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Tina Garrett — Guiding You to Your Authentic Voice

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #84

Show Notes:

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Have you been feeling kinda stuck with your paintings despite knowing how to paint? Not sure how to plan a composition? Are you seeking a mentor who's going to guide you through all the struggles and help you level up into your authentic artistic voice? Well, today, we sat down with Tina Garrett who tells us all about her upcoming online mentorship where you will be nose to canvas watching her work and solve problems in her own paintings as well as also watching her critique your work as well as others' works while helping you create a more streamlined and personalized process for your own paintings. Tina talks to us all about her wonderful online mentorships and the successes of her past students, how she was inspired by her own past of having mentors and wanting to pay it forward, and finally she emphasizes the importance of looking back into your own childhood to dig out the true inspiration that will help your artistic voice sing.

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Tina Garrett: 0:00

You can really tell when someone's creating something that they feel incredibly passionate. Like they must say this story, they have to tell this. And they love it while they're making it, that shows in the work that shows in the work. And so just touching base with yourself. It's a, it's such a healthy way to live. And so I love helping people discover how easy that is. It isn't as scary as we think it is at all. And it's so much less pressure, then all these other outward facing reasons to make artwork. And so that's probably my top fun thing other than just really seeing people succeed. I love when I find someone who is you know, they're bound and determined to do what they need to do to make it and I get to sort of like shove them on their butt as they climb up the ladder. I love that.

Laura Arango Baier: 0:55

Welcome 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'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 need to be artists at all stages of their careers as well as others were in careers tied to the art world in order to hear the advice and insights. Have you been feeling kind of stuck with your paintings despite knowing how to paint? Not sure how to plan a composition? Are you seeking a mentor who's going to guide you through all the struggles and help you level up into your authentic artistic voice? Well, today, we sat down with Tina Garrett, who tells us all about her upcoming online mentorship, where you will be nose to Canvas watching her work and solve problems in her own paintings. As well as also watching her critique your work as well as others works, while helping you create a more streamlined and personalized process for your own paintings. Tina talks was all about her wonderful online mentorships and the successes of her past students, how she was inspired by her own past of having mentors and wanting to pay it forward. And finally, she emphasizes the importance of looking back into your own childhood to dig out the true inspiration that will help your artistic voice sing. Welcome, Tina, again, to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?

Tina Garrett: 2:18

I'm excellent. Thank you, Laura.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:21

Good, and I'm so happy to have you. Because you are a joy to have on the podcast. And of course you have one of the the most wonderful energies ever been around. And you're also here to promote something really fun that you've got going on this year, which is your online mentorship program. So do you mind telling us what inspired you to start the online mentorship program?

Tina Garrett: 2:45

Well, yes, well, I actually started online mentoring way back in like 2017. And it worked out good for my schedule in order to do one on one mentorship with people that way, just because there were so many people wanting to like I had great mentors, and I was talking about that a lot in public and online. And people were asking me, Well, how do you get a mentor? And how do you like what is a mentor? Why is that different than taking a class or whatever. And so, so many of them were really far away from Kansas City, Missouri, and having someone in person was just not going to be an option. So I started doing one on one mentorship way back then. And I could see right away that it was really fruitful for the mentees. They only needed maybe for six months worth of communicating with me to kind of work out their problems and take the next steps towards their mastery. And then they were so excited. They were telling everybody else about it. So when the pandemic hit, I was super happy to do the same thing just on a larger scale, because they were even more people who were sort of stuck to themselves and couldn't figure out what to do with themselves and had longtime been putting aside like their personal desires to be creative people. And so it just really bounced up so much. And I'd started doing it in a group format in 2020. And that was so much fun. Those women that were in that initial mentorship group, they're so dear to my heart. They were kind of like my lifeline to the rest of the world, throughout the pandemic. And it was just such a gift to me to have that to be a part of their lives in that way. And many of those are even in this next session of mentorship because they just enjoyed it so much. And it's been really beneficial to them. So I guess I got inspired because I saw a need. And I know that I can help people with that. And so it just kind of grew organically.

Laura Arango Baier: 4:42

Yeah. Oh, that's awesome. So I was really curious to know because obviously you've been you know, in the same shoes as your students and you face those struggles where you know, you're like oh, I don't know how to solve this or I don't even know what I don't know which is something that we all commonly face. You know how have Have you struggled? Or what struggles have you had that you've overcome? Thanks to the help of your mentors?

