You can go back a couple of weeks now. I've been interviewing all of them and putting it here on the podcast. And in just a very short amount of time, we are gonna be featuring them daily and you're gonna get to soak it in and enjoy all of the amazing lessons that they've been bringing to you.

Okay, so today on our agenda, the very well known and loved Rebecca Chapman, she's mixed media's darling of collage and photographs. That's the thing that really drew me to her. She has this way of taking photos to use it as imagery and inspiration and putting it in her work. Plus, I just love her color palette.

You know her work when you see her work when it comes through your feed. Rebecca Chapman is from the uk and she started uh, career in art education, but, you know, she's a mom. She's raising her kids and needed an outlet. So she turned back to mixed media art sketchbooks and journals whenever she could.

And as you can see now, it's blossomed into something. Really remarkable. She's always working on that bright, joyful, colorful nature influenced work, and I know you're gonna enjoy having listened to her point of view on why she uses the photographs in her work and how she explores that. And then for the second time on the podcast, we have Kelly Herrick, which Kelly is one of my favorite people on this planet.

I've gotten to know her over the last year and a half as a coaching client of mine, but also as a amazing. Artist and human beings. Every time I listen to her, I just light up with this like overflowing of emotion because she just has a way of connecting us to spirit and nature, and she brings magic back.

Like I think the whole idea of play just embodies her being, she's incredibly intelligent and insightful and super fun to talk to. I have no doubt you're gonna. Love her lesson and this interview with her. And finally, Laura Dame, who goes by Laura Mixed-Media on Instagram, which is so appropriate because she is all about.

The mixed media. She's from Texas, and of course like many of us, she started experimenting in art journals and dabbling in abstracting collage. And next thing you know, there's just this explosion of mixed media coming from her and. I do love that her philosophy is that there's no rules when it comes to making art.

And in some ways that's true. I think more we do it. The more we're just gonna discover what works. So her main goal when she, began sharing her art was to just show people that you don't have to be classified as an artist to pick up a paintbrush, and your artwork doesn't even have to be perfect or good.

It's just the act of creating that matters. You're gonna be inspired by Laura and you're gonna love her lesson. She's got that gorgeous mix of bold, bright colors and black marks in her mark making that just pops right off the page every time you see it. So, . I am just so thrilled to be able to bring you these talented artists, bring you the Virtual Arts Summit every year and have your support.

It means the world to me. So if you would go get yourself a ticket and then share it with a friend, it's more fun when we do it together, cuz this time is gonna go by so quick. Before you know it, virtual art season is gonna be over. So now without. Any further ado on with a podcast.

welcome, Rebecca. I am so excited to have you here today so that we can just have a nice little fun chat about the Virtual Art Summit, about your artwork, and about what play means to you. How are you doing?

[00:07:26] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah, I'm good. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It's great to be here today.

[00:07:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So you're coming in from the UK, where are you located?

[00:07:35] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah, so I'm near Brighton, which is down on the south coast of the uk. So not too far from the coast.

[00:07:41] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Nice. That's great. And the weather, is it turning spring for you yet?

[00:07:47] Rebecca Chapman: I wish it was. It's great and windy and rainy at the moment. The daffodils are out, the blossoms out, but it's still really cold.

[00:07:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Ready for the warmer, warmer months and we're beach. So I just wanted to say thank you so much for doing the virtual art summit. You have been really busy and showing up in, in every place imaginable for the last couple of years, and I just love it.

Every time I see your work and you have such a different take on collage and mixed media, it's like, oh, I just wanna learn from you. And so actually, Felt right for me to ask you to be in the Virtual Arts Summit because I wanna learn your process and how you make art. Like, it's just gorgeous.

[00:08:27] Rebecca Chapman: Oh, well thank you so much for having me. It's a real pleasure to be invited, but yeah, it's been a busy couple of years.

[00:08:32] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. You've had a lot of great opportunity once your eye got caught and everybody else was like, Ooh, I wanna learn from you as well. You have Like a different way of doing things by using photographs and that your colors and your layers are just really gorgeous.

Where do you think that style came from? Like how did it evolve? That's my first curious question. Then we can go into how the whole art career evolved. But I'm curious about this specific style that you have.

[00:08:59] Rebecca Chapman: I don't know really, really. I mean, I taught before I kind of got into the online teaching.

I taught in secondary schools, and I was. Media and art textiles sort of stuff and photography. So I learned a lot from teaching in that environment I think. Photography's kind of always been something that I've been interesting and that I've done a lot of, and it's been the last couple of years that I've tried to kind of incorporate that a lot more into what I've been doing.

Just seems like a natural kind of way for it to go. But I think maybe cuz I've not come into a mixed media in kind of the traditional way maybe that's why it looks different.

[00:09:32] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's great though. That means that you really have your own point of view. But I love the idea of using photography because I'm taking pictures all the time, but I've never really figured out how to use my own imagery in my artwork.

And so that's like a great. Point of view that you're teaching and that you're bringing and incorporating a different element. I even over the last year have made it, and I haven't even taken it cuz I was in the, collage maker summit with you and now you're in the virtual art summit and I get to learn from you.

But this is kind of funny, I've been taking pictures specifically looking for that contrast and that interest. It's just based off of my inspiration from you. I have in my collage or in my artwork at all. But it's just really fun, like, especially if I'm like out in nature, especially in the winter when everything's dry, nice c contrast, and I just, I wanna see.

So I'm really excited to dive in and kind of learn that. How do you feel about, I'm assuming you're just so generously giving these ideas in your lessons. People are bound to start picking up the Rebecca Chapman's style and using photography in their work. You bless and release that idea to others.

[00:10:45] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah, I mean, I think it's part of art, isn't it? That artists throughout time have always been inspired by other people, and that's gonna happen whether you're sharing on Instagram or you are in a gallery somewhere, people are gonna look at your work and you know, want to try it.

And especially if you're teaching it as well. I mean the techniques that I'm doing, probably, they're not new and groundbreaking. They've been done before. Other people have have done them and other people keep doing them. Influenced by me as well if they see my work. But I think, I really enjoy just the sharing and the teaching of it.

So, yeah, it's strange sometimes when you do see things and you think, oh, that, yeah, that looks familiar. But yeah, I enjoy that. And I think also my style is gonna keep evolving as well. It's not gonna stay the same. I might not always use photography in my work. And I think that's important to keep changing as well.

I'm sure I will do so, yeah. It's not something that I'll, do forever, but, hopefully I can keep learning as well as I'm doing it.

[00:11:35] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. That's kind of my philosophy too as a teacher. I'm putting it out into the world, so the more the merrier, you know? Yeah. and I agree with you, there's always new iterations of ideas.

They're just circled amongst us. Yes. So I would love to go back a little bit in time. You were a teacher for secondary school? Yes. Tell me about your transition and like how art became part of your life and then when you started teaching it online.

[00:12:02] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah. Well, I didn't actually do art, for my degree.

