Welcome to the Bold Artist Podcast. Are you afraid to make art or even show your art because you feel like it's not good enough? Yes, I have felt that way. Have you ever felt that way, Charla?
Definitely felt that way. Still feel that way. Felt that way this summer when I started making bold, colorful marker sketches. I was terrified to put them on my Instagram. And you, you know, like, actually, I put them on my Instagram, and I lost follows from it. I lost followers, and then I was, like, posting more and posting more. So yes, I'm definitely afraid to show my art, but I do it anyways.
So, why are we afraid to show our art? Especially when, um, we just, you know, we're practicing, like, we're, we're doing all the right steps. There's listeners who've listened all, every single episode of the Bold Artist Podcast. There's students within Bold School, they're putting in so much effort. But deep, deep down, somewhere in the hidden recess, recesses, the cavities of our heart, we have a fear. We have a fear that we're not good enough. We have a fear. You know, there's the whole talk of the imposter syndrome. Uh, we have this fear, and it just stops us from moving on and showing and making art. What is it?
It's, is this just really simply the fear of failure? Which every, I mean, there's a rare person that doesn't, but I think every person in every field has a fear of failure. And for artists that means it, or it results in us not finishing art. I hear over and over artists saying, Oh, I have like 10 unfinished pieces in your studio, in my studio. They've been there for years. I don't know if I'll ever finish them. Um, you probably won't unless you really make a effort to, to finish those with purpose. And, and, and meaning, I guess you could even say you probably won't finish them because it's, it's the fear to finish. And, and some people don't even start. I think most people here, Well, I, I might be assuming, Um, I would, I was gonna say, I think that most people watching have started are making art, but maybe not.
There's probably some people watching that aren't even making art. You're watching this 'cuz you thrive on these discussions because you're an artist at heart, and you're afraid to even start. And then there's a whole group of people who have tons of finished art in their studio and make the excuse of saying, It's just my process. I like to work on 10 pieces at a time. Like, well, when's the last time you finished 10 pieces at a time? It's the fear of failure. And, and it just means that if you don't finish it, you can't fail. If I don't finish that piece, you can't tell me it's not good enough.
And so we don't finish, or we don't even start, and that way we can't fail.
Okay. So in, I think one of my own protective mechanisms that I find I default to, especially when I'm afraid of progressing or I'm hesitant to really put myself out there, is I procrastinate. And the procrastination, you know, can be as little as saying, Oh, I'll finish that piece next week when the, when the kids are quieter, or when life isn't so busy. Or I'll, I'll, you know, do it later this afternoon. But then I get to later this afternoon, we've had the long discussion on our, one of our previous podcasts about artist productivity and the times of day where we have our energy. But sometimes later in the afternoon, you hit that wall, and you just don't have what it takes. And so the procrastination though just turns into this cycle. And, um, I, I have a big confession. Okay. A big, um, have to confess here
We love confessions.
Okay. So I don't, all of you faithful listeners who, who've been following us for quite some time, probably remember last January 1st, uh, show or the show that would've been the start of 2022, where Charla and I shared with each other our New Year's intentions. Do you remember that, Charla? Do you remember what your intention was?
I remember the show, but I've blissfully blocked out my intention.
Okay. Do you remember what my intention was? It was unique.
Uh, something about a book, Something about kids. Something about illustrations.
Yeah. You had something about, that's for sure. So, well, that was exactly it, it was my intention to illustrate a story that I've written a long time ago. I wanted to illustrate it and publish it this year.
Is it available for sale yet Marijanel?
This is what I'm about to confess to you, is that I, being the productivity manager, that I am, I mapped out every single step from A to Z. Although there was a hundred steps or so that I had to take to, in order to have a book in my hands by this Christmas that I would give to my kids, even though it's a kids book and my kids are grown up, I was still gonna, you know, give them a book. And so I mapped it all out. And guess, guess how many steps I've done so far?
