Speaker 1 (00:00):
I had never painted people before, but I was like, you know what? Something about the style just really speaks to me.
Speaker 2 (00:05):
This is the Bold Artist Podcast.
Speaker 3 (00:10):
You have answers, and you're expressing them in your art. Your art is important, and it needs to be seen.
Speaker 2 (00:18):
Welcome. And let's get started with today's episode.
Speaker 2 (00:27):
We're here with another episode of the bold Artist podcast. So happy to have you here today and introduce you to our guest artist, Bethany Aiken of Toronto, Ontario. Bethany is so original, not only in her lifestyle -- a lifestyle we all dreamed of living when we were kids -- but also in her approach to her unique subject matter and overall expression of creativity. I don't want to give it all away here in this intro. I want Bethany to share with you herself. I can say that you're in for a real treat. You're going to love today's episode. You're going to get very inspired by Bethany and her approach to art. You're going to hear a little bit about Bethany's subjects and how she captures them having wild experiences with them and even photographing a lot of her own inspirational reference images. You're also going to hear how she transitioned out of drawing and woodcarving and into a focus on acrylic art, which by the way, Bold School helped to inspire and move Bethany towards the bold style painting and acrylic.
Speaker 2 (01:34):
And we're so happy to have her as part of the Bold School community. If you don't already know, Bold School creates the Bold Artist podcast, and you can find us at boldschool.com. And that's where we are an online space for learning bold style, painting, bold color painting, and there's no place like it. So, find us online there. And now I want to take you straight over to my interview with Bethany Aiken. Bethany Aiken, thank you so much for being on the Bold Artist podcast. You're joining us from Toronto, Ontario, where you paint in bold color, but you paint something very special. You paint animals, and I would love to start off the podcast by hearing a little bit more about your special connection to animals and why and how you paint them.
Speaker 1 (02:25):
Uh, well, uh, thank you for having me, first of all, I'm very glad to be here. And, uh, yeah, to answer your question, I am a zookeeper, so I spend every day hanging out with a bunch of different animals. So, when it comes to my art, it's just sort of a natural thing that I feel like painting. Um, I, yeah, I get to see so many incredible moments with these animals and just get to know their personalities a little bit. And so, I love just trying to capture that kind of essence of those individual animals in my artwork.
Speaker 2 (02:54):
Yes. And, you know, Bethany, I've thought about it, how it's like every child's dream to be a zookeeper. And you get to do this, and I find it fascinating and so exciting. And I'd love to hear just a little bit more about inside your world as a zookeeper.
Speaker 1 (03:10):
Yeah. I mean, I was definitely one of those kids that knew I wanted to work with animals and do something with animals. I had no idea when I was young, what that would look like. But, uh, for my young age -- my parents can attest to this -- I was definitely all about the animals. Um, so I actually watched Zoo Diaries, which was this whole show on the Toronto zoo when I was a kid, and I grew up in Ottawa, so I didn't really come to the zoo very often. So, the fact that I now get to work there is, is pretty incredible. But yeah, day to day, it's not always glamorous. There's a lot of, uh, less than pleasant aspects of being a zoo keeper, as I'm sure you can imagine.
Speaker 2 (03:43):
I can imagine.
Speaker 1 (03:43):
But yeah, just the, the chance to be so close in, uh, working so closely with these animals is absolutely something that I try not to take for granted because it's definitely a gift.
Speaker 2 (03:57):
Yes. I've had two experiences with wild, exotic animals. One where I got to touch a whale in the wild. It was a complete surprise. A whale came right up to a dock. I didn't know that I was actually probably not supposed to touch that whale, but I did. And it felt way different than I ever imagined. At another time I had a giraffe lick my hand, and that was such a fun, exhilarating, memorable experience. I just, I love it. I love it. So, and um in a little while we're going to talk about the giraffe painting that's behind you, 'cause that's one I'm most attracted to. But before we get to that particular painting, um, can you just share a little bit more about how you choose your subjects, these special animals that you paint for us? How do you choose them, Bethany?