I did history of art at university. Oh. I was quite sort of academic and even though I loved art and did level art and everything, at that time I didn't really think that I could ever make a living as an artist. And had that sort of mentality at that time. And so I did history of art thinking that that could get me a proper job. Not sure whether it did. I worked, in galleries for a bit after I graduated and then realized that I wanted to do more sort of the teaching side of it. So I actually went and taught English as a foreign language in Spain for a year, first. And then came back and did my training as an art teacher.

So that's kind of how I got into it. And then when I had my first son started a family, I decided not to go back into teaching and to stay at home with the boys whilst they've been young. So they're now seven and four, just so kind of getting out of those early, early years, you know?

Yeah. You don't have much time. Um, but I carried on my art after I stopped teaching, but on the. Just whenever I could just try to do a little bit here and there. And that's how I kind of got into showing on Instagram. Because I just felt like I needed some way of recording what I was doing really.

It wasn't with an intention to teach or anything, it was just, this is what I'm doing during that time when I can grab 10 minutes. Yeah. I used to set a timer for sort of 15 minutes, and once I'd, got him to sleep, then I'd be there just with. Paint pens and collage papers and just make something, anything didn't matter what it was.

But I think posting it on Instagram kind of made me do it. It kind of made it into a routine that I was gonna post it every day and I wasn't expecting anybody to look at it or comment. But once that community started building, then it really sort of motivated me to keep doing it. And it's just kind of grown from there really.

[00:13:45] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's the beauty of Instagram. Yes, it does kind of. In some ways that trap, I've gotta post something every day. Yeah. And there are many artists who are like kind of tired of that, but I can't ever. Chastise Instagram in the sense that it's built us this beautiful community.

Community. Yeah. Yeah. Like really the most amazing people. I wouldn't have ever known about you if it wasn't for it. There's still so many things that are beautiful about having Instagram in our lives, and I have to remind myself of that and take a break if I need to, but I love that. It held you accountable and that you made time for it when the kids were napping or now they're old enough that they're probably all in school. Right.

[00:14:26] Rebecca Chapman: In September they both be in school. Yeah. So a bit more time.

[00:14:29] Kellee Wynne Conrad: A little bit more time. Yes. That's beautiful. But then you were proposed with the, challenge of teaching online not so long ago.

[00:14:38] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah, so Tiffany and, and Wendy got in touch cuz I did the hundred day project, which was a hundred days of using collage fodder. And so I'd been sharing, things that I've been doing for that and they contacted me and said, well, I do a little video for the fodder challenge. And so we did that and then that turned into fodder school and so I taught in the first one and I'm part of it for the second one as well.

So yeah, that's been great in kind of again, just building that community as well and keeping it going. Yeah.

[00:15:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's exciting. Do you see yourself continuing into the future, creating more art courses or collaborations?

[00:15:12] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah, definitely. I'm working on trying to find time to work on my own course, which I'm hoping is gonna be out once the little guys in school in September.

That's the time. So yeah. Lots of things in the pipeline for then.

[00:15:24] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's awesome. I love it when, Sometimes we don't set out with a destination in mind of where we're gonna go with something and it just unveils itself. Like who would've ever thought, especially like, well, you are younger than me, but like, My early years of making art, it's the only option. Were galleries, or teaching in a college. And now here we look at this opportunity that the Internet's brought us and the worldwide community of artists. It's like how exciting is that?

[00:15:54] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah, I think when I was kind of studying and doing my A levels, I didn't have a clue of what an artist did, I think, Instagram and this whole community's kind of opened up, so you do have more of an idea of what an artist does day to day and what is involved in that career.

Whereas before it was all a bit of a mystery. It was a bit of a secret, and it was just that sort of perception that, well, unless you are, absolutely amazing, you're never gonna get into a gallery and you're never gonna make any money about you're gonna be a starving artist. That was the thing, isn't it?

[00:16:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Which is. still a challenge now, and I think, oh, yeah, most in general are going to perpetuate that, a, proper artist. And I put that in big quotes proper artists sells and galleries. But we now know that there are so many avenues and I can hear where you're coming from in the sense that you decided to do.

Art history, which to me is extraordinarily fascinating. I studied art history in college, but I didn't finish the degree. And I've had the opportunity. And you live in Europe too, so I've had an opportunity to travel around Europe and see so much art. So I can see that idea of, well, I'll just do something that will.

Give me more assured future in the industry and many do end up teaching in in school, but I love that there are so many new ways that we can create a future for ourselves as artists it's really kind of opened up since. Those first days of, like you said, you worked in a gallery. I've worked in a gallery too, and you see how hard it is and that even if you're to sell a lot, you're not gonna make a lot of money.

Yeah. Unless you're like a New York or Paris or London artist, you know? It just shifts that view a lot. So our theme of Virtual Art Summit this year is Return to Play. And the reason that I picked that, As a theme is because we've been through so much over the last couple of years, and this is my fourth year doing the virtual arts summit.

And I really felt like at the end of doing the summit last year, which was to encourage people to find their voice, which is an important part of it, that I may have missed. The underlying need of what we do with art. Why we're creating is such a big outlet, a big part of, self nourishment and expression.

And I just knew that like my whole theme moving forward needed to be about play, about enjoyment, about exploration. And so it's been really fun with the Virtual Art Summit this year that that gives a lot of freedom of expression for all of the artists. And I just wanna hear your take on that, like how do you incorporate play?

What are some of your favorite techniques to do besides photography and other things that you feel like really can encourage the creative who's listening right now to play?

[00:18:36] Rebecca Chapman: I think for me, like my work at the moment is literally all about play because I don't feel much pressure with it.

I'm not creating art for a big collection or an exhibition or to even try and sell it. When I first started making, after I'd finished teaching, I was kind of hung up on the idea of. I've got to make something and I've got to be able to sell it. And so I ended up going down this road of making things that, I thought would sell, but not even artwork.

I was doing almost like textile, more crafty type things because I was busy, you know, when I went to art and craft fairs, that was the type of thing that was there. And then it's only when I kind of let that go and thought, no, I'm not gonna try and sell anything. I'm just gonna play and I'm just gonna explore what I want to do.

That's when I've really started enjoying it. I think that's a good mindset to have to just think, It's just paint, it's just paper. What can go wrong and I think sometimes you hold yourself back thinking that, what you're gonna create has to be some sort of masterpiece.

But if you kinda switch that around, that you just play it then takes the pressure off. And so often I'll just. I'm a big fan of a timer, so if I'm feeling stuck, I'll set the timer, I think. Right. I'll just play for 15 minutes and most of the time I'll end going over 15 minutes because that thing of once you get started, you can't stop them.

Right? Yeah, I do try and limit. I mean, I work in a really small space. This is kind of a corner of our bedroom. So it's a small space, so I don't have the problem of having lots and lots of materials out. That can make it hard to play if you've got lots of stuff. It's kinda like with kids, isn't it?

When they've got lots of toys out, they find it hard to play, but if they've got just one to in front of them, they'll play with that toy. Yeah. And the same, that's the same with art materials. If you've got too much stuff out, it's hard. But if you just limit yourself to it, I dunno, one crayon or, a really limited color palette, something like that, then it just gives you a lot more, space to play, I suppose.

