#49 Carrie Brummer: Creating an Artist Strong Community

Carrie Brummer has created a community of artists called Artist Strong. She started as an art educator who taught at the high school level helping students to develop their art skills and style. She now works with adults through her online mastermind group and Facebook pages, where she helps artists create a habit of art making. She has fostered a sense of community as well as accountability with a group that is now over 4,000 strong. She’s also an amazing artist in her own right, and we talk about some art competitions she’s entered – and won! – as well as her latest art series.

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

Carrie Brummer

Sketch of Ruth from her Anonymous Woman Series
Carrie's artwork of Ruth. Note the gold leaf in the background and the detail of the embroidery on her clothes.
Carrie's plein air artwork: Bordeaux 6
Plein air artwork: Bordeaux 3
Plein air artwork: Bordeaux 5
Mandala 4
Mandala 1
The logo for Carrie's Artist Strong community.

Carrie’s personal website is carriebrummer.com. You can find photos of her plein air artwork, mandala series, and her Anonymous Woman series.

Her personal Facebook account is Carrie Brummer Hanna.

Carrie’s Artist Strong website is artiststrong.com. On that you can find the links to her:

Better Drawing Bootcamp

The Circle 


This is her Artist Strong Facebook page.

This is her Becoming Artist Strong Facebook group.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. If you’ve been away from making art for a while, play with your art materials so that you can get back into it again. You want to make it relaxing and fun.
  2. Work on a few pieces at once so you can take a break and not be overwhelmed by one project.
  3. Make sure the artwork that you do is reflective of you.
  4. Understand that your artwork is important, it matters, and you have something of value to bring to the world.
  5. Artist communities, whether online or in person, can give you feedback but also accountability for making your art.
  6. If you’re not in a position to work at a traditional job, like Carrie was when she moved to the country of Oman, try creating an online business or community.
  7. Consider creating a Patreon account to raise money for your online projects. Patreon is a monthly contribution and you can establish rewards or products that you give your contributors.
  8. Consider using teachable.com to create and sell your online courses.

Carrie Brummer’s six month mastermind group called The Circle begins again on January 4, 2019. Signups have already begun, so you can visit her website and reserve your spot today.

#48 The World of Public Art

Public art can be a lucrative a fulfilling part of an artist’s business. In this episode, I explain what it is, and how the process works, so that you may consider applying to create some public art. Public art is any art that is displayed in public places. It can be in a park, on the side of a building, in front of a city building or office building, or in a building, like an airport or parking structure. It can be large or small, still or moving, interactive or not, made from any type of materials, and it can be permanent or temporary. It includes murals, sculptures or monuments, installations, performance, and landscaping. It can be specific to the site, or could be placed anywhere. They are often long-lasting and give great recognition to artists.

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

Cloud Gate, by Anish Kapoor, located in Chicago, Illinois. This public art is often called "The Bean" and is a very popular photo spot.
Artist Eduardo Mendieta painting on the water take at Marina Village in Riviera Beach, Florida.
You can hear my interview with artist Eduardo Mendieta in Episode 47.
A large painting at Palm Beach Lakes High School in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Calls for Artists for public art can be found at:



And on Instagram: (When using this, be sure to change the setting to Recent to find the most recent calls.)


#47 Eduardo Mendieta: Street Artist

Whether it’s called street art, public art, or murals, it’s an art form popular all over the world. Artist Eduardo Mendieta has made his mark with murals on buildings, in the stairwells of parking garages, on schools, and on water tanks. He got his start when he was young tagging buildings, and now he’s getting paid by governments, businesses, and individuals to create fabulous murals locally and nationally. We discuss his process, from the contract details to how he plans and executes large works of art.

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

Eduardo Mendieta (aka EMO)

Reading mural at Roosevelt Elementary School in West Palm Beach.
This left photo is two walls in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, and the right photo is the third opposite wall. The back wall has since been torn down.
Cabo Flats restaurant in West Palm Beach.
This is in Indianapolis -- the 46 for XLVI project for the Super Bowl.
Located at the Wynwood Art District in Miami.
A private business in West Palm Beach.
Hallandale Beach -- collaboration with J Bellicci and Paul Hughes.
Hallandale Beach -- collaboration with J Bellicci.
Stairwell mural project in West Palm Beach.
Mentorship Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

You can find Eduardo’s website here.

He’s also on Facebook and Instagram.

(Seriously, check out his Instagram. There are many more photos of his murals.)

He was a part of the Graffiti show at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

Here are a few takeaways from this episode:

  1. Include everything that you’ve done as an artist on a CV so that you can show potential clients that you have experience and have done these types of projects before.
  2. Look for Calls to Artists both locally and nationally.
  3. When working on a public art project, follow all the rules of the government or business exactly, including getting all the needed permits.
  4. See if there are other city or county groups that might want murals, like the Downtown Development Authority in West Palm Beach, Florida.
  5. Make sure your budget for the job includes money for scaffolding, lifts, or ladders that you might need; for UV or graffiti-proof coating if required; for upkeep over the first couple of years; and for travel and lodging for you if the project is far away.
  6. When doing a project out of town, bring other artists to assist you so the project will go quicker.
  7. For really large projects, it helps to set up your sketch on a grid on the wall so you know how far apart to make the components of the mural.

