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Scott Burdick — Art for the Soul, Not Only the Sale

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #69

Show Notes:

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For today's episode, we sat down with Scott Burdick, a figurative painter based in North Carolina with a deep love of natural beauty, experimentation, and a fascination with storytelling both in visual and written formats. In this episode, we discuss Scott's journey as an artist, his artistic process and how experimentation can lead you to new artistic processes, and why it's so important to follow your passion as an artist not only for your own work, but also to help develop your artistic voice. We also talk about ways of supplementing your income as an artist, why living below your means is so important to producing great work without pressure, and the benefits of using social media as well as the drawbacks. Finally, Scott tells us about his wonderful Patreon page that he shares with his lovely wife Susan Lyon as well as future courses in the works.

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Scott's Novels:
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Truth Conspiracy-



Scott Burdick: 0:00

making it personal. Something that matters to you, I think is the number one thing that all artists need to think about. And I find it sad sometimes when I'll go out with young artists, and they'll be like, Look at that. Isn't that cool? You know, some old car, whatever. It might not be something interesting to me, but it is to them. And I'll say, Well usually paint that like, oh, but that's not really a subject galleries are looking for. And it's like, you can't talk yourself out of that, because if it's something you're passionate about, it will strike a chord and people welcome

Laura Arango Baier: 0:33

to 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. Before we begin, I'd like to make a quick announcement and that is that this is the last episode of season five before we take a one week season break. We will begin season six on Tuesday, January 30. And now for today's episode, we sat down with Scott Burdick, a figurative painter based in North Carolina with a deep love of natural beauty, experimentation and a fascination with storytelling both in visual and written format. In this episode, we discuss Scott's journey as an artist, his artistic process and how experimentation can lead you to new artistic processes. And why it's so important to follow your passion as an artist not only for your own work, but also to help develop your artistic voice. We also talk about ways of supplementing your income as an artist. Why living below your means is so important to producing great work without pressure, and the benefits of using social media as well as the drawbacks. Finally, Scott tells us about his wonderful Patreon page that he shares with his lovely wife, Susan Lyon, as well as future online workshops and courses in the works. All right, well welcome Scott to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?

Scott Burdick: 2:03

Well, great. It's so nice to talk to you, Laura.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:06

Yeah, you too. You too, we've actually had a very engaging conversation before we started recording. But of course, we are now going to discuss other topics. And those are painting, marketing and the creative act, which are things that we share in common and are, frankly extremely important if you want to be a living artist. So I'm excited to dive into that with you. And also the fact that you are actually a multi talented person, in a sense that you are not just a danger, you're also a writer, and a producer of very fascinating films. I recommend people go check them out, if you're interested. But before we dive into that, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Scott Burdick: 2:48

Well, I am Scott Burdick and I, I'm a painter. And like you said, I, I've always written since I was a kid and painted. And occasionally I'll, I went to film school after art school. And so I enjoy joy doing that as well. Although I haven't done too much with film, I worked briefly for DreamWorks for like, three, three months, developing a project long ago, like 20, maybe six years ago, but really realized that wasn't really my interest in working for other people. So soon, I moved to North Carolina, and we met through art school, we're both from Chicago. So but I pursue all those things, painting and writing. And occasionally I make a documentary. And then so yeah, it's a, to me, it's all kind of the same thing. So whether I make money at one or the other, doesn't really matter to me, I just do the things that I find interesting. And, you know, that's kind of how I how I live it. And so as long as long as I'm making money from, from something, I'm happy, and, you know, it gives me enough money then to have freedom to pursue whatever type of art I want, or whatever type of writing or documentary or whatever. So that's kind of how I think about it.

Laura Arango Baier: 4:11

Yeah, and I totally agree with that perspective. You know, it's, the less pressure you have, on you know, being able to create something, the better. It is, because, I mean, if you're, if you're working under pressure, it might, you know, the things that you make might not be as authentic, right. And I feel like you have definitely held on to your authentic voice in all the mediums that you create in which I think is amazing, and such a life goal for me. So I admire that. But I also wanted to know, you know, when, since you have so many different interests, when did you decide to pursue being an artist?

Scott Burdick: 4:50

Well, I when I was a kid, I grew up I spent a lot of time in hospitals. And so I was writing and drawing a lot of I'm in the hospitals. And then outside of them I had had had severe club feet. And so I had many operations. As a kid, I would have been crippled if I'd been born a little earlier, or if a doctor hadn't actually taken me on to actually do all these surgeries. And so I think it's partly that, that made me do so much drawing and reading and writing, because I've, even when I was home, I was on crutches a lot. I wasn't out, you know, doing playing with the other kids in the neighborhood and stuff. And so I think that sent me on the path I, I didn't really like, determine that I was going to be an artist until probably in the middle of high school. And so that was when I, I wanted to, I was writing a lot as well. And I applied for scholarships. And, but they were only half scholarships for writing. And so nobody had gone to college in my family. And so my dad actually took me to the American Academy, because a commercial artists he knew had gone there. And so as soon as I saw that school, I was like, that's what I want to do, because they had one scholarship a year for High School, graduating high school seniors. And so I determined that was what I wanted to get, even though I, everybody that I knew was kind of against that idea. My parents were supportive of of it, partly because I wanted to drop out of high school, and then go into art or writing or something like that. But I had scored really high in science and math and stuff in high school. And so all the counselors were like, you can get a scholarship to a regular college, you know, but I didn't want to do that want to do something creative writing, or we're film or art. And so this one scholarship became my focus. Even my senior year of high school, I was on crutches the whole year, still from operations and things, but I, I just went in and use money from the jobs that I did at hotdog stand, I would go to on Saturdays, I would take the Boston to train downtown to that school, the academy, and I would take life drawing classes there. And then summer took it every day. And my parents were extremely excited about that. Because my as my parents had said, when I wanted to drop out, I was like, I want to just drop out and go to do these things on my own. And they said, Well, you won't be you won't be eligible for the scholarship, you know, at the at the Academy if you drop out. So that kept me because I knew I could test out of school and get my GED easily. And so that's kind of why I became an artist because that school offered the scholarship and doing all that extra work. Drawing. That's how I did win the scholarship. So I got the full scholarship there. And then I would do commissions. I don't want to pay for a while I was in school to pay for art supplies and and you know the bus fare and all that sort of stuff. So and then after I got out of school, and I started making living as an artist, I went back. And I continued to take filming writing at Columbia College in Chicago for for three years. Just halftime, just those core classes. So yeah, wow. That's a long answer to it. It's it's hard to say why you get into something, you know, but a lot of it is just being in the right place at the right time. The Academy is a great school. It's not the same kind of school as when I went there. But Dan Gerhart had just finished there. And Thomas Blackshear had gone there. And all these great artists Richard Schmidt had gone there. All these great artists had gone there. And soon as I saw the work on the wall, so past students, I knew that was where I wanted to go. We looked at the artists to do too, but it was just not at all anything. Like what I wanted to do. What if one the best student work was a gym shoe on the floor. And they had to put like things for cotton. So I was like, No, this isn't for me. So had I been somewhere else. I might not have had a good school like that. But they were still even though they're illustration and commercial art. Mainly, they still had life drawing oil paintings. So I just took those. So they didn't take illustration or any of the other classes. So yeah, so it was very much just happenstance. Why I went into painting is my living. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 9:25

It's so cool, though. I mean, it's like you just went with the flow. You know, you were like, Oh, you're presented with these opportunities. And you decide, well, you know, this is actually so fun. And I'm sure you had a knack for it, too. And that also, you know, keeps that motivation alive. And that intrinsic motivation as well.

