#55 Michael deMeng: Assemblage Artist and World Traveling Instructor

Michael deMeng is an assemblage artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia. His 3D creations tell a story, often based in mythology, but can also include the story of the original object or where it was found. He uses discarded objects and puts them to new uses, giving them new meaning. He also travels all over the world teaching art classes, particularly Oaxaca, Mexico, and New Orleans. In his classes he encourages his students to try new things and create something of value.

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

Michael deMeng (the one on the right)

This is the Lilith art piece that he talks about in our podcast conversation.
The Tin Man
Rhino MDXV
These are the sculptures taught in his Holy Rollers class. The base is a Hot Wheels car, and the wheels are not altered so that they can still be raced down a Hot Wheels track.
Plumed Serpent

You can find Michael deMeng’s artwork and class schedule at michaeldemeng.com. 

He also can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

In our interview, I talked about one of Michael’s videos — The Island of Dead Dolls in Mexico. These videos are a creepy treat. Click here for the link to Part 1 and Part 2.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. The 3D artwork that Michael makes is called assemblage, or ASSEMBLAGE, and he says it. He uses discarded objects and puts them to new uses, giving them new meaning and a unique story.
  2. There are benefits to teaching one day classes and to teaching multi-day classes. In one day, a student can get close to finishing a whole project, and for a few days they can take their time and not be so rushed when learning new techniques.
  3. Taking destination art classes are a great way to get away from your busy life and just concentrate on art-making for a few days.
  4. If you are hosting a destination art class, let the location motivate what you create. For example, when Michael teaches in New Orleans, the classes take on a theme that is appropriate to that area.
  5. Try to incorporate your interests into your artwork, like Michael has done with his interest in mythology and comparative religions.
  6. Michael makes his art by choosing the object first and making the story second. He has taken things that have a past and given them a new birth.
  7. When partnering with another instructor to teach a class, keep the portions that you’re teaching separate from the other teacher’s. You don’t want to have the students paint over something that the other instructor has just taught.
  8. At the end of Michael’s classes, he reviews each person’s piece so that others can learn from what everyone has done. He does this to encourage students and let them know that they have done something of value.

Michael deMeng talked in this episode about the story that comes with his artwork. I’ll be talking about how you can tell your art story in my next mini business episode #56.

P.S. Below is the sculpture I made in Michael deMeng’s 2008 class “Shadow Box Tarot Cards.”

#54 What is a CV and Why Should Artists Have One

A CV, or curriculum vitae, is a one-page list of an artist’s education and professional accomplishments. All artists should have one, so they are ready with it when applying for an art exhibit, public art, or art-related job. In this episode I’ll tell you why every artist needs one, and what should be included in it, including all the art shows you’ve been in, any awards, scholarships, residencies, art group memberships, and publications.

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

#53 Suzanne Redmond: Artist and Creator of this Podcast

Today’s interview is with me, Suzanne Redmond. A few weeks back Carrie Brummer of Artist Strong interviewed me for a Facebook Live segment. I replay that interview here today. We talked about my latest art series, Letters to Oregon, which is a group of collages from letters that were sent to my grandmother 100 years ago from a friend in World War I. We also talk about my art background before I started this podcast, and what it is that makes me an artist.

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

Suzanne Redmond

Collage with part of a letter written to my grandmother in Oregon in 1918. This is one of a 16-part series of artwork that I created.
Closeup of letter.
Collage with a letter from 1918.
A sterling silver necklace with silk ribbon created by me.
Sterling silver and abalone necklace.
Dancing Archipelago -- 12" x 12" acrylic and ink on canvas
Wandering Garden -- 24" x 24" acrylic and ink on canvas
Filling the Tumbler -- 9" x 11" watercolor and ink on paper

#52 How to Develop Your Art Style

Many artists get frustrated because they have not yet developed their own style. They may get into a creative block because they just haven’t found the technique, or colors, or theme that makes their style unique to them. In this episode, I’ll talk about how you can develop your art style by examining artists from the past and the present, and by examining your history of making art. I’ll also emphasize the importance of trying new things and practicing your art daily. 

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

Ardith Goodwin worked for a year to develop her art style, and now she helps others to develop theirs.
Ardith looked to artists in the past to see what she liked, and looked at Pinterest for current artists that looked interesting.

Ardith Goodwin offers professional workshops for artists to help them develop their style. You can find the calendar of her workshops on her website here.

Artist Carrie Brummer used mandalas as a creative outlet to make art and develop her art practice.
Carrie has created a Facebook community called Artist Strong where artists can get feedback on their work. She also poses challenges to get their art brains working and trying new things.

Carrie Brummer’s Facebook community called Artist Strong can be found here. Anyone can like the page and see the encouraging posts she makes for artists.

Here are some articles about developing your style that you might find interesting:


copic marker tutorials

fine art tips

These artists offer classes that will help you develop your style:

Connie Solera offers 21 Secrets twice a year. The 21 lessons will help you try new techniques to see if they are something you’d like to add to your art repertoire.

Flora Bowley offers her Bloom True Workshop to help you develop a creative painting habit.

Roxanne Evans Stout is offering a 10-month online course that starts January, 2019 called Studio Moments. This course will reveal how she works and how she’s thinking when she’s making her art.

#51 Ardith Goodwin: Self-Taught Artist Shares What She Learned

Ardith Goodwin is a self-taught artist who works out of a studio she created in the chapel of a church. Surrounded by beautiful stained glass windows, she paints with acrylic and mixed media, in a figurative and abstract style. Her studio is also the site of a range of art classes, and she teaches out of state and out of the country. She shows her artwork in local galleries, and has participated in a few solo shows as well.

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

Ardith Goodwin

Enlight 412
Enlight 415
KK Pics
The interior of Ardith's studio (the chapel)
Ardith in her studio.
More paintings in her studio.
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One of her "Splitheads."

You can find Ardith’s website at ardithgoodwin.com.

She also can be found on Facebook: Ardith Goodwin and Land of Ardithian.

She’s also active on Instagram.

Her artwork can be found at Sophiella Gallery in Mobile, Alabama, and she will be having a large show of her artwork there in 2019.

Her Calendar of Classes for 2019 will be listed on her website very soon. You can look for it here

The best way to find out about her classes right when they come out is by signing up for her newsletter here.

Here are some great takeaways from our conversation:

  1. When you’re trying to figure out what your style is, take a look at your whole body of work. Look at the technical aspects and trends.
  2. Look at your core beliefs too. Your artwork will be true if it represents your values and history, not those of your instructor.
  3. Study other artists to see how they paint. Include artists from history as well as contemporary artists you can find on social media.
  4. Use Pinterest or Instagram to create a group of artwork that inspires you, and then examine that group to find the similarities and figure out what you’d like to take from it.
  5. If there is something that you love to do, why not incorporate that into your art, like Ardith did with her love of sports. She now has an entire series of sports-inspired paintings.
  6. When teaching art, consider teaching based on the techniques rather than pure demo. That will make it easier for your students to determine their own style.
  7. Your email list is the best way to get engagement from your customers. Realize that social media is curated and not all of your posts will be the top posts on others’ feeds.
  8. Remember that your voice matters and putting beauty into the world matters.

If you’d like an adventure in 2019, check out Ardith’s Ireland workshop.


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