Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

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Paddy Johnson on beating imposter syndrome and setting goals as an artist

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

This week on Arts to Hearts Podcast, our host Charuka Arora has the pleasure of sitting down with Paddy Johnson who is the founder of VVrkshop, a company that strives to uplift struggling artists and help them get grants, residencies and shows.

Paddy is also the co-founder of the collaborative national publishing project Impractical Space, and apart from being a two-time nominee Best Critic at the Rob Pruitt Awards, she is has also won the Village Voice Web Award for best Art Blog. In this episode, Paddy talks about a lot of things, but most importantly, it is the one problem that many artists face that Paddy touches upon; the imposter syndrome. From having the self-doubts to being able to accept them and move past them, somewhere Paddy learned how to be a creative without her inner critic sabotaging her success. As an entrepreneur, she has also found interest in places she never thought she would, and it’s because all of it is tied to her business, something that she is truly interested in.

As we move forward, Paddy gives some valuable advice on how to set your goals as an artist. Talking about its three stages, which include networking and outreaching, Paddy instructs artists on how they should navigate their journey in the art industry. With Paddy’s experience as a creative in the art industry, it’s no wonder that she has established a space for fellow artists who need guidance and help in their careers.

Paddy has been in the art industry for a long time, and apart from running the Netvvrk, she has also worked with galleries, curators and artists. Paddy was always great at drawing and was attracted towards the field of art, and ultimately, she found that writing about art brought her the satisfaction. She had opinions, and she was able to share them with the world on her blog.

To learn more about Paddy and her thoughts on navigating in the industry as a creative, tune in to this week’s podcast.

Timestamp

Summary

00:00.00

Introduction and greetings

02:45.28

Starting point of the journey in the arts

09:38.44

Dealing with imposter syndrome in the art industry

16:31.68

Overcoming limiting beliefs as we get older

21:05.27

Finding interest in managing a business

28:23.62

Working within constraints and having a larger goal.

33:49.49

Technology causing confusion with information overload

39:59.49

Importance of goal setting and aligning with values

47:19.28

Depersonalizing work and finding self-worth as an artist

49:03.20

Importance of personal journey and resistance in art

54:03.31

Introduction to the network NE

57:45.66

Conclusion and gratitude for the conversation

**** – (): 00:00.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay I have you welcome to the podcast patdy. How are you.

**** – (): 00:03.87

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I am great. Thank you so much for having me.

**** – (): 00:08.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Thank you for coming this took a little bit of coordination. But I’m so glad that we met finally I’ve seen you on Instagram your reels have been um, all over and. It’s very exciting to see you and see this iconic I see those reels have the same background as what I can see you right now.

**** – (): 00:30.26

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah, yes, they the bookshelf is constantly here.

**** – (): 00:33.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yes, it’s becoming a brand today I think.

**** – (): 00:38.11

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah, you know it’s funny because there are some people. Um, so ah, there are a a lot of people who will see those ah the books on the reels but also inside the membership whenever I give a talk or we’re doing a grove. Group coaching Call. They’ll see that and they’ll wonder what those books are um and originally they weren’t even art books they were just ah my my husband I was storing books for him. Um. And now they’re my books but they’re not really carefully curated. They’re simply what galleries have sent me and what artists have sent me so it’s really one of the things that you can kind of tell is how much money is behind. Um, some of the books because the larger the book usually the larger the the organization or company that put the book together.

**** – (): 01:36.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, and you know when I was looking I have a love affair with books for sure. Um, it’s um, it’s something not only buying but making books publishing books. But also when I was looking at I was also looking at the same way like you know what these books I and I really thought because on Instagram is like a quick bite. You know you can’t really make it out but I always thought these were your art books and I was like you know what? just looks like a really impressive collection. Yeah.

**** – (): 02:04.88

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah, well thank you? Yeah they they definitely are art books now. So there’s a story behind the fair number of them. But it’s maybe not as interesting as as one would think.

**** – (): 02:09.26

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 02:11.58

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh well.

**** – (): 02:17.81

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, okay, let’s start with how and why do you where you are like you know how were you caught here? What brought you to the arts I Know you we you know you worked a long time into in the industry and there’s a lot of things that you do you have? you know you. Run the network you know you work at galleries Curators artists. But let’s let’s hold on for that a bit and just start from where you started.

**** – (): 02:45.28

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah, well I ah I always liked art I guess that’s the that’s the start of it like and I actually I have certain days that I remember like I was always very good at drawing. And when I was a child I remember waking up one night laying the middle of the night and I don’t know I was maybe 5 and I was like oh I know how to draw an Apple now. So I got out got up out of bed and drew the Apple. And my father came into the bedroom and was like what are you doing I was like oh dad you know I just realized I knew how to draw an Apple. Um and I I have like a number of those tiny stories where I just.

