It's time to stop scrolling and start creating. Today we're talking about the new social media.
This is the Bold Artist Podcast, where we talk about being brave and finding creative freedom. You wanna get those beautiful things inside of your head out onto canvas? We're gonna talk to real-life artists and learn the skills and the courage it takes to do just that. I'm your host, Marijanel, a multi-form artist and creativity mentor, joined often by my co-host, Charla Maarschalk, painter of colorful portraits and founder of Bold School, an online space to learn bold color painting.
Welcome, and let's get started with today's episode. Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast. Today's topic is social media and the artist. And by the end of today's show, you're gonna wanna join the movement to be in the new social media. I'm here with my co-host, Charla Maarschalk, and we're excited to dive into this hot topic that we ourselves can't stop talking and texting about. We've so been enjoying this topic and we can't wait to unveil it for you.
So Charla, do you remember a couple of months ago when we put out the podcast called Social Media and the Artist, I posed a question to you saying how I had noticed an influx of artists leaving, or at least claiming that they would be leaving, social media platforms. And your immediate response to me was, Marijanel, where are they going? Because social media is really important for artists' exposure. And especially if we want to run a business, it's an important tool. And yet artists are tired of the constant scroll and the feeling of competitive, uh, the competitive spirit that's on social media, and the feeling that sometimes you open that feed and you just feel lost and very insignificant in that sea, that big world of social media. And so, I think through our talking, well, first it started with that particular podcast and the question, where are artists going, uh, then you and I have begin to talk and actually really dig deep into the subject of what we need virtually, um, on the internet as artists, and you and I have discovered the new social media. So, let's talk about it. What are some of your thoughts here?
Yeah. Well, I guess our new social media, I, I think that community is the new social media. And I think like I've, I've never really, I think it's a little bit of a trend of how artists are saying we're leaving social media. We're sick of it. I think everyone's kind of saying that they take time off social media and they take a month away, but they always come back because social media is good. Like there's so many good aspects to social media, but the problem is that it has changed, and people usually don't like change. They don't like to embrace change, or they don't really know how to embrace the change. No one's telling them what to expect and they don't, it's changing and they're not able, you know, get what they used to get. And social media used to be an amazing place, or it still is an amazing place to connect, to get inspired, to find people, you know, I believe I'm a huge believer that there's good in everything, and there's evil in everything. Or something that was created for good can be used for evil.
Something that was created for evil can be actually used for good. Um, and social media, I think has turned bad. You know, like there's a lot of bad aspects about it, especially for kids. It's addictive. We, we go on there to get our dopamine hit. We scroll, and we waste our time. Sometimes we come out of there, feeling bad about ourselves. I quickly can feel bad about myself. And when I see amazing art, even though I know that I'm not the best artist in the world, and I'm glad there's people better to me that I can aspire to be like, but it's, it can be depressing. So, I do believe that social media is still an amazing place to connect, and an amazing place to be inspired, and find people who can answer your questions, who can help you on your journey, and whatever that is -- for art or otherwise.
But I do believe that it's changed, and it's no longer a community atmosphere. It's no longer a place where you can, you can hang out. Like, I remember Facebook in its first days. It was just the most amazing place to connect with old friends, with your family that lives abroad, share photos and stories and catch up. And it was amazing catching up with friends you hadn't seen in 10 years, and you created this amazing community. And when I first became a photographer, I, I made my first Facebook page and everybody that all, all the weddings that I shot and all the people that were at the weddings followed me, and I started making new friends there and creating this community of photographers. And it was amazing, but it's changed now. Nobody sees what I post anymore, and I'm stressed out about the algorithms. And even as a business is hard, and as just a user, it's hard.
So, social media, I believe is changing. It's morphing. I've got ideas about where it's going, but I don't really know the algorithms. So, I'm not good friends with the algorithms. I don't fully understand it. But I do believe that community, private communities, are becoming the new social media. They can provide for us what social media used to be, why we loved social media in the beginning, why we fell in love with social media. I believe that that's now being found in private communities where they're more, uh, focused and directed on into like groups of people that are like-minded, and we can still share, and we can still grow, and we can still learn. Yeah. So, that's a long answer to your question.
