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Mark Lagüe - You Have All The Potential, So Use It

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #57

Show Notes:

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To kick off season 5, we sat down with Mark Lague, a successful Canadian painter whose artistic goal is finding the essence of life through the use of carefully sought out brushstrokes. He tells us all about his 13- year career in the animation history and how he used it to help his painting technique, and how his previously perfectionistic style slowly evolved into becoming more expressive. Mark also reminds us of the importance of using social media, staying in touch with your newsletter subscribers to help your sales, and that we have all the potential in the world, so we must use it! Finally, we discussed Mark's upcoming online workshops all about lost edges in painting.

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Visit Mark's FASO site:

Sign up for Mark's upcoming workshops:


Mark Lagüe: 0:00

And that was something that very first art class I took in high school. I remember the teacher telling me it's like you have all the potential in the world, but it's worth nothing. If you don't do it and and more importantly do it because it's fun. Yes, it's fun. But you have to do it when it's not fun. And you're an artist, right? It's it's probably not fun more than it's fun, you know? But you gotta keep gotta persevere and, and that, that, you know, that's the biggest thing.

Laura Arango Baier: 0:29

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. But 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 Cineflex. To kick off season five, we sat down with Mark Liu, a successful Canadian painter whose artistic goal is finding the essence of life through the use of carefully sought out brushstrokes. He tells us all about his 13 year career in the animation industry, and how he used it to help his painting technique. Also how his previously perfectionistic style slowly evolved into becoming more expressive. Mark also reminds us of the importance of using social media, staying in touch with your newsletter subscribers to help your sales found that we have all the potential in the world, so we must use it. Finally, we discussed Mark's upcoming online workshops all about lost edges in painting. Welcome mark to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?

Mark Lagüe: 1:38

Good, how are you?

Laura Arango Baier: 1:39

I'm doing good. Good. Um, I'm excited to have you for many reasons. One is that you have incredible work that I really, you know, I've seen it before. And I didn't know it was useful. It's exciting to be like, Ah, I can put a face to the work now. And also, the fact that your work has this beautiful vibratory sort of feeling like it feels like when you're looking at one of your cityscapes, it really feels like there's life in there, which is really cool. And I feel like that might tie into your past as an animator. But we can touch on that in a bit. Do you mind telling us a bit about you and who you are and what you do.

Mark Lagüe: 2:26

My name is Mark Ledoux. I'm a full time painter, oil painter. I don't know how much depth you want me to go into that. Now obviously, I'll be going in more into it later. But I've been full time for a little over 20 years now. And, I mean, I really because I kind of I grew up, but consider the West Island of Montreal, which is really kind of a sports oriented community. So I really didn't, I didn't really have any connection to the visual arts in any way. No one in my family. I'm from a big family of one of six kids, but none of my siblings nor my parents. You know, were inclined that way. Nor, you know, interested in that. And I just I always like to draw. I was a compulsive doodler. That's what my textbooks were for in school, you know, even I would do little sort of little animated movies at the bottom bottom of my textbooks and are just and just doodling on desks. And I mean, yeah, yes, I was a graffiti artist in the early days, but it was literally my last year of high school, which was only grade 11 here in Quebec, but that's where I took an art class. And the teacher was very encouraging and everything else. So that made me just start to think like, I never occurred to me that you could do this for a living, you know, in any capacity commercial or otherwise, you know. So, you know, she was very encouraging. And I've even started doing a little oil painting in, you know, in high school. And I really liked it, it was exciting to me. But I didn't really have any like reference points to that for it to really mean anything because like I said, I kind of grew up in a vacuum, if you will. So then, then I went to the next phase, which here in Quebec we call CG app, which is sort of a that's why we only go to greenlab into the CG app is a thing that sort of a bridge between high school and university, which is actually a pretty good idea because to go straight from high school, the university sometimes oftentimes before, you know, they don't really know what they want to do. And so at that point, I was kind of vaguely thinking I guess I could be an illustrator I mean, back then was predict doodle, so, you know, like, real illustrate or whatever. So I went into John Abbott and John epic, which was the CG app in the fine art program. And it was great, I just, I probably wasn't mature enough whatever to really, you know, so I didn't do well academically at it, but I ate up, you know, the, and it was my first exposure to life drawing, which to me was just a revelation. And so, you know, I, I didn't spend a lot of time worrying about grades, which, in my, I still don't regret that because, I mean, you're an artist, you know, like, that's not what, you know, your grades aren't what anybody's looking for, whether you're in a commercial environment or selling work in the gallery, so, but I really kind of dove in with just learning how to draw from life, you know. And so I started just counting sketchbook everywhere, drawing from life on the bus, you know, drawing people from behind sketchbooks. And so it was, as I did spend two years they might get finished, but it was a great experience, I had some great instructors. And from there, I, I ended up enrolling in this, this place called the Digital Art Center, just for one year, and I worked for a year. And that was great. I did oil and watercolor that was my first exposure to watercolor, and I fell in love with watercolor. And that became my, that became my primary medium for for years. And from there, I still, you know, still was like, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do art, but I, you know, I realized it was going to be I didn't even really have the notion that I could become a painter someday I didn't think that was possible. Nor was it really something I was looking to do. Again, it was sort of the illustration idea. And I really started getting into these illustration books and you know, admiring the works of some of the great illustrators at the time, I can barely remember any of them now. Remember Marvin Adelson, I really liked his work and Bernie fuks or, you know, all these guys that they, you know, did incredible work. So then I got into university with Concordia University in Montreal, in what at the time was graphic design up until literally, the year I got in, and they have changed graphic design to design art, which at the time, I was kind of disappointed because it was less, it was less practical real world, if you know what I mean, like the graphic design was, you know, given the job and, you know, as the, whatever, whatever the so this was a little more conceptual, a little more, less, less commercial oriented, you know, which at the time was kind of just playing it, but in the end, I think it was better. I mean, there was problems, because they were just like, really, we were literally like the lab rats, you know, because it was this brand new program that they had just sort of created. So there was a lot of, you know, kinks to work out, I guess. But anyway, I did my think it was three years at Concordia. And it was when, when I was at the very end of that. Literally one of those and you know, I'm a lot older than you I'd be back then. It was like that just that bulletin board in the cafeteria, whatever, where you'd have a piece of paper with a amination job like whatever it's just like written in crayon or something. And at the bottom of it, they would have the phone number written like a million times. Yeah, so you did I ripped it off, I gave a call. And I knew nothing about m&a. So that's that's not true. I did I took one MHC class in Concordia was never I mean, that was really experimental paint on glass and unless I really quite liked it, but it was like fine art, animation, you know, because we in Montreal, we have the the National Film Board, which is created some you know, so I really did sort of start getting interested in animation but strictly on on an art level, like the paint on glass and Norman McLaren and these guys were doing just incredible stuff. Mainly, it's all funded by the National Film Board, which is, you know, our Telefilm Canada, you know, so it was there was no real commercial application, you know, to it. So, anyway, I took one animation class so I could have that when I went for my interview for this job, you know, and it turned out it was just two guys sitting in a room and this woman Dude was getting money from telephone Canada produced all these animated shorts. Like 26 animated shorts at 10 minutes piece if you have any idea, you know how much actual like work that is and then manpower and man hours. Here we were three guys, it's like aliens she can get out she didn't really know. She just like, got money from television from television, she was from Paris. So I just went in and these two guys had some experience in animation I had not. But I didn't even realize like, here we are fully animating like nobody does that. Even in North America. Like all my years when I worked at sin, or not that I was an animator anyway was the background. But you're just when you're in the, in the, in the real world of animation, unless it's like Disney and in California. You're just sort of like we would we would design and create like the Bible and everything for the characters and but then we would just do like these packages that we would send overseas, whether it was Korea or China, usually it was China, where they work, just assembly lining and you know, doing the end, yeah, there's a drop off in quality, obviously, but it's the only way you could realistically do it, you know, financially. So anyway, but this, this woman got money for this company, and we were getting paid 10 bucks an hour, which back in this is really going to date myself here, I'm gonna say this was 88. And I was happy to get it, you know, it's like, wow. And that kind of turned into because we were doing all of it. I just sort of said, oh, like, what, what are these backgrounds that we're doing? I didn't even really, quote totally understand the process. But it's like, I know how to paint, you know. So I got these, these Luma colors, which are like, they're like inks, you know, they're in these little bottles, and they had like a little eyedropper on it. So, I learned to use those and they were amazing. Like the washes, you could get like, yeah, and I never used the airbrush. But I kind of took pride and learning how to get washes that were so like the gradations were so fun and so smooth that you could trick people into thinking you're using airbrush. And if you use this stuff called, again, I'll be dating myself here, we used to call it brisket, brisket, or was miscut whatever the brand name was Miss good. And it was, but anyway, it was it was like liquid rubber, he would, he would paint that on your areas where you didn't want the color to go and let it dry. And then you paint over it. Let it dry, peel it off. And so anyway, detail on the animation stuff. But