Scott Burdick: 9:43

I don't even think it's a nap. I think it's just what you like. Because when I started even though I have done a lot of drawing from photos and things and comic books as a kid, when I started taking lifetime classes, I didn't know anything and they were so bad. And then over those two years I got better and better by taking classes before then. In fact, the the director of the school or we Shapiro, he, Mr. Parks are my teacher at the academy who taught danger heart and many. Thomas Blackshear many great, great artists, they would keep some of our first drawings our first month, and you look at him then later, you know through the year to see how much you've come across. And so when I finished the academy, Mr. Shapiro asked if he could keep one of my one, a couple of my first drawings that I did, and the ones I do when I finished there. And he would use those to show to high school students when they'd go around and give their talk on the school and, and he said, the students were just like, they're like, the person who did that did this when they finished because people were like, he's like, Oh, you gave all these high school kids hope, this idea that they have to already be great before they start school because my first ones were so bad, all this high school student football, we're all better than that. But if you could do that, that would be great. And so I think a lot of a lot of it is just what you enjoy, you know, if you enjoy it enough, you're gonna put a lot of time and effort into it. And that was the same in school, we would go to the palette and chisel Nancy Guzik and me and most France and a lot of us, we would go to the palette chisel after school, and paint there, a whole nother three hour session and on the weekends. And very few other students did that. But those that did all became great artists, even people who were much better than us in school, but so being so just passionate about it is what led to the skills. So that knack, you know, the idea of like you're just naturally talented. It's like the whole 10,000 hours sorts of idea. I think that it's over overstated, you know, I think it's more about, you know, you're just, you've got to go into something that you're really, really passionate about, and then you'll get good. So don't think, Oh, I'm not good. So I shouldn't go into this, you know, it's really more about what you're inspired by. And if it takes you three years to get where it took somebody else one year, you know, you'll get there. And then it's more about what you're going to say with your art or with your stories. That's really what matters the most. It's not this technical skill, the technical skills important. But it's really more about, you know, your desire to express something. So, yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 12:24

absolutely, I'm totally with you. I just always assume, of course, that the person who becomes an artist usually has a knack for it, and also that passion, but you make a very, very good point in stating that it doesn't matter what matters is that you love it. And that's, I think that's very inspiring, you know, that you can start anywhere, and what matters is, you know, putting that one step in front of the other, just because you really, really love this thing. And I agree as well, that, you know, technique is important. And we were talking about this before we started recording how technique can take you to a place but then you have to take the techniques somewhere else to you know, like, it's like a back and forth sort of situation, which is so important. Which brings me to want to ask you what is your creation process like from, let's say, from idea all the way to finished product?

Scott Burdick: 13:20

Well, and that does vary a lot. Because when we go we were just in Rome. And so I did paintings from you know, on the spot. And when we go to places like India, Tibet, or these sorts of places, you know, you'll be gone for a month, and you will, you will usually have a model posing the morning from life. And then Then I'll go out and take photographs in the in the rest of the day, or I'll get up really early and take photographs. And those will become studio paintings. So the ones from life are there a lot of my favorite things. And those are very direct, usually working two, three hours. And so then the process in a studio is very different. So it can be from photographs that I've taken, it can be from Ohio new model for longer period of time. Some of those, I'll do sketches. I'll figure things out. I'm doing a big painting in studio right now that I had taken photographs of a Model A while ago. And then I'm combining it with some pictures I took in Rome and some of these churches icons. And and it's it's kind of an idea. It's based on a a Greek philosopher named Hypatia. And so it's a painting that represents her. And so that is very much of an idea and I spent a couple of days sketching out and figuring out what I wanted to do with composition. And then it's like a 40 by 60 painting so I sketched it all out in, in in charcoal first to get it all the way I wanted it to be and and now I'm starting to paint it I painted the face yesterday and I'm working on the background in this particular one. I'm actually a lot of ones I've done I'm taking photographs of in progress for to Susan's Patreon page to show, like, because we do a lot of these three hour paintings that you see that way of painting, but then you do paint differently for these bigger ones. So it very much depends. And then summer, I just start painting. And I start with the abstract shapes, I've got about 10 paintings going right now in the studio in different stages. And so I'll let them dry. And then I might, I might make something out of them. And I might look at look for photographs to go with it. And those will kind of just evolve naturally. They're kind of experimental ones. And so it is very different. It depends on the painting. And yeah, I used to always paint for years, I would always only paint one thing until I finished it and then started another one. No, I'm definitely I do a lot of experimenting. So I will have a whole bunch of different paintings, and I'll take them out, we work on over kind of again, and some don't work out, I'll completely just paint something new on top of them. So I've definitely evolved with that. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 16:05

how does that? How is that affected your process? So because I mean, it I find it interesting that some of your paintings are very, very thought out and other paintings are more like fresh from your mind directly has Have you found that both processes feed each other in some way or help each other?

Scott Burdick: 16:25

Yeah, they do. Um, I would say a lot of my paintings tend to be more documentary type, where I go out and I find the subject, something that inspires me and I painted, whereas like lots of my friends like Morgan Weiss thing, and a lot of them, they have an idea. And then they get models, and they photograph them for that specific pink picture. So I tend to go and find something that I'm inspired with and turn it into things. And then. So that's a, that's more, it's almost like I'm interpreting it. But I'd say most of my paintings are that way where I go, I know, I'll go and I'll get references or I'll have a model, we'll experiment try different things. And so the idea comes from the this painting that I'm doing now is a little different, where I did kind of have an idea of what I wanted to do. And so then I looked through my photographs and found a photo that fit it. And then a lot of the other ones that last like five years, they are really experimental. So the fact that I don't know where it's going, or it's an old painting that I've done, and I just am bored with it. And so then I just start painting over it again, and just totally experimenting. So that's been helping, and that will come into the the paintings that I'm doing, you know, regularly some of these techniques that I'm trying different sorts of techniques and ways of interpreting things. So they do cross pollinate each other. But a lot of it has to do with what your intention when you start something is, you know, you your intention is to experiment. And then it'll go all different directions. And all your intention is to paint this particular person and try to capture what what is what is about them. So, yeah, I don't know if I'm answering that that well. So I'm not one of those people that cific specific, you know, thing, it will change every single painting, I kind of will think about what I want to do what I want to say about it, what's interesting, and then I'll try to in my own mind, I'll even be thinking about this. A lot of times when I go for hikes, I'm really thinking about what is the best way to do this? Would it be better to do with it? Would it be better to draw it out first? Would you know? What color palette do I want to use to express the emotion that goes with this picture? So I do do a lot of that sort of planning in my head. Right? And then yeah, time if you can work out, you know, and then I have to redo it, you know, it's like, it never seems to live up to what I had in my, in my head. You know, when I get to the

Laura Arango Baier: 19:04

I feel like that that's a curse that we all face. The Curse of have this amazing idea. And then when you put it down, it's like it doesn't look like that. Yeah, you know. And it's so fascinating how you just described you know, when you when you start a painting and you're just sitting there and you're in the what outcome do I want stage that really reminds me of chaos theory and the you know, the end result is so dependent on a specific percentage of the initial conditions, right, like the initial conditions will always determine the majority of the outcome. Which is why that intention is so important. And I like that you frame it in that way. I think that's very, very important.

Scott Burdick: 19:47

No, no, go ahead.

