Hillary Scott - Are You Scared? Do it Anyway
The BoldBrush Show: Episode #46
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Today, we sat down with Hillary Scott, a tonalist landscape painter based in Massachusetts. Her work is all about capturing gorgeous scenes in reality that she then imbues with her inner vision to create an even more beautiful scene. We discuss how she went from illustrator to realist plein air painter, how it's better to paint afraid than to never attempt to create at all, the importance of maintaining a vision that is just beyond your comfort zone, and that the only true failure is when you stop trying. Finally, we discuss great advice for anyone seeking to start plein air and excellent advice for those who are seeking to become a full time artist.
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Hillary Scott: 0:00
So I was a little afraid of it. Because again, I this the inspiration was so stunning to me that I was afraid to I was afraid, a little bit of failing, which is another problem. You know, we can't be completely afraid of that. It's a little scary, but you have to accept a little bit of failure.So yeah, just you know, just sit down and do it. I'm like, I feel like sometimes we get so in our heads about things and like, oh,I don't know if I can do it. And it's just like, just do it scared.
Laura Arango Baier: 0:25
Welcome to the BoldBrush show, where we believe that fortune favors the bold brush. My name is Laura Arango Baier. And I'm your host.For those of you who are new to the podcast. We are a podcast that covers art marketing techniques, and all sorts of business tips specifically to help artists learn to better sell their work. We interview artists at all stages of their careers, as well as others who are in careers tied to the art world in order to hear their advice and insights. Today, we sat down with Hilary Scott, a tonalist, landscape painter based in Massachusetts. Her work is all about capturing gorgeous scenes in reality that she then imbues with her inner vision to create an even more beautiful scene. We discuss how she went from Illustrator to realist plein air painter, how it's better to paint afraid than to never attempt to create at all the importance of maintaining a vision that is just beyond your comfort zone. And that the only true failure is when you stop trying. Finally, we discuss great advice for anyone seeking to start plein air. And excellent advice for those who are seeking to become a full time artists. Welcome Hilary to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?
Hillary Scott: 1:27
I'm good. Thank you for having me on. I'm you know, I think it's awesome. What you guys are doing here on BoldBrush for artists. And I'm thrilled to be here.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:38
Thank you.Yes. And we're happy to have you, of course, because your artwork is stunning. Like I was looking through your website,you're welcome. I was looking at their website, and the very first one that comes up, it's like this river, I forget the name, but it's a river and you have the snow, and you have the sub snow. Ah, yes,
Hillary Scott: 1:58
that was one of my favorite paintings to paint.And honestly, before I painted it, I was afraid to paint it because it was just so gorgeous in person that I was like afraid I wasn't gonna be able to do it justice. So, of course, I did my little study, like I always do little, you know, experimental studies, and I wasn't sure about it. So I like just let it sit for a while. But long story short, it probably became my most well received painting that I've done yet. So I was it was honestly blew me away. You know,it did very well. When it was out in the world. It's, you know, I've did a few drafts of it just to kind of in different sizes. But thank you, I know that it has a special meaning.Because just from my childhood,I think the nostalgia of it of just like a snowscape I always found them so magical. And I just I'm always drawn to that type of subject matter. So I you know, that was a passion project for me. And I'm kinda I just love that painting that. Thank you.
Laura Arango Baier: 2:59
You're welcome. Yeah, it also for me,it also has that sort of, and I think that also comes down to the tonal ism aspect of it. But before we dive into that, do you mind telling us a little bit about you who you are what you do? Sure.
Hillary Scott: 3:14
So I am a creative. I've always been doing something creative, whether it was music, theater, art, of course, right from when I was very young. So that was just part of who I was. And then, you know, eventually I had to pick a lane. So I, you know, I played the piano for 20 years, I kind of dabbled in that songwriting and everything. You know, I just art was something that kind of always came natural to me, like I just was always doing something creative. I did it all through my childhood, I was going to, you know, art camps and taking art lessons. And so,you know, it just seemed like the natural progression that I would choose that as my major in college. You know, it wasn't the most practical choice. Of course, there's this, you know,thing that, you know, people kind of, like, oh, it's not, you can't make a living with art,which of course, isn't true.But, you know, that's one of those, you know, fallacies that some people buy into. For me, I just, that was always my goal is to somehow find a way to get paid to do what I love to do more than anything else. And it has not been easy, but it's been a lot of failures along the way.But back to you know, I I've gone through a lot of different styles to and finding my voice.Starting back as an illustrator I majored in, in studio art, but it was a concentration and illustration because I always loved just just the whole fantasy like, you know, when I was a kid, I would always, you know, have children's books read to me, but I would just get lost in the pictures. And there was just something about them that just moved me and I just I find them so magical like especially Usually, the lighting effects,the, you know, my favorite illustrator was always Christian Ellsberg because he made, you know, he illustrated these books, especially the Polar Express speaking of snow, and,and he just found a way to bring them to life because it was like, clearly clearly fantasy,it was, it was fiction. But the way he would do it in a, you know, a realism to model these objects to make them look real,it wasn't like a cartoonish type of style. So I was always drawn to that. And, and so when I was in college, I, that was kind of my natural, you know,inclination, I guess one of my professors saw my style, and it was very illustrative. So I was like, Well, you know, let's just go ahead with this illustration.Because you can, you can get work in illustration. And, and that's what I did, I just went and I went with it, and I loved it, I loved every minute of it for a long time, until I started to just want to raise the bar a little bit. And that's not to say that there's no respect in illustration. And I think, for me, I just wanted to prove myself to myself and to other people that I could do more, I could do illustration, but I could do other things, I can make something look even, you know, realistic. And so I now paint landscapes, and I can't see myself painting anything other than landscapes at this point, I'm so passionate about them, that there was just no looking back once I jumped into them, and kind of got more competent with them, and more comfortable painting them because that was a very slow learning curve for me, to switch from the illustration, chapter to the fine art, and to be, I guess, taken seriously as a fine artist versus an illustrator,just an illustrator. And that is unfortunately, kind of a hierarchy thing in the art world. It's like, oh, you're just an illustrator. Which, of course, you know, isn't true.There's, there's so much skill involved in that. But it's just kind of maybe a little bit of a different skill set slightly.There's some overlap there. But I think in general, I just wanted to be able to do something else, and to succeed at something else. So that is where I am now. That's kind of my pap. In a nutshell.