Laura Arango Baier: 12:56

this is so cool. I mean, you know, I feel like now animation is since it's totally digital. I feel like it's almost like a lost art. So hearing about it and the complexities in the scene by scene and just getting the color perfect. And the gradations Perfect, that's wow, I mean, that must have trained you technically, to a tee, you know, for your own work.

Mark Lagüe: 13:23

And you learned like you're knocking off, especially here because we were doing all of the backgrounds, whereas like when you know, let's say, on our server, for example, you know, an episode would be to 10 minute episodes within, you know, with a couple of interstitials we call them whatever. But like, each, let's say that each 10 minute episode, were in because that one I believe we were doing in Seoul, South Korea, they would probably need to knock out about 250 backgrounds for that, you know, and the animation would be just reams and reams and reams of paper. But we would provide them with about 10 to 12. We call them the beauty shots, you know, like so it's a room interior where Arthur's there, he would do sort of the three quarter view beauty shot of the entire row. So then they can recall those keys and they would use the keys and overseas. But then they might have 25 different scenes from there, but they would use you know, ours, you know, might be sometimes we would probe in with to say this side of the room and that side of them, you know, like it was really elaborate maybe three or four that they would be doing literally hundreds of backgrounds off of those. Wow. Wow.

Laura Arango Baier: 14:37

That's amazing. I feel like you know, especially with like the rise of AI and all of these like computer things. I feel like we may yet see a resurgence of that type of creation, hopefully. I mean, I know. Like in Miyazaki studio with the Studio Ghibli movies, they they do a lot of like hand drawing and digital. But, you know, there's something about hand drawn, you know, animations that are just, there's something more to it. And actually, I really I find it so fascinating to the you know, you did that. And that you were you had this thing with watercolor specifically which as you mentioned in an interview, it is so unforgiving. It is so precise, it is so exact. If you mess up a little, it's so hard to go back from that. How has that, you know? How was it like for you to pull away from that perfectionistic high finish to something more, I guess with more movement, and as you say, actually, that you you, you try to find the essence that you said that that was your goal to basically remove detail, how has that journey been like for you?

Mark Lagüe: 16:02

Um, well, I guess it's funny, because at the time, I guess, before I was in art school, I still have all the drawings that I was doing. But I got really fascinated with I'm very detail oriented in my work, like, if my work looks loose, that's something that I sort of, like fought for, had to dig out of the ground, you know, because I have some stuff this one in particular, this David Bowie drawing I did. It's dated, I think I was 19 when I did it, it probably took 100 hours. And it was from the changes one red album, cover, whatever. But it's done in pointillism. With the repeater graph, like the point one three, repeat the graph 10 which was by far the finest one repeater graph pens, were just you have to put the ink in and but the finer they were the more precision but they would tend to clog because the little hole was so and it's so frustrating these things but like when it was flowing, you know, and I just sit there and you know, work out but me prior to that, even I I've done some with maybe a bigger name, and I was doing, I was just fascinated with how to knit I didn't know the term value at the time, but that you know, value is, you know, you're an artist, you and you know, it's it's the whole deal kind of but the was just fascinated with finding different ways. And this goes back to even like, in grade three, you know, in my I would just do these patterns, these pattern things where, you know, and you kind of start to figure out like, either darker, it's light, right? It's either, like, this is nothing without that, if you know what I mean? Like, it's, I even say that to students, it's sort of like, first of all, don't pay the thing, paint the shape. And second of all, don't paint the shape paint the shape next to the shape. And it's kind of a head scratcher. But, you know, it's because that whole thing with negative space and everything, I never quite really, that never really resonated with me. But anyway, getting back to taking a long route to get to you asked about the, you know, the looseness I displayed sort of had to go back and say that my my first instinct was always just like, as much detail as possible, you know, like, and like make it look like more than a photograph, you know. And so, anyway, this doing that, and even to the point where I truly believe that I had invented cross hatching and pointillism because like no one else has ever like, I came I just, you know, little did I know, I mean, I think Dewar was doing and crosshatching in the 1400s and pointillism, like anyway, but when you're sort of in your own little world and I guess I probably had seen it before you know like know, I came up with this, you know So anyway that that you know when I started working with watercolor and animation Well, I had started with it before that at the Visual Arts Center. I didn't do any probably really No, I didn't do any watercolor when I was in university. There was oil and acrylics but It really was when I loved the idea of like, yeah, the smoothness and the precision of watercolor, which it can be. And that was another thing when I was pretty young. I did, I set up these Forestdale lives and did them from life and what like one was with a beer, and there was all like snacks, bags of chips, Cheetos, and things with like a coke or a beer, or whatever next to it. And I just set up these filters, I still kind of set up still lives like that, you can probably see them behind me. But they were pretty Brander, you know. But it literally was, and this is this is probably mid 80s, mid to late 80s. I was just in a bookstore. And I saw that I was in the Art section like I always was, and Backlund books were really a thing, you know, even that just to go back a little bit when I was in Concordia, the er the library, where the art books were, it was in this old old building where you had to go up to the 11th floor and walk back down to the fourth floor for whatever reason. But I would literally spend hours in there. It was lit, it was literally like he would be you know, just flipping on your iPad through, you know, through work. But it was just the only like, Andre Domi and Degas and Rembrandt and I would just, you know, stand out hours and hours there. But anyway, so I was in this bookstore. And I saw this, this cover just kind of struck me and it was painting what you want to see by Charles Reed. I never heard of Charles Reed before. And it just just the cover was like, oh my god, I picked it up. And I started flipping. It's like, Oh, my God, like, you can do this with watercolor. And it was splattery. It was super loose. It was all kinds of vignettes, you know, and he would just let it drip down sometimes just and it's like, wow, that it was it was kind of an epiphany, you know? So I bought it and took it home. And I mean, it's sort of a quasi instructional book, though. There was there was exercises that we went and I did the mall, probably numerous times. But it was so much more than that, you know, and he was an oil painter too. Fantastic. Well, Tanner, is boy, things were loose, but it was he's primarily, he was primarily a watercolor painter, and that book just kind of changed everything for me, you know? It's like, okay, I, you know, I'll do commercial art for as long as I need to, but I wanted to be a painter someday. And, of course, you know, once you, especially when you latch on to something like that. So you tried to paint like him, you know, and of course, it's gonna be terrible. And it was, but I still believe it was a worthwhile, you know, I probably did that a million times after that different painters who you admire, you know, and it's like, you just see, it's like, oh, okay, that's how I'm gonna do it now. Right, you know? And, of course, that that works for them. You know? It takes it takes so long to kind of develop your own thing.