Do you live in a town that has a lot of murals? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it.


#46 Create Your Own Art Opportunities

Artists often need to create their own opportunities to sell their art or to earn income from teaching classes. They need to evaluate their risk and not be afraid to try something new or propose a project to someone else. I give 8 examples of artists that I’ve interviewed in past podcast episodes that have created their own art opportunities for their business. My hope is that hearing their stories will help you to be brave enough to try or create something new.

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

Jennifer Love Gironda (Episode 5) started a daily practice of making art. It led to a solo show of her work.
Connie Solera (Episode 45) created the 21 Secrets online class after interviewing artists. It's now a twice yearly class with smaller summer classes.
e'Layne Kelley (Episode 15) creates new opportunities all the time, and doesn't worry if they overlap. She's a true multi-tasker, handling new businesses all the time.
Roxanne Evans Stout (Episode 19) is not afraid to walk into a shop to ask them to sell her work, or to call a venue to propose a new class.
Carrie Schmitt (Episode 21) bought an old school bus and painted it to provide herself a studio. Now it's a mobile billboard for her art.
Artists Anthony Burks (Episode 27) and Trina Slade-Burks (Episode 29) have formed a business that creates pop-up galleries to showcase their work and that of dozens of artists. They first did this as a way to get their own art seen, but it now develops the careers of many other artists.
Artist Roben-Marie Smith (Episode 37) created 100 days of artwork, and has turned that into a class for her students.
Jana Freeman (Episode 39) created Way Art Yonder Studio in her home to bring art classes to her area.
And what opportunity have I created for myself? I created this podcast, and it has connected me with hundreds of artists from all over the world.

You can go back and listen to any of these episodes by looking at the list here.

#45 Connie Solera: 21 Secrets, Art Retreats, and Classes

Artist Connie Solera created the online set of classes called 21 Secrets many years ago. You may also know her by her studio name, DirtyFootprintsStudio. You’d think that creating and managing 2 seasons of 21 Secrets per year for many years would keep her very busy. But no, Connie does so much more. She teaches at wonderful art retreats a few times a year in Mexico, and next year she’ll also be in Costa Rica. She also has an online course called “Painting the Feminine” and has done year-long mentorship programs. In this episode we hear how she got started and how she does it all.

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

Connie Solera

One of Connie's paintings.
Other photos from the retreat in Mexico.
By Connie Solera
Connie teaching at one of her classes.
This is the big one that Connie Solera and Dirty Footprints Studio is most famous for: 21 Secrets. Now in its 15th version: Paper, Glue, Scissors will start October 29, 2018, but you can pre-order it now.
Connie in Mexico with her art.

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

Connie’s website is called Dirty Footprints Studio.

You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

The Fall, 2018 version of 21 Secrets is available October 29, 2018 and is called Paper, Glue, Scissors. You can see what the latest 21 Secrets are here.

Go here to find out about Connie’s Fearless Painting Retreats in Mexico. After the first of 2019, she will be posting the Fall, 2019 retreats on her website. 

Connie’s Painting the Feminine online class will go on sale March 20, 2019 and will begin April 15, 2019.

Here are a few of the free resources we talked about that are available on her website:

The Creative Circles Guidebook which talks about how to start your own retreat.

21 Secrets Conversations

Connie attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and Cleveland State University for their art program.

Connie taught at the Cleveland Museum of Art. That is not to be missed when visiting Cleveland.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. When thinking about going to art school after high school, consider going to a college that offers a wide range of classes so you can learn about more than just art.
  2. As an artist, you have to listen to your inner voice and don’t just do what you think people expect you to do.
  3. If people ask if you teach, and you think it’s something you’d like to do, then just say “yes” and start a class at your own home or a shop, or wherever you can find a space.
  4. Trust your process; if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
  5. Use how Connie worked her blog years ago to utilize social media today: comment on other people’s posts; follow them; create daily content; and create and share videos.
  6. Don’t wait until you have a template as a sample to try something new. Connie created an online course before she had even taken one, because she felt that she could reach so many people that way.
  7. If you want to learn something, don’t be afraid to reach out to other artists and ask them what they do. Connie did this when she reached out to 30 artists and interviewed them. This became her Art Journal Love Letters.
  8. Sometimes you need to just put something on your calendar and then figure out the details later.
  9. Don’t look at a fail as a fail. Look at it as an opportunity to try something else.
  10. Find your relationship with risk.
  11. When you want to do something that’s new and risky, think about what’s the best thing that can happen if you do it, and the worst thing that can happen if you do it. Then you’ll probably realize that the worst thing wouldn’t be so bad.
  12. If you want advice on whether you should do something, don’t bring it to the masses. Only talk with the people that you can trust and are further on than you.
  13. As artists, we are choosing to put creativity rather than destruction or hate out there.
  14. This is a direct quote from Connie: “Creativity has an importance and a validity and needs to be in our world.”

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Connie Solera as much as I did!

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