And if you think that everyone should love your work, you're, you're really trying to change the laws of the universe.
Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast, Summer Sessions, where we're talking about hot topics for the season that'll make a difference to your art. I'm your host, Marijanel, joined by my co-host, Charla Marschalk. Let's get to it.
Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast. I'm here with my co-host, Charla Maarschak, and we are talking about hot topics for the season. This is in fact, our last episode of our summer sessions. I can't even believe the summer has flown by this quickly. Charla, how has your summer been?
Hot. Well, it's hot right now while we're recording.
It's hot now. We, we had mentioned that we got a lot of rain at the beginning of the season, but now it is hot. And so what have you been doing? Camping? Pool time? What does your summer look like?
All those things. I'll always work really hard in the winter when I'm like in my studio, painting, working, doing whatever I need to get done because summer always comes, and no matter how I try to prepare is always busy. We live in the Okanagan, and everyone comes to visit, and we wanna go camping and traveling or whatever, and the kids are off school. So, it's always really busy, and it just flies by. And we had so many plans for our summer sessions, and now we're at the end. Like, I can't even believe it.
I know it goes by so quickly, and life is gonna be different this fall for me because I no longer have children going to school. My youngest graduated this past June. And so it's gonna look like in a completely different autumn for me, which I'm kind of excited about, but in the mama's side of me is a little sad that, you know, we won't have that, that, you know, off to school experience anymore. It's different. But you know, last week we were talking a lot about commissions and the idea of whether or not we should be gifting our work to people. And you said something really profound. I didn't even expect it, but you said, don't assume everyone likes your work. And it kind of struck me. Wow. It that's such a good thing to talk about for artists, especially those who are just beginning to come into their style and learn the, their, I, you call it staying in their zone, getting in their zone of, of their style and who they are. And you know, with further thought, I wanted to ask you a few more questions about, um, just understanding the nature of how a, how other people see our paintings and why they would, or wouldn't like our work, and is our work for everyone. I think as, as people pleasers and as artists, we want our work to be for everyone, but it's simply -- at least what I'm finding as an artist -- it's not for everyone. And I have to accept that, but that's hard. So Charla, how do we know if our work is for everyone?
Well, simple answer it's not.
Yeah, I know. I know.
And to some degree you want it to not be for everybody because do you actually want to be viral? Do you want everybody in the world to love your art? I mean, some people do, and some people are cut out for that life, but that means that you're gonna be painting your butt off. It means you're gonna have to go into print production. It means you're going to be doing promotional work and traveling the world. And you're gonna be super busy, uh, being rich and famous is not easy. So, do you really want, not, I'm not speaking from experience, but I've looked into it. I'm not,
I don't think that it's easy. So, you need to be prepared for that. So, most likely you're gonna be happy that your work isn't for everybody. But what that means to you today is that there's gonna be people who don't love your work. And if you're at a show, or online, or social media, or even friends and family that come to your house, they'll look at your work funny. And they'll say funny things like really, is that what you gonna paint? Like, what does that even mean? Like, I don't even understand that. And they're coming from their own perspective, their own, uh, they're looking at it through their life lens, and all of their opinions, and their opinions about you and your life, as well. You know, their... They've got lenses over their, their perspective that is specific to them in their life. So, we can't assume our work's for everybody. And it's got nothing to do with the value of your work, or your expertise, or how good of an artist you are, or your future success. It has, it has really nothing to do with any of that. It's just, it's not for everybody.
Yeah, I guess it has everything to do with who is your audience and the ones who resonate with your work. Which, which would open us up into a very broad subject that's not for today about subjective versus objective art and whether or not they even, um, verse each other. Like, I, I personally think art is both and can encompass both feelings and logic. And art really makes people feel. And I know, um, you know, I've been an, an artist forever and my husband's quite used to it. He's used to me dragging him into galleries or, you know, uh, events where I want to look and experience the art. And he'll often accompany me quite happily, but occasionally he'll, he'll get there. He'll be like, I don't like this. I'm not feeling it. And I, it's not because he doesn't like art, but subjectively he just, it's not doing it for him.