Laura Arango Baier: 7:19
I mean, ya know, I love that because I think there's so much value to illustration, right? Obviously,as children were exposed to it,just like you were I was obviously, and I think, for realism, I find it to be another excellent tool of, you know,understanding something and its essence. Because when you when you think of illustration, of course, you as an illustrator know, this, it's very much something that's pared down to its representation, but in sort of, like, almost in a symbolic way. But you still have to retain the the essence of it.Right. And that actually brings me to a good question, which I've always been curious. Where do you think that line is drawn in between illustration and realism? Where does it lie? I
Hillary Scott: 8:16
feel like there's kind of a spectrum to it. So like illustration can be so abstract like, or it can be so like, cartoonish and just very flat, you know, that it's like comics, and then you can get into photo realism, which is no,it's absolutely exactly what you see. And those are like the two opposite ends of the spectrum.And then of course, there's just like, you know, there's some overlap in there. And, you know,when I was doing illustration, I felt like I wasn't strictly fantasy, like, I always wanted to kind of bring these things to light with real, like the skill of realism. But it was obviously a fantasy scene. So I would paint like fairies and trolls and all this, which is course not reality. But I would do them in such a way where I model the good models for my for my figures, and I would look at, I would look at real objects, like trees to try to get them 3d rendered three dimensional. And that was kind of like I thought I was, you know, not strictly illustration, I was kind of like a little bit of realism. You know, I always was just very fascinated with people that could paint things,realistically. And there was a time where I was I seriously admired the photo realism. I do think it's admirable, it's not something that I want to paint,but there was a time where I was like, wow, that's, that's the ultimate mastery of, you know,realism. So, and then, you know,I guess I'll say when I was doing my illustration, I was just, I was thinking that my, my work was more realistic than it was because I was trying to do some of these paintings of landscapes, I would add a figure in it, it was mostly my children were modeling for me or other people's kids, I just, I would use them. And I would put them in a landscape. And I was thinking, Oh, wow, this is like very unique. I'm like, I thought, you know, it's like their portrait landscapes, and there's a realism, but it's not completely realistic. Because I thought that was boring. I'm like, you know, some of these realistic things were be like,they're just so they're done. So realistically, that there's no,there's no imagination in them.So I think for me, I was trying to bring a little bit of that I was trying to balance the two of like illustration and realism,but it wasn't being interpreted that way, by the by other people. So I was like, I will try to enter maybe some of these into shows, and they would get rejected. And then I would get feedback from other artists Well, meaning of course, you know, I'd get critiques and they're like, well, your work is illustrative of, and that was just the word that kept coming up over and over again. And I was trying to figure out, like,why, like, why is this happening? Because it's not really what my intent is. And I think if you have an intent of something to be, then that's okay. But it was just like,there was a disconnect. And, and that was kind of my breaking point. So back to the, you know,the line being blurred with the illustration versus fine art.So, I was, so I was just over it, I'm like, I just, I want to be able to paint something that's taken seriously, you know, like fine art. But you know, so I did a complete one ad and I think I was like, I was like, oh, now I'm just gonna,I'm gonna paint exactly what I see, I'm going to try to paint exactly what I see, you know,just there's no room for any imagination, I want anyone saying fantasy became a really dirty word to me, I'm like,Don't call my word fantasy. And,of course, you know, I did that for a little while, I had to learn some skills on how to change my palette up. Because because that was a big obstacle for me, I, you know, learning the color palette to make something, you know, be interpreted as realistic. And so I did that for a while. And then, you know, eventually I realized that my true voice there, my illustration was, that was where I started. But there is still that my voice isn't illustrated does remain in my fine art in some ways, although I found a better balance for it.So, you know, through learning all the skills on how to control the color, I will pay what I see. But I feel like, what's key in my vision is that I'm incorporating some imagination into my work. So that's where I think the artistry comes in,because anyone can just sit out and you know, paint exactly what's in front of you. But I think for me, I put my unique stamp on it. And I try to add elements in there that are consistent with the lighting situation, and what actually is happening. And I try to weave those elements into my work so that I get just what I am, my vision is to try to, you know,convey that to my viewers. And so I think that's where it's blurred a little bit where it's like, yeah, I took some elements. Some of my, the things I used to incorporate into my paintings were strictly illustrative, strictly fantasy.You know, and I think I get bored if I'm just painting if I'm out, and I'm just painting exactly what's in front of me,because then it's like, you know, I think there's a quote that were not recorders were poets, you know, like, so we're not, we don't have to record exactly what's in front of us.You know, I think we need to learn how to paint it as it is first, which is, was critical to my journey in finding this balance, is that I think if you're going to change things out and add things in, that aren't really there, you should at least know how to paint it the way it is seen first. So I just spent some time just learning how to paint. Right,what was in front of me what not what I thought I knew, but what I actually saw, and that was through plein air, of course.And at this point, I think it's just so much fun for me to just kind of imagine what something might look like in my head, I create, I can create whatever I want. Like we're the artists we have, you know, artistic license. And so I just love that I feel like I feel comfortable at this point to do that without crossing that line. It's a fantasy. So I can actually bring these elements in that may or may not be there, you know, at least move things around, change some lighting situations do different things to my paintings and experiment. And no one is calling them fantasy anymore. So that that was a big deal for me.And it took a long time to get there. And of course you could go too far with it and make something that just doesn't work because it's just there's no semblance of reality to it. But that is kind of where I ended up here. And so I think there was a quote somewhere and I honestly can't remember who said it, but it was it was kind of like the ingredients in a successful landscape painting and I'm gonna just kind of paraphrase It's it has like a little bit of mystery, a little bit of magic,and I can't think of the other one. So, but for me, that's,that's pretty much what I always try to convey. For me a successful painting has some of those elements in them. But it does remain true to the scene.So I still kind of, you know,take my original source material, which we plein air studies, some photographs,definitely I, you know, memories and just all weave that all together and come up with something that I can put my own stamp on of with my style.
Laura Arango Baier: 15:36
Wow. That was a lot of wisdom, actually.Oh, thank you. You're welcome. I think what I really love about that is, you know, I do agree that there, there are a lot of paintings out there that they're beautifully made, right,especially in realism beautifully made, but they don't leave any of that magic or mystery. They just like, present you with this thing. And it's like, okay, that's nice, you know, but I liked that your work takes it to that mystical,dreamlike sort of level, which I think is also thanks to your background in illustration,because, you know, like, when I look at a Rembrandt painting, I look at the person the that he paints and I'm like, No one, no one looks like that. Like, no one looks like that. Right. But at the same time, it's still realistic enough where it's still realism, right? It's not a cartoon or illustration. But I feel like he's like, kind of like your work like in that realm of. It's not reality, but it's real enough where it lets you dream a little bit. Let's see, like,
Hillary Scott: 16:49
Oh, absolutely.Yeah. You know, it's funny, my favorite example, which comes up all the time, so if you know me,you're know what I'm gonna say is Maxfield Parrish, pretty much was the master of this. Of course, he did start out as an illustrator. And then eventually he went to his, you know, his real passion was for the landscapes, but he didn't leave back, you know, leave his illustration behind completely.It was you can see it like woven into his paintings, it's like,you've never seen that place before. Because that place doesn't really exist. Like maybe he used a little bit of, you know, I have his book, and I've seen where he lived, and he has some, you know, gorgeous landscapes where his inspiration came from. But honestly, it's like, no one can come up, that doesn't that place doesn't exist other than inside of his head.However, he made it look like it could exist. And it's just, it's dreaming. And I think that's a great word to describe what I'm trying to accomplish in my work is like a dreamlike type type of place, a place that is calming,you know, there's a mood, a visceral, visceral reaction from my viewers, it's just brings up some sort of a memory or some nostalgia, just, you know, it's just not enough to, for me, just to make a pretty painting. It was just, it pretty just wasn't enough. For me, it was like, you know, there was a time where I went, I've gone through it all,I've gone through all the phases where I thought, you know, it's like, the more detail you put in there, the more true I am to it,I paint every single leaf, every single blade of grass, and I'm like, it's gonna be a better painting. Instead, that's the opposite. It's the ones I started learning how to simplify things. And really just hone in on a theme. That's when my work started to, you know, move to the next level where it was like being, you know, it just people were responding to it in in a better way than before, where it's like, Oh, that's nice. It's like, you know, and I think that's kind of what I love about the tonalist style is that it's very simple. And I love also what I had to do so much work on my knowledge of color for a lot,many years, I was trying to make sunsets that were neon, like they I just thought they were so bright. And like I had to learn I had to relearn a lot of things through just my own exploration.And I did take a bunch of workshops. And what I love about the tonal list is that they can balance that, you know, the color Chroma where it's like a head of color will really sing because the whole thing is a lot of tones of gray. So that's kind of that was really the part where I needed to, I needed to get to a certain level of what's the word I'm looking for. Just competency, I guess, and just knowing how to control the color, how to control the chroma of course value is super important in for anybody. But yeah, it was the Chroma and learning the color theory, I think which I assumed I was like, I don't need to do this.Like I already learned this in college, but No, actually I didn't need to learn it because my work was not going anywhere the way it was You're just with my skill set just hit a wall.