Tina Garrett: 5:06

Well, the fact of the matter is, is there's no manual on how to do this, right? We don't get you are a professional artist how to book and the mentors that I have had. They kind of guide me and they do it in such a way where I know that they are doing it with my best interests at heart. Usually, they're people that I've taken workshop with multiple times, so that I can get to know them better they can get to know me, we understand that I know that their time is precious. So I think, Gosh, I've gotten so much good advice about how to get over creative blocks about how to accept rejection when you are rejected by either a collector or to like win a prize or something like that. For several years now, I was considering basically Richard Schmidt and Nancy Guzik, as mentors to me, and Nancy, and I still meet every week over the phone, and I can talk to her about anything I can talk to her about, you know, art, life, marriage questions, motherhood questions, it's kind of like a great like this thing board of someone who's sort of honest and kind, and the way that apparent would be, and it's really lovely. And I do feel obligated to pay that kind of thing forward. So the group format, mentorship is really the perfect place for me to be able to do that. And I love being able to have people's questions, asked in the group format, and then answer so that everyone in the group gets to hear the answer. Because that way, some people were scared to ask those questions or didn't even know they should ask that question can benefit from hearing that? Right?

Laura Arango Baier: 7:01

Yeah. And, you know, that's another great point to make. Because, as artists, you know, it's like one aspect of our lives, and we have a whole complete aspect. So it's also really nice to be able to talk to someone who maybe has been through the stages that we've been through as artists, but also in the world of life, right, the experience of life. And then I also wanted to mention, because you mentioned, passing it forward, that you do some volunteer teaching as well, don't you?

Tina Garrett: 7:29

I do. I'm a still Cecilia bow forum, mentor for the portrait society. And I've done that for several years, and I give to their program, one mentorship for eight months. So I think I've done that six or seven years, maybe eight years in a row now did take a break for 2024. But I'll be back to do that again. And that's probably the most affordable way to get mentorship with me, because I think they only charge like$400. And you get to meet with me every month for eight months. And it is comprehensive. And several of my mentees, I think four have gone on to get recognition in the art world, including signature status with the portrait society and other you know, they're I'm always so thrilled when they surpass me and in their success. So it's, I'm really proud of you can take a look and look into crystal just Spain, Kate or Robin demore. There's a handful, just off the top of my head right there. But

Laura Arango Baier: 8:36

yeah, oh, you know, I think that's also the the really beautiful part about teaching, which obviously, you have a very great passion for it. It's the seeing the people that can help, you know, finally overcome those struggles, and then finally, even surpass their master, which is actually something that everyone should really look forward to. I mean, if your students aren't like getting better than you, then did you really teach them right? So you want them to learn? So I think what am I?

Tina Garrett: 9:06

Great. Oh, I just wanted to say one of my mentees is doing so well that I told her, you know, you really don't need mentorship anymore, you're in magazines are starting to get gallery representation, you know, fly baby bird. And she's like, No, but I still want to talk to you like that's, that's just your fear talking go into?

Laura Arango Baier: 9:26

Yes, yeah, I think that's the other side, which is the imposter syndrome. You know, you're, it's so comfortable to be student, it's so comfortable to be in your studio and just get critiques from like, the people that you know, maybe your teachers. So yeah, I think that's the other aspect that I think you know, talking to someone like you and learning from someone like you, you know, you can tell them like, Hey, you're ready. And it's almost like they would probably trust you more than themselves, right? Because they don't know when they're ready. They don't. They've never experienced that but you have and you can see it from the outside which I think brings a lot of value to the students as well. And then I also wanted to ask you, because you mentioned this earlier, what exactly is the difference between like a mentorship versus a workshop versus like a regular lesson? Right?