Sp, can you tell me... Can you tell us then, um, so now you've just described that we are meaning private online communities are becoming the new social media, the place where everyone's connecting on a more intimate level, a more like-minded level, because social media, as we know it, the, the bigger ones, um, are just too big to feel like you're connected to a special, um, supportive communiy. So, these new online communities that you are speaking of Charla, you have one. So I, I would love to hear, as I know, all of our listeners and watchers are very curious, tell us about your online community and how it got started. What is it?
Yeah, so I'm speaking from experience when I say all of this, because when we, when I first began Bold School, and I created Bold Color Bootcamp, which is our first online class, which is a class, a beginning and an end, I teach my bold color process. Um, I, I already knew from teaching live workshops that people needed support after the fact, after the workshop, when they went home and tried to paint, they weren't able to do it. And I heard from people, they wished that I had recorded it so that they could re-watch it. And they also wished that they could ask me more questions. So, this is one of the big reasons why I decided to create the class to start with, but I knew that a big part of that was, was critique and analysis. And I knew that in order to teach that properly, it had to be demonstrated with people.
That's what critique is. And, um, it needed a community. So, I decided to go with a free Facebook group, and start == that's what everybody was doing and still does a lot of, and they're great. And so we start, we, we brought our, our community into a private Facebook group. And it flourished. Like, it grew like crazy, and everybody loved it. It was, it was, it's really the staying power of Bold School is our community. And that's why people stay around. They talk about our community even more than our classes, because it's the aftermath of learning. It's the place where you, you get direction and you can troubleshoot, and you can ask questions, and we get mentorship, and all that kind of stuff. So, from there, our community was growing, and it was still hosted on social media. And people were again now starting to complain.
And I was starting to complain to myself because I hated having to open up the Facebook app and get through all the other stuff to get to the community. And it was just frustrating. It wasn't personable. Like I was still on social media. I was still inundated with everything that Facebook is inundating us with. And it's very news oriented. It's very political. There's a lot of debates going on in there the last couple of years. And I hated that I would have to, like, get through that in order to get to my community. So, we decided to take it off of Facebook onto a private platform where it is, is a it's completely our space, and it's for Bold School, it's for our students. And it has a lot more features and capabilities. And when we did that, everything changed. It became it's, it's like our own private social media. It's not like it is our own private social media. It's a Bold School social media platform.
Yes. The Bold Community.
That's what it's called. The Bold School community.
Yes. And we get to go in there, and we get to post stuff for our, our friends that are in there. We post our work, we help, we have feedback and, and comments. We do workshops in there. That's one of our newest features. And we can connect with people. We connect with people who live in our own cities. We can connect with people virtually from all over the world. And it's just this amazing space. I like to call it, and I've stolen this from, I think, Starbucks, but our Third Space to connect. Our space that we, as artists can go, we are all like-minded, we're artists, we're working on our, our own. We have our own journeys, but we're all working on our skills. We're working on just the, the business of being an artist. What does that mean? And in there we talk about that and we're not inundated with everything else. We can connect with other people. We can talk about other things, you know, it is really what social media was in the very beginning. Um, yeah. So that's what our, our new social media is.
Yes. And it's amazing because a business owner, such as yourself with Bold School can have way more, I wanna say, control over the, the community. But in that sense of control there's freedom because when, when you're, um, part of social media is just so, so out of control in the sense of what are you going to be inundated with on that feed? Yeah. And so when you're in that, um, maybe you can even offer me a different word than control, but when you're in that more controlled environment, it is safe. And you know what you're going to see when you log into the Bold School community, you know, it's art. It's artist growing. It's those friendly faces of people that you're getting to know in that safe space. And, um, and so it becomes like a home away from home. And I know that when I open the app and just so that everyone who's watching and listening knows you can access the Bold School community, not only on your desktop, but through an app on your phone.