Speaker 1 (04:53):
Well, um, I mean, a lot of them are at least especially recently, uh, just commissioned. So people -- usually zookeepers or volunteers that come to the zoo that know the individual animals at the zoo, and they really love them, and they want to commemorate them in some way -- so, they'll ask me to do particular animals. Uh, so that makes the decision factor for me a bit easier. But when it comes to doing, um, my own artwork and the things that kind of come from my own heart, a lot of it is animals that I work with specifically. And I, I get to see day in, day out and really get to know their personality. So, the challenge for me as an artist then is to try to kind of capture that, uh, that personality of that animal in a painting. And so, quite often it ends up being, you know, I'm taking photos all day long at the zoo.
Speaker 1 (05:40):
I'm always surrounded by animals. So always taking photos of them. So sometimes it's just, I'm looking through my photos, and I see that, that image that seems to really capture something specific about an animal, whether it's, you know, that look in their eye or just that mannerism that they have. Um, quite often it's the photo of the animal that inspires me. I really want to paint that photo of that animal. Um, so I'll have that too sometimes even with animals that I don't personally work with, but knowing keepers across the zoo, uh, knowing how much they enjoy working with their animals and the photos that they're able to capture, uh, quite often it's those photos as well that, that inspire me.
Speaker 2 (06:15):
I love it. That you say you're inspired to work from the photo. I find both for me. It, it's so important to be with the subject and know the subject and have that. Like, even if it's a landscape that you've been in the landscape. Or if it's an animal, that you've been with the animal. But then there's this little split second of time where that subject is captured in a photo. And that photo inspires us to want to render it in paint. When you come to the process of rendering in the paint, Bethany, do you ever struggle to get the essence that you know, that animal's character has ? That -- and yet you're, and you're looking at that reference image, and then you're trying to get it onto the canvas. Do you struggle with that? Or does that part come easy to you?
Speaker 1 (07:07):
That's definitely something that I sometimes struggle with. Uh, there's those rare moments where I have like literally the perfect photo that it's exactly captures everything that I want to convey about an animal. Those ones are easy. I love it. Uh, but quite often, especially with commissions where, um, I'm not always inspired by a particular photo I'm asked to do a painting of a particular animal, and I'm given a, given a subset of photos that I can choose from, sometimes it's like, okay, these, none of these photos are perfect. Maybe I can try to combine a couple and get the right, the current vibe, I guess. Um, but that is, is definitely sometimes a challenge. I did start my art career for lack of a better word, um, when I was younger paint, um, not painting rather, I started drawing. Um, but, uh, even then I would always kind of be drawing a particular reference.
Speaker 1 (07:59):
And one thing that I do hope to eventually kind of improve my skill at is being able to sketch animals in various forms and not rely so, um, completely on a reference image, and be able to take that reference image and alter it based on, you know, understanding of the anatomy, and, and do that kind of drawing work on my own kind of out of my own mind. Um, and out of other reference photos to put together that perfect kind of...whether it's the structure or the look in the face, or look in the eyes or whatever. Um, so yeah, that's, that's something I want to improve on. Um, right now I do feel pretty tied to a reference. So, sometimes I'll mishmash references together, but yeah, it's a struggle.
Speaker 2 (08:40):
Well, I'm going to quote Charla here. Um, you and I both know Charla -- founder of Bold School -- which we'll talk about in a moment. Um, Charla always says to study your subject matter to study, study, study. And what that means is if you're going to paint an elephant, you need to study the elephant and know about the elephant's anatomy. And sometimes we'll just take a reference image and, and paint in order to just render the painting. But if you really want to know and understand your subject, then you study that, uh, that you study that subject matter, which is what I know you're referring to. But in your case, you have an awfully lot of animals that you would add studying the anatomy of so many. Uh, is there, just for the fun of it I want to ask you, is there a particular animal that you would say is your favorite?
Speaker 1 (09:32):
An animal at the zoo, or like a painting of them?
