Ahmed Aldoori is a digital painter and illustrator who has worked on a range of projects from movies, theme parks and video games.
He also has a popular YouTube channel where he shares tutorials, sketchbook tours, critiques and original artwork videos to his 200,000+ subscribers.
Ahmed also has a bustling community on his Patreon page, where he not only shares his art, but also assignments for his patrons.
-How he went to school for Computer Science and quickly realized that art was too big of an obsession.
-Wishing that he hadn’t taken the “safe path” and researching the fact that there actually was a path for him to pursue art from the start.
-Whether or not you should go to art school.
-The moment that made him realize how he needed to structure his Patreon community.
-The way that his Patreon supporters and Discord chat mimic the university scenario of going to war with your friends.
-The camaraderie that he shares with his community when he lets his guard down and shares that he struggles with certain things as well.
-How writing things down allows him to be a therapist to himself and address his resistances head-on.
-His advice for those who are scared of writing their “inner-most secrets” in their sketchbooks, where others might eventually see it.
-Gaining clarity from taking a break from his creative pursuits.
-Being able to look back at his life as an outsider and the way that changed things when he came home.
“It works for some people to have something laid out for them. But I think for creative people, we temperamentally tend not to like to be put into a box.”
“That’s the case for any artist. There’s always going to be that thing that you keep chasing. It’s like a carrot on a stick, and it’s a different carrot every time.”
“Look at your flaws head on.”
“I looked at my life in America as a movie that I was editing, and when I came back I decided that I was going to let it play out the way I wanted it to, based on the things that I had overcome.”
“Vulnerability is the one that shows that you’re human and will have that limbic resonance with other people. It is the through-line.”
“Every artist got to where they are because of their obstacles, not because of their conveniences.”
“Find out where you want to be in ten years and reverse engineer how you’re going to get there.”
Lily Hevesh is a professional Domino Artist who produces weekly videos on her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, while also doing professional projects for companies, ad agencies, brands, schools, and others seeking Domino Art.
She currently has over 600 million total YouTube views and 2 million subscribers, making her the #1 most subscribed Domino Artist on the web.
Her videos have been featured on NBC, FOX News, Nickelodeon, CNN, CBS, MSN, the front page of Reddit, the front page of YouTube, and other various sources. She has also worked with Will Smith for the feature film, Collateral Beauty, as well as Katy Perry for the launch of her new album, Witness.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/lilyhevesh
-How she first got interested in domino art.
-The video that went completely viral, getting three million views in the first two days.
-The business opportunities that came as a result of her channel growing.
-How much planning goes into her elaborate projects.
-The method by which she makes complicated words, logos and images with dominoes.
-The way that she is able to limit the damage in case disaster strikes.
-The importance of learning from failures.
-How she learned to work the camera during the topples.
-The experience of working on Collateral Beauty with Will Smith.
-Being able to travel the world.
-The experience of working with other domino builders and people who understand “domino language.”
-How she decides whether or not to play it safe or take risks with her tricks.
-The love/hate relationship she has with large live events.
-How posting content every week has given her a career (and also allowed her to cut down her perfectionism).
-Her plans for the future of Hevesh5.
“Even though I do plan it, most of the magic happens when I actually start building and I can see it on the spot.”
“I’m a mixture of hopeful and nervous as I’m putting down the dominoes.”
“Failure is part of the process itself.”
“When I have a deadline, it pushes me a little bit more to actually get things done.”
“It’s definitely important to be consistent, especially when you’re posting online.”
Marie-Noëlle Wurm is a multidisciplinary French-American-German artist & illustrator who paints, draws, sculpts, creates puppets, lives at night and loves chocolate.
Her paintings are often filled with whimsical creatures that seem lost, floating in undefinable worlds that are colorful and strange.
She is also a top Skillshare instructor where she shares her skills, tools, tips and tricks.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/320
-Getting her degrees in biology, English literature and film, and puppet theater.
-How Sandrine Gaudet’s class broke down all of her walls that had been keeping her from drawing and painting in a serious way.
-How literally anything can be a source of inspiration.
-The way in which seeing your art simply as information can take some of the pressure off of yourself.
-The importance of seeing all creativity as an experiment.
-Why she has a particular distaste for the word ‘talent.’
-Why a fixed mindset is so detrimental to human beings.
-Her attempt to create a space where people can reconnect with the natural world and ask themselves questions.
-What it is like to receive feedback on how others interpret her art.
-How she got involved in Skillshare and eventually became a top Skillshare instructor.
-How she deals with her creative fears, blocks and resistances.
-How the more you create of something takes the pressure off each individual thing that you create.
-Treating yourself with more compassion when you are afraid or blocked.
-Distracting the self-critical part of her brain with podcasts.
-Her “Project Mossweaver” and the importance of juicy goals.
-Predicting potential resistances and writing down solutions so that you are immediately ready to deal with them in the most effective way possible.
“I have an issue with the word ‘talent.’ I think that it’s a huge block to a lot of people’s creativity.”
“That class is the one that really changed my trajectory in a profound way.”
“Anything can be a source of inspiration. And I really believe that. Literally, anything.”
“It’s more about experimenting. And that’s at the root of how to overcome fear that’s linked to creativity. See it as an experiment. If you see it as that, then you learn a lot and you also have fun.”
“There’s nothing more detrimental to us as human beings than a fixed mindset.”