**** – (): 03:24.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 03:38.90

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Realized I could do something and then it was like the most exciting thing to be able to translate what something looked like onto a piece of Paper. So I I was always very very good at that and my thought was just that I should do the thing. That I liked a lot and was the best at and that was that was kind of it honestly. So I knew I I was really good at drawing and I knew I really liked it and whenever I did it. It was like I just disappear into a hole.

**** – (): 03:59.53

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 04:14.28

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Love that.

**** – (): 04:16.59

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And like not come out for several hours. Um, and I even have I I actually reproduced a mixtape that I had from high school that I now play when I run.

**** – (): 04:31.23

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh.

**** – (): 04:33.20

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Because I I actually the mixtape from high school was something that I used to play all of the time when I was drawing and so I kind of missed that time. So I saw I play it not that.

**** – (): 04:44.14

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Do you draw anymore. You know.

**** – (): 04:48.77

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Much every I think there’s like 1 or 2 times that I’ve produced a real and I was like wow I think I need to draw something for this but no.

**** – (): 04:57.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, so brought what brought you the to the other side then you know I think this is very Interesting. You know for me I Always ask people this question if because I think for me I I didn’t ever expected myself to come on the other side of the arts I always thought myself as an artist. But then I also came from business I Knew business. Um, and I always had this entrepreneurial spirit that brought me here as well. But I’m always interested in asking people like people who are on the you know on the flip side of being an artist have they ever thought about being in the arts because that’s a first thought. When we think about being Creative. It’s about being making something and then people who are artists. Ah do they think like they can they do they want to can they go to the other side. What brought you there.

**** – (): 05:46.27

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Well for 1 thing you know so I went to art school I have my bfa and my Mfa and I did quite well there but 1 of the issues that I had was I didn’t actually have a lot of creative ideas for art making so I wasn’t.

**** – (): 05:59.83

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 06:05.40

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Great at material experimentation which I think is a fairly large and important thing within the contemporary arts and I didn’t have a lot of ideas Beyond reproducing things and after a while that. Became pretty frustrating to me, you know, like my brain just didn’t work that way So when I started the blog. It was kind of I was in the middle of a kind of creative Funk. You know I I wasn’t I didn’t have a lot of ideas and then suddenly with writing about. My own opinions of which everybody has a lot of though but like I I was like well I’m not going to run out of these ah and so that’s when things started to shift for me and that’s how I got out of you know.

**** – (): 06:45.51

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Look who made a career out of it.

**** – (): 07:01.23

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Here I am in this like art making track who now I’m going to be writing about it because that was something where I felt like I had more ideas and more creativity was flowing and but the thing I think the thing about that was that.

**** – (): 07:03.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yet.

**** – (): 07:13.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 07:21.12

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I didn’t I didn’t want to just write about anything or I didn’t have opinions about just anything I was really really and continue to be to this day. It’s been like 20 years I’m not tired of art I love the people people are the best part about art in some ways.

**** – (): 07:38.26

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah I Second that.

**** – (): 07:40.94

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Like they’re so they’re so interesting The minute any artist has an idea like a creative idea that you wouldn’t have thought of there’s like it’s it’s like I get a burst of energy from it and it’s. So exciting and that’s why I That’s why I do this because being around artists and ideas that you you wouldn’t have. There’s nothing more energizing and I want to see more of that in the world.

**** – (): 08:03.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah, but tell me something something that I really want to ask honestly did you have any kind of impostor while you you know. I’m just trying to imagine you early years trying to navigate yourself as an artist and then finding yourself writing about art now. You know how the traditional art system works I’m I’m very grateful I think for all of us. How? um. It’s opening up a lot of barriers have been already broken and there are new systems. There are new things every dates the re you know the whole wheel is reinventing but I’m sure by the time that you were it wasn’t as much as that so you from being an artist where I’m typically thinking about you know someone in the early years um a lot of us do not build that confidence that we eventually build over the years we understand. Okay, you know how creativity works how you don’t have to have like a certificate um a degree. Um accredition. You know all of those things. Um that really a lot of times in the beginning we run after. But did you deal with any kind of imposster in the beginning thinking. Okay also having like this um also having this this grudge towards the industry sometimes I feel like a lot of artists have made great careers in flip fields when they felt like they were very irritated and they felt like I really need to like you know.

**** – (): 09:38.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I’ll do something about it and then they find themselves in that loop. Do you think you had any of those experiences.