I'm on step three of 100. And it's, um, where are we at right now? Our listeners are listening in November, 2022. But we are, we are pre-recording. So we, I, you know, maybe I'll be able to get a lot done by the time this show airs, but I'm, I haven't given up the hope that I'm printing this by Christmas, but I've hardly, I've hardly accomplished any of it. But I realized I had a blocker, a really big blocker that I was procrastinating about. And it is a left brain, very prac, like practical, like one of these block,
It wasn't creative, it wasn't the fun stuff like illustrating and colorfully, like creating, It was one of these administrative blockers. And it had to do with, here in Canada, in Canada, we go through the library of Canada to get ISBN numbers for books. When you are an author, you do this process.
I just kept putting it off. And honestly, when I looked at my list, I thought, I don't wanna do that. I don't wanna sign up for all these accounts that I need through Amazon or through this through, I don't wanna do the administration stuff. I like all the creative stuff. So I procrastinated, and here we are at the end of the year with me procrastinating. But guess what, the other day I did it, I signed up for, got my ISBN started and a bunch of other accounts, and I got all that admin behind me. And now...
How long did it take you?
Seriously? Five minutes. That's, but it was like a, it was like a torturous five minutes.
And I had to turn off all my thinking, and all my emotion, and just be like, do it. And I did it. And I'm really happy that I did it. But in retrospect, I saw that it was a protection mechanism, because without those numbers, I couldn't publish the book. And yet without those numbers, I was kind of safe from having to finish the book, which having to, or finishing the book is vulnerable. It's, it's a step of saying, I created this, it's done. I'm calling it good enough to publish. I'm gifting it. It's real. And that's scary for any artist. And I know a lot of you listening, you're not working on a book in the same way that I am, but I think you can find that, that project, that thing you're working on and relate it to what I'm, what I'm sharing with you, that we get ourselves in a spot where we just, we would rather have the blocker and go into denial, like a procrastination mode. Yeah. So that's my big lesson.
It's, I mean, I think we all probably have something that we can relate to that. I was trying to think of something big for me. I think for me it's, it's not been a lot about procrastinating on doing something, but it's the idea of the fear of failure, um, of, of maybe the fear of failing, failing in things that I already have in play. So, I find myself thinking about ways I can just quit. Which is similar idea to, uh, like not doing that thing. Something that's block, so you had a blocker, so as long as you didn't do that, you couldn't fail. For me, it's kind of like, well, if I can figure out a really good excuse to stop doing something, then um, quitting is a way that I cannot fail. Like, and it's, there's this weird things that you kind of tell yourself in your, in your head. But I think that, um, yeah, so it's a way to avoid, um, avoid shame, judgment and stuff like that over your work, over your life, over your decisions.
So, one of the things that I know that keeps me from quitting or keeps me getting through these blockers that we have in front of us and different paths and different things that we're doing, is knowing that I have a purpose in what I'm doing. There's a vision for maybe an end goal. I don't know if it's really an end goal or if it's just the vision for the purpose of what I'm trying to achieve in the work that I'm doing. When it comes to art, I think if you've been listening to the podcast you've heard me say this a million times, I believe that art is supposed to hold purpose. It's supposed to hold mission or message. It's a really, art is a, like, visual arts is a really important task in this world that we cannot, uh, take away from the world.
We can't deny of the world. If you don't do the task, somebody else will pick it up. But you're, as an artist, called to do this important work. You have a task, and you have to complete it. And if you don't complete it, there's people out there that will suffer. So, if you knew that you had to walk to the end of the street and bring a little orphaned kid food, or they would starve to death, literally die, then you would get up, and go outside, and give that orphan some food. If they were right down the street, and there was a blinding snowstorm, you'd go, because, you know it's an important task. And I believe our work, our art is an important task that it can change the world. That it can bring, um, messages of hope into people's lives. I mean, art is marketing, art is movies, art is music.
There's, there's so many places I could go with it. I believe that what I'm doing in my visual art and as well as in my business, which is Bold School and online learning and encouraging and, and bringing courage to other artists, I believe this work is important. So, I will not quit, and I will not allow the blockers to stop me. I have days and weeks and months and you know, that where I, I I have to work through that, that thought process. But in the end, the importance of the task at hand always plays out. So, what I would think is that as artists who don't know how to start their, their work, who don't know how to finish their work, who don't know how to show their work, or they're afraid to do all of those things, understanding, finding, recognizing, bringing to the forefront your purpose and your message, and the importance of making good art will push you to stop procrastinating.