[00:20:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, the, the limited supplies actually opens up to more creativity. I find. We have less time having to make decisions. And sometimes what I'll do is just like what was left on my desk from the last mess I made, just use that. Like, I'm only gonna use what was left here. And I've made some really weird and interesting things because of that.

Like something that was like, I would've never have created otherwise, you know? Yeah. Yeah. And that's where that experimentation comes in. What kind of supplies are your favorite right now, other than paper and photography?

[00:21:06] Rebecca Chapman: I'm a big fan of the Posca Pen. Nice. The big, chunky ones are my favorite at the moment.

I used to use those a lot in the beginning when I was kind of making my art in nap time. 15 minutes was not enough time to kind of set up the whole palette of paint. So I would have paint pens and just use those, just for that instant color. And, you can just get started straight away. So I still use those, quite a lot.

I like the Stabilo Chunky, the Woodies, they're brilliant. And the stabilo all pencils I absolutely love those in black and blue. They're favorite.

[00:21:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. I love those. They're all of our favorite supplies too. Do you use, like, found materials in your work?

[00:21:48] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah, I do. I use a lot of sort of strange. What was I using earlier? Yeah, so I've got my palette from last night, so I've got like a curtain ring. Which is, you know, like Uhhuh, it's, it's really great for stamping a circle. That's what I was doing. Oh, and then that's a peg as well. So a peg is really good for art making. It's like a wooden peg, dipped in paint and makes really interesting Mark.

So yeah, as most artists are a bit of a magpie for finding these things. To make marks with.

[00:22:17] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I like that term a mag pie. Yes, for sure. My studio has definitely gotten more abundant of supplies and, and hoarding little treasures and whatnot. I'm kind of obsessed right now with doilies for some reason.

Oh, oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. So that's a fun, for me, a playful part of the process is finding something. Out of the ordinary that others maybe haven't really been using it, you don't see as often like scavenging around in the, in the shed or in the kitchen for like a shower ring for a circle. That's a great idea.

[00:22:53] Rebecca Chapman: I'm definitely like that with paper as well. Any paper that's going, I'm like, oh, I can use that. Do I? Don't throw that away.

[00:22:59] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Exactly. Magazines and junk mail and wrapping and whatever. Packaging, like packaging. What kinda fun way to use it? What photography do you usually find makes the best? Photography for using in your collage work?

[00:23:18] Rebecca Chapman: Usually things, well, I'm really inspired by nature, so usually that's where the starting point comes from me. Silhouettes are really good. So anything with a high contrast? One of the main things I do is turning the image into black and white.

So when I'm taking, I don't necessarily go out looking for things, but I've just kind of, I seem to, be drawn to finding those sorts of things. So where it's a silhouette against maybe a tree against a white sky. Cloudy days are good. So you don't really want a blue sky. You want a white, cloudy day and flowers sort of silhouette against that.

They're my favorites.

[00:23:51] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Okay. And do you print them on just regular paper or you don't do photography paper? ,

[00:23:57] Rebecca Chapman: no, not at the moment. Yeah, generally just on a. color laser printer and then just print onto that onto normal copy paper.

[00:24:05] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I'm fascinated too by using, buildings and other structures, so we'll see how that all kind of shows up in a playful way.

Yes. The Virtual Arts summit, I'm really looking forward to being able to dive into everybody's. Project.

[00:24:20] Rebecca Chapman: Mine's um, it has some photography in, but more about using photographs as inspiration. I think we're all guilty of often taking photos and then completely forgetting about them that we've taken them. So I'm in the process of, I'm doing a hundred day project at the moment as well, and trying to go back and use lots of old photographs that I've taken and trying to take inspiration from them, which is, has been really good. I'm enjoying that.

[00:24:45] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So everyone, as you're listening to this, get your cameras ready. Just your smartphone, right? That's enough. Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Pictures and get ready for a really fun project. All right. I love to ask. Every time I do an interview, I love to ask this question, and I want, I want you to like, no holds barr no rules.

Money isn't an issue, time isn't an issue. What is your big, audacious dream? If anything could happen in the future for you, what would you love?

[00:25:15] Rebecca Chapman: I think it would have to include some sort of travel, I think probably. And probably have some time where I'm, traveling the world, but sharing my artwork at the same time somehow.

Maybe with some, nice country house with a big studio that I run retreats and things like that. That's, yeah. Somewhere warm. That's

[00:25:36] Kellee Wynne Conrad: somewhere warm. Yeah. Back to Spain.

[00:25:40] Rebecca Chapman: Yeah. Yeah, that would be nice.

[00:25:43] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That would be lovely. I would sign up for a retreat with you in a heartbeat yeah. Yeah. So any last advice for our listeners then on, loosening up and returning to play?

[00:25:57] Rebecca Chapman: I think using the timer is definitely a good one to do, I think. Don't put it off. Just start and just play and one thing I do is, have lots of different pieces of paper out or have different sketchbooks and don't be worried about confining yourself to one thing, work across a few at the same time.

[00:26:15] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Multiple projects at once. So yeah, hear Mark there and

[00:26:20] Rebecca Chapman: yeah, I find that's really good as well. If you do work from a small space like I do, then I kind, I mean it's a blessing, and a curse, but then I end up. Spreading out across the whole house with different sketchbooks in different places and materials in different places.

But it's good. So you can do it when you, when you can grab five, 10 minutes and you can just fit it into your day.

[00:26:38] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Oh, there you go. So make sure you've left. Like what I do lately is just leave my posca markers and some paper on the counter next to the kitchen. So yeah, exactly. In between the water boiling and whatever.

[00:26:51] Rebecca Chapman: It's amazing what you can do in just 10 minutes.

[00:26:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Amazing. What you can do in 10 minutes, and then like you said, you get lost and you don't wanna quit. Oh, thank you so much, Rebecca. This was a really fun chat and I love your work and I love just being able to hang out with you. So thank you so much.

[00:27:08] Rebecca Chapman: Thank you very much for having me. It's been really fun.

[00:27:11] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yay. Talk to you later. Bye.

[00:27:13] Rebecca Chapman: Bye.


[00:27:15] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello. Hello, Kelly. I am so happy to have you on the Virtual Art Summit and the podcast for a second time.

See special lucky for all of us.

[00:27:27] Kelly Herrick: I know we're like, Kelly's the max. It's like Kelly's taking over the world. Yeah, it's fun.

[00:27:32] Kellee Wynne Conrad: We should definitely Kelly conversations all the time. Because you're one of my favorite people to talk to. For a lot of reasons, but also because we're very kindred in our, dreams and our desires and how we connect with the world and the magic and the art, and just the way you talk about things just always leaves me feeling so good. So I always love talking to you.

[00:27:56] Kelly Herrick: Oh, thank you. You know, when something really lights you up and it feels like your mission, your purpose, your passion say, how can you not talk about that to people? And I kind of get it when people get quite religious because it's kind of like that, but in a slightly different way.

Like through my art. I think so, yeah. It's unavoidable. It's gonna happen. I'm gonna talk to you about it.

[00:28:18] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Creative living becomes the religion. I like that. That's fine with me. That's about the one that I can resonate with the most, which is why we connect. So thank you so much for joining the Virtual Arts Summit this year, and I love having you in it because you really do tap into that play and the whole theme of returning to play, I think your whole life has been a journey of that.