Tina Garrett: 10:16

Okay. So if you're, if you're taking like a private lesson, that teacher is supposed to sort of assess where you are usually having strictly to do with what your actual skill bases are, the way you're using your tools, your art materials, and the elements that you're using to create with. So your understandings of design, how to create a concept, how to create illusions, like atmosphere, and gravity, form, those kinds of things. Usually, a lesson is about those kinds of things. And a lesson almost always, in my mind means private lesson, that's like a one on one thing. So a workshop is basically that in a group setting, your teacher should still try to go to each student and meet them where they're at, and basically get a grasp of what their understandings are, and then help them take a couple steps forward in their own mastery. And that's not the same as mentorship. So when, when someone's asking someone for mentorship, they're asking for someone to kind of be involved in their understanding over a period of time, usually a couple, three, six months, at least, and really trying to kind of put them under their wing, and assess what their needs are, and help them sort of elevate their work. In a broader sense, that's not just how to do things like what are values, how to draw that kind of stuff, but a broader sense of why they create how they create what that looks like for them how to get past maybe plateaus, they've been in in a long time, how to answer a long time, chronic problem questions that they keep coming up against. And essentially a mentor should be able to assess you for those things as a whole, not just your, like your abilities to draw or your you know, the actual fundamentals, but to to actually assess what you can and cannot do in your whole creative process. And that can even go into like your financial part of your process, which we will talk a lot about in this group. But this is a creative mentorship group. So it's really about how to, like elevate your work from where it's at, intellectually learning how what that looks like, and what that means in actual practical terms. So if someone comes to me and says, you know, let's just say, in one of the group sessions, one student says, you know, I struggle all the time with figuring out how to sell my work. I'll ask some questions back, and we'll help start a dialogue that everyone else can benefit on, and giving them practical things that they can do in order to get a grasp on how much they should be charging for their work. And where are the areas where they might want to actually think about marketing themselves, or how to talk about themselves in a marketing sense. It's about as close to professional level mentorship you can get without actually being mentored by me for professional specifically to help you benefit your business. That is a whole nother kind of mentorship I have like, brackets, I guess I should say, are types of mentorship that I offer. But this particular one that starts this month is creative mentorship, so it's going to kind of cover everything without being like heavily specific, when I go into my professional level mentorship to help someone, I'm talking to them about their taxes, I'm talking to them about how they're licensed in their state and all these other things that we won't be able to go over in a group setting. But it's sort of more like a holistic thing. And there's no topics that are going to be off limit for the group to discuss and it'll be in it always has been such a fantastic networking and sort of community building space. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 14:24

yeah. And the way that you describe it, it also kind of reminds me of like Renaissance workshops, where you know, the there's the the leader, right, the mentor, and they take on all of these apprentices and the differences obviously the apprentices would have to do specific projects for their their mentor, but it does sound a little bit more like a modernized version of it where you're, you know, holding their hand and like guiding them through okay, when you reach this problems this happens, so you can fix it. Or if you find that you know, you're choosing between value and Chroma like, which one do you want to, you know, speak more on your painting which Do you want to give more emphasis to, which is something that I think a lot of artists, especially when they're just starting out, they're not sure what to do. And they they fight with the medium. And there's so much just in the act of painting that you know, someone like you would be able to help, you know, resolve for a lot of people, which I think brings so much value as well. Yes,

Tina Garrett: 15:20

yeah. And if you're an artist who is looking for, like to really get a grasp on what values are or what Chroma is, the mentorship is not where you want to be, you want to be taking a lesson with one on one, or you want to be taking a workshop, because that's the place where the teacher can hone in on helping you get those understandings met. Now, if you're shaky on those understandings, you can get into mentorship and still benefit, because there is demonstration happening. But to most of the people in the creative mentorship group, they have a general idea of what values are and they have a pretty good grasp on, you know how to mix a color if they needed to, you're not needing a fundamentals class. And there's a difference there between fundamentals. And I have a whole nother class on the fundamentals runs for 12 sessions. And you can take it once a week for 12 weeks, or once a month for 12 months, or one a month for 12 months there. I only know for a year, I don't know I've lost track. That's another animal, right? That's, and that's part of why I love doing what I'm doing is because I do see people's needs, I can diagnose that pretty quickly. And I know exactly where I need to put you to get you moving forward as quickly as possible. And I'm happy when you don't need me anymore. I'm happy to set you out when you don't need me anymore. Say, you know, you've I've given you what I can give you now go work on it for nine or 10 months. And then if you need me still call me back, that kind of thing.

Laura Arango Baier: 16:54

Right? Um, and yeah, like you were saying to the creative process, like after you already know the fundamentals, right? It is, it's so funny because you think, okay, I know the fundamentals, I got everything should be easy. Now. It's not, it doesn't really get any easier.

Tina Garrett: 17:12

Or harder for a second out, you get the point. You're making things that are sort of boring, or stale or static, and you will understand why they aren't really capturing anyone's emotions or creating any kind of, you know, they're not moving any energy, they're not creating any connections with people and you don't understand why. And that's when you have to go back to trying to figure out what it is you're trying to say in your work, and you have to understand and learn how to become a storyteller. And that takes understanding stories over time, and how those kinds of things can be turned into visual stories. And I mean, there's it is a complex thing, learning how to paint. I mean, I have had brain surgeons work for me that say learning how to paint is harder than brain surgery.