Laura Arango Baier: 20:04
Yeah, yeah.I mean, that's the other side of, you know, realism that it's,it's, you know, it's almost like, deceptively easy, right?It seems like it's easy to, you know, pop out these gorgeous landscapes, right, but it is such a delicate balance of Hue,value, Chroma, and then top it off, you want to manipulate the scene in such a way where you know, where you want your viewer to be looking, and where you want them to stay and guide their eye. It's like, oh,there's so much to composing a good image. It's so
Hillary Scott: 20:47
true. I seriously think I think that every painting I do is like is like a puzzle like this jigsaw puzzle that like, I see the inspiration. I'm very moved by it. I'm like, I know, it has to be a painting. But then the real work starts where I'm like, No,my head spinning because I'm like, How do I set this up? I'm like, I know what I kind of have an idea of what I want the end image to be and what the feeling I want from it. But other than that, I'm like, I mean, I Where's the horizon? I go, I know, where my cropping this,like, what format does it need to be like, Whoa, just all of that it's so it's like a puzzle.And I don't feel like it gets any easier. I feel like you know, there are certain subjects that like over time you do them enough that they become a little more comfortable for you. But it's like, I'm always trying to push the envelope, I don't want to ever feel comfortable to the point where I'm like, I'm not challenging myself. And then of course, there's the excitement in when you are trying to embark on a new idea. And you know that you have to get it out some way.Like, I'm like, I have to paint this. And it's like, it's not it's a little bit outside your comfort zone. There's like that just nagging thought of like,Can I do this, and that excites me, because I'm like, I feel like that's a challenge. And I'm like, I'm gonna, I want to overcome this challenge.Somehow, sometimes I have to,you know, I'll get my vision will exceed my skill level a little bit. So I'll just shelve things for a while I'll come back to them, I'll kind of look at, you know, I'll just have to go back to the scene a few times, I'll have to do a lot of sketches. I'll do a bunch of studies, there's so much work behind the scenes that goes on that people never see like you see this, you'll see the final painting. There's like a fight like just like, you know,there's so much fight that goes on in internally, and just frustration and you know, shitty paintings, like for every one painting, there might be like two really shitty ones that you don't see. And I don't know, I just want everyone to know that.We all struggle, and I love to see when you know, real master artists, and when they kind of bring that to light where it's like, oh, I'm really struggling with this painting. And it is like we all struggle because if you don't struggle, you're not really growing. As an artist there shouldn't there should always be the bar should be just set just a little bit higher than it was before. And for me,that's, that's key. And I'm never bored. Like I'm, you know what, yeah, sometimes I'm frustrated because I'm like, I so desperately want to, to like just kind of bring my vision to,you know, Completion, like I want to I we all have something to say as artists and you know,something moves us when we're out. In our, just our general,you know, journey, walking through life, and we see inspiration. I'm like, I just can't let certain things go. And I'm like, I have to find out how to paint that. And if I don't know how to I'm gonna, I'm gonna get help. And I'm gonna do that.So I sometimes will ask somebody, like, can you critique this? Can you give me some tips?Like, I don't know, I'm just that's kind of, you know, what I? I'm always Yeah, trying to,
Laura Arango Baier: 23:50
ya know,yeah, trying to, you know, I think what I love that you just mentioned, is not setting that bar too high, you know, setting it just high enough, where you're doubting, but you're still motivated enough that you can you can tell yourself, oh, I can I can do this. I just got to, you know, push myself a little more. Because it could be so disheartening. If that bar is too too high, and you don't reach it, and then you know, you spiral.
Hillary Scott: 24:21
I definitely think so. And there are certain subjects, so don't get me wrong,there are subjects that at some point in my career, I would love to be able to tackle them. But I know that there's just no way that I'll do them justice at this point. So I just kind of take it just just things that are just outside of my comfort zone, you know, that are just a little bit uncomfortable for me,but I know I can do them. And I think I have a good idea of that at this point. Like, you know,there was a time back when I was an illustrator and my taste was up here and my skills were way down here. And that was very frustrating for me. And I think that was the breaking point where I was like, I actually do need to sign up for some classes because I really don't know what I'm doing here. And it took me a long time to get to that point.Because I think when you're younger, there's a little bit of arrogance, you know, like,you're just like, oh, like, I know what I'm doing here. And then at some point, you realize that you're actually not that good as you think you are. And that's, you know, it's a wake up call. It's a little bit painful to admit that but you know, I did at some point, I was like,you know, what, I, I definitely need some help. Because, you know, somebody shows me how to do something, I'm just going to learn, I'm going to learn a whole lot faster by swallow my pride, and just going and learning things that I thought I knew, but I really didn't know.So that was a great learning experience for me. Yeah. Yeah.And I still continue to learn them. Yeah. Yeah, no, continue.And you know, what else I feel like? The more like, the more I learn, it's like, the harder it is. And I know, that was another quote that is like, the more I forget what the exact quote is,but it's like painting is so easy when you don't know how to do it. And I think that was for me, I was like, I was a little bit delusional about my ability for a long time back, mostly my20s, early 30s. So I've been at this latest, you know, my landscape chapter for nine years now. So, um, you know, next year will be 10 years and painting the landscapes. And it has been a long, slow journey. But I just, you know, I've learned so much, and it's been painful.There's, as I said, there's been a lot of failures, a lot of rejection. You know, but that's just part of the journey.That's, there's no, like, easy way. There's no shortcut to getting anywhere really worth going.
Laura Arango Baier: 26:45
Yes,absolutely. And it's been a fantastic journey to because your work is like, amazing. Oh, thank you. Of course, I'm like, and I love that you mentioned, you know, that you struggle, and also that the level that you're at, you know, you're still learning, but at the same time, it has taken you a long time to reach this point, right. So it's like, for a lot of artists.Like, what happened to you, our tastes is up here or level is down here. And we're, you know, arrogance as well, and thinking like, Oh, I could totally do that. Right. But then I see work like yours. And it's like, Oh, my God, obviously, you know, the, the longer you're at it, the more you know, you step out little by little from your comfort zone, and you focus on small incremental growth and consistency, the more amazing your results could be than if you just like, have your bar all the way up here and then just discouraged yourself every single time.