[00:28:40] Kelly Herrick: Oh my gosh. Yeah, I think if my friends and family describe me, like fun or playful or mischievous would definitely be like in the top three words. And I dunno about anybody else listening or watching, but I just don't feel like I've ever really grown up. And I refuse to. So take it how you want, but we should have to grow up, so there you go.

[00:29:01] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, you were on the podcast before and so you gave a little bit of your backstory then, and I wouldn't mind just refreshing a little bit, especially want to tap into what it was like being raised in the fair. With the traveling family and, we talked about, like how that's influenced your work in the past, but I'd love to like just hear some of those playful stories, like some memories.

[00:29:28] Kelly Herrick: So I suppose to me it was not serious cause I was a kid, but like, it is serious because it's your life.

But being from the fairground family and being. Itinerant for a better word, or a traveling community or whatever, teaches you to be really irreverent and rebellious and a lot of things are very temporary, so you kind of just go for it and you do what's in the moment. And some days you've taken quite a bit of money and you'll have steak for tea.

And other days you don't have anything. So I think it teaches you how to hold things perhaps a little bit more lightly and just kind of be in the moment, which I think are all really important ingredients for being playful and letting go of all that perfectionism and all that heavy stuff.

So, I was thinking about this actually yesterday about where did we play when we were kids and we lived in a great big coach built wagon, like about 40 feet long. Dunno what that is in meters for people. And my parents had a bedroom at one end and we had a bedroom. Me and my two sisters had a bedroom at the other end.

Then there was kitchen and living space in between. And it was like if you lay down on the floor, Like one body shape was like the floor space. So I can't really remember, apart from having a Cindy house in the lounge, I don't really remember having indoor toys at all. I just remember being outside to play all the time because yeah, there just wasn't the room or the space in the wagon.

So now I play in nature all the time. That is like my ideal playground and I'm thinking, ah, now I get it. Because that's where I used to be out on my bmx. You know, we're talking late seventies, early eighties. So I was out in my bmx, I was at my roller skates or just out kind. Like dig in with sticks and looking for dead birds to bury and just stuff like that.

[00:31:16] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That was my childhood too, and I didn't even have the fun of being in the fair, but like we spent a lot of time outdoors just like I. Figuring things out. Digging with sticks. Yeah. Would've ever thought, you know,

[00:31:28] Kelly Herrick: I know why don't we dig with sticks anymore? But I think what other people thought was really playful about the fairground, about like the fun house and the dodgems and stuff like that was so every day to us that it wasn't fun and playful.

It kind of is. But it was like we looked to other things to like going on little adventures and those times where you didn't. Have to be working or doing things. Cause even as a kid, everybody pitches in. So they were like, those moments out on your bike or something. And then when we did interact with our own things, like we had a ghost train and I remember my dad on a number of occasions when we weren't open with the fair equipment, he would, take the carriages off.

And turn it into like an indoor party venue. And we had birthday parties in there and the Dodge Gym track was just ideal at night or at when we weren't open to push the cars to one side and we would all go on and roller skate on it. Cause it's like the perfect place to roller skate. Oh. So we kind of talk quite, you guys all thought was fun, but we like twisted it and made it our own and like made it a bit alternative for us.

So it wasn't like the every day, you know? So yeah, playful and individual.

[00:32:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Did you get to interact with the other, fair performers or whatever?

[00:32:44] Kelly Herrick: Yeah. Yeah. So there aren't really many performers on the fair. It's more like, rides and equipment things like in the, in the uk Yeah, I know in America it's a bit more mixed, but in the UK circus is quite separate, so yeah, we would, it's interesting because different families come together on different fairs.

So like, my best friends, we would see each other at Fair X and Y, but we wouldn't see each other at Fair Z cuz they'd go off to a separate fair and we'd go to this one. So, Those moments of celebration as well. When you came together with your friends, like you knew that there were certain fairs that were just the best ever because your mates were gonna be there.

Like your best mates. You have friends everywhere. So I think you really learn to like, celebrate, play and make it your own and find those moments of presence. And I definitely feel like that is something that's kind of followed me all the way through into adulthood now.

[00:33:36] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Seeing as how a lot of your time was spent outside, when did art start becoming a bigger part of your life?

[00:33:44] Kelly Herrick: Well, early, early. I do remember painting equipment with my dad. And he would sign right and paint, the characters and things on the stalls and the different things. And I remember very clearly doing that from like teeny, teeny age. And then, as I've told you before, I was raised on the fair and then I went to Hogwarts, which is pretty much, the mini version of my life story.

And when I was eight, I went to boarding school and there I was kind of exposed to a normal. In, you know, speech marks and normal education. And I guess that's where I started to play more like you guys would in, early school settings. I hadn't had so much of that before. So yeah, I just followed that the same as anyone would through their school years really.

And weirdly I held this story that, my best friend was great at art to, like, when we were 16, 17, she was going off to art college and stuff. And I was really interested in drama at the time, and I used to tell myself, and I only realized a few years ago how long I'd carried this weird creative story block in my mind was that she was the art one.

So I couldn't possibly be the art one, and I therefore was the drama one because that was free and available. So I would take that, so she'd take and it was very, very strange. And I also remember, Doing, an exam project all about fairgrounds script and writing and stuff for my teacher not being very, let's say not being very supportive about it.

So I think those things kind of pushed me away from it in my early adult life. And then the midlife comes, doesn't it? And you go, what the hell am I doing in this big corporate job or this big position, or whatever it is? And as I turned 40, I was like, no, gotta change all this. You know, I haven't really grown up.

What am I doing? This is also heavy and so difficult. Why am I doing this to myself? Life doesn't have to be like this. And I started to go back to art classes and then to paint properly and go out on art, art holidays. I volunteered and went into, a international photography festival as an invi. I went, and acted in a Shakespeare play.

I did all these really creative things, but it was the painting that absolutely hooked me. Mm-hmm. You know, like, and has not let it go.

[00:36:08] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's. Cool to hear that story because I can see the connection with your passion for helping other women at this age and having been in corporate motherhood and whatever else that we get bogged down by.

And that process of you trying so many different things to come back to living a creative life now, it's like, okay, I can see how that all connects together in such a beautiful way. And I love the way your artwork is so playful. And touches on nature in a regular, literal sense because you like to go out and adventure, find the symbolism, find the nature, find the connection of, of body, mind, spirit, and nature into the artwork.

And, and that's why the work speaks to me and the lessons you teach speak to me in that same way. Like there's really something soul connecting about it.

[00:37:05] Kelly Herrick: Yeah, it feels like, I'm gonna say Rob Hopkins might be Bob Hopkins, but there's a book called Spiritual Ecology and it's a collection of essays about Universal connection, animism sort of spiritual connection to Mother Earth and the planet and the universe.

And it's got all sorts of wonderful essays from different people. And in one of the essays it says something along the lines of, what's the biggest conversation you could have with the universe? And I was like,

Oh, oh. It was like, it really like entranced me. It hit me, it got me, it was emotional. And then I just thought I'm not really wanting to do pet portraits or portraits or urban sketching.

