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Nick Eisele — Slow Down and Know Thyself

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #88

Show Notes:

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On today's episode we sat down with Nick Eisele, a classically trained oil painter who focuses on intimate still life paintings, often incorporating skulls and metallic objects. He tells us about his studies at the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore and his love of manipulating lighting and backgrounds in his work. He talks how studying animation in college and his interest in cinema influenced his observation of forms and use of lighting techniques in his paintings. We also talked about Nick's artistic journey as well as some tips on how one can improve at their craft. He also reminds us of the importance of slowing down and getting to know how your brain works as well as maintaining authenticity to your artistic voice, mental well-being, and finding sustainable ways to supplement income through a side job or other things related to your art. He also suggests entering juried competitions and using social media platforms as a way of gaining exposure for your work. Finally, Nick tells us about some possible of pop-up workshops in Texas this coming July!

Nick's FASO site:

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Find out about Nick's workshops via his newsletter!



Nick Eisele: 0:00

An important lesson I'm learning with myself in my heart and what I produce is just staying true to myself and you know, everything comes natural after that. I don't I don't try to paint to sell if I if I worry about that my work lacks the spirit. And I think that you know, collectors can see that. But in any time I've worked on something right I've just been passionate about and spent months working on and just having a blast because it complete something in me. I've never had trouble selling, selling. So you know, if you like if you're passionate about it, someone out there will feel the same way.

Laura Arango Baier: 0:52

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. On today's episode, we sat down with Nick Isley, a classically trained oil painter who focuses on intimate still life paintings often incorporating skulls and metallic objects. He tells us about his studies at the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore, and his love of manipulating lighting and backgrounds in his work. He talks about how studying animation in college and his interest in cinema influenced his observation of forms and use of lighting techniques in his paintings. We also talked about Nick's artistic journey, as well as some tips on how one can improve at their craft. He also reminds us of the importance of slowing down and getting to know how your brain works, as well as maintaining authenticity to your artistic voice, mental well being and finding sustainable ways to supplement income through a site job or other jobs related to your art. He also suggests entering juried competitions and using social media platforms as a way of gaining exposure for your work. Finally, Nick tells us about some possible pop up workshops in Texas this coming July. Welcome, Nick to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?

Nick Eisele: 2:18

I'm great. Thanks for Thanks for having me.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:20

Thank you for being here. It's great that we somehow accidentally ran into each other and the least expected place which is Mexico. Yeah. Yeah. But of course, we're doing this via zoom, because you are in a different town than I am. But still, we're in the same timezone and in the same country and reach. Yes, yeah, of course, it was awesome meeting you in person, too. And I'm so glad we reconnected so I can get you on the podcast, because I've been wanting to get you on the podcast for a year as you already know. And our, our listeners, so because I think our listeners should definitely check your work out. Because you have gorgeous, like, intimate little still lives. The way that you paint them is just met, like it's magic, or whatever, I watch your videos on Instagram magic. But we can dive into that later when we're talking about that. So before we do, do you mind telling us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Nick Eisele: 3:19

Yeah, so I make nice to meet everybody. I am a classically trained oil painter, I got by education, like my affiliate education at the Schulich School of Fine Art in Baltimore, Maryland. Before that, I was in like an animation track at Texas a&m University. And that's kind of what got me interested in oil painting. And that's kind of the reason I joined the animation program was because they offered drawing and painting classes, I just wanted a way to weasel in that like creative aspect into my life. And then it kind of took a hold and I just want to keep pursuing it. So my work usually tends to focus on still life a kind of gravitate towards that because I love and have absolute control with my subjects. And it's still I can really get intimate with intimate with them. And kind of, you know, ship them around and change the lighting kind of treated like a stage. You know, for like a movie or something, you know, just how can I enhance the effects? How can I bring life to these mundane, everyday objects? That's that's kind of a quick synopsis of my work.

Laura Arango Baier: 4:51

Yeah, and it's a great one too, because I definitely see in your work how you you like to play around with background colors, for example, or you'd like to uh, recreate the background in a way that gives more drama or more interest to the objects in front. And also the objects that you pick, you know, like skulls and like really nice, shiny copper objects, or I really liked the one you did have a jaguar. It's like a Mexican Jaguar hood. I love that one.

Nick Eisele: 5:18

Right here. Yep. Yeah, Molly's, I mean, you nailed it. I love schools, and then metallic objects. I really gravitate to those. So kind of like, besides painting, like one of my favorite pastimes is just going out GP and, you know, going to consignment shops or just browsing and everything. And just, once I see something that catches my eye, I just, I know, I need to paint it, and I will buy it at whatever cost and then hopefully recuperate the, the investment with a great painting.

Laura Arango Baier: 5:58

Yeah, yeah. And since you mentioned to animation, I wanted to ask you, was there anything from when you studied animation that kind of, you know, influenced your work as well, because I know that animation, and also because you mentioned movies does have that sort of more cinematic approach or more of a, I guess, a more dynamic approach than just regular, like actually a painting? Do you find that influenced you in that way?