**** – (): 09:42.39

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Oh terribly terribly. So I So I did some creative writing in grad school as well and that was always what people thought I should be doing and I didn’t. Continue to do a lot of it because I didn’t have a lot of ideas for creative writing um and within the field of our I felt like as a maker I felt incredible imposter syndrome because I knew one of the things that can happen is once you become. Familiar with all of the sort of gestures and language within contemporary art. You can become too self-conscious to make them and execute them and that’s something that happened to me so I dealt with that and.

**** – (): 10:26.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 10:34.99

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Then when I switched to writing one of the reasons it took me so long to do that was I so I sort of felt well like I haven’t been trained in writing what business do I have and you see that a lot with artists who maybe are self- trained or don’t have an Mfa they feel the same way.

**** – (): 10:42.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, absolutely yeah.

**** – (): 10:54.81

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And so I felt that very strongly with writing I had to teach myself I was up till 4 am sometimes writing a single paragraph because I didn’t know how to do it I Only I had an ear for it I knew that and you know I was bad enough that I had asked my mother like. Down the road whether I whether she knew I’d be any good and she was like no I had no idea that you’d be good at writing right? and so and I also think that because of the way that social media is it’s kind of Built. It’s. It almost sets you up for Comparison. So Nobody I think I think if you’re ambitious in any way you are, you are going to feel imposter syndrome and so it’s not about like I I think.

**** – (): 11:35.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh absolute mini.

**** – (): 11:47.32

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 11:53.97

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Imposter syndrome. It’s not ah, it’s not about like how do I get rid of it but rather how do I live with this acknowledge this and not let it impact what I I do in a way that is destructive and I feel like.

**** – (): 12:07.59

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 12:12.49

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): You know because it’s very it can be very instructive it lets you know what you want right? and what you want it is important. Oh I Just saying what like what you want is. It’s really important to know what you want so it can be helpful in that way. But you you know.

**** – (): 12:14.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, and I also think you know what? so go ahead. Great.

**** – (): 12:31.99

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah, like everything. There’s a balance.

**** – (): 12:32.77

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, and you know what I in my own person I think this was something in the last episode. Also we discussed which was I feel like whenever there’s an imposter syndrome like you know I for my own experience so far I have shifted several. Several identities like professionally but also I think for someone like being in creative work. A lot of times. Our professional identities are definitely a mixed like you know, um, an extension of who we are like if I want to get into the more of a writer. You know you know you set the stage you put that you have to like really you know. Live those days like you know, sit on the table. it’s a lot of it’s it’s a very spiritual and a professional aspect both to it. But I also feel like when we’re always having these transitions and changes. It’s also letting like this imposter syndrome is always teaching us to let a go of these limiting beliefs that we’ve been taught with grown with taught ourselves with like you know, um, a lot of very common artists. Um, that have is you know I didn’t come from men. Um. And our degree I don’t have this so I don’t have that um that becomes a block in the early years and when you keep going forward and you look back and like you know what it didn’t even matter what mattered is how I how skilled I get like you know it’s the the moment you start working on it. You understand that you just.

**** – (): 13:59.68

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Letting you letting go of those limiting beliefs so that you can get rid of that imposter.

**** – (): 14:04.34

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah, and you know I think 1 thing that it is important to acknowledge in all of this is that I and I think maybe this is I guess I would say slightly adjacent to imposter syndrome. But one of the reasons that we. Um, struggle so much in in general is that the problems we have are very real. You know imposter syndrome comes. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. You know we are dealing with with and and I think within the arts we deal with.

**** – (): 14:28.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah. No value. Yeah, that is true.

**** – (): 14:41.85

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): A lot of very very tough issues. You know there. It’s not enough money around. Um, there’s not enough money around there is I I think it’s very difficult to make a career.

**** – (): 14:42.83

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 14:59.87

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): It is a very competitive field and I think part of being an independent artist means ah being having the ability to be self-critical and so the.

**** – (): 15:02.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 15:12.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 15:16.78

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): The kind of calibration that you have to do as an artist to turn up and down the like critical thinking is very very delicate and it’s not. You’re not always going to get it right? So sometimes you know I.

**** – (): 15:32.26

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You know.

**** – (): 15:36.46

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And I think especially when we’re younger I think the limiting beliefs can really get in our way. 1 of the things I like about being a little bit older and I’m now I’m close to 50 I’m actually I’m one of the i.

**** – (): 15:42.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Absolutely.

**** – (): 15:52.87

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Um, probably one of the few people I gonna hardly wait to get to 50 I’m like I’m so excited I’m gonna have a big party. Um, but like oh yeah, that’s it’s two years it’s 2 years from now. But I’m just letting everybody know now that that.

