Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads – rated the #1 painting podcast in Feedspot’s 2021 list. In this episode Eric interviews artist, author, and creative coach Larry Moore.
Listen as they discuss:
- The concept of abstraction in landscape painting and how Larry “secretly” teaches two things at once
- The first thing that you should think about if you’re a beginner
- How to keep from getting frustrated in the process of learning how to paint
- The two components that might inhibit you as an artist; and more
Bonus! In this week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, answers the questions: “What does having a ‘mobile optimized’ website mean?” and “How do I get followers on Instagram?”
Listen to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads and Larry Moore here:
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– Pastel Live: https://pastellive.com/
– Eric Rhoads on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericrhoads/
– Eric Rhoads on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eric.rhoads
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FULL TRANSCRIPT of this PleinAir Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the PleinAir Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.
Eric Rhoads 0:00
This is episode number 215 featuring Artist, Author, and creative coach Larry Moore.
This is the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. In the Plein Air Podcast we cover the world of outdoor painting called plein air. The French coined the term which means open air or outdoors. The French pronounce it plenn air. Others say plein air. No matter how you say it. There is a huge movement of artists around the world who are going outdoors to paint and this show is about that movement. Now, here’s your host, author, publisher and painter, Eric Rhoads.
Eric Rhoads 1:02
Thank you Jim Kipping. And welcome to the plein air podcast everybody. I’m Eric Rhoads. And I am so glad to be back. As you know, I took a little hiatus due to some family issues. And man, I missed it. It’s so nice to be able to be back doing interviews being with you guys hanging out. And I’ve been doing painting I’ll have to post some pictures. If you follow me on Instagram. It’s Eric Rhoads or Facebook, it’s Eric Rhoads publisher, or Twitter or otherwise, you can see some of the pictures that I will be posting I bought a cute little electric wooden boat that is my new painting boat. I had one before that I was able to use but I didn’t own it. Now I own one. And so I’m gonna be having a name the boat contest, I’m sure because I’ve got some ideas, but I need to get your ideas. And so keep keep an eye on that watch me on social media. Been out painting a little bit. But it’s been really rainy here in the Adirondacks all summer. And so I’d like to be painting more I guess I just need to take the time and get out under an umbrella and do it. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Russia. As you may or may not have heard, we’re taking a group of people to Russia to paint. We’re going to be painting in the same places that Levitan … and all those people painted, and also in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and some touring, because you got to do touring when you’re there, and you got to do the museums, and we’re doing a private showing inside the Hermitage Museum. And the event has been sold out. I’m limited to 50 people and it’s been sold out. But the I guess the gift of COVID is there a couple people who are on the fence about going are not able to go or can’t because of their health concerns. And as a result, I have a couple seats left. And if you want to get one of those seats, go ahead and check it out at paintrussia.com. Now happening this week, in case you haven’t heard somehow is pastel live, which is our online virtual event for pastel. It’s the largest virtual pastel conference in the world. And we have instructors from all over the world. And even if you don’t consider yourself a pastel artist, which I don’t, it’s an opportunity for you to get out of your box and learn something new and I’m very excited about it. We’re diving into three days of back to back workshops with some of the absolute best panels pastel painters in the world. And we also have a beginner’s day, which is a fourth day actually the first day. You can if you want to learn all the basics of pastel, you can just do that alone. Anyway, check it out. It’s called pastel live. And you can find it at pastellive.com. If you want to come paint and hang out with me in the next in-person event, it’s going to be fall color week, the publishers Invitational and there’s no invitation required. I don’t know why I call it that it started out by invitation. Anyway, this one fall color week is going to be in the Adirondacks. The color here is spectacular. I learned that last fall, because my kids went off to college. And I stayed here in the fall for the first time in 30 years. And so it’s so spectacular that I decided to get a place and we have a one time opportunity to stay in this great camp. It’s a it’s actually a kid’s camp. And because of COVID we had a week available, but it’s the only time we’re ever going to be to go there. And when I took our group there for one day of painting, and they were drooling about the place. I wanted to stay there for a week. And so if you want to come back and paint with us, September 30 through October 7, just go to fallcolorweek.com learn more about it and there’s no pressure everybody is painting their own thing at their own level. And there’s no workshops, but we all kind of help each other out and some people come just to kind of learn the whole plein air thing. So if you want to come it’s gonna be fun. If you haven’t yet checked it out, you should check out our featured art video workshops painting with energy featuring bill Davidson, who’s conducted 150 workshops and has really figured out his teaching thing. Anyway Bill’s video has a five star rating and people love it you can find it at streamlineartvideo.com or actually just go to streamlineart.com you find it Bill Davidson. In the current issue of plein air magazine, it’s our 10th anniversary all year, by the way, and we are going to learn how to make nostalgic scenes even more compelling, with an article on Steven Walker who relies on simplification and depiction of fleeting light effects to create his scenes and it sounds pretty incredible. And I think you’re gonna find it really incredible. Also, if you’ve not checked out our free weekly newsletter, plein air today, it’s a great way to stay connected with planner groups across the country and the world. And there’s something new we’re about to announce and you got to be a part of it to understand what we’re going to do. So just go to outdoorpainter.com and sign up for plein air today. And anyway, that’ll be terrific. Coming up after the interview. I’ll be answering art marketing questions in the marketing minute. You’re gonna love this interview. Let’s get right to it with Larry Moore. Larry Moore, it’s about time. Welcome to the plein air podcast.
Larry Moore 5:57
I’ve been waiting for my brother.
Eric Rhoads 5:59
I’ve been waiting for you, baby. Well, the backstory on this is we’ve been trying over and over and over to get this recording done. And, it seems like one thing and another gotten away. So here we are, finally.
Larry Moore 6:12
Yes, I have been waiting by the phone. I’m like, Why hasn’t he called me?
Eric Rhoads 6:15
Don’t call us we’ll call you right? Yeah.
Larry Moore 6:18
Oh, good. Now, like, I’m not busy.
Eric Rhoads 6:20
Yeah, that’s what it will tell us what you’re busy doing.
Larry Moore 6:23
Oh, Lord, I’m a little scattered in that I have all these things that I want to achieve and accomplish. So I’m working on three different completely different lines of paintings. Of course, I’m teaching now that things have opened up again, hopefully, that’ll remain. I’ve been teaching around the country, what I teach, which is at principles of abstraction, in painting, and then I started writing another book, more kind of an addendum to the last book fishing for elephants. And blossom. You know, I’m just trying to do zoom classes, and, just a lot of different things at once, and sleep. So I like sleep.
Eric Rhoads 7:12
Well, you’re just a glutton for punishment?
Larry Moore 7:15
Well, you know, as we both know, our time on this planet is short, and there’s much that I need to do. And there’s a lot that I need to say to people, and I think that’s, that should be helpful to them. And that’s my purpose in life, I think and speaking to you. So I have several times. And at the plein air events, and, all your convention. There’s two very important things for me.