The biggest conversation I can have with the universe for me is through my creativity. If nature is creation, I'm part of nature. Therefore, I am creation. So how can I tap into that green spirit and kind of let it flow through me? And I've heard a lot of artists talk about this, like I didn't paint it, something painted through me.

Mm-hmm. And I'm not saying I channel anything, but it's just, this universal nature connected spirit and abundance of creativity in nature is us and. When I'm out adventuring, I'm walking, I'm hiking, I have a kayak. I paint in my kayak even though it's quite wobbly. Doing all these things just brings me into a really grounded, connected place.

This conversation with the universe. But it's fun and it's inspiring and it's uplifting and it's free. And I can breathe and there's room and it's very, Presence making as well. So yeah, that's why I love it. I don't find it serious and heavy and difficult to be out in nature. It's not an extreme sport for me.

It's like a, the best lounge or front room or sort of extra room on your house that you could possibly have. It's like, you know Narnia. You open the door in Narnia and it's, wow,

[00:39:15] Kellee Wynne Conrad: you're making us so magical. Which is why I think that you keep tapping into that element of magic that we quickly lose from our childhood. And that is really where the play comes in, opening our eyes and seeing the magic that's still there in front of us. And again, I'll bring back your Sky before screen, sorry. Yes. But I was like, sky before you sit and look at that little dumb dopey thing all day long.

Cuz that's what I do sometimes. But it's the idea of reconnecting with that abundance of nature it is, it's plentiful. We forget how plentiful it still is, even though it feels like we're quickly killing it all off, which is part of your reframe. let's still look at how we can connect with nature now and appreciate it and be present with it and nurture it and, and allow, allow it to nurture us.

[00:40:08] Kelly Herrick: Yeah. Infinitely magical and infinitely generous and. If you can't play in a magical, generous, ever-changing, beautiful, inspiring place, then I'm not sure where you're going to be able to play. It's kind of like the ultimate playground, and I do understand that everybody is an outdoorsy person because there's flies and sand and rain and wind and all those things, but I can bet you that everybody's a nature person in some way.

Even people who love to sit indoors. Appreciate a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on their birthday or get the Christmas tree at Christmas, or, love homemade, fruit and veg, or eat amazing salads. There's even just the idea of turning your tap on and seeing water flow and laying in a bath full of water or a shower.

You don't have to be fully outside in hiking boots to appreciate. Nature, everybody's got a sky. That's why I love Sky before screen is because even if you don't walk 20 miles before you look at your phone, you can stand with your cup of coffee in the morning by your bed and look out of your window.

I would imagine. Unless you're living in a nuclear bunker, we've all got a window to look out of, you know? So yeah, it's very accessible.

[00:41:23] Kellee Wynne Conrad: We're hoping we're not getting to the nuclear bunker thing anytime in our lifetime. No, I know what you mean. It's like, nature comes in so many forms besides just like being the outdoorsy, hiking kind of person.

Nature is. Yeah. Like what we did this week was we had a slightly warmer. Spring day, we were still chilly enough and we created a big bonfire and a back patio in the fire pit. And we just sat there for a couple of hours with the fresh air and the conversation and like that real connection again, and so we didn't have to do much.

We just, bundled up with our, coats on and sat in front of the fire and. And there was just like, you know, that beautiful dancing of the light and the conversation and the air? Mm-hmm. It's just like, yeah, you're right. It doesn't take much except for to make the decision that instead of Netflix, instead of my phone, instead of the to-do list, which is what I get burned with so much, is to make that choice to do something else for just an hour or two.

[00:42:26] Kelly Herrick: Just the moment. Yeah. Just that moment. Oh yeah.

[00:42:29] Kellee Wynne Conrad: You think inspiration for creativity comes from? Yeah.

[00:42:32] Kelly Herrick: Yeah. I mean we're, we're a surrounded, it's quite an arrogant thing to think that we're like, nothing is man-made cuz everything we make anything with is of nature. So Right. Even synthetic things are actually kind of like natural molecules re.

Purpose in the lab or whatever, right? You're never actually far from nature. Even when you sat in your house or even if you're in a really tall apartment block or an office block or whatever, there's air all around you in your lungs. It's literally always there. And also I really try and help people understand that we are of nature and not to see ourselves this separate species, we're part of what's going on and you just have to, Feel the difference in your body when you're stressing in front of a screen.

And then when you go and sit in front of your bonfire and you go, ah, you know you're of nature because you move with it and you, you kind of find a rhythm with it, I think. Yeah.

[00:43:28] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, and so talk to me a little bit more about how you bring nature into your artwork, because yes, you have so a lot of nature scenes and you spend time in nature, but it seems to me like you're almost ready to like smear dirt on the page and make it playful that way. Like I've doing that.

[00:43:48] Kelly Herrick: Yeah, I have, I've done that. So, Yeah, I mean obviously I'm landscape artist or nature inspired floral sometimes and things as well. but that over and above itself, you could sit in a studio inside and never need to go out and paint from photos. Right. So, so you're quite right.

I tend to have, unless it's a commission for someone, I tend to have a rule that I don't paint somewhere that I haven't stood or been, because, it's lovely to see pretty images on Instagram or Pinterest. I need to feel like, what did it feel like? Was it really windy? Could I hear birds? Was there a thorn poking through my trousers?

All those sorts of things I need to know. So that's one sort of guiding way that I bring the nature into my art. But then you are right. I have smeared. Mud on my canvas, and I'm sure that many of us have let you know you've been outdoor sketching, which I love to do. I love being outside, making art.

And you just let the rain, if it rains, let the rain fall on your painting. See what happens. Let it give its own dynamic. Pick up a stick, dip it in your paint and scribble with it. get your hands involved. So you'll see in the lesson for the summit, we're using hands and we're using sticks.

And that's because. They're a part of us. So when you are gesturing and when you are painting and making marks for something like your fingers, it's directly you onto the canvas. You don't have to transfer your energy or your creativity through a stick or a brush or a roller or any of those things.

It's literally as close as you're ever gonna get to your canvas or your paper. Fingers and it fingers and they do incredible things. This is millions and millions of years of evolution. Put that up against a brush, you know? And of course brushes are amazing and do incredible things. I love good brushes.

But yeah, your fingers were so, prim and proper sometimes about things, and that's why I love your theme of return to play because when did most of us last finger paint? Probably when we were in kindergarten or primary school. And actually it's so much fun and you can make so many. Brilliant sort of textures and marks and it can really be, technically interesting as well as fun to do, you know?

So all of that really, and I have, my cabinet of curiosity is I'm looking over there now. I'll pick up a little stone or a shell or something that's okay to take. Obviously I wouldn't take things that shouldn't be taken out the environment, but I just keep little.

Little memories and treasures, you know, a half broken blue egg shelf from my garden and things like that. Just to remind me of the richness of color or shape or memory making. Yeah, where I was when I found it, and all of those things really help inspire you. You might not paint a blue egg. But you might use that blue against something else in another painting, you know?