Nick Eisele: 6:25

Yeah, I think definitely, it's one of those things I didn't realize until, you know, way in the future. So I graduated, maybe 10 years ago, pretty close. And during the time studying animation, I kind of always have like a chip on my shoulder because I just wanted to do art and none of my technical stuff. But as I dove more into still painting, I kind of realized how much studying animation kind of influenced how I observe these items or stuff and you know, animating, you're practically, you know, playing God, you know, you're building something out of nothing. And you really have to analyze every aspect of the object, the lighting, the materials, how the light is passing through the objects with subsurface scattering, the ambient occlusion and the the way, the form is, you know, the different planes, you know, kind of modeling in a 3d program really helps you think of planes, and it's kind of the same as sculpture, and how everything, everything blends into each other. I think that's why, you know, it's really, it's, even if you're in a oil painting track, you still have to score because learning about form helps you helps the paint and yeah, so I don't know how much animation has influenced my paintings visually? Of course, I am, I'm very influenced by the film industry and cinematography. And kind of kind of the graphic light and shadow kind of side of imagery that really plays a role into my paintings. Yes. Yeah, a lot of little little pieces add up. And it's not it's not necessarily one, one thing that's affected me, but a bunch of little different things. I'm definitely very, very grateful for my studies.

Laura Arango Baier: 9:04

Yes, yeah. And it makes sense. You know, it's like, it's a little bit like how you mentioned earlier, it's a bit of like, your influence that maybe you're not exactly sure how to pinpoint it. But I do see the cinematic influence. When I look at your work, it does seem very much like a scene instead of, oh, just an object, which it's a big difference. You know, like when it's just an object. Oh, it's here's an object in its place. It's one thing but when it's an object within its environment, that's another thing, right? It creates more atmosphere, which I think your work definitely has that atmosphere. Which is cool. Yeah.

Nick Eisele: 9:45

mSv was definitely a challenge. I tried to conquer each painting because it's the backgrounds the hardest part of the painting for me, like every single painting because it was it takes up the most space and until you can, it can't be done. It has to complement the items, the items have to feel like they're in space in the atmosphere. And it's quite difficult and I pull a lot of influence from, like David LaFell and be The Chafetz in terms of the background, because I feel like they do a great job at creating space and atmosphere. And one of the big kind of like, Aha moments for me or once I started enjoying still life is once I started thinking of still a not so literally, I mean, I still do it more than I would like, but I try not to paint an object inside a shadowbox with a cloth, like sitting on a cloth. Like, I want separation from the foreground and the background. I think that creates a better feeling and it doesn't look so contrived.

Laura Arango Baier: 11:04

Yeah, and it gives a depth, which is also very important to that atmospheric sort of look. Exactly. Yeah. And then I wanted to go back to your childhood, nothing. But I do want to go back to you know, when was that moment that you decided, okay, I want to pursue a career as an artist, when was that? Um,

Nick Eisele: 11:31

so, you know, classic answer always been drawing and interested in AR, since I was kid drawing Dragonball Z characters. It's just very fun. And also, I kind of liked the element of kind of like impressing my friends or classmates is a sense of pride. But I did kind of kind of lose that, you know, towards high school. And. And when I first went to college, I started studying engineering, mechanical engineering. And you because that is what made my family just kid by default. So I just kind of thought, yeah, that's your responsibility. But I quickly learned my freshman year that I was I hated it, I was not passionate about it. And he, cuz I was failing in school, I kind of kind of protected myself by drawing again, and just started doodling in class in my free time, kind of as a way to avoid studying or my responsibilities. But I just kind of fell in love with it again. And I was like, maybe I can, maybe I can do something like this. And I started, you know, looking at different art forums online and just kept coming across concept artists, and they were just amazing artists. And it was all digital and fantasy, and I love that genre. So it's kind of like, Hey, I got I want to do this, I'm going to drop out and go to different school and figure out how to become a concept artist. And as I was kind of debating that, I happen to come across like a little known department at Texas a&m, that was the the animation visualization department. And I had never heard of it. And it's not, you know, Texas a&m Is that the school you'd expect to have animation or even kind of an art department, which it wasn't even like fully fleshed out at the time yet. So I, you know, I saw that they had a digital painting class, they offered one digital painting class, and it's kind of like an elective. And I was like, I just want to join this program just to take this digital painting class. And so I applied and got in and kind of, you know, the rest is history. I just I kind of curated my experience in that department to be more hands on an art related and then I guess the the biggest influences was my oil painting teacher and life drawing teacher, Billy's house. And also, another mentor. They are Sam Woodfin. They were kind of they were artists at heart and they were huge influences on me and kind of introduced me to the modern art world, you know, of realism that different artists and, and put me down that rabbit hole. So as soon as I graduated, I just kind of went up to an affiliate and just I still, I still had the dream of becoming a concept artist and I knew I was not good enough, because it's extremely competitive. And I knew I had to get better. And so I decided to get in until you hate for, you know, maybe a year or something just to get a little bit more technical skill and build a portfolio. So I could play to a design school. But I just I think I quickly, quickly kind of picked up oil painting and especially still life. So it was just, it was just a rush of like, you know, quickly, like a exponentially improving. And I just, I couldn't stop and then you start selling a few of your studies, and then you're like, okay, maybe I could just stick with this and hopefully make it work.