Laura Arango Baier: 17:59

It truly is. Because, like, you know, you have an empty canvas, truly the sky's the limit. I mean, there's so many possibilities, and so many compositions, right? Because at that point, right? When you're playing with narrative, and you're playing with story, and you're playing with color, like you have everything in your hands, so it can be really overwhelming. So it can be like, Oh my gosh, I don't know where to start, how do I even decide what colors go well together? How do we even decide where to put the characters on my painting, which is something that I think a lot of artists struggle with, especially when they reached that point, right. Um, so I think it's great that you know, you want to lend a hand and be like, Come here, I'll show you. And then the other thing that I really like about your mentorship is that it's very much like in the description, it says nose to Canvas, which is really great. You can't really get that in a workshop, I mean, you can get it with the camera or the cameras like right here, like right here, right in front of your canvas. So it's a lot easier to see exactly what your brushes doing. Which I think that's something else, you know, the Renaissance times people would benefit from like watching the master paint, so that they get an idea of okay, this is how you turn the form like this, or this is how I solve this problem of maybe overlapping forms or like button to wed versus glazes versus this like to create certain effects, which that's definitely like, Olympian levels of painting right there.

Tina Garrett: 19:26

You can see kind of my setup here. So I have a camera here and that's what's recording me while I work. And then I can basically show whatever aspect I'm working on. And I do that from, like conception all the way through to the finish painting. So the artists that are in the mentorship group are hearing me explain to them why I chose this model and why I chose this costume and these props and that hair, and that makeup and this particular posture in this particular angle and where I was inspired and why I in what's the story I'm trying to tell? And how did I manipulate my images in Photoshop? Or how did I like that model? And why did I choose that particular lighting direction or bold choice or I mean, all of these things are revealed. So that, and that's one of the things I, I find them so important is, if you've only ever done workshops, and you've never really done mentorship, you've probably seen a lot of paintings started a lot of demonstrations where you see two to three hours, you know, of a painting that started, but you never really figured out what was in the teachers head when they post the model that way. And they lived in that way and why it's that way. And then how did they get that painting to more formal finish? And that's all of the behind the scenes stuff that's happening in this mentorship. Wow.

Laura Arango Baier: 20:52

And that has a lot to cover too. Because, as we know, you know, with paintings, light is definitely the storyteller in painting, and the composition of values, right? What do you want the focus to be on? Of course, it's the thing with higher contrast. And where do you want that? How do you want to lead the eye, there's just so so so much. So it's awesome that someone like you've already has all of his knowledge, he's, you know, putting it out there and wants to share it with people who truly want to level up their work. I

Tina Garrett: 21:20

think it's thrilling. I really do love doing it. And it's one of my favorite things. I mean, these people are my people. I mean, how much fun are you get together with all of your, the people you know, who love to talk about the topic you love to talk about? I mean, and to get to do that for a living? It's, it's, it's fabulous. It's my favorite thing right up there next to painting?

Laura Arango Baier: 21:42

Yes, yes. And then you know, getting to know the students as well and their story and how that translates, you know, every person has their own vision and their own way of seeing the world. So I think it's definitely a great thing to have, you know, a guiding hand to, like, lead you right to that. Treasure, which so many of us, you know, we're all like in the dark, you know, blindly reaching out like, where do I go? Up BoldBrush We inspire artists to inspire the world. Because creating art creates magic. And the world is currently in desperate need of magic. BoldBrush provides artists with free art marketing, creativity, and business ideas and information. This show is an example. We also offer written resources, articles, and a free monthly art contest open to all visual artists. We believe that fortune favors the bold brush. And if you believe that to sign up completely free at BoldBrush That's The BoldBrush Show is sponsored by FASO. Now more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artist, especially if you want to be a professional in your career. Thankfully, with our special link forward slash 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 our marketing calendar gives you day by day, step by step guides on what you should be doing today, right now in order to get your artwork out there and seen by the right eyes so that you can make more sales this year. So if you want to change your life and actually meet your sales goal this year, then start now by going to our special link forward slash podcast, that's

Tina Garrett: 23:51

I practically beat my mentors over the head and like you will mentor me. And that's I'm gonna do that way. But a lot of people aren't. And you know, and when I first started painting 12 years ago, the word mentorship wasn't even out. I didn't even know that. I mean, I really feel like in the realm of my world, I started offering it because I knew it was what I needed. And I was getting it because I was tenacious enough to sort of demand it from my teachers. And just like you may not know it, but I'm going to be calling you. Yes. So I saw that there was a need, and I was happy to make like I said, I love paying it forward. So I was happy to make essentially the space to have it happen. Right?

