Ep 17 General Art Tips for Artists

August 20, 2018

Today’s episode is all about general tips for artists. It’s a bit of a follow on from Episode 15 about making the best of your creative space.

We cover a lot in this episode. Just in case you’re not aware, Sandra is an experienced oil painter who paints highly detailed still lifes. Prior to discovering her love of oils, she used to paint in watercolours. So Sandra has a wealth of tips to share, plus I throw in a few tips of my own that I’ve learned over the years too.

One of the biggest things you’ll learn is to take your bathroom cabinet out of the bathroom and transfer it to your art space. It appears that Sandra has miraculously found a use for everything in hers for painting. Even I found some of the suggestions a little eye-opening!


Ep 16 Creative Chat with Koosje Koene from Sketchbook Skool

August 6, 2018

We are delighted to have the incredibly talented artist and co-founder of Sketchbook Skool, Koosje Koene on the podcast today.

Koosje was born in the Netherlands and lives in Amsterdam. She studied Graphic Design but later went on to become an award-winning photographer.

After 10 years as a photographer, Kosha got itchy feet and her pencils began calling her. She quickly re-discovered her love for drawing and started her blog.

Koosje then began developing online classes and not only is she now a highly talented illustrator, but also an online teacher. She also hosts ‘Draw Tip Tuesday’ where she offers weekly drawing tips, encouraging people to draw every single day. She shares how she gets inspiration for both Draw Tip Tuesday and her own personal art.

In the podcast, you will hear more about Koosje's creative journey on the way to co-founding Sketchbook Skool with Danny Gregory in 2014. She also shares her hopes for the future of Sketchbook Skool and her own creative work.


Ep 15 How to Make the Best of your Creative Space

July 23, 2018

Today’s episode is all about making the best of your creative space. Now that includes keeping your stuff organised and tidy. Anyone that knows me well, will know that tidiness is definitely not my forte. In fact, my partner (who never stops hoovering) would be rolling around laughing at the thought of me giving anyone else advice on this stuff. Hands up who else has an “I don’t know where to put it” drawer

Now if you were panicking and thinking why on earth would I listen to someone so untidy, fear not. Fortunately, Sandra, who says herself that she is a little OCD in the clean and tidy department, can help balance out my messiness.

So just like you, I will have to listen back to this episode to see what Mrs Tidypants (as Sandra will be known from this day forward ) has to say about creative space organisation.


Ep 14 Creative Chat with Danny Gregory from Sketchbook Skool

July 9, 2018

This week we are delighted to have Danny Gregory from Sketchbook Skool on the podcast. In fact, delighted is pretty much an understatement, especially for Sandra who had to decide what outfit she would wear for our voice-only podcast.

I'm sure if you love art and drawing you'll know all about Danny Gregory, but just in case you've had your head buried under a sketchbook for the last few years, let me tell you a little more.

Danny spent three decades working as one of New York's leading advertising directors. When his wife had a tragic accident which left her paralyzed, Danny started drawing and keeping a journal as a sort of therapy to help him come to terms with what happened. He has been drawing ever since. He also used drawing to help him cope with the death of his wife through another accident years later.

Danny has written several books, some of which show his beautiful journal sketches alongside his words, we talk about some of them in the podcast including A Kiss Before You Go and Shut Your Monkey.

A few years ago Danny got together with Koosje Koene to form Sketchbook Skool. Danny never dreamed he would end up teaching people to draw, but now he is inspiring people all over the world to pick up a pen or pencil and start drawing again.

You can find out more about Danny Gregory on his blog or at https://sketchbookskool.com



Ep13 Creative Chat with Callum Stephen from The BBC Big Painting Challenge

June 25, 2018

Our guest for this episode is realist artist Callum Stephen, who you may remember from the BBC Big Painting Challenge. Sandra takes the reins today as she interviews Callum while I’m off on holiday in France, which funnily enough is where Callum is now living.


Ep 12 How to Generate Ideas for Your Creative Project

June 11, 2018

Today's episode is all about idea generation, a topic we love. I have to try and keep Sandra under control otherwise she comes up with bizarre ideas like inflatable knickers (don't ask!).

If you have ever sat with a blank sheet of paper not knowing what to create, then this episode is for you. You really don’t need to wait for that Eureka moment to have an idea. There are lots of different creative techniques you can try.

Some of the creativity techniques we cover:

  • Mind mapping - but we put our own twist on this
  • How to get ideas out of your everyday life
  • How to use a random word to get ideas - we also try this live to show you how it works - yikes (we don't even cheat by picking the random words first! )
  • Freewriting - Sandra shares a scary app for this too
  • Sandra talks about how you should carry a notebook at all times, but hasn't got one when we need one on the podcast :-)
  • Idea mash-up - Its a bit like making a cheese and potato pie, but completely different
  • Moodboards and White-Boards
  • Poetry and Character Tear-Ups
  • Oh my god I am still writing, and there are more creative techniques we shared that I haven't even mentioned...get your coffee ready.

Ep 11 Creative Chat with Youngman Brown from Your Creative Push.mp3

May 28, 2018

This week we are delighted to have a guest on the show and that's Mike Young, better known as Youngman Brown creator of the popular podcast Your Creative Push. Now Mike has a lot to answer for, in fact, he is the reason that this podcast even exists. He's the one to blame when Sandra and I are warbling on in your ear, as we met via Mike's Creative Push Facebook Group. 