“If you cultivate curiosity, then it’s only going to bring you to interesting places.”
“Cultivating self-compassion is a huge part of overcoming fear or self-doubt.”
“The fear is a message and it’s telling you that the thing that is scaring you is super-important.”
John Guydo is a New York City based Illustrator working primarily in the traditional medium of pen and ink. Inspired by master engravers like Gustave Dore and Albrecht Durer, John crafts detailed illustrations through intricate line work. Much of his recent focus has been on creating poster prints licensed by Marvel, DC, and Warner Brothers.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/johnguydo
-How he realized that he missed drawing after doing a lot of work in graphic design and web design.
-The importance of taking some breaks from your creative pursuits.
-The way in which he started sharing his work on social media.
-Why he shares intricate, detailed shots of what he is working on.
-The long-term project that he is working on with poet David Herrstrom.
-His strategy for sharing his work on Tumblr and other social media websites.
-The way that social media not only allows you to put yourself in front of new audiences but also allows you to be the audience to artists that you would have never witnessed.
-Doing alternative movie posters for Blade Runner, Batman, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
-What it is like to work with Bottleneck Gallery.
-Not thinking about his work as a career, but rather as entertainment.
-The challenge that he faced to incorporate so many Marvel characters into the 10-year anniversary poster for the MCU.
-Working digitally and incorporating color into his work for the first time.
-How he sometimes overthinks the business aspects of creating art.
-Dealing with overwhelm when it comes to choosing the version of a piece he wants to create (and how he makes a decision).
-How he spends a lot of time before he even makes the first mark to ensure that he is happy with the composition and the idea as a whole (and then it is off to the races).
-The importance of creating things that you want to see rather than trying to cater to what others want.
“Drawing in your own sketchbook is one thing, but having audience really changes things.”
“I’m the type of person that likes to really obsess over things. Sometimes too much, actually.”
“One of my resistances is coming up with a final decision on what I’m going to do, because there is only going to be one image at the end of the day.”
“It usually takes me a long time before I actually put pen to paper. I really need to lessen that and get started on these things quicker.”
“To me, the most important part of the process happens before you put pen to paper.”
“Give art to others as you would like to receive from them.”
“The only type of success that I ever found was when I stopped trying to be successful and just started doing the artwork that I found interesting to myself, and then that little bit of success came along.”
Sandra Busby is a still life artist who paints in a contemporary style using traditional methods. Inspired by the ordinary, she strives to capture the playful light in glass and other still life with her paints.
Tara has been in the Graphic Design industry for over 20 years and is the creator of the hugely popular blog, ‘The Idea Medic’. She also has a design website www.roskelldesign.co.uk where you can see an abundance of her quirky creations.
They came together to create Kick in the Creatives, a website, podcast and community where you can find an abundance of existing online creative challenges all under one umbrella and with some brand new ones added to the mix.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/318
-What Kick in the Creatives is all about.
-What it was like to meet in person for the first time.
-Learning some of their resistances such as imposter syndrome.
-Finding ways to detach yourself from your work.
-How to handle the insecurities that arise from listening to your own recorded voice.
-What they’ve learned from the members of their community via the challenges and discussions.
-The encouragement that is rampant in their Facebook group.
-What they learned from the challenges that they participated in (and the children’s book that came out of it).
-Getting past the fear of drawing in public.
-Some of their upcoming challenges, including Art Journal January, Aqua January, February Fables, Five Minute March, Cartoon in June, April Poetry, and Early Rise August.
-Overworking your sketches because you love the process of drawing so much.
-What it was like to interview some of their creative heroes.
-The lessons they learned from Danny Gregory, Jon Burgerman, Joanna Penn, Tracey Fletcher King and Callum Stephen.
-What they learned from Jake Parker about deep and shallow creative blocks.
-Getting past imposter syndrome.
-Finding comfort in the fact that all creative people go through the same struggles as them.
-Some of the various ways in which the members of their community have collaborated and helped one another.
“I don’t think either of us knew how much work it would be, but definitely worth it.”
“We were standing in front of everyone in that museum and somehow it cured me there and then of that fear of drawing in public.”
“I think the reason that I take so much time drawing is because I love that process so much that I actually don’t want it to end.”
“This whole Kick in the Creatives thing is all about trying to form a creative habit. It does take time, but you do get there eventually.”
“Just start. Every day that you don’t start is a day further away from getting to where you want to be.”
“Unless you try it, you don’t know if you’re good or not at that thing, even if it takes you a little while to learn it.”
“It’s like writing. If you just throw in your first draft without editing as you go, it just gets out there on the page. It’s the same with drawing quickly.”
“It’s not just about the challenges. It’s about all these people coming together. There are definitely friendships being formed in our group.”
“Nobody really knows and nobody should discount you or tell you that you can’t do something.”
“Even five to ten minutes is enough to do something creative. Don’t waste those small moments just because you think that you don’t have time.”
Help support the show and check out my #Cramuary progress:
And be sure to tag your own #Cramuary goals and progress!
Philip Ruddy is a Los Angeles-based depth psychotherapist, who previously spent fifteen years as a writer, producer and development executive in Hollywood. He now works with writers, artists and performers, helping them explore and transcend creative blocks, anxiety, depression, and the unique stressors of the film and television industry. He can be reached via his website ActivelyImagine.com.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/bestof12
-His journey getting to the point he is now as a depth psychotherapist.
-His explanation of what depth psychology is.