Hillary Scott: 27:54
Absolutely, I know. So some of the things that people wouldn't even realize, because I feel like I there was some struggle behind the scenes, like I did some failure studies, and I had to try to figure out what I was doing. But in the last few years, I have broken out just a little bit where I was doing a lot of sunsets, let's say I was doing sunsets, marshes all the time. And there was a time where they were very hard for me and my as I said, my sunsets were like, super oversaturated they just they did not look, there was no semblance of reality at all whatsoever. So you know, I learned how to do them over time, I did a lot of repetition. I painted them over and over again. And now at this point, well, they're not easy, I wouldn't say they're easy, they have gotten comfortable for me.And that is a little bit of a little, like for me, I now it's become like some of my galleries and they're like, Oh, we want sunsets, you know, they sunset sell, they sell it's kind of it this point, I'm like, if I just got stuck in that, like, you know, right, like doing sunsets all the time, just because I knew I could make money off of them, I wouldn't grow as an artist. So I kind of had to slow down a little bit with that and just do some other subjects that were a little bit just outside my comfort zone. But they were very well within the reach like I could do them I just needed to practice them a little bit and just kind of work through some of the struggles. So fog was one of those things I you know, I wanted to explore that a couple years ago I started doing fog and then I ended up of course making a painting that was that really worked I worked out my problems and study and it became a really you know, well received painting. It did very well it went to a national show it sold and and sort of the studies and then the snow was the other one is that when I was doing illustration, I was painting snow a lot it was like I loved it cuz it was magical. However,I was not really staying true to the reality of it. I was kind of like oh you can just throw around throw around blues, violets. You know? What is the color? What is that? The bright blue green Halo Halo blue. I was like throwing that around like it was Just like it was, so, you know, just freely all over the place. And I'm like, oh, it's, it's this is not this is fantasy snow. And I'm like, I want to paint real snow. And there's a lot of subtleties of snow. So there, of course, is there's all the cool tones, but like snow is a very difficult subject to do, right? Because if you oversaturated if you don't get those subtle, huge ships, it's not going to look right. So I was a little afraid of it.Because again, I this, the inspiration was so stunning to me that I was afraid to I was afraid, a little bit of failing, which is another problem, you know, we can't be completely afraid of that. It's a little scary, but you have to accept a little bit of failure. So yeah, just, you know, just sit down and do it. I'm like, I feel like sometimes we get so in our heads about things and like, oh, I don't know if I can do it. And it's just like, just do it scared. So that's kind of what I have done sometimes it like, right now I'm like, trying to figure out how to convey this aerial scene and like how to set up a composition and how to set up an aerial view, which I just plein air painted a few weeks ago. And it's just become deceptively difficult. So I just, I just do it. And I have all these studies here. And you know, they're not quite working, but I'm gonna get them to work.But it's just you have to do things afraid a little bit. And if you get stuck in your comfort zone, you're really not going to go bar very far, you know, it's art is never, this has never been solely about making money.Because if it was, I would just sit here and I would just paint various sunsets all day long.I've become good at them where I know it's kind of the low hanging fruit. So it's like, I know that if I paint this type of sunset over a marsh with the reflections in the shimmer, I'm like, you know, it's probably gonna sell. And that's great. I mean, I still like to do them if I hated to do them. I don't know how I could do them anymore. But I still love them. But I do I feel like they're making bringing me to the next level as an artist. Not exactly, you know, it's kind of the same composition, the same flat, no vertical. And I just wanted to be able to push myself to do some other things to work some other subjects in there to keep things exciting to just, you know, mix it up, and just not become like a one trick pony. I guess like I just I want to be able to do other things and be you know, I do stay within a certain little rotation of subjects. You know, snow fog.What else I you know, I do a wetlands a lot, a lot of trees.I have some other you know, I just don't want to salt marshes all the time. I do farm sometimes. So yeah, I think I have a pretty cohesive style where I'm not all over the place. But you know, I just didn't want to be the sunset lady where I was like all she,she paints his martial concepts.And so so at times, I've had to the galleries don't have a lot of work, because in the middle of me painting them and they do very well at selling those, I need to explore some other subjects, I need to experiment.And that takes time. And sometimes there's a struggle.And where there's a struggle, it's not going to be quick. So that's kind of where I'm trying to balance that where it's like,I need to keep the the work flowing, you know, I need to move the work to make money. But at the same time, this is kind of a, a career for me, where it's not just about making a quick buck, I have to I have to get better. And then eventually that will come back. You know, it will, it'll be it's an investment, you know what I mean? So like, if I can get good at some other subjects and get better at what I do, then of course, that will pay back in sales later. But for me, it's just it's it's me and my journey and trying to kind of paint the things that that I just did passionate about. And some of those things are just not they're not easy.
Laura Arango Baier: 33:46
Yeah. Yeah.I mean, I think if they weren't easy, you wouldn't be passionate about them.
Hillary Scott: 33:51
You know, well, I get bored easily all my jobs that I've had, that were not our jobs, I've been painfully bored at all of them. They're repetitive and monotonous. And I just, I was miserable. And I knew that I'm like, the only way I'm going to be able to be happy in this life. It's if I can, if I can just make art every day.And you know, and I challenged myself I you know, I don't need somebody standing over me cracking the whip saying, oh, I need you to do this and that I'm like, I'll put that pressure on myself. No problem. No one's more critical of my work than I am. Trust me. No one. So this was a really good fit for me.But it comes with its you know, challenges of course,
Laura Arango Baier: 34:29
of course.Yeah. Yeah. And you know, it's those challenges make it worth it. You know, I think at the end of the day, it's like, it's a it just, it's so rewarding to you know, overcome that. I couldn't figure this out and I gotta you know, it's like, you know, it's
Hillary Scott: 34:52
absolutely there to me, there was nothing that creates more confidence in doing hard things and being in Overcoming a challenge. And so I feel like if you just, again, paint things just say, you know, easy street and just do that, that's, that's great, you know, like, chug along and just do but for me, I, I just, there's just such a confidence boost when you know that you started, just like with this fog, I'm like, my brain hurts like, I don't know how to tackle this and then you really just like, stay the course you refuse to quit, you know, and eventually you come out on the other side and you figured it out. And now you've learned that skill. Now you know how to make that. And then of course, you know, maybe take a little break. And another sunset, for Ward yourself was something a little, you know, just kind of my brain hurt. So I was like, I'd take a little, you know, because those are they they flow easier. And and then you go back and do something else. And yeah, it's just, I just thrive. Doing that, like, learning how to paint something.I didn't really know how to paint, but I desperately wanted to learn how to do it. And it's just, it just makes it there's nothing like it a confidence boost from doing that. Yeah, in my experience.
Laura Arango Baier: 36:11
Oh, yeah, for sure. And I think that's also why so many of us are drawn to painting. And specifically like, like how you mentioned, like, you tried other jobs, and it just wasn't for you. And I resonate with that so much.Because it's, it's like, God, if I had to describe it, it's like, like, you feel brain dead. You know, like, where's the excitement? Where's the like, there's so much that goes into, like, I feel like people who are artists, were also self guided and so self motivated with our passion that, you know, working for someone else can be like, it's so deadening, so depressing. Oh, man,
Hillary Scott: 36:51