Laura Arango Baier: 19:48

I was just gonna say and also the importance of experimenting. When you are when you reach a point where you feel like okay, I've already like I already basically have taken It's like, Where can I take this technique? How can I move it in a way that makes me feel moved and also creates an interesting image? You know,

Scott Burdick: 20:09

that's one of my favorite things to do. We've done a few of them, we filmed a few of these for the Patreon site, this season started. And I have all of these paintings in my racks that we've done from life. And many of them are like you're talking about, they're just kind of academic, they're practice and they're there. They're good representations. They're, they're accurate and everything. But to me, there's, they're boring, it's like, there's nothing really all that interesting. And I love taking paintings like that, and experimenting on them, because they've dried for a long time. And so we filmed a few of them for Patreon. Were in there. And that's we just had somebody who's asking us about that, how can I experiment, learn how to paint thicker palette knife or anything like that. And it's difficult to do on a portrait, or in a figure, something like that, that is very, there's a lot of drawing, there's a lot of, you know, accurate things. So if you're trying to experiment with thick paint or experiment with different techniques, or ways of expressing things or outlining or all these different things, it's difficult to do it while you're painting from life, because you put so much effort into trying to get things correct that you're afraid to screw things up. So one thing that I and I do this with my regular paintings as well, we let it dry thoroughly. And then I will completely repaint the painting. And so we filmed a few of these on Patreon. And so it's fun, because you can just like go crazy with your colors, trying different techniques, I mean, outline, I mean, do this and whatever, you can transform it. And then if you don't like it, you can just wash it off with GameStop. And then you've got your original painting there still, but you've already worked out your drawing and everything. So that way you can you're not struggling with where do I place things or measure things, you're just playing around with that. And I will do that with with even big paintings where I will, when it gets to a certain point, I think, Oh, I really would like to experiment a little bit at some of these things. But I'm like, but I put so much effort into drawing this out or getting this right, I'm afraid. I'll just set it aside for a month and let it dry. And then I can paint over it. And I can try those things that I had in mind. And then if it don't work out, I wash off and all items, I'll do that. And I'll wash off most everything except for a few of the things that worked. And then maybe I'll set that aside and work on it again. So that's a good way to to do that to kind of free up yourself to be a little more experimental. Because it is difficult. I mean, I've done that where I start experimenting too much. And I'm like, Oh, I ruined this painting. It was so good at the beginning. You know, if you're working wet into wet, there's no back button. So yeah, yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 22:54

I wish sometimes I wish painter had an undo button, kind of like in Photoshop. All the way back. Yeah. And that's another great point. The idea of, you know, you, you can get attached, right, you can get attached to your painting. And that's both a good thing and a bad thing, right? It's a good thing, if it aligns with your outcome. And it's a bad thing, if you want to take the painting further than you imagine, right? Because how can you go beyond if you're holding yourself back, which I think that's why, you know, you're experimenting is so cool and interesting, you know, having that fallback of, okay, you already have the piece, and it's safe underneath, and you can just play around with the top layer and you've lost nothing, it's very, I think that's a very great way of working through that discomfort of what if this turns like shit, you know, which oftentimes happens, especially if you're experimenting, like a mad scientist, you know, stuff together, it's like, it's gonna maybe work 5050 I don't know. Main

Scott Burdick: 23:59

thing is when you experiment is, if it doesn't work, you want to still have learned from something from it. And so then it's not, it's not a, it's just like a scientist would say, you know, a failed experiment means we know a little bit more. And so I think that's the way I try to look at it. It's still depressing when things don't come out. But I still do feel like, you know, my teacher, Mr. Parks at the Academy used to say, when I was like, not liking something, I was like, This is terrible. I'm just gonna start over. He's like, Oh, no, wait a minute, you're forgetting. This is your opportunity. Now you've screwed it up. So you have nothing to lose. Now really screw it up. And I remind myself that a lot of times, you know, before I'm gonna watch something off the work, even when we're in life, it's like, okay, it's not working. I'm about to wash it off. All right, I screwed up. Let's really screwed up. And then I'll just completely do crazy things to it. And half the time I will wash the whole thing off but that's okay. I got to experiment. But then sometimes you do that and some thing magical happens. And because you no longer have that fear of losing what you've got, you can absolutely just do something so surprising and interesting. And I've had some paintings that are my favorite paintings that happened that way. So, um, so that's, I always remember that, my teacher will say, You screwed it up, don't really screw it up before you wash it off. And it's kind of fun, you know, sometimes you'll, I'll put it down, just pour mineral spirits on it, and see what happens. You know, David, Dawn, you start to, like, learn these interesting techniques. And you're like, oh, that actually looks kind of cool. And I can work a little bit more on it. But that's actually done something interesting to it, or I'll just, you know, take a squeegee and, you know, and rub it this way or that way and abstract it more. And so those are opportunities, you got to get to think of some of those failures as opportunities. And it's a very important way to, to think about with with with painting, I think at least for myself, yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 26:01

no, I totally agree. I also have like four, four paintings that I was working on simultaneously. And all of them were totally experiments where like, they start out one way and then it completely sandpaper them back. I don't use poisonous paint. So I can actually sandpaper things back please do not sandpaper, your paintings of us lead or cadmium. But I sandpaper them back. And I'm like, You know what, I wanted to do this instead. And like, I'll just like change the pose a little or like, shift stuff around until I'm like, You know what, I don't know, maybe maybe it is kind of working. But I want to sandpaper this a little bit more like and that's a technique that I learned from odd the using the sandpaper, I think it's it's such a wonderful technique because it creates such a particular effect. And and that's kind of like how you were saying with the mineral spirits, you know, it's like, what effects can I get from experimenting that I want to bring into my work that, you know, if you never experimented, you would never, you would never push the boundaries of how far your work can go. Which another very key important thing to consider. Especially when you're you know, actually especially when you're in the early stages to you know, when you're still finding your footing. Yes, have that technique down, but also don't get caught up in like boxing yourself into like, one specific formula, which we were talking about earlier as well. formula can be a crutch, you

Scott Burdick: 27:26

know, well, that's what's hard. You know, when you're in school, when I went to school, you know, the teachers set up the models for us. And we would Nancy Guzik and I and different artists Rosecrans, we, you know, we had laughter in the morning and that well painting afternoon, and then we go to the palette and chisel after school. And it was just about trying to learn how to draw nose to look like a nose or face to get through proportions. And you really weren't expressing yourself that much. We were just learning our vocabulary, what we're going to use to speak later. But there's some artists who never go beyond that they just get caught into the and it is it's a wonderful thing to just draw something beautifully or paint something beautifully. But if you're not taking your own, getting your own models, lighting them find your own subjects. You know, we get lots of people ask us if they see some of the photographs, we on the Patreon to will do photo sessions with models, and to show people how to use cameras and he's lighting all sorts of stuff that you need. We didn't learn in school, I didn't even have a camera until I finished school. But those are things you have to learn you have to get good at those those those aspects as well. But people will write and say, Oh, can I buy photos from you? Because these are so beautiful. And I always feel like that's not You're not thinking right? You know, because you can get all kinds of great photos from the internet and stuff. But and this is my viewpoint because some people will take photos, that from magazines or whatever, and then they'll transform them into completely their own thing. So that's totally different. But for me personally, once I finished got to that level where I started to get my basics down. That was where I was like, I'm so excited to go out and get my own subject matters. And some of the first things that I was most excited about painting I was on I would go on these volunteer trips to build a orphanage in Mexico and volunteered at a refugee camp for El Salvador and Guatemala and refugees and Texas and then on in South Dakota, living with a family on the Navajo on the Lakota reservation, those sorts of things. And then as soon I started to travel, that was it was like art was an excuse to go to these places and discover things and then to put them into my paintings to share them with other people my viewpoint but what I've learned from those people, and I feel like if it doesn't even have to be traveling far, I mean, just people that we meet around here down the street from us, you know, painting All these people were in your regard animals that you you see, or your own animals or your own family. Those I think are the more important subject matters to paint, not just that, oh, this is a beautiful photograph that somebody else took that personal experience, I think is what art is about. I think that's what writing is about. When I first started writing in school, you know, so many, the really good writers there were writing things that were their own experiences. And I had one of my short stories published when I was when I was taking writing classes at Columbia College anthology book. And because it was a personal experience of myself. And so those are what's going to be valued more than your technique or anything, you need to get your technique. Just like you need to get your writing skills up to tell your story. But making it personal, something that matters to you, I think is the number one thing that all artists need to think about. And I find it sad sometimes when I'll go out with young artists, and they'll be like, look at that, isn't that cool? You know, some old car, whatever it is, might not be something interesting to me, but it is to them. And I'll say well, you should paint that, like, oh, but that's not really a subject that galleries are looking for. It's like, you can't talk yourself out of that. Because if it's something you're passionate about, it will strike a chord in people. And that's something I think that is hard to teach. I, we tend to just on Patreon mostly talk about we'll talk about the inspirations that we have for things, but it's hard because everybody will have their own inspiration. And technical things are easier to teach because they are, we can all agree on, you know what the values are and stuff, but they can withstand I'm talking too much. But that's the most important thing to me.

