Speaker 1 (00:00):
New Speaker (00:01):
Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast. I'm here with my co-host and the founder of Bold School, Charla Maarschalk. And we're here to dispel some notions about creativity and making art today. You know, there's this notion out there, and I know I have had this, this belief system at times in my creative life, that artists just create on a whim. We create when we're inspired, and that we live this life of freedom and constant, like, just explore creativity, and go with the wind, how it leads you. And it is not the case. It's not the case. In fact, it's almost exactly the opposite where freedom is found in creativity, and Charla and I are gonna talk about that today. About how boundaries within our art can actually be one of the best freedom, uh, freedom giving things.
Yeah. So I think that like, actually I think there's probably one of the most controversial topics. I think I've gotten a lot of people bulk at the idea, but it's not because they don't understand like the opposite of like the one, well, this is like one belief that will sabotage your art. So, there's gonna be the opposite belief that will actually help improve your art and make your art better. And it's not that artists don't actually believe this, that, that boundaries and limitations help your creativity, but it's that they hate the idea of not being free. And constraints makes you feel like you're not really free as an artist.
New Speaker (01:35):
So, they bulk at the idea of, well, yes, I can. I can create art whenever I want. Um, but I think that probably once we discuss it, people will resonate. And even be validated in their thought processes.
And I actually think that kind of validation makes an artist feel a little more, um, sane, 'cuz maybe you don't feel like a real artist if you don't create at three o'clock in the morning when inspiration strikes. Or you're too tired because you're a mom, or you're, you've got a day job or whatever. You know, you can't just create when inspiration strikes. Life doesn't really work that way. So, for most artists that is true. And so if they can't create when inspiration strikes, they don't feel like a real artist. So I think the biggest thing this discussion can do is bring that a level of freedom to the artist who has to create within limitations of what life will bring to them.
New Speaker (02:30):
Yeah. You've said to me before that, uh, having boundaries actually removes creative blocks, and that sounds counterintuitive. It sounds, like, or counterproductive. But, but tell me about this in your own world of art, how having a boundary, or giving yourself a certain parameter, um, helps to remove the creative blocks. I have a few examples myself, but I would love to hear, you know, what you've experienced this way.
Well, I find just in general, um, like thinking about like, um, creative prompts, like my son is always on the writing prompts. He's a writer, and he's like, he likes to write music and write, write stories and he's he's going on Instagram and looking for writing prompts. And why, why is that such a big, big, exciting idea for people? It's, it's like a huge movement in social media world and even within our own art, social media, our bold community.
New Speaker (03:26):
Um, I created a doodle a day prompt list because as soon as you have a prompt... And so one of the prompts is draw today, draw somebody with curly hair. As soon as I say that, um, you start thinking, well, how do I draw curly hair? Well, what are all the different ways I can draw curly hair? Now you can draw that, that face, uh, or curly hair on a, a kid or a senior, you could do a profile shot ,or a dark shot or a light shot. You could draw color. Like there's still so many things you could do with it. But as soon as I say, draw a face with curly hair, your mind instantly goes into how will I do the curly hair? It wants to figure out how to overcome the boundary, right? How, how am I gonna work within that boundary? How will I win? Actually, it's almost like competition.
How will I be free?
How will I do it?
How will I be free in spite or, you know, beyond the boundary.
And, and just for those listening and watching, what Charla is speaking about this doodle a day is that inside of our Bold School community, we have workshops and prompts and challenges. And our amazing mentors that you'll find in the premium classroom, they do challenges that will help you to excel in your art and do just this.
Every single month. Yeah.
Yes. And, and do just this. So, do check out boldschool.com to get involved in our community with what we're discussing here today.
Um, but you know, just even... I know that we have the new social media for artists, our own community, but, uh, I have some experiences just on Instagram as a, an illustrator where there's these do it in your own style challenges. And what happens is that if I join one of those challenges, I actually find that I'm more productive because I'm given a space, and I'm told what the parameters of that challenge are, is, and then I have to create within that. And so what we're talking about today is just, um, it, it feels like, you know, the opposite of freedom because you have a list of let's call them rules. But yet within those rules, you flourish and you end up pushing boundaries and experiencing new levels of skill and freedom.