I so feel that really resonates because I spent my god I started working when I was like, I don't know, like,1314, you know, and all the jobs, right into teaching, right out of college just to make money. I was a teacher. And then of course, I took a big detour.And I was like, Oh, the arts not working out. You know, I was kind of listening to the voices, the negative voices that were saying that art is not a feasible career. And I did fall prey to that a little bit. And I did take a detour went back to school for something totally different just to have a sensible job. That didn't work out. Because I think eventually as a sensible job. And I just I resented it so much. I'm like, I just always felt like, you know,I'm here to paint. And I'm like, nothing is easy in life. Like, if you no matter what career you're trying to do, like, if you want to be a doctor, you have to go to school for I don't know how many years like, you know, no matter what the career path you're trying to do, if it's worth it in the end, if it's, it's, it's going to be difficult. And this has been no different. It's just a different path. And it's been so worth it, though, like to get to this point, and just be able to say to the people who told me, I can never do this. And it's just like, it's gratifying. But yeah, there's been $0 $0 shows, there's just been, as I said, so much rejection. It's just just a lot of struggles along the way.But of course, those make it worth it to because you don't quit. The only way to fail is if you really quit. And I think a lot of people they get discouraged to the point where they do quit. And then of course there it is, is like oh, it's not it's not possible. Well, it's not possible because you quit and you didn't stay the course and you didn't do everything that you could possibly do to make this an option for yourself. Yeah, and I just, I didn't want to feel like a victim. I felt like you know, these jobs were like, everyone was saying, you know, this is just how it is. It's like no one values the yard. And I was like,Well, I'm just going to be a victim to this, then this, this narrative that it's like you have to, and I'm not a victim, like I don't have that mindset.My mindset is like, I'm gonna fight, I'm gonna I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna win. Even if it takes me like 10 years, 20years, I don't care how long it takes me. It's just, I'm a fighter, and when I have a will, but I say I'm gonna do something. I I do it I just do everything in my power. And I don't make up excuses. You know,I don't that's just how I am. So
Laura Arango Baier: 39:26
that's so inspiring. Oh my god. I hope I hope there are listeners will take that and be like, You know what, fuck it. I'm just gonna go for it. Well, you know, I'll tell you. Go ahead. Well, no, because it's like, because it's, you know, of course it's scary.Of course, it's easier to just like stay in your comfort zone and admit defeat without even getting on the battlefield and even giving it a try or it's easy to fall prey to those negative thoughts which I've had them as well. Oh, you know, I've also immediately when I told my mom, like, I want to be an artist, she was like, Oh, honey artists still make money. And I'm like, I'm gonna show you
Hillary Scott: 40:09
how I love that.Yeah, I love that. It's just, you know, the other thing about this is, is that if it was that easy, if it were easy, everyone would do it. There's a lot of shitty things that you have to do, you have to be willing to do the unfun things, the fun things are painting a painting to like getting into like, just pay to creating. But there's a lot of things that go on, that are not fun, that are just like tasks that are mundane, like making color charts, and just kind of studying images, like how other artists have solved problems, like there's just so much like learning that goes on, that's not necessarily fun. And again, the same thing is like making paintings that suck. And like making them over and over and over again. And the part of this journey, which is difficult that I'll share with you is that like, you know, the whole creative process is not like this linear thing. It's like it ebbs and flows. And I've already gotten used to being at this for like, nine years now, there are certain phases in my creative journey where like, nothing's working, I'm like, you know, part of it is that I'm trying to push through to do something that's, that's challenging for me. And then other times, it's just like, for whatever reason,I'm like, I just can't keep spending the work. And then the next day, it doesn't work and the next one, and that that's really disheartening, that's difficult, like mentally to to do that, but you just show up, you show up anyway. And you just do it. Just like with anything there's motivation is not that's for amateurs, like you don't, you don't come to your easel when you're motivated, you come, because that's your job. And that's what you have to do. And, you know, sometimes I have to go back to the site where I'm like, I can't get something to work, I need to go back and do a study. It's just, it's just really being stubborn as hell and tenacious as hell to just kind of like, you just show up. Even if every painting is in like the burn pile. Like I feel like I've kind of recently gone through this where I'm just like, I don't know why I'm like,I just, you know, you get the highest highs where it's like you make everything's flowing, you're making like, you know, 10paintings that are awesome, and you putting them out in the world, and they're selling and they're getting awards, and then whatever comes up, must come down. So like you're gonna end up with another, you're gonna sometimes get into a little bit of an artist block where it's like, yeah, you kind of don't know what to do next. But you still show up, you still go out, you try to get inspiration, you go on plein air painting, you just you fucking show up. Like, that's it. Like, I don't know what else to say. Like, eventually you will push through the other side. So I don't freak out anymore when I get into these phases, because I know that they're always going to end as long as I don't quit, because the only way to fail is to quit.And and that's, that's my wisdom, I guess, for this whole thing, you know? Yeah, cuz I mean, I know, like a while back,I would freak out and be like,That's it, the well is dry. I'm like, I've paid it everything that I can pay it. I'm like, of course, that's not true. That's, that's ridiculous. But you get you freak out. Because it's like, when you don't have any more ideas. I'm like your career is over. I'm like, You have no more pain, it's a pain. But yeah, you just have to kind of go with it, you have to accept that that's part of the creative process, you're not always going to come up with the, you know, this, like million dollar idea.But you will and not every painting is going to be amazing, their payments, there'll be very good pace of the good, decent, you know, and then there'll be every so often you'll make, you'll make like a slam dunk, it'd be like a homerun, you'll, you'll make an awesome painting.And if you hold that as your standard of all the time, you're going to be very disappointed.Because that's just not realistic. At least not for me, at least not for me and my face.I mean, I know some artists, they come up with these blockbuster. I'm like, I can't believe they make these. And I'm sure behind the scenes, you know, they make some duds, but and I know that that's pretty realistic. You know, I don't think anyone just like magically, you know, just wave the magic wand and just creates these, you know, award winning paintings. So it's just, you know, comes in cycles, and you just have to kind of go with that.
Laura Arango Baier: 44:03
Yeah, yeah, you know, this too shall pass type of. Oh, yeah, so definitely, yeah. BoldBrush We inspire artists to inspire the world. Because creating art creates magic, and the world is currently in desperate need of magic. BoldBrush provides artists with free art marketing, creativity, and business ideas and information.This show is an example. We also offer written resources, articles and a free monthly art contest open to all visual artists. We believe that fortune favors the bold brush. And if you believe that to sign up completely free at BoldBrush show.com. That's B O LD BRUSH show.com. The BoldBrush Show is sponsored by FASO. Now more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artist, especially if you want to be a professional in your career. Thankfully with our special link faso.com forward slash podcasts, you can make that come true. And also get over 50% off your first year on your artists website. Yes, that's basically the price of 12 lattes in one year, which I think is a really great deal considering that you get sleek and beautiful website templates that are also mobile friendly, ecommerce print on demand in certain countries, as well as access to our marketing center that has our brand new art marketing calendar. And the art marketing calendar is something that you won't get with our competitor. The art marketing calendar gives you day by day, step by step guides on what you should be doing today, right now, in order to get your artwork out there and seen by the right eyes so that you can make more sales this year. So if you want to change your life and actually meet your sales goal this year, then start now by going to our special link faso.com forward slash podcast.That's s a s o.com. Forward slash podcast. Yeah. And also, I also like this quote that I heard from one of our previous guests, he actually said in his book that he wrote he, one of the quotes was, Don't compare your insides, to someone else's outside, because you don't know what's going on there. And I liked that. You mentioned that.It's like, of course, if I had some duds, you know, it's like, of course, because you've experienced it right at this point you you've gone through it enough times where you know, like, I worked damn hard for this painting. And it's beautiful now, but holy crap, did I make some mistakes? The previous ones? And that's fine.You know, there's Oh, yeah.Yeah, there's more that people don't see. And then I really want to touch on a really interesting factor, which is that you did have a day job, right, a sensible quota. I have lots of them. Yeah. Um, what was that transition like for you from quote, unquote, sensible job into full time artists? What was that, like?