To stop not starting, not finishing, not showing your work. It will help you. That's, that's why you, I would believe that that's why you went ahead and got those ISBN numbers because you knew this had to be published. I don't think knowing you that you did it because you want to become famous, or rich, or glory for creating such an amazing book or anything of that nature. You know, that the message in that book is important, and you want the people that need to read it need to have that book in their hands. You want them to have it 'cause it's important work. And that's why you, you didn't let that blocker stop you because it was important work.
I let it stop me for nine months, but I finally got it done.
Well, things take time.
Yeah. And so that's, I mean, I guess a really good lesson for all of us that it's not too late to push through your blockers and what you've been procrastinating about, just bandaid off and get the job done.
Um, but, Charla, that, you know, that story is almost like some of the other talks we've had about finishing strong, getting through the ugly stages to finish our pieces. Um, how do we stop taking forever to finish a piece? If someone is listening today, and they say, Well, I have been procrastinating about making art. I have felt like it's not good enough. I'm still stuck in the ugly stage. Even though Charla and Marijanel talked about all about being in the ugly stage of art, um, and they say it's quite normal, but like, are there practical ways to just like get through to the finishing stage? And I'm talking about actually painting. Like, how do we get through that painting practically?
Yeah. So, when I'm in studio, and I feel like it's taken me forever to paint, and sometimes I find myself like literally sitting here in my studio in front of my easel with a half finished painting, and I'm making snacks, and I'm checking my social media, and all of a sudden I'm posting on social media making reels, or filling my myself, all of it is procrastinating, you know, pretending that it's important.
Distraction. You just thought the distraction is procrastination.
Yeah. Distractions. So, um, you kind of need to get rid of the distractions. Like, talking about deep work and productivity, get rid of the distractions, turn off your phone, all of... Tell your people just to not knock on your studio door in those hours, put on headphones so you can't hear things happening around you. Things of that nature. Um, ways to just kind of get the work done and speed up. Like, I like to listen to music, and if I'm feeling really slow, and like, I'm not really getting very far in my studio, I actually will put on fast-paced music. Sometimes I like deep emotional music, music that really hits my soul because that's my painting mood. But if I'm not moving forward, and I'm just a snails pace, and I'm just putting paint on the canvas for the sake of it, I put on fast music. And I stand up. And I get a big brush, and all of a sudden, like, you, there's energy. There's blood flowing, the music is up, you're moving a little bit more, you've got the brush in your hand, and all of a sudden you're just, like, painting and something's flowing and something's moving, you know?
Just triggers really. It's, it's triggers to get you to act differently and think differently.
So other ways I, I can get through, um, a painting and not stop halfway or not stop and not pick it up for a week. I map it out, I plan it, I know my process. I say that a lot. I know my process, so that I know if I'm stuck in the middle stages, I know how to move past those middle stages. I know how to evaluate. Community, community, take it to community, and you get help because they might be able to push you out of that, that procrastination stage. And I stop working on, so part of knowing my process is knowing how to finish strong. So, I start working on some of those parts of the process of finishing strong. So, I can see it drawing to a close. Just a simple way, set a timer, say I am going to, you know, not look at my phone for an hour. I'm gonna put a timer on for an hour. And when as that counts down, I need to be drawing this painting to a close. I mean, there's lots of ways to, to push yourself through it practically. Psychologically, it's really about creating triggers that get you out of that space. Recognize you're in the space, you're on social media for half an hour sitting in front of your studio. It's time to trigger yourself to come out of that space.
I don't know if that helps.
So, funny that you mentioned setting a timer, because some would think it's the opposite. Some would think that setting a timer will make you feel, like, rushed or panicked or almost like, I don't know, just too much pressure and stress. But I find timers highly motivate me to get, uh, things done. Anything really.
And what's funny is like I set timers through the day, and I give myself, uh, allotted amount of time to get a task done. Now we're talking back to the productivity discussion, but I, I set a timer to get things done and people around me, like if they come to see me in the middle of like, the timer hasn't gone yet, and then the timer goes, they're like, What's that all about? And I'm like, Oh, well that was, that was my time. I was supposed to do this and get this done.