And then you click in and I know what I'm going to be encountering there. I'm not going to be hearing about politics and opinions. And, um, you know, who knows what. Or even having ads. That's huge for me is that a majority of my social media feeds when I'm scrolling are ads. And they're ads that I don't ask for. They're, they're picking them out for me saying you, you'd be interested in this, but really I'm not. I just want to connect. And I do go on these apps and platforms to connect and to try to have a sense of being involved in the artist community. And yet when you're inundated with ads and opinions and, um, it, it really does bombard the mind. And sometimes you leave that app feeling disturbed. And so what I have found is that when I log into the Bold School community, I leave feeling refreshed and uplifted and connected.
And that is what community is all about. It's about supporting each other as we grow in a specific field or endeavor. And so, I so appreciate that about the community that you've created, and that when, when I go there, it's a safe place. So, can you tell everyone who's watching and listening, and maybe they're taking Bold School classes and they're not already connected to the community, and they can be or they're listening. And they say, I need a community like that. I wanna be part of this new social media, and I wanna stop scrolling and start creating.Charla, how do we do that? How do we connect to you and your community?
Well, you just join Bold School. As you just go to boldschool.com and you can, uh, get all the information there if you actually wanna be a part of our community. Um, I find our community is, kind of just to speak to what you just said, I think it gives a sense of freedom. Like you said, another word for control. It's a controlled environment. But it's, I think it's, um, it's a controlled environment because we're not inundated with ads and other people that we have never met, like coming and suggested people for you to follow things like this. It's a, but what that gives me when I'm in there is a sense of freedom. I think people have, have said that. Like, a lot of people who are afraid to share their art, they're not ready for the world to see their art.
And they hesitate even coming into the community. We have a lot of students who don't participate in our community. And they, when I ask them, they often say, they're just, they just don't wanna share their work. They're not ready. Um, but this place is a place where you can share your, where you can be free to share your work and get safe feedback. You know, feedback from people who are prepared. They understand your process. They understand what you're learning and where you're going. And you can grow there without putting it out for the whole world to possibly see. If you post on Instagram, it's, you know, it's a possibility that anyone could see this. Somebody you met when you were five, and somebody you've never even met before. Um, so there's, there's fear in that, but inside the community, there, there's freedom. And there's also focus because it's focused on art.
It's focused on learning, making your journey, you know, your own unique journey, and where you wanna go and is focused on learning specific skills and techniques, and being in an environment of people that understand that. Whereas a regular public, social media platform, you get people of, of, from all walks of life, from people that you've connected with at all different times in your life who don't understand where you are right now. And you get artists who, who say things like you, you should do it this way. Instead, you're doing it wrong. You should do it another way. But that's not how it works in our community. We talk about your unique journey, where you are headed, what you wanna do. Even though we're teaching specific skills, we are always about your unique journey. So, there's a lot of freedom, and there's a lot of focus when you're in there.
And we all know distractions. I mean, of course social media is a distraction. But we know just in general to our own goals, reaching our own goals and our ambitions in life distractions are like the biggest killer. And social media is the number one distraction.
So, coming into community, into a focused community, a private community, a controlled community, if you wanna say that, you're going to get that focus, and you're gonna get the freedom in a safe place. Because it's monitored, it's moderated. We don't allow people to go crazy. We have rules and guidelines so that it stays healthy, um, whereas Facebook, I think, it's more about censorship than anything else. Um, so yeah, that's, I don't know if that, I went way beyond your question.
Yeah, no, I actually think that the word focused could replace the word I was looking for when I used controlled is that it's a focused environment. Yeah. And when you open up that app, and you go into, you know, into that community, whether you're spending five minutes or a half an hour in there, you are focused. And what you just spoke to about distractions is a huge problem for me. Um, and then also for a lot of artists. I, I know I'm not alone in that, that we are creative beings, and our, our minds can fire a lot of different ways all at the same time. And I can get so distracted and down a zillion rabbit holes when I'm on, um, any sort of social media platform.
I can start dreaming up all a whole new project. And by the end of this time, I, I'm a whole different artist.
Yeah. Like I remember a time I'll just share a, a sort of funny story, but I remember a time I went on social media for inspiration in one art medium. And I came off the, the platform deciding that I was going to be a rock artist. I was going to put together all these rocks, into some sort of unique fireplace design. And I thought, I am so distracted because there's no focus.