Laura Arango Baier: 31:51

You made some very good points. And I think, you know, the the whole idea of Oh, but the gallery wouldn't, you know, like that, or all the collectors don't care about that. It's like, who cares? Like you're painting for yourself, right, you're painting it, I'm gonna say that it's a very selfish thing to paint, it's selfish in the sense of I'm, I want to put my inner world out there, right, I want to put my inner image out there. But at the same time, it's selfless, because you're sharing it with everyone, right. But in its inception, the reason that you paint should be purely intrinsic motivation of I care about the so much they want to immortalize it on a canvas. And

Scott Burdick: 32:30

when you paint in one thing, it's easier to find one person that's going to react to it, you know, and I see artists talk themselves out of painting things that they actually love, they love children, they love flowers, they love beauty of nature. And they'll say yeah, but I won't be considered important artists, if I do this, I gotta do something with a message or this or that. So both can be true, you know, just because, you know, and so. But that's what's great about like, what Sue and I do is when you're doing an original painting, you you can find one person is going to like to use, you need to find the right place to sell your work. So if whatever you paint, you like classic cars, you're going to send it to a different place. So or if you like comic books, then you're going to your art will be best sold this way, or whatever, graphic novels or fantasy art. So it's best to find the thing you're passionate about, then find the outlet. But it's easier with paintings, if you're passionate about something to find that one person only, you need to find one person who has that same reaction to something as you do. And so that's one of the reasons why I shied away from doing prints. We did some in the very beginning years ago, like 35 years ago, I did a couple and they did well for a print company, but then they're pretty much asking you Well, you got to pick a subject that is more, you know, widely that you can sell 1000s overnight, just one. And that's when I say Oh, this isn't for me, because, you know, then I'm, it's in my head. And I have to think about that, I will start to paint for that market. And so, so it depends on what your what your market is. But there's there's something out there for everybody. And I, I find that when I used to teach workshops, that was the biggest obstacle was people, we still get lots of emails about that and saying, yeah, those are all great, but I need to make a living at this. And, and I understand that. And when I was in school, and just after school, I did portrait commissions, I did whatever I needed to make money, but then it also had this part where I did what I wanted to do, and the goal was eventually to make a living off of that. So there's nothing wrong with painting things or doing commissions or whatever will pay the bills. But still, keep in mind those things that you are passionate about. Otherwise you'll start to hate. You know, you'll hate being an artist, and nobody really goes into art to make a lot of money. I mean It's not really the best plan. So if you get stuck in that you're gonna start to resent, you know, you're like, why didn't I just become an accountant or something? You know? So?

Laura Arango Baier: 35:10

Yeah, absolutely, actually, you just reminded me of something that Michael John Angel used to tell us, he used to say, if you want to be rich, there are a lot of other jobs, you could do it out, painting is probably not going to be the easiest one to do it in. Which again, you know, that definitely, it rings very true. Because, like you said, you know, it's, it's, yes, you do have to make a living and supplement income in some way, which I'm going to ask you about, of course, but you supplement income in some way, maybe you have a day job, maybe you have, you know, like commissions, like you were doing. I mean, it's, it's nice to work within the actual medium of your interest rate. And then on the side, you know, remembering why you're even doing it in the first place, which is something that I think a lot of graduates of academies struggle with, especially when they they leave the academy, they're like, Okay, now what, you know, I'm speaking for myself here, actually. But, um, but I'm pretty sure other people might resonate with that. But I did want to ask you, you know, you when you made that jump, you know, from student to full time, artists just living from your work, how, how was that like for you?

Scott Burdick: 36:14

Well, I was at the Academy, and I didn't really I thought I assumed I was going to be an illustrator. And so it wasn't until Richard Schmid moved back to Chicago, that I actually was opened up to the possibility that you could send things to galleries. And in fact, I won an award for the Society of Illustrators student competition, even though I didn't take illustration. I was just, I liked NC Wyeth and Howard Pyle and those sorts of things. So I went out to New York when I won this award, because it gave money, and all all the art directors there who said the same thing, they said, you know, your style of painting isn't really profitable anymore in illustration, and it's all at that time transferring into a different sort of thing. And they all were artists themselves, and they said, Our advice is to go into galleries, you could sell your sort of paintings in galleries. And but in New York, and in Chicago, all the galleries were modern, nothing was like what I was selling. So it wasn't until Richard Schmidt moved back. And we saw someone who was making a living as a fine artist that it was like, All right, okay. So then I, I took when I finished the Academy, the year after that, I had a show of a lot of paintings that I had been doing. And I had a show and I made like, $10,000, which way back then was was a lot of money. And I was able to burst, I move out of my house, I got an apartment, I got a junky old car, and, and so I started painting and selling and galleries. So I'm in the southwest, some in like little frame shop in Chicago. But after a year, I've run out of money, and I moved back in with my parents. And then then I started making enough money to where I was able to soon I got an apartment that in Rogers Park, and but they're still doing commissions, or commissions, were always something I could make money at. And I started teaching a couple workshops here and there. And but I started selling them my paintings, more and more. And so I was I was weird, but even so we were just going, really month a month. And that was pretty much why we decided to move to North Carolina, because Chicago was so expensive. And for both of us being artists. And so we looked at we drove down for two weeks, we bought a house in a rural area that needed a lot of work the House did, and it lowered our expenses by half. So that's pretty much how but yeah, right out of school, I just started making, making money painting. And then I went to Columbia College and took classes there too. But yeah, I was painting and commissions. And then once we moved to North Carolina, I was able to I was making enough money painting. And with the lower cost of our mortgage was half of what our apartment rent was in Chicago. And so that was a, that was a major decision for us. We were like, we want to have women be able to travel and do these things. So we're like, we don't sell our work in Chicago anyways. So we're like, we need to live somewhere cheaper, so that we can not have this pressure of having to make money. And so, so yeah, so then then then it then I was able to stop doing commissions and all that and concentrate just on my own work. And, and yeah, so and then just little by little, you know, your prices go up and you start making more money and, you know, and and so that that's kind of how we did it.

