The BoldBrush Show, Episode 34
Christopher Remmers - The Battle Against Entropy
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Today's episode is all about the battle against entropy featuring Christopher Remmers, who is an imaginative realist artist who is based in the Pacific Northwest, and our CEO Clint Watson, who is the founder of both FASO and BoldBrush. What makes this episode really fascinating is that we discussed entropy and we applied it into our creative endeavors. So for example, painting, or finding inspiration, or even just solving day-to-day problems. We discussed ways of connecting entropy and dancing with entropy and the chaos of life so that our lives become more enriched and more interesting and more exciting without all the hustle and bustle of the day to day life taking over our minds. Then we also discuss Christopher Remmers' really awesome mentorship program that he is running online and also in person. We also talked about his really awesome and exciting project called Evolving the Myth. And finally we discuss his booth at the upcoming IX Convention, which is the imaginative realism convention that is happening this coming October.
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Christopher Remmers: 0:00
I was thinking also around the whole idea of entropy is it's, it's like a evolutionary incentive. Right? Like, it's like propelling us forward in this way that like, is encouraging growth of all consciousness and all living things to expand at endless capacity, right. And like, we're just this very small little part in that and our egos want to think that we're more important than anything but to your point, it's like when we let go and just go with that flow that's that like universal sort of way of being, it kind of happens for us.
Clint Watson: 0:32
So the universe is trying to experience everything and say everything. And so there's your tiny piece of the universe or God or whatever you want to call it. And it's this expression is coming through you but it's filtered through this. conglomeration of consciousness, almost like a prism or something.
Laura Arango Baier: 0:56
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're 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 career as well as others who are in careers tied to the arts in order to hear their advice and insights. Before we begin with today's episode, I would like to make a very quick announcement. And that is, we are now updating our episodes every Tuesday. That means that every Tuesday you can expect to have a new episode of BoldBrush Show wherever you listen to your podcasts. Or if you listen on our website, the only time that there will not be an episode is if I announce it ahead of time that we will be having a season break. But for now, you can expect to hear a new episode every Tuesday. And now let's get started with today's show. Today's episode is all about the battle against entropy. And this episode is a special one and actually one of my favorite ones so far, because I was able to discuss this fascinating topic with Christopher Remmers, who is an imaginative realist artist who is based in the Pacific Northwest, and our CEO Clint Watson, who is the founder of both FASO and BoldBrush. What makes this episode really fascinating is that we discussed entropy and we applied it into our creative endeavors. So for example, painting, or finding inspiration, or even just solving day to do problems, we discussed ways of connecting entropy and dancing with entropy and the chaos of life so that our lives become more enriched and more interesting and more exciting without all the hustle and bustle of the day to day life taking over our minds. Then we also discuss Christopher Remmers really awesome mentorship program that he is running online and also in person. We also talked about his really awesome and exciting project called evolving the myth. And finally we discuss his booth at the upcoming IX Convention, which is the imaginative realism convention that is happening this coming October. Oh, this is exciting. Welcome, Christopher and welcome Clint to the BoldBrush show previously known as the BoldBrush podcast, but we are now show, because we will be doing more of these, which are sessions where we have more than one guest, and we have conversations on interesting topics that will help our listeners either in marketing or in life. And I'm excited. How are you guys?
Christopher Remmers: 3:29
Yeah, I'm great. I'm grateful to be here. And I'm really excited to dive into some of these topics today. And I mean, all things related to art I'm always excited to talk about so thanks again for inviting me.
Laura Arango Baier: 3:41
Clint Watson: 3:43
I'm delighted to be here.
Laura Arango Baier: 3:45
Yes, it's been a while.
Clint Watson: 3:48
I think it's been over a year since I've been on the show. So I'm excited to be on it more often.
Laura Arango Baier: 3:53
Yes, yes. And like Christopher was saying earlier, I also really admire what you write about. And you give so many wonderful, clear pieces of insight that I love having you on the podcast, because you're always bringing something that makes me really think. So I'm excited.
Clint Watson: 4:16
Laura Arango Baier: 4:17
You're welcome. So today's topic, and actually today's episode is very different from the ones we've done in the past because we have a very specific topic, and the theme of this episode is the battle against entropy. And this might sound a little bit weird to some people if they haven't thought about entropy too much in their lives. So actually, before we even talk about the topic, I would like for both of you to introduce yourselves. So our listeners and viewers know who you are.
Christopher Remmers: 4:48
Yeah, yes, Christopher Remmers. I'm a full time artist and and artists coach slash mentor. I live in the top corner of the Pacific Northwest in Bellingham, Washington, where I have my studio downtown here. And yeah, primarily focused on large scale narrative figure paintings, I have a background in training in classical realism. And coming out of like Gage Academy, and also studying with Virgil Elliot. And I've been recently focusing on specifically this idea around how to find meaning and our work and how to help creatives find meaning in their work primarily through the discussion of myth, and storytelling, and also how we can find relationship with those things in in nature, actually, I do a lot of like nature guiding with students to help them kind of tap into their creative process. And so those are the two primary things between teaching and painting that I'm I'm focused on most days.
Laura Arango Baier: 5:51
And then Clint,
Clint Watson: 5:53
yes, I'm Clint Watson. I'm the founder of BoldBrush. And, and FASO for those who host their websites with us, which is our sister service. And lately, my writing has been going in a direction somewhat similar to what Christopher is saying, I very much have come to realize that not only do you have to find the meaning in your creative work, I feel like it's somewhat difficult to find meaning without creative work that makes sense and one of the things I've been talking about a lot is having an--I have a point to this in my intro, finding that thing that connects you to nature that connects you to the source and heavy and making sure that comes through in your work. And the reason I'm bringing this up so early in the show is I'm looking at your work on your website. And I feel like for lack of a better way to say this, I'm looking directly into what's driving you directly in the your soul directly into a you know, for lack of a better word into God, I looked at this piece duality, and it's just magical. So I'm, I won't go further right now until we get into it. But if you're listening to this, or watching this, please go to ChristopherRemmers.com. And look at his work. This is just amazing, amazing work. That is that's channeling something special somehow.
Christopher Remmers: 7:25
And thanks so much for that Clint. That's really kind of you. Yeah. And I just redid my website, too. So it's all it's enhanced for the viewers experience. Thanks to FASO.
Clint Watson: 7:38
Well, good timing then.
Laura Arango Baier: 7:39
Yeah, yeah. I, I also was actually familiar with your work before even knowing your name. Because since I studied, you know, a little bit background on me, I studied at two academic schools. We're all you know, it's such a small group of people that the same images will pop up for us, especially when it comes to imaginative realism, which is something that you specifically focus on and especially when you look at the ARC, like, I'll see your work. And I'll see a bunch of other imaginative realists. I'm like, Oh, my God, this is amazing. This is what I want to be doing. And I remember thinking that as a student, so it's it's really surreal that, you know, a few years ago, I was looking at the paintings, and now it's like talking to the guy who made them and I'm like, this is mind blowing.
Christopher Remmers: 8:25
Yeah, that's there's a pretty cool like Synchronicity or like a arc of the whole imaginative realism thing to happen. So there was essentially a conversation between Tenaya Sims, who was he was a teacher of mine, and runs the Georgetown Atelier where I studied for some time. And he was having a conversation with Pat Wiltshire, who runs the IX Convention for imaginative realism. And so that conversation spurred the inspiration to name the convention after imaginative realism, which then, in part, had a conversation with the Rosses and the art renewal center. And then now they have the category for imaginative realism. And so it was like this, this kind of cool birth of that out of the little Georgetown Atelier community. So
Laura Arango Baier: 9:12
Wow. Yeah, I did not know that. That's insane.