[00:46:34] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love that, that idea of like bringing some of those bits of nature and just keeping that presence right in front of you, that little collection. I do love beach combing or hunting through nature and just like bringing those little bits. Obviously in certain areas you wouldn't wanna do that, but a lot of places you go for a hike, even, in your own parks or The brush beside your house, finding that and I take pictures of mushrooms too, like the colors of mushrooms.

[00:46:59] Kelly Herrick: Oh, I just did that at the weekend.

[00:47:01] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Unbelievable. What you can use, if you're just using your camera and taking pictures of it. Yeah, yeah. Bring those ideas in. But there's always that like the moss that's growing on the on the stick and I'm like, I gotta bring that on because there's something about the texture, the color.

And even, I might not be painting that specific thing, but just the, energy of it, the influence of it really does help transform the joy in creating. And I'm always inspired by nature and I do love that you're giving us the opportunity to play with our hands again and making a really playful. Project and meaningful project as well. You have a knack for that, which is why I would encourage anyone who's listening to go and do your Sketchbook Magic course because it really gives you that chance to get out in nature and use it as inspiration and some really playful projects.

And it's only, 27 pounds. So it's really a nice entry point to connect with Kelly and her philosophies about making art and her the way she use nature and play and magic and symbolism, and just all that feel good for creating to live. The creative life, cuz you're really a big encourager of that

[00:48:15] Kelly Herrick: And if you don't wanna go out and be in nature, each lesson, I go out and I go to nature for you as well. So see you all, we can just watch, you can just watch me doing it and go, oh yeah, she's gonna get some burnt, oh yeah. That cloud looks like it's gonna rain any minute.

[00:48:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: You always take everyone on an adventure in your projects. So I have asked this already, but we can still keep dreaming big. I love to talk about your big audacious dreams. Yeah. I know you have quite a few, so I

[00:48:48] Kelly Herrick: Yeah, I do. I mean, there's the camp of travel, but I have, there's more. Yes, there is. And. I think actually it does come back to that, thing that I said earlier about, what's the biggest conversation I can have with the universe?

I literally want to know what the earth sounds like if it spoke to me, which I know is getting a bit woowoo and a bit hippy for people, but to me, I am trying to really explore that. And I, as you know, I'm a huge, sort of fan. Not a fan. That sounds like a rock band. Oh, God.

That's a, that's an irony about stones. That's rock band. I'm hugely drawn to and interested in. Definitely the Celtic West. I mean Britain is the entire Celtic west of Europe, but the Celtic West of Britain and Ireland. And looking at ancient stone circles and ancient, stone glyphs and processional pathways, ritual landscapes.

And I think that's where I really wanna delve into a lot more of this kind of coming 12 months or so with my art is how do I. Ritualize landscape and creativity and how do I step into landscapes that either were a ritual landscape for other people, Stonehenge is a great example of that.

Or how do I create ritual in my own landscapes of my own choosing and how does that inform the creativity that kind of flows from there? So I guess tying, this mind, body, soul connection, this. Universe, connectivity with ritual, which is kind of like a language of connection, isn't it, with something greater than you.

Ritual is kind of like a portal to being connected to other things, and that's what we've used rituals for. So how can I now start to explore ritual and landscape and you know, and here's something that the earth has got to say to me that would be like, My biggest dream.

[00:50:47] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So will you be taking the people who join you for your retreat next year? Cause I know you're not having one this year, but next year on that same kind of journey. That's so cool about what you offer. It's more than just making art. It's like this encompasses all of it. Like I would like, please lead me in this, please. I would like to, I know. Sign up in a heartbeat for what you're talking about, the portal, the ritual.

It does create something.

[00:51:12] Kelly Herrick: It's so beautiful. Yeah. And I think creativity and nature rituals together are even more powerful because our creativity is our way that we reflect, how we understand the world, you know, our sensory understanding of the world. So on the retreat we do quite a lot of nature-based things, even down to like, Wild bathing in this icy pool that runs down off the mos and has this gorgeous waterfall in it all the way through to, last time I was actually doing some reiki healing for a lady, and we were lying in the meadow on the hill and the sunshine was out and all the bumblebees were just buzzing around us and oh, honestly, it was just beautiful.

So there's so many things that kind of unfold. And what I said to the ladies who joined me on the retreat last time was, spend the whole time here as though everything you see and hear and and sense is a message for you that it was meant for you. Like what if that tree blowing towards the sunshine is like a message for you to look towards the positive, spend the whole time here taking everything as meaning and that's quite transformative as well.

[00:52:21] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Very transformative. , just make sure that I'm first on your list to sign up and if I can make to get to the uk Yeah, I would for sure. Well, it's on my bucket list and to see you, I do in person one day because you're amazing and I really appreciate you being not just part of virtual arts. summit but part of my life and a friend.

[00:52:40] Kelly Herrick: Oh, thank you.

[00:52:41] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Hope I can call a friend the two Kelly's here. I could just talk to you forever, but I'm gonna wrap it up right there and let everybody know. Good idea. Get to find Kelly Harrick and enjoy the Virtual Art Summit and our return to play and your very unique way of exploring that, that no one else is really exploring from your point of view in the summit. And I appreciate it so much.

[00:53:04] Kelly Herrick: Oh, you're so welcome everyone. Just have the best time and just have fun with it. I'm so excited to see what everybody's gonna create.

[00:53:11] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I know it's gonna be amazing, so thank you.


[00:53:17] Kellee Wynne Conrad:  Well, hello Laura. I finally get to talk to Laura Dame and we're gonna talk art and play and all that kind of fun stuff. Awesome. So tell us, I don't know anything about you except for that I love your art and when it comes through my feed, I'm just like, oh, I have to have her on the Virtual Art Summit.

So now you're on the Virtual Art Summit. I wanna hear your story. Like how did you end up in this online world of making art?

[00:53:49] Laura Dame: It started probably about eight or nine years ago now. I was going to school to be an ultrasound technician and I was working, part-time at a restaurant and things were just super stressful. Trying to just do everything and like keep the house afloat. I have two kids, and a husband and there was just a lot. And my husband was like, you need to find something. To do, to help with your stress levels, just find your thing. And I started googling and I came across art journaling and stuff like that.

And I had always, when I was younger, been inspired to be creative, but I always thought I wasn't good. I couldn't draw, I couldn't paint. You know, that's for people who are, talented and that's just not me. And so when I came across art journaling and the low pressure nature of it and how it could really just be whatever you wanted, I was like, that sounds like something that I would be interested in because that's, something.

To help with my stress, give me something to do, but also, I don't have to have that pressure. And so that's where I started. And then I started posting on Instagram, for one of Ray Sigmans challenges. Mm-hmm. When she was doing the mark making monthly challenges or something. So I started posting and then I haven't stopped.

[00:55:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Once it starts, it doesn't stop. But I do think it's funny that your husband's like, you need to have something to do. Yeah. Like school and work and kids wasn't enough to do, but it is so important for us to have an outlet. So that we have something to nurture, nourish, and, just something for ourselves.

Especially, I think for all humans, but it's nice as women too because that pressure to just be on all the time for your kids. Yeah, that was really important to me too. When my kids were young, that's when I found scrapbooking. Mm-hmm. It was a great thing in the two thousands.