And, and so I so appreciate that about, um, the Bold School community is the focus as well as the support. So, can you describe for our watchers and listeners, what is an experience that someone might have inside the community? What's, like, going on in there? In the sense of like, one thing I appreciate about Instagram is there's challenges and there's prompts, uh, as you know, in the art communities, you can, you can kind of hop onto different hashtags that will have prompts or daily doodles or this sort of thing.
Um, what's happening in your community?
Well, the way we look at our community, it's, it's a, it's a part of the, the journey to taking you to the places that you wanna go with your art. So, we want to provide that within a community space. We have our classes, which are within our Bold School membership, where you can teach and, or learn specific skills and techniques and processes and create, uh, specific paintings with our mentors and instructors. But the community is more like the bridge that takes you from your learning to the results you wanna see. And it takes you through, um, you know, you've, you've learned the skill, you've gone through the demonstrations, but now you're doing it yourself, and you need help. So, we have mentorship on there, but we also have some workshop style classes that are only in our community environment, where you can go in and learn.
We're, we're attempting to bring our workshops, uh, to life with a lot of the concepts and questions that people ask the most that aren't talked about in our classes. Our classes are very much about skill. So, possibly learning, leaning a little bit towards -- I hesitate to say this, but the business of art -- where we, like, our first workshop hosted by Marijanel...
is all about finding your why. So, it's kind of like finding your focus, and why, why you're in the studio. So, that you, aren't going down rabbit holes with your work and with your art. And that's the kind of thing we wanna talk about in our workshops. How, how we can support your journey as an artist. It gets probably a little bit into business sometimes because we are, we are in business as artists, and we wanna know like how to, how to live that life.
So, we support that. Um, what else do we do? We have challenges, and we are setting up collaborations where we can work together. We're dreaming of meetups. Now that the world's opening up about actual physical meetups, where we can get together in real life. 'Cuz, there's nothing more inspirational than that. So yeah, we, we, we kind of do those things, and our challenges are built around the skills that we're already learning and practicing. So, it creates that focused environment. It creates this bridge that gets you to the results that you're hoping for and looking for without the distractions that you have elsewhere. And we all know that we, we really, really need that.
And so what style painters are inside of the community? If someone's thinking, oh, wow, I want to connect here. I want to stop scrolling and start creating with the Bold School community, but maybe my art doesn't fit in. What would you speak to that? And who's in there, um, as far as style and, and subject matter, what would someone find as far as friends and support inside the community?
Well, you're gonna see a lot of variety, like that's for sure. There's variety. Uh, now we focus, our teaching is focused on, uh, the medium of acrylic, and the main subject matter is portraits. So, you're gonna see a lot of portrait artists who are practicing it with acrylics and are learning bold color, but we do have landscapes popping up on our feeds. And, uh, we have, um, one of our challenges, like a doodle a day. So, we actually are doodling, um, so that we can practice our subject matter. Um, there's, there's a lot of different kinds of subject matter within the community. It is, it's a community environment. So we are kind of, um, encouraging that kind of sharing. That's not just our class work. However, within our class groups, we keep them very strict, and we only, we keep them to our classwork.
So, in our community, our, our classes have specific groups that you are only involved in if you've taken that class, and you're not allowed to post other work in there. It's focused so that you need help with those specific skills, you get them through the mentorship of our instructors. And then we have other places like art club, which holds our challenges, and our like doodle a day, and things of that nature, where you have a lot more freedom and variety to try new things. And we have artists, we had one just the other day who said that they just rewatched a Bold Color Bootcamp specifically to paint a landscape and to see if everything I taught held up under... 'Cuz I say, you can use these techniques of bold color and paint anything you want with them. And this person's like, I challenged that, and I painted a landscape, and it was great. It was awesome.
So, we have a lot going on in there.
But definitely it is acrylic, and it is portrait-based. Um, we just, we just do have variety as well. We're open to that.