Christopher Remmers: 9:17
When it's always too, I mean, to riff on it for just a second there was, you know, the way that Tenaya would always describe it during lecture and, you know, using these old master kind of narrative religious paintings that we've all looked at, you know, like, those were imaginative realism, you know, and it's like, it's there's these ties to our history there, where it's like, you know, it's like these beautifully classically rendered figures and there's this this this whole Academy that's like spread out of that around academic realism. But then there's that element that I think we're trying to bring back into it that a lot of ateliers frankly don't actually introduce the students is that whole imagining upside of like taking the figure than introducing them into an environment where there's like, all of this other stuff that you can explore. So, yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 10:08
100% 100% it's so sad that I mean, I get it academies, they're focused on technique, they're focused on
Christopher Remmers: 10:15
Yeah, yeah. helping you learn technique. But even in the 19th century, they were still giving students, you know, the option to explore more, or join an atelier with a specific painter, like, you know, Gerome, for example, like he was, he painted mostly like historic things, but it was also very imaginative in the sense that he couldn't obviously have been in Rome, you know, during, in the Colosseum, when they were, you know, being going around and being chased by friggin lions and stuff, right. So it does cover some of that imaginative side. So I do think now, especially with you and other imaginative realists, we're all trying to bring back that storytelling narrative of painting instead of, you know, making just another nice portrait, which is fine, but it doesn't fulfill me personally, just like it probably doesn't fulfill you personally, either. So
Clint Watson: 11:16
I learned something new today, I did not realize that there was a name for this category. That I'm a big fan of imaginative realism.
Christopher Remmers: 11:26
That's the term for Yeah. Yeah, that's a term for sure. Yeah, that's, yep.
Laura Arango Baier: 11:31
So, um, I think this is also a very good segue into the topic, which is the battle against entropy. And before we continue, I think, you know, I would prefer to describe what entropy is to our viewers, and our listeners. So I actually came across the phrase because I was reading a book on Norse mythology and the Norse gods and how they specifically have this battle against entropy. And entropy is in thermodynamics the law that basically everything in the universe just becomes more and more chaotic and more and more disorganized. Personally, I actually think it's just a higher level of organization that we can't understand. Because it's, it's such a high level, right. But in general, it is a form of chaos. So it's basically the battle against chaos. And I thought it would be interesting to bring it into a topic like this, about how we as artists, and as people, because this is something that affects us on all levels. How we ourselves are always battling against that chaos, trying to keep our lives in order or you know, get enough sleep every day, paint enough paintings or, you know, organize our lives in a certain way. Right. So, now that we kind of have a bit of an intro for our listeners and viewers so they can understand. Um, I wanted to know how each of you define that battle against entropy from your own perspective. And Christopher, do you want to begin?
Christopher Remmers: 13:07
Yeah, yes, thanks. I love that inquiry. Yeah, I've got two different thoughts of it that we can explore. And the first is, in terms of how I face or battle with entropy and myself is, I think, on a more practical, maybe, maybe I would even refer to it as, like, the masculine side of, of how I deal with it would be that I build resiliency and all levels of my life, you know, because I feel that like, entropy is always knocking at the door, whether it's through, you know, our physical bodies, and our minds and our creative process, and just the things the chaos that surrounds us and our world, like, we are sort of, in this limbo, where we either need to confront that and create resiliency to be able to grow and, and, and expand our capacity to be more creative, more, more strong, more wise, all of these things. And so I think about that, in terms of, you know, like going to the gym and getting fit and, and exercising all the time to increase my resiliency there. And so like, I'm fighting against entropy in that sense. And then in my creative process, you know, I'm like, constantly trying to keep myself in check that I'm like, pushing my abilities to continue to expand, because otherwise I find if I, you know, if I take too much time off, or if I'm not, if I'm not pushing myself in the right way, then I get slow, I get lazy, I get, you know, like sloppy and all of these different ways of my process. And so that's one way that I think about it. The other way I think about it is is as this dance, and this is one way that I work with my students is is this dance between chaos and order? And I call it like in that liminal space between the two, which is is actually coming into right relationship with the unknown, chaotic parts of ourselves, which is where I think most of our creative ideas come from, that's where like, that's the source of our inspiration. But it's so--I think because it's extracted from the unconscious, mostly it's by its very nature, it's unknown and chaotic. And we need to learn how to dance and wrestle with it, and bring it into our lives into that space that is meaningful. So we can create order around it, and then create something that's hopefully useful and meaningful to the culture. And so that's the other way that in particularly, very recently, it's something I like, a bit obsessed about, you know, it's part of this big project that I think we'll talk about a little bit later. But it's also what goes into all of my paintings, is this exploration of that actual, that specific process of fighting against entropy.
Laura Arango Baier: 15:50
I love that. Wow. Clint.
Clint Watson: 15:56
Yeah, this is a pretty big topic. And one that's been on my mind quite a bit. One of the interesting things that I learned about recently is there are some that believe, we don't really know what the underlying substrate of the universe is, but some believe perhaps it's computation of some sort, or consciousness. And the big question is, we know from computation that we can create, we can create patterns from very simple input rules that appear too complex for our minds. And they look random. And they look chaotic. But if we could step back and see those rules, it's really not random and chaotic. So the question is, is entropy truly random and going into chaos and going to create the heat death of the universe in a way that is not comprehensible by humans? In other words, are we computationally bounded, that we just can't see the pattern? And that's the question. That's your question. Well, humans, as we evolve in our knowledge, and our hearts and our understandings, will we eventually evolve into something that can perceive the usefulness of the order that's still in what appears to be random to us at this time? So that's, that's the that's one question. That's just the big question. That is, I guess, really not very applicable to our discussion, other than it just I think about it a lot.
Laura Arango Baier: 17:41
I think it's perfectly applicable because
Christopher Remmers: 17:45
Laura Arango Baier: 17:45
it adds another layer of complexity to, you know, what if, if entropy is how, you know, Clint and I have said, a higher form of organization that we just can't comprehend. That means that in my you know, from what I'm thinking, that means, its fate, right? Like, it kind of has this feeling of it is written, right? Like it is, it is like a series of things that have been set in motion from the Big Bang. And this conversation is in that code, somehow it was going to happen, and it's, it's so spooky to think of it that way. And then it also means that, you know, Christopher, your paintings, they, they are in the code too, right? Everything is in the code. So it would be insane. To be able to read that code, it would be like being goth. You know, which cool. It's like, oh, that's blowing my mind right now. I'm so cool. We just reached another level of existentialism.
Clint Watson: 18:51
I will say, more practical level I, I've lately very recently been doing what Christopher was, was getting at, which is I almost find it useful to surrender to it a little bit. In other words, yes, I work out and I want to stay in shape. And I want to be, you know, be able to do things while I'm alive. But in the end, like entropy is gonna get us a little bit better off kind of facing that than pretending like it's not going to. And by being very aware of that, and sort of embracing it. Like you're talking about the writing, you said, You've been very inspired by the things that I've written lately. Well, most of that is coming from surrendering to this chaos. What I found is whenever I try to force something, it feels forced, but whenever I just sort of say, Okay, this isn't working, and I step away from it. And I'm just gonna sort of let If this happened when it happens, within, you know, within a few days, the answer kind of, like, out of nowhere pops into your mind. I know that sounds kind of out there. But like, like you said, there's this dance. I mean, the Muse has to find you working, certainly. But at the same time, you've also got to be willing to not force your own. I like to kind of go with that entropy. And that chaos when, when it happens.
Christopher Remmers: 20:31
I think that's really beautiful. Yeah, no, I think that's it brings up a good point. And actually a duality that's like, exists there. I mean, because there's this, there's this way of being right. And it's actually funny that you brought up that painting, Dancing with Duality. Like, it's kind of pointing to that thing that there's like, on one hand, there's this letting things be as they are, that like, the I Am, that I am that I am that, like, no matter what I do, like, you know, the universe is gonna play out it's cosmic game. But like, there's also on top of that there's that efforting that that is still required of us. Well, it's not even required. But it's, it's that like, it's incentivized through us. But when we did that dance that we find where we've been efforting and efforting, and then we let go, it's like, then then we find that flow into that space, right? Where we can actually have creative insight. It's almost as though like, I don't know, I was thinking also around the whole idea of entropy is it's it's like a evolutionary incentive you right, like, it's, it's like propelling us forward in this way that like, is encouraging growth of all consciousness and all living things to expand at endless capacity, right. And like, we're just this very small little part in that. And our egos want to think that were more important than anything. But to your point, it's like when we let go and just go with that flow, that's that like, universal kind of way of being it kind of happens for us. So yeah, yeah,
Clint Watson: 21:59
I think of it like the universe is trying to experience everything and say everything. And so there's your tiny piece of the universe, or God or whatever you want to call it. And it's this expression is coming through you, but it's filtered through this, this, this conglomeration of consciousness called Christopher Remmers. And so what comes out, when you go with it is a beautiful expression of the universe but filtered through you almost like a prism or something. And what comes out, or what comes out of Laura, it's all tapping into this universal thing, but coming out differently through different through different people and consciousness. So in a way we can give up to it, but it's almost like giving up your ego, as you said, unlocked you to be even more unique somehow. Because for you it's the goal.