Mike originally started his podcast because he was looking for a podcast about pushing yourself to be more creative, but he couldn't find one. Mike is a great writer but he found he wasn't motivating himself to write as much as he wanted to. Originally Mike was putting out one episode of the show a day, which is quite an achievement. Finding guests, interviewing and editing a podcast takes a huge amount of time and Mike was doing all that alongside his job of being a poker dealer. Mike shares how he managed his time and got so much done.

Mike shares some of the creative projects he is working on including Words plus music http://wordsplusmusic.com/ and Creative Push. He also speaks about some of the challenges he's taken part in. One was NaNoWriMo - a writing challenge, but Mike put his own twist on the Challenge. Cramuary was another challenge that Mike invented himself. The idea was that he would "cram"/do as much work on a creative project (his book) during January as he could. However, it didn't work out quite as planned which Mike explains more about in the podcast. Mike offers his tips for anyone else who is considering taking part in a creative challenge.


Ep10 Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

May 14, 2018

As a follow up to our episode about dealing with negative feedback, today's episode is about imposter syndrome.

If you haven't heard the term before, it doesn't mean you have to disguise yourself with a pair of googly eyes and fake moustache. Instead, it's that feeling you get that you get when you feel you shouldn't be in the position your in. That you aren't knowledgeable enough even though you have all the expertise and experience that you need to be where you are.

How to spot if you have imposter syndrome

  • Feeling inferior amongst others in your field
  • A fear of being ‘found out’... or people realising that you’re not really as knowledgeable on the subject as they’d thought
  • Lack of self-confidence and self-belief
  • Procrastination
  • Feelings of self-doubt

Our experiences of imposter syndrome
We share our experiences of imposter syndrome. Sandra talks about having Imposter Syndrome when her art was featured on the front cover of a magazine. Tara's art hasn't yet achieved such notoriety but she did once win a hamster cage age, (plus a teddy bear and R2D2 model kit that she forgot to mention in the show ;-) ). PS. she was only about 7. Tara has also experienced imposter syndrome on many occasions including the time she worked at a design agency and the most amazing designer worked there too - yikes.

How to overcome imposter syndrome
Hold on to your hats, we got some ideas for you here, hint - that was one of them, but you can hear more in the show.

June Challenges
We give a quick mention to the three challenges we've got happening in June

Copyist June
Replicate a sketch, drawing or painting by a master or from an art book, every day throughout the month. One of the best ways to learn how to draw well is to copy from other artists who are masters of their craft. By replicating their style you will learn a lot.

Cartoon in June
This is a challenge to create a cartoon every single day throughout the month of June. Your cartoon could be a single character, or an entire comic strip! You can use any medium.

For ‘Quick Kick June’ - Create a COLOUR sketch in 10 minutes or less. This challenge is particularly suitable for those who have a tendency to overwork their sketches or those who have limited time.

This week's podcast question
Q. What is your favourite famous painting and why?
The best answers will be read out on the next podcast.






Ep 9 Dealing with Negative Feedback

April 30, 2018

Today we are talking about dealing with negative feedback and we'll be sharing some of our personal experiences. Now, I am sure if you have listened to the show before you're thinking, ...but Sandra and Tara are way too fabulous to have ever had any negative feedback. That was what you were thinking wasn't it?! But it's true we have both had some gut-wrenching experiences - I don't think I need to elaborate anymore other than to say the words "nose whistle" and "the teddy bear got its revenge". It will all make sense when you listen.

Why are you receiving negative criticism?

Often it means you stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new or stretching yourself, which is actually a great thing. It’s just that people aren’t always that tactful about giving criticism.

Tips for dealing with negative feedback

We need to try and remember that feedback, whether good or bad is only someone's opinion. Sometimes the criticism can help us learn something and improve what we do, other times it's best to ignore it and realise it's more about the other person's insecurities, jealousy or downright tactlessness. We share how our negative feedback affected us at the time and how we might deal with it if the same thing happened now.

Ideas for ways to boost your own confidence

Along with dealing with negative criticism, we also make some suggestions on how to boost your own confidence and make yourself feel better. This does not involve eating copious amounts of chocolate, although we are open to testing if it has beneficial effects.

Our supportive Facebook Group are busy creating

We also give a mention to some of the fantastic members of our Facebook Group who are creating and sharing regular art in the group. You are welcome to join us.

Kick in the Creatives Facebook Group

Thank you for all of your answers to our previous question. It was fun reading some of them out,

This weeks question

What would be your dream creative project?


Ep 8 How to Make Your Sketchbook More Interesting

April 16, 2018

Today we share some tips on how to make your sketchbook more interesting. Plus, as usual, we go on a few tangents and talk about other things that pop into our heads, usually art related, but we can’t completely promise that!

We also mention our April Art Challenges which had just started as we recorded the episode - Abstract Art April, Imitation April and Quick Kick April. Quick Kicks are our monthly challenges that you can complete in 15 minutes or less, so most people can fit them into their day.

Anyway, just like the podcast, I have already managed to divert my attention away from the main topic of sketchbooks. First, we discuss different suggestions for making your sketchbook cover more interesting. Sandra is a big advocate of this, but I prefer to concentrate on the insides. It reminds us both of having to cover exercise books when we were back at school in the dark ages. Does anyone else remember Fablon that sticky plastic stuff or is it a figment of my imagination? Do kids still cover exercise books? Do exercise books even exist anymore or have they been replaced by holograms?......

Read the rest on the show notes