Laura Arango Baier: 16:22

Ah, wow, that's so cool, though. Because, like, I can definitely see some of that influence in the concept art. Especially, you know, like the the choice of colors and how you give life to your, to your still life objects. It feels very much conceptual, but also in concept art is a lot more grand, I think. But you definitely pull some of that grand jury into your work, which is really nice. And, you know, the other thing that you know, to continue, you know, this, this whole journey, because the journey obviously still continues. How has it been like for you to, you know, you've got to the affiliate, and then how has it been like for you to seek out your personal voice as an artist?

Nick Eisele: 17:14

That's a good question. I'm not quite sure how to answer because I still feel like, I am still seeking out my voice. And I'm not sure like that feeling will ever go away. So yeah, I don't I don't know. I mean, I think while you're studying while you're studying, you know, you're constantly looking at other artists. And, you know, mimicking them in a healthy way, I would say, you know. And that kind of, that kind of slowly builds your voice. By taking little inspirations from each. Each artist, you know, like, I can still see, like, who influences me in my work, and I kind of cringe about it, because I'm, like, I needed to separate myself a little more. And hopefully, I will over time. Right? Yeah, I'd say, definitely. You know, I was at the I was at, I was in Baltimore, and affiliated with the school for close to eight years, you know, again, I only thought I was gonna go there for one year or something. And then I ended up staying there for eight years. And I think one of the reasons me and my partner wanted to move away is just because we wanted to separate ourselves from that school environment. You know, even though these, they're our best friends or family. We just felt a little constrained to their artistic habits and aesthetics. I think, you know, we just wanted to find our own voice from that point on.

Laura Arango Baier: 19:11

Yeah, yeah, it sounds a little bit like, you know, you're finally leaving the nest, right? The Nest, IQ GRE or they're like, Okay, I think I'm a little too big for this nest now. And I gotta, I gotta fly away and do something else. Exactly. I totally get that and, you know, yeah, and then staying there. I agree. It can be good, because, you know, it's the people you know, and it's where basically you developed at the very beginning. But at the same time, yeah, I do agree can be a crutch, to stay behind there because it prevents you from exploring other things. One and my opinion, maybe this isn't true for your situation, but in my opinion, you can feel a little bit like, I want to explore this, but they're going to judge me because I'll be breaking away from the academic. Yeah. So it can feel a little bit like you can't express your Sell fully and you can't grow anymore. At least not in production you want to, because you feel like everyone's watching you. And everyone's like judging, which can be really,

Nick Eisele: 20:10

it's really hard to experiment, because especially because I would work at the studio a lot. You know, there. I love the shows, they are extremely nice and welcoming to me. And they, you know, even after I graduated, but allow me to come in and paint on the studio. But yeah, it's definitely required to experiment or do something risky. Because, you know, someone will come behind you and be like, What the hell are you doing? And you're just like, you know, trust, you know, trust the process, or just bear with me, I could fail. And it's hard to fail when people are watching too. So,

Laura Arango Baier: 20:49

yeah, yeah, especially when, you know, in these academies, we're taught such a useful formula, right? We're taught this formula of like, getting from point A to point B, and you know how to get there. But when you're experimenting, you have point A to point like, F, right, which you don't even know how to get there, you kind of have these tools from the formula, but they don't necessarily always work. For the thing you want to accomplish, right? Like, it can get a little bit complicated, because it requires a lot more, thinking a lot more trying to figure stuff out on your own. That the formula from point A to point B can't necessarily give you. So I get that because it does look messy, right? When you're experimenting, it will probably fail. And that's good, because that means you tried something new. But in the academies, you know, drawing failing, it's almost like, Oh, my God, what happened to you? Like, you know, it almost feels like they're slighted by it, like, how dare you? But yeah, I totally get that. But speaking of, you know, improving and stuff, what is a tip you would give to someone who's looking to improve at their craft?

Nick Eisele: 22:10

That's a good question. I feel like I have a different answer for that every time. I get asked that. I think I mean, the hardest part and the most valuable part is to constantly reevaluate where you are. I think you know, it's a, it's a healthy balance, but being self critical, looking at either like your upperclassman peers or other artists on Instagram, and comparing comparing your work to them. Like, why is why is there so successful? And mine is not like, how can I improve it that way? You know, but be careful not to be too hard on yourself. Because slow improvements is good. It's just, you know, do do a painting, be proud of it. And naturally, you know, you'll probably do this intuitively, but, you know, a week later, look back at that painting and be like, Okay, how can I improve this like? So and then also, like, another thing is just slowing down, I think, is a big approved improvement. I know coming from me that's quite deceiving, because I do is post time lapses on Instagram, and it looks like I'm painting super fast. But really, I'm painting really slow, I'd say, especially in the drawing stage. If I then like, if I say the whole painting takes three hours to finish, like an Alabama, if I spend two of those hours just mapping out the drawing and shadow shapes, like, I am okay with that, because that is the most important part. It's just the foundation and the bones of the painting. If if you block in those shadow shapes, and you can get already feels like a finished painting, like it's just, you're just like, I know, this is gonna be good. Like, that's a good feeling to have.