Christopher Remmers: 23:05
Yeah, yeah. And I think again, like it's, I really love this, this is great conversation. You know, it reminds me of, this so this process that I go through personally, and that I introduced to some students is this like, it's like playing in that liminal field where, you know, like, one particular practice is like, what I call wandering, which is like going out into the woods aimlessly. And it's specifically to kind of engage with what's being channeled through us. Right, it's to like it, I like to call it like coming into relationship with, it's like, getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, getting comfortable being in that space of chaos, where you don't have control, you're not trying to, like put things in their little box and, like, direct them, you're just, you're just there letting things arise in you, and then kind of sitting back and, and, and contemplating, like how that's going to come into the world, right, like, so there is that there's that space where they do meet, and then we need to sort of take action, and propelling them forward and hopefully a meaningful way. So yeah,
Clint Watson: 24:11
Yeah, you're speaking my language.
Laura Arango Baier: 24:14
Mine too mine too, because I think, you know, it's, and I, I'm so happy. I, you know, I asked Christopher for this and then Clint decided to join in on this conversation. I think it's for this reason, like, this is something that, you know, think there are people like us, you know, who think of these things and apply it in so many strange abstract ways. And then you find all these deeper inner truths about life and how it is this this effortless, this dance between the effortless but also channeling, you know, it's like it's fascinating because even the actual brushstrokes that we put on a canvas is a battle against entropy to because We're trying to take what's in here and interpret it with this onto a palette that has, you know, a bunch of these disorganized, right? colors that we have to then organize and then place delicately on the canvas. And always, you know, you put one strip down, and it creates more chaos, because maybe it changes the one next to you, and the one next to that, and then it's, it's even the creative act of painting is chaotic, and we're fighting to make it organized and create an image that is recognizable. And, and maybe sometimes it's effortless. And we have that you know that brushstroke, that's like the master stroke, we all like try to get to a certain point, right. But then the majority of those strokes, you know, it's that balance of intuition, and guidance. And once you hit that point where you just you're not making any, I guess you're not moving forward anymore with your painting, that's when you have to do you know, you just said, Christopher, where you step back, and you let the channeling happen again, in that in a different way, you have to step away and let it just keep processing in your brain, I guess. And I don't know if this happens to you guys, to where like, especially, you know, if I'm having trouble with a painting, or if I'm having trouble solving an issue, I get the solution, just after I wake up. It's almost like an epiphany, right? It's like this epiphany like of course. And it's usually the most obvious thing, right? So I wanted to know how both of you have faced or battled, you know, maybe a situation where you have faced that battle against entropy and how you may have used it to create something incredible, for example.
Clint Watson: 26:51
I can think of some times, especially back when I was programming more than I am now. Which can be a very creative pursuit to in its own in its own way, especially when you're trying to birth something new that isn't quite fully formed. And exactly what you're saying happens, where I mean, there's times I would sit and work with, with something that was was a problem that wasn't working out, and I couldn't figure out the answer. And you can just battle, you know, you can bang your head against the wall, it seems like and try to brute force it on, it's not working. And I've learned through from experience that very rarely works. And even when it does work, it usually leads to a sub optimal solution. Whereas sometimes if I just, you know, the term wandering and going with the flow, sometimes if you just go to something else, or take a break, or I mean, the most extreme example I had was, you know, I just finally gave up because I was exhausted and went to bed. And literally had the solution come to me in a dream and woke up and coded that solution. Like before I forgot it, it was perfect with no bugs from like, you know, because it'll just come to you, like your subconscious will keep working on the problem, I guess is what happened. That's why people have shower. Yeah. So so what I've learned is that, whenever you feel like, I'll sit down at my desk, and I'll have a to do list, and these are the things I have to do today. And then something will just hit me and say, I don't want to do any of that. I'm gonna go do why, which is not even anything related to what I should be doing. Yet somehow when that feeling comes, I've learned, you know what, you better? You better follow it. Because more often than not something big comes from that. I just had probably my most popular article I've ever written on substack and my least popular. So I must have done something right, because I'm also getting hate mail.
Laura Arango Baier: 29:09
Yeah, yeah, we're gonna have to add the link. And then so we can all see. That's interesting.
Clint Watson: 29:15
Like, Rick Rubin said that the best, the best art divides the audience. But anyway, when I wrote that I wasn't trying to write it. I sat down to write something else. And it just started happening. And I was like, What is this and I just kind of like, went with it because it felt like I wasn't writing it. It felt like I was watching someone else write it. And so when that happens, and I'm sure that happens with painting. When that happens, I feel like you would be wise to go with it as much as possible when that when those experiences happen. Or I actually answered the right question.
Laura Arango Baier: 29:57
You did. I think you do. Yeah.
Christopher Remmers: 30:03
Yeah, for me, there's, I don't know, there's a lot of I mean, every painting is essentially that processes is going on to varying degrees, I mean, for some, it'll just happen instantly. And this idea comes through and it's like, it just run with it other times, it's a little bit more of a struggle. And the thing that comes to mind is actually it's like a little bit reverse in the sense that it was over, like, the last year or so were what I was fighting with was actually like I had, I'm a very, like, I like to be very orderly, and my systems and process and life in general. And so it's like, I came up with this, like process of, you know, is sounds funny, that's like a system for what we're talking about right now, of like, how to engage that system and to, like, increase the likelihood that I'm going to get into flow state, or that I'm going to like, be able to engage in a space that allows for spontaneous inspiration to come. And well, as you can imagine, I came up against a wall, because you can't always systematize everything like that. But in that step two, I was also noticing that like, I was missing this component of allowing some chaos to come in at later stages, for instance, you know, it's like, by the time I've designed, I designed a composition, like fully flushed out, and it goes through all these iterations before I even start the painting. So I know exactly what I'm going to be doing. And at that point, I'm just very kind of like, put my head down and, and execute. And I was starting to get, I was starting to get bored. Frankly, I was starting to, like, lose that, like love for the painting process a little bit. And so over the last year, I've been introducing these parts of my painting process where I actually specifically won't plan for it. I'll like leave elements that I just like, I come to it, and I allow myself to kind of just get lost in this in the space. And I find like for me, because I've been painting for so long. There's this, there's this part of me that's arts, it's automatic, right? What's his name, Robert Greene, in the book mastery talks about this a little bit about like, our cognitive load. And our capacity is like, it's, you know, in the early stages, it's like, it's it's overrun by trying to learn a thing. And then once we've like learned it's become second nature, then we can sort of, we can work in a way that's more highly creative. And so anyway, I've just been allowing more space for that. And I've been really happy with what's been how my work has been shifting. And, you know, I get into situations like this collaboration painting that I'm doing right now where it's like, figure going into abstraction. And just, you know, it's a lot of like, more playful, which, frankly, in the past, I was always a little bit envious of like abstract painters. Because there there is like, so much more of that happening in their process versus, you know, you come from like an academic technical background, like it's so like, precise and meticulous and ordered and like, and so it's nice to invite that in.
Laura Arango Baier: 33:03
Yes, yes. And that's the other difficult part about, you know, both things you mentioned, you're having like that formula, basically. Right, that, it seems like that is what you tried to create to battle against entropy, right? That's like your guidelines is to save you right from the chaos, which still didn't work, right. So I do like, I do like that it worked after you opened up to some chaos, because we do need it. And I feel the same way. And actually, with my own work, and with compositions, I've been playing around with the idea of the 80/20 rule, right? So for example, there's something so boring about compositions that are too perfect, right? They're too in the exact right spot, following the exact right line, you know, they're too perfect. And I think that is where, you know, for example, it's also like how, when a human sees a perfectly symmetrical face, we don't recognize it. Right? We don't we think it's an alien, because it has to have a little bit of that chaos, it has to have a little bit of that percentage of imperfection. So that we can see ourselves in it. It's like this thing that is repeated everywhere, right? This it has to be like maybe like 80% organized and then 20% Chaos, right? So even in composition, like you said, you know, you have to leave space for certain parts of the painting to develop themselves. Right? Like, ah, like, There's something so much more beautiful about an epiphany for a part of a painting that, you know, maybe it was a problem you were struggling with, because maybe it brings something new to the story, right? Or, like if it's, if it's too perfectly planned out. It can risk actually being too boring.