Hillary Scott: 46:57
So it was a slow transition, because I think this was probably my low point where I was like, this is it's now or never, I was a physical therapist, assistant. So I did a complete 180 from like, you know, I was teaching art. I was doing some illustration stuff, like I was getting some assignments. And then I was like, we're gonna go back to school. And the idea was, that I could do this job part time and just do art on the side. And, you know, and I did that for a little while, but I would show up at that job. And it was just like, soul crushing. It was just, for me. I mean, I just couldn't stand it. I'm like, this is just not like, I just don't want to be massaging people's body parts, you know, all day, and like, touching.Everyone's, like, feed. And, I mean, I do respect it as a career. Don't get me wrong, but for me, that is just not why I get up in the morning. And I just, I had a hard time with that. So, you know, I went in, I got laid off, because full disclosure, every one of my jobs, I kind of just did the bare minimum, like I just could never go above and beyond beyond like, what, like a star employee might do. Or it's like, you're gonna stay late, you're gonna pick up extra shifts, you're gonna do this, and I just couldn't do it. I'm like, I just didn't, I didn't care enough.You know, that's just me. I'm like, I'm not an ass kisser. I'm not naturally that type of person. And I just never pretended to be anything other than what I am. And I think the authenticity factor is always just been one that I'm proud of.But it didn't really serve me well in the business world when it when I was working with these different jobs. So yeah, I didn't get laid off, wasn't willing to pick up extra shifts, because my extra time was devoted to creating art, of course, and that was protecting that time, so they did lay me off. So then I was like, Oh, shit, now what am I going to do?So it was a slow transition. It was I started, my kids were young at the time. So I actually put out a little ad on Facebook, I was like, oh, and I teach children's art classes, oh, I can make some extra money in my house after school, and use the money and just have that income.Well, I worked on some art and tried to get the work out there and to be successful as an artist. So that's what I did. I also did pick up some more illustration assignments, through self publishing, Arthur, author's on like a, it was one of those websites where you bid on the jobs. So I picked up some embarrassingly low money, but I'll tell you what, I was so excited to just be able to say that my job was to create art, even if it was making less money than you could make like flipping burgers, and I'm not even kidding you. It was for me, it was just that important that like my identity was so closely tied to my ability to make art for money that I didn't even care I was like, I'm gonna bid on these jobs. I'm just I'm gonna make peanuts for for cash.But But again, I'm building my portfolio because at this time,I was still kind of like in an illustration phase. I'm like, I didn't care if I was like, I want to be a professional illustrator. Even if that's all I could be. And I could never make it to you know, breaking into the fine art world. I was okay with that because anything was better than working as a physical therapist assistant anything in the world. And so you know, I set the bar low. And I was like, I'll teach art class for a little while, you know, and then I was doing the illustration. And then I hit a wall with that. And that's when I, that's when all the classes start. Like it was like, the workshops that that was the point in which I sought out some instruction from some well known fine artists around here that were teaching workshops. And I think that was the turning point for me, where I started to gain the skills that were eventually going to pay the bills. And, you know, and it did take a while it wasn't an overnight success by any means you should see my first few landscapes there, they're laughable, but still, they're an attempt. And, but you know, I look at those. And I realize on a bad day, sometimes I'm like, God, I've come so far, when I'm feeling like, I can't get anything to work. And it's just like, This is so hard. And I'm like, I look and I'm like, I can't believe I went from this point to this point. And there and it's, that's encouraging to me. And sometimes I will close those up to encourage other people that are starting on the same journey, just because it's, you know, if you really look at the big picture, there's just been so much learned in the last nine years. And there's still so much to learn. But yeah, so that was the transition. And over time, the more I practice, the more I just kind of got better at what I was doing, that's when the sales started to increase.And it wasn't, before I got to that basic level of competency, where I could paint something that, you know, looked pretty much like it was, you know, what I was trying to convey, like my, what my vision was with matching, for it at a basic level on, like, what came out on the canvas, that's when I started to sell and the prices were super cheap. At this time,I was like, you know, I just want to sell these paintings. So I saw, you know, put the prices down low, just trying to get trying to gain a following, just try to get the work to move a little bit. And it's just kind of been a progression since then. Slowly, but just very, you know, incrementally raising the prices, getting out there getting more of a following. And it's, it's been awesome, very encouraging, you know, just to see my work pay off to see how I work so hard, you know, like,I've never worked harder for any other employer than I work for myself. You know, even when I don't sell paintings, even when I'm in you know, it's a slow season. I'm like, I don't I just want to do this. This is so you know, important to me that I just, I will work day and night to just get something right. And to just be able to, you know, get my work out there the way I want it to be seen.
Laura Arango Baier: 52:44
Yes, yeah.And it's, you're doing amazing.Like, your Instagram is like, you're welcome. Your Instagram is huge. Your paintings are gorgeous, you're like, you're hitting all of the like, I think like top dreams that any beginning artists would like want to reach out for so I think you're one of like the best examples of everything that can go right? If you just keep chugging your little train and keep trying hard. You know?
Hillary Scott: 53:13
Absolutely.There's sometimes people will make these the, these Well, meeting comments they're not to be met is isn't solvent. I know that some other artists feel the same way as I do when they're like, you're just so talented.And I'm just like, all right,I'm like, Alright, I appreciate it. You know, I do think there were some there were some brought talent because talent does keep you interested in something. However, this is not talent, like what is any success that I enjoy today is just a product of hard work determination and the refusal to quit, and just like, you know, digging in and just seriously just refusing to accept anything less than what my full capabilities are. And, and so that's, that's the encouraging part to people who think that they may not be good enough, or they don't have enough, this is skill like this is learned, I learned how to do this by showing up learning, being willing to learn keeping an open mind not, you know, deciding that, like I knew everything, like I thought I did when I was in my 20s and that was going nowhere fast. It's really just, you know, being coachable. And just showing up and being you know, having an open mind to learn skills. And so this is all the skill that I've learned.I've learned very specific ones, you know, I It's all you know, I do landscapes so for me, it was very important for me to learn how to manipulate the color the values to create depth in my work and so, you know, the more the skill skills once I started learning those skills and putting them to use that's when people responding to my work.And it wasn't because I was talented. It was because I learned how to mix these colors through doing color charts. And so you know, and try it, you know, learning skills on like, what colors to put next to other colors so that they can, you know, have an effect on you and based on what mood you're going for. And again, I just want to underscore the whole idea that this is all a skill set. And yeah, there's some talent involved a little bit, but I think it's like, Oh, my God, like not hard work and in skill, and maybe 10% talent.
Laura Arango Baier: 55:24
Absolutely.Yes, I also have the same issue with the word talent. There is raw talent out there, it exists, but it is, I think, far and few.It's mostly people who maybe have a little bit of that something. And that leads them to follow it. But there's very few people that I've seen, who just immediately put a pencil on paper and know what they're doing. Like that's like maybe one out of 100 people.
Hillary Scott: 55:53
You'll read about them. Yeah, read about that person that one person every 100years or something. And it's like, oh, she was created these that like Hae without any classes. Yeah, sure. I'll, that's talent, right. You can you all credit there. But for me, and for the vast majority of everyone else, we work our asses off hard work. And I just want and I have to make that clear.It's not chalk it up to tell it oh, I can do this for a living and I can make money because I'm just so talented. You know, and they're well, meaning they're not like trying to be rude about it. But it's like, come on, it's not easier for me than it is for anyone else. It's just hard freakin work.
Laura Arango Baier: 56:29
Absolutely, absolutely. And then, you know, obviously, in in the world of painting, I have a very strong belief, from what I've seen, or what I've heard from other artists on the podcast. Good work, always sells, right? It sells on its own. But sometimes, you know, because I really want to talk to you a little bit more about marketing. What has been, you know, the best way for you to sell your work? Has it been Social Media Galleries, maybe both.