Well, as we wrap up, today's talk on what is the new social media? That community is the new social media, according to Bold School, and um, Charla, would you have anything in closing that you would like to share that you really think it's important for our watchers and listeners to know about community? And maybe even not necessarily the community that we're speaking of online, but just what is, what would you leave us with the thought that what is community?
Well, that's a big question.
I didn't prepare for this question. I think community, um, it's important. Like, you know, it's, it's really, really important. We need relationship. We need people in our lives, and we need real relationships. Of course, this is virtual, but we're moving into a virtual -- we're not moving into a virtual world, we already have, and we live within a virtual world. I'm a mom of kids who, of boys, teenage boys, who like to be on their computers, who like to game, who text, and more than anything with their friends, they don't do phone calls. They text all the time. And I'm always attempting to get them to move out into the real world with real people and have real communication and real conversations, which I do believe is very important, more important than anything. But we live in a virtual world and I think we can harness it.
Like I said, there's good and there's bad in every aspect of things. I recognize that the virtual world is not good if we are there a hundred percent of our time. But it's a space. We, we live in a community of people where we can talk to people from all over the world, and we have an opportunity to learn and grow together. It's not always easy to go out into our local environment and find bold color portrait artists who want to learn this style and are excited to, to, um, embrace the message, you know, that we have to be courageous artists and, and take our unique message to the world with our art. So, you might not find that locally. We have to embrace and harness this amazing virtual world opportunity that we have. So community, we can take that now onto the worldwide web and create, um, little local communities.
We can call them local communities. They're, they're, like-minded people where we can grow together.
I feel like I know people in my community. I feel like I know them. Like I know Marijanel. Marijanel and I know each other personally, and we hang out in real time, face to face. And I feel like there's people in our community that are like that. And I know that people in our community are excited to be able to meet each other in real life, as well. I just think community is important in, in the real world, and in the virtual world. And this is an opportunity and a, and a place that we can go to nurture relationship with people who understand each other in, in a very intimate way, because art is intimate. Art is soulful. It's deep. And it's good to talk face to face with artists and discuss our, our, our good and our bad parts of our journey as artists.
And usually our best friends don't understand that our parents don't understand it. Our kids, they never understand anything that we're trying to say. So, these communities can be incredible places for growth.
And there's so many of them available for all the different things you're experiencing, not just in art. So, my challenge is for you, come as artists, come try out our space and see what it's like. And you, you can come in and you can be silent. You can just, you know, lurk in the back corners for a little while, but check it out, and also see what else you can find. You know, maybe you're a struggling parent who has a kid with a health issue that you can't, you've never met anybody who understands, and there's communities online for that, as well. There's spiritual communities. There's, uh, communities for marriages that are struggling. You know, there's, there's so many. So, I just challenge you today to go out and look for these communities and, and take it off of social media, which can be detrimental to some, some of these things that we're experiencing, and get into a private space where people can support you and help guide you. And you also have knowledge and, and wisdom to share, and you can support other people who need to hear what you have to share. And the wisdom that you have, these communities are powerful tools for those kinds of things.
Absolutely. And we barely even touched on the power of collaboration, which might just be a whole other podcast because within the community, there's such power to collaborate, even though the artists might not be in your local community. And I loved how you said that, Charla, how within a local community, there might be one or two that might paint bold color like you, but to actually join a thriving, bigger, focused community is so encouraging. And it's not competitive. It's not competitive. That, I can't stress that enough.
It's about growing together. And within the Bold School community, everyone's offering tips and advice if you want it and help to grow and thrive. And that's the beauty of it.
And now regular newsletters where we talk about these things, and we give you the updates, and what's coming down the line, what's happening in the community. We talk about all of those types of things on, on our email list. So, get on our email list. Is the one place you can for sure get the information that you're looking for when it comes to these amazing, this amazing journey of the artist and everything that we have going on Community is a New Social Media. And we can tell you all about it via our newsletters.
Yes. And I just gotta add this in here that the Bold School email is my favorite email of the week, and I'm not just saying that. They're amazing. They're amazing. And so definitely get on that list. You're missing out if you're not on the list. Thank you again for joining us here on the Bold Artist podcast. Until next time, keep creating.