**** – (): 16:02.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wouldn’t that be lighting.

**** – (): 16:11.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): This is what’s happening.

**** – (): 16:12.77

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): That the year year the 50 s you’re never gonna stop hearing from me. but um but 1 of the nice things about being a little bit older is that you have ideally you have worked through some of these limiting beliefs.

**** – (): 16:28.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 16:31.68

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): You know one of the big big limiting beliefs that I had was that I was terrible at math and that I would never be able to run a business or at nor would I want to and that.

**** – (): 16:40.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, oh.

**** – (): 16:45.41

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Goodness. Yes.

**** – (): 16:50.79

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): This shortcoming was going to keep me from ever being successful and.

**** – (): 16:55.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Successful. Yeah I I am in that club with you I had that for a very long time and I started business very early. So thank God I worked through all those years to come till this point where I’ve figured like you know what it doesn’t matter.

**** – (): 17:10.22

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Well, that’s kind of the thing right? like as long as you can kind of read a balance sheet. You’re fine like am I making money or did I lose money. Okay, the goal is not to lose money like.

**** – (): 17:18.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Money. Yeah.

**** – (): 17:25.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, and I think you know what? um I figured this when I work with people in business who are not. You know, creative in those sense of the arts I think we all are creative in our own ways in our own Languages. We speak the Mats. We do the logics we put in but what I figured is um, you know how. How art also feels very mystical and there’s this like you know people feel um people feel overwhelmed and they feel like yeah, um, scared of judgment on you know if they do not come from that industry feeling judged. Ok you know I do not know how this works. I Don’t know how to look at art I don’t know how because also I think like for a very long time I think we keep telling each other like you know this is how something needs to happen. This is right? This is not right? Whatever whoever does this? Whatever people come together I I Really don’t know but um, similarly. Yeah I think with mats and running a business I always thought um that running a business meant day to day like you know there was a lot of mats and like I had to do it those ways where I saw things around me and a lot of things in the beginning. I started and I failed and then I again started and then I again failed and started and failed and you know then I figured like you know what? I’m just going to do it my way I don’t care I’m not running a business I kept on telling myself I’m not running a business I don’t care about it and I started to make it a way that was that was natural to me.

**** – (): 18:54.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I could understand and I it was very simple for me, you know, plus in minus like you said as long as I have you know as long as you’re making money as long as you’re on the positive your piano illustrat and I never thought myself using words m I s and like all of that. But now I get it today and it’s only because. I didn’t let anybody confuse me I just got what I got and I did what I could with it. So I think it it goes both ways like how people confuse people with arts and how creative people feel scared with business and like maths and marketing and all of that because there’s so much mystery and like these. Fancy words and things that you need to do and I think that’s also one of the biggest blocks for artists and I think in today’s time

**** – (): 19:36.19

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): What does M I s stand for.

**** – (): 19:41.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): So am I is basically let me see what an I I is the full form. She 1 quick. Um, what is the full form okay manage to am I is basically a management information system. So no matter if you’re doing finance.

**** – (): 19:58.43

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 19:58.71

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, you know so let’s say um if we ship um our shipments so we do daily am myas for all our publishing shipments for our daily revenues for auto bases like you know you you concise your information. And you have an update of where everything is what the numbers look like it’s very simple. It’s I always was like so my partner is a businessman and my I come from a business time I’ve heard this word for so long and I was always like there’s an mis meeting and I’m like I don’t know I mean it was so scary and when I got into business I figured. Okay, you know what. Um I I need an update every day on what’s happening. How many shipments are going. How many books are going. How many are coming in and I figure. Okay, you know what I need a daily am I is and I need a delhi am I as for the money we are spending the money we’re getting and it became as simple as that and. Today I am not overwhelmed with it and it only sounded fancier when it was done by other people to me. It’s as basic as just putting things together and telling me okay, this is what it is. This is what it is.

**** – (): 21:05.27

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I mean I think the other thing too with managing a business is that you will find that you are inherently interested in things that you thought you would never have any interest in whatsoever like when I hear that just to be honest, it sounds boring to me.

**** – (): 21:24.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 21:24.95

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): But if it were my business and I look at numbers all day which I never thought I would ever do ah it doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t bother me because they are tied to things that are interesting to me, you know So when numbers are.

**** – (): 21:33.76

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 21:42.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yes, make friends. Yeah.

**** – (): 21:44.95

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Telling a narrative that’s connect to something you care about then it’s different and the other thing that I did that really helped me and I did this. It didn’t I didn’t do it early enough but I did do it eventually was that I I hired a bookkeeper This was. 2013 and I had almost no money. Actually it was earlier than 2013 I think it was 2010 I had almost no money but I hired a bookkeeper because I wasn’t keeping my books and I just knew I would never do it and if I didn’t have help. So even though.