Hillary Scott: 57:02
So I would say definitely a combination of both. I do think that the bullet like your platform, the Fine Art Studio Online has been absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me. The whole BoldBrush You know, you guys do such a great job with the artists. And so I feel like you having that platform and like all of the promotion that goes into that has definitely helped, you know, independent of me sending out those newsletters, which I really hate writing, I'm gonna be honest, I'm like, my, my, you know, like, creative expression is is visual. Like when I have to sit down and write words. I'm like, I seriously dreaded, of course, I do it like, you know, just like I said, like, you have to do things you don't want to do. But anyway, I do have an email subscriber list that over the years, I have been able to build that through just the shows that I've done. And, you know, of course, your promotion as well.But the social media took a while to build that up as well.You know, it started out with like, you know, I was excited when I got 100 followers, I remember I was like, oh my god,I have 100 followers. Of course,I wasn't selling anything at that point. This is back right when I first started. But you know, over time, I my work got better. So, you know, I started to sell a little bit on Instagram, and Instagram is great for some of those small studies. There's a lot of people on there, you know, that a purchase my small study, they sell directly to them. But for the larger works, the more expensive works, I have really enjoyed the gallery representation for some of those. You know, it's the galleries when you can find the right gallery. It's, it's so valuable, because it's a relationship. And I have been through a lot of, you know, galleries that are not the right fit for me. It was you know, this is nine years in the making, I think, right? I came out, you know, guns blazing, I'm like, Oh, I gotta get to a gallery, you know, so I was like, reaching out all these galleries. I was trying to get into them. And they were like, oh, yeah, we'll try you out.What I learned is that the galleries that work the best for me are the ones that were passionate about my work and actually sought me out so perfectly. That's that's the honest truth is the ones that emailed me and they're like,Hey, we love your work. Those are the ones that did the best for me because they were all in they were invested in my work and my vision. They were very particular about the artists that they took and nobody was competing with anyone else in the gallery, which is another awesome thing is that like they they pick handpick their artists to kind of complement one another but not to compete within the gallery. So it's like no one is like, has my exact style in any of the one galleries, any of the galleries that I am in, and they've done a great job. And so you know, some of the galleries will bring you customers that come to your website to buy things that are only available through you. So it's just been just a combination. There's a diverse kind of I don't know, I don't know what the word is. But it's not any one thing, really. And then the other thing that I've learned is to get my work out there as I started the entering the national shows, so I could kind of expand out to other states and I am done pretty well selling at some of those shows the oil painters of America, if you can get into those, they're not easy to get into. But I was so honored to get into some of those and I sold through directly through those galleries. So then you get, you know, some followings through the pop up shows. So yeah, I would say my regular representation and my online,Instagram, Facebook, and then you know, the shows that come up throughout the year, they're just like the weekend shows. And that's kind of how I sell.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:00:46
Yeah, I agree, it's good to have, you know, better yet, is not good to have all your eggs in one basket. Right? It's, it's good to always spread out your efforts in different ways that could bring those multiple streams, because if you're just dependent on one, you know, maybe one day that gallery shuts down, and then what do you do?So it's very good to have that backup of, Oh, I'll try this.And this and this. And then newsletter is actually such a big deal. I think it's very underrated is cool. Yeah. To even like you said, you know, selling smaller works, or, you know, selling things that oh, well, I don't really it's not really that big to put in a gallery, or my gallery isn't too interested. It's just like a fun thing that I did. I'm just gonna put on my website that's like,
Hillary Scott: 1:01:38
oh, well, definitely. And I think having different price points as well, has been helpful. So you know, I definitely I'm trying to get into painting bigger. And you when I paint these giant paintings, they cost a fortune to frame and those usually will go to a show or a gallery, because that's, that's hard to sell those directly. I mean, it's happened to me before, but it's not all the time. So I will give those to Gallery. But sometimes I'll do plein air study and or I'll do something really just small and I just don't frame it, I'll throw it up on my plein air unframed Works section on my website, and it's you know, a few $100 Like, you know, you just have a range of prices. People love that, because you're gonna appeal to people who don't have a lot of wall space, they don't have a high, you know, budget, but they do love to collect your art.And, you know, I love you know, when people like, Oh, I love your work, but I really can't afford the big one. So, you know, plein air studies, doesn't take me a long time. And it's just something that they value. And I love to sell those.So there's just Yeah, and then they'll have the mid size works, or like the refined small works that you framed that could be like, you know, around 1000, or like 1500, something like that.It's just a very just a broad range of prices. So that and I found that to be extremely helpful in getting my work to move through various price points and budgets. Yeah,
Laura Arango Baier: 1:03:05
that's, that's really excellent advice, too. Because obviously, you know, like, especially with Instagram, you mostly just have I want to say like younger people or even like students, or you know, usually people who don't have as much disposable income as someone who like compared to someone who's like a collector who, you know, collects through galleries, right? So you to have like that reachable point for someone who's like a really, really big fan, but like, they can't afford it, but they want to support you. Yeah, piece of you. And trust
Hillary Scott: 1:03:37
me. Yeah. Ya know, and trust me when I tell you I have art, like, coming out of my ears. Like the art pile is like so high that I'm like, I have to sell some of these paintings because so it actually works out great. You know, because I have all those paintings, so I need to make room for more paintings. Just get out here. Could have it on frames.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:03:57
Yeah, yeah, everyone benefits, which is excellent. And then do you have any advice for say someone who wants to get into first of all, you know, technique wise wants to get into plein air, but then also wants to take those first steps into becoming someone who lives from their work. What advice would you give?
Hillary Scott: 1:04:22
I would say for plein air. Honestly, the best piece of advice would just find find a workshop because I think if you're gonna go out there by yourself and you've never been out there you're gonna be overwhelmed. And it's it's the hardest thing that I do. I somebody once said, one of my gallery owners actually killed this quote, he's like going out plein air painting is like taking your brain to the gym.Like it's so it's exhausting and like just there's so much going on. So I would say you know try to find a workshop to teach you the basics and like you know what materials you bring. And my way of looking at plein air which actually helped me a lot to be less old. whelming is that I'm literally out there to gather information I'm not if I put the pressure on myself, or I'm like, I have to come up with a good painting. And I have to have everything right. And in a good composition, I was setting myself for extreme failure and disappointment. And I may, and I've seen those artists out there, they enter the competitions there, it's amazing. They're amazing. I am just, that's not what I aspire to, I want to get the plein air information to be able to fuel my studio paintings, the best way I can so that I am getting that information that you can't get from a photograph. And so literally, it's the simplest thing, all you you really have to kind of simplify it where you're not finishing a painting you don't eat doesn't even matter what the paint looks like, you just have to record the things that you can't get from the photo, which are temperature values, the hues like unit, which again, that's the temperature. And that is when I just when I lowered the bar down to where I just am going out there. I'm just gonna go and get the colors of the clouds put them on the panel.Some of those subtleties that you really you know, like those big billowing clouds are so hard to paint from a photo, you get the colors down, don't worry about the composition as much don't worry about the trees, the branches, you know the those things you can get from photo a photo is a tool. And a plein air painting is also a tool. So I once I did that I just the pressure on myself was non existent anymore. It's still difficult, I still go out there and I'm like, Oh my God, what do I start with, I gotta simplify those, it's not easy. I'm never gonna say I'm like, This is not easy for me. So I always say just the way you look at it will determine how how the experience is for you. So I just I'm trying to gather out gather up information that I see directly with my own eyes. And as far as making a living or making money off your work, I think it's such a slow such a slow process, it's going to be slower than you want it to be. It's just because these skills to build to a level where you can consistently put out work that's good and saleable. It's gonna, it's just gonna take it's gonna take a while, but you always have to realize why you're doing it, it shouldn't be just to make, you know, money, when I don't think any artist is in this just to make money, I think that it's you have to love the process of it, you have to always remember why you're doing it and just enjoy the process of creating art. And just celebrate the small victories you know, it's not going to be like all of a sudden you go from like your you don't paint at all, you don't know what you're doing, you know, you go plein air painting one time, and then you go to selling like a $10,000 painting, like it doesn't work that way.You go out there, you just kind of, you're just it's a career, it's a marathon, not a sprint.So you know, and I will say this is that while you are trying to make money. I know a lot of artists, there's no shame in having a side gig, like you know, something, a part time job, you may hate it, like I hated mine time. But you know, you it's a necessary part of the thing. And then knowing that eventually, you know, if you really put the time in and you're really invested in your work, you can eventually break free of it. And just, you know, it's Overtime you'll make, you'll make that progress, and your work will get more attention and you'll get higher end collectors and we'll get more visibility, but you just can't rush it because there's just only you can only you learn so much so fast. Like I just think that it's a very, it's a learning curve. You know, whenever you're learning a new skill, it's just going to take awhile, and it's going to take, you know, failed paintings and a lot of again, rejection from shows. And so you have to build up a thick skin, you have to build it, you have to if you don't, you're gonna you're not going to survive, you know, and be able and the other thing I would say is be this was kind of coming to play with a question about, you know, when I was getting instruction, and it's like, be able to take a tough critique, because I didn't like the people that were like, oh, it's really so good. It's like, you know, I just, I tell me, that sucks. Like, tell me why it sucks. Like I need to be. I need tough coaching. Because that's the only way you're gonna get better. If somebody is brutally honest with you. We don't need to sugarcoat things I didn't, you know, I never really learned from professors, teachers, that would be too nice. And they were afraid to insult me and I know there are people that get very offended and they're like, oh my god, I'm like, I suck. You have to be willing to take instruction and you know, have the brutal truth. And, you know, spoken to you. So that's, that's what I would say.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:09:46
I love it.Yeah, yeah. And it's so true.And I mentioned this before, you know, with with my my online students, I always tell them I was like, when you're learning this craft, you're going to be facing your demons. It's not going to be easy, you're going to be right smack in front of all of your flaws. And you have to own up to them in order to improve them. Like they're just like, No, that they're not your limit. Like they, they don't mean anything, like your worth isn't equivalent to those flaws.If anything, you know, those flaws are changeable, and your worth is limitless. So those are two separate things, but it's so hard for people to separate it.But your work will always improve. Like they're separate things, which, with the tough skin that makes perfect sense.Like, you have
Hillary Scott: 1:10:32
to be really bad at something everything anyone has ever done, they're really really bad at it before they're good at it. And so if you're one of the people that can't stand to be bad at something, then you're probably never going to achieve, you know, you're if you have a big goal, it's like you have it's just the only way out is through, you know, and so literally it's like, you're gonna make some bad paintings and you have to be okay with that you have to be okay with,with just looking at something that's bad. And knowing that you can just make something else and just do keep trying and they will It will get better over time. But it does get it's faster when you have somebody a mentor, when you when you're not working in a vacuum, when you have another set of eyes on it have somebody to critique even if you sign up like online, I know there's a lot of there's instructors that will do online, you know, critiquing you know, virtual class, just just get some outside help because that is discouraging. When you are you question everything, you're like making a panel it does this work? I don't know what about it, you need to have some fresh eyes on it. So if at all possible, try to find somebody who's better than you to break down your work, critique your work, I think, you know, a lot of good instructors have a good they have a balance, they know that if there's too if they're too harsh, you're going to want to quit. So I think, you know, a good instructor will tell you what's working, of course, you know, there's probably something that's working, and then they'll tell you what's not working. And I think that's a great way to be motivated to kind of improve what you're doing.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:11:59
So, yes, um, and then I do have a kind of a funny question that I decided to include, at least in this season of the podcast, and that is, aside from painting, right? Do you have any other topic that you're secretly like extremely knowledgeable about that maybe has nothing to do with painting, but maybe also feeds your painting?