It sparks creativity.
And then I find that in my whole realm of artistry, that if I give myself parameters, even if they're monthly. Like, let's say, they're not to, to last your whole life long as an artist, but monthly, if I say to myself this month, I'm focusing on this and these are your rules, Marijanel, to, you know, use these mediums, do this type of topic, and really finish this certain project. And then within that, I experience freedom because I have edited, um, I have edited my life really to focus. And I think that's one thing that there's that misconception out there where people just look at the life of an artist, and they think they do whatever they want. They, they fly with the wind and, and it's not to be a really skilled, successful artist. You are always editing the different aspects of your life, the mediums you choose.
Um, you've said a few things that just have really, really stood out to me, Charla, about, um, that like level of purpose and focus. And you're a shiny example of it because you are so focused on your own, um, bold color portrait work and your, your growth as an artist that way. Um, but I'd love for you to share a little more here, right on the podcast about just that, that intentional focus and how you edit the, um, other, I guess, distractions in life or distractions in art that might wanna keep us, uh, away from that freedom.
Yeah. Um, not totally sure. Like the, I don't know, I haven't really thought through how I do that myself. I think probably a big, big thing for me is working. Like, I don't like the idea of having rules to follow. And I think that
No artist does
Artists don't like that. I don't want rules.
We don't like the rules. Right?
Yeah. But something I always preach within Bold School is we kind of have to learn the rules in order to break the rules. Because if we don't know how to use a pencil, you can't exactly take it to places that other people haven't taken it before. So yeah, you learn this skill of, of using a pencil. And then when you, you've got all those skills, you can now innovate, and you can take it beyond that. So, you've learned the rules and now you get to break them. And I think a challenge is like another way of looking at rules. A challenge has rules, but instead of looking at it as rules, you look at it as a challenge for you to overcome. That can take that challenge and you do something with it that nobody else has ever done. So, we, we live in houses, right?
We, we need shelter to some level. We need something over our head, something to, to, uh, save us from the weather in our area, wherever we live. And the world's so vast and diverse that, that can be very different, but no matter what, you need a house and it needs to be safe, you need shelter. So, we can't decide, well, I'm not building shelter because I'm not living within your rules. Well, you need shelter. You're gonna die. You're either gonna bake in the heat, or die in the cold, or drown in the storm. You know, like,
You need a shelter. So, how about you learn the rules of keeping a structure up, so it doesn't collapse on you, and now you get to innovate and create incredible,
How you want it to be.
Yeah. And you, you were telling me earlier about an example that you read in the book, Steal Like an Artist. Uh, you read an example about Dr. Seuss having a challenge given to him.
Yeah. So, it said that he, like, he read, he wrote one of his books. Uh, I might get them wrong, but like, I think it's The Cat in The Hat. And it was, I guess not very many words used in this book. That was really great. I think like 360 words or something. I don't know. And so his editor said, Hey, I wanna give you the challenge of writing. Can you write a book with 50 words? He probably even said something like, I bet you couldn't write a book with 50 words. And Dr. Seuss was like, hang on a second. I'm pretty sure I could, you know? So, like one of the favorite challenges in Bold School that mentors put out was, was something like that. It said, can you create a painting in 300 brush strokes or less?
That's a massive challenge. Like, it's a big, it's a rule. You can't go more than 300 brush strokes but can you paint a successful painting.
In less than that. So, it's a huge challenge that
The, the end of the story, though... You forgot the end of the story about Dr. Seuss. Is that he that's when with 50 words, he wrote Green Eggs and Ham, which was like his top seller. And so, you know, what fascinates me about that is it's not like the editor said, Hey, I have a challenge for you. Do whatever you want, whatever inspires you. But it was the opposite. He actually reduced his art form down to the most simplest form and said, can you write a book in 50 words? And then from that, it became like one of his best works.