Eric Rhoads 7:45
well, it’s very important to us to so thank you for that. So let’s just go ahead and start talking about abstraction. You know, we don’t, we don’t need to hear the history stuff. We might get into it later. I think, it’s interesting for me to see what we go through as we become painters. I can’t speak for a lot of other people. But I do see a lot of similarities to what I went through as a painter. And that is I kind of started out with this, this belief that I wanted to do photo realism, although I didn’t know it was called photo realism. But it was kind of like make it look like the photo, make it look as detailed and tight as possible. And, I kind of went through that for a long, long period of time till Finally I started letting go of that. And I think this idea, this concept of abstraction is something that really needs to be focused on and talked about. And again, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong, everybody should do what they want to do. But talk to us about abstraction.
Larry Moore 8:49
Yeah, and to be clear, I, when I teach these things, I’m secretly teaching two things, which is, how to find your own voice, whatever that is. And I think a lot of people don’t quite know what that is because they spend a lot of time learning the mechanics of painting. And the other thing is, I’m teaching design, principles of design, some of this stuff emanates out of my, I had, I’ve had a very diverse background in in graphic design, as an art director and advertising, you know about advertising. And as an illustrator, and a lot of that involves conceptual concerns, and, and coming up with a voice for the artists. So what I teach isn’t so much how to be an abstract painter, although that certainly can happen. It’s just, it’s a different way of approaching how you think about what you’re trying to go after. And so, my premise is, and I’ve kind of just developed this whole thing on my own, but it works like a charm. So I know No, it’s solid. I’ve been teaching for 13 years. But my premise is to make it make the world through a series of exercises, get artists to compose space, using the components of what we use to make any painting, which are the components of painting, which are line mark making value, edge, shape, color choices, etc. and to learn to train, it’s very much like training anything in training music, or tree weight training, or in martial arts. And, the thing is you practicing, we’re practicing the rudiments, so that we can become better at whatever it is we choose to do. So a big chunk of this is changing or enhancing the way we think about painting. I argue, I never actually argue with somebody. Alright, let’s say my main thing is that all forms of painting from hyperrealism down the chain are a level of abstraction already, I don’t care how hyperreal you get, there’s still a level of abstraction, you can’t possibly get every molecule of information from whatever your sources, plus you’re converting three dimensional space in two dimensions. And if we, if we, if we move to down the spectrum, from hyperrealism, and into levels of abstraction, we start playing with things like shape, or edge or color, or how to break an edge, how to how to use pattern how to use paint in an inventive way, these are all levels of abstraction. So in order to get people into the mindset, who are real as painters, as they just look, here’s here’s a series of paintings, one becoming slightly more interpretive, or stylized, if you will, until we reach the stage of non objective, which is there’s nothing, nothing in the painting except for the marks and colors. And, to me, the difference between the two, and in realism, the components of painting the marks and the colors, and the shapes are in service to the content, like landscape or figure. But in and non objective or abstract painting, those things are the content. And when you can learn to compose space, to take a canvas and make it work to move the eye or the ultimate goal being two things. One is to move the I what we would call a composition that I call hierarchy or I flow. And the second is to express or to, to express an emotion or a feeling or sentiment, or a thought or an idea. You can, you can apply these things back into as most people end up doing. They’re into their representational work or figurative work and become stronger and more what I what I refer to as authentic in their in their efforts. So I’m not I don’t teach what I teach and change anyone’s mind. It’s really to make them think and become more who they really want to be. Alright,
Eric Rhoads 13:32
I want to rewind here for just a second. If I’m if I’m new to painting I’m a lot of things are going through my head. When I took photography courses from Fred picker, who was a student of Ansel Adams years and years ago, I did a two week workshop, and I complained to him, I said, you know, we’re not out there doing photographs and, and photographing cool things. We’re all we’re focusing only on technology. And he said, Yes, exactly right, he said, until you can get to the point where technology is second nature. In other words, how to set the light, how to set the composition, how to, get the focus and, the right out of focus and everything, until you get those things down. You cannot be free to be creative. Would you say the same thing is absolutely true learning technology of painting before you start going into these other areas.
Larry Moore 14:24
Yes, of course, and I sort of break it apart as the mechanics of painting, which is a craft of painting, which as you and I both will know, it takes a lifetime to get to improve on and I don’t use the word perfect because we never quite do that. So we have the mechanical side of painting, and the artists that we know and love Sargent and you know you name them. suraiya are masters at the mechanics of painting and in addition to their masters of composition of content of communicating an idea. And they’re two very different things. But yeah, it’s just like music, you can’t sit down and play a piano and play Chopin or even compose your own stuff until you know where the notes are. And you’ve spent your 1020 years practicing the rudiments, and that is true for painting and music and architecture, and writing, it’s across the board.
Eric Rhoads 15:27
So these concepts, these concepts of if somebody is a relatively new painter is a little too soon to be dipping into them, or is it better for them to learn them early?
Larry Moore 15:37
Well, I can’t speak to that. Exactly. I will say it’s easier for there that you mentioned this term right off the bat, letting go. And, that’s a primary sort of feature in this process of exploration. I call it discovery or, but it’s exploration, which is the idea of, of letting go in order to find something that’s that, you that is of interest to you, that that sparks for you, and they’re different for every person. So, but, if you’re a flat beginner, the first thing you need to worry about is the rudiments, the very basic things of surface, and how to mix, and what brushes can do, and viscosities of paint and how to move, paint around. Those are super important things. And then, as a realist painter, you have to learn drawing, and value and an edge. And, and all of these components apply also to abstract painting, with a little more freedom with a lot more freedom. And, and I’ll just say this real quick, the difference between representation and abstract is other than what I just said. And realism, there’s a model that you’re trying to pattern your work after, it could be a figure, to be a vase of flowers, it could be a landscape. So you have a model, but an abstract, you are the model. So all this stuff emanates out of you. And you but at first, going to what you just said, you really have to understand the mechanics, make no mistake about that. I can take break beginners and give them I have had a couple of beginners in my classes, who’ve never touched the brush before end up doing pretty remarkable things in four days. But that doesn’t mean that they can go off and become competent after I painters, I guide them through the process without giving them ideas, or directing and on how to do things. But yeah, understanding the rudiments is, is a universal truth. That’s for sure.
Eric Rhoads 17:52
I think one of the most important things I ever learned when I first started painting is my instructor came up to me and he said, it’s all wrong. And he scraped down my painting. Yeah. And I was pretty frustrated. I watched other people freak out and completely leave after after that experience. But yeah, his point was you, you got to do it. Right, whatever right means in your particular case, now he was trying to teach us drawing and teach us painting in a certain particular way. And yeah, and I think we get to the point where you know, a painting becomes so precious to us, we do something, we find a passage in our painting that we’ve done really, really well. And we don’t want to let go of it, even though that passage may be screwing up the whole rest of the painting. So I think learning to just be willing to screw it up and and allow from the beginning, I think is an important lesson.