Laura Arango Baier: 39:40

Yeah, yeah. And you bring up the same point that Sue brought up when I interviewed her about living below your means and how important that is, especially when you're starting out you know, trying to really pinch those pennies because you're gonna need to buy paint you're gonna need to buy materials and they're not cheap and doing what you can I I think those are all some of the best things that both of you have mentioned 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 B O LDBRUSH 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 podcasts, you can make that come true. And also get over 50% off your first year on your artists website. Yes, that's basically the price of 12 lattes in one year, which I think is a really great deal considering that you get sleek and beautiful website templates that are also mobile friendly e commerce 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 the other thing that I wanted to know was how have you since that no have how have you supplemented your income and what has been the best supplement, I guess, supplementary activity that you've taken. Since you become a full time artist, supplementing

Scott Burdick: 42:04

Well, when I first started out. I don't teach workshops anymore, but I will do them an online. We're going to do an online class next year soon together. And we do the Patreon. So that's kind of but I stopped doing workshops, although Sue is doing them now. So she loves doing them. And I'll go with her and I just paint with the class. But workshops were a good income, I would do a couple of year. Usually I would tie it in with the show I would do one in Scottsdale, I used to do one discuss our school in danger heart and I would have a show at the gallery that we were in in Scottsdale. So I would tie it in with the show. And I will do one in Los Angeles each year and in different places that I've done. Clad. Ask the VIG is a he's a great landscape painter, and he had come to Chicago once and he had told me that when I was first starting out, he said you should do workshops around the country, don't do them in one place. Because then people will. Those people who take the class are really some great artists in that area. And they'll see your work. And, and so that was a, and they'll talk about you and buy your sketches and things. And so that was a, I think for starting out that was a very good advice. Because first, when I did at Scottsdale, nobody knew who I was, in fact, they didn't need any teachers, I just said, if you ever have an opening, or somebody has to cancel, maybe I'll come and teach a class. And so everybody took the class maybe half full. Nobody had heard of me before they just saw the my painting and their brochure, and then those people got to know you. And then you know, over time, you know, you would get known in different areas. And you know, I would have 100 people on the waiting list for the classes. So that was I think that's a very good way to get known is to do workshops at different places and things like that. As far as supplemental. Really, it was just painting for me mostly. I did one three month project for when we first moved to North Carolina, for DreamWorks. All the artists from Los Angeles used to take my class from Dreamworks and Disney and all these different studios would take my Los Angeles class. And I had actually was thinking of stopping fine art because we'd had a couple galleries that had cheated, cheated, cheated me and and it was one in Carmel that that just happened to in the artists game. So I went they asked me to come to DreamWorks just to have a tour but really they set up a meeting with Jeffrey Katzenberg. So he gave me the pitch to come work for them. And so I did three months in North Carolina and I fly back once a month for the meetings was for a movie called Spirit. It was development on this movie called Spirit which is about horses in the West. And and was interesting because it was a whole there's a whole group of us there is artists and there was a writer too. But all the artists they or said you write in or do paintings or ideas, whatever, you have ideas and stuff. And so I had always written a lot. So I actually sent paintings but I also would write ideas for scenes and stuff because they've given us all i given us a one paragraph Jeffrey Katzenberg, one paragraph idea for this. And so once I started writing things to directors, Bruce and Lorna, they said, Oh, well keep painting, but concentrate on the writing things that you're doing. So I, I would send those in and come in once a month to the meetings and they loved all the the ideas that I would write for the story. So after three months, and they paid a ton for me at that time was ton of money to pay $10,000. So I made $30,000, in three months. And I used a good portion of that to build a studio for Susan on our property. So she would have a nice studio when working in the living room. But then I was really at a crossroads, because they wanted me to work there full time. But I'd have to move out to Los Angeles. So I needed to be working as a writer. And so I really, really debated it, we really thought about it. But I ended up just saying no, I really don't want to work for somebody work on other projects. So so I just that was the only kind of other thing that I made money from then painting. And I just kind of also realized, I really do have a good I can paint my own paintings, I can do my own writings and stuff. So that was kind of the only other job that I have had since then. And so for me, it's just been painting until, and I would do workshops now. And I'm trying to think of there's other things as far as money on videos, we've done a few instructional videos, Lilly doll had come out years ago. So that made a little extra money. And then now as soon as she started the Patreon site, which has been just oh, I it's just a wonderful fun thing. And we've got like, 150 videos on there now and, and to me, that's more exciting to me. Because you'll get people from all over the world who watch them. And it's like, I think it's like $9 a month, and you only have to do one month. So we'll have people from very poor countries, they will write these really just heartfelt things, because they'll say, we've never been able to buy a video in the future. Maybe Sue's told you this already, I don't know. But and so they will write and say we've never been able to get a video because they're in Iran or in Africa, or Afghanistan, or wherever it is India. And so they'll just get you know, because a video could be like our old videos with like, $150, you know, that the company could make it and a DVD and that's shipping and all that. So places like that they could never get a video. And so they can watch all the videos, they'll get all their friends together, and they'll watch it for one month. And then they'll know that no, though, they'll sign up again, and another bunch of you know, another half a year. And so that's been really a neat thing. I mean, because there's probably like, every month, there's about maybe 50 Of those, those people who will come on and then come off in one month. And then we have other people it's just wonderful because we couldn't do it with all the other people who will subscribe every month. And so that gives you enough money to spend the time videoing things, filming paintings, doing lessons and, and then putting them on there. So I'm so that's a, that's a little bit extra money. But it's it's pretty, it's really fun to be able to pass on these ideas, more than just a workshop because most workshops, I was only able to do like a three hour demo. And these you can actually do things that are like some paintings that take me a month, I can film them and photograph them and talk about all this, you know, film, you know, all these different things that we've not been able to teach before in a workshop. So it's, it's and also just, it's really expensive to take a workshop to travel all the way to it for people. And so it's a it's been pretty fun, but it is an extra, you know, Sue does all the work on it. So it's it's, but it's extra income for that as well. But mainly it's painting. Because both of us are artists, there's a lot of other things that we could do for income. A lot of friends of danger heard a lot of other friends who they're either the husband or wife runs the business end of things. So they can make money from all kinds of different things, prints or books and stuff. But because we are both artists, we don't have as much time to do that other stuff. So it's mainly for me it's mainly just my paintings and you know on some I make some money from my books and things like that, but not not as not enough to you know, make a living unless I were to do it full time. Right for somebody. Wow. I feel like the answers are way too long. No,

Laura Arango Baier: 49:46

I love your answers though. Because there I love that you really go through it. And I think that's so important because, you know, you never know what someone's gonna hear and be like, Uh huh. You know, like, especially for our listener. Um, and I think, definitely, you know, first of all, actually, I'm gonna fangirl for a second. I love spirit. It's one of my favorite, favorite movies. As a kid, I was obsessed. I had like the little McDonald's like, horses from spirit. So awesome work, great job.

Scott Burdick: 50:18

Love. I did very little, just in the beginning, they did development for a whole year on that and then filming. So you know, they're like two or two and a half years. So we're doing all the animation. So those are the real real artists who worked on that and writer. So yeah, yeah, but it was, it was a fun, it was really fun experience to be seen to that world and have input into Yes, need,

Laura Arango Baier: 50:43

Oh, I love that. I love that movie. And you know that also, I love how that also brings up the point of when you're an artist, you know, there are so many different directions, you can go with what you know, and what you can do, it isn't just oh, I will make a painting and send it to a gallery like today, like there are so many different avenues that we can pursue with our skills. Whether it's the internet, you know, like seeking out like, I know a lot of people who make gorgeous, like illustrative calendars, and they just send those out. And like there are so many different ways of profiting, obviously, it's not easy. And obviously, it is a lot easier if you have someone helping you manage, like, like dango hearts. But um, yeah, it's still wonderful that both you and Sue are so dedicated to not just creating your work and continuing in your own careers with it, but also sharing what you already know which i think i every single time I interview a person who's also a teacher, I love it, because you're very open to providing all the best advice. And I find that, you know, passing it forward is so important. So thank you for that. Oh,

Scott Burdick: 51:57

yeah, well, like, we love doing that. And having young artists come and paint and we don't know, they can just come and paint with us. Because it's just what other people did. Does Richard Smith, our teachers, all those people, we can never repay them. So it is just passing it forward really is Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 52:16

Oh, by the way, do you have any other advice for someone who is just starting out, and maybe they want to find their artistic voice?