-How he is able to tap into his experience as a development executive, screenwriter, and a short story writer in order to understand what other creative people are going through.
-How writer’s block is a personal thing that differs for every person that he works with.
-The notion of befriending your creative blocks.
-The idea of Active Imagination.
-How we imagine the harshest of critics will judge our work, but in reality, if someone doesn’t like your work, they typically just move on.
-The traumatic effect that negative comments from teachers can have, especially at an early age.
-The importance of seeking out a tribe and a group of peers, and not necessarily rely on the influences that your school district had as art teachers.
-Creating a new persona.
-The interplay that happens between your persona and your “true self,” both positive and negative.
-The importance of his clients being sober when coming in for treatment so that they aren’t “unconscious” during the process.
-Why creative people rely on drugs or alcohol to subdue their minds from the constant thoughts, and healthier ways for them to disengage.
-An extremely disheartening experience that he went through in the past, which helps him to relate to his clients today.
-The journey that he took after having his original screenplay taken, which led him to becoming a psychotherapist.
-His masters thesis on transcending writer’s block based on Active Imagination.
-The concept of the “wounded healer.”
-His advice for someone who wants to open a dialogue with his or her blocks.
-How the subconscious part of your psyche that will hold you back from doing work will often have insights that your conscious mind isn’t aware of.
-The importance of creating a friendly and welcoming dialogue with your block and treating it like a guest in your house.
“What’s the personal myth that you are leading your life by?”
“Writer’s block is something that you’re probably going to wrestle with for many years to come if you don’t make a decision to focus on it now and come up with some ways to navigate it.”
“Befriend it so that you can transcend it.”
“The idea is not just to exterminate this writer’s block but to engage it in dialogue. I actually mean that quite literally.”
“Write out a dialogue with this writer’s block and see what it has to say.”
“Writer’s block is often an unexpressed part of ourselves that wants to be heard, so if you actually give it some time and engage it, it will often tell you what it wants of you.”
“We’re often far worse critics than the real flesh-and-blood critics that we encounter.”
“The first creative act is reinventing yourself. Creating your new self as an artist.”
“To reinvent ourselves, to become who we are destined to be, takes an incredible amount of strength.”
“I found that after that experience, I really began to shut down as a writer.”
“I just looked around and I thought I have found my tribe.”
“Going into film production is kind of like the French Foreign Legion. You can literally work 24/7. That job is never over.”
“I went through it myself — that is why I’m able to help others.”
“Sometimes the most effective healers are the ones that have been injured themselves.”
“Don’t invite your critic in while you’re creating.”
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron
“The Red Book” by Carl Jung
“An Evening with Ray Bradbury – 2001” (YouTube)
“The Hero’s Journey… For Writers, Artists & Performers” (from Philip’s blog)
David Kochberg is a musician, a mechanical engineer and the co-founder of Goodnight, Sunrise, an indie-rock-and-roll-superfun-party band based in Toronto, Canada.
David started out in engineering, but discovered a love for music and became a mostly self-taught guitarist, drummer, songwriter and producer.
Goodnight, Sunrise has played almost 300 shows across Canada and the UK and they have started their own label called Rejection Records for their band business operations.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush/317
-How he got into music later in life.
-Why he left his job in mechanical engineering to travel the world for 14 months.
-The perspective that you can achieve by experiencing the rest of the world, especially when you are being intentionally introspective.
-Coming home to Toronto and the experience of making music more of a part of his life by joining a band.
-What makes a successful and “easy” creative collaboration.
-Maintaining a creative relationship despite the romantic relationship working out.
-How to make sense of the puzzle pieces that are floating around creative people’s heads.
-The balance of a day job with a creative side hustle.
-Building up confidence to tell other people that he is a musician before any other definition of himself.
-Learning to be happy with the success of creating music as opposed to the “acclaim” that one particular song receives.
-Putting yourself in the position to capitalize on luck.
-Opening for Bon Jovi and how that experience shaped his view of opportunity.
“A big pattern in my life is coming up with really great ideas and then not following up with them. That’s something that I constantly still struggle with.”
“Set yourself up for luck to strike you. Then if luck does strike, you will actually be able to make the most of it.”
“Any time I think that’s impossible, I always remember that we did open for Bon Jovi, and that’s technically impossible, so anything is worth a shot.”
“Look at every opportunity that comes your way as a chance to try something out and learn from it.”
“Confidence and self-confidence are much more in our control than we realize.”
Felix Semper is a Cuban American painter and sculptor. He gained popularity with his sculpture of the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G. which he crafted from thousands of layers of glued paper.
Semper's work has been collected by global corporations and celebrities such as Business Insider, Marriott International, Champs Sports, A$AP Rocky, Wendy Williams, Elvis Duran, Ryan Seacrest, and Kelly Ripa from Live with Kelly and Ryan, as well as numerous private collectors and institutions.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/felixsemper
-How he describes his unique sculptures.
-Taking a long break from his artistic endeavors.
-How cutting paper in a print shop was one of the seeds that had been planted long before he started his sculptures.
-His career building properties and what happened during the housing crash in 2008.
-Getting back to his creative roots as a means of healing his pain.
-The way that he creates his material by gluing pieces of paper together.
-How time disappears while he is making his art.
-The spontaneous and explosive bursts of creativity that he gets through his painting, which helps him balance the monotonous and long process of creating one of his sculptures.