Laura Arango Baier: 24:36

Yeah. And I think you know, one of the one of the things that I want to know as well is, how do you hope right? Imagine that the program is done and you've had your students and they're giving you feedback? How do you hope that they'll feel at the end of your mentorship? Well,

Tina Garrett: 24:50

I don't I don't have to hope about it because it happens all the time. I have had for years now I get the most beautiful things written about me as a teacher. During a mentor, and I had, I was so proud to be given my own signature status after three of my mentees gone it through the portrait society. And I think about 15 of my students and mentee showed up at the portrait society to cheer me on, and we got to have meals together, you know, I did the best I could, I took a group of like, six with me to dinner with these other people, I think were 14 at the table that first night and then 17 at the table, because I had to take the other half of the mentorship group with me, you know, so that they could have dinner with some of the, like, the most influential people that I knew I'm I'm working on connecting these people with these people and making sure that person knows that this person is available to do this, you know, I I I've seen the whole ecosystem living and thriving, so I don't have to hope about it, I know, I know that I am helping them make a difference, then they're starting to make a living, or they're starting to create the things I've always dreamed that they could create. And they feel seen. And they feel connected with me and with each other. And that's the other really fabulous part about doing it in a group setting. These these people all connect with each other outside of me in this free group that I have called my students only group. And so if you wanted to go to England, say, Hey, I'm going to be traveling in England, can I, you know, where should I sleep? Or should I do? What are the top things I shouldn't miss? You know, so it's, it's been such a beautiful, like community. Yeah, like I said before, it's it really is lovely. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 26:37

Well, that sounds awesome. Because, you know, like, you're saying you're building a community, you're building a network, and you're building, you know, a group of people who can definitely count on each other and can ask each other questions as well, you know, outside of like, once you're done with the mentorship, right? I know, I know, I definitely have friends who like, I'll ask me, Hey, what do you think about this painting? There's something weird here, or, Oh, I would love to see some of your work. Let's see what's going on here. If you have any issues, right, it becomes, like you said, like an ecosystem, right, which I think is a, it's like an extra slice of cake that comes along with like, this big meal, which is already you know, your mentorship program, which is like, already a lot to cover.

Tina Garrett: 27:17

I'm gonna use that I love for metaphor.

Laura Arango Baier: 27:21

Maybe it's because I'm getting hungry. But yeah, and then, you know, it sounds like you know, your your mentees are going to be gaining quite a lot of things. What are some of like, the specific things that you really want them to gain from your course.

Tina Garrett: 27:41

I want them. If they aren't already, in a lot of times, by the time they come to me for mentorship. This is this one of the holes that's in your whole creative process is that they aren't really creating from their internal compass, they are looking towards outward 20 trends or popular causes is or heaven forbid, what the gallery tells them they should be creating or what their relatives think is marketable, you know, there's a solid, wider range of reasons why we'll have nothing to do with their inner selves, and nothing to do with what they really want to make. And that sort of shows in the work, you can really tell when someone's creating something that they feel incredibly passionate. Like, they must say this story, they have to tell this. And they love it while they're making it, that shows him the work that shows in the work. And so just touching base with yourself. It's a, it's such a healthy way to live. And so I love helping people discover how easy that is, it isn't as scary as we think it is at all. And it's so much less pressure, then all these other outward facing reasons to make artwork. And so that's probably my top fun thing other than just really seeing people succeed. I love when I find someone who is you know, they're bound and determined to do what they need to do to make it and I get to sort of like shove him on there. But as they climb up the ladder, I love that.

Laura Arango Baier: 29:23

Love ya know, and you know, the other thing that I find really great about that is also you know how you mentioned that they'll gain you know, that intrinsic motivation, right? Because it's so easy to get lost in social media. It's so easy to get lost and oh, like I really just want to live for my work and it's like, Yeah, but there's a difference between, you know, painting to live and living to paint, right. We all prefer living to paint and, you know, having that freedom of I don't care I mean And you should care a little bit, but I don't care what other people are painting. I just care about my work and how it reflects a piece of me. And I think that's, that's definitely a big thing to gain, especially from, you know, mentorship or someone says, Don't look out look in, you know?

Tina Garrett: 30:18

Yes, there's there's a lifestyle for. And there's many of them. But there is one that I personally live and actually experience that is really quite peaceful and satisfying. And lucrative to, like holy my own and I don't feel nervous about it or unsteady in my feet in it. And I want I want other artists to experience that if they can, I think it's possible. And I think that the healthiest artists do get to that point. And the sooner the better. Because you don't need to be I paint this because this is what my teacher painted, or I paint that because this is what I knew would sell or I painted this because you know, there's, there's all these reasons that can be going on. And like you said, with social media and access to everything all the time, it can almost be so loud that you can't even hear your own voice and connect with the reason why you used to make art when you were a little kid. And what that has to do with what you should be painting today. And what that has to do with how that creates a sense of authenticity in yourself, which is really unshakable. Once you get their criticism in your work just almost as hysterical. You're like, you don't care what anybody else thinks. Because you really aren't doing what you should be doing. And it's yes, it's a beautiful place to be. And I wish every artist of every medium could get there.