Laura Arango Baier: 23:20

Yeah, yeah. And you certainly developed your own thing for sure. Because, you know, I see one of your paintings, and I know, it's yours. You know, it's, it's so funny how style is something that it feels like this elusive sort of thing where, like, if you force it, it doesn't work. But it kind of searches on its own. Like it just appears somehow, over time. How has that been like for you? Because you because you have like such a particular style. I'm very curious about how, how your art basically began to somewhat like disintegrate into these sort of, I guess, like, moving fragments.

Mark Lagüe: 24:10

Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess a lot of it starts with studying people like Charles Yan is too bad. I never did get to take a workshop with him. Because it's that back at that time. workshops were huge. And I mean, I did end up getting my second favorite watercolor artist who really inspired me a lot. And in a lot of ways my work when I was doing watercolor, like echoed, here's a lot more of this guy, Frank Webb, who actually just passed away maybe in about a year ago, Charles Reed passed away maybe two or three years ago. But I did get to take a watercolor workshop with Frank Webb. 8789 I'm not sure it was. It was a long time ago. But back then, and it was at John Abbott, the place where I went to see Jeff and they do that really, they had fantastic facilities like this, that their fine art facilities, I didn't appreciate the time, it was great, like much better than even university, you know. So he would do this workshop in the two biggest rooms that were kind of attached 35 students, which is way too many, you know, but just watching him and like he would do a demo every day, you know, and kind of with a different approach. But he would, he would use these really large flat brushes, Charles Reed exclusively used like rounds, these, you know, the expensive stables with the come to a point. And even there, but I didn't, I never got to take a workshop, which I was really but I did. Again, I'm going to be aging dating myself, I ordered, it was the first time it's like, wow, videos a thing. So he like, like art videos, you know, like this is Wow, that's amazing. And I was still living at home. And we my parents were actually early adopters of the VCR. But it was so long ago that it was on beta. You I don't know if that's probably history to you. But like you'd go into the video store, and you had two sections, the beta section and the VHS section. And it was only then that apparently beta was better, you know, but VHS, marketed better. But we had a beta machine. So I ordered the beta at cost a fortune, and it took forever to get there. And I put it in the machine. And I couldn't believe like, because I studied his work so much. And I presume he was standing back and literally like, like splattering and throwing paint. And now he was like working sitting down and working really slowly. And but it's kind of and he was even talked about that, you know, it's like, pre work to look loose. You know, it's, it's any, we sort of just paint one section at a time. And we begin with watercolor because you want to keep it fresh, right? I feel the same way with lawyers. And that's I feel like a lot of why my work and always looks the way it does is because of how I'm going to watercolor when you take that same approach. And oftentimes I do like, oftentimes I started my oils with a wash, you know, transparent, and I'll do sometimes I'll leave it, like 90% transparent or even 100% transparent, basically, it's a watercolor in oils. But the upside is, you know, you can, especially with a squeegee thing you can pull out better, you know, pull pull away, and I don't I don't do that often, you know? Actually, it did happen once, I'm probably gonna get a tangent here, but it's all related to the same. This maybe this was five years ago. And I don't usually post things on social media, I think back then even like Facebook was was was more significant to me than Instagram is. That's all changed now. Yeah, you can get that later. But I think it was recent enough that I was posting it on both. But it was something I was working on. It was like a 30 by 30. It was sort of a Montreal winters the street scene with reflections and things. It was just people that was the maybe cars for free, but it wasn't the typical cityscape that I do. And I probably worked on for about 40 minutes, and with big brushes and led into it all kind of drift and everything but really focused on the values. And I really liked where it was at, you know, so I'm gonna post it now, you know, and it was kind of like fishing a little bit. I'm kind of like, Oh, I'm a little reluctant. But you know, obviously, it's not finished, you know, but you're, you're kind of into the big Alright, so I'll stop right there. It's tough stuff, you know. And I was kind of like, you know, maybe and then someone messaged me and said, like, I want to buy it as this. Okay. I just saw that like that. But I think it was kind of a good lesson, you know, that sometimes that initial bloggin you know, you're just you can't it's, it's it's a, it's tough not to you know, especially when, you know, to go in with the opaque stuff. It actually is there was a similar sort of thing where I did I know it was done the job. Fantastic. I think he interviewed me for I don't think it was a magazine. It was an online thing, but I use that as an example this one where it was, I'm not sure it was this sort of one of the more the areas that I do like the VISTAs you know, the European one I don't even remember where and I it was all kind of turquoisey so I did a monochrome thing. Right later I just did with the big brush did the monochrome turquoise over the whole surface. And then with the it's The Catalyst wedge, the Princeton catalyst switch, the gray one, it's like a little squeegees made of hard rubber. And you can, you know, it's got the little 45 degree angle on the SD, these little smaller parts, but the big part is good three inches, you know, so you just pulling out my lights with that. And then I went just back in with, like, once it was more or less dry ish, you know, dry enough that you could work on it, just with the same mixture of the turquoise, which is, you know, I had just wet but my dark sand. And it was glowing. And, you know, so I took a good photo of it, not just like an iPhone, I took that, you know, I and but I didn't post it as is and get people to not let me work further on it, you know. And I went ahead, and I worked for that. And it was it was a good ad in the end. But you know, when I put it to the photo, and the two photos next to each other, it's like, something died there, you know?