Christopher Remmers: 34:54
Yeah, yeah, totally.
Laura Arango Baier: 34:56
Now more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artists, especially if you want to be considered a professional in your career. Thankfully, with our special link FASO.com/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, than start by going to our special link faso.com forward slash podcast, that's f a s o.com. Forward slash podcast. BoldBrush would also like to give a huge thank you and shout out to Chelsea classical studio for their continued support in this podcast. If you're interested in archival painting supplies that are handmade with a lot of patience, then go check out their Instagram at CCS fine art materials. So that also brings me to another I guess, representation of entropy, right, which is marketing. Because the marketing world, you know, it literally is chaos, like algorithms and the right eyes seeing the right thing at the right moments and making sure that, you know, you're showing your work all the time on social media so that maybe someone who didn't see it last week will see it this week. It's it's chaotic, to say the least. Right. But I guess my question is, you know, when you have an inspired piece, right, you have an inspired painting of some sort. What do you think is more important, right? Is it more important to have a beautiful piece of artwork? Right? And I'm asking both of you, because, you know, Clint was a gallery owner at one point. So, Clint, I know you have some experience with maybe some of this. Is it more important to have that good painting? Or have like, you know, Master, the entropy of social media marketing?
Christopher Remmers: 37:39
Clint Watson: 37:41
Okay, yeah. So just as an aside, going back to what you said before, the most recent question, this is the reason the BoldBrush logo is what it is, the BoldBrush logo is a version of a Japanese zen enso in so which is meant to be done in one brushstroke, knowing that you can't make one brushstroke perfect. And it is literally meant to embrace the perfect mess of imperfection. Because without, as you just said, that's, if everybody was perfect, we'd all be exactly the same, and nobody would be perfect. So it really is these imperfections that you're talking about the game of life to two different forms of art, not visual art. But also the question about marketing isn't more important. The question was, is it more important to have a beautiful work of art, or to, I guess, master the chaos of the marketing side? So this is one reason, these topics have been coming up a lot lately in the BoldBrush world, and we have a whole service now for people who don't host their websites with us to join and learn, learn marketing ideas. And I guess I'd rather not call us teachers as much as guides, because there isn't necessarily one right way. And this is one of the reasons we've been changing the way we teach marketing because we realize everybody's been trying to teach marketing as a bunch of systems and how to steps. But it finally dawned on me, you can't just take uninspired art. You can't just take any product, any piece of art, even if it's not ready. And just tack on some marketing tactics and hope to be successful. And this is the big piece that's changed the direction of everything we're doing with the company because everybody's trying to do that. Everybody's trying to just teach everybody a bunch of tactics and yeah, that might help a little bit. Maybe but it all has to be one holistic thing from the very beginning, all the way back to the creation stage. And how you market maybe how you market art is different from how you market shoes and how Christopher markets, his art may be different somewhat from how you market yourself, I can't always give someone a formula that says posts on Instagram three times a day and always do a repeating reel. And, you know, I mean, these are just guidelines that marketers come up with, but it doesn't mean it's the one right way for everyone. So back to your question, which is, I would say not a beautiful piece of art. To me, even back in my gallery days before I could articulate this. I was always of the opinion, it has to start with something that was truly inspire, that truly inspired the artist. For whatever reason, if the artist wasn't inspired, it didn't feel right. Usually. And artists would come to us and say, well, this other gallery told me I should only do realism and not do abstract. It's other gallery told me I should do my wildlife pieces and not my not my plein air pieces, whatever it was, and I never understood that. Artists would ask me, What should I paint? I'd say I don't know what you should paint. You should paint what inspires you, you should paint what inspires you? What are you going to be okay, you've been selling my wildlife, and this piece isn't going to be wildlife? Yes, it'll be fine. If you're inspired. So to me, that was always more important than the specific what we're going to do on the marketing side.
Laura Arango Baier: 41:40
Yes, yes. And actually, I do want to say one thing before replying to this comment. It's also interesting that and I don't know if maybe I'll keep this in the episode. But it's also interesting that if we were all perfect, like, we were saying, our gene pool would basically kill us off. Because we need, we need variations, we need those little bits of chaos to survive as a species in the first place. So that's just a little aside, as well.
Clint Watson: 42:12
Yeah I think that's what Christopher was saying about chaos, pushing our evolution.
Laura Arango Baier: 42:19
Exactly. And I guess the question then becomes, you know, like, how, how can you be inspired? Right? And I'll let Christopher obviously answer the question as well.
Christopher Remmers: 42:33
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I wholeheartedly agree with what you were saying, Clint. And, you know, one thing that's it's a shift for me around the conversation of like art making in marketing and a couple points, but the first is that, for me, I started seeing them being intrinsically linked, like they have to be in order for me anyway, that like, I was up against this wall, where like, marketing was this thing like it is for a lot of artists, where it's this, like, elusive, you know, it's like, oh, well, that's like a different part of my brain. And I don't operate that way. I'm a creative, I don't do these things, or it's really hard for me that other. And then I like really tapped into the storytelling that's like, to me what seems like a really critical component of marketing. I was like, this is just an extension of my creative process. And it like flipped it on its head for me to where it was like, oh, like, I get to use marketing as a way to, like, tell a story to engage with people and build relationships, right? And which, at the end of the day, it's like, what I'm trying to do, it's like, Sure, I'm trying to sell paintings. But I'm actually trying to create experiences for people that's like, what I'm really after. And so like, getting that to sort of be this whole kind of synergistic thing that's happening is really, I mean, it also just makes it towards enjoyable now, you know, I mean, yeah, there's like elements of it, that's a slog, and you got to do this stuff. But it's like, it's exciting to invite people in through that element of storytelling, that I think is important to marketing. The other thing is that I've kind of taken a step back from that, it totally depends on where you are, and your development as an artist in the sense that like, I think for some people, they really need to just not worry about marketing, and they need to level up their craftsmanship. You know, like I talked to a lot, a lot of people they're like, oh, you know, I want to like have a website and newsletter and like, do marketing and I'm just in like, and I look at their work and I'm like, you are just starting, you know, and like if you onboard all of this marketing work and the business side of things, you are going to overwhelm yourself. It is a tremendous amount of work on top of learning how to paint in a way that feels like it's masterful and meaningful. Like just focus on your craft first, you know, get that dialed and then think about it. And so, or it's the reverse someone that's just been like developing their craft and nothing else, and maybe they need to take them big step back and just think about that side of things. So, yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 45:04
Yeah. And then also, you know, it's like how you were saying earlier, right, where in order to be able to creatively use something you need to know its ins and outs, you need to know how it works. Right. So in the same token, then when you learn marketing, you learn all these different techniques, or you're aware of them, right, you've studied them, not necessarily applied them, but have studied them know their effects. There's, I think there could also be inspired marketing, too, right? Where maybe for the specific painting, I have, like, my brain is telling me I have to make this for it, I have to record it in this way. And I have to tell the story of this painting in this way, because of course marketing is is also a narrative thing, right? And I have found personally that those are the ones that also just blow up, right? It can't be like, it's, it can't just be coincidence, right? That it is in the specific paintings that for me, I'm called to market them in a certain way, that those are the ones that really blow up are the ones where people are like, Oh, my God, I like or like, I could have sold that painting, like four times. Right? Um, Clint, what do you think about inspired marketing?
Clint Watson: 46:21
So first, I just want to comment on what Christopher said about you know, the great thing about the internet is that eliminated gatekeepers, but the bad thing about the internet is eliminated gatekeepers. The past decades, most artists that I met, or were maybe too insecure about their work. And I don't know, maybe that came from the system that there were gatekeepers, and they had to face rejection. And it was a lot, you know, you had to sort of, there was probably a basic level of competence you had to achieve to, you know, to be considered for certain shows and galleries. But to your point, I feel like now, like, I mean, I sort of hate to say this out loud, but maybe more creatives these days should maybe have a little insecurity about their work. Because anything, and everything can be put out there. I mean, you can, and I'm guilty of it in my writing, too, you know, you write something, you dash it off, and now it's out there on your blog, or you finish a painting and you post it on Instagram, and there it is, and there's no filter. And that combined with internet culture, which is teaching everybody that you have to monetize everything. And as soon as possible, is creating the situation you were talking about that i i 100%. Agree, I think in the long run, I think most artists would do far better, if they would focus on achieving some level of mastery, or at least competence first, and connect with connect with whatever it is they're trying to say this thing you were saying about, I'm trying to, I'm trying to share these thoughts and ideas with people. You know, because you've experienced it once, you know, like this is, wow, this is something I really want to say it feels different. And once once you get to that point, everything's going to be different going forward with the marketing side. And what people are pushing out, you know, set up a Shopify store, turn that hobby into money, you know, and I feel like we've lost something we need to step back from that not everything needs to be not everything needs to be turned into a side hustle. At least not right away. Maybe you should just enjoy it as a hobby for a while first. You get better at it.