Larry Moore 18:46
Yeah, it’s a really, it’s a tightrope that you have to walk between control and letting go. And in realism, you and I both know there is a there’s a high element of control that we have to maintain in order for things to read three dimensionally in a two dimensional space. And so that requires a lot of training and a lot of understanding of form and value and color relationships. And I taught realism for years, you know, I taught plein air for many years. So I know I know how those lessons are important.
Eric Rhoads 19:29
The other part of that is, I think there’s there’s a method to teaching and there’s a method to learning .let’s lirst start talking about the method to learning if if learning method to learning Yeah, so if I’m a brand new anybody painter and I’m going to attack this what what do I need to have in my head? What What is kind of the process I need to be expecting and what kinds of things should I be doing?
Larry Moore 19:57
Good. So let’s start at the very beginning. Which is there’s there’s two, two facets of this, these decision process to be an artist is, is is an act of 10,000 decisions. And the very first basic decision is, what kind of artist? Am I going to be? You know, that’s number 1am I going to be a painter? Or am I going to work in clay? Do I want to be an architect? So you say, Okay, I think I’m gonna learn painting. Well, what kind of painting? I guess realism? Let’s go with that one. Okay. What kind of realists? Well, if I want to be, if I want to do Hyper Realism, then so what we’re doing is we’re just establishing a motor. And that is, What do I want? What do I want to achieve? And what what do I want to receive from what I’m doing? And what do I want other people to receive. And so these are first in the first few rounds of decisions that we have to make with an understanding that the, the path and shift and that’s a big, that’s a big thing, experiment that you make it halfway through as many artists who historically if you look at our history, they start off in one path, and then they veer off, and ultimately go their own way. So in the realm of, say, realism, of representational painting, we have to decide well, who kind of for now, who do we want to be what and that’s why we take workshops, we model our, our idea of who we want to be based on what we like. And my, I contend that we go through that process, the apprentice master process, which is now readily available, thanks to, you know, to you, and planet magazine streamline, and other schools. But at some point, we, we have to make decisions about what are we going to do with it, and you need to train like, like you’re going to the Olympics. So that requires just time, brush miles, time on the canvas drawing, understanding of color value, and my recommendation is always break them apart. practice drawing, for six months, practice missing color, and color relationships for six months, or longer. Practice value studies as this is very common idea. But what you do is what I always say is juggling is a painting, realistically, or any kind of thing is you’re juggling 10 balls, because you have all these different things I’ve just mentioned that you’re trying to apply at once, it’s really quicker to learn them one by one, and then put them together. So that’s a great sort of ground plan. foundational ground plan to spend two or three years just studying the basics, we all want to create the paintings and get them or get them up on Facebook or get them into the galleries. And that can happen, you know, certainly it does happen, but the world is full of people who maybe went out there Look, and if your motive is to be the best painter you can be, then you just have to put in the time without without expectation of practice. And we kind of live in this world of instant gratification. So that’s a hard thing to get your brain into.
Eric Rhoads 23:33
Yeah, well on a Facebook Instagram world and say, Look at me.
Larry Moore 23:36
yes, of course.
Eric Rhoads 23:38
And that can be damaging to one’s brand, actually. So I you know, I one thing that I see happening a lot is that early stage students get frustrated and quit. They, they come into this with this belief, and I, because we do all the teaching and so on that you referred to, we run into this all the time it is I don’t have any talent, I can’t draw a stick figure I area, they think that Sergeant or sariah, or Monet, or whomever, sat down one day, and all of a sudden, they were just a master, they were they were great at this, they don’t think about the fact that, you want to learn the piano, you go through that process. You want to learn brain surgery, you go through, 30 years of school. Right? And so how do you keep people from getting frustrated early?
Larry Moore 24:35
Well, this is one of the things that the list of things that I said that we could discuss was the secret to happiness. And the secret to happiness is to have goals, but to let go of expectations, you know, because things always take longer than we hope in the my phrase that I use. My tagline is If you’re if you put all of your joy into the process of doing that, and not into the outcome, you’ll never be disappointed. Because you’re always going to be joyfully doing what you’re doing. And even the mistakes are like, Okay, this is just part of the process, it’s part of growing up as it were, as an artist, as a person, and evolving, and, and I’ve met people who are so joyful in the process. And some of them were just flat beginners, and that is such a huge place that you have to kind of make yourself be in, otherwise, you’re going to be miserable. And I know, I know, really talented people who make themselves miserable, because they can never attain this thing, which is unattainable, anyway, are they I won’t name names. But, we all do this ourselves. And another thing I would say, to the beginners, who look at the, who we consider to be the masters of this time, and I suspect it’s true for all the great masters is none of them were ever happy with what they did, you know, at some point, they have to, their best efforts and the best they can do. And they are satisfied at that time with what they’ve done. And then the painting moves, moves on to spire, galleries and museums, whatever. But I guarantee you, none of them were ever completely happy, because that’s the thing, I call it the ugly Muse that drives us forward, to be disappointed or not, to know that you’re not where you want to be, and you can, you can face it however you want, you can face this disappointment, or I failed, or I’m never gonna be good. Or you can face it in a more positive light, which is, I’ll get better. And my here’s my analogy, I take martial arts. And I’m terrible at it. I just awful at it. And I’ve been doing it for four or five years. And I’ll occasionally utter the words to most people call him Sensei, but to the master dojo. And I’ll just say, I am terrible at this. And he’ll say, No, you’re going to be better at it next time. You know, so he just reframing what, what I’m saying in a more positive light. So the best thing anybody can do is, is encouraged themselves to just enjoy the process. And take the expectations out of why why can I paint like Sargent, newsflash, none of us can paint like sardines, there’s a handful in the world who maybe can touch them who are living today. But even still, the guy was just, the Mozart of painting. So there are people in the world that we just can’t, we can’t match their skill set, and to be happy with where you are, and know that you’ll improve. And that’s a state of mind. I mean, one of the biggest things I talk about in the very beginning of the abstract classes is, it’s called the 8020 rule 80% of what we do, in, in this process involves psychology, the psychology of painting, and the intellectual properties of the decision making process. And you have to learn to master those two things. The 20% is the mechanics of, of what we do, which, ironically, the 20% takes a lifetime to master the 80%. You can, you can conquer that in a moment. It’s a simple decision, switch, port of the switch, if you will, making a couple a handful of decisions to, to, to enjoy the process and not the outcome, put all the energy into the joy of study. And so these, the 90% or 80% of this is like is how you frame what you’re doing. And I’ve met joyful people, and they are so much fun to work with. And I’ve met people who are anxiety ridden about their work. I’m like, you just make yourself miserable. Where’s the where’s the joy? where’s the fun in that? You know, is this how you’re gonna spend your time and life’s short? So I was a big I went through that moment. And I, I just in a flash I just said, I’m not gonna be miserable about this anymore. I’m just gonna know. I can do better. And leave it at that.