Laura Arango Baier: 30:58

It happens. Yeah, yeah. And I love that that's such a great lesson about you know, sometimes it's good to leave, leave the painting as it is because it has, like a piece of life in it. And it is, it's so God, I totally get it, it's so hard to, you know, pull away when you feel like oh, but this could be better, this could be better. And then eventually, it's a totally different painting. And it's such a delicate balance of stop and go. Or maybe it's okay as it is. And that's I think that's the biggest challenge I find with painting, which is like, where? When do I stop? You know? Because, oh, there There are better places to stop, as you mentioned and others. But oh my god, how do you it's really messing with my head right now. Because that's happened to me so many times is a given nice drawing, and then I'm gonna work on it a little bit more. And then and then it's not so nice. I totally get that. And you know what I think it's such a great idea to to host it on Instagram, like you did, because sometimes it's like, you could say that it's a process image. And then someone buys it as it is because you know, there's something in it right. And you have 76,000 followers on Instagram, which is incredible. And you have 1000s of likes on your images, I was looking at your Instagram, you have amazing, amazing paintings on there, that I think everyone should go check out. In terms of like, selling your work, do you feel like, because you've also experienced, you know, quite a shift right into social media. Whereas, you know, in the early 2000s, it was mostly galleries, and it was really the only way to get your art out there. How has that been for you to go from? Maybe, you know, working exclusively with galleries to selling directly on Instagram.

Mark Lagüe: 33:10

I mean, obviously, when you're my age, this social media thing is sort of I mean, my daughter helped me a lot with, you know, getting up and running. Especially Instagram. But yeah, I mean, I don't sell a ton I did for a stretch when Facebook was good, like when I didn't, I mean, obviously they play around with the algorithm, and thanks is because Facebook, it was very sudden, like literally, you know, back back maybe seven years ago, you know, it was started getting, I mean, I never even now some people do pretty well with Facebook, because they they treat it more like Instagram and that they just have followers. But the thing was back then was friends, the other 5000 cap, you know, so I had like 5000 friends, you know, but at least in the at the times when before they kind of wrecked it, they at least all 5000 of your friends would see what you would post you know, so you would get some time you know, like 800 likes or whatever. Not that it's all about likes, and it's a terrible idea to start tasting lights, you know, for the sake of likes. But that just that just went away. But when that was good, I was selling quite a bit directly through Facebook, you know, mostly small stuff, obviously. But that's the thing for me. Especially with one gallery, but I used to be I was doing best with my really big works, you know, like my, my 40 by 60s and whatever. Obviously, you're not going to be selling those directly through through social media, you know. So, that is something I'm kind of working towards, and actually it was the was this about this time last year, a little later in the fall, I did for the first time ever, I did a holiday sale with 35 or 40% off whatever. And that did great. You know, like, really just, and that's thanks a lot to, you know, my life so website. And but that that was that was where social media really, really was really helpful and I can get better at it. You know, I mean, I look at someone like I know he's fantastic, fantastic painter, T bar, Maggie. I mean, he, he can tell he sells like crazy as he should. But I think he's really good at the marketing part of it, too. And I'm not saying that in a cynical way at all, because his work should be selling. It's absolutely. But I think I could learn a lot from him. In that regard, you know, he has it he it seems just looking at how he does it, he doesn't really go into galleries anymore at all, you know, he's managed to I mean, the galleries are good. They, you know, I don't want to disparage them. It's, you know, when they it's so dependent on where the economy is that you know. Anyway, I, the social media thing is important, especially the Instagram, and I'd like to think I'm getting better at it, you know,

Laura Arango Baier: 36:30

I mean, you have a lot of followers. So I think you're doing great. And the work that you post is very, it has a quality that makes it very attractive as well like, because obviously, you know, the app, it's very limited, you know, it's very small screen that you and your work really speaks so beautifully, both in person. And in the app. It seems like to me, I mean, I haven't been able to see your work in person, unfortunately, maybe one day, but in the app, you know, it really sings as well really, you see it, and it's so I feel like I can touch it, if you know what I mean? How BoldBrush re 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 That's BOLDBRUSH 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 forward slash podcast, 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 forward slash podcast, that's forward slash podcast. So I think, you know, it's a, you have beautiful work and it clearly, you know, looks great, and people respond to it. And I say, you know, everyone can, like, do better at marketing, of course, which is why we have this podcast where we talk about marketing techniques and stuff. But in any case, I think you're doing great. I mean, from my vantage point, you know, like you do your holiday sale and you know, do what you can when you can and to me also it seems like you just you bust out a lot of work quite frequently, at least from my perspective, it seems like you know, you work at a quite a fast pace. Is that true?

Mark Lagüe: 39:30

It is and it's a it's slowed down even somewhat. Again, like I said, sometimes looseness is more more an illusion, you know, it's like yeah, I go through phases and sometimes when I you know whether it's stopping sooner or just not you know, because I definitely like I guess again, it's because of my watercolor beginnings and especially the you know, seeing Charles read, however, applying the paint the whole notion of alla prima you know, the last stroke first kind of kind of approach. And I really love that idea. And that, that kind of speaks to that, like, it's kind of cliched, but to happy accidents thing, you know, it's sounding like Bob Ross or something.

Laura Arango Baier: 40:24


Mark Lagüe: 40:25

but so, you know, and I find, you know, like, certain things that I guess it's like they say about theater and acting like, you can never repeat a performance, you know, but I've had some words, I mean, like, long ago. Okay, 2005, I had a solo show in Santa Barbara Waterhouse gallery. And I'd only been doing it full time for two or three years. My first US show was in Virginia the year before. So anyway, 2005, and the show did great, basically sold out. And there's one piece in particular, and back then he was doing, he would do a catalog, like on paper, you know, I loved it, that it was great. They don't even really doesn't anymore, because why, you know, just look at the website, whatever. They had a website, but it's 2005 websites. So, you know, pretty, pretty. And not everybody had the technology to get on websites, whatever. But this one, I think he used it for the cover of the catalog, it was just a pretty typical mind. New York City night scene was reflections, you know, like three taxis, three quarter view kind of thing. And that one was just that, uh, wow. You know, and like he said, he could have sold it 10 times. And so it's not something I would like, you know, rush out and do again, but over the years, it's like, oh, you know, I was kind of, I might come across that reference photo again. And or maybe, you know, we've got so many New York City reference photos. That I, you know, so it's kind of like, I'm not doing the exact same painting, but definitely, like, think of how people love that one so much, you know, and I've tried it probably three or four times, and they've been like, nothing, like total duds, you know, and it kind of looked the same kind of, but something something the fire was gone, or whatever, you know, and whatever happened when I did it the first time, you know, without any sort of over thinking or, you know, I guess it kind of goes back to what you're saying, you know, this wasn't that the ones I did after were overworked, they weren't, it's not like I spent more time on them or anything, it's just, you know, I mean, it cars have the same way, when you're working from life, you know, Figure Figure Drawing, you know, it's all about to me, it was all about the gestures, you know, for my I mean, the favorite part was the first. Usually, we would take the first five minutes to do 32nd poses, you know, and I would go in there with that, with a pad of newsprint, custom buck in the art store, and my compressed charcoal sticks. And those first, those first, that would probably be five or 10 minutes or so, you know, could be up to 2020 poses where it's just, you do three and four on the same sheet, even you know, but if you got the gesture, you got it, you know. And then you go to the two minute poses, and it was kind of the same, you know, you'd build up your so warmed up and everything, you know, and it's the same though, like a taxi in New York City. It's like, get that gesture, you know. And I guess maybe that's what made that first one so successful, even though like, you know. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 43:53

Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Because sometimes, you know, I have heard other artists who say all paint the same subject, and like, if I need money, because I know that it'll sell. But that's so interesting, you know, that the first one that maybe you've maybe it's like, maybe you did it without any expectations of anything? Yeah. And you were just enjoying it for the hell of it. So, I don't know, that's so fascinating. I feel like whoa, touched on a lot of things about, you know, the creative process that are so almost metaphysical, you know, where, how, where does Where do things change so much that the same painting or a similar painting of a topic, you know, painted with the same care, same time, etc? Why, you know, do those two differ so much in response? That is,

Mark Lagüe: 44:48

wow, that's not even seeing time because, I mean, that was me. Three years and I mean, I'd had a lot of experience painting, but I was only three years into doing it a full time. You know, and then Fast Forward, like, you know, 1015 years. And so, you know, technically I should be, you know? Yeah. I mean, it's I think my I mean, not even sure I like the term loosen up, but my work has loosened up. In my I mean, in my quest for simplification, you know, that's what it's all about. You know, does that mean looser? I guess, I guess, but it just, you know, to me, it's that that whole notion of, you know, you've heard people you know, especially abstract, you know, abstract expressionist movement, the whole goal was to just literally get it to a white canvas. Right. And that's what you're exhibiting, you know, and I mean, it gets a little sort of gimmicky, or, you know, I mean, I can appreciate a lot of the, you know, what they were doing, but, I mean, again, when you're talking about marketing, and, you know, Tom Wolfe book, The Painted word just kind of makes a mockery of that whole sort of New York art scene, you know, where, but that said, you know, I can look at a Rothko and say, like, oh, my god, wow. You know, like, that's, I don't even know why, but that's just, you know, it's just very powerful.

Laura Arango Baier: 46:19

Yeah, yeah. There's something about simplification without oversimplifying, if that makes, right. Yeah. Which is strange, delicate balance. Because it's almost like you you're you're approximating that oversimplification. But you're, you're steering clear of it just enough that you still retain what you say, you know, the essence of what it is that you're painting, which is, oh, that takes a lifetime to really master. But I think you're doing really great.

Mark Lagüe: 46:54

And it's also again, when I was talking about, like, you're trying to be like Charles V, and I'm in the same same thing obviously happen. Well, obviously, but when I got there, Richard Schmid book you know, but what he's doing is that, like, it's not really loose at all, but parts of it is crazy loose, you know, it's Hill, like, it's not, but that's, that's, that definitely takes a lifetime, the other the notion of, but it's kind of like, that would never work for me, even if I had his virtuosity, you know, which I don't think anybody has. to, like, I guess, it's mine with, I wouldn't take the most realized part of it as far as he does. But I probably wouldn't be as crazy loose with the other parts, either. So it's probably a little more in the middle, you know. And that's just not because that's what I want it to do. That's just, you know, like water finds its level, you know, over time you work in New York, and you will come out and not that there's anything wrong with like, flat out copying other like i did i just doing with Charles reading, even just copying stuff he did right over the book, or then when I would go paint the model from life, you know, do it 100% His way, you know? Yeah, came out was terrible. But I think what I got out of it was was, you know, worthwhile, at least.

Laura Arango Baier: 48:19

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it's even in the affiliates of the academics. And even before that, copying was one of the best ways to learn. Because it really forces you to see. I mean, it's one thing to work from life. And try to figure things out on your own when you don't really know what you're doing. But it's another thing when you have a base to work from. When you're copying someone where you can you copy them exactly. And then as you build that experience over time, then it kind of becomes something else. So I'm a huge fan of making master copies for that reason. I know some people think it's a waste of time. I personally don't I think it's an excellent exercise, especially when it's alla prima, because, one, it'll condense it for you into a shorter period of time. And to because you are forced, forced with all your brainpower to really get to the nitty gritty of what is essential. What do I really need from this instead of just pushing paint, which tends to happen sometimes when you're given too much time. But I really want to go back to something that you mentioned. And something that I'm curious about because I feel like it could, it could really help some of our listeners and that is you know, when you decided to quit your animation job, and jump full time into being an artist. Did you plan ahead. For example, were you already selling work on the side and then decided, okay, my work is making more than my job. So I'm going to quit or Was it like, I'm just going to see where this takes me economically, and see my survive?

