#23 Jennifer O’Brien: Artist and Director of Resource Depot

Jennifer O’Brien is the Executive Director of an organization called Resource Depot in West Palm Beach, Florida. Resource Depot is a reuse center, which is a warehouse that accepts products and materials from individuals and businesses, with the goal of keeping these items out of the waste stream. Artists are huge users of these types of centers, and can find lots of interesting materials to use in their art. Jennifer is an artist with a background in education, business, and a passion for the environment. She explains how reuse centers work and where you can find one near you.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Jennifer O'Brien

Jennifer and her staff modeling the skirts they made out of plastic bags.
You never know what you might find at your local reuse center that you can use for art or your studio.
Adults and students working on a "Broken Bits" mural.
Students have made Reuse Buildings at Junk Camp this summer.
You never know what might come in to Resource Depot. Check back often to see what trash you may be able to use to make a treasure.
Resource Depot staff and volunteers will get creative with what is donated to give artists ideas of how they may use them.
Jennifer is an artist in her own right. Not only does she use recycled items for her artwork, but she also uses her creative ideas to help artists figure out how they can use things that are available at Resource Depot.
More artwork by Jennifer O'Brien using recycled paper and scraps.

Resource Depot is located at:

2510 Florida Avenue

West Palm Beach, FL  33410

You can find their website at resourcedepot.net

You can also find them on Facebook.

Their hours are:

Tuesday, 11-5

Wednesday, 11-7

Thursday, 11-5

Saturday, 9-2

On the website for Lancaster Creative Reuse, you can find a Directory of Creative Reuse Centers in the United States and around the world.

You can find out more about reuse programs at the Reuse Conex website.

Here are some takeaways from this episode:

  1. Use the websites that I’ve listed in the show notes above to find out if there is a reuse center near you.
  2. Materials are coming in and out of reuse centers all the time. So if you can’t find something you like one day, be sure and try again another day.
  3. Most centers accept items from individuals as well as businesses.
  4. Most centers charge for taking items out, and often that charge is based on weight or volume. Some even have discounted prices for artists and teachers.
  5. As an artist and an individual, think about what you can perhaps donate: artist supplies you no longer use; supplies that you’ve over bought; materials from art events or installations that you no longer need; used books that probably wouldn’t be accepted at libraries or book stores; fabric and carpet scraps.
  6. Call or visit your reuse center first to find out what they will and will not accept. Thrift stores may be a better donation spot in some cases.
  7. Consider making your own reusable bags for purchases, and use them for more than just grocery stores.
  8. Find out what items your city or county accepts in their recycling program; all areas have their own rules, so some may have a program to recycle batteries or light bulbs, and some may not.
  9. Some reuse centers have galleries where artists can display artwork made from their reused items. Resource Depot even has opening and closing receptions for their artist shows.

I hope Jennifer has inspired you to think about how you can approach aspects of your art that are much more environmentally friendly, and to look and see if you have a reuse center near you. Remember that at reuse centers you can take things and donate things. You may find the perfect materials for your next art project, or you may want to donate supplies that you’ve overbought or don’t use anymore. We all know that one person’s trash can truly be another person’s treasure – as long as there is a place where people can go to give and get the useful stuff.

            Be sure and check out my business episode which will be posted this Friday. I will be expanding on some ideas of how artists can be more environmentally friendly.

#22 Alternative Art Studio Ideas

In my interview with Seattle artist Carrie Schmitt, she told me about her trouble finding an affordable art studio where she could work. The cost of retail space in Seattle was just too high. Instead, she came up with the idea of buying an old school bus and renovating it for her studio. She now has a beautiful space that she calls Rosie the Art Bus. Not only can she take it anywhere she wants to work on her art, but she can also bring it to gallery openings or festivals, and she can sell her products right from the bus. In this episode I talk about other alternative art studio ideas, including live/work spaces, residencies, co-working spaces, and campers, tiny houses and sheds.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

In West Palm Beach Florida, they offer live/work studios at Lot 23. 

The Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach offers year-long Artists in Residency programs.

Resartis is a worldwide network of artist residencies. You may find one that interests you there.

Here’s another list of residencies at the Alliance of Artist Communities.

Here’s an article about the 23 best co-working spaces.

And I’ll let you google art studio campers, sheds, and tiny houses. You’ll find lots of photos that will give you some great ideas. Pinterest in particular is a great source of inspiration.

And finally, check out stusu.com, the airbnb of renting studio space.

Let me know if you have any other ideas for alternative studio spaces. Drop me an email, and I’ll include it in these show notes. sredmond75@comcast.net

#21 Carrie Schmitt: Artist, Art Retreat Facilitator, and Author

Carrie Schmitt’s artwork is beautiful colorful painted flowers. She is also a retreat facilitator, and teaches classes near Seattle, Washington, and next year in France. We talk about her one-year project, called The Single Rose Project, where she handed out a rose to one person every day for a year, and we also talk about her newest adventure, Rosie’s Art Bus, which is her mobile art studio. You’ll be amazed to learn that she’s only been painting for ten years, after drastically changing her life and her home base following a debilitating illness. She really has an inspiring story.

Listen here or download from iTunes, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Carrie Schmitt

Rosie the Art Bus
Interior of the Art Bus
Interior of the Art Bus
Carrie with the ladies at her art retreat.

Here are some of the things we discussed on this episode (click on the names to follow the links):

Carrie’s website: carrieschmittdesign.com

Her Instagram

Her Pinterest

Here is more information about Carrie’s A Single Rose Project.