Laura Arango Baier: 24:24

Yeah, yeah, I agree. You know, it's worth it to be proud of your work. Cuz you mentioned that, you know, like, allow yourself to be proud of how far you've come. And then once you're down from that high a little bit, you can, you know, think clearly and consider like, okay, compared to my peers, like, how can I prove this and love that? And then also, I really like that you mentioned that drawing is fundamental. Because I completely agree. Almost every episode of the podcast I do mention that as well that if you want a good painting, you're really really good drawing, because it doesn't matter. If you have like really good rendering. You can't out render about drawing, it'll be

Nick Eisele: 25:01

bad. Yeah. And, again, I guess on that note, like, every artist works differently. So I think also another tip is to find the way that works for you. So for me, I am very meticulous. So I keep everything clean, I keep my palette clean, you know, I don't let paint guard up and gross mounds of crusty, you know, I don't know, but you know, the artists I'm talking about. But anyways, you know, and then and when it comes to the drawing stage and the blocking stage, again, I'm very meticulous and precise, but there are the artists that are more abstract and they you know, kind of like a Richard Schmid kind of style. And if our work is that's how your brain works, you know, chase that. So maybe my advice of slowing down isn't the best, but, you know, still be conscious of each decision for your brushstroke don't go so much on autopilot, especially in the beginning stages. Really concentrate while you're painting. And then, you know, halfway through the painting, that's when he started getting into the mindless flow the autopilot.

Laura Arango Baier: 26:24

Yeah, you know, I actually completely agree with you about the slowdown. Especially because, you know, even in music, right, even in music, if you're learning like a really difficult part of a song, you know, say on My Linh where you have to move your fingers in a specific spot in a particular way, while you're, you know, moving the bow, you have to slow down to be able to get that combination. Correct, right. So I feel like it's very similar in painting, where in the hard part's it's very important to slow down to really observe and like you said, to really be present and intentional about what you're looking at. So I totally, totally agree, slowing down is very good for learning. And, you know, it's really sad to that. I think today, because of social media, we see, you know, people who seemingly work fast, kind of coasting about your videos, or people who are posting stuff, and it feels like, Oh, my God, they made this masterpiece in like, a day, but really, it probably took them like three months. So this erroneous perception about the speed of the production of work. I mean, yeah, some people paint really fast. And that's great for them. But other people don't. And especially if you're just starting out, you know, like not beating yourself up is so important. Like, just like, I love how you said about figuring out how your brain works. Because everyone has a different, like, I guess operating system, right? Where like, the brain just decides this is my speed. This is how I perceive things. And this is how you express things, right? And then just like putting all of those together into a painting. And that's the hard part, right? That's that exploration side that we were talking about. That of course, the academic gives you all of those tools to be able to handle that, but then you have to open yourself back up to learn these things about your brain. So that's a great point. Right

Nick Eisele: 28:24

there. I mean, absolutely. Like I had never, you know, I always I always enjoyed looking at art books and you know, material like that. But I never I never learned that much from it. You know, it's like speaking of Richard Schmidt, again, like his book Gala. Prima, you know, I tried, I tried reading it, and I just I didn't get anything from it. But that's just the way I'm just not a that type of learner. But if I see someone painting in person, I can mimic that. Like No Other and that's the best way I learned. So it's just finding finding yourself.

Laura Arango Baier: 29:10

Yeah, that is so fascinating. 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 That's 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 That's And I love that you mentioned that too. Because that's like your learning style, right? Definitely prefer learning from observation from seeing someone else do it. Yeah, it's good. It's good to mention that too. Because like, I remember when I read the David LaFell book that one of his students published. I remember every time I would read that book, my paintings would improve. Yeah, so I feel like we're a little bit opposite in that way. Even though I do like watching someone paint. I like figuring stuff out to on my own. I don't know, it could just be that I'm stubborn. It's like, no, don't give me the figured out.

Nick Eisele: 31:30

I think sometimes even if if someone gives you the answer, you're just not in the position to understand that answer. But then you'll be painting and then you'll, you'll have that aha moment. And you're like, oh, like, that's what they need. Or, you know, which, which brings me to applying because I think I find it weird looking back. Now that usually, you know, any type of art lesson, they'll always have beginners doing master copies. And, you know, as far as the beginner is concerned, they just, they're just trying to make a one to one copy. And, you know, the teacher is always like, oh, you know, you gotta learn from the masters, the way they do their brush strokes and stuff. And but I feel, I feel like, the only thing a new student is learning is how to just copy a one to one image, basically. But I, you know, I started doing master copies again, later in my career. And I feel like I learned way more than I ever have with them, because I can now understand the temperatures, the brushstrokes, the edges, the materials they used. So, part of my thinking is, it's maybe it's not the best thing. A student still, maybe maybe I'll regret saying that later on. But at this moment you know? Yeah, I kind of appreciate my original point, but Right, like, you're not you're not ready to learn those things. Because what's the point of thinking about brushstrokes if you don't even know, the planes or the form? Or how light works?

Laura Arango Baier: 33:34

Yeah, yeah, I completely agree. I mean, I understand why they're useful to beginners, in the sense of like, okay, you're like copying mindless? Yeah, they're a little bit mindless, they're not really paying attention to the things that they should be focusing on. Because they don't know what they don't know. Right? It's like a little bit of that. Okay, I'll do this, but I'm not sure what benefits I get from it. So I get that I totally get that and definitely reflecting on it with more understanding. And doing those copies with more understanding is definitely more beneficial. I totally agree.