Mark Lagüe: 50:09

Well, first of all, it wasn't so simple as that. It actually was simpler in the sense that it's to say I quit. I kind of did. But there's more a lot more to it than that. Because at the time, I had been, let's say, I've been, I've been entering shows in the US, because that was, you know, the day I started working in animation, it was always with the goal, because by that time, I knew I wanted to be a painter was with the goal of you know, eventually leaving the animation because I was never passionate about the animation. So, and I started in animation, well, ya know, in the late 80s, I guess. So I was, I was getting really close to that point, but things were going great because like center, the company was just crushing it because of Arthur and nice things like an ADA parking spa. And I had stock options, you know, which wasn't really a thing in the animation business, but it was booming. And it was still just before the digital revolution. So, you know, because that was, that would have gotten me started creeping, and especially with cell painting and stuff that that became not a thing, you know, like, because that was just flat colors on the cell, yellow cellulose or whatever. And so anyway, things were rolling along. And but it was like, and so I've got a three year old and a five year old at home, you know, and my wife's working full time, but it's, it's, you know, it's not the exactly the time you would think to leap off the edge of a cliff. But I've been, I've been entering a lot of shows, and I started with this very small gallery with friends and my wife's father, whatever, they had a small gallery in Ontario. So they started as I started showing with them, and it was very small potatoes, but it was good, you know, just to start producing work. And more importantly, I started entering shows in the US, which at that time, with no internet, it was like, You got to get your shot and slide shot. And professionally, which is super expensive, you know, these four by five transparencies, which are great, but super expensive. And then if you got accepted, and it just can cost like 50 bucks, us, which is a lot and Canadian, to just just to send the application with your 50 bucks a slide even whatever. And then, if you got accepted in the show, you had to frame it. And like, you know, those those cardboard boxes that are very expensive to ship, they didn't exist, then you had to get a wooden box built, which was hugely expensive to ship to because it was so heavy, right? Yeah. Again, I'm really dating myself there. So you do that, but then it was I did even before I guess, or this was right around that time. But anyway, so So yeah, I was building up to it. But it's I certainly wouldn't have chosen whether it was 2002, I guess, to do that, but the company I was working for CNR had a massive scandal. I mean, a massive, literally the the president and the two, the two owners of the company were husband and wife, Deb, those two and that financial person had taken 123 million US dollars and just offshored it without telling this the stockholders the sheriff Oh, yeah. And so they kind of got busted on some little smaller script writing scandal because someone was using a Canadian address, even though they lived in California to write scripts. So that was kind of a slap on the wrist thing, but when they were investigating it, they kind of stumbled over this massive scandal. So anyway, so the company didn't actually shut down then. But it was like, you know, all the people who still had stock options, it was they were worth nothing. Anyway. So I was like, okay, now's the time. I'm just gonna do it. Because, you know, so, if that didn't happen, they don't see I don't think I would have left them. But if you know what, like, my first year going full time, I made more than my last year in animation, and never looked back. You know, I mean, the 2008 recession was terrible for all artists. But even if I wanted to go back and work in animation, there were no jobs anyway, you know, but so, no, it's been nothing but nothing but great in that regard in terms of like, if you're looking for, you know, for someone younger, who's, you know, thinking should I have just jumped even if that scandal never happened? Probably. But, you know, it's, I often think about that even you know, actually I have one because he sent me the link This time of the year and listen to the one with Kyle, Ma, you know, that's crazy how young that guy has worked for years. Okay, he was doing it when he's 15, you know, at a crazy high level. But, you know, and it because he have something like he had a degree and there was a geology or something like that, or I don't. But that he decided, I mean, he's teaches workshops and everything else, I mean, seems like he's doing quite well for himself. But I often wonder, you know, or even kind of wish when I see some younger painters do like, oh, man, they're so far along in their career. But it's like, well, like I, I really, I started in this day, I started full time when I was 38 years old. You know, so. So it was when I see someone who's like, 40, and they're crushing it, but they've been doing it for the same amount of time as I've been doing it now, you know, not that it's, it's not a competition. But you know, if that makes me feel better about this, you know, I'm just wondering like, oh, maybe I could have done it. You know, multicolumn before I had kids or anything, just gone in started them, but I don't think I was ready to do it, then I didn't even know for sure. You know. So anyway. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 56:14

Yeah. You know, I feel like it yeah, it's so interesting that I've met, I've also met a lot of artists who are in their 30s or mid 30s. And they also get that feeling of oh, my God, I should have started sooner. But you know, I think, you know, it's kind of like how you said, you know, maybe you weren't ready. And I feel like everyone's path is so different, that it's sometimes Yeah, you see something like Kyle who's doing amazing, and you're like, Oh, my God, I wish I started when I was 14. But at the same time, you know, it's like, but I'm not him, of course. And I, even though maybe I wouldn't even I mean, I wouldn't paint what he's painting, not because it's bad, but because it's simply not something I would do you know. So I feel also like, you, you jumping onto it, you know, at 38 is just as inspiring to me, then, you know, a kid doing it 14, because it goes to show that like, it's never ever too late. And you are, I mean, to me, you're like, at the top of your career, like you're selling, you're living comfortably from your work. And you're doing what you love, which is painting, you know, that's like, to me, it's like, Yes, I need this. I I've been very inspired by you. So

Mark Lagüe: 57:36

well, one more thing I would say about that. The in terms of advice to people who are thinking about it, one thing I did and that's that the thing I guess I'm most proud of is that literally from day one Wednesday was okay, this animation thing is my job. And I always treated it as such, and I was very, you know, I got a inherited a great work ethic from both of my parents. And but I always swore I would never get because most of the people I worked with animation was their passion. And you know, so they would get upset if they didn't agree with what the director wanted. And sometimes they were right. But I would always say just do what he wants to just do it, but they would then they would work really late, but get frustrated and do it their own way even though it was gonna get rejected, and they just be miserable. And for me, it was just like, No, I'm just gonna, you know, just didn't do my job. I wasn't just punching the clock, sometimes you have to work late, because that's the nature of the industry, you know, whatever. But I'm never going to just like put my painting aside and wait for it to magically happen, you know, and even in the earliest years we used to be when we first started in that company, they were in this huge warehouse. Like not not in the city. It was an old Glico warehouse. And but you know, with these wood floors that were all creaky and everything but big across from where the big studio were the animation studio, they were renting out space I think have had a place for I don't remember it was 85 or 185 bucks a month but they were practically giving away the rent this was a good sized room with a sink in it. And so I just set up a studio on there and I would literally every night then me kids I was married but yeah and living fairly close by but in our apartment I couldn't really have a studio set up you know. So I would just go across to my studio like every night and put in a couple of hours that just set up a little still life and I was mostly working in watercolor then a bit a little bit of boy too. But just so I was doing that like piano scales like I called it an animation by day and then going and you know, putting together work that I could send off to these these shows, you know and it was those shows that was the that was the the impetus to get me into my first US gallery which was brasier Fine Art because they just said they were having the the old painters in America regional show there. And I think it was, oh, he was a guy who was from Richmond, great portrait artist named escaping me. He did great portraits of Tom Wolfe, and it'll come to me. But anyway, he gave me an award. I don't think it was best to show or anything, but it was an award in that. And then so they were inquiring, like, because being being in Canada, and again, I may or you didn't like the internet was existed, but not really, it wasn't really that useful yet, you know. But then he got in touch with me to, to simply show in the gallery. And once I sent some stuff, and it started to sell really quickly, and it just spurred a bunch of other American galleries to come to me, you know. So I know that's never been. But that was because while I was working in Asia, and I wasn't sitting there, well, maybe the gallery, I'll get in touch with me too. You know, even though I'm not painting at all. So the fact is, you know, that we've heard some people say, like, don't get an art related job. You know, because then you'd be too burnt out to do your art at night, you know, but for me, like I said, it's like, my art related job happened to be, like, very useful in, you know, putting in I don't know, like Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours rule, you know, like, anyone who's who's mastered something, and he talks about the Beatles, or whoever else, you know, they've done it for at least 10,000 hours, you know, so.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:01:41

Yeah, yeah, that's great advice. I mean, it is, you know, you can't, you definitely can't wait for something to fall in your lap. If you're not really doing anything. And especially today, there's almost no excuse, because with social media, it's, like, stupid, easy, like to just take a picture, you upload it, you write something, and that's it. I mean, 1000s of eyes can

Mark Lagüe: 1:02:07

excel also, maybe a little too easy, because, you know, it's, it's a democracy, right? It's open to anybody, which is the way it should be. But, you know, there's people who probably have, you know, trying to get in galleries or whatever, when maybe they're not ready yet, you know, but it's so easy to listen to music, anyone can make a full on rock album, back in the day, you know, you have to have the connections and money to get into a recording studio is like, so you'd better be good to get there. You know, like, but now, any big guitar can make a fool

Laura Arango Baier: 1:02:43

just put online. I mean, it's it's good and bad. I mean, I agree. Good.