Eric Rhoads 29:45
Yeah, I mean, you’re playing you’re having fun. You’re doing something that is creative. And yeah, maybe you’re not getting where you want to be. But I I was up at my fall color week retreat in Canada one year and I offered some, I teach marketing for artists and I offered some marketing, counseling. I said, anybody wants some time, so few people booked some time and two people in a row. They’re like, Well, how do I, how do I, how do I sell my paintings? How do I get into galleries? And I said, do you need to do that? And two of them said, No, I don’t, we don’t need to do it at all. And these were separate sessions. And I said, Well, why do you want to do that? And they said, Well, I just thought, it’s what the next level of progression was, it’s what I’m supposed to do. And I said, there’s no supposed us. And yeah, and if you, if you just let go of that, it puts you under tremendous pressure, because you’re like, Oh, I got to get into a gallery, I got to get good. And, just paint for yourself paint because you want to do it, if you want to, you want to get your work out there, you want the recognition, donate them to somebody, or, give them away or, do something, but it doesn’t have to be about selling something. But I think that the, this is part of what happens with social media, it’s like, yeah, I’m traveling here, how come that person’s doing all this, I’m not doing that they’re doing great paintings, I’m not doing that I think we, we really have to manage the mindset of what we’re putting into our heads.
Larry Moore 31:15
Absolutely. And, they’re speaking the psychology of, and what you just said, specifically, there’s two components that are the great inhibitors, and one is fear. And that’s the fear of making a mistake, and you have to make mistakes, that’s how we learn. And the other is assumptions. And we we build our idea of the world on a set of assumptions that aren’t necessarily true, if you join a school of thought, for like a neoclassical classicism, or some colors, modality, thinking, where they create joy, this is how it’s done. This is the way it’s, it’s a little like religion, I mean, is it the way, there’s a lot of different ways out there. And so one thing that I would always have people do, and I preach about this every day in my classes is to check your assumptions, and make sure they’re there. They’re correct, because the upside of social media is, it’s a great pool of information. The downside is, we we look at what people are doing. And we assume, well, they must be successful. So maybe that’s what I should be doing. And, and what they’re doing is they’re sending themselves down the wrong path, that they will eventually have to correct in some way it will happen. And so a little little upfront consideration about what their what they should be doing, I have this whole thing about, about schools, and I mean, schools have, like, let’s say homeschool, or, the blessing river school as an example. You know, it’s, it’s a line of thought, but it’s not the end all be all. And I know this because I go into museums, to see all kinds of lines of thought. So there isn’t one, there is no singular line of thought to follow. And we just pick them for any number of reasons. And but I, I’ve just been, I’ve always studied artists, in their progression, it’s great to see a retrospective book on any artist. Speak because you can see them grow. And they start in a place that’s not unlike someone in their circle, or that they train under, that getting apprentice master. And you can see how they ultimately go. Yeah, that’s not me. And they start wandering off down their own path. I always recommend that you watch the Netflix, of course. Okay, so do you know the Chef’s Table? Yeah. Are you watching either? Yeah, it’s a great series. It’s a great series. And I’m not even a foodie, but it’s beautifully shot, beautifully edited. And it’s each episode The story about a chef who ultimately the all of these stories are about the the artists finding their voice. And its realization that they most all of them grow up in the print school and at some point in their life, they go that’s not me. I’m, I’m resilient. I’m going to be the best Brazilian chapter I can be that I’m going to take all the stuff that I learned from the master, and I’m going to apply it to the thing that that is really who I am. And there’s that.
Eric Rhoads 34:40
But there’s a time and a place. So if let’s let’s say that a young student wants to paint like Jacob Collins or Daniel graves and so they sign up for one of their schools and it absolutely and and fantastic and you get into a Jacob Collins class, at least Yeah, this is my perception of this may not be real. Jacob is like, no photographs, no photographs, no photographs, you know, but it’s because he wants people to learn to draw and flying is the foundation of everything. Right? And then, and then it’s the layering and the, the way things are done. Sometimes you got to kind of stick with the knitting of where you’re learning. And then I know, once you it kind of goes back to those foundational principles, right? So, you get those foundations. And then, once you leave the Florence Academy, then you’re like, Okay, now I got my own voice. And I’ve seen people who stick with, that very, very tight, dark, realistic style. And then you have others who are, they’re blowing through it, they’re coming up with, Adrian Stein, for instance, what a terrific example of someone who is classically trained, but now is really out there and doing some very interesting and exciting things.
Larry Moore 35:57
Oh, yeah, there’s that there’s a whole bunch of realist painters who are trained along those lines, who are breaking away. And, and I do want to reinforce what you’re saying, you got to start somewhere. And you really want to learn best practices and best principles. And but ultimately, you want to listen to and this is, you know, the stories about this ship table, they all went to the front school. And I mean, they put in their 10 1520 years learning, the art of cooking, that is the mechanics of cooking, before they got to the place of like, that’s not who I am. So you do have to go through that process.
Eric Rhoads 36:35
…you have to study under a master to become a master.
Larry Moore 36:38
Ultimately, I think, within the the framework of say, traditional painting, absolutely. There are there there, there are a few cases, and not many, but of artists who have just said, You know what, I’m gonna figure this whole thing out on my own contemporary artists more specifically, but like a Eva Hesse, or just a handful of artists, you just said, I, I don’t think there’s anyone who can teach me what I need to know. But if you’re in the framework of representational painting, absolutely, to become a master, you should learn from a master and it will be shortening, it’ll shorten the period of time, yeah, there’s a little bit of chest beating and pride that goes with being self taught. And yet,
Eric Rhoads 37:26
I look at that, and I say, if I were self taught today, I’d be 30 years behind where I am, because spending time with someone like yourself, or someone like a Joe McGurl, or Jacob Collins, or, whomever I mean that they’re just going to elevate, you’re going to learn things that they’ve spent 40 years learning, and then you’re going to learn them in three or four years. So it’s going to speed up your process, I think there’s a right or wrong, but I do think now, if we can help ourselves by getting out there and learning from somebody else who’s been through these wars.
Larry Moore 38:01
Yeah. And every bit of that comes down to the individual. You know, like you said, the back you up on this, there’s no right or wrong. It does help to train under a master who, who can give you all the hand you down, as was handed to them. These these traditional elements of create of creating, but I can at the same time, can you show you or point to countless artists who arrive at their own voice on your own? the hard way, Joe?
Eric Rhoads 38:40
And it’s really beautiful. When you see that happened to
Larry Moore 38:42
Yes, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. It’s so there are there are rules, but again, there are no rules. And it’s it comes down to the individual what’s important to them. And, and that’s a long, slow process. Some people actually know that early on. But most don’t. And, and we come to it in our time.