And so I think sometimes we, we, as artists, we want all the freedom, like this permission to do whatever you want. When the thing that will benefit us the most is to get really like reduced down to, um, the most essential of our art form. And, and focus in on it and make the best art within that boundary. And from doing that, we're pushing the boundaries.
I think so.
Yeah. Yeah. For sure.
Yeah. I think like, if you, if you just, everyone who's listening here is, is a creative in some way or another. And if you think about me putting out the idea, say, hey, everyone, go out and make some art and bring it back. Like you can create anything you want with any medium anywhere, just do it and come back and show us what you got. Like, yeah, you might start to think, okay, I'll do this, I'll do that. But it's, it's a vast, like, huge challenge to try and bring in color palettes, and mediums, and subject matter. And am I gonna do it in the studio or camping? Like, if you got every option in the world, and if, if you're, um, like a little bit, bit, maybe intimidated, if you think that you don't have the, quite the skill to compete with the thousand other people that are bringing in their art, you will get creative block really fast.
But as soon as you say, everybody go draw a portrait with curly hair, then you start thinking. Then I say, go do a portrait with curly hair and only using a red marker. Now, now you're thinking, well, how can I do this and still show off my skill? You know, like, how can I still show that I am creative, and I am an artist? So, you start thinking of ways that you can, you can, in a sense show off your skills and talents. So, you become innovative and you become creative. And if you look at, uh, stories in history about the people who created, who made some of the biggest innovations that have advanced mankind, it was a lot of times out of a challenge that they had or a need that they had, something that was lacking in their life. And they needed to fill that gap. And they were challenged, and they created something that nobody else has ever done before. So, by putting these boundaries, and we could put them on ourselves, we don't need a prompt from Instagram, or even a prompt from the bold community, which is really fun and awesome, you can put them on yourself and you're in the studio.
And just each, each day that you're in create a new challenge or a new limit or boundary for yourself, if you have it.
Yeah. That's such good advice, such good advice. And I know that, um, just what you said there about our boundaries make us innovative, and innovation is creativity. So, by having the boundary of forces, a new form of creativity out of us. I had a, a mom tell me a story one time of a time that she had been experiencing poverty where she didn't have many groceries. And she said, you wouldn't believe the kind of feast I would make with my kids with flour.
You know, she came up with all kinds of recipes of baking. And, you know, just sometimes when we have little and, and it forces us to be innovative, we can come up with the most incredible ideas.
And so it's, it's not necessarily a negative thing. And it's not the ca, the case that we all live in this, like flow with the wind kind of creativity. And so, um, yeah. So, in closing Charla, what do we wanna share about what's going on within Bold School right now? Um, we have some new classes coming down the pipe. We have some really exciting things for the fall. Um, we've just started here this, the start of Season Two with the podcast. Um, and there's some really great classes coming up. Do we wanna give any, any, um,
If you wanna know happening, I think you have to come and, well follow us on social media, and you have to come and join our community if you really wanna see the inside of what's happening.
But I think the best, the most exciting things when it comes to what we're talking about today is within our community and the challenges that we put out each month within our community. And, and also, I guess, if you really want to, to talk about the idea of, of skill building so that you can take on the challenges... 'Cause if you don't know how to draw a portrait, then the challenge of drawing a portrait's gonna be a little bit too big for you to do.
You need to start a little bit smaller. So, skill building, uh, which Bold School definitely offers. We have new classes every month, but come and check out the challenges within the community.
And it's a little, it's a little, um, you know, more paired down than a social media prompt or that you can get involved in on there, and you just come and take part and, and you get, um, advice and mentorship and guidance through other people in the community. And just see. See what happens to your creativity when you, when you join a community, that's actually pushing you with these types of challenges. Yes. I think that's the biggest thing to go away from today is, is challenge yourself by getting involved in something like that.
Absolutely. So, thank you so much for joining us on the Bold Artist podcast. Those of you who tune in on the Bold School YouTube, and all who are listening on our audio apps, including Spotify. We're so happy to have you here. Hop on our newsletter. If you're not already on it, uh, you can go to boldschool.com and get on that newsletter and find out all the information that even what Charla was just mentioning there. And until next time, keep creating.