Speaker 2 (09:34):
Anywhere. Like, in any part of your life? What is your favorite animal?
Speaker 1 (09:40):
That's a verym that's a hard, a challenging question.
Speaker 2 (09:42):
And I suprised that. I surprised you with that one.
Speaker 1 (09:45):
Um, well I do have a Husky. His name is Raven. Um, so I do love him. And in terms of Raven, the reason I adopted, part of the reason I adopted this dog was because his name was Raven, and I love Huskies. Um, but the reason Raven appealed to me was because there is a raven at the zoo whose name is Bran. Um, and I helped raise him, actually got to bring him home when he was a little tiny chick, not very cute as a baby. Baby birds are typically not the cutest, but, uh, such an incredible bird to work with. Uh, very challenging. Ravens are incredibly intelligent, and that can make them very difficult to train and work with, but very rewarding, uh, to see him just grow up and learn all these different things that I've tried to teach him. And I've learned a lot from him as well. So, he's definitely up there. Um, and I could go on listing animals that I work with all day long, but
Speaker 2 (10:35):
Have you painted Bran yet?
Speaker 1 (10:37):
Um, I have painted Bran in a couple of different fashions, not quite in this like style, um, that makes sort of Bold School style, I guess. Um, but yeah, a couple other smaller renditions of him, for sure.
Speaker 2 (10:50):
Okay. Well, let's talk about your Bold School style. You came across Bold School how?
Speaker 1 (10:56):
So, I, I, I don't really have much of an education in art. It's always just been like kind of a side passion project of mine. Um, even in high school, I didn't take many art classes. I just sorta dabbled in different art forms, whether it was drawing, or woodcarving, uh, or variety of things. I didn't start painting until maybe five years ago, kind of on a whim. My roommate was, uh, like, hey, let's have a painting day. And I was like, okay, sure. And then said, oh, I really like this. Um, so then I wanted to do some more formal education in painting because I was loving it and really wanted to improve my skill there. And I actually had plans, uh, to do an in-person course, uh, at a school in Toronto one summer, but then COVID happened. So everything shut down, and I was really disappointed because I was really looking forward to kind of challenging, um, my yeah, challenging what I had done so far and just learning new things.
Speaker 1 (11:53):
Um, and so I didn't want to just sort of let that sit. I wanted to do something. So, I started looking for online versions of some form of painting course. And I came across Charla's work, and I had always been attracted to like the bold color animal paintings. That's on that random day that I was painting with my roommate that's kind of what I was, was drawing, what I was painting, rather, was these brightly colored animals. And so, something about her style from the get-go. It was the Bold Color bootcamp course, uh, that I saw, which was this, uh, you know, boldly colored portrait of a human. That terrified me. I had never painted people before. But I was like, you know what, something about the style just really speaks to me. So, I signed up for that course, never looked back. It was amazing, loved it, really challenged by it, for sure.
Speaker 1 (12:39):
Um, was really, uh, encouraged by the fact that I could paint a person. I didn't think I could do that. Um, because I just been too afraid to try, really. And, uh, yeah, and then just slowly starting to incorporate that style, those techniques, um, the methods into my work. And then I started doing the, um, Painting the Wild course, as well. So, the rhino and the wolf behind me are two paintings that I did as a part of that Painting the Wild course. Uh, it's actually, as far as I've gotten, I haven't done the rest of them, which I'm looking forward to doing, haven't got there yet. But, yeah, that's kind of where I'm at.
Speaker 2 (13:15):
And just for our audio listeners who are not seeing this show on YouTube, but you can find it on YouTube by the way, on the Bold School YouTube channel. Uh, just for our audio listeners, I wanted to say that Bethany is sitting behind a beautiful display of her animals. She's sitting in front of it, display is behind her. Uh, these beautiful, uh, animals in bold color style that you can learn at Bold School online. And so, Bethany, what would be one of the biggest takeaways that you learned from your courses that you took with Charla on Bold School?