Here is a link to Carrie’s online shop where you can buy her artwork and products. Here is where you can purchase Carrie’s Rose Cards, so that you can pass do your own rose project.

While the online business class that she took from artist KellyRae Roberts is no longer offered, here are some of KellyRae’s other courses.

Some of Carrie’s art can be found at Art East Gallery in Issaquah, Washington.

Here is the calendar for Carrie’s upcoming retreats.

Here are some takeaways from this episode:

  1. As Carrie says, “Do one thing every day in the direction of your dream.”
  2. If you want to create a 365-day project like Carrie did, be sure that you work it into your daily routine. And make sure you give it a powerful end, like Carrie did when she gave her last roses out at a women’s shelter in Seattle.
  3. At the end of her day, she asks herself, “Did I do the best I can do today?” I think that’s a great way to reflect and prepare for your next day to continue on your art-filled path.
  4. As Carrie says, we need some down time to create a quiet space for ourselves. In this crazy time where we are attached to our phones, we need to relearn what it is like to sit quietly by ourselves and occupy our minds with thoughts that fill our souls.
  5. Instagram and Pinterest are great places to show photos of your art. Carrie was recognized in Pinterest and able to obtain licensing deals through that notice.
  6. Consider getting your artwork printed on products, like hats and water bottles. Carrie sells these things in shops and from her bus.
  7. If you can’t find or afford studio space near your home, consider an alternative space like Carrie has for her bus. Rosie the Art Bus came about because she was unable to find affordable space, and the cost of the bus was less than one month’s rent of a retail space. Now she can paint by the beach, at a park, where ever she wants to take the bus.
  8. Think about alternatives to offering traditional art classes. Carrie is offering a week on an island in Washington for women to work on projects in a quiet beautiful space, but there is no teaching involved.

I hope Carrie has inspired you to challenge yourself with a new project and be brave enough to try something new, no matter how scary or unusual the idea might be.

#20 Keeping Track of Your Art Inventory

If you’re an artist who is trying to sell their work, you need to know what is available to sell. Keeping track of your art inventory is essential so that you’ll be ready for future opportunities and you can evaluate your sales history at the end of the year. I’ll give you ideas of how to keep track of your artwork, what details you should keep track of, and how you can benefit by this.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Here are the takeaways from this episode:

  1. Start first by numbering every piece.
  2. Then give each piece a title. (Don’t skip this step!)
  3. Measure every piece: Use H x W for 2D, and measure the bases for sculpture.
  4. Write down the media and techniques that were used.
  5. Figure out a price.
  6. Record all this information in a manner that works for you: spreadsheet on your computer, document on your phone, handwritten, 3-ring binder.
  7. Move photos into a separate folder when artwork is on display at a show, store, or gallery.
  8. Keep a separate list for sold items, and keep track of who bought it on your email list.
  9. Analyze your sales a couple times of year to see what is selling and what isn’t, and try to figure out why.

If you’ve found a great way to keep track of your inventory and you’d like me to share your idea, send me an email, and I’ll feature it on a future episode.


#19 Roxanne Evans Stout: Collage from a River Garden

Southern Oregon artist Roxanne Evans Stout calls her business River Garden Studio, as she is inspired by the Klamath River, and the birds, trees, and nature that she can experience so close to her home. Her artwork is a collage style that incorporates paper, fabric, stitching, and found objects. She shares her techniques and artistic talent through workshops that she teaches all over the world, as well as online classes that are available through many websites. Roxanne truly has a well-developed left brain, because she intuitively knows how to pursue art opportunities and is not afraid to create her own.

Listen here or download from iTunes, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Roxanne Evans Stout

Both of Roxanne's books are available through Amazon.

Here are some of the things we discussed on this episode (click on the names to follow the links):

Check out Roxanne’s website: roxanneevansstout.com

You can find her on Facebook at Roxanne Evans Stout, or her business page River Garden Studio.

She is also on Instagram.

You can find Roxanne’s art at these galleries in the Pacific Northwest: The Gallery in Mt. Shasta, Mt. Shasta, California; and Strange Angels Gallery and Gifts, in Port Orford, Oregon.

She is now teaching an online class called Collage Stories through Stencil Girl Studio. You can also shop for stencils she has designed at Stencil Girl Products on their shop page.

You can find both of her books on Amazon.

She finds Calls for Artists on the website Call For Entry.

Here are the takeaways from this episode:

  1. See how you can be inspired by your natural environment. As Roxanne says, “This land makes me who I am as an artist.”
  2. Make connections with your local galleries, then just call them. Don’t be afraid to walk in and show them some of your art.
  3. Research where other people are teaching workshops and consider if that’s a town where you’d like to go and a studio where you’d like to teach.
  4. Look at the submission guidelines for your favorite art magazines and consider submitting an article.
  5. Consider technical schools as a place to teach your art. Often they have art requirements that must be met, and you can develop the perfect class for them.
  6. Online classes through another website are a great option, as they have the experience to help you develop them, and the following to get you loads of students.
  7. If you’ve got a book idea, consider self-publishing, as Roxanne did with her second book, Dancing on Raindrops.
  8. And finally, Roxanne has booked most of her workshops for 2019 already, so check out her website around November for the complete list.

Roxanne gave some great tips about how she keeps track of all her artwork. I’ll talk about that on my next bonus business episode.


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