Laura Arango Baier: 31:48

Yes, no, I completely agree. And I find it so funny that there are so many vendors out there who don't think that it's lucrative would think, Oh, but who's gonna want paintings of this one thing that only I care about? So you're not the only person on earth? Who cares about this one thing? No, there's a market for basically everyone. Sure, some markets are easier to obtain than others. Like, you know, there are people who may be paid really happy images, right. And those sell pretty easy, because normally people like to hang happy images. But maybe if you'd like to paint something a bit more dark, or McCobb or obscure, you know, there's also a market for that. But you know, it's a matter of finding the right people who will see it. But that doesn't mean it you know, that you shouldn't do it just because it's not quote unquote, lucrative, you know, so much of it is dependent on yourself.

Tina Garrett: 32:35

If I go back to this all the time, there's a market for fidget spinners. Okay. We can sell anything, it's selling the whole nother realm of under creatively there, there are no limits in all reality and its outward limits and outward expectations or judgments or even ones that you're not even fully aware of that sort of just keep you stifled or that you maybe don't have the courage to face that that's, it's so much easier than we make it out to be it really isn't. Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier: 33:11

I totally agree with that. And, you know, in my case, for example, like one of the things that helped me really find my own voice, the end was actually completely getting off of social media and just being with myself and rediscovering joy. And I think with your mentorship, it'll probably be even easier for a lot of people because you'll actually be that little helping voice and that little like, no, no, you can just say like that. This is like where do you feel like you want to go you know, like, you'll be a little bit like, I want to, I want to say like Jiminy Cricket on shoulder, you know? I would love Tina Garrett, Jiminy Cricket. Okay, great.

Tina Garrett: 33:51

Just reminding me of a class I had here about a month ago. And one of the students said your voices in my head no matter what I do. And another student said, my husband hates the sound of your voice because of all the time. And then another student was just in the room and I was in the room too. And there was like six other students, physically here in Kansas City. And he says she's right behind me, isn't she? Everybody starts because to me when he could feel Yes, true. You do. Only hear Richards and Nancy's voices in my head. I actually have probably six or seven artists that I've learned from that have been so effectual that I mean, my husband, I have a joke WHO, WHAT WOULD Rommel do kind of like what would Jesus do? They'll dilatory my most influential teacher, that I actually took workshops with many many workshops with and I literally put my business and self care in my process. Operating systems through that gauntlet of what would Rommel do? Because Rommel would stand up for himself, and he would never be taken advantage of, he would never compromise his standards to make someone else happy, or to over accommodate, like his voices in my head, and I have different, you know, when different problems pop up, I go right through my mind, well, how would Royal Mail handle this? What would he do? What would he say? How would he ask to be treated? Or how would he set boundaries. And that's just like, it happens automatically now. And I know that I'm doing that for my students and mentees. And I love it. I spiracle

Laura Arango Baier: 35:40

It was what what Tina do

Tina Garrett: 35:42

was in a lot of people's head.

Laura Arango Baier: 35:47

But that's awesome. Because also, you know, it's really interesting how in the human brain, right, we have like, right, I know, you Tina, and you know, you write you know you in a different way. But I can take all of the qualities that I admire from you, and I can make this Tina, that exists in my head. And then I can use that as an archetype like, Tina, the archetype to really guide myself to really be like, What would Tina do? Right? What would what would Tina's say about this, and oftentimes, you know, our intuition, especially after being with a mentor for a while, is onpoint. It's exactly what you would have said. But of course, that develops over time after studying with you and after learning from you. But I think the goal at the end is also you know, that little Tina voice in your head saying, do this do that, it'll be fine.

Tina Garrett: 36:36

Really, ultimately, for me, too, for the truth is for them to begin to trust themselves, because their, their instincts are almost always right, they're just looking over their shoulder to see if they're gonna get in trouble. If they choose that. They're looking over their shoulder to see if they do do that will it actually work and it takes a little bit of bravery and experimentation and data recovery after you actually do the experiment, sort of to see whether or not what you tried worked, and then sort of adjusting it and then trying again, and once you get that sort of rhythm, about your process and your creative life, and even in your actual life, there's almost nothing you can't manage, because you are in problem solving mode all the time. And so many painters are in, you know, either the angels are singing or they're not right. Or not, right? I didn't GOD'S SAKE wanted me I got this prize, or I didn't. And instead of in this sort of like, okay, now, I'm a river going down the river, and there's a rock. So what do I do just cry? Because I don't have talent? No, you flow around the rock.