And, and that doesn't mean that the artist isn't amazing. And so I would never want that to hurt someone's feelings. I would never want, um, an, an artist to feel bad about themselves or stop what they're doing. But my husband does not appreciate all art and galleries. Not as much as I do. And yet that, that doesn't, um, that doesn't put the artist down at all. It's a personal preference. And so, there does need to be this objective side of the artist where we, we accept that our audience or people who aren't, our audience are going to have personal preference. What has been your experience with that, Charla?
Um, I've had lots of experience with that from, like, me enjoying art and people enjoying my art or not enjoying my art. I think it's a rare person that can say all art is for them like that. They can actually go. Even a artist has a difficulty going into a gallery and enjoying all art. Mm-hmm you have to be, um, you have to understand how to go into a gallery and subjectively and objectively look at all the art and the history. Maybe it's about the history of art. Maybe it's about the genre, or maybe it's really just about the message in the art in general. Like, when you look at art installations, it's not even artwork you can purchase and bring home. It's an installation. It's a meant to be an experience and usually has a very clear purpose or message in that installation.
So, you've gotta understand art at different levels to really be able to enjoy all art. And we, I think for me as an artist, I struggle with understanding all art and enjoy all art experiences. So, I can expect everyone who looks at my art to enjoy it or understand it at all. And it doesn't matter if I'm skillful or even if I can evoke emotion. I think sometimes the emotion that my work evokes upsets people. It, it brings out vulnerabilities or, like, I don't there's, there's just so many levels to it. So, I've had a lot of those experiences. And what I recognized was that my art, you know, you paint one original piece. And even though I can make copies of that piece, the original is always special. There's always something special about having an original. So, that original is going to go on one wall in one person's home, you know, or being one family or one museum or wherever it's gonna end up. It's just gonna be in one place. It can't even be, it really, truly enjoyed by the world because you need to see it a piece of art in person to fully experience it.
Yeah, that's a really good thought.
So, it comes down to that piece of art is for one person. And until that person meets that piece of art, it's not going to find its forever home, or soulmate, or whatever cheesy language you wanna use. Right. You know, it's not going to find that. So, I've been at shows and people come up and they're like, I love that work, but I can't afford it. Or they might be a little rude and they'll be like, well, I don't understand that why in the world would ever wanna buy it? And I just say, thanks for your opinion. Thanks for stopping and looking.
This is just not for you. It's, it's okay. You can't afford it. It's, it means it's either for you later, or it's for somebody else. And it's okay. It will find its home. Like, I, I look at it sometimes as a living entity because it has a message and a, a purpose.
And when it comes to people, viewing our pieces and, and appreciating them, sometimes I feel like a piece of art is just meant to be viewed and appreciated, not necessarily owned. And I learned that...
Or owned by that person. And I, I learned that from a friend of mine, who's a designer, and she has a great appreciation for all styles of design, um, as particularly home decor. And I was shopping with her for something very specific. And she picked up a sculptural piece, um, kind of like a copper sculptural piece. And she said to me, I have such a deep appreciation for this. I love it, but I would never ever put it in my home, but I love it. And then she put it back down, and I was like, wow. That piece was just there for her to appreciate. But yet she knew it was not for her to own.
It was not meant for her. And, and that really there was something about it. I might not be able to verbalize quite what that did for me, but it made me see that not every piece of something that you appreciate needs to be owned by you. Um, kind of helps you to stop shopping sometimes that you can, you can say, I can appreciate this without buying it. Um, yeah. But then as an artist, it reminds me that there's going to be a lot who simply appreciate what I do, but it's not meant for them, uh, to purchase, own, or hang or, um, you know, and that's okay. There can be, uh, an acceptance in that. Um, but then there is also the knowledge that I have a very special audience, and you have a very special audience. And when we find our audience, then we know it is for you.
It is for you. I can do business with you. I can create for you. I can delight you as an artist because you are my audience. And I think about even a singer who everyone shows up to the show for that particular performer, and that's their audience. They own that show. They own that stage. And as visual artists, we can have that too, where we can have an audience and appreciators who are our fans, and we build that fan base.
And they're there because they love what we're doing, which comes to what you, you had touched on a minute ago, about message. And your message and your style, um, can come across to your fans where your fans follow you for for much more than just your skill. Um, they, they follow you objectively, of course, but subjectively you're making them feel something and, and that's pretty powerful.