Nick Eisele: 34:15

Like, I guess having an intention with the Master, not be, you know, just focused on how the artist does, you know, temperature shifts, or brushstrokes or edges, like kind of picking one of those things are trying to mimic it.

Laura Arango Baier: 34:34

Yeah, and also, you know, picking specific painters that you love, right, like people that you like, if I could paint like someone who would I paint, right, who would I paint like, and try to pick like two or three and then like, go from there. Yeah, I totally, totally agree. And then I wanted to touch on a topic that I think a lot of artists face, no matter what stage of their career they're in and that is Some imposter syndrome. Do you have any advice for someone who might be trying to overcome impostor syndrome?

Nick Eisele: 35:11

I will say, well, it's one of those things that would never go away. As far as I'm concerned. I think just realizing it's imposter syndrome is the best thing you can do. And kind of again, I think, like the saying, like, fake it till you make it. Like that, like, do I necessarily believe I'm a valuable guest on this podcast? No, not really. But I'm gonna do it anyways, because someone thinks I am. And, you know, we'll see see where it goes. But I think I think confidence. And, you know, again, mental health in the artists lifestyle is a very big concern and something to, to be conscious of. So, I mean, you know, there's a week where I feel like I'm painting great, and I feel on top of the world, and then, you know, the next week, I feel useless, can't concentrate, and I minded my brush are not working together. And I'm like, Oh, crap, like, we're all the way that was, was the paintings last week, just a fluke, like, just an accident. You know, it's always it's a constant battle back and forth. But just just know that it's a ups and downs will come and go and just bear with it. And, yeah, make sure make sure you're valuing yourself in that. You know, I mentioned when you're comparing yourself to your peers or other artists, it's a healthy balance, like when it can help you improve and seek where you're going. But to, you know, if you do it too much, it can be soul crushing. This soul crushing? Yes. Yeah. And, and just, you know, remember, again, like, social media is an illusion. Because media, it looks like they're super productive. But they're, you know, they guarantee you have the same battle as you are. And this painting that looks like it took a day might have taken weeks or months. I mean, even like, for those watching the video, like this painting behind me, I've been working on it for months, like, six to eight months, you know, not nonstop, but, but I'm kinda like, it's such a tiny painting, but you know, and no one's gonna know that once I posted on Instagram.

Laura Arango Baier: 38:07

It looks great. So

Nick Eisele: 38:11

it's getting there Yeah, so impostor syndrome, just, you know, analyze, like, where you come to, I think, looking back at your, like pictures you've taken like artwork is is very important. Because you're like, Well, you know, actually, in the past year, I have improved a ladder, I have actually completed and been more productive than I thought it was, you know, in, in the moment, it might feel like you haven't completed a task and in months, but then going, going back in your photo timeline, you might convince yourself otherwise.

Laura Arango Baier: 39:06

Yeah, that's true. I'm definitely zooming out of the work that you're doing now. Because like, it's so easy to get lost in in your goals, right? And thinking, like, I have to reach this goal, I have to reach this goal. And then you forget the, you know, like, like Frodo, and you're almost at Mordor. Right? And it's been forever. And you forget how long that journey has really been and all the things you've overcome. So I agree, it's good to look back and see how far you've come to help you know that impostor syndrome, because it's, it's sort of tough, you know, to have that self doubt just lingering all the time. Especially when it gets to the point where you're trying to paint actively, and you still have that voice of doubt, just like right here whispering in your ear as you're like doing something. I think that's the hardest part as well.

Nick Eisele: 39:58

Yeah, and all that Have all of like my art heroes I've met? Like, you know, I think you'll realize like, they are still battling that as well. So, absolutely, you're never gonna want to stop improving, which is a good sign. And I think that's kind of what, you know, creates this imposter syndrome. Because you're never going to feel like where you want to be. Because once you progress, then you raise the bar.

Laura Arango Baier: 40:30

Yeah, that's a great.

Nick Eisele: 40:33

That's awesome. It makes the journey fun.

Laura Arango Baier: 40:37

Yeah, it's having that moveable goalpost. And it can be motivating, or it can be demotivating. I guess it depends where you put that how far away you put that goalposts from you. Put it too far of

Nick Eisele: 40:51

just depends on depends on the day.

Laura Arango Baier: 40:54

Yeah, yeah, in your mood, and like, can I handle this today? You know, and like, can I believe that I can overcome, which is the other parts like, even if you know, maybe you aren't the best, right? You can still trust that you can overcome those obstacles and like, get there eventually, it just takes time and slowing down patients. So I hear that this speaking of slowing down and speeding up and Instagram, I wanted to ask you also about a little bit more of the marketing side. And especially I wanted to know, what's been the most useful thing that you've learned in terms of marketing that has helped you get your work noticed or sold?