[00:55:51] Laura Dame: Oh, I remember. Yeah. Yeah. My mom used to do it all the time, but I used to do it with her too.

[00:55:56] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. It's all, it's all good. I'm mom age. It's fine.

[00:56:02] Laura Dame: I mean, I'm too, my kids are teenagers, so Yeah. Okay but yeah, I remember those scrapbooking days.

[00:56:08] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Well it was, and I'm listening to a lot of people tell their story that they went through that phase too in the two thousands and came out the other side really wanting to explore the creativity further than just with the way that you use someone else's materials, but to like really get messy with the paint and all of that kind of fun stuff.

Mm-hmm. Yeah. And I love how you explain that using art journaling is a way of creative expression without having to, make something proper. It's just for play and since the virtual arts summit, it's all about play. That's really a great thing. How has creating evolved for you over time?

[00:56:55] Laura Dame: So I went from doing a lot of the art journal kind of stuff where you're like using a bunch of different stencils and a bunch of stamps and you're, using all of your mixed media tools in one page and like trying to fit as much on there as possible.

I went from that to exploring more, abstract art and botanicals and collage and exploring more, I guess traditional art styles. And that's where I am at now. I love everything. I love, I would say normal art journaling would be versus, I love creating abstract art.

I love creating botanical art, and I love collage and I do all of it. And sometimes I feel like, Maybe I'm doing too much or I'm trying too many things. But I think that's part of the play and the exploration and that's how I've grown as an artist and kind of come into my own element. I remember there was a point where I was trying to emulate other people's art, which isn't a bad thing, but.

[00:58:02] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's normal part of the process.

[00:58:04] Laura Dame: Right, exactly. And I remember being in that place and being kind of unhappy and it was when I decided to try something for myself, that I hadn't seen before.

That's when something clicked and it like unlocked, and then I just started going off and exploring all these different things and it was really cool.

[00:58:27] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I think when you're talking about like traditional art journaling, it might be like the bullet journals or the stamps and stencils and things like you're using other people's items and tools and stickers and whatnot into your journal versus like a true art journal where you're just like, everything goes, all the mediums.

[00:58:45] Laura Dame: Exactly, and I have tons of journals in my closet that are full of, stencils and stamping. And again, there's nothing against that. I still use, stencils in my different types of art, but, really exploring, like doing it in my own way and exploring like different styles of art has opened everything up for me and that's where I find my joy

[00:59:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: yeah, to be able to just play with all those juicy layers, and I think that was the same transition for me. It's like scrapbooking was using other people's ideas and materials and putting 'em together a certain way and then for me, it was a full circle coming back to art because I was an artist before. I became a mom. But I put it away for whatever reason. And I did the scrapbooking for a good decade, but there was a conscious choice in me to come back to art because I wanted to play with my ideas and then reuse them and play with them again. And I think that's one of the fun things about art journaling.

It's like you get to make the elements and then use the elements in the art journal, if that makes sense

[00:59:49] Laura Dame: oh yeah, absolutely. And one of the things too like you said, reusing things and taking those ideas and doing them again in different ways I had always felt like when I first started out, well, I've already done that, so I can't do it again. And so now I'm like, I've done that and I'm doing it again, and I'm doing it again, and I'm doing it again, and I'm having fun,

[01:00:09] Kellee Wynne Conrad: oh yeah. And that repeat process is how you end up finding your own voice anyway.

Mm-hmm. And it evolves from wherever it was that you started into. Something like morphs. I find that when I limit myself to like an idea that I wanna put on repeat, I end up being more creative.

[01:00:27] Laura Dame: And it's something about putting like a limit on yourself that it makes it. Easier, I think sometimes to create some people don't like limits and I am one of those, like I have 17 journals going on at once and I don't like to limit myself in my supplies, but sometimes if I have a goal to focus on, like, okay, I have this limit of I'm gonna do this thing and I'm gonna do it a lot, like you said, unlocks that creativity a little bit more.

[01:00:53] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Are you doing a 100 day project?

[01:00:56] Laura Dame: I am.

[01:00:57] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. So that would be a good example of how some sort of parameters forces you to almost explode your creativity a little bit more. What are you doing for the 100 day project?

[01:01:10] Laura Dame: I am doing, 100 days of quick abstract studies. That's what I called them. So right now I'm more focusing on just. Maybe landscape type abstracts. I feel like that's gonna evolve towards some florals and stuff like that over time, I didn't wanna limit myself to one style. Mm-hmm. But I knew I wanted it to be something that I could do quickly, so I didn't think too much about it. That's where I get tripped up is that I'm overthinking and now suddenly, I did too much or I hate it, or, whatever so I'm trying to get, quick and just have fun and play with what I have.

[01:01:51] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. Do you set a timer at all or you just know when you've gone too far?

[01:01:56] Laura Dame: I know when I've gone too far, I did try to do two with a timer and that did not work out very well, so I know I can't do that.

[01:02:06] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, it's just about stopping before you've gone too far. For the part about quick, like you said. I love that though, because that is still a parameter when you're saying, I'm gonna have fun, I'm gonna make it easy, and I know it's gonna be abstract. Other than that, like anything can go, but it's still enough of a limitation with the 100 day project, a lot of people just show up and knowing exactly what they're gonna do. They actually end up making so much more art much quicker.

I'm not even doing the 100 day project, and here I am, like obsessed with what is everybody doing? I'm watching everyone's doing, and then I watch their creativity explode and I'm really excited for everyone.

I'm doing it in the sense that. I've been encouraging through my business Color Crush creative to explore all the different versions of play. Mm-hmm. Which is the theme of the Virtual Arts Summit. Speaking of play what do you find is like the most playful thing that you can do like, what sets you up for having that playful, joyful experience?

[01:03:06] Laura Dame: I'd say the most. Joy I get is when I am creating collage papers, we all have a ton of them, most likely. But there's just something about sitting down and like putting out four or five different paint colors and having some mark making supplies and some old book pages and just go into town and spending. A couple hours just making pages because there's no rules for that. You're, just spreading paint around or making marks and you don't have to think about it. And before you know it you've got a pile of 'em that you probably didn't need, but are definitely gonna use eventually.

[01:03:50] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right. Cause, because this is the biggest secret to loosening up and for everyone who's listening right now. And you're like, oh, but it's so precious and you sit down and you think you're gonna make a perfect painting and there's no such thing. But that's why I love making the collage papers too, is because you know, they're destined to be cut.

Used, folded, scrapped, whatever, glued, painted over again, so it's not precious and you can explore and play and just kind of see what comes out of you. I agree with you completely, and there's so many different fun ways to make those pages. The, the, the collage materials piling up here too, for sure. Do you use Gelli plate?

[01:04:30] Laura Dame: I do. So I have a few different ways that I like to make my collage papers, but I do have the Gelli plate and that one I'll spend, an afternoon just going through and printing and I'll have all my stencils and my masks and stuff like that. And, I did a recently a session for, YouTube video and I sat there for like two hours and then I had to go through and I had to edit it all out.

Cause I was like, nobody's gonna stay here for two hours and watch me gelli print. But it's so much fun.