Yeah. I think it's is like a, a pretty deep, profound look on life. When you think about that, the idea that you can appreciate something without owning it. Um, like if you're, and if we, and to put that into our artwork, if you think about, you were talking about your friend being a designer, like if you think about a house designer, architectural design, there's so many different kinds of homes that you could design. If you're building a home, you could have a super ultra modern home, or you could have a very rustic, like, farmhouse, and you could have a beach house. You could, you could have a tiny little cabin or like a three story, 10 car garage. Like there's so many styles. And if you could go into all of these in a, probably like really perfectly designed and decorated high end homes of all these styles and genres, you could fully enjoy and appreciate every single one of them. But you're only ever gonna live in one home. So you have to make a decision.
At a time.
Yeah. At a time.
Oh, maybe not. Maybe there's, there's people who have multiple homes at a time.
Yeah. But you're gonna build one home, and you're gonna live in it for a little while.
You're gonna have to be in one place at a time.
Yeah. .Be in one place at a time and you have to make a decision. So you decide, I want the modern farmhouse. That's where I want to live. But you go into your friend's home, who's ultramodern, and you can appreciate it and love that experience, but you don't have to take it home with you. And art is like that, too. You can appreciate and enjoy so many. If you allow yourself and you give yourself the space and the time to appreciate and enjoy it. I think lots of times we're like consumers, and we want everything, and we want it all to be ours. And we want everyone to love us. You know, I want everything, and I want everyone to love me. But it's just not even possible. Yeah. You can't own everything. And everyone can't love you the most. You only get to choose one partner at a time, at least.
You only get to have your kids to be your kids, you know, and your mom and your dad, like we don't get to have everything all at once. So you, you, you, if you can come to a place in your life to be at peace with that idea in general, you can bring that into your artwork and say, I do one style of art, or, I mean, you can do lots of styles, but I, I have my specific kind of art, and I have my specific audience and my, the people that are gonna come and enjoy my work, then I have the certain people that are gonna come and purchase my work. They're gonna wanna talk to me. And, you know, you just, it's, it's how we roll in life. And if you think that everyone should love your work, you're, you're really trying to change the laws of the universe because it doesn't work that way. Everyone doesn't love you, and everyone doesn't love your work.
Yeah. And, and I think there might even be, um, just a lot of seasoned maturity that comes in accepting who your audience is. And it, and in that you find a new sense of confidence. You're not trying to please or water down your work or, um, create something that you're not. You're it's, it comes back to what we talked about in, um, one of the previous episodes where you spoke of just staying in your zone and your realm of expertise.
Of course, getting better and better at it, challenging ourselves. But staying within that, which is, um, such valuable information. So, the real question today was, is our work for everyone. And the answer is a big,
Which, which you might have known. Many artists have known that already, but we got pulled into the scrolling of the social media, and they have so many followers. And this is how, you know, this is a competitive thing. And you want everyone to love you. And we have to step back and ask ourselves, that question. Is our work for everyone ?No. So, do your best for your audience to grow your audience, your style.
And don't be upset when somebody doesn't want your work or doesn't, uh, or, or gives you hate on social media, right? Like, if somebody doesn't purchase it, you go to a show and you don't make any sales. Don't let that get you down because your work's not for everybody. And there is somebody out there as long as you stay active, and you keep working, and you keep pursuing it, you'll, you'll recognize your audience, and they'll find you. They just will.
Yeah, they will. They will. And, um, we are so happy to have you on board here, listening and watching the Bold Artist Podcast. It has been a pleasure to have these conversations in the Summer Sessions, the summer of 2022. It, it has just been really wonderful to have these shorter, but very packed with a punch conversations that are hot topics for artists. Thank you for having a listen and a watch here on YouTube. Continue to follow us, get on our newsletter @boldschool.com and continue to follow for the start of Season Two. We have some exciting, exciting things in store for what's up ahead with Bold School and the podcast. So, um, looking forward to having you on board with that, and you can find us on social media @boldschoolinc, um, on Instagram and just look for Bold School, and we'd, uh, love to see you there. Until next time, keep creating.