Hillary Scott: 1:12:25
So yeah, I'm not sure how well it directly feeds my painting, but I'm super into exercise science, fitness, exercise, science, nutrition. I as I said, I did go into the physical therapy because I had a background in it and I'm very passionate about it, I work out every day. You know, I get in the gym the lift, I also have been a lifelong runner. And I think my what feeds my creativity more than just my gym going is probably my, my running outside, like my I have to be out in nature every day. And it's multitasking because I'm getting inspiration. I'm also getting some exercise because I'm running, walking, hiking. So yeah, I do have to work out every day. But I, what the connection with that is that when my it helps my mental health. And so when my mental health is good, my work reflects that. And the best example of that is that I had a few foot surgeries a few years back where I was immobile, like I was on crutches, I couldn't walk, like I was like a non weight bearing for many weeks, every single one of those times without exception, I got into a huge creative funk. Because my work is reflection of is a reflection of what I what I see in the world as I go through my daily journey, like you know, all the things that I do. Whether I'm driving, walking, running, it doesn't matter. Like I'm always seeing something it like clouds or fog, or just anything at all.So it's so critical for me to the outside. And again, getting clear in my head doing some sort of exercise. And I will you know, bring my phone with me,I'll get photos, I'll observe things I'll paint in my head while I run. And I'm just it does feed my creativity, just that the whole like working out thing. So definitely it plays into that and and then of course when I was able to walk again, I was like, Oh, the ideas came flown back. What a surprise. I'm like, now I can go outside and walk again. And now I can feed my soul with all of the beauty that is nature that I thrive on and that I want to bring to my back into my studio. So it definitely that is a huge thing for me is just being able to be outside nature and mobile.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:14:39
Yes. Yeah, you know, that's, um, I think as artists, you know that mind body connection is so important. I'm also a weightlifter. I'm not a runner, but I'm a weightlifter and I find that I get my best ideas. The days that I hit the gym and I'm like, Alright, I lift more weight than before.One, it's encouraging as hell.So that that's a confidence booster and then to you know, even between sets when I'm like, you know, in resting, maybe I'm reading or maybe I'm like, I suddenly get an image for a painting. I'm like, Ah, yes.Okay. And then the days that I don't go, like, if I take a week off for any reason, maybe I had to travel or I had a bunch of other stuff to do. Those are the hardest weeks of my life. Like,I'm just stuck in my head all day. And I call it like, a hamster stuck in a wheel in my head and just doesn't stop. I just spiral into negativity.
Hillary Scott: 1:15:35
That resonates so much. I should say, I am a runner. But I used to run like656 days a week. Now I run twice a week and I lift like four I do lift a lot more than I run. But I do go outside and then I'll walk after I lift just to get, you know, movement outside. But um, yeah, I love the weights. I just think that there's something the mental health boosts for that also does play into the work, although I can't make a direct connection. Or it's like, Oh, I see. I don't see things that I'm going to paint while I'm lifting.Although, you know what, we have big windows at our gym. And I'll be I'll be in the middle of a set. And I'm looking at these atmosphere perspective. And you know, the way the sun is hitting the trees, there's just never not painting ever. So yeah, I will say that when the big windows and I'm like, Oh, I can see it's all hazy out there. I'm like, I gotta get out there and get those clouds before they
Laura Arango Baier: 1:16:20
go away.Yeah, I'm just
Hillary Scott: 1:16:24
always I'm just never not painting in my head or actual painting. Yeah, that's a great question. Great question.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:16:32
I've included it. Yeah, I've had some very interesting answers. Oh, really? Yeah. So far. The previous person, his name is Chi Chi Loon, he actually he does like dancing. So it's very interesting how a lot of us as artists have chosen like things that require movement of some sort, whether it's hiking, or like weightlifting or dancing.So I think, yeah, I think I'm happy that I'm asking that question. Well, you know,
Hillary Scott: 1:17:03
sedentary, you know, job, like career, it's pretty sedentary for the most part. So I'm like that I can't just sit here. I'm like, You're gonna go stir crazy. So yeah, I do start my day, usually with some sort of a workout. And then I'll sit here my head feels clear. I feel creative. And I can do this. But yeah, it's for sure. It's you have to move?Absolutely. Yeah. Mind Body.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:17:24
mind body connection. Absolutely. Yeah. So do you have any events coming up? And he shows, workshops, etc, that you'd like to mention?
Hillary Scott: 1:17:36
So I'm not right.Not like shows I'm going to be answering some jury shows coming out. But of course, I don't know what they'll get into them. I mean, I'll have a show up in the fall. But I'm always I'm just right now have like a sea of paintings that are like 90%. On that I need to finish there just to get them to my galleries, because my galleries have done awesome lately. They've sold some paintings. So I just need to replace those. And but yeah, as far as shows, I had a big, I had a bunch of shows a cluster of shows in the spring that are great, awesome, you know, big shows that I was so excited to be in. But at this point, it's slow to the point where it's an inventory, creating phase. And but Yeah, we'll definitely have some more shows in the fall.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:18:17
Great. Yeah.And then where can people find more of your work?
Hillary Scott: 1:18:22
My work is on my website, which is Hillary Scott fine. art.com. And my instagram handle, which is i a lot of not just finished works, but a lot of works in progress behind the scenes stuff is Hillary Scott underscore fine art. And if you follow me there, you can see all the works in progress.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:18:45
Yeah, well, thank you so much for your time,Hillary and for your awesome advice. I'm the space
Hillary Scott: 1:18:51
you so much for having me on. Yes, it was wonderful talking art. I could talk shop all day.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:18:59
Hillary Scott: 1:19:03
I know, I'm like,I can't talk about this with my family as much they you know, but yeah, get me with another artist. And I'll talk about this stuff all day. So it's been wonderful, wonderful. Just chat about all these topics. And again, thank you so much for having me on.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:19:18
Of course.Thank you for your time. All right. Thank you.