Laura Arango Baier: 37:41

Yes, exactly. Exactly. But then also, you know, it's funny, because like that, like I was saying that that Tina, archetype right in my brain, if you really think about it, that Tina archetype in my brain is still me, right? It's because there's only me and my brain, right? So in the end, it is you know exactly what you're saying, the person learns to guide themselves, and they learn to auto manage themselves. and problem solve, which is such an important key thing to have, like you're saying, you know, I personally, and this is gonna sound a little bit controversial. I don't believe in talent, I think. I think maybe it exists, but it is just absolutely so rare. It's like one in a million at least. And that's like, because I have met people who have that innate talent. But that's like, really, really rare. Talent is actually you know, it, it should never be the motivator, right? It's like, oh, my everyone said, I was talented as a child with aging. So that's why I did it. No, no, we just do it because you love it not because everyone said, Oh, I'm talented, right? But yeah, I don't believe talent exists. Not in the normal realm, at least.

Tina Garrett: 38:56

I agree. I feel like there are certain skill sets that come naturally to some people, some understandings of types of things that come easier to one person's understanding. And another person may have to remind themselves of the steps every time they do it over and over again. But none of those things really have anything to do with whether or not you create at all, or whether or not you are successful in feeding your family as a creator, right. So, so it's almost a non topic. Does that make sense? Yes,

Laura Arango Baier: 39:40

it makes perfect sense. Because like, um, I had a friend who used to compare it to like laying bricks. Like learning to paint is learning to lay bricks is obviously more complicated, but you can always improve at it. It's just a skill that you develop. And of course, you know, with the added side, like you're mentioning about your personal vision and your personal story that you want to implement into the work. Right, then you're like a very specific type of bricklayer. But you're still just learning to lay bricks, and you put your little mortar and then, you know, you just keep going. So it's not some stagnant thing that can never ever change, which I think that would be so tragic. I mean, if life work like that our language would never improve. You're stuck, you know, cooking terribly like it.

Tina Garrett: 40:31

That alone is worth just like going in. Just get over.

Laura Arango Baier: 40:35

Yes, exactly. Anyone can get better at anything, right? I mean, there are obviously things in life that you can't change, like your eye color. I mean, you can change your hair color. you're colorblind right

Tina Garrett: 40:44

there, there are artists who have all kinds of issues, have another lovely mentee I've had for years now that has a tremor is so what it doesn't mean anything, it's not, you know, if you break your right shoulder paint with your left hand, you're gonna work it out. It's the attitude that can solve the problems that that goes right back to what I was saying just a second ago, it's a, it's a posture of problem solving, and making attempts and learning from the, you know, the results of those things, and then adjusting your next attempt. If you can stay in that state of mind. There's almost nothing you can't do.

Laura Arango Baier: 41:24

I love that, that is so true. Because I mean, it's so easy to just like give up. And I think giving up is so easy to do, you just stop and maybe you pick up a day job, and that's okay. You know, but if you really want to move forward, if you really want your work to reach the point that your child self wanted to reach, which I think we all have that child, so it was like I want to paint like that, you know, they have like, big, big goals. Why not? You have one life, you might as well try or die trying. It's just kind of dramatic. Yeah, yeah. So by the way, what I wanted to know, because this is the first time you do a mentorship like this, right? So I wanted to know, what is your long term vision, for your mentorship, and also for your mentees and their work?

Tina Garrett: 42:16

No, so I've done mentorships like this for a really long time, this is just the first time I've offered a six month chunk instead of a new. So I used to do this identical membership every month for 12 months, well, and realized after about the fifth year that I never gave myself any time off. So now I do it May through October. And I have some travel time in the fall and some family time in the early winter, and then some painting time in the late winter. And in the spring, I start up again. And so that cycle actually works really good for me. And that's part of why and how I live my whole life is what is it? That actually is healthy for me. But so I went off on a tangent, you asked me a question, and I completely forgot

Laura Arango Baier: 43:05

it. Well, yeah, no. I just wanted to know, your long term vision, you know, for for your mentees, and then also your mentorship.