Eric Rhoads 39:04
So how do we find our voice I get that probably is the biggest question anybody ever asked? How do I find my Yes. And and there’s this debate, does the voice come to you? Or does it just kind of come out of you kind of like your handwriting, it’s your signature. It’s just, you know, when you’re a kid, you practice copying your mommy your dad’s signature and you’re coming up with your own over and again, and then sooner or later, it’s just all of a sudden, it’s your voice. What do you think?
Larry Moore 39:29
I think for most, it’s a long slow burn, but I break it down into into three different parts of developing a language. So that to speak in and I’ll get to that more specifically in a minute, but developing what you want to say, the concepts or the content or the narrative in your work. This applies to everything this applies to music, it applies to architecture and fashion design. And then, and then the methodology, there’s three columns. And the methodology is the mechanics of. And if you’re a painter that will be, you know, the materials, specifically, the language portion of the event, which is what I teach in, in my classes, my there are four or five day classes, and I’m cramming, basically two years of information into four or five days. But we start with just developing a language that works for you. In the abstract realm, which you can apply, when you find a language that you’re comfortable with, you can apply that to your realism, or just stay with it in an abstract mode. But so the voice is, is comprised of three huge things that take a lot of time, a lot of consideration. And the language of abstraction, the language of painting, really, let’s talk about this, give it a framework that we can sort of all agree on, which is the landscape, right? So we can look at any a handful or 100,000, say, of known landscape painters, like George O’Keefe, and any of those house painters, you name them, it’s just not plants, charging suraiya, as I mentioned before, and we can we can look at their work and go, Oh, that’s a clip just right off the bat. Even if he’s painting trees and lakes and stuff, or there’s a there’s a Georgia O’Keeffe, even if she’s painting trees and lakes, you know, the difference between the two. And the reason is because they have their own unique language of how they handle shapes, how they handle colors, and form gradations. And Mark making, we know Matisse when we see it, even if he’s painting the figure or an interior of a room, because we know that we know his language. And so that’s where we start in a class setting is figuring out what language works? Is it Mark driven? Is it? Is it more about color? Or is it a combination of the two? You know, if you, I could cite contemporary artists now, but I don’t know that the listeners know who all these people are. So but everybody’s everybody has a signature in their work of these components of line, color, shape. And, and so that’s the first step and stage of the voice of the artist. And then we get into what we’re applying the language to, which is, am I going to paint the finger? Am I going to do landscape? Am I not going to paint any of that at all? Am I going to put birds and abstract is what I what I’m doing right now? With my content, what was my message? And these are more intellectual concerns? And then the fourth is how do I make that happen with paint or use what? what best suits the language in the content? Am I an oil painter? Am I a water colorist? Am I using a wash? All these different things? So I spent, you know, the last eight years, 10 years, once I started writing this book, figuring out on my own, like, what makes one person different from the next? And how do we identify that? And how do we break that down into these learnable chunks. And so the voice of the artists, there are exceptions to every rule. And for every hard rule, say in painting, when someone says well, you should never blah, blah, blah, I can show you someone who is hanging in all the museums around the world. Who does exactly that thing. supposed to do? Never Never put something in the dead center of the painting. Yeah, you see people who do it all the time who just applaud blow you away? Yes, of course. And and it also just goes to a kind of certainty in the work that defies the rules. And so it’s a long, slow process of discovery for most of us. But again, there are some people who just come by naturally and they know.
Eric Rhoads 44:20
One of the things that that made a huge difference and breakthroughs for me is that I started it was because we were doing these virtual events to survive, right? Because of COVID. Yeah, so we did what we did Watercolor Live, and I didn’t do a lot of watercolor and I attended it and all of a sudden my oil painting got better because of the watercolor techniques that I was learning. And now I’m learning pastel because of Pastel Live. And all of a sudden, I’m seeing ways to approach things in my oil or my watercolor. So I think the idea of getting out there and stretching your brain and trying other things. It may be not too soon because you know you’re trying in the beginning stages. You’re just trying to figure out How to manipulate a brush or a color but, or mix a color. But eventually I think those things really help pull you out and maybe also take some of the boredom away and make it more fun again.
Larry Moore 45:11
I couldn’t agree more with you on that one Eric and I have, I haven’t synced advantage in my career as an illustrator, because this is pre digital, you know, mind you, and I, I worked in pastel, oil, acrylic airbrush, even for all of those for 2530 years, and in concurrently, or simultaneously. And so I, and I wasn’t taught by anyone, I just figured it out on my own. I majored in graphic design, and I was like, well, what’s this medium do with that medium do and which one best suits my purpose. And sometimes a job would come along and, and pastel wouldn’t quite work. So I switch over to acrylic, or wash, which I’ve used a lot. And in my classes, I make everybody starting to wash and everyone says, I’ve never worked in wash, I’m like, exactly, because the first thing we have to do is learn which is a boot camp, and we have to reset. And, and, and I have to take you out of what you’re already knowing anything that you already know, we’re starting from scratch. And so you’re going to learn that there’s discoveries that you can make, just by switching over to a different medium. And, and which I’ve done all my life, second nature to me, and I just consider, you know, what is this medium? Do? What does it not do? People people don’t like acrylics because it dries fast. I like acrylics because they dry, is that sort of sort of an idea. galosh to me is like having a horse that has a wild horse, doesn’t do whatever you want it to do. But what it does is beautiful anyway. So it’s it the switch up is great for you. If you’re a guitarist, go play a piano for a while and you’ll learn something No, we do get caught up in just hammering on the one thing. And I’ve seen this also artists who late or mid career just switch mediums. I Scott Christensen a great example. He still an oil painter, but I was pastoring for years because we’re friends like Dude, you need to try and wash you just did a study medium is it’s just unparalleled because it does all these different things. Like Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to it. So I taught a class at his place. And he participated. And he took off with that was that medium, and it was so much fun to watch. I mean, he’s, he’s like a sergeant story, just that good. That he picked up the medium and within 30 minutes. He was doing stuff. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing.
Eric Rhoads 47:53
Yeah, he did a demo on Plein Air Live on in Guam, and just blew everybody out of the water. And he had he said, yeah, I’m just kind of figuring this out. Yeah, everybody’s drooling over the beautiful work.
Larry Moore 48:07
I mean, for about 10 minutes, I thought, well, I had something over Scott. And then he just blew me out of the water. Because he’s that good. You know, and what I love about him, of course, is he so friggin humble about what he does. That he doesn’t see it, but during the spirit. Yeah. And so to watch someone switch mediums, and all of a sudden, a light goes on for him. And he’s accessing new eyes within the framework of what he already does, he’s not going to become anything other than what he spent all his life, which is this amazing Western landscape painter, but he is access a new way of thinking about what he of layering color of building color of color relationships of, of painting with something that doesn’t quite go where you think it’s going to go and letting go of the outcome. And in watching him explode, because, he’s very compulsive in a good way about doing anything. You know, he didn’t do five he did 1000 as he is designed to do, you know, and he’s obsessive about that, which is really good.