Nick Eisele: 41:45

I think it's a very broad question. So there's definitely a few avenues. So I think like, what's what's helped me like in my career, kind of sell my artwork the most or get my name out there. I'd recommend like number one is just entering like juried competitions, you know, whether they're like local or national or international. Like OPA oil painters of America are no apps, national oil and acrylic painters. International Gila realism, like those are they host juried shows multiple times a year. And they're usually like, pretty prestigious galleries throughout the country. So if you're able to get accepted into them, they're really good opportunities because, you know, your name will be sent out on different platforms and media's through these organizations. And then also, you'll get to display your work at these successful galleries that have incredible clientele and have built a name for themselves in the industry. And also, you know, if they're, they're nearby, you can go visit and deliver your work in person and kind of, you know, get some face to face value, and hopefully make an impression, you know, kind of like that's like kind of a way to network. And, you know, when you could, you could win some decent prize money, which is always wonderful, until you could sell your work through the show and gallery. The only downside is, it's kind of an expensive investment, because you usually have to pay a membership fee, a yearly membership fee to the organization, and then an entry fee to the competition. And then, you know, you may or may not get accepted, which is always a gamble. And then if you do get accepted, you got to frame your artwork in a nice presentation and also ship your artwork and make sure it gets there safely. And so the price kind of adds up. And you may not recuperate because it's so it's risk but I think you know, it's kind of unnecessary risk. Once once you kind of feel like your work is at a solid stage so so that's like one one avenue and then you know, of course, posting on social media. I can't claim to be do like a mastermind, the algorithm or anything I try to keep, you know, my videos relaxing and simple and you know, they're just time lapses. So that way I can just record them and post them and not have to worry about any fancy editing. And I'm thankful that they have performed extremely well and put me in a better position on social media. And I hate to say it, but having having a prominent presence on social media has been, like quite beneficial to my career. So I wish I could say it's not necessary, because it's soul crushing to deal with, but you know, companies or organizations you know, feel like they're taking less of a risk on you if you have a presence. And so it does kind of put your name more on the top of the list even. So, I'm not sure if I answered the question, but maybe like a more specific question I might be able to, like, I think I definitely know, the more. But yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 46:29

I mean, definitely, you know, the networking and getting your work out there with different painting societies and competitions. I completely agree this really, really helped. And then again, like, Instagram, which I was just typing, you have 135,000 followers, which is somehow insane. That's like the population of a small town. A pretty good small town. So, you know, that speaks volumes to the quality of, I guess, in one side of work that you put out there, which is really good work, along with the entertainment aspect, which, you know, people do follow Instagram pages to be entertained, and to be inspired. And I think your page has both of those. Which, really, that I think that's what everyone should be aiming for. And on speaking of your videos, too, I wanted to know, is there a specific type of video that people respond more to? Or? Or is it like any physically,

Nick Eisele: 47:34

I wish I, you know, I try to do stuff that big, like, oh, people are gonna love this. And then it'll, so to speak, like flop compared to my other videos, and then videos, I've been like, a shame. Suppose I've kind of like kept in my camera roll for, you know, months. And then finally, she's like, Yeah, who cares, like I just posted like, those performed really well. So it's just, I don't know, you never know. And I do like in terms of the like, the type of content I post, I try to keep it you know, very original and kind of to my tone I don't really inject my personality into my videos, I just, I just want something kind of relaxing and visually pleasing for someone to watch if they if they stumble across my videos. And also the reason I like doing the time lapse is is it kind of exposes my process from start to finish. You know, I'm not just like putting on that final highlight and then zooming out and showing the painting you know, I just I kind of want to just just be just reveal kind of what it's what it's a ticket to the to the end and kind of see my mistakes and of course, it happens all very quickly. And I've been you know, kind of experimenting with trying to figure out maybe different ways to show my painting process in the relaxing way to maybe give more like real time kind of footage. And then also a kind of try to avoid staying away from trends. I kind of you know, and I'm sorry for anybody who does this and I understand like, the I understand like the While you're doing because it does work, it does catch people's attention and it does get you views. But personally, like when I'm browsing through Instagram or reels, or even Tik Tok, like if I see someone slowly turning around, but holding their painting, I'm going to immediately skip, I'm so tired of seeing that. And it's like, I don't like to be baited. I don't want to watch 10 seconds of your video just to see in the painting, and I am curious what the painting looks like. So it does, it psychologically works. But also, you know, I think the trends quickly, quickly, get overdone and they annoy me very much, I just want to see, I don't want to see people's original voices that's like, if I follow someone, it's because of that. And I think, you know, I find myself like, I'm very, you know, I have a great following on Instagram. But when I'm just watching videos or browsing social media, for my own personal entertainment, I find myself gravitating more to Tik Tok because I find that the content there is much more personal and informative. which I find quite refreshing, which is, you know, ironic with all the controversies and stuff. But besides that, and tick tock, I can learn more about other industries. So I kind of talked about how I enjoy still, because I can kind of like treat it like a stage or you know, like, so I'm very interested in following like cinematographers and like gaffers and lighting experts, because they talked about these equipment, I would have never, ever considered or or stumbled upon. So it's kind of like one entertaining because I like to see the passion. In a different industry, kind of, in the same way I feel passionate about our imagery, like it's like, learn learn something new.