Laura Arango Baier: 48:56
Clint Watson: 48:58
So I do think there can be some such thing as inspired marketing. And maybe that's the idea I was trying to get across. But I don't think it can happen until you've allowed yourself to become inspired by whatever it is you're creating, to the point that you're, you're saying something you're doing something you're it's hard to explain nonverbal concepts and words sometimes, but like with my writing, I've been I've been doing writing for about three years now that had nothing to do with what we're doing with BoldBrush. And I never saw how this was going to come together. It's starting to come together now because that spark of what I actually want to say is now after three years coming out, but there was three years of floundering and just kind of incubating the creativity and, and working on the crafts part of it, right. So It's like , you don't want to, if you force it too soon, it's not gonna, it's not gonna, it's, it's kind of like just a piece of work. If you think of your career as one big piece of work, it's the same as trying to force a piece of work when it's not inspired. Like you kind of have to happen when it's ready. And then once the works are ready, what you need to do a market should start becoming more clear. Because I've seen people market in all kinds of ways, and I've seen ideas that I think, Wow, that is just an inspired idea. And often the inspired ideas, is somebody doing something that's very different than what everybody else is doing.
Laura Arango Baier: 50:40
Clint Watson: 50:42
That's why more and more, I'm getting reluctant when someone says like, How often should I post on Instagram? Like, I don't really know. Like, it kind of depends on your situation. You know, but let's not be you into a slave of the Instagram algorithm at the expense of your own inspiration. You know, listen, I mean, with Leonardo da Vinci turned himself into a dancing clown on Tik Tok. You know?
Laura Arango Baier: 51:07
Oh, my God. Just picture that. Oh, man, that's a very Yeah.
Clint Watson: 51:17
But hey, I got 2 million views.
Laura Arango Baier: 51:18
Oh, god. Yeah. It's so frustrating, because it's like you said, it's like something got lost in translation. There's, like the the social media world just has moved so quickly forward, and has propelled so many, you know, people forward and you just hear about all these success stories of people turning their hobbies into like, their main thing. And then they quit their jobs, and now they're millionaires. And I think at that point it the person should really wonder, what is the lure for me? Is it the craft? Or is it the money? And I can tell you, the true creatives will say it's the craft.
Christopher Remmers: 51:59
For the attention, right? Yeah.
Clint Watson: 52:02
So if it's the money, it's, yeah, it's not going to work in the long run. Yeah. Yeah. Because then it because the latest thing, this is what I've seen Twitter. For two years, Twitter has been all about NF T's and crypto. And suddenly now if all the people that were selling courses on how to do NF T's in crypto are now selling courses on how to make $100,000 a month, but with chat gpz and mid journey. It's all switched to AI now everybody's selling Yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 52:34
Yeah, it's become very much trends, right. And I know that Twitter, it works at a much faster pace than the rest of the social media platforms, right. So that's even more of an example of like how, even from one day to another from one month to another, like, marketing just falls into this, this entropy of like, the chaos and the new things come out, and the more chaos and then it's just as big ball, which I totally agree with both of you that it's better to just focus on the craft. Like, it's like social media and marketing changes so much day to day.
Clint Watson: 53:14
Well, at the point though, when you reach where you you find I call it your truth, I don't even know if that's the right way to say it. But when you uncover that thing that you want to be doing. I'm not saying marketing is bad, I think marketing good at that point. But, but you're everything that you uncover as far as what you want to be saying and doing will affect the way you market in terms of it's going to affect the you know, what you're willing to do, you may not be willing to do certain things, it's going to affect the wording of things you say. I mean, if you're, if you're doing pieces that are uplifting and inspiring and elegant and important, then there's a lot of techniques you see done that you probably don't want to do for that work. Because they're going to cheapen it. Right? I can't imagine you holding the duality painting and, you know, dancing next to it on Tik Tok or something like it's like, that's a that's a serious, inspiring piece, you know, and the messaging around it.
Laura Arango Baier: 54:33
And that's branding, basically.
Clint Watson: 54:35
And when you know that it clarifies so many things. I think, what you're willing to do, what you're not willing to do, where you're willing to do it, what techniques you might try to copy what techniques you're definitely not going to try to copy.
Christopher Remmers: 54:51
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think it was a good thing that you just brought up about, like, you know, branding, you know, which I don't I've always seen branding and marketing there. They're kind of they're there. They're one in the same and some sense. But, you know, one thing that I also like to do with with folks, when I'm helping them kind of figure out their idea is to, you know, we play with this exercise and like, imagining what like your mythic creative identity is, and then work from, like, work through that lens, as, as an artist, you know, and Intel, it's like, what you were saying, when Intel, it's like, you've worked with it long enough that it becomes this thing that you're inspired by what I like to refer to it as, like, it's the spirit that's inhabiting you, it's like, you've become obsessed by the idea of the thing that you're in pursuit of, and it becomes you. And so like, I love that, you know, that's just a way that you can look at how you engage with community in the world through marketing and branding is like you are, in some sense, I mean, we all have a persona, right? So why not have it be a persona that like, is the thing that you're most inspired by, and then like, go x that out into the world. And in some way, it's like, I also think of that in that sense of like, like, like the turbo like you have this, this symbol of the thing that you are trying to cultivate in yourself, right? And so just like have that be the particular thing that you want to become an act it out? As it as as one way.
Clint Watson: 56:26
Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. But it has to be...
Christopher Remmers: 56:33
Clint Watson: 56:34
It has to be authentic, because what happens is people give advice, that to niche down and people, people, they artificially pick a niche, and then they sort of trapped themselves on it, but you're a human, or what you want to evolve over time, and you want to, if you're an artist, and I'm using that term very broadly, you need to be free to pursue different directions, you can't just, you can't just become a brand in the sense that Nike is our brand, and we do shoes, and then that's it. That's all you can ever do. You know, like, you know, I mean, I get this, I get the term branding. I just don't like to use it in reference to people because I thought, yeah, because it's about people or people. People be broader than a brand. But yeah, yeah, right.
Christopher Remmers: 57:28
Clint Watson: 57:29
But I do, I do understand why people use that term.
Laura Arango Baier: 57:34
Yeah, because it also helps, I guess, channel that like, you know, even down to the colors that the person uses more than anything, right, when artists will use really bright colors, when artists will use really brown muted colors, you know, that that's like, its style, right? And the style and the way that it's expressed in marketing, through branding, right. So branding, being like a prism for it. Um, it should all come together as one story. Yeah, it's been, you know, a very fascinating world to discover, you know, entropy and how it applies to painting and sales. And I wanted to ask each of you, if you have any words of encouragement, maybe for an artist who's struggling, maybe actually, originally the question I was gonna ask was about sales, but I think it's a much better question to ask, How can artists latch on to finding inspiration? Through entropy? Right? How do you guys recommend it?
Christopher Remmers: 58:43
I'll, go ahead and take on that one, I guess. Yeah, you know, I can think it's, I mean, I think it's one of those things where it's very personal, right, in terms of finding that inspiration. But for me, what I've found is that it has to come from a place of what's like meaningful and relatable to you. You know, so you don't fall victim to like what Clint was saying, where you just like latch on to some arbitrary or random niche that you think is going to, like perform well, right. It's, and I think, for me, I also have a bit of an agenda as like a teacher and an artist that I want to see like more art being created that's has meaning behind it, that's actually helping provide some value to the culture. And so I like to come at it from this place of take some time, it might take a while to really sit and think about what like is the big idea or the narrative that you want to explore as a creative like something that's, that's not so broad that it's like hard to define, but it's not so particular that it'll lose steam. It's like something that you can imagine spending a career in pursuit of answering like, what's the problem? What's the Big idea that you want to, like, get obsessed about and, and, and have all of your work be in pursuit of trying to figure out that, what that means for you, I think that's a great place to start. Because I think a lot of people don't ever really put much time into that side of it, they just kind of launch themselves in, and are kind of being tossed around by chaos, just trying to like find some rhythm. And then they're also seeing people that are succeeding, they're like, oh, maybe if I do that, then I'll be successful, or Oh, and then if I go that way, I'll be successful. And so they're kind of bouncing around without any direction. And so find out what that is for you first, and, and, and go deep into it and mature with it and find some wisdom there. So that would be my advice.