-The doubt that creeps in as he starts a piece (and the eventual moment of recognition when the piece appears, sometimes weeks or months later).
-The structural integrity of his sculptures and how people have to learn how to handle them.
“I went back to my roots and started drawing to heal my wounds and to heal what was happening on my outside.”
“We think that everything has been invented and everything has been done, but in reality it hasn’t. There’s still so many angles you can take just based on your creativity.”
“It was something that I was doing for healing, waiting for the next thing in my life to happen, never knowing that this was the thing that was going to happen.”
“I don’t want to do anything else for the rest of my life. I want to do art.”
“I wake up every morning and go to my studio and start working and I am the happiest person on earth.”
Aimée Rolin Hoover is a contemporary animal painter who is originally from Philadelphia, PA but currently lives/works in southern California.
Whether her subject is a canine, cow or a black rhino, her hope is that her work offers the viewer—in some small way—what animals have the power to do in person: to inspire us to be exactly where we are in the present moment. A space in which we don’t necessarily have to think or understand, but instead feel and connect.
Her paintings hang in collections all over the world, from the U.S. and Canada, to Europe and South America.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/315
-Her reflections from her Fly Mask series.
-Saying “yes” to Between Worlds despite her fear of collaboration, being on camera and putting herself in an unknown scenario.
-What it was like to work with Black Light King.
-Her earlier lessons on collaboration.
-Why she decided to make her fourth year of 30for30 paintings her last.
-Her dedication to move toward what she doesn’t know.
-How she doesn’t want her work to be for everybody.
-How she handles her e-mail list.
-The support that she receives from her husband, Scott (especially during the busy times).
“Once I have an idea, I just have to get it out.”
“I hadn’t been that scared in a really long time. Like truly scared.”
“Just go with your gut. I think our heads get in the way of the work that we create or the excuses we give ourselves to not do our work.”
“You need to go towards what excites you and pulls you into being creative.”
“Follow your gut before your head gets in the way!”
“Do the weird stuff. People out there are waiting for your weird stuff.”
Adam Wilber is a world-class magician, author, inventor, and keynote speaker who believes that creativity isn't a finite personality feature -- it's a skill that EVERYONE can master with the right mindset.
As a keynote speaker and creative thinking workshop leader, Adam engages, challenges, and inspires audiences with the promise that everyone can learn how to be creative and his five books define the magic formula of creativity and are the must-have manuals for anyone that wants to improve their creative quotient.
Upgraded magic tricks and brand-new illusions skyrocketed Adam’s career as a professional magician. The never-before-seen inventions and illusions were highlighted on national television shows, including Penn & Teller, and in front of thousands of awestruck audiences at private and corporate events.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/adamwilber
-How creativity saved his life.
-The response he got about a magic trick pertaining to creativity that set him on a new course.
-How he fooled Penn & Teller on “Fool Us.”
-The role that creativity plays on his life.
-The way he handles imposter syndrome.
-How the tide has changed in terms of companies getting behind creativity as a focal point in their long-term vision.
-Becoming an author.
-How he goes about developing a new magic trick, specifically looking at his trick, “Decibel.”
-How he feels about other magicians using his tricks.
“They say once you start doing what you’re supposed to do and what you’re passionate about, that’s when you become successful.”
“Your expectations are never as bad as the reality of the situation.”
“That’s where magic lives. It lives in the mind of a spectator.”
“If you have that one thing that’s been with you your entire life -- you’ve always wanted to do it, you’ve always tinkered, you’ve always dabbled -- then that’s it. That’s the thing you need to put your heart and soul into.”
Jordan Hill is an illustrator and storyteller with a focus on characters and connections. She is the creator of The World of Immensum, which was born around seven years ago when an idea for a book series took on a mind of its own. Every short story, novel or illustration she creates take place in the same universe, with their placement in that universe depending on the planet, location on that planet, the time period it takes place in, or even the particular sub-timeline/alternate universe it is a part of.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/jordanhill
-Her creativity from a very young age.
-How she navigated the “in-between” of being equally left and right-brained but wanting to fully pursue art.
-The negative experience she had of paying for college classes but not receiving an education.
-How she was able to double down on NaNoWriMo while she was also taking college courses and holding a job.
-How she always feels happier and more fulfilled when she is creating and exercising.
-The story of how The World of Immensum came to be.
-Embracing her joy for comic book style art.
-The way in which our interests, our past and our previous styles all come together to create our unique voice, which can’t be copied.
-Constraints versus an entire imaginary universe with multiple realities.
-How ideas often come in great numbers as you are creating.
-The importance of writing down all of your ideas.
-Her goal of trying new things and putting herself out there.
“For some reason I just got it into my brain that I couldn’t do art as my career.”
“I had this moment where I just thought, Why am I paying money for them to give me a grade when I could just buy the book and teach myself?”
“When I thought that I might not be able to do it, I put every ounce of my spare energy and free time into it.”
“Art is basically a culmination of your entire life presented in a physical object.”
“The funny thing about art is that the more you make, the more ideas you have.”
“Just because an idea isn’t necessarily relevant now, it doesn’t mean it won’t be later.”
“Find what you love to do and let yourself be bad at it. Eventually you will progress and you will get better.”
Marco Bucci began to study classical drawing at age 19, which led him to kindle a love for painting and illustration. He hasn't looked back since.