Mark Lagüe: 1:02:50

To discover things. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:02:52

Good. Because it's like Oh, wow. Well, the people who are very very talented can have a voice out there the issue is that they might be a little bit drowned out by the enormous amounts of people who are trying to do the same so so it's, it's good and bad, but at least you know, the algorithm I know it's like a bad word sometimes algorithm but the algorithm thankfully does have a way of organizing Instagram so that you know similar artists get connected it has its ups and downs in that sense. Um

Mark Lagüe: 1:03:27

Instagram is it's it's got its issues as well obviously. I just like you said you know, the four I've never really liked the format I prefer Facebook so much in terms of just trying to tell a story or whatever it is, you know, if you post five photos and you see all five photos right there you know, as opposed to an Instagram where you've got to scroll swipe them and sometimes people won't even know there is multiples and and it's just that much smaller and you just felt like in Facebook you click on the photo and it gets goes full screen you know Instagram you can you can pinch zoom it up a little bit. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:04:04

yeah, there's only so far that that can take you that's for sure. Um, but you know, one of the other things that I find really great about you know, the development if with like social media and the internet and everything is that it does keep you connected with collectors. Do you have like, how do you personally keep you know, keep yourself connected with your collectors? Is it usually like through email or you meet them in person? That's

Mark Lagüe: 1:04:32

where I'm that's where the terribleness of my marketing, which I've always been like that not to make excuses, but I just suck at it terribly. You because I mean, I've when I because I from the beginning the galleries were my thing, you know, and then they rightfully so they're not giving you their collector list, you know? And it's really sad because, I mean, it was the greatest thing because it's My first website, my wife was running it because and she, like, she didn't know that much. But she's she's pretty good with Ted. And I think it had to be HTML back then. And so like, if I wanted to post anything, I had to ask her, and she had time to do it, you know, and it was very rudimentary and everything else, but then I was looking for a template. And that's when I saw, I guess it was called fast. So even back then. And that was the great thing. It's like, oh, I can do this myself. Now, you know, but to Sad to say, and this was about a month ago, roughly, I sent my first email newsletter, my first one. And it wasn't that hard. You know, it was not that hard. And you know, it. It's odd results. It was for my, my online workshop. But, you know, and I think even though how many, how many, they're not followers, or whatever. They're called, like, people who have subscribers. Yeah, I don't even know how many I had. I got a decent amount. I mean, because I mean, I'm sure there's a million that I had, and they've gone away, because, you know, and I didn't even know like, if I post a painting, or if I post a painting as sold or whatever, is that does that have anything to do with your email subscribers? Are they getting a little something or I don't even know

Laura Arango Baier: 1:06:23

yet? Well, on FASO, they do have that option where they get new art alerts. So but I think I don't know if they've integrated those into one now. But sometimes they do have to sign up for that other newsletter. But that's awesome. Congrats. I mean, I also suck at sending out newsletters. I mean, I feel like it's a struggle for all of us. Because it's like, to us, it's like something that's like at the end of our to do lists where it's like, Oh, get to it eventually. And then the top of the to do list just gets full all the time. And that's nice at the bottom, and like 10 later. So I totally get you, but I'm glad they got a lot of responses. Exactly. But you know, these days, I'd rather get emails from people actually care about then ads. You know, ya know, for sure. Yeah. So that's awesome. Well, I hope you continue to do that. Because I'm

Mark Lagüe: 1:07:17

going to for sure, yeah, like, when I do my, my November sale, or whatever, for sure. And, yeah, like I said, I didn't really I didn't realize how easy it was. That's the problem too, because I even getting set up for my online workshops thing. Like this, I got invited to do a workshop in the Adirondacks. And it was like, I'd never heard this place. But I forget the name of the company itself now. But their stable of artists was like, Oh my God, these are my painting heroes, like, I'm flattered that you'd asked me to do it. And they promote primarily of watercolor paintings, which they know we do another one, and she was so nice, and everything was so great. But in Malmo, 10 years ago, I was off to do a workshop in Nashville. And I, it was my fault. But anyway, just to cut right to the chase, I got, I wasn't allowed on the plane. Because it was it was deemed I was going to steal an American job and blah, blah. Anyway, it turned very ugly in the airport, and I'm not that kind of guy. Anyway, all that to say, so now I was like, you know, anytime I go to customs, whether it was driving through or the airport, there was like a big red flag flashing on there. And, you know, so all that to say, I was just okay, that then if there's, if there's opportunities for workshops here in Canada, I don't know about them. And I'm not, you know, I need to be invited to a workshop, I'm not gonna start it up on my own. There's so many logistics, you know, whatever. In the end, it turned out just because of the workshops I've done prior, I was doing it to my gallery in Virginia, and that was great. And when they would pay me for the worth of the workshop, it was construed as the same as if I sold work through the workshop, which is perfectly legal, but the what used to be called NAFTA, and that was the US MCA. But this workshop in Nashville wasn't associated with the gallery. So I thought all the paperwork I showed at customs was fine, you know, but it wasn't so. So all that to say, you know, so then when I got it, I had been invited to many others, and it was just I can't, I can't because, you know, you really what you have to do is tell them you just did to friend, you're going to visit a friend and you know, you can't tell them you're going to work. Yeah. And so anyway, this woman invited me to this Adirondack one but I'm still like, and she was saying, you know, I got in touch. It's a lot of international students going there. And I got in touch with some of them and they were like, Yeah, you just gotta say, which I knew anyway already, you know. So I just in the end, it's like I thought it's been almost 10 years, so I'm probably fine. It's probably fine in terms of like, I'm not a fugitive and the law anymore. But I just in case it was I didn't want to ruin everything for her no regret, and they all these other international artists, you know, they could shut her down whatever says, Hey, I'm gonna have to pass, you know. And he said, Maybe we should just do something online. I was like, I even tried that years ago. But it's like, nobody has the technology in there. But now since COVID. Everyone has the it's not just me having the technology to do it, it's them having a technology to receive it, you know, and everyone does now. So anyway, I started, but it was like, I have a nephew who's good with video editing and all that, and I was trying to incorporate them. But then, you know, I needed something, I had to get back, whatever. It's like, I got to do it myself. And that's, I'm just realizing that now like, for all of it, it's always about well, I don't know anything about tablets, like there's a thing called YouTube out there, you know, but there's so much you can learn. And so I mean, I started way back in the spring. But you know, I, I'm really upset. I'm doing the first one in a couple of weeks. But I was just like, I should be. But even the same with email newsletter, because I had my daughter helping me. Yep, she's working full time now. And like, she's, she has no time to help me. But I was just because she was helping me I kind of well, I don't have to worry about that, you know, I don't have to, I don't have to learn how to she can she can learn how to send an email newsletter, maybe even send it for me, whatever, you know. But then she gets busy. And so I kind of like I kind of offloaded it and not taking responsibility for it. You know? I was like, No, you put all this work into getting the workshop, like, you got to promote it now. So you're gonna have to learn how to send an email newsletter, and it

Laura Arango Baier: 1:11:49

wasn't that hard. Yeah, well, it's good that it wasn't that hard. And it's so exciting. When When are your online, I'm sorry, online workshops happening.