**** – (): 22:04.52

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 22:13.56

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 22:22.65

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I didn’t have that much money I hired somebody I got them to do the books and after that I was like I’m never going back I Ah like I can have somebody do some of these things that I know I don’t like to do.

**** – (): 22:29.65

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Same? Yeah yeah.

**** – (): 22:40.46

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And I think that I don’t know if that’s true of being an entrepreneur but I think it might be like 1 of the things that is maybe a core personality trait I would I would say about myself is that i. Cannot force myself to do something I am not interested in It’s just not in my personality and the nice thing about a business is that it’s built around finding people. Yeah your own interests and finding people who.

**** – (): 23:02.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 23:08.94

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Your own interest.

**** – (): 23:17.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You do? yeah.

**** – (): 23:17.44

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Are good at the things that they’re good at and so there’s something about that that I think is really very empowering and like it honestly just fills me with joy to work with really talented people every day. There’s nothing better than that.

**** – (): 23:36.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, no I love that point because I think um, even though we do not like things and I think this is another problem for like you know when we talk about creative people I think when today’s world it’s it’s it’s a fact that if you’re an independent artist and. I think the traditional term of being independent has also changed so much. Um, it does not matter I think if you’re creating content. Whatever you’re doing even if you have a gallery representation even if you’re working with dealers. Even if you’re working with whoever you’re working with you’re still an independent business. Um. Today artists have become more than just selling work. They’ve become independent brands. You know there’s Instagram there are brandies like there’s so much more that has now that goes into the business and behind the scenes that um, you always will need multiple partners multiple players to help you scale yourself. And I think what really needs to I think why this conversation also need to be demystified is because um, a lot of times we feel scared of certain words like you know like I said I always was scared of finance I was scared of you know? um. Investments and like these really terms that didn’t ever I I was always the one who would drop out drop out of mats I was I never even today I can’t but I have the resources I have a team who can help me navigate that part of um, you know that I am not good at.

**** – (): 25:06.17

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And thinking like a create like a creative entrepreneur thinking like okay, um, if I’m if even if I’m sending selling my work independently or if I’m selling through a gallery am I making profits enough can I keep going how do I increase my profits or how do I you know like these questions. Um. Like I think do you do feel like artists today look and look at themselves like that are we ready enough for it.

**** – (): 25:32.52

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Would look at themselves like what.

**** – (): 25:35.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Like creative entrepreneurs like entrepreneurs.

**** – (): 25:40.60

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): No, um I think that’s I I think it depends on the artist of course right? and I think with a lot of the artists that I work with um the term is almost a.

**** – (): 25:57.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh.

**** – (): 25:57.98

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Bad word like being an entrepreneur might prevent you from having creative thoughts rather than which rather than what I think the reality is which is that if you think of yourself as running a small business. And you treat it that way you will free up more time to be creative right? because a lot of the work is figuring out how to structure your business so that you can build in creative like so that you can maximize the amount of.

**** – (): 26:20.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now.

**** – (): 26:34.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 26:35.62

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Period of time that you have in the studio and if it’s lopsided in any way you’re gonna you’re gonna end up with less time in the studio than you want. So I think a lot of the work that I do is um I. If I’m being honest, some some of the work is sometimes annoying for artists. You know I don’t know of any artist who’s like you know my favorite thing is writing an artist statement I can hardly wait to die right in you know most ah most of the artists like hate it. But when they have it.

**** – (): 27:03.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Absolutely.

**** – (): 27:10.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But you know why you you know what in this situation. You just said something that I think always takes like just talk to me is like we even you know even if you’re running a business even if you’re running an art business artist business. Whatever there are things that we absolutely will hate like you know.

**** – (): 27:13.26

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): It saves them a lot of time.

**** – (): 27:29.95

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, nobody likes to write an artist statement very few people or nobody likes to do finance. Um you know market or admin work or all of those things. But once it’s been tied to a bigger purpose like I know if I write an artist statement. It’s going to help me navigate my creative thoughts or have more structured.

**** – (): 27:40.21

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I.

**** – (): 27:49.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Of What am I thinking? what am I working on or me get my work more noticed or send in more emails like then I know that what I’m doing even if I because you know what I feel like the hard part of the reality is that we will not always like what we do, There will be parts that we will absolutely love but there will always be parts that we may not as much., But as long as we have that bigger purpose aligned to it that writing a good artist a pin or sharing my thoughts and putting my thoughts on paper will help me navigate the creative side of my work I think that becomes a stronger purpose.. What do you think.