[01:05:03] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Its, I, I, this is what I really just want that fun, playful afternoon and I'm ignoring all the chores and all the must do I pull the jelly plate out as well because you just can do it for the longest time. You put on a good podcast or whatever, and it's just like, mm-hmm. Such bliss.

[01:05:23] Laura Dame: Yeah. And I, I actually love too, I'll just like paint with my fingers. I start finger painting and like just mushing paint around and everything, which it gets very messy obviously, but that's probably the most fun is just mushing paint around with your fingers and getting dirty. I like that.

[01:05:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: There you go. There's a challenge. Everybody's gotta try what we did when we were kids and learn how to paint with their fingers again. Yes. Ah, that's super fun. What materials are you like obsessed with right now?

[01:05:53] Laura Dame: Right now I am obsessed with pastels of all shapes and sizes,

[01:05:59] Kellee Wynne Conrad: all pastel or oil pastel.

[01:06:02] Laura Dame: Yes, both. So I recently reorganized my space and I put all of my soft and, oil pastels in like a tray and did it by like color, cause I would never use them since they were in a box in one of my drawers, so I put them out where I can see them. So now when I'm looking at. Something that I've done and I'm like, what do I do now?

I look up and I see the pastels, and then I go, that's what I do, and I grab the color that I want. So I have, my meal colors and, different ones, and they're all just right there in front of me so I can just grab 'em and yeah, that's been my obsession recently.

[01:06:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Oh, I love it. Well, I'm, I'm big on oil pastels. I started off with soft pastels before I even picked up the acrylic paint and, I think now you're inspiring me to pull them all back out again. Oil pastels do for me, make a really easy like final mark to make. Mm-hmm. And like that pop of color that I love doing that.

Well we've come up with quite a few really fun ideas as far as playful, but if you give any advice to everyone who's joined the virtual Virtual art summit and this, being the fourth year, it's getting bigger and better every year and so it's so much fun.

But I love when my guest artists are able to like really impart a lot of good, juicy wisdom because, the reason I picked play this year is I noticed it was needed. So much after everything we've been through the last three, four, or five decade, whatever, life in itself got very heavy. And when we bring back just the joy of making the play in our life and the spirit again, it just, I'm hoping for a shift.

So I would love to hear what you would advise your listeners, students, and anyone who's participating.

[01:08:01] Laura Dame: So as far with. Play. To me, the biggest thing is to take that pressure off of yourself because I feel like so much of the art space right now is sharing on Instagram and social media and stuff like that, and having something that is worth sharing.

And I think that hinders a lot of people from. Being able to play. I know that it affects me as well and is something that I am actively working on. Shifting that to not caring if something is Instagram worthy or if people like it or if they don't. So I feel like that is one of the biggest hindrances of play and if you can get that out of your mind and just.

Literally play, do what you want. If it comes in your mind, try it out. If you don't like it, oh, well, if you do, that's awesome. And you're able to, share it with people. Share your joy and that's just my thing is just getting over that hurdle of caring, what people think and, instead just do your thing.

[01:09:15] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yes. It's that daily grind of what am I gonna make for Instagram today? I think it is squeezing the joy out of the making. Yeah. Like what we should start with. How can I play and have fun and if after I've done that I have some something to show, maybe I'll show it. Maybe I won't. Doesn't really matter.

Yeah, exactly. Even if it's a mess. Because I think that's what we need as more of that human side of us, you know? And what oftentimes, I don't know if you find this, like the thing that you're like, oh, that was terrible. Everyone else loves

[01:09:49] Laura Dame: Yes. My husband. I show him all of my art. Right? And he. Probably gets super annoyed. But he sits there and he looks at it and I'm like, how stupid is this? How dumb does this look? And he's like, that's like the best thing that you've ever made. What are you talking about? Oh, and so the things that I hate and I'm like, just tell me that it sucks and I'll throw it away.

He's like, no, that's my favorite. I don't know what you're talking about. There's always gonna be someone out there who's gonna like it, whether it's a hot mess or a masterpiece.

[01:10:20] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's all in the eye of the beholder, but it's supposed to be out the process and not exactly the product. The finish product is the bonus. The process is the reason we're doing it in the first place. An outlet, an expression of our creativity and a play, right?

[01:10:36] Laura Dame: Yeah, exactly. Exactly

[01:10:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: You've got a few online courses. I wanna talk a little bit about how people can connect with you as they're listening to you. And YouTube. Sounds great. Like, I'm gonna have to go look up your YouTube channel now. Even if it was two hours, I would just put it on double time and just watch while I'm doodling or doing my thing.

[01:10:59] Laura Dame: I have a website. It's laura mixed media.com and that has all of my social media links and stuff like that.

So I'm on Instagram, I'm on YouTube, I'm on Facebook, all at Laura Mixed Media. And currently, I have one class available on my website. I'm about to have two. I've recorded and edited. My second class and I just have to do, the voice recording. So one of the limitations of my home studio is that it's in the middle of the house. So I have to set aside time, and schedule it with my kids. Yeah. Like, don't bother me and don't be loud. I'm recording. So I just have to do the voiceover for that time.

[01:11:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I dunno how that works for you, but it's always a hot mess for me.

[01:11:44] Laura Dame: Yeah, it is not easy, especially, we have the dogs and Yep.

Everybody, it's crazy. Which is why it's taken me so long to get the second class out, but, so on my to-do list, I'm gonna do it. And that'll be there soon. And I have, stencils that I've designed and some washy tape that I've designed that's all on my website as well.

[01:12:05] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Do you wanna explain what the new course is? Because I'm, my whole goal when I do the virtual arts summit, besides us all having a whole lot of fun, is to make sure that my guest artists get the visibility that they need and the new customers that are just like so eager and excited to join them in what they're doing.

[01:12:24] Laura Dame: So it's an accordion book where we're gonna do, it's like a master sheet. So I do the front and the back with different, collage papers and then paint over it, add stencils, and I added these little, pockets. With some tags and stuff. So I'd do these collage tags and it's a different style of a accordion book

[01:12:45] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love it. What a fun class. Alright, so I love to end these interviews with. My favorite question, what is your big audacious stream, like looking into the future of where you wanna go with art, with your courses, with your life, with whatever, you know, get on a spaceship, tomorrows, whatever it is, your big audacious dream.

[01:13:08] Laura Dame: So right now I work, Monday through Friday full-time job. I would love to be able To not have to do that and be able to have art as my business. Love to teach more classes, whether that's online or in person. One day we would like to have some land out somewhere and I would love to have, a studio where people could come and, gather and create.

And so I think that's my biggest. Dream is to have that place where people could come and connect and create and learn and play.

[01:13:42] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I love it. That's fantastic. Thank you so much for not only being part of the Virtual Arts Summit, but spending your evening chatting with me, Laura, it was so fun to get to know you, and I am so grateful to you for participating in the Virtual Arts Summit this year.

[01:13:59] Laura Dame: Of course. Thank you so much for asking me. I'm so happy to be a part of it.

[01:14:03] Kellee Wynne Conrad: All right, everyone. You heard lauramixedmedia.com. You can find everything to connect with her, so all right, thanks. Bye

[01:14:12] Laura Dame: bye.


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