Tina Garrett: 43:16

Right, so just like I do for myself, I want the painters that I work with to have good health, right, and a sense of peace and joy in their work. And for them to feel that, you know, when they reached the end of their lives, that they've said and done what they wanted to do creatively, just like I want to. And what I found is that I think people come to the table with these outside expectations, they don't even realize they're outside. And just that one important shift of switching to where you have that internal compass on all the things that you do for your work, not just your physical process in the studio, but your thinking process as a creator, in your decision making process as a creator. Once you get that more self centered in a healthy way. You're just happier in general and you're making the work you're supposed to be making and you're painting at the pace you're supposed to be painting. And you're creating the level you're supposed to be creating. And that's the end goal is to continue. You know, I look at like Richard Schmidt's legacy and how just 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of people are connected to the root of his philosophy in art and teaching and how that has paid forward to so many ways I when I say that statement, I think of this huge, huge tree with these incredible deep roots and these incredibly expanding branches and all of these blossoms and pollen just going around the world and how How he with one seed himself changed the way art was looked at in the last decades, in basically the era we are lucky enough to live in. And I consider myself one of those little pieces of pollen that flew off of that tree. And I feel like it's my responsibility to plant myself as another tree and start sending out my own pollen. Don't make any sense there at all. Yeah. No, I didn't get this information for free or, you know, didn't just like generate out of nowhere, I learned it from Richard Schmidt's book ala prima to from his DVDs and VHS tapes that I still own. And from the teachers who taught him and who were generous enough to teach me, and I just feel like I'm part of that continuing legacy.

Laura Arango Baier: 45:55

Yes, yeah. And I've thought about that today as well. Because you know, every every teacher, you know, they had their master or their mentor and that person at their own mentor, and it goes so far back. It's such a beautiful legacy of mentorship and teaching that, you know, we may as well keep it going, right? We can't let this die out. So it's wonderful that you're one of the torch bearers?

Tina Garrett: 46:20

Thanks. It's a great way of saying and I'm gonna say it like that. So the tree

Laura Arango Baier: 46:26

a little bit like the Olympics, you know, a little torchbearer the Olympic flame, you know, got to keep it going for this year. Yeah. Yeah, so I wanted to know, where can people sign up?

Tina Garrett: 46:40

Oh, if you go to Tina, you're going to come to like a landing page. And that's going to give you the option to click on six month mentorship, it's right there at the beginning, if you want to go on to the website, which is I think the top choice, there's a whole mentorship tab and teaching tab there where you can explore all of the options that are out there from my upcoming workshops to my in person private lessons, and my one on one mentorship for people who want that kind of private connection. And for the one on one professional level for people who are trying to say, save their business or launch a business. Those options are there too. But I don't want to pick favorites. But the one that I feel is the least sort of invasive in terms of your like, if you do one on one with me, you're going to have a lot of homework. And you're going to have deadlines and expectations of things you're going to have to do outside where the group mentorship is specifically no homework, because I want to make sure that the art that's created by you is yours copyright wise, and it's your original thoughts and your original work. And so you can offer paintings up to be critiqued, but you aren't given instruction and homework on them. Because I want you to be able to enter into competitions, and sell and everything and have all of those things or maybe your work. So that's the one option I have where that is an option. And so you you can just listen along and learn and and then go about making your own artwork, and it's, it's yours. No one's gonna say oh, you painted that because Tina Garrett told you to or whatever. So I liked that particular awesome, but if you were in one on one with me, or private lessons and things like that, those all have very, you know, specific homework and that's going to take you away from painting maybe what would you would want to pay because I'll need you to do things to kind of like push your boundaries and to challenge you basically experiments to get data from so there's a there's too many choices. Just go to Tina And check it out.

Laura Arango Baier: 48:49

Like it's like, you know, it's like a fast food but like it's like even better than fast food because it's like, it's almost like a fine dining but like you choose your combo, you know,

Tina Garrett: 49:00

actually use that analogy a lot. Learning oil paint is like a banquet, right? This huge book. People want to go in and like swallow the whole table. And some people need to go up and get some croutons and other people are already over at like the caviar and you have to know like your teacher should be able to help you know where you're going to go and take it back to your table eat it bite by bite digest it, understand it then go up to the next place right now you're at soup right now you're at work or whatever. Analogies I love them. Yeah, no,

Laura Arango Baier: 49:32

I'm I'm actually getting hungry. I think I'm gonna go out and get some dinner after this gig. Oh, man. Well, thank you, Tina. And of course, I will also be including all your links in the show notes. And for anyone who wants to listen to our previous episode, which was such a joy to hear like I love that episode so much. I will also be including it in links for anyone to learn more about you. Well, thank

Tina Garrett: 49:57

you. It's such a pleasure visiting with you good luck on your residency. And I'm just so happy you and I can stay in touch thanks again for your time today

Laura Arango Baier: 50:04

of course anytime for you Tina

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