His experience includes books, film, animation, and advertising. His clients include: Walt Disney Publishing Worldwide, LEGO, LucasArts, Mattel Toys, Fisher-Price, Hasbro, Nelvana, GURU Studio, C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, Yowza! Animation Inc., Pipeline Studios, and more.
Marco is also a passionate teacher, and currently teaches "The Art Of Color & Light" at CGMA, a course specifically designed to build painting fundamentals from the ground up.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/marcobucci
-How he learned how to learn to draw.
-The way in which he pursued art after abandoning it as something that he wasn’t as good as other people who “could draw.”
-How the path to your goal is never a straight line and how you should embrace the fact that the path will be curved.
-The labor of love that is his YouTube channel.
-The way in which he plans and structures his YouTube videos.
-Trying to solve problems before starting a piece.
-How to avoid paralysis during the creation process.
-The difference between art and creativity.
-How we are all born with creative curiosity and don’t question it (or our skills) until later.
-How he always tries to push himself to do something new with each piece of art so that he doesn’t become complacent and rely on any formulas.
-The battle between hard work and fun.
-Starting small so that you can have small successes before taking on a big project like writing a book.
-Not fully defining the path that you are going to take to become the artist you want to be, and being willing and excited to venture off into new directions.
-How his short film Cindy, with Bryce Sage came to be.
“I didn’t have the inborn talent to draw and my jealousy became a stubborn resolve to figure out this whole drawing thing.”
“I never realized that drawing was a skill you could actually learn so I thought I was doomed from the start. But it turns out you can learn to draw.”
“A big part of the creative process is discovery. You have to be able to make a right turn when you should have gone left and only discover that later.”
“We’re all born with the desire to create and so many of us snuff out our own flames. It’s such a tragedy.”
“I try my best to not repeat the thing I just did. Even if the thing I did was a huge hit.”
“Start small and don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
“When it comes to becoming an artist, don’t try to preordain your own path to success.”
“It’s better to create bad stuff than it is to not create anything.”
Sketching With Focus [From Marco's YouTube channel]
Fran Meneses aka Frannerd is a self-taught Chilean freelance illustrator who recently moved from Hastings, United Kingdom to New York City. She takes a deep interest in her followers and patrons and her work often reflects the things that they want to see.
She also has a popular YouTube channel in which she talks about pencils, paper, illustration and her daily life.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/frannerd
-Her recent move from the United Kingdom to the United States.
-The way in which she burns herself out before drawing the line and allowing herself to rest.
-Her constant battle with feelings of guilt for working too much or too little.
-How she needs to give herself more self-love and treat herself and talk to herself the way she would treat her best friend.
-How to know the difference between “urgent” and “important.”
-The way in which ideas go from one person to another.
-How her graphic novel About to Leave came to be.
-The way in which the big projects such as graphic novels force you to face the things that you don’t know how to do and also to emerge at the end as a new person.
-Taking notes as she is out in the world and cherishing the things that resonates with her at a deeper level as well as the things that make her feel awkward.
-Her thoughts, studies and art about friendship as adults.
-Balancing her work and projects amongst Instagram, YouTube and Patreon.
-The gratitude she feels for her patrons.
-The rules we make up in our own head about social media.
-How and why she made her YouTube channel (including inspiration from Art Attack).
“Since I love what I do so much, sometimes I’m not very respectful of myself and where I draw the line and let myself rest.”
“A graphic novel is a test to yourself.”
“Having Patreon and having my online shop changed the way I approached creativity and my working life completely.”
Joshua LaRock is internationally recognized as a preeminent figurative artist. His exquisite paintings are an ode to the past filtered through a contemporary life. LaRock’s portraits and figurative pieces alike are memorable for both their emotive quality and for evoking an eerily present feeling. Inspired by Bouguereau and other masters of the past, Joshua imbues a shade of the timeless, drawing the viewer deeper into his personal interpretation of how the world ought to be.
Among Joshua’s most striking works are those of his wife, Laura. In 2012, “Portrait of the Artist’s Wife” was hailed as ‘deserving special attention’ during the historic America China Oil Painting Artists League exhibit at the Beijing World Art Museum. While “Laura in Black” was part of the prestigious BP Portrait Award 2016 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London and is the subject of his premier instructional video “The Layers of Portrait Painting”.
Joshua currently lives in North Carolina with his wife and two children.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/joshualarock
-His initial interest and study of music and music business.
-How he became aware of classical realism and his discovery of John Singer Sargent, Jacob Collins, and ARC.
-The common experience that he shared of being an artist that didn’t start from a young age.
-Controlling his anxiety during “quick sketches.”
-How long it takes him to do each of his paintings and how he sometimes wishes he spent more time in the planning stage.
-His first portrait of his wife, Laura and what made it special.
-How you only need to do one good painting for people to take interest in you.
-His advice for making decisions, or putting yourself in the position to have to make decisions.
-What it feels like for artists to take on the additional title of “entrepreneur” (and a great example from Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel).
-His stance on classical realism and the fact that not as many people are doing what he does.
-How soon artists should consider teaching others.
-How to push past imposter syndrome, especially when it comes to teaching.
“There’s always a point in each painting at which I think ‘this is not going to work.’”
“There are points where you need to take it off the easel and put it against a wall and not look at it for several months.”
“There’s always a little bit of a dance between things that you’re really passionate about and things that you have to do day to day.”
“I don’t think there is a ‘too soon’ to teach art.”