Clint Watson: 1:00:47
So you were asking about finding inspiration. I agree with what Christopher is saying. And I would add that I feel like the thing that drives you can evolve over time, evolve, evolve, or expand. I might say. Like, in a way, I feel like what BoldBrush is doing now, which we have not been very public about, but it's, it's about all the topics we've been talking about. I feel like everything before, which I thought was the building of my life's work was just laying the base for where we're going next. But I was not ready to embrace the bigger, I was not ready to embrace the bigger picture, cuz I didn't know what the bigger picture was yet. But as far as how someone could have, and artists could find inspiration so that I found this inspiration through various things. But I would say it is personal, like Christopher said. So you may have to try different things to figure out what best sort of leads you to inspiration. But I, in my experience, it does tend to be similar things for most people, in terms of if you try these different things, like most people say that they feel inspired when they're in nature. You know, when they spend time in nature, especially spend time in nature really just sort of meditatively noticing things rather than, you know, we all we all, we all pass 1000 Magical moments of the universe every single day. And we miss them because we don't notice. So if you ever just stopped for 30 seconds, and just really just like forgotten your worries and watched something in nature, it could be the tiniest little thing. And you'll be like, how did I how do I miss these things. And yet, we do it all the time. And for me, it ended up being meditation, whenever I meditate. My day is 1000 times more creative. And whenever I go a few days, and I don't do it, I'm back to where I was before I took up the practice. Like I'm back to just you know, I'm in my task list. And now I've lost that. That momentum. You know, you know, leisure time, reading, listening to good music, but again, really listening, you know, my background, but like, put it on, you know, all these things, there's different things. So sometimes it's just doing something creative. I mean, even for a non artist actually trying to paint something could get you in the right state of mind, right, the right state of mind for inspiration, even if you're not, you know, intending to do anything with that art. These things all get us closer to I mean, God was a creator. So anything we do that creates gets us closer to God gets us close to creative force. I'm using the term God very broadly here. And can lead you into a state where you're more open to inspiration. But it's when we're stuck in our own thoughts in our own head and our own worries and our own anxieties. Those are the thing. Those are the things that will block you from that force. You know, and I've been there I've been there. I've had a million things on my to do list and it's the end of the day and I've blocked off today I'm gonna write this article, and I've got five minutes left in my day. Now I'm gonna write the article. It'll never happen. Because you can't you can't force it like that. You can't force it. You can't be worried about everything and worried about the clock and worried about how you can't get everything done and force yourself to do something that takes intense flow state. And there's a bunch of books, people can read about how to get into this state. I mean, they can read that mastery book. That's a great book, The One Christopher mentioned.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:05:14
Clint Watson: 1:05:16
Or you could go to the original one, which I think was called flow. I don't know if that's the original one. But it's the original book about the term flow. Yeah, I read read Rick Rubin's new book. It's a great book about creativity. I think it's called Creativity, or the creative act, something like that.
Christopher Remmers: 1:05:35
Yeah, I just just just started it. Yeah, it's great. Yeah, and flow by with. I'm gonna butcher his name Csikszentmihalyi.
Clint Watson: 1:05:45
Christopher Remmers: 1:05:46
While we're on the topic of interesting inspiring books. I recently over the last year or so fell in love with the author Martin Shaw. And he has a book called courting the wild twin. That is exceptional. That's about like, the wild twin being that like, wild, creative part of you that you forget about, you know, that we, that the noise of our everyday lives, like shuts out and how, like, you know, come back into relationship with that part of ourselves.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:06:17
Yeah, yeah, I'm gonna have to check it out.
Clint Watson: 1:06:20
And I am not --the person I was before I started meditating. I would think all this sounds like a bunch of bullshit. But it's so strange how I can allow myself to go back into that stress. And maybe maybe on a Friday afternoon, you know, everything isn't done. I was trying to finish up the week on a high note. And none of it got done. And now I'm, you know, now I'm not going to work again for days and days, and we're behind on everything. And you're just so in that mindset. And it's not a good mindset, to be in and then I allow myself to calm down, maybe go meditate, or whatever, or go for a walk. And suddenly, none of that stuff seems so important anymore. And I'm like, How did something that seemed like the end of the world? Only an hour, turn into just not a big deal at all? You know, but, but if you want creativity to happen, you have to be in you can't be in that first mindset. You have to be in the second. Yeah. Yeah. And I think what what, you know, really ties all of those acts together, right, and meditation, and listening to music. You know, maybe, for me, it's knitting. It's really funny. Um, Yeah, there's a very sort of meditative thing, right? Anything that sort of burns off your thinking mind, sort of.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:07:46
There's, but there's a particular quality to that. And that is intentionality, you know, like, the intentionality of doing it. And being in the present moment, doing it. That's, I think, what really ties all of these acts together. And when you're, when you're focused on work, and work and work, you're focused on future tasks, you're not in the present, you're focused on I gotta finish this I gotta do I gotta, you know, checklist. You're, you're your brain isn't here. It's over there.
Christopher Remmers: 1:08:21
It's good point.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:08:23
I think it's a it's fascinating to the as creatives, you know, when we're painting or when you know, we're making something new, we're birthing something. At first, it is important to have an intentionality to write like, like, the inspiration comes from the intentionality, and then it flows. You know, am I making sense?
Christopher Remmers: 1:08:45
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It's actually the prompt that like I've worked with folks on is, like, for example, like sending someone off to like, go wander in the woods. You know, there's a large part of that, that is, like, aimless in a sense is in that, like, you're letting go, but like you go into that experience holding an intention, right? It's like, I look at it the same way as like a Zen koan, for instance, which is like, I don't know if either you are familiar with colons, but it's, it's this idea, or this, like, it's like a riddle that can't be solved. If like, you know, like, Who hears the bell? Does the bell come to you? Or do I come to the bell, and it's like, this thing that works on you and this unconscious way, but you don't sit there and try and figure it out? intellectually. You like, you let it you let it work on you with intention. And then as we've been talking about at various points in this conversation, it's like when we let go, it's like, then the insight comes through. And so it's like, maybe you go, and you either through meditation or through wandering in the woods, you go with intention to like discover, what's that thing that lights you up that inspiration, and then and then leave space for that to come through. And these practices that we're talking about.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:09:59
Clint Watson: 1:10:01
Yeah, probably once you've, once you sort of know the things that you want to explore and say, I feel like it becomes almost easier, like those things happen more when you're wandering in the woods, like if you, if you sort of have uncovered that thing that is you want to say you start sort of lights unconsciously sort of everything. You're not consciously thinking it but at the same time, somewhere deep, you're sort of saying, Does this apply to the thing I want to say? Does this apply the thing I want to say? And then you notice these things that are seemingly unrelated at all to what it is you're trying to do anything? Wow, actually, that can work for what I'm trying to do. And and, you know, and it's like you say, you wake up suddenly, and then you have the solution. And it's more elegant than you thought it would be?I guess what? The more you do it, the more you have more inspirational moments.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:10:58
Christopher Remmers: 1:10:59
Laura Arango Baier: 1:10:59
It's like a muscle
Christopher Remmers: 1:11:00
Laura Arango Baier: 1:11:04
Absolutely. Oh, wow.
Clint Watson: 1:11:06
The old me would have thought that taking time for leisure time was a waste of time. The new me feels guilty if I don't, because the best ideas that we pursue always happen during those times. Yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:11:21
Yeah. And what's interesting, too, is, you know, it's part of our culture now to the hustle culture that people like to hustle culture, right. And I'll sleep when I'm dead type of thing. Right. Like, you'll die. So what's interesting is I, I actually do bodybuilding. So, the one key important component to building muscle is rest. Like, it's really, you know, and that's where I started thinking, Man, I have to apply that to all of my life, right? I can't just go go go. Because I'll wear myself out, and then I can't do anything. And I won't grow, right. Which is, in you know, when, when I bodybuild it's muscle, but when I'm painting or when I'm, you know, trying to complete a task, I have to let myself rest so that that task can, you know, become something more in the future. It's so strange. But it works that way, you know, even biologically.