Laura Arango Baier: 52:28

Yeah, yeah, totally agree with that. I mean, I'm also kind of gravitating towards tick tock just because you can have longer format videos, I feel like with Instagram, it really like constrains you to only like, I think it's one minute tops for like videos, or two minutes or something. Whereas on tick tock, it's like five minutes, or even like 10 minutes, which is a lot longer to be able to have a discourse rather than just like a gimmick, right, which is like, I feel that way, too, about the people turning around with the canvases. Sometimes after a while you see so many of them, you're like, Okay, this is this is a gimmick. Like, I'm not, I'm not falling for this, even though

Nick Eisele: 53:05

the first one you see, like, that's clever. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 53:09

But then everyone's doing it. And you're like, Okay, this is it doesn't feel authentic anymore. Like how you're saying you want to see that person's voice and that person's way of doing things rather than them. Just you know, doing what everyone else is doing, which makes a big difference. Also, because those gimmicks in my opinion, and I could be wrong, but in my opinion, I feel like they don't necessarily produce followers. Or if they do produce followers, they don't necessarily produce buyers, right. You just get like, looky Loos, instead of like, legit buyers who are interested in your work, then we're like, oh, like another artists that can make? You know, yeah.

Nick Eisele: 53:50

And I don't even know if like, finding like, if you're going to Instagram or tic TOCs to to find buyers like that might be the wrong approach. Because I mean, our worldly fine art is very expensive. I can't afford paintings. I wish I could. I feel like most people who browse Instagram, you know that the chances of finding finding a buyer is gonna be extremely slim. I'd say even for some of the higher end artists. But there is a way of course to monetize, you know, with teaching, like everybody you know, wants to learn. That's an easy aspect to market and, you know, Prince, I guess could be but I think I think personally, the My goal with Instagram is just to just to get my name more out there and You know? Yeah, I don't know. But you know, like, I'm not expecting anybody to message me and be like, I'm gonna buy this painting. Especially if it's, you know, quite a used car priced painting.

Laura Arango Baier: 55:22

But yeah, yeah. It's a scammer being like, Oh, by your work is NF T's? It's like no. Yeah.

Nick Eisele: 55:30

So, so many scam messages like, Oh, yes.

Laura Arango Baier: 55:36

Yeah. People being like, Oh, can you promote this brand of Gothic clothing? It's like, No, I get so many of those two

Nick Eisele: 55:47

Instagrams a good way to get people to get on your newsletter or something. Yeah, like to filter when you get your name out there. But then you can filter out those people, intermediate, more serious followers? Who could you know, in a way you purchase a painting or sign up for a workshop?

Laura Arango Baier: 56:09

By Appointment? Yeah, yeah, that's true. And that's the other important side, which is, you know, having that website link on your Instagram. So if someone is a serious buyer, or someone is seriously interested in, you know, discovering more, and maybe you have a blog, or maybe they do want to sign up for newsletter, it's really important to have a link on there. Because like you said, it's a serious people who will do that, not so much the looky loos. But I, you know, that also makes me wonder, you know, have you been able to sell through Instagram? Or has it mostly just been like, because of your networking?

Nick Eisele: 56:48

Maybe, I mean, maybe a couple, like, especially like the videos, I post on Instagram, they're just our promos. And I kind of I like that, because I have kind of my, I guess I call it like portfolio work, which you know, spend months on or just take my time, and then I'll have these our printers. So I kind of have two different price ranges, you know, the quick sketches, which I can sell, you know, at a relatively lower cost. So I have, you know, had some success selling those to people who kind of just stumbled across me on Instagram. You just never know, like, it's just like, there'll be a week or so three or four paintings, and then there'll be a month rise don't sell any, like, it's, it's hard to predict. But yeah, even when you can. Yeah, but

Laura Arango Baier: 57:43

at least you know, by having your work there, you are increasing the chances that someone will see it and purchase it. So I guess that's the bright side of it. Because if you weren't posting anything, like, exactly, yeah, there's still anything.

Nick Eisele: 57:56

Yeah, there's really no downside to it mostly.

Laura Arango Baier: 58:01

That's very true. That's very true. And I did also want to ask you, if you have any tips or any like experience with, you know, working directly with your collectors, and maintaining those relationships with them

Nick Eisele: 58:22

it's always different because each collectors different and I've, you know, some of some of my best patrons, I've become, you know, lifelong friends with like, I'm, you know, like, I enjoy hanging out with them. And, you know, he kind of I guess my art kind of bridged our, well, when it connected us and then you know, just, it's, it's amazing how many are the Alright, so patients out there who are just hungry for a creative connection. And again, I find it very inspiring. And when I need someone in a different field, who is, you know, equally passionate, or is that like, whether it's like a, you know, like a science or something, you just, it's just fun having a conversation, if not about art, which, you know, like you're hanging out your friends, it's always it goes in circles about art and but, you know, I don't I don't I mean, just just whenever someone contacts me about marriage, I'm just, I just try to be myself and be friendly and welcoming. And I don't know, it just it just happens either. Stick around and continue to support you and You know, they get fulfillment from it, as well. I don't I'm kind of rambling. But yeah, I mean, I have so many just wonderful patrons who I appreciate so much, because I think, you know, they're what our world needs, because they value our creativity. There support allows us to continue. So,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:00:41

yeah. Yeah. And then it's nice to talk to someone outside of the painting world who, like you said, you know, appreciates it. And can like, also inspire you, because I feel like sometimes, you know, you might talk to someone from a completely different, like, background, completely different career, and suddenly they'll say something, and it'll, I don't know, click in your brain, and suddenly, it makes sense for your paintings, right? You never really know. And if you stay only within like a certain circle, you might not get that perspective. From some random, you know, point of view, like for example, like evolutionary biology, for example, that's one direction where maybe you can come across like, Oh, this is how human vision developed. And this is why we prefer certain things which you wouldn't come across that if you were just you know, within the painting world, right. Yeah. Which is pretty cool. Yeah. But do you keep in contact with them? Do you just like do they message you do like you know, like you said, like, stay friends and like, just talk about life and stuff.