Scott Burdick: 52:25

I don't I it's really difficult because you have to just follow what you're interested in. And it's it is being an artist, being a writer, all those sorts of things are, are very much a, something that's not guaranteed. So if I go to work for somebody, if I go to work for DreamWorks, or other places, then it's more guaranteed and, and people have different personalities, there are just incredible artists that work at the studios in different places. And some of them, there, that's just their passion, they love being given a project and to work on and then they, they they do it and it's collaborative. So you have to kind of judge your own self, you know, I, I just am not that kind of person. I really do like working on weird things, half of which don't sell, but enough sell. And so you have to look at your own self to I have the personality for this, are you really driven to want to do your own things? Or is it better to work for a place and then just not have that some people the stress of having to come up with money, I mean, especially we don't have kids, you have kids, you have all these sorts of expenses, it can be very stressful. So maybe it's not right for you to have the stress of trying to make a living, we have people will come to us and say, well, I need to make this amount of money a year. How can I do that with being a painter. And sometimes you're just like, well, you know, you're putting yourself under so much stress, you know that you're not going to be able to do your own work, maybe it's better to do something else for your money and then do this for yourself. Because that can be pretty stressful. So I think taking my best advice is taking the pressure off yourself however you can, whether it's another job, and then do this part time. I mean, that's what I did with writing or moving places if you can, like we move places to take the stress off us. I know that if I lived in a place that was very expensive, and we had lots of kids and things like that I probably would have to have done more things to just make money. So there's there's nothing wrong with that. That's a great thing. You know, and and even if I were to go work for films, I love like you said I love spirit. I love those things. I would be happy working in places like that too. So it's it's really hard to give specific advice I think, trying to make it so you don't have too much stress. With that put so much pressure on you There's always going to be the death of creativity. So, yeah. Wow,

Laura Arango Baier: 55:07

there was words there too. And actually, you're not the first person to tell me that. So it has to be true to some extent, then, because I also feel that same way, where if I feel like if too much pressure, and I feel like there's something hanging over me, it's, I just blank out, I can't, I can't work under that. So it is very good to be able to take that pressure off. And, yeah, there's absolutely no shame in having like, a day job that supplements your income, like, yeah, eventually, maybe your work takes off, and you can actually just live from your work. But if the pressure is too much, it's better to just, you know, make sure you have that income coming in, especially now, these strange economic times.

Scott Burdick: 55:49

When it's not, it's not like, only this or that. So just if you're looking to make a living your painting doesn't mean it's not worth doing. I mean, I, that's how I feel about with writing or when I make a documentary, I love writing for itself, because I learned I create characters that have different viewpoints, and it caught forces me to research them and have these discussions. And so I enjoy that so much. It's not like, Okay, I've decided I'm not going to do this for living. So therefore, there's no reason to do it. And if I went and did, if I wasn't making enough money at painting, and I went and worked full time writing for whatever place I was writing for, I would still do art, I would feel that same freedom, that same joy in it. So I think it's difficult sometimes to separate the financial from the creative. And it's great if you can make a living at at least one of the things that you are creative with, because then you're not having to, but I mean, some of the greatest writers, they their stories or their paintings, some of the greatest painters, even there, there's things came up out of jobs that they had, that were just simply to make money as loggers is that or whatever. And that ended up to be their, their greatest contribution to art because they had this experience. I mean, you think of Herman Melville, you know, going to see as as, you know, a whaler. And then that became his masterpiece story. And it was just originally done simply to make money. And so, so sometimes, you know, if you go to grocery store, and that becomes, you know, you paint something or write something from that. So, you know, it's, it's, you know, you can't separate life from your art is kind of what I would say, you know, don't don't, don't don't compartmentalize them. Yes.

Laura Arango Baier: 57:44

Wow, I love that. And also that that also reminded me of Vermeer, because Vermeer was not an artist he was he was a hobbyist, he was just making those paintings for fun. And here we are with the girl with the pearl earring is like one of the most famous paintings in the world. So that's a very good point, which also fun fact, he almost made his whole family go broke because he wanted to buy blue pigment. And it was it was lapis lazuli, which was so expensive at the time he bought it. But yeah, that goes to show you know, it's like you don't it's it's not, you know, it's not about the money. I think it never husband.

Scott Burdick: 58:21

Money is great. When you're when you're getting paid for something that you want to do anyways, you know, and oftentimes, if it's something you want to do anyways, it's going to be more unique. So because if you're just paying for the market, it's going to tend to become something that is just kind of a least common denominator thing that you know, will be forgotten, it's not going to have that unique viewpoint. That is what makes all really great art, you know, and some obviously, we can look at, you know, great artists who, who didn't make a living at it. And yet, now we see their work because it's so unique to them, you know?

Laura Arango Baier: 58:58

Yeah, yeah, like Van Gogh, of course. Great example. But yeah. Oh, my gosh, um, I guess I have one more question for you. Because, wow, this has been such a fascinating conversation. Um, I wanted to know, how have you used social media to your advantage when it comes to selling your work?

Scott Burdick: 59:23

Oh, and that's a good one, too, because, yeah, Sue kind of has gotten me into that. She has gotten me an Instagram page, several years back, which I she posted a couple things for me in the beginning. And I didn't use it for like, maybe two or three years. And she was funny, because she's like, well, you know, you've got 5000 followers, and you haven't even ever posted on this thing. So it wasn't really until she started doing like Patreon and stuff like that, that I had a reason to post on it. So I started I would do Facebook, and I liked Facebook because I like to have discussions about politics and religion. environmental things and all these different social issues that I care about in elections and stuff, so that I could have discussions with, but for Instagram, I never really had used it. And so that has become very important for promoting like the Patreon site and for sharing your work. And so I've kind of I kind of like doing it now, Sue sometimes still does post my things for me. But I will post things and and then we have links there to like, the Patreon page, and we have links to sue sue, sue just kind of got us to get together and make a store. So we can sell our sketches and studies and things like that. So we'll put them on. And people can just order them directly. Because they're things that I would often take the time to frame and send out to a gallery. So people can just buy these studies and stuff. So that's I think how we're using it now is to promote our workshops is doing or to promote. paintings that are for sale or a show that I'm going to be in, I just posted one because I'm going to be in a show in Los Angeles at a museum. And so I posted the painting and lets people know that we'll be at their show. So I guess that's trying to think of there's other ways that I use it, that's mainly the way that I've been using it. Other people are using it way more than than than I am, you know, I mean, it's really exciting to see all the things that and we get to see people's paintings that we wouldn't have received, I would probably have come across otherwise. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:01:34

that's very true, it is a great connector in that way. And also helps with inspiration, you know, what are other people doing, that I might have never seen before. And that might actually give me an idea, you know, but you know,

Scott Burdick: 1:01:49

it can overwhelm you. And you look at so many people who are I know, assuming that we try to on our Patreon, or when we do post, we try to like explain to how, you know, we don't sell everything and that things are struggling stuff. Because I think sometimes there's this idea that you've got to look successful, you've got to project this image of like being a famous, rich artists doing all this sort of stuff. And we certainly over the years have gotten to where we do get to travel a lot, we get to do all kinds of things like that. But it's still a lot of struggle. And I think sometimes you can get beat down by looking at all of this art, all of these successful people who have, they've gone through years of it, and they got to that point, and it can kind of make you feel almost like, Gee, why am I even doing this? You know, and so you have to be careful. I think with that with it. I think that you can also look at that, and then start to think, okay, that's what, what sells. And so I've got to do that I got to do like that person, like that person, it's good to take inspiration and learn from different people, every whenever anybody starts out, we're copying the people that we admire the most. And then you take a little from that a little from this a little from fashion and men cheating, and Sergeant, you start to get your own style. But it can start to become almost like you're trying to follow the trends, you know, and you're just trying to, you know, copy this person or that person. So, so I I think it is something you have to take in doses and be careful of

Laura Arango Baier: 1:03:27

100% I agree. Yes. Definitely a double edged sword. Well, let's

Scott Burdick: 1:03:34

be different for you because you're of a younger generation. So you grew up seeing your work from social media, right?