Clint Watson: 1:12:30
Yeah, you know, people meditate, how can you actually reach a point where you have no thoughts? Like, well, have you ever been asleep? Yes. Have you ever been asleep and not had a dream? Yes, you were meditating? How much better you felt when you woke up? You had more energy, you were more creative. Sleep is just another meditation is just reaching that sleep state but being awake? Yeah, yeah, I heard about that. That's the no REM like sleep where it's the deep sleep. And that's where you get the most rest for your body. And it should be about one to two hours, depending on how much you sleep. Ideally, you should sleep eight hours, right? So it should be. It's not even like such a big percentage, if you think about it, but it's so important for your functioning. and that's exactly this, this ties back into that, you know, entropy and that liminal space of the dance in between the two, right? Because your brain even when you're asleep, it's dancing in between REM and deep and light and REM and deep and light. And it's a natural thing that it does. I read, the guy was saying, he said, when you're in that deep sleep, that's when your soul disconnects from your body and goes to eat turns to God or the universe or whatever the source. It's your souls time they refreshed.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:14:06
Yeah, and if we were meant to keep going, we wouldn't have to sleep in the first place, too. So it's kind of an interesting thing is creatures that you know, if you think about it, like almost like an an alien perspective, right? Humans lay down on a flat thing. And they don't move for hours and close your eyes and breathe slower and get a little colder. Like, that's trippy. Why did they do that? Right? And of course, there's purpose to it. And I liked the idea of our souls going to feed on God or something. It goes somewhere. I love that .
Christopher Remmers: 1:14:44
To the collective right. I mean, it's that idea that like, so often you hear reports of people going and dreaming, and then learning things that they didn't know. And then bringing those back into their waking life. Yeah. And you were just speaking about that earlier on when that happens all the time. You know, just like little allowing that space to open up. Yeah, yeah, you can, you can do the things we're talking about for inspiration, meditation, nature, whatever it is. But if you don't do them, you will be forced to because eventually you'll fall asleep. That's how much we need. That's how much we need. You're at.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:15:18
Exactly. Oh, wow, this has been a fascinating topic. And I sincerely hope our listeners can find their inspiration and actually let themselves meditate and rest because it's so important. And also, since we're on the topic of the unconscious, and the collective unconscious, specifically, I wanted to ask Christopher to please tell us about his fascinating mentorship, which you already mentioned a little bit earlier. But do you mind telling us a bit more and how people can become your mentees?
Christopher Remmers: 1:15:50
Yeah, yeah, I'll try and keep it somewhat brief. And we've spoken about a lot of the things that I do in that program, but it's, I'll leave the, maybe just put a link in the notes. But it's, it's a call it mentoring myth. And it's comprised primarily of like three pillars, and the and the main pillar, which I think is a bit of the unique quality of what I offer, which is helping people cultivate their own personal myth as their source of creativity. And so I introduced them to like a number of different practices, one is wandering, getting out into nature and learning to play with these things that we've been talking about today. The other one is exploring sort of through, like union practices of like getting in touch with your, like sub personalities, and how you relate to these different aspects of your psyche. And the reason that I run people through that is, that's like a really fertile ground to find meaning in their lives. And to like, find that thing that like, that lights them up, that it's actually rooted in, like their life experience, right. And for some people, that haven't really spent much time doing that, this is like a really awesome way to kind of get into the weeds per se, and like, kind of extract out things that they maybe didn't know, were that meaningful to them. And then, and then just a lot of like, deep imagination work of like exercising that muscle, from the unconscious liminal space, and like seeing what's emergent, and then like playing and dancing with that, until something starts to come up that has substance that they can then run with, and generate compositions and ideas and works of art from. And then the other two pillars essentially are, you know, more practical based skills. One is like, you know, how to develop your own compositional process of like, what you go through in order to make a painting or whatever it is that you do, and, and then also, you know, skill sets in terms of how to paint how to, you know, all things that go into studio practice. And then the last one is like habits, routines, and practices that kind of keep you accountable, that keep you moving forward towards your goals, helping them set goals, and all the latter, don't get too much into the business side of things. It's just, that's, you know, we can a little bit but I prefer to kind of keep it more on the personal side, for the most part. But I do help folks in terms of like, the basics of like habits, and you know, your website and think about starting to do storytelling on Instagram, or like, very broadly speaking. And it's all one on one right now. And there's a bunch of different options, and we can do a single session all the way up to working with me for about six months. And all that's on the on the link that will be shared there. So yes, yeah.
Clint Watson: 1:18:46
And is this is this only for visual artists? Or primarily? Or is it...
Christopher Remmers: 1:18:52
I mean, that's mostly who I it's for, it's, it's more broadly kind of aimed at creatives. But I think because most people that know of me, they're already in the space of being visual artists and painters. And so, but no, it's open to creatives of all backgrounds. I mean, one thing, you know, I used to teach it at Atelier and I it was, it was all technique based stuff. And I've found over and over again that like what students were truly struggling with, was like these, these deeper questions of like, what the heck they were doing, like, what do they wanted to do after they left the Atelier and like, are they're struggling with like interpersonal stuff are like being able to have good habits and routines and practices that kept them moving forward. And so I more and more found that that's how I wanted to connect with people. And then in addition to that, I started doing these workshops with a good friend here in Bellingham, where we were taking small groups of people out into the woods and teaching them these wander practices. And that was more from like, it wasn't for artists that was just for people in general to get them to connect to nature. And so I saw this really beautiful way to like link those two together, and and so that's kind of where this mentorship offering came out of. And we still do do do do that we do wonder workshops with groups here in the community.
Clint Watson: 1:20:11
And is this something people can do over zoom? Or remotely? Or do they need to be in person?
Christopher Remmers: 1:20:19
It's all like, 90% of my students are over zoom. So yeah, I mean, I'm like, work and it's cool, you know, the power of the internet. I'm working with people in Germany and like, Portugal, and it all over the place, which is really awesome. And yeah, so it's, the only limitation is that I don't do a whole lot of like painting demonstrations, I've got a lot of like, recorded videos that I share with people, but a lot of it is just on more on like the personal development side of the artists journey, and a little less so on the like, the technical like how to paint. You know, there's a little bit of that, but not much.
Clint Watson: 1:20:53
Yeah, I'm wondering, because this is very similar to what we've been telling people. And we very well, we may have people interested in that. Because, you know, we've very much been talking about, you know, uncovering your truth is what we've been calling it, although that's not quite an accurate term. But if someone says, Well, how do I do that other than what I've written about it, you know, like, if they want practical hands on it sounds like, that's exactly kind of what you're doing with this. Yeah. And it's honestly, it's like, what I love the most to do, you know, I mean, I whatever, I love painting, I love to teach people how to paint, but at the end of the day, I love to get people to tap into their own inspiration and come out of that, like lit up. You know, like, that's, that's what drives me. Yeah, I'm not to get too deep about it. But I feel like we need this to happen as a society to agreed to massive numbers of people, because otherwise, you can see where it's going. And it's not. It's not going to a good place if people don't start waking up. Yeah, you know, to this larger reality.
Christopher Remmers: 1:22:09
Yeah, yeah. Agreed.
Clint Watson: 1:22:13
Say we either need to become enlightened, or we're gonna kill each other.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:22:17
Yeah. And I think that's also something that's very cyclical in history, too. There's like these periods of enlightenment. And I, I have, personally, I have a feeling that we're going to reach that point.
Clint Watson: 1:22:28
I am seeing suddenly, very suddenly, more and more people pushing back against the internet hustle culture, more and more people in different places beyond visual art I'm seeing, I'm seeing very similar to themes to what we're talking about. I didn't see even two or three years ago. Now I don't talk that's absolutely. It could be partially because I'm more interested in it now. But I don't think so. Because I'm seeing a lot of people that are saying, like, they reached a breaking point. And they said, you know, if you talk to me three years ago, I was thinking of one guy in particular saying I was I was Mr. Riches and niches guy. But suddenly I've realized the futility of that, like, he's gone the complete opposite direction. And I feel like, I don't know, I feel like the pandemic lockdown period put a lot of people on a personal exploration path. And we're just starting to see some fruits of that, if that makes sense.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:23:34
Yeah. I agree.
Clint Watson: 1:23:38
Laura Arango Baier: 1:23:40
Yeah it's inevitable, I think.