**** – (): 28:23.62

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Oh Absolutely I Love that I mean I I Love that you tied that to the larger purpose and that larger purpose actually giving you more flexibility and creativity right? because if you have a large goal in let’s say it’s ah. You know the large goal if we’re to think about it spatially is up high right? like there are a lot of different ways to get to that goal and the the more ways that that we have to get to a goal if we. Encounter an obstacle. You know we have more flexibility to move around it right? So I think that that’s I think that that’s really key and the other thing that I I think is sort of related to that. Um I feel like there’s a. A flow chart somewhere that that somebody’s got to make for this. But I I think it made me think of some real I made probably a year and a half ago about ah the cliche of thinking outside of the box and one of the things that I think.

**** – (): 29:33.98

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 29:38.73

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): People don’t think about enough actually is that everybody has to work within certain confines you know? Yeah, and so the the challenge isn’t really how do you think outside of the box.

**** – (): 29:45.52

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 29:56.28

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): But how do you work within the constraints that you have and that’s where I think understanding the constraints that you have yet having that larger goal is fear and purpose is very important because it allows you. To stay focused and acknowledge your limitations at the same time.

**** – (): 30:20.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I love that you know whatro brought me here like when while you’re on it. Um I was looking at someone speaking to someone and we were talking about like they’re doing like a so this is another arts organization. They’re working with artist and they’re helping artists speed up. Like you know work in different situations and all of that and so we were just talking about how um you know speed um, making like making artists work under pressure. Um, because you know there’s a certain way we all work and it’s It’s a good skill set for all of us to have like you know working to be able to work in different situations and I was like you know what? I never thought this this way. Um in the past couple of years. My life is so hawied and I feel like I’m always juggling like multiple projects work and here and there so I’ve always thought like you know it takes. Me away from like a dedicated like I’d love to have that day every alternate day or every day to be in the studio be myself and you know just do the work and but on the contrary I knew I needed to keep going so I would find little pockets of time and you know whenever I have. Ah, 2 hours was too ah you know blocked in the day and I would do quicker works now that also made me realize like you know, even though I wasn’t like it was I was within these restrictions I knew ah I still wanted to I had this will to keep making the work.

**** – (): 31:51.75

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And I developed this habit of making faster work or making faster drawings and it became a skillset that today is helping me building another thing and I for the longest time kept on thinking about oh it’s keeping me away from something rather. Those limitations actually help me build something more that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

**** – (): 32:10.33

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Um, oh I Love that that I mean I I think that limitations are something that they’re almost a requirement for creativity right? So um.

**** – (): 32:22.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 32:27.66

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I Kind of love thinking about them. Especially I think um I’m somebody who’s spent a lot of time working with it with technology and I feel like technology in a lot of ways is about dealing with limitations and then finding.

**** – (): 32:34.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 32:47.43

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah, ways around those limitations So there’s a lot of I think there’s also just ah, one of the um like one of the jobs of the of the artist and for anybody really is to just find the place.

**** – (): 32:47.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 33:04.96

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Where you can be creative because there’s a lot of different different mediums and ways where creativity shows itself and I think if we go back to the concept of Imposter syndrome. You know I said I had a lot of boster syndrome around I like. Around math. But I Also this is just one of those things like that I think maybe just doesn’t go away but like every time I have to do a real pretty much every time I’m like okay this is gonna be the last idea I have.

**** – (): 33:35.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, and look I remember you That’s how I got to know about you. That’s how I remember you you know when I think about your name. That’s my first image of you.

**** – (): 33:40.90

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 33:49.49

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah, yeah, so you know I I think um, you know you always have to kind of push past that stuff.

**** – (): 33:59.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, and you know what’s I think even in this as I think technology has made a lot of things easier but also a lot of things confusing for a lot of us. Um I think with the pro and the coin board I think when. With technology a lot of doors in open where people are um, exposed to a different opinion a lot of different opinions. Um the negative side of that has also become that there are too many opinions. Um, and. A lot of times I feel like we no matter wherever we’re transitioning and I feel like no matter what stage of career we are all. We’re always transitioning from one step to another always learning more and specifically while you are in those areas of transition where you’re still experimenting figuring out your foot I think um. With more information. There’s a lot of confusion. Okay, this is how I’m supposed to be this is how I’m supposed to be oh this is how I’m supposed to be There’s so much of information overload that sometimes we have to go within and understand that okay as creative people. There’s the first rule is there’s no rule I think I please always comply by that.