Speaker 1 (13:51):
Definitely, uh, well, there's a few little things, but I would say the biggest one is I'm learning to see and understand the value of different colors in terms of the lightness and the darkness of it. Um, when I had been doing brightly colored animals before, it was just sort of like a, this color maybe would work here. And I think I intuitively was following, um, that kind of method a little bit without really realizing what I was doing, but having it all laid out by Charla in terms of like how to analyze it and how to create different values of different colors, and how to use them, uh, was huge. And that is absolutely the thing that I have by far used the most ever since, and I will continue to do so.
Speaker 2 (14:31):
Yes, the same. I have experienced the same, as well. And so many other artists that I've been interviewing and talking to. Not all of them have, uh -- actually a few of them are mentors, uh, through Bold School -- but everyone comes back to sort of that aha moment that they've had at their Bold School of learning the values and how the color applies. And we definitely see that in your work. Now I'm drawn to one particular painting. I, I noticed it immediately on your website, which by the way, everyone, uh, I do encourage you to look in the show notes in the description box and find that Bethany's website and peruse and look at her work. Uh, and you will see the painting I'm about to ask her about which is called Baby Long Legs. I love Baby Long Legs. Can you tell me a little bit about that painting?
Speaker 1 (15:22):
So Baby Long Legs is a giraffe, for those of you who cannot see. Um, her name is actually Amani. Uh, she was born at the Toronto zoo, but before she was born, the zoo is pushing, um, you know, on social media, just nnouncing that the mother was pregnant. Um, and just sort of getting everybody excited about this, uh, soon-to-be new arrival. Uh, and they used that hashtag baby long legs, and it really stuck -- something about it. I was like, oh, I love this. And I started painting her, um, obviously after she was born, cause this is a painting of her. But Before she was born I was thinking that this would be a fun thing to do. Um, I love the giraffes. I had never painted -- that's all I had painted a draft before -- but I hadn't painted a draft in the more, like, colorful style.
Speaker 1 (16:08):
Um, and so yeah, Baby Long Legs, uh, was born, and she has two kinds of unique spots on her that I really loved. So, she's got a maple leaf, almost maple leaf shaped spot, and a heart shaped spot. So the name Amani, I believe, means love. I could be remembering that wrong. It's something along those lines. It either means heart or love, um, because she's got that heart shaped spot on her neck, and then the maple leaf shaped spot, as well. So, uh, that was something that the keepers kind of noticed and, uh, that once I decided to paint her, I really wanted to make sure I could incorporate that as well, because it's such a unique, uh, little feature about her. So...
Speaker 2 (16:46):
Yes, and the maple leaf is so appropriate to her being at the Toronto zoo in Canada. So that she's a nice Canadian giraffe. Uh, so yeah. You captured her essence so beautifully, and I particularly love her eye. And well, I can see one eye from here. And, uh, in the way that it, that it's showing to me and her, yeah, just everything about her. So, so what is the trick to really capturing an animal's facial expression? Like, do you really concentrate on the eyes, or the mouth? What do you look for Bethany?
Speaker 1 (17:23):
I think it depends on the animal. Uh, because I paint a variety of different animals -- from birds, to mammals, and I've even done snakes -- um, their facial expressions are always very different. Some of them, like a snake, you wouldn't really think that snakes have facial expressions. Um, but, uh, yeah, so I think the eyes absolutely are our big focus for me. I always try to put the most amount of detail, uh, in the eyes. Uh, and then in terms of the rest of it, it, it just depends on the animal. Sometimes it might be like the tilt of the head for a specific animal or just, you know, a body position or something like that. But...
Speaker 2 (17:58):
Do you find that the eyes it matters, uh, whether you make them a little bit bigger or a little smaller and, and how that changes the expression or look in the personality, what is the size of the eye matter or mean to you?