Limbo is a musician from the Bay/Los Angeles area of California who is interested in creating sounds for your ears, minds and hearts. While she wears a cat mask to take her identity out of the equation, she opens her heart with her diary-like lyrics and beats.
Her new album is called Lonely But Never Alone and is available here.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/limbo
-How she taught herself to play guitar and use Ableton via YouTube tutorials.
-Why she chose to use a pseudonym and wear a cat mask to hide her identity and the superpowers that it gives her.
-How she developed her unique style.
-Her creation process and the starting point for each song.
-Being self-taught vs. a formal education.
-How she finds the motivation when she doesn’t feel like learning or working.
-What went into making her new album, Lonely But Never Alone.
-Resistances that she deals with such as self-doubt and comparison to others.
-What went behind her decision to make the plunge of becoming a full-time musician, and what that journey has been like thus far.
-How she built her initial audience with consistency.
-The inspiration she gets from Jim Carrey.
“I feel way more comfortable with a mask on. It does give me superpowers. It makes me feel more confident.”
“We’re all taught to grow up and think that you can’t be a rockstar so it’s hard to have that dream and believe in yourself sometimes.”
“That’s what any artist or creative person dreams of, is not working somewhere they don’t want to and being able to create whenever they want to.”
Joshua LaRock : Website / Instagram
Fieldey is a professional artist with over 16 years experience in art and design. She specialises in street art murals, portraits, painted surfboards and skateboards, and commercial illustration, all created with a style that combines realistic painting with a cheeky retro old-school tattoo flavour.
She is well known internationally for her instantly recognizable iconic style and her popular YouTube channel, Fieldey TV, which features some of the best art tutorials on the web.
Fieldey works with brands to create custom illustrations and artworks for their needs. Clients include Coca Cola, Citroën, Iron Fist Clothing and Seven Skates.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/fieldey
-Her initial interest in art and the thing that made her put it off.
-The way in which surfing brought her back to art.
-How her studies in graphic design helped her to create a brand for herself.
-The way in which the limitations and restrictions of surfboards as a canvas helped her to develop her style.
-Her advice for honing in on your own style and then busting out.
-Knowing when it is time to shake things up and move on with your art.
-The way in which people on the internet curate their work and their lives to make them seem perfect.
-Wanting to show that she makes mistakes and how she fixes them.
-Preparing for and getting through the “ugly stage” of your art.
-The importance of breaks from your work.
-The tiny amount of negative comments that she has received compared to the amount of negative comments that she feared she would receive.
-The importance of having someone who will support you but also give you honest feedback about your work and progress.
-How she reacted when her murals were vandalized.
-How having another career is not necessarily a bad thing for artists.
“I was so scared of failing that I never really gave it everything.”
“I thought, you know what? I’m just going to film this and chuck it up on YouTube.”
“The things that make surfboards difficult which is the shape and the fact that you can’t just use any old materials on it, were the things in the end that crafted my style and created it.”
“At the start, I was terrified of making mistakes, of failing, and of people being mean to me.”
“Having a process and having a system is what makes you feel more secure.”
“Sometimes the fear that you have as a creative is actually a good thing, because it is keeping you honest and making you do your best work.”
“When you’re creating and you’re close to your work, you don’t see it for how it really is, so that second pair of eyes is really helpful. Especially if they are a sympathetic set of eyes.”
“Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Sophie Gamand is a French award-winning photographer and animal advocate living and working in New York. Since 2010, she has been focusing on dogs and our relationship with them. Sophie travels around the U.S. photographing shelter dogs for free, to help bring awareness to their fate, and help them get adopted.
Her most known series are Wet Dog and Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution. She has won several prestigious photography awards for her work (including a Sony World Photography Award in 2014), as well as advocacy awards for her dedication to animal rescue and adoption. Sophie's work has been published in the press worldwide, online and in print (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Oprah Magazine, ....). Her first book, Wet Dog, came out in October 2015.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/sophiegamand
-How her overly critical father killed a lot of her creative drives.
-Her time spent in Art Law, opera singing, and creating a photography magazine.
-Moving to New York and starting with a clean slate.
-Deciding to tackle the thing that scared her the most – taking photographs of strangers.
-Her visit to a vet clinic and the photography of a bulldog that was the catalyst for her new body of work.
-The way in which we come full-circle back to the things we were interested in as children.
-The question of where she would be had she been encouraged to do exactly what she loved.
-Learning to ignore the destructive voices in your head, yet still trust the kind voices.
-How she was mauled by a dog when she was younger and how she confronted that fear.
-The bad reputation that Pit bulls have and how she is attempting to change that with Pit Bull Flower Power.
-Being rejected by publishers for her book despite the enormous amount of traction that it received on social media.
-Using Kickstarter to fund Pit Bull Flower Power.
-The power of social media, especially for female artists.
-How working with shelter dogs has affected her creative process.
-The other creative outlets that her photography lets her tap into such as writing and making flower crowns.
-Being frustrated with feeling like she doesn’t belong in a specific type of creative box.
-The importance of that easy/difficult first step.
-Taking a step back and getting perspective of the impact of your creative contribution.
-The positives and negatives of the goalposts constantly moving for creative individuals.
“I had a clean slate and all the room to spread my wings and figure out what am I going to do now? Who am I going to be? That was scary as hell but also very exciting.”
“The Universe just handed this to me on a silver platter with a little bow on it and I chickened out and walked away.”