Laura Arango Baier: 1:03:41

Yeah, mostly. Yeah. I mean, I definitely. I'm 28. So I did partly grow up, you know, without cellphone in my hands, and without the internet in front of me all the time. But I did you know, once I hit like, 21, that's when I was like, I guess Instagram is a thing, and everyone seems to have an Instagram. And it was totally different than but yeah, it's, um, it is actually, I've seen studies where kids and people who have grown up with social media are actually more depressed. So I personally try to stay off. For that reason, I try to stay off because I feel like in a way, kind of it can be the thing, but it pollutes a little bit of my own intrinsic motivation, which I feel like everyone has like a little voice inside of them, that is telling them like what direction to go. And if you let all of these latter external voices take over, it's very hard to listen to your own inner voice and that takes patience and a lot of quiet and a lot of isolation and separation, which is something that's very typical in the creative process for a lot of artists for a reason. So being connected all the time, I think can be very detrimental. Especially if you're just starting out, cuz it's very easy to be let off on by other people's ideas and be like, oh, you know what I like what that person did, I'm going to do that too. And that's fine, you can do that. But at the same time, it's like, is it authentic to yourself. And I feel like that's where the the growing of an internal discernment is very important, where you really just have to ask yourself all the time, like, why am I attracted to this? Why do I like this? Or why am I actually trying to copy this? Do I actually care about it? Or is it because this person got 500,000? likes or something, you know, or, like, you have to really, D pollute your mind from all of the external factors of attention and likes and follows. So personally, yeah, I stay I stay off as much as I can. I just post a comment on good work that I find beautiful by people that I admire or friends of mine. I reply to messages, and then I am out. I am not in there very long.

Scott Burdick: 1:06:02

Yeah, it's it's a balance to strike. Because yeah, I love seeing some great things that are inspired by. But yeah, it's, it's, I think you're right, it's good to take breaks completely from it, you know, and, you know, just focus on something that you have, because it's easy to when you're focused on something to then get pulled this way or that way or a second guess yourself. And so when I'm really integrating something, I love to just kind of isolate and not look at things and stuff. So

Laura Arango Baier: 1:06:31

yeah, yeah, I mean, obviously, looking at things is very important. But for that, I'd rather just look at Pinterest, or Google Arts and Culture, because they're, I could just look at old master paintings and look at them really deeply and be like, oh, you know what, I really liked this color palette, or I really like what they did here instead of just looking at my contemporaries, because they, you know, it's like, if you're looking at your contemporaries and your contemporaries were looking in the past, then I think it's better to just be looking into the past. Because you can get to the source, even though there really is no source because everyone's just a remix of everyone else. But I think it's as close as you can get to the source as possible is probably the best. Best thing you could do for yourself. As an artist. Yeah,

Scott Burdick: 1:07:14

that's good advice. Yeah, definitely. No, it's gonna be interesting to see what happens in the future, especially with AI will that I, I've talked to so many people about that. And it's such a fascinating, you know, new world that, that we're coming into. So it's pretty interesting to me. Yeah, yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:07:31

Well, actually, I did want to ask you just on top because I didn't actually send you this question. But since you mentioned it, what is your personal opinion on AI art? And how it's gonna change everything?

Scott Burdick: 1:07:45

Well, you know, I, I look at AI art, in a similar way to when I look at like, working on a movie with a lot of people. Okay, so it's a collaboration. So you're always collaborating with, like you said, artists you've seen from old masters in the past, you're every every painting is a collaboration with the people you studied with your teachers, all the artists you've gone in the past, okay? When I do a painting, I only will work from my own photographs, or from my levels. Now, some artists will hire photographers to take their pictures, or they'll buy the rights to paintings, and I know lots of artists do all these different sorts of ways of doing things. So when you buy someone else's photograph to work from, it's a, it's a collaboration, you're collaborating with that photographer, they went out, maybe you never even were in that location, or saw that model or that bird or whatever. So it's a collaboration. So when you get into AI, I see it that way, as well. It's a collaboration, you're collaborating. Now, sometimes you're collaborating with people who haven't even given permission to have their photograph. And I've, I've known, I've seen things where it's an awkward thing where somebody points out, well, that painting you did, from the AI image that you've changed and stuff, but that's actually a photograph that was on Vogue or something like that. So you don't even know necessarily who you're collaborating with. So, so there's issues with that. But aside from the issue of, of, of them using these different models, it's still always going to be a collaborative sort of a thing. So it depends on in your mind. I think a lot of people are looking to AI as a shortcut to make a great work of art. It's always going to be easier to copy, like do a master copy and do a great painting, because they've already done all the creative things. They've they've put it all together so so your copy, maybe if you change some of it from the master copy, maybe you're only a 5% collaborator, you know, and then 95% of it is somebody else's work. So to me when I look at AI art, I mean, some of it is incredibly beautiful and great. Now some of the artists you look at their own work And it's not really very good. And some are, some are better. And some aren't some use the AI starting point and they do all kinds of changes to it. So they're adding some Excel they become, maybe they from being a 5% collaborator in the work, they are a 10% or 15%, or 50%. So that's often how I look at it is, is, if you're just sitting there clicking things, and AI is just picking things out of their things, they can come up with an absolutely gorgeous image. Is it really your art? Is it your personal viewpoint? Now you are somewhat guiding it, so you have some input into it? You know, but so that's how I look at it. And I'm not really judging it and saying, This is bad. And this is good, because Sue and I had this conversation before last year's Portus society, because a bunch of artists had asked me to do a discussion on AI. And it was interesting to me because I learned about all kinds of different artists who are using it in different ways. Not necessarily, like they have an idea they're using to create compositions, or they're, you know, and then they hire models for those compositions or all these different ways that they were using it. But the interesting thing was, as Sue was very upset about AI, she was like, whenever I tried to show her something, she's like, Oh, that's AI. I don't like it, because it looks you could tell it was it had that kind of the uncanny valley effect sort of thing. And, and so but then there was one, like a week before she showed me an image. And she said, Isn't this beautiful, this person's jumpmaster, you know, artists, and I looked at it was like, girls on boats with like, going spheres going up the thing. And it's an artist I looked at, and I said, but it looked like it was like a water house painting mixed with like, Sargent or somebody like that. And she's like, This must have taken forever to do with all these figures and all this stuff and that great brushwork, and I said, Oh, well, he's telling you that that's an AI artist, he's and I've seen his work. And yeah, there, if you've swiped, you'll see 10 different versions of this. And she was so angry, she was like, Oh, my God, that's I'm unfollowing. And I unliking, this and everything. And I was like, this is an interesting idea. So wasn't that interested in it, but we talked about it at the portside. He said, the idea of if the image itself is beautiful, and you love it, and you're inspired by it doesn't matter how it was created. It's like people who say, You shouldn't ever work from photographs, you know, in your purists of like, everything has to be flown from life has to be done site size, all this sort of stuff. And I know lots of people who have that view, or should only work from life. And that becomes a processing to me, it's like, okay, so you're limiting yourself and your subject matter because you won't use photographs. So it's an interesting thing. And like with that, artists, he gets things from AI, and then we'll do a little more work on it Photoshop and stuff, but they're not as good as his regular paintings. So like I said, it's a collaboration, you know, how much of it is it is, but there's no doubt that you can come up with beautiful work from it, and be inspired by it. For myself, art is about creating something for myself, even if it's not as good as as Vermeer or as good as whoever else that is or an AI would do is I'm still going to create something from my own photographs or from life, my own experience is I'm going to create something that is unique to me, okay, so it's not something that AI would ever come up with. After I do it. Now paintings, Jeremy Lipton was telling me that my name is in some of the prompts, as are his and some of these programs, make it use this, they'll make a model from all these different artists and so so that's fine. It doesn't really bother me, I don't really care. Because the next thing I do is going to be original, it's going to be my work, and it's going to steal a collaboration, but it's not going to be you know, I'm not only gonna be point 5%. And it's going to be my so the creative is what I care about. And so, for me personally, I'll never use AI at all, just like I will never use someone else's photographs. Not that I think there's anything wrong with it. It's just that's just me. So again, a long winded answer to your question, but I'm curious, coming out of the Florence Academy, and working from life and all that sort of thing, they have had those rules about work from life and stuff, right?