Speaker 1 (18:15):
I mean, I, I try to, to get it as close to realistic as possible, but I would probably err on the size of side of slightly larger if I had to. But it definitely, I will tweak the eyes a lot until I feel like, yes, I've captured this, this animal. Because if you have like the slightest like upturn in the wrong area or the slightest like dark spot in the wrong area, it really makes a difference. And, so it can take while to, to get that vibe right. So.
Speaker 2 (18:42):
Yeah, it changes the mood.
Speaker 1 (18:42):
So, I'll tweak it a lot. Yeah, for sure.
Speaker 2 (18:44):
Yeah. Definitely the mood is in the eye. So on your website, Bethany, which I've encouraged everyone to have a look at, I found some things that not only show us that how much you love animals, but that you have also just a connection to nature in general. And it, a lot of your inspiration comes from nature. And you say there, this is your own quote, "Art has long since been the other passion in my life. Over the years, it's taken many forms -- sketching, photography, woodcarving, and now my more recent focus of acrylic paint." I love to hear about two things from this, you know, perusing your website. I'd love to hear a little bit about your love and connection to nature, but I also would love to hear how you moved from dabbling in the, all these other forms to, uh, how you transitioned into acrylic. So, let's start with the first, your connection to nature. Uh, we've already talked about animals, but what is it about nature that I feel like it makes artists come alive? And our art is so like nature just breathes the inspiration to us. And I'd love to hear how it does that for you, Bethany,
Speaker 1 (20:00):
That, I mean, you've hit the nail on the head, for sure. Like just that breathing that inspiration into me, for sure. Like, I, my happy places is out in the forest. I'll take my dog for a walk by the river, and if it's summer kind of walking in the river alongside him. Um, and, uh, I just love spending time in the forest. Um, not always just the forest, any type of nature, but that's kind of the most accessible nature that I have. If I was at UBC. I'm sure it would be mountains. I do wish we had more mountains here, but, uh, I'll take what I can get. And, um, yeah, you know, it's, I just love, you know, trying to be quiet and calm and just hearing all the sounds around me and seeing everything and just all the different senses, uh, and just loving, capturing all those little or noticing all those tiny little different things about this creation around me.
Speaker 1 (20:50):
And I, yeah, I'm just always so inspired by those little, little tiny details. Um, and on some level I'm, I'm inspired to try to capture and present those little tiny details in my artwork because I want others to be inspired by that, as well. And to notice things in nature that they potentially otherwise wouldn't. Um, at the same time, I very much pull away from that, like, realism in my paintings now. Um, I found that when I was trying to do more realistic paintings, I would just get so stressed and worked up about it's not perfect. I'm never going to be, you know, I'm never gonna get it quite accurate enough. Uh, and so for me, like the bold move for me really was moving away from that natural inclination to, to express that or to get it perfect, so to speak, and lean into the part of painting that just brought me joy, which was that colorful essence of, of nature and not worrying so much about getting the itty bitty little details. Right. And just having fun with it. And that joy that I feel when I'm out in nature, expressing that through, through my paintings. So, I don't know if that answers your question.
Speaker 2 (21:55):
Yeah. That, that definitely answered the nature component of the question and you worded it so well and also gave us a glimpse inside how, how you transitioned from being focused on realism or practicing realism to pushing the boundaries. And that's what we're all about. Is, just encouraging artists to push outside of what would naturally be comfortable, or the little boxes that we think we need to be in. And, and part of that has to do with challenging our perfectionism. Challenging, you know, all the so-called rules. And pushing outside those boxes, and that's bold, and so, great to get a glimpse inside of, of your bold move. And, um, and so then you've, you've told us here in your little quote that I read about how you dabbled in a lot of different forms before coming to acrylic paint. Was that also a bold move or was it a natural, smooth transition? And can you tell us the story of kind of how you made that move?