Christopher Remmers: 1:23:42
Yeah. There's this on that on that topic. You know, there's this this whole, there's a lot of different folks that we can talk about. But there's this one particular gentleman I've been loving the content he's putting out he's a professor at Toronto, the University of Toronto, his name's Vervaeke, John Vervaeke. And he has this series called awakening from the meaning crisis, that it's about, like how to cultivate wisdom and think and it's just this like reflection on our times and, you know, practices of how we best been able to cultivate wisdom throughout history that I would highly, highly recommend, you know, and he ties in myths and, you know, ancient religions and Buddhism and and, you know, movement practices and like all of this, this way of thinking about the world, it's, I think, is pretty revolutionary, and, and necessary.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:24:34
That's awesome. Also, speaking of projects, and Pandemic stuff that has happened, or even like just how people today are creating more projects. I'm curious to hear about your project, Christopher, which is evolving the myth. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Christopher Remmers: 1:24:53
Yeah, yeah. It's been kind of behind closed doors for a while. It's just starting to poke its head out. And, and so this again, I think leaks back to a lot of the conversation we've been having, and my interest in like, what art or the function or role of art and, and culture and society is, which is to, in my opinion is to create meaningful experiences for people. And that combined with this kind of frustration of like, I want to paint very big paintings. And there's like, it's a hard sell, I'm sure you could speak to this being a, having worked in the gallery industry plan and like, at the, you know, trying to ask or answer the problem of like, how do I make a living selling giant paintings, you know, and let alone like, just the, just the lifestyle around and the time commitment to these things. So anyway, I, those, those two combined got me to start thinking about this idea of creating and experiences rather than selling a product. And, and so I teamed up with a group of people, both artists and people that are in like, sort of the leadership, world and facilitation. And we have been building this project called evolving the myth, which is an immersive art experience. That's, that's housed around large scale narrative figure paintings. And so for those people that know about meow, Wolf, it's like imagine meow Wolf. That's a that's like centered around narrative paintings. And that follows a very specific narrative arc or a theme, for instance. And so people are like guided into this space, that the paintings and the environment are all echoing, they're mimicking each other. It's so you're like, immersed into this mythological world of storytelling that we're offering them. And there's a way for people to engage and interact, and to participate in that narrative in a way that brings some kind of meaning into their lives. And so we're in the very, very early stages of this, like, right now we're, we're talking to potential partners and investors to raise capital for we're also looking at different ways and how we can structure ourselves, you know, we're having conversations with people in the sense that we could be, we could partner up with people that already have like, a creative vision, and they're looking for ways to enhance that experience for people. And so they would hire us to come in and like, make an experience around what they're already offering. And so that's the that's the simplistic version of it. And but we're having some, some very, very exciting conversations with some people. I can't I can't mention just yet, but fingers crossed. There's gonna be some awesome things happening in the next year around that project.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:27:54
Oh, cool. Um, is there a website that people can see more information?
Christopher Remmers: 1:27:58
Laura Arango Baier: 1:27:59
Christopher Remmers: 1:28:00
Laura Arango Baier: 1:28:02
Yeah, we'll have that in the show notes. And then finally, um, you mentioned earlier, the IX convention way, way earlier. And you mentioned to me that you have a booth there. Do you mind telling us a bit about it?
Christopher Remmers: 1:28:19
Yeah, yeah. So that and that also links to this year with the evolving the myth project. So IX convention. It's a convention for imaginative realism. It's out in Pennsylvania. It's an October. And it's founded by Pat and Jeanne Wilshire. Wonderful people. And so this, I think it's been going on for a little over 15 years, maybe more. And it originally started with this cohort of artists that were primarily from like, these, like old school, amazing illustrators, and artists from that, like Dungeons and Dragons community, Boris Vallejo there, and Julie Bell, and you know, a bunch of these others. And then that sort of evolved over time into a wider, more diverse range of artists. And it's a pretty amazing thing. It's five days, it's at the goggle works center in downtown Redding, Pennsylvania. And each artist is given a booth and you can curate and set that up however you want. And it's it's designed for artists to interact with collectors directly. And so that part from an artist dance is like, really wonderful. It's like a, it's like the best way I can imagine to interact with community there. And so and they've built a really a wonderful community, you know, I mean, it's like jam packed there for five days and like everyone stays in the local hotel and like mingles around the bar at night, and just so it's really wonderful. This year. Tenaya Sims and I--Tenaya's partnered with me in the evolving the myth project. We're going to be setting up booth and I think a room that's I'm going to be giving like a small pilot iteration of involving the myth experience. And so actually next month, I'm going to be pulling the trigger on a giant painting. And it's going to be going out there to be on display. So
Laura Arango Baier: 1:30:14
Wow, that's so exciting. I wish I could go out there because I've, I've been receiving like the email newsletters every single year about the ix convention always wanted to go or be a part of it. Ah, that sounds
Christopher Remmers: 1:30:28
Yeah, that would be quite the pilgrimage for you.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:30:30
Yeah. Right now, yes. But maybe in the near future, it can be a possibility.
Clint Watson: 1:30:37
Evolving the myth? Do you install the actual paintings? At? I guess I'm a little unclear on what it is, is it going to be something you install in different venues? Or?
Christopher Remmers: 1:30:50
Yeah, I mean, that part is a little bit unclear to us, too, right? Like we have like this vision and this basic template. But originally, what it would be is that we would essentially find a venue roughly something around like, at the smallest scale would be like five to 7000 square feet. And we would and so there would be a collection of, you know, half a dozen, like very large paintings with like some smaller works that are installed that we paint, and then we would have a production team that comes in and build out the environment. So it's like the elements of the paintings are actually physical structures that are then built out into the space to where you kind of you feel like you're literally going into this kind of otherworldly realm. And now we're exploring ideas around doing pop ups that are much smaller that are specifically themed. Because as you can imagine, I mean, painting, a very, very large mural size work takes some time. And so just in terms of being able to iterate and get this experience out to people in different ways, I think we're going to start initially much smaller, like we're going to do at IX, and then here at our studio in Bellingham to start.
Clint Watson: 1:31:58
Yeah, you bring up a really good point, where do you in the modern world, where do very large works? Get displayed? Most of those artworks I've seen and been, you know, older works that are in cathedrals and places like that in Italy, but those displayed are designed for the scale of that.
Christopher Remmers: 1:32:22
Clint Watson: 1:32:23
And so we're in the modern world, is that there really isn't a lot of places.
Christopher Remmers: 1:32:30
Yeah, real quick, just because it's, it's part of the description that I left out that you brought up in terms of the cathedral, like that is, like I'd say, a foundational quality of this experiences, we're trying to bring sort of that cathedral experience into the modern day world, you know, it's like, cathedrals are one example of many where this place where people went to get become closer to God. Right. And so there was everything was magnified to create an awe experience, that give them a taste or a flavor of the transcendent. And, and so, like, those are really great examples of how that was done. And like, so the question is, like, how can we do this and reach a broader audience, right to like, get people to touch into that space from the broader definition of God of what it means for themselves, and maybe in a more mythological context. But it's, it's that like, we don't the way that we experience art, now it is. It's very, for the most part, it's sort of stale and sterile. It's like you go in, and it's very sort of white walls, stark contrast, like, and it's, it's set up as, like an experience to, to what I would say to cultivate a say sales, right? I mean, you can speak to this better than I can claim, but rather than, like immerse someone into a deeply meaningful experience, and that's like, that's where we're coming from with that.
Clint Watson: 1:34:02
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:34:04
I love it. It makes it a painted giant painting, just so I can see that experience.
Christopher Remmers: 1:34:12
Laura Arango Baier: 1:34:13
Yes. Oh, that's wonderful. I love that.
Christopher Remmers: 1:34:16
And so I want to just do a call out because one component that we're still like, interviewing and wanting to get in touch with more people that have experience around events, management, events, production, and, and like, and large scale sculptural artists that have experience working with sort of stage production elements, you know, and so if anyone out there in the audience is interested, hit me up, go to evolve into myth.com and check it out.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:34:45
Awesome. Great. Thank you both for this amazing discussion. For our viewers and listeners, I will be putting all of the links either in the show notes or the description, you know, wherever you can find all our information and thank you again guys this was great
Christopher Remmers: 1:35:05
Oh this was wonderful thank you so much
Clint Watson: 1:35:07