“We should trust our inner child more when it comes to our creative process. As children, we know where our truth is.”
“It was shattering to spend all those months being rejected when I thought this was going to be a walk in the park.”
“As a creative, especially when I am in a darker mode, I cry and I think why can’t I know what I want to be?”
“That first step is the easiest, most difficult and most important step.”
“Art is about harnessing our fears.”
Pit Bull Flower Power by Sophie Gamand
Cat Rabbit is a Melbourne-based textile artist and designer. She makes plush sculptural works of my imagined characters and the worlds they might live in. She also makes books for children and other fantastical artworks with her collaborator Isobel Knowles under the name Soft Stories.
She have worked and collaborated with clients such as NGV, Soludos, Lunch Lady Magazine, Frankie Magazine, Odd Pears and Bakedown Cakery, and has work in permanent collections at Loreto Mandeville Junior Library and Melbourne Girls Grammar School.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/306
-The roundabout way in which the thing that she was doing on the side became her career.
-How she had to carve her own path and take the “scenic route.”
-The advantages and disadvantages of being the first to market.
-How she figured out how to price her work.
-Re-purposing her pieces so that they can more effectively work for her.
-How and why she first started making her creations.
-How her process has evolved over time (and continues to evolve).
-The value in not having expectations for the end result.
-Embracing mistakes and imperfections.
-Getting inspiration from the real world.
-How she prioritizes her time for learning new skills or working on big projects (while still getting to her daily work).
-Dealing with self-doubt and the balance of having too much or too little confidence in your work.
-Her early negative and positive experiences on Instagram.
-How she deals with trolls and negative comments.
-Collaborating with Isobel Knowles for Soft Stories.
-Setting “play dates” with other creative people.
“I was just making small crafty projects on the side and then they ended up taking over my life, I suppose.”
“It seemed like the Universe just wanted me to make stuff.”
“I had to chisel this little path myself, and I didn’t really know I was doing it at first.”
“Giving lots of different access points to your work is a good thing to work out.”
“I purposely don’t have expectations because then it’s easier to embrace what comes out.”
Miss Led aka Joanna Henly is an artist, illustrator and art director based in East London.
As an artist Jo works from portrait commissions to large scale complex works, this work is often in public spaces or a live performance as part of an event – or she is the event, also creating portraits of guests of responding to a gallery or theme. In addition she creates personal work which is exhibited globally, as well as selling prints online.
-How each year of her career has been defined by something big.
-A look into the highlights of her career from the eight-year gap to workshops to working with agents.
-The way in which you think differently when you are teaching others and on the spot having to move quickly.
-The difference between teaching in-person and teaching through her books Figure Drawing and Portrait Drawing.
-Not having a day off for six weeks.
-Properly understanding burnout and how to deal with it.
-How everything she creates starts with writing things down, even if it is a very rudimentary idea or self-coaching.
-How The Artist’s Way and morning journaling changed her life.
-Putting yourself in a productive and positive state of mind so that you create opportunities for yourself and also have the confidence to jump on opportunities that are presented to you.
-Signing up for and taking a course, and how it brought her out of the darkest part of her eight-year gap.
-How her seasons or years become themed.
-The forethought that goes into each project in terms of style and composition.
“When you take your ego out of the picture and it’s not about you anymore, you start thinking differently.”
“Push, but know that you can’t go all four cylinders all the time. You can’t. You need to have some time out. And thank your body for telling you that you have to stop.”
“It all starts with words. It starts with writing things down. Even if that’s just self-coaching myself.”
“My brain works like too many Google tabs open all the time.”
“I always put everything on paper first. I have tons of notebooks. They are core to my practice and to my ideas and to my mental state.”
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
We lost a dear member of the Your Creative Push family. Nathan Carson aka Streetarthustle passed away a few weeks ago.
In this update, Youngman pays tribute to the artist that made him rethink what it means be open and honest, yet still wonder why not open up?
Rest in peace, Nate. You were an incredibly talented artist and a wonderfully kind person.
Matthew Miller is an artist in Tallahassee, FL who likes to paint natural beauty and human activity from life. Creating live paintings at sports events, music venues, and more, he paints with an energy that can be seen in the final product.
Matthew started painting seriously three years ago because it makes him feel at peace and confident. "I started self-medicating with art therapy," he says, "and ended up getting addicted." Matthew is currently finishing a PhD in Philosophy at Florida State University, where he is writing a dissertation about the role of flow states in a good human life. In his free time, he can be seen playing outside, usually without shoes.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/304
-Moving to Tallahassee to finish the PhD program that he had started a few years ago.
-How jumping into art full-time jeopardized how special art was to him and it became a stressor.
-How he was letting other aspects of his life go to the wayside when he started pursuing art as a full-time career.
-His experience working on athlete’s art at sporting events and the stark contrast of working alone in the studio.
-Dealing with personal struggles and the need for art to be therapy
-Pursuing plein air painting and how, since it is a new pursuit, he is able to think less about where the painting is going to end up and more just about pursuing excellence.
-How live painting is similar to a triathalon because it forces him to find a zone and to also not get preoccupied on mistakes.
-His decision to honor the sacredness of the creative process by not defiling it with excessive process pictures and Instagram stories.
-The power of flow states and the challenges of our environment in this technological age.
-Wanting to start a podcast.
-His increased interest and experimentation with cold exposure (and how it sets a base line for what is actually “hard” to do).