Mark Lagüe: 1:12:01

One in October, one in December, and one in January for now. It's actually the October is the December ones are sold out and share the January one well, it's just I haven't even really promoted it much. It's probably about half full now. But I'm really excited about the workshops, because, and I taught many in the past, and they were good, there are a lot of work. But just all the things that are inefficient about the workshops that are all addressed, obviously, you can never replicate being in person, you know, but that's the only thing other than that, I think the online ones gonna be better in every way. Including, like, when I'm doing a demo, I'm doing a demo in my studio, but I used to demo at workshops, you know, and have my little open box and push that box, you know, and whatever just to tend to travel with it had to set it up quickly. And this is literally be demoing and saying, you know, if I were in my studio, I'd be doing it this way, you know. And then when you go to critique a student's work or and some people are okay with you working on their work, some are, you know, and I don't even really like working on other people's work, and it's very inefficient. So I bring a little six by eight and put it next to it and call the rest of the class over. But they were busy doing what they were doing, you know, your mind when they're not working while you're doing this live, they can ask questions. And it's, it's, it's in my studio, so I've got everything I need, you know. And it's the million things and I can do critiques on my iPad. With Photoshop.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:13:39

Yeah. And you see what you're doing?

Mark Lagüe: 1:13:42

Yes, exactly. And ask questions in real time. So

Laura Arango Baier: 1:13:47

yeah, I think there's, there's a lot of benefits to online. I'm sure the colors might be a little bit skewed. But I think in general, there's a lot more benefits because at least they can see oh, what color you're grabbing, if you know if in the in the video, they can see your palette and they can also see what you're doing. Instead of you know, in a classroom setting, everyone's like looking over your shoulder.

Mark Lagüe: 1:14:09

only like five people here 15 People only five or eight can really see well, you know, and

Laura Arango Baier: 1:14:15

yeah, yeah. So it's a good thing. If it's so exciting.

Mark Lagüe: 1:14:20

To travel you know, it's,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:14:21

that's true. Oh, that's so convenient. Yeah, cuz that cuts a lot of the costs of like, you know, travel and and hotel and so it was excellent. Yeah. I'm actually I do have one final question. Because I forgot to include it. But aside from painting, do you have any other hobbies that you enjoy?

Mark Lagüe: 1:14:45

Yeah, I'm, I'm a runner. I've been doing that for Well, yeah. Quite quite a long time. And I I actually had my age I still play hockey. I live in Kent. I live in Montreal so of course have to play.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:15:05

So great. Do you do feel like it helps you or like it, it fuels also your creative process.

Mark Lagüe: 1:15:15

The running for sure. I love the running because of its solitary nature, you know. And I mean, when I was younger, when I it's I really said about like, when I first started running in earnest, I said about a goal of like, breaking a 40 minute 10k run. And I trained for it, and I did it. And I was that was great, you know, that I don't, now, I just do it. I just, you know, it's not about doing races or competing. But I find the older I get, the more I do it for my mental health. And oftentimes, I'll be out there working on compositions in my hand, you know, for just ideas of what Yeah, so in that sense, it's really, and oftentimes hot. You know, the cameras are so good on the iPhones now, um, you know, I'll stop and get some reference photos in the forest or whatever. You know, and the hockey, not, not so much in that. But it is important that for me, because I mean, I think all of us artists are fairly introverted and fairly, so you kind of have to be because it's a very solitary thing, which I really like, but we still do all need, you know, we all still need human connection. You know, and I, both my kids are moved out, but we still see them quite a bit. And so. But with the hockey, it's perfect for me, because I play twice a week. And, you know, it's, it's like 45 minutes of guide time after the game in the room, you know, which, that's all I need. I know, I don't need to go sit in a bar for three hours, you know? So they kind of satisfies that part.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:16:54

Yeah. Yeah, that's great. It's, you know, it's very nice balance. And it goes to show that, you know, we're not always trapped in our studios, you know, focus on a painting, I feel like that's humanly impossible.

Mark Lagüe: 1:17:09

You're not doing yourself any favors, you know, you do have to get out. That's what I love with the iPad, too, though, I can get so much work done on the iPad, whether it's in Photoshop, or procreate, or just just scanning through reference photos, looking for what I'm going to do next, you know, I mean, go sit on that deck and whatever to do that, you know, try to get out of the studio as much as you can. But I really, to me, it's, you know, no, you can't, you can't, you can't dredge, and that was something that very first art class I took in high school, I remember the teacher telling me, it's like, you have all the potential in the world. But it's worth nothing. If you don't do it, and more importantly, do it because it's fun. Yes, it's fun. But you have to do it when it's not fun. And you're an artist, right? It's, it's probably not fun, more than it's fun, you know, but you gotta keep gotta persevere. And, and that, that, you know, that's the biggest thing, because he's assessing that, and he sees people come to it, like, they're just fantastic draftsman, you know, but you can tell they're just not that committed to the work and you know, so they never really, they never really reach any potential at all. Because they're not, you know, yeah, talents, important for sure. But it's the other part, that's probably even more so you know, you can't teach that you just have to just do it.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:18:31

Yeah, those are very, very wise words. Yeah. Because it is, it is very much, you know, the discipline, side and discipline is has become such a dirty word in so many ways. But it's, it's still, you know, in its essence, yeah, it's discipline that always wins out. And you know, the person that really puts in the effort versus the one person who maybe does it sometimes, you know, if they do it, sometimes, maybe that's not for them, or they just have a different rhythm. And you know, there are different ways of supplementing income when you're trying to become an artist. So, or, you know, maybe you're supplementing your income and you're an artist on the side. I mean, that it happens. But it's that's really excellent advice. And I'm really glad you said that. And it's a wonderful way to end off and off our show. But before that, do you mind telling us where people can see more of your work?

Mark Lagüe: 1:19:32

In terms of online, you mean are my website And Instagram

Laura Arango Baier: 1:19:49

Yep, perfect. And I'll also be including all of your links in the show notes for everyone to go check out your work. So thank you so much Mark,

Mark Lagüe: 1:19:58

on the website as well.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:20:00

yeah well thank you so much

Mark Lagüe: 1:20:03

thank you so much for having me I really appreciate it

Laura Arango Baier: 1:20:06

yeah this was very inspiring

Mark Lagüe: 1:20:09

thank you so

The BoldBrush Show. Interviews with today's finest artists and creatives. Watch here or listen on all major podcast services.