**** – (): 35:08.83

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah I mean I think there’s a real issue with the amount of information that’s out there because ah and also the amount of communications. Training that I think is really required to navigate it effectively. Um, you know before I did the work that I do in the membership I taught a research class to students at Parsons University and 1 of the things that I did them was it did with them was I tried to teach them how to follow links this is just sort of basic stuff. Um, do research fact check. So I you know I would give them an ah, an article I knew was filled with faulty information. And have them figure out how to determine the like the veracity of the information that was being shared. Um, but especially, you know it’s 1 thing to do that with articles I think on Instagram there are a lot of just sort of narratives.

**** – (): 36:03.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Powered it with. Um, yeah.

**** – (): 36:19.77

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Over images with no citations. You don’t know where anything comes from and so it’s very easy to get confused because there’s no sourcecing for anything and that’s only going to get worse with Ai that doesn’t source.

**** – (): 36:30.42

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, all going.

**** – (): 36:37.97

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Anything steals. Um, you know materials from artists and I think there are a lot of really thorny issues that we are going to be navigating in the upcoming years that have to do with authorship.

**** – (): 36:53.76

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 36:55.84

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And I I do think that that’s one of the reasons that like the the amount of information that’s out there and the quality of the information I think is one of reasons that we are seeing some people we are seeing a little bit of stepping back from online life.

**** – (): 37:04.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 37:11.15

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yes.

**** – (): 37:15.33

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Um, one of the things that I’ve noticed with myself personally is that it has really affected how much I remember um and I I mean I never had a great memory but it’s it’s It’s certainly compromised now.

**** – (): 37:21.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, absolutely.

**** – (): 37:33.79

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Like if you you know if you spend a lot of time consuming information and you’re always on a scroll like you. Yeah, there’s and that what happens is the.

**** – (): 37:39.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, we’re constantly distracted.

**** – (): 37:48.74

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Like I actually saw a doctor about it at 1 point and she was like well the brain just gets overloaded and when that happens then you can’t remember things but she also said something that was kind of useful to me. She was like you know when you have cognitive issues. One of the things that we. Look for it as a signifiers like if you’re mistaking your toaster for an air conditioner. We consider that a problem if you’re just forgetting things. That’s not necessary the evidence ah some deeper issue. So. Um, so that actually made me feel a little bit good because so I was like I’m definitely not mistaking my toaster for an air conditioner. Ah.

**** – (): 38:30.79

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But absolutely not I think it completely makes sense. Okay, tell me something another thing I want to ask you for everyone who’s listening you know, um, this is also not only for um. The goal for me with the podcast is to help people. You know when we look at someone else and we figure like how did this how I want to do what you do. She does me whatever so we so that we can help them not make the mistakes that we did um also make the path shorter. Um, a lot of times curators artists find themselves confused I think in two sense a how to get published how to get their work in places that they would really want um, have media talk about them hive have you know. The other side is how do they become a part of these like you’ve had this career where you write for some incredible um publishers and outlets. How did you navigate this since you also did not come. Let’s also reestablish the fact that you didn’t come from an art degree. Like you know the curation or the writing side of it and how did you navigate that side and today you playing these multiple roles and for someone who’s looking to get in connection with such people or looking to get their art published. Both.

**** – (): 39:59.49

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah, so there’s a couple things. First of all I think we’ve spent a little bit of time talking about goal setting and I think that’s really important right? because if you don’t set a goal you may you’re never gonna know if you achieved what you wanted.

**** – (): 40:06.58

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 40:18.20

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Right? And one of the things that I think is ah maybe a misnomer about goal setting is that it’s something that’s easy. A lot of times we don’t know what we want right? and.

**** – (): 40:27.95

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, oh God absolutely.

**** – (): 40:33.72

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Also I think one of the things that is a challenge within the online environment is that it sort of encourages us to dig in our heels with specific positions but 1 of the things that I think is really important that we all do in our careers is. Change our goals when they need changing when we learn something about ourselves and what we want we need to have the flexibility to change those goals and make sure that they’re in alignment with our values. 1 of the things that can happen is that when they are not in a. When our goals are not in alignment with our with our values. We can be doing things that feel very empty to us and you know that’s that’s happened to me. Um I think it’s probably happened to everyone at some point or another if you’ve been in this.

**** – (): 41:18.60

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 41:28.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And um.

**** – (): 41:30.88

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): If you’ve been in this field for a while you can get on the wrong path. So that’s that’s number 1

**** – (): 41:33.57

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, it was because we think what we want is because what we are also told we should be having versus what we really should be having is we really again, it comes back to like you know, really knowing who you want to be then what people expect you to be.

**** – (): 41:52.14

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, so so I think that’s number 1 the the second thing that I like once you have those goals established and I think some of this really? Ah, turns into. Research right? like networking is researching and understanding who your audience is like how am I going to get this goal. Well, the first thing is is that you know you need to tell people about it. But if you’re telling the wrong people about it. It doesn’t matter.