Eric Rhoads 49:14
Yeah. Well, Rose Franzen is very much the same way. She’s, she will try anything. I mean, you get or Charlie Hunter, you know, you throw a toothbrush at him and he’ll figure out how to paint with it. Yeah, just because he’s, he’s looking for new and interesting ways to approach things.
Larry Moore 49:31
Yeah. And it shows in the work I mean, you know, I’ve always loved Charlie and and I love watching him evolve to get the other great thing about social media is we’re living in a retrospective book of everyone’s work, and you can watch them grow over the years in real time, and make these decisions and it’s a slow burn process to watch them change and grow. And I love that it’s so enjoyable for me. One of the The upsides of social media.
Eric Rhoads 50:02
What would you do one of the downsides or upsides is you never know who’s watching.
Larry Moore 50:08
Yeah, or Yeah, or what they, and then the other downside is you as you get to hear what’s in everyone’s head. And, that can apply to, if you show a painting and you get kind of a negative response, or everybody’s quiet, you don’t get as many likes, whatever, and then you’re going, then you start doubting, that’s the wrong thing. You know, I let go of that stuff a long time ago, and I don’t care.
Eric Rhoads 50:35
And that’s, that’s a great place to be what goes through your head when you’re painting because I think, oftentimes I go through, I’m painting something, and I’m like, wow, they’re really gonna like this, whoever they is, and yeah, then I find that when I do that, though, I’m painting for somebody else, not for myself. What, goes through your head?
Larry Moore 50:56
Well, fortunately, I’ve been doing this long enough, that and again, that’s that switch, that mental switch, that I was talking about flipping, I just realized a while back, that I wasn’t being true to myself fully, I was being an artist, and I was painting and, and doing a lot of plein air events. And which I love, I adore them. And I learned so much, and I made so many great friends. But at some point, I just realized, I don’t think I’m being true to myself, I really want to do something different. And I, I had to go on the hunt, to search for what worked for me. And so one of the things that I teach, and I practice is to develop intent in the work. So what goes through my head in every beginning of every painting, and throughout every mark in stroke, is this intent, this idea of what I’m after. And I start off every painting, even if it’s the plein air study and wash or oil, whatever, I come at it with a very specific idea in that thing keeps me focused. And I have like these three or four different lines of work that I’m doing now. And I know, I know that there’s a, there’s an idea out there that you should do one thing, and just do that. And I agree that’s probably true for certain gallery settings, or if you want to get known get bored, I can’t do it, I can’t do it. And I’ve come to terms with the fact that I enjoy chasing down ideas. And so every painting for me is a new idea, which is it helps me to evolve quickly. And I rationalized that by just breaking it into two or three different completely lines of work. Completely different lines of work. And this one is just me, it’s who I am. And I also if I think in some way, hopefully give people permission to play their own themselves. And I hope in a way, that’s my identity, because that’s who I am. And I guess part of my brand, if you will.
Eric Rhoads 53:05
I think your brand is at a different stage at different times. And so your brand is your Larry Moore, your creative guy, and you’re going to experiment and but you know, when you were starting out and trying to get into galleries, or maybe in galleries, you probably had to be a little bit earlier assistance, or, you might have to, sometimes you paint for the gallery, and then you paint the other stuff because you want to do that on your own. Because if you confuse the marketplace, in the beginning, what you know, once you’re at a level of Larry Moore or Scott Christianson, or CW Mundy are somebody that you can do whatever the heck you want to do. And everybody’s going to accept it at that point. Yeah, by the way, if it doesn’t sell, you probably don’t care at that point.
Larry Moore 53:46
Yeah. And I think I’m glad, you’re keeping me grounded here with this conversation. Because the truth is, if you do want to get started in the commercial realm, which is a both a plus and a minus, in many ways. You do have to kind of toe the line and develop an identity, because that’s what people want. And I, I kind of went through that process. And I think I’m on the other side of that and now I’m developing different identities are realizing that I have several, and I’m chasing him down. And, and that is who I am. But you’re absolutely right. It Plus, it’s good to stay in an idea, a line of thought or an intense great example of that would be Mark Hanson. You know, who’s just keeps getting better. I can’t, every time I see does a pan like Dude, you can’t get any better and then post a new painting like, okay, I don’t know how you’re doing it, but that’s because he’s staying in this intent of being a plein air painter. And he may switch mediums, oil and acrylic. He can’t tell. You know, he’s that good. And to stay in an idea and chase it down until You’re done. Whatever that is, it could be a lifetime. It could be a couple months, and you go, Okay, I’m bored. And then you try something different. And usually when people get stuck, it’s just because they’re bored with their line of thought. And they’ll come and take my class to get unstuck. And the fun thing is, and this is what I know, like, people are kind of like rubber bands, I stress them way out, like I pushed them way out of their comfort zone, to try different things. And they, they don’t break, they don’t change who they are, they’ll take the information that they’ve acquired in a class, and they’ll feed it back into the work with a brand new excitement for what they’re doing. And then they’re happy again, for years, because they’ve learned how to bust out of the, the being stuck in doing the same thing over and over again. I become kind of a student of the human condition, almost the therapist, you know, I should probably get a license for that, because there’s a big part of this process is understanding how people work. Do you want to ask man deeper questions? They know, well, how does that make you? How does it make you feel?
Eric Rhoads 56:10
It makes me nervous, Larry. (laughter)
Larry Moore 56:15
Let’s talk about that. Eric, I think that’s important. No, I like, the great thing about you and, your head is gonna be just packed with the you can’t possibly have any more room in your head for information with all the people you talk to. You know, and you’re just a wealth source of info. And I got to be fun for you.
Eric Rhoads 56:39
It is fun. But it’s also confusing as heck, I told somebody the other day I said, You know, I was shooting, I was going to all the video shoots, we do 30-40 video shoots a month, with Oh my god, some of the best artists in the world. And, then I hang out with them for dinner. And, sometimes we go painting together. And for the longest time, it was like, Oh, I’m gonna add that color to my palette, or I’m going to try it. Right. And it’s kind of like when you’re, out painting with other people, and you start looking at their work. And you’re thinking, Oh, they did that mountain better than I did. Or they put that tree in. And so you start changing to what they think. And it was driving me nuts. And I finally just, I finally had to say, I’m not going to go to the shoots anymore, I’ll watch the videos, but I am not gonna, and I’ll pick up a tip here and there. But I had to kind of stabilize because otherwise…
Larry Moore 57:33
Too much information, can really confound you. That’s true. That is absolutely true. until you start to learn how to separate it, and compartmentalize and find the things that are important to you. And that’s the process of discovering who you are, is to seek out, you know, within go to workshops, maybe initially I did to go, I want to paint like that person, and I want to learn their tricks. And then at some point, you realize, I’m not that person, I can’t be that person. But I can take some of their ideas and adapt them into my work. And that’s the play. That’s the headspace that we want to be in. If I took a Daniel Sprick class, I could work with a guy for a year, or 10 years. I don’t know, I never be Daniel’s, but he’s just, he is otherworldly. But I don’t want to be Daniel sprig. I want to be made. And so I might take the way he thinks about shapes, or the way he goes from out of focus and focus in his work and apply it to my methodology and give that a run, and see how it works for a while.