Nick Eisele: 1:01:46

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I'm I'm pretty shy and character myself, but you know, I still enjoy having conversations and I keep you know, my DMs open so and you know, I love talking about art and I'm passionate about it. So it's easy to share kind of that side to me you know, I value meeting interesting people as well. So you know, it's not like it's not like a business tactic to maintain these friendships. It's just natural and I think that works out great. I think you know, I think an important lesson I'm learning with myself and in my art and what I produce is just staying true to myself and you know, everything comes natural after that I don't I don't try to paint to sell if I if I worried about that my work lacks the spirit and I think that you know, collectors can see that. But anytime I've worked on something that I've just been passionate about and spent months working on and just having a blast because it completed something in me I've never had trouble selling selling it so you know if you like it if you're passionate about it, someone out there will feel the same way. Yes, I definitely keep that in mind. And again, that's like kind of, you know, don't don't do this. Be being an artist is extremely challenging. Like the stereotypes aren't out there for me they're out there for a reason you know, being a barista or whatever working at a coffee shop it really is a difficult track to build a career out of and I'm still learning and nowhere near perfected it and you really do important thing is to keep yourself invested do it for yourself and hopefully you'll be able to live off of it but if you're sacrificing the part of you you know the the joy to please other people. I think you're gonna get burned out so quickly.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:04:40

Yeah, yeah, I agree. I mean, you know, I love what you said about you know, you you don't paint the cell because the first person that should be satisfied is you and I agree with that. And then working backwards, right, like, in the sense of like, Oh, if I'm if I'm painting to sell first, like you said, you're gonna be some sacrificing your authentic voice. And second, you're going to be miserable, because maybe you won't sell that. And then like I was telling a friend the other day, it's like, if I'm going to be miserable painting, because I'm not painting what I want to paint, I might as well just get an office job. Because I'll be miserable there, and at least the income will be steady, like to think so. So yeah, it's like, if you pick this career, you picked it, because we loved it. And it's best to just continue down the path, if you do need to work, you know, at a coffee shop part time, great, because there you can even like focus on like, Okay, I got my job. And then that feeds me, literally, I can eat and I can have a place to live and pay for that, while I can focus without economic burden on what I love. So that's really good advice. Yeah.

Nick Eisele: 1:05:51

And I definitely, I would say, like, you know, I try, I try to be as real and you know, open as possible. And I would say, you know, everybody, everybody's position is different. And I think I considered myself like, very privileged to be able to go on this course. You know, paying paying bills is very hard, but I know, like, if I actually hit rock bottom, I have family that would bail me out in a second. So maybe that takes like, the burden off of me like, luckily, I haven't had to, you know, fall on that card yet. But, you know, psychologically, it can. You know, I don't I just try to be really like, I know, everybody. Every situation is different. So

Laura Arango Baier: 1:06:43

it is true, yeah, that having that support is really important. And knowing that even if you quote unquote, fail, right, you still have a place to land on your feet. And again, that's why you know, having that side income coming in, can be so valuable. So yeah, and then I actually wanted to ask you, do you have any upcoming workshops, or shows there anything you want to promote,

Nick Eisele: 1:07:08

like in terms of teaching workshops, and nothing like officially planned, but I'm going to be in Houston for the month of July. And I may try to like get a little pop up workshop going. So if you're in that area, keep keep an eye out, follow me on Instagram, sign up for my newsletter. It's definitely definitely going to do workshops more, I just got done with a workshop in Baltimore, which was an awesome success. So, definitely want to make one of them happen. And then also, I am judging a juried competition through the Art Supply Company, Chagall. It is a pet portrait competition. And so if you love animals and love to paint, I encourage you to do enter, because the more the more there is to judge and I just want to see everybody's creativity. So

Laura Arango Baier: 1:08:13

yeah, we're, well, where can people see more of your work then?

Nick Eisele: 1:08:18

So the best place would be Instagram at Nick Isley underscore art. That's like an IC k, e is e l e. And then my website www. Nick So you know, I have a tick tock I'm not as I don't post as much they're just because I forget about it. And like I said, my videos don't do as well on tick tock because, again, tick tock so I felt was more educational and less less about music, and just visuals more about which you know, there's, the algorithm can send you different places. So just realize that if you're only getting dancers or something, you might be in the wrong corner.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:09:13

That's a good point. Well, yeah, thank you so much, Nick, for coming onto the show and giving us all this valuable advice.

Nick Eisele: 1:09:22

Yeah, of course. I'm glad we finally were able to schedule it down. And it's been a lot of fun. I hope. You know, the viewers got some value out of this.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:09:32

Oh, I'm sure they will. And I hope we can cross paths again. Cuz I also

Nick Eisele: 1:09:40

Yeah, like, the realism world is a small bubble. So it is. Yeah. We all would eventually trust us. Definitely.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:09:50

Well, thanks. Absolutely.

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