Speaker 1 (23:02):
So, it definitely was not intentional in any way, shape or form. It just sort of happened. Um, yeah, when I was younger, like I said, I would, I would do sketching. That was kind of the first thing probably cause it was like most accessible, uh, to grab a pencil and keep going. Um, my dad owns a commercial cabinetry company or millwork. Um, so the woodcarving kind of came from that, like that, that love of creating things with your hands and, and all of that type of stuff. So, I managed to do a woodcarving for an English project. Like I pulled art into whatever I could really. Um, and then as I got older and into university, I wasn't doing a lot of art to be honest. I, um, yeah, I tried to get into some of the more arty programs in my school, but because I was kind of leaning towards maybe doing vet school, I didn't want to, like, you advertise that by doing something totally unrelated.
Speaker 1 (23:57):
Um, so I didn't really explore that much, and I wasn't doing a ton of art in university. Um, and, uh, the painting thing, like I said before, it was, it really started from a friend of mine being like, Hey, let's have a painting day. And I was like, okay, sure. Um, I hadn't really painted much up until that point and, um, just fell in love with it. It was such a joyful experience. I just looked up other, honestly, other artists online and found other artwork and tried to kind of recreate these paintings that I was inspired by. And had so much fun with it. Um, and then kind of never looked back. I mean, I kept going, and I kept getting a lot of affirmation from other people around me, uh, coworkers at the zoo, you know, I would paint in different animals, and they would see it and just be really encouraging for me.
Speaker 1 (24:45):
So, that affirmation from others was a huge push for me to keep going. And, um, yeah, just sort of been like a slow growth since then. Um, and, and honestly it hasn't really stopped at acrylic in the last few weeks I've started doing watercolor just because I wanted to explore something else. And so it's, I love, well, you know, learning new things and challenging myself. And, uh, I do feel like sometimes that is like a strategy to pull away from the like, not feeling good enough thing. Or if I'm constantly trying to learn something new, then I have that excuse of, oh, well, it's new. I'm not perfect at it yet. Um, so I'm very intentionally as I'm like exploring watercolor right now. Coming back to acrylics, it's like, no, I'm not giving up on this. I need to keep going. I don't, I want to continue to see where, where it'll end up. But, um, yeah, it's a constant journey.
Speaker 2 (25:37):
Being a multiform artist myself and, and having many different art forms that I've either mastered or dabbled in, I can say that I think one of the inspirations that kind of keeps us, uh, keeps us going, keeps us interested, is to try new things. And so, that's not necessarily a bad thing. But it is great that you're coming back and really focusing back in on acrylic again. And you talked about the affirmation of others. You talked about that, um, others around you affirming, and it reminded me of, of community. And how here, like at Bold School, we, one of our favorite parts is just having that whole community aspect inside of Bold School where, um, all the artists are encouraging each other, giving kind critiques and, and ways of building each other up to become better. Have you found that in your own community, around you there in Toronto, online with Bold School? Can you tell us a little bit about your community?
Speaker 1 (26:41):
For sure. I mean, there's multiple little kind of mini communities, I guess, but all of them have been super supportive, supportive of me in my art and everybody in my life is constantly encouraging me to keep going. Um, you know, I've, I've had that in Bold School, for sure. Especially, you know, getting, getting started into that and getting that initial feedback and, um, yeah, like all positive feedback, but it's, you know, how, how can I improve? I know you can try to tweak this and do that. And like that is just so encouraging to be getting that support. Um, so I've loved that for sure. And then my, the zoo community honestly, is, is what keeps me going. I, if I ever left the zoo, I don't need to worry about, you know, losing that, that community because, you know, uh, zookeepers and it's not just the zookeepers, it's everybody in the zoo.
Speaker 1 (27:30):
Um, I've had office staff commission paintings from me. I've had volunteers buy things from me. Um, I'm actually potentially getting some of my stuff in the, in the gift shop soon. So, everybody in the zoo has been so supportive of, of my work and encouraging me to keep going. So, that has been huge. And, and my family is, is the other one, as well. Like whether it's my husband or, you know, my parents and my siblings, or everybody in my extended family is super encouraging. So, I definitely would not be where I am now without all of those communities. So...