And it's sort of a little bit of a joke with me and the timer. But the truth is, like what you said about setting the timer to help you wit through procrastination and perfectionism, it actually is a really good trick because.
If you, if you look at, at something, like, then let's just stay on the topic of the painting that you're wanting to finish, that you've been procrastinating about, and you look at even you left brain analyze, it's going to take me 30 minutes to evaluate that and make the changes that I need. I'm putting on the timer, and I'm going to work for 30 minutes, no matter how it turns out, I'm gonna work. I'm not gonna get distracted. What's so interesting is setting that intention with that timer, it's like, for me, the light, the light bulb goes off, and I'm like in the zone, and I get it done 'cuz the time is ticking.
And I find the timer works very, it's a very good strategy for me.
Yeah. I think I've heard of people talk about it with, with productivity in general, like work productivity at your desk and stuff like that. But where it hit me really, really hit home was when I did live demos. And I, I sit in my studio and paint for eight hours, and now all of a sudden I have to show somebody how I paint in 20 minutes. And you definitely wanna complete your painting. You don't wanna be stuck in the ugly stage at the end of that 20 minutes. which we talked about ugly stage in our last episode, Episode, uh, what was it, 42 I think it was, is our ugly stage episode. And I don't wanna be stuck there 20 minutes into a demo. So, I was just more than determined to bring a painting to a close. I remember my first time it was, I had 20 minutes to do a painting. Of course I painted small, I painted on a small canvas. But I was terrified of not getting it done and it being stuck in the, in the ugly stage. So, um, I knew my process and I was like, 10 minutes in, I gotta be here, and I gotta be here, and I gotta be here. And I finished it, and I stepped back, and I was in awe of the work I had done. Like I'm amazing.
Yeah. Under pressure, under pressure with that timer ticking.
It's amazing what we can do.
So, I realized what I can do and how much time do I actually waste, sometimes two to three days of a painting, you know, not, and just trying to bring it to a close three days later that normally they're larger pieces, but I'm like, I waste a lot of time. So, every once in a while when I think about it, or I'm in the mood, I will do some of these things. I'll put on the music, put on the fast music, to put on a timer, pick up a big brush. I'll even start, like, dancing a little bit in the studio, and my mind shifts and, you know, you kind of go into flow, you know, like, and there's times when that a lot of fun, and there's times when you can really surprise yourself, paint faster, and do amazing things.
So there you go, everybody. She says she won't dance on reels for us, but
That's not happening.
But she dances in her studio. We might be running out of time here today on the Bold Artist Podcast. I think we've, we've gone, um, you know, pressing into the time. But there was one other thing that came to my mind because you and I are both followers of another channel here on YouTube called Struthless, who, he teaches about a rule that he follows called the 70% Rule.
And I adopted that rule as I, as soon as I heard him talk about it on one of his videos, it made so much sense to me, and in his perfect for the perfectionism or the perfectionist. So, it's a perfect rule for the perfectionist. I wouldn't tell this rule to someone who leans towards, you know, being lazy or, like, you know, half involved in their project before the perfectionist. The 70% rule is a game changer. And so Charla, do you wanna quickly explain that of, of what that rule is?
Yeah. So some people will call it the 70% rule. Some will say the 80% rule.
It's almost like the 99% rule.
It depends on what you're willing to give. But it could be the 80/20 or the 70/30. You kind of hear that. It's that, you know, you want to do something a hundred percent, but it's really, really difficult to get to a hundred percent 'cuz that would be, maybe it's not perfect, but close to perfect. You're looking for perfectionism, and you've got a plan, and you want to get there. But usually when you get to 90% done the project, you slow right down because it's really hard to, and I mean 90%, I don't, this isn't the 70% rule, but when you're 90% done a project, a lot of people will slow down and not finish. And there's lots of different psychologies around it. Usually when I feel myself really slowing down so, it's not fun, it's not fun anymore. There's usually a lot of administrative things at that point in a project.