Laura Arango Baier: 1:14:21

Well, I mean, at Angel Academy, it was very particular because actually, Michael John Angel was very much using pictures as demos. So that side, he never really had a position on it because he believed, you know, the end result was very important. So he was much more open to it. But we did, of course, believe that the foundational techniques stuff should be from life because I agree with that. It's the basics of everything, right? Yeah. at UCA, it was absolutely no pictures, which again, it is a foundational thing, and that's perfectly fine. I personally The I feel like pictures are great. Because you can get poses that you wouldn't get from a live model, because live model isn't going to be torturing themselves holding some ridiculous pose that's probably in humanly possible to hold on to for very long. And the old masters mostly used sculptures to as reference for those poses those complex poses, which I cannot imagine how the sculptors got these poor people to hold those poses. But even then, you know, they're taking their references from something that's already pre existing kind of like photography, and even when photographs started, you know, getting more more popular Bouguereau use photographs for his paintings. And a few others, too, they use photographs. Because, I mean, it saves time. The bad thing?

Scott Burdick: 1:15:48

Is that Yeah, you get subjects that you couldn't, otherwise Yes, exactly. children's faces improved greatly when photography. Yes.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:15:57

Oh my god, yes, they didn't look like weird little, little homunculus is. But the downside of photography, which I think a lot of people, especially if you only learned from photography, it's hard to be able to see it, but you lose everything. In the details, like the photographs was washed out, the contrast is wrong, the camera has its own defects, right, the camera tends to do this to the picture just to like, push it. So yeah, you can pull it in and Photoshop and correct the lens, so that it's more natural looking. But you're still missing the beautiful color notes that are hidden, you know, like, underneath the eyes, or like at the corner of the lips, or like there are little things that get lost that you you can only really get if you study an image or like a person from life, which I think both practices. I

Scott Burdick: 1:16:49

think I was so happy that I worked. I basically been for five years before I ever even had a camera. And I feel like that is so important. Even though we always have models at least once or twice a week from life to do portraits. And then we go on trips for a whole month you're paying from life. And I think I don't think I could do good studio work without that constant reminder of what things really look like what values really look like. And yeah, but what about AI? I mean, your generation is growing up with that. What what what are you seeing, you know, a lot of other artists are using it. Have you tried it? What do you I?

Laura Arango Baier: 1:17:25

Oh, my gosh, well, I haven't I did try it through someone else. Because I wasn't able to get on Mitrione I think it was because they they had overloaded their system with the free users. And I just wanted to try it out. Because at that point, we were going to interview Kevin Kelly. And of course, he has really interesting opinions on AI and AI art. So I wanted to give it a try. And I was able to do it through actually through Clints mid journey because he used as much money. And on the bright side, the idea that I had in my head that I was telling this mid journey AI to create for me was nowhere near what I imagined. Right. I'm sure if I guided it more, I could eventually reach some semblance of the image in my head. But it gave me pause and hope that it could never replace my own vision and my own ideas. That's the one one side. I have not used AI since then. I do sometimes use chat GBT just to ask general questions, though, because I think it's fascinating. But in terms of hearing other people use it, I do know, Christopher Remmers mentioned that he used it, but only because since he's an imaginative realist, he wanted a glowing flower. And it's very hard to find a reference image in real life of a glowing flower. So he did use AI to come up with this specific image that he needed for a painting, which I think if you're an imaginative realist, and you need a reference that literally does not exist in reality, I think it can be a very good tool. But that's that's the thing. It's a tool. It's not the end result. It's as you said, a collaboration. So yeah, I personally, I doubt I will use it unless it is for that purpose of imaginative realism or it is absolutely a reference that I cannot find in reality. But I don't know, you know, down the line, maybe, but I am not inclined to using it at the moment.

Scott Burdick: 1:19:24

Cool. That's interesting. Yeah, I find it fascinating. The whole thing about where these things go, it's just so interesting to me. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:19:32

it is. Yeah. And I hope and I think that it's going to make, you know, people see that handmade work, you know, craftsmanship is going to come back to the forefront because, for example, I am seeing a lot of, for example, artists that I've interviewed who now work with big studios, like Marvel, Disney, or they sell they sell oil paintings to these companies because it's such a niche thing. It's Just a small section because everyone just went digital. So now there's like this revival of oh my god, you're an oil painter who does that, you know, like, it's somewhat reviving. And I'm hoping AI can also push that revival a bit further on. Ya

Scott Burdick: 1:20:16

know, I think it's very fascinating time to be an artist and alive I, I find it. That's why I love writing novels about that whole idea of what's coming in the future. And it's, it's fascinating to think about all the implications of it.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:20:31

Definitely. And we shall see, we shall see where things go. I mean, everything's going to change. I'm saying, I'm thinking within the next five years, because it's so exponential at this point. So we'll see. So do you have any upcoming events or workshops, online workshops, for example, that you'd like to promote?

Scott Burdick: 1:20:53

Let's see, we have, we are going to be doing an online workshop. In March, I believe it is, but don't quote me, check our website out. Sue, has that set up. And that'll be a fun one. It'll be like five weeks. So it's one like three hours session five times and she has all kinds of videos that people watch. And then then there's the live portion where we'll be doing demos and, and working with people and people will get all the same reference. So we can all talk about how to how to, you know, the technical things on that. What else I have to show in, in, in Los Angeles at the Archie Museum, I sent a couple paintings for in February, then preta West in June. And what else promote Patreon that's just Forward slash Susan Lyon. So that's the funnest thing that we have. I'm not doing workshops anymore. Let's Sue has a workshop in. She's going to be doing for I think that's already sold out, though. But that'll be in England for Rosemary brushes. And then we're going to just go through Scotland and paid. But I don't remember anything else. You can check out my books, if you like them. We have links. I have links on my Facebook and Instagram to those novels. The first two are audiobooks as well. And the second one, maybe movie so we'll see. Netflix is interested in making a movie out of immortality contracts. So and the first one is all science fiction and philosophy and crazy stuff. So yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:22:39

awesome. Yeah. And I'll include all the links also in the show notes, so people can go check them out. Yeah. You're welcome. Yeah. And then where can people find more of your work?

Scott Burdick: 1:22:50

Just go to our website. Well, we don't post as much on the website. But on my Instagram page, I have some things on there. And then the website, which is to BoldBrush, which we love, we've been with them for a long time. And so we love that. But so that's just if you just go to or, they go to the same place. So we've got paintings. The funnest thing is we go on that is we have if you go in there to the menu, and we've got the old travel journal, so we've got a lot of travel journals from, you know, a month in Tibet and Nepal and a lot of different maybe 10 Different ones over the years. I haven't put any on recently in a while. But there's those are kind of fun. So I would write my journal, and then we include pictures with it. That's kind of I think, something I recommend people might enjoy. So yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 1:23:42

awesome. And then I know Susan also has a YouTube channel where she also posts some really awesome backstage sort of stuff from all the portraits, society stuff and all the workshops. So he

Scott Burdick: 1:23:54

just did that with us in Rome. We were just in Rome for a couple of weeks. And so we were, we were going cheap, filmed the whole Vatican Museum and walking around a whole bunch of interesting things. So it was pretty fun. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:24:06

Oh my god. Awesome. I'm gonna have to go check that out. Yeah, she's really good at that. Yeah. She is so entertaining, too. But yes, thank you so much, Scott, for your amazing advice. And your company. This was fascinating.

Scott Burdick: 1:24:22

Oh, thank you. It was really fun talking to you.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:24:25

Yeah, you too.

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