Speaker 2 (28:02):
Yes, it's so important to have community around us and communities in which we can just share our artwork. And Charla and I were talking in her episode -- episode one -- about, and she was just encouraging everyone to just share, share, share, to always share your artwork. And we do that in our community, and that is powerful. And it just sort of opens the doors up for our artwork. Is there anything that any, that would be on your heart and mind to just encourage other artists? So, if there's an artist who's looking at your artwork today and just seeing these such colorful, expressive animals, and that artist is thinking, oh, I want to do that. I feel like I'm either not good enough, or I feel like I can't do it. How would you encourage them today?
Speaker 1 (28:51):
I think the first thing I would say is that you're absolutely not alone. Uh, I am one of those people. I still, uh, look at other people's artwork, and I usually have like one of a couple of different reactions either. I see it. And I'm like, yes, this is so cool. I want to try to do something like that. Or I think, wow, that's amazing. I'm never going to be there. Um, and there's a few other reactions that I can have as well, but like I definitely have that, that constant voice and that constant part of me that's saying I'm not good enough and that I will never measure up. Um, and I never want, I never want to be that voice for other people, for sure. Like, I absolutely want to encourage people that if you're seeing things that inspire you, if you're seeing things online that are amazing and you feel like you never get there, you don't know the story of those people, right?
Speaker 1 (29:40):
And those people could have spent every minute of their lives up until this point working to develop that skill. And I think it's so easy when you see so much content online, too, to just assume that, you know, it comes super easy to everybody, and that if you're struggling, you're the only one who's struggling, and it should just be easier. I have felt that countless times where I feel like this should be easy for me. Um, and that can be really discouraging when it feels like a lot of work, and it can feel like a lot of work a lot of the time. So I think, yeah, just like you said before, like keep sharing your work and the affirmation from other people is, is huge, is a huge support. And, uh, yeah, just putting in the time, and keep going, and practicing, and exploring, and honestly make what makes you happy.
Speaker 1 (30:29):
Because like I was saying before with the realism versus this more bold, colorful style, I feel drawn towards creating that realistic element in some ways, but that's not what makes me happy. The process of that is just full of self, self doubt and, and criticism. And so by leaning into the type of painting that I just enjoy so much more, um, that's what keeps me going. And, and don't get me wrong, there's definitely parts of any painting where I have those feelings of like, what am I doing? This doesn't make any sense. I can't do this. Um, that the wolf behind me was one of them that the, in the course that Charla was teaching, it was a lion that she was painting and trying to get these really bold, bold strokes of the mane. And so I was trying to do these really bold, thick paint strokes for the fur of this wolf, and I got to that point in the painting, and I was just like, oh no, what is happening? But just like pushing through those emotions and trusting that process. And if it doesn't work out in this painting, you'll have to learn something for the next one. And, uh, yeah, just keep going is really what I have to say,
Speaker 2 (31:37):
Yes. Keep going. I've heard so many good things that you've just said. You said, you are not alone, and make what makes you happy, and just keep going. And just knowing that, uh, all those moments that we hear that voice saying, you're not going to measure up, or you're not good enough, or you're not, you know, all of those, like just negative that negative, um, talk it's falsehoods. It's not true. And I'm so glad that the bold Artist Podcast is here with people like you, Bethany, who can be real and have a voice into the lives of other artists, just saying to keep going, you're not alone. And you are worth the time. Your art is worth the time that you're putting into it. And it's just such valuable thoughts for today. So, thank you for sharing that with us. And, um, in closing, is there anything else that's burning on your heart that you'd like to share or something that you're excited about right now in your art life, Bethany?
Speaker 1 (32:40):
Um, I mean, nothing specific in terms of burning that I want to share. I feel like you drew out a lot of those things already. So, thank you, uh...