-Determining the ways that he wants to express himself with his upcoming ideas.
-The way that he has been communicating with his friends.
“Going full-time in art and putting myself in that position jeopardized how special art was to me because I was taking it too seriously.”
“Art will always go better if I have my other ducks in a row.”
“I don’t want to contribute to people vicariously living the artist life through me, I’d rather people just do it themselves.”
“I think today in order to live a fully good human life, we need to develop new types of virtues that enable us to manage all these new technological forces and preserve, protect and be stewards of our own brains and attention span.”
Polly Guo is a storyboard artist, currently working for Dreamworks. She has previously been a storyboard artist for Adventure Time, and she has produced varied personal works such as Gawain's Girlfriend and the Green Knight and Houdini & Holmes.
Polly lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, her rat Brown, and her dog Aggie.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/pollyguo
-Her creative upbringing, from drawing Pokemon in middle school to storyboarding for Adventure Time.
-Realizing that a certain style or method isn’t for her and then questioning why she doesn’t draw like everyone else.
-The story behind Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight.
-Advice that Sam Alden gave her to draw in a very tiny space to make decisions very quickly and not be too precious.
-How art should be something that you discover as you’re creating it and from as much of the subconscious as possible.
-The inspiration that she takes from Paul Thomas Anderson.
-The story behind creating Houdini & Holmes.
-How working on guilt and fumes can get things done, but it doesn’t lead to a proper lifestyle or mindset.
-How incredibly important it is to complete your first personal project.
-The difference between using creative criticism to be helpful or to tear someone down.
-Valuing criticism from someone who is completely disengaged from your creative pursuit.
-The difference that she sees between personal and professional work.
-Her biggest source of resistance of trying to figure out who she is outside of her work, as she came into herself so much through her art.
-How she continues to make personal work despite every bone in her body wanting her to relax.
-The power in working with other people.
“Something I like about writing is letting yourself be taken by the process and letting yourself discover what you’re writing as you’re writing it.”
“Who you are as an artist doesn’t exist inside Pixar’s 20 Rules of Storytelling or any other rulebook.”
“When you get to the point where you’re creating work not on purpose and it reveals something very deep about you that you didn’t even know yourself, that’s when people really start to relate to it.”
“I feel like before you’ve completed your first big personal project, the wall of completion is nearly insurmountable.”
“Get to the finish line by any means necessary.”
“My biggest source of resistance is trying to figure out who I am outside of art and outside of my work.”
“Art stagnates if you don’t live your life and have new ideas and influences.”
Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight by Polly Guo
Houdini & Holmes by Polly Guo
Mike Lowery is an artist and illustrator living Atlanta, Georgia. His work has been seen on everything from greeting cards to children’s books to gallery walls all over the world. His illustration clients include Hallmark, Random House, Nick Jr. Magazine, Viking, American Greetings, and Disney, just to name a few.
He is also the co-founder of Paper Ghost, a gallery and studio space in Atlanta, and he is a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/mikelowery
-The enlightening experience of a client asking him to make his final product feel more like his original sketches.
-Why he encourages people to sketch and doodle (and not throw away your sketchbooks).
-How Random Illustrated Facts came to be.
-Not telling other people your ideas and instead simply making it.
-Saving your old work and ideas.
-Keeping lists and then attacking them later, piece by piece.
-How and why he started his Kickstarter.
-Getting caught pretending to draw on his helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon.
-How Paper Ghost Press started.
-How he find the time to be a part of his band Minor Miracles.
“It was a relief because I realized that the work that I could get paid to do started looking like the work I was doing in my sketchbooks.”
“I think that it’s important to get out of your head when you’re making art.”
“Start with the little pieces. Set aside thirty minutes a day to get to your work and I genuinely think that stuff will start to grow out of that.”
Sara Fabel is a Finnish model, illustrator, tattoo artist and actress currently residing in Los Angeles, California.
Sara lived her early and late teenage years in Helsinki, Finland. She worked as a primary school teacher (grades 1-9) until moving to Australia and pursuing a career as an illustrator and later transferring in to tattooing. Her tattoo work is well know for it's bold lifework and fine lines.
Full shownotes: http://yourcreativepush.com/sarafabel
-How she went from being a teacher to making her first tattoo.
-How she deals with having a large following and how it can sometimes negatively affect her relationships.
-Trying to only work with and surround herself with people who are good people.
-The difference between highbrow and lowbrow art in terms of social media followers.
-The notion of ego and how toxic it can be.
-How some A-list tattooers can abuse their power.
-How a tattoo is not just the piece of art on your body, but it also comes with the memories of getting the tattoo and having a conversation with the artist.
-The importance of tapping into other people’s energy.
-Doing collaborations with Megan Jean Morris, Ryan Murray, Pony Wave and Cory Divine
-The purpose that writing served for her.
-Her advice for people who have multiple interests, to get specific and hone in on one specific niche.
-How young artists should be prepared to be comfortable being broke while they are starting their careers (and how to not let any emotions attached to that get into their art).
“I make a conscious effort to only work with people that are morally nice.”
“If you’re willing to get very specific, you’re going to cut out 90% of the market, but that 10% is willing to invest in you more.”
“I think it’s important to be prepared to be really poor when you’re an artist because that time is you working towards the bigger purpose.”
“If you’re going to say ‘I can’t do it,’ you’re the only thing standing between you and the success. You are your own worst enemy.”