Um, pretty much any project. And that's when I kind of evaluate like, how far am I away from being done simply because I'm looking to make it perfect? So, you decide that you don't have to be a hundred percent perfect. You have to bring it to a close. There's certain steps you have to finish, like, if you're putting an online course up, which is what we do, you have to press publish at some point, which means a hundred percent done. But it's not ever a hundred percent perfect 'cause there's, and it doesn't mean there's glitches or flaws, it just means it may not be to the level that you had would've liked it to have been. And that can simply mean, I could record myself here and, and tell and teach you the topic perfectly. But when I look at the video, I'm like, Oh, my hair's outta place, or the lighting is not right, or the sound wasn't perfect, or there's a glitch, some, something there has gone wrong. And then I could decide not to put it up because it's not a hundred percent perfect. So I decide, well, I can put it up with my hair being imperfect. I can put it up even though I forgot a, a point that I really wanted to make. So, you decide that it doesn't have to be a hundred percent, you just need to get it out there.
Yeah. So, there really is a difference between calling something done and calling something perfect.
And as artists as I really, any kind of content creator, or creator of any kind, at some point we have to call something done in order to create and put it out in the world. And as perfectionists, we rarely see it as perfect. So, the 70% rule is us deciding that we will, in a sense have grace on ourselves for that 30% that we feel would keep us from otherwise calling it done. So, I have really shifted some of my mindsets where rather than looking, 'cause in, even in my mind, concerning this children's book that I want to, that I fully intend to complete in 2022, but I'm gonna give myself grace if it goes into 2023...
This is the second time she's talked about it on this podcast.
Yeah, but... But in my...
That's scary. That's being vulnerable.
It is scary. It's, it was actually scary for me to say it in last year's New Year's intentions. I was like, why are you doing Marijanel? Why are you saying this out loud to the public? Because I'm a really am a person of my word. It matters to me what I say. So, I'm like, why are you doing to yourself? And then here I am, I'm still not done. But in my mind, I imagine this perfect book with all these rich, glorious, detailed, yet simple illustrations. And I'm just like, my bar is so beyond, and yet it's my first, it's my first publication in this way, in this aspect. I have published before, but in a completely different kind of realm. So, this is my first real step in this direction. And do I think it's gonna actually be perfect? No, At some point I'm gonna have to decide, it's done.
It's done. It's, I'm pressing, you know, Order on Amazon or however it happens. I'll let you know.
And it will feel so good.
It will feel good. And yet as artists, sometimes we have to also know that sometimes it feels disappointing because even if it feels good to press that order, you and I both know that sometimes something will come back and you're like, Oh, it's not quite what I was aiming for. But I did it. I called it done. I pressed through, I got, I got, I, I I did what I said I'm gonna do. And that is worth more at times than being perfect.
It is, it is.
The accomplishment of doing it. Um, and so, you know, and I told I can actually, um, have a, like, sometimes it's easier to encourage other people than it is to see for yourself. But for my own kids, I would say like if they ran a race, but don't come in with a medal, I still say, I'm so proud of you for doing it. I'm so proud of you for trying. Like, A for effort.
So, I gotta say it to myself, like, A for 70% rule
And I think we talked about this on another podcast. I cannot remember which one. But how everything you're doing is a stepping stone to the next thing. Right?
So, it's always a stepping stone to the next one, which you may also not create perfectly, but you're 70% the next time is actually more like 80%.
Because of the one that you just did.
Absolutely. Such wise words, once again, from my co-host, Charla Maarschalk, the founder of Bold School, Painter of Bold Color portraits.
And just so everyone
You inspire us.
And you know, just in, like, full transparency, we plan these podcasts, very detailed writings. And I'm quite positive we don't get 70% through what we intend to actually say.
Because we're, we're very conversational and wanna be very real. So, there's always a few points we don't make. And normally we'll say, okay, we'll just push those into the next time it fits into our topic.
You know, like, that's how we do these shows. If we, if we didn't, we'd have to read scripts, which would be a little bit boring I think. Uh oh. I mean, it could be done, it could probably be done well.
Let's try next podcast. We'll read a script together, Charla.
I think in a script now. Maybe we can be more perfect.
And then I'll have you rehearse your lines.
Okay, I'm going on tangents now. We should close.
Anyway, thanks so much for being here on the Bold Artist podcast. You know where to find us on boldschool.com, hop on our newsletter email list. We'd love to have you there. And you can find us on a YouTube channel, The Bold School YouTube, @boldschoolinc on Instagram. Until next time, keep creating.