Speaker 2 (32:47):
And I just need to say before -- hold that thought -- because I want to know what else you were going to say, but I need to interject that the drawing out of this interview from Bethany was not once or twice, but three times, because in the launch of this podcast, we've had some technical difficulty, and our very first interview didn't work out with the technical part. And Bethany so graciously joined us for a second time. And during the second time, we actually did have to start over once. And you're the first guest that this has happened with Bethany and I am... So, I was and am so determined to have your interview be perfect because I, you know, as far as the technical side, because I so love and admire your artwork and who you are as a person, I feel that you are just such a lovely individual to represent artists and speak into the lives of artists. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for doing this with us multiple times.
Speaker 1 (33:51):
You are you're most welcome. Honestly, it's been super fun. I've loved chatting with you. Uh, I really appreciate your affirmation, as well. Um, like I said, that is what keeps me going for sure. So, um, yeah, I've really, really enjoyed chatting with you and, and having this talk, and being able to just, yeah, get my thoughts out there, I guess.
Speaker 2 (34:11):
Well, and you had a thought that I interrupted. So you were about to say, you didn't have anything burning on your heart. Um, but the things I drew out of you, and then you were going say something, and I was like, I just need to say something first.
Speaker 1 (34:25):
Um, what was I going to say? Uh, oh, one thing that I'm excited about is, uh, and it may not even happen, but just, um, getting some of my artwork into the gift shop at the zoo.
Speaker 2 (34:34):
Congratulations about that.
Speaker 1 (34:37):
I don't know if it'll happen. We'll see. But I do actually technically already have some artwork in there. They had a, a contest to design a t-shirt. So, I just took the zoo logo and smashed a bunch of my paintings into it. And, uh, that is now a t-shirt at the Toronto zoo. So that's super fun. Um, but yeah, we'll see where that goes. And honestly, I'm, I'm always just, this whole process has been kind of mind blowing in the sense that I, you know, two years ago, even, I wouldn't have thought I would be where I'm at now with my art doing a podcast. I was like, no, I'm not, I'm not an artist enough to be doing this. So it's just, it's very affirming. Um, and I'm just really excited to keep taking those little steps and see where they go, because I have no idea. But it's, it's a fun process. And sometimes it's scary, but, uh, I'm excited.
Speaker 2 (35:24):
And it is, it is all about the process. We're all in this process, not only the process of life, but the processes in our art development. And I love it that you said like two years ago, you wouldn't have dreamed this and that Bold School got to be a little part of that, of your transformation as an artist. And we're so happy to have you part of the community Bold School loves you and the Bold Artist podcast is so happy to have you here. And just before we close, Bethany, there was something I wanted to point out. Did you notice I'm wearing animal print for you?
Speaker 1 (35:55):
I did not notice, but now that you've pointed it out, I feel very, very special thing.
Speaker 2 (36:01):
Yeah. Yeah. So you're so welcome. I have a jacket that's actually like full-out leopard. And it has like, I don't know. I was, I asked my daughter, my teenage teenager, cause she gives me all the fashion advice and, and I said, you know, would it, I asked her, how would it look if I wore this today during my interview with Bethany? Which by the way, she's been on your website and loves your work, as well. And she's like, yeah, that'd be, that'd be great mom. But then I kind of chickened out. I thought maybe too much leopard print. So, I just wore a little splash of it. And those of you on audio, you'll have to tune into YouTube to see my, my sweater with some leopard.
Speaker 1 (36:36):
I love it. Thank you. I feel very special.
Speaker 2 (36:39):
Yes. Well, thank you so much for joining us on the Bold Artist podcast today. It has been a pleasure to have you, Bethany.
Speaker 1 (36:46):
It has absolutely been a pleasure to be here. So, thank you so much.
Speaker 2 (36:48):
Thank you so much for joining us. On today's episode, you can find Bethany's links in the show notes in the description box. You can visit her website and Instagram and learn all about and see her art there. As you know, theB Bold Artist podcast is hosted on YouTube on the Bold School YouTube channel and on all available podcast apps. We'd love it if you hit follow, subscribe, leave a review. And most of all, share it with your friends. We really appreciate you sharing and helping the awareness of this podcast. Be out there and accessible for artists. And we look forward to having you join us on the next episode. 'Till then, keep creating.