Eric Rhoads 58:44
Well, even the best of the best have figured out that there’s somebody who can teach them something, I think, I think it was Tim Lawson I was talking to. And he said, You know, I don’t remember who he mentioned, maybe it was Matt Smith or something. He said, whoever it was, he said they do great clouds, they do clouds better than anybody else. And I can’t figure out how to do it. So I went and took a workshop with him. And yeah, and, and so I think, you know, we look at the the areas that we want to improve, and we say who’s good at it, and we go for it.
Larry Moore 59:12
Yeah. Which, takes takes me to this other place. And I’ll go back to Scott Christiansen so he and I have a great friendship and one of the things that we often do, like on an annual basis, we just get together. And we and we talk about art for a week. And it’s all, we just talked about art, and maybe some relationships and stuff like that. Food occasionally the most of the art, and because because to be good. To Be creative requires an intensely curious mind. All the greats are intensely curious. And they’re also I think, open to receiving information from other sources. The really good ones are and there those are the ones that there’s not going to change. If I took a workshop with anybody, it’s not going to make me Damn, I’m just going to, I’m going to absorb some of the information into my own and adapted into my own. Our job is to observe, absorb and adapt. And with emphasis on that last word is to adapt. Because otherwise we become clones of somebody else. And that’s not fun.
Eric Rhoads 1:00:22
Well, it depends on who you’re being a clone of, I suppose.
Larry Moore 1:00:24
Yeah, that’s true. Yeah, there’s a couple of people I wouldn’t mind being, but that was a big. Yeah, oh, I love that guy. Because he’s a thinker. I mean, he’s a little kooky. But he’s an idea person. And I love ideas. I love artists. I’m a student of the arts in that I love, I love all methods of architecture. I love installation work. I love abstract art, I love great representational art. As long as it’s good, and you can spot you can spot the not so good. Right off the bat, once you know what you’re looking for.
Eric Rhoads 1:01:00
What I learned from Musk is that he lays it all on the line every time. In other words, you know, he’s, he’s worth billions of dollars, but, if he screws up, he loses all of it, because he’s put it all on the line.
Larry Moore 1:01:13
You know, he’s a risk taker.
Eric Rhoads 1:01:14
He’s not sitting there accumulating. And I think being a risk taker is so important as a painter.
Larry Moore 1:01:20
It’s important as a human being, as a productive member of society, to take chances to better hopefully, the world that you live in, and the world that you personally, are in. And that requires taking risks. And my whole class is designed on that premise is the only growth lives and the uncomfortable places. That’s where growth lives, you can learn to master skill sets by repeating it over and over again. But which is good, but beyond that, that’s as far as you go. So being curious and being open to new information, and be willing to, to put yourself into the place of, of being uncomfortable, which, again, I go back to martial arts. For me, I’m uncomfortable every time I go into a class because the master is always teaching us something new, or something that he that I’ve forgotten. And and I’m uncomfortable, because I don’t know how to do it. And that’s but I at the same time I go, that’s okay. Because I’m learning and and I’m folding something new into my repertoire. So that’s the headspace I’m always in.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:38
That goes back to that beginner painter, and that is embrace the pain, you know, don’t give up yet…You’re gonna have more pain in this and you’re going to be uncomfortable. And if you’re uncomfortable, you’re in a good place.
Larry Moore 1:02:52
Yes, life is pain. Which is from Princess Bride by the way.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:57
Speaking of pain, I we’re, we’re kind of out of time now, but we’ll do another hour. Not today. But we have so much more to talk about. Where do people find out about these, these classes and workshops that you’re doing?
Larry Moore 1:03:18
Oh, the best place is my my website course Larrymoorestudios.com and just click on workshops. I haven’t posted what’s coming up in the next year, but I’m always posting and you can always email me and I’ll put you on the list or to follow me on Facebook, I don’t post any of that stuff on Instagram, I could be a better marketer about it. But I’m kind of busy. So, yeah, my website is a perfectly good place to look, you can if you’re interested in more information on the books that I’ve written fishing for elephants, there’s a link to that are my book insights and exercises to begin with, I can’t remember how it goes. But it’s to promote authentic creativity in the individual, which I become my reason my purpose. And my my cause is to help people with that.
Eric Rhoads 1:04:13
It’s a highly recommended book too. So everybody needs to get that right now. Just right now.
Larry Moore 1:04:18
Yes, it would do whatever. It’s good for you.
Eric Rhoads 1:04:22
Well, it really is. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t believe it. Larry, this has been been challenging. Delightful. I always enjoy brain stimulation. And most of all, it’s a happy place. So thank you so much.
Larry Moore 1:04:38
Yeah, I look forward to the time when you and I get to sit down to talk about anything.
Eric Rhoads 1:04:42
It’s always good. Let’s do it. You and I and Sky will go spend 10 days talking about art…. We’ll have to find another time to get an interview with Larry Moore. That was just fabulous. Hope you enjoyed it. You guys ready for some marketing ideas?
This is the Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the number one Amazon bestseller “Make More Money Selling Your Art: Proven Techniques to Turn Your Passion Into Profit.”
Eric Rhoads 1:05:19
In the marketing minute I try to answer your art marketing questions email yours to me Eric at art marketing.com. By the way, that’s a great resource with lots of marketing articles I’ve written artmarketing.com. Here’s a question from Michael D in Buffalo, New York, who says I’ve heard that my website should be mobile optimized. What on earth does that mean? Well, think of it this way, Michael. Most of us have smartphones. Now not everybody does. But most of us use our smartphones for everything. And the research indicates now that most of Google visits are on a smartphone and that most website visits are on a smartphone. It’s like 80, or 90%. That’s how high it is. And if a website is designed for a big screen or a computer screen, then things sometimes you have to scroll side to side to see him or things get cut off. And so what you want to do is have a mobile optimized website, meaning it stacks things so that you can kind of scroll through them. And then the columns are narrower and the type is fit for mobile. Because some of us have, you know, little tiny type and can’t read it in mobile, but looks okay on a on a big screen computer or something like that. So basically, you want to get it mobile optimized. Now, what most of the website providers do is they have a mobile optimization tag, where you can essentially go in there and look at how your website’s going to look on mobile. And you can usually design your website so it looks better on mobile. And then it will choose. So for instance, it’ll pick the mobile site for those who are on mobile, and it will pick the other site for those on on the web. And that way, it’s optimized for each of those because you don’t want a mobile optimized site on your main site, usually. But this way, you have something that works in both worlds. Now, if you use an art website provider, most of those people know how to do that and can do that for you. But not all of them. And so you’ll have to check into that. But being mobile optimized is important. And I think from a marketing standpoint, too, if you’re marketing something, you want to be thinking about being mobile optimized, because if you’re sending out emails or newsletters to people and your columns are too wide, then you’re gonna you’re just gonna make people frustrated. There’s nothing more frustrating for me than getting an email and I have to scroll side to side to see the photo or see something. It just isn’t a very comfortable experience. So anyway, hope that helps. The next question comes from Deborah m in Louisville, Kentucky. That’s the proper way to say Louisville, not Lewisville, not Louisville, Louisville. Alright, I learned that because I live near there. Now somebody will call me and say no, it’s not livable. Anyway. She says Debra says I know you’re big on using Instagram, and I just started my art Instagram page. But since I’m new, how do I get followers on it? Boy, that’s a loaded question. You know, a lot of people have moved over to Instagram from Facebook, and some are doing both. A lot of us kind of like Instagram because there’s no, not as much negativity in politics there and so on. But anyway, Instagram is a beautiful thing. And it’s a beautiful place. And it’s a good potential marketing tool. The one thing you want to start thinking about before you if you’re designing from scratch, you want to ask yourself, who is my audience? Who am I speaking to? Am I speaking to fellow artists? Am I speaking to art collectors, people who just love art do I care? The only reason you should care is if you’re going to use it as a marketing tool, because it’s a marketing tool, then you have to know your audience, right. So your audience, if you’re marketing, let’s say you’re an artist, and you’re teaching workshops, and you want people to hear about your workshops, then your Instagram page needs to be a little bit geared towards that if it’s about art collecting and buying paintings, then that’s a different way of approaching things. But Instagram, I am studying it like crazy trying to learn as much as I possibly can. I’ve just been through a big course a very expensive course. And I’m going through another very expensive course because things are changing all the time. And I’m watching these things all the time, essentially. And by the way, I have a lot of people helping me with Instagram too. And I’m still learning so essentially what you want to do is know your audience and then know what they want your your job in Instagram is to tell stories, visual stories. So you want to look for ways that you can have high quality content that tell stories now people love to see experiences on Instagram. So if you’re out painting, for instance, then look for ways to share experiences on your Instagram. Look for different ways to post now if you really are serious about it, you’re going to be posting in a lot of different ways. And this doesn’t seem like this is how you grow up. But this is how you grow it, you grow it through good content content is everything in Instagram. So you want to have a good post, there’s also a thing called Instagram stories which appear at the top of the page. And if you post a lot and you post and people follow you, you’re going to end up showing up on everybody’s screen the first time they open up, and that’s a beautiful thing. So you want to start posting stories on Instagram, again, you want your stories to relate to what it is you’re trying to communicate. And then there’s a thing called reels, which is a very small, I think, under 30 seconds or under a minute, I’m not sure exactly what it is. And that the reels are videos. And so Instagram is trying to get reels off the ground, because they want to compete with tik tok. And as a result, they’re putting a lot of favor to that. So if you have reels, they’re going to push it out and let people see it more frequently. And when people see things that they push out, they’re going to come to you and they’re gonna say, Oh, this person’s interesting, I’m going to follow them. So now there’s a lot of other things you can do. For instance, you can go on your Facebook and say, Hey, everybody that follows me, will you follow me on Instagram and give a link, you can also do promotions, you know, one thing that’s very popular is to do a giveaway, a giveaway, where it says, I’m going to give away, let’s say, I’ll use a painting, for instance, I’m going to give away this painting, you’ve got 30 days to enter or 10 days to enter. And the way to enter is number one is you have to follow this account, and then you put your Instagram thing there. And number two is you have to hit the like button that shows interactivity. Number three is you have to leave a comment. And by doing those three things, it helps other people discover you through other people. And then you want to make sure that you have a hashtag in there that says something like giveaways or Instagram giveaways or giveaways online or something look for the Instagrams that are hot. And then there are a lot of people who will follow you just from a giveaway. Now, the downside of that is you’re gonna get followers who are not necessarily buyers, and they might not even care about you, they’re just following you for your giveaway. But if your giveaway is relevant to something that they like and care about, that’ll may make a big difference. Now, the other thing that I think is important is Instagram, you don’t want to be posting all the time you want to do one, maybe two posts a day, and you want to do it consistently seven days a week. Now you can get schedulers, there’s software that you can get, you just got to, look up, Google it. And there’s lots of different companies that make it. And that way you can kind of put all your posts together, take a couple hours in one day a week and put all your posts together and do that the things that don’t work is, all this random stuff that has nothing to do with what do you want to be known for, you’re gonna want to get to the point where you have, if people look at the the 17, or 18 icons that are showing on your web page, or on your Instagram page, you want them to be and you can arrange those by the way and make sure that they’re the best ones. You want them to be things that are about what a web page is about, you know, we we’ve learned that if, if let’s say you’re doing a painting about, let’s say watercolor, and if you pose post all watercolor stuff, then you’re cool. But the minute you post something that’s not watercolor, maybe it’s a picture of your your food, you’ll lose a lot of people just from that one post. And so you want to be consistent about what you post Unless, of course, you’re trying to sell your person, your personality. And, I post things about my family and about things where I am, along with a lot of the other stuff. Some people don’t like it and they’ll unfollow but, I’m also trying to communicate that, you know, I’m just a family guy that just happens to love art. And so anyway, hope you’ll follow me on Instagram at Eric Rhoads and on Facebook and other such things. Anyway, this I hope has been helpful. This has been the marketing minute this has been a marketing minute with Eric Rhoads.
You can learn more at art marketing.com
Eric Rhoads 1:14:02
Thank you very much. A couple of reminders. Don’t forget to join us at pastel live. There’s still time just go to pastellive.com you don’t want to miss it. Also check out fall color week, it’s a chance to paint together in the fall color of upstate New York. It’s beautiful paintrussia.com if you want to go to Russia, and don’t miss Bill Davidson’s video workshop painting with energy, you’re going to love it. It’s at streamline.art. And if you’ve not seen my weekly blog where I talk about life and things and stuff and family and all kinds of things, it’s called Sunday Coffee and you can find it at coffeewithEric.com and then go in there and subscribe. It’ll come to you every week. I’m Eric Rhoads, the publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine there plein air people all over the world. I hope you’ll join the movement. We love you guys. We love plein air painting. You can find us online at outdoorpainter.com and remember, it is a big world. Go paint it. We’ll see you soon. Bye bye.
This has been the plein air podcast with Plein Air Magazine’s Eric Rhoads. You can help spread the word about plein air painting by sharing this podcast with your friends. And you can leave a review or subscribe on iTunes. So it comes to you every week. And you can even reach Eric by email [email protected]. Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at pleinairtips.com. Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.