**** – (): 42:14.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 42:26.57

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 42:28.52

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Right? So the the next step in the process is getting familiar enough with the industry you’re in to participate in it and this is not I think the biggest misconception I.

**** – (): 42:36.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now right.

**** – (): 42:47.52

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Had was the idea that I could spend a couple days doing this research or a week or 2 and that then you know I I would just understand this if you want to understand the industry you’re in. It’s a lifelong.

**** – (): 43:05.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Absolutely absolutely.

**** – (): 43:07.78

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Processed So the research this this this part of the Diagram Whatever this Diagram looks like it doesn’t really stop. It’s very circular and that’s.

**** – (): 43:18.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 43:22.37

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Fine right? If you’re on the right track pursuing your goals and those goals are in alignment with your values. The research that you do alongside that is going to feel good and the last part of this this like let’s call it.

**** – (): 43:32.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I am.

**** – (): 43:41.90

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah, Triangle Um is the research or not the research the um, the outreach. So the yeah like you know you have to tell people about what you’re doing and that was something that when I was making art I never did because I.

**** – (): 43:52.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 44:00.38

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I didn’t feel like it was good enough and so I didn’t want to share it and to be honest, it kind of wasn’t like I like I was really good at drawing things like I and I see that I like if I did that I would I.

**** – (): 44:01.83

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 44:11.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Then.

**** – (): 44:19.76

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): You know I probably do quite well but like I would be bored. Um.

**** – (): 44:24.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, you know what here I Also think there’s something I Keep at least I use this ideology for myself Also and I’ve seen this a lot little bit with other people Also ah the role of the artist. What is the role of let’s say a creative entrepreneur I think. When we think as an artist we think too personal when we think as an entrepreneur we think ah a much larger picture. Um, specifically when you’re representing your own self as an artist I think it’s a very personal conversation. Ah building this resence that you know. Being open to critics like everything feels too personal. So like even if you’re route reaching you feel like am I good enough was is when you’re if you see yourself as a creative entrepreneur you pitch your work like I’m taking my work out there I’m taking my business out there I’m taking my sales out there. And I think that also is a very like is a spinoff like but a lot of artists hold themselves back and I will include myself also in that at a lot of times because our work becomes very personal to us and that person I would do the same thing for another business another project I’m working on if it’s not Me. Wouldn’t have that resistance. But I think as artists we have that resistance because the whole relationship becomes too personal and I think I keep teaching myself and I keep teaching people around me like you know how do we make this a little bit more impersonal and put it out there like how would you reach out if you didn’t feel like.

**** – (): 45:52.32

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You were doing this for someone else who was good making this artwork. What would you do that.

**** – (): 45:58.60

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah I wonder about that I’m just like I mean I Really I I mean I have my own personal experience to go on. Um, and I.

**** – (): 46:16.34

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I don’t know when I I produced in 2015 I produced ah a calendar that was like I was called um, naked artist as pandas um, and it was.

**** – (): 46:27.19

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 46:34.40

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I had 12 artists who post naked. We had 1 slot that was free that I couldn’t ah fell so like me and my staff post that way and then we wore panda masks. Um and ice.

**** – (): 46:46.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 46:53.14

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Still love that and you know it was It was actually covered on comedy central. Um, so and they hated it and that was like it was fine Will Wheaton was on there. He he hated he hated it but I thought it like it didn’t.

**** – (): 47:00.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, oh wow.

**** – (): 47:11.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 47:12.25

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Matter to me because I I thought it was amazing I Still love that work. Um, so I think.

**** – (): 47:19.28

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But doesn’t that show your own stronger relationship with your work I think that’s something that we as artists are continually like as creative people are continually working on like I love my work I think not not a lot of people can say that very confidently because a lot of that validation comes from. The external world the numbers the sales, the popularity. All of those things. So I think it also shows like a sign of I think sign of your own maturity because you came from an experience. You had a lot of you know ups and downs and you and you understand today like you know. Where your own worth is coming and that definitely is not always coming from outside and I think that could also be ah, one of the major reasons why that felt like that.

**** – (): 48:04.37

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I mean I guess like I I guess my point is is that there are some things that I’ve produced though that I like that are shit I and I release them I didn’t really like them at the time and I see you know.

**** – (): 48:15.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 48:23.83

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And that’s one of those things that happens particularly on things like Instagram where you you know I’m posting every day like it’s not all going to be good. Um, and so and when I think about the blog that I ran art of city for for many years there’s like like.

**** – (): 48:26.21

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

**** – (): 48:42.30

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Actually had entire years where I was like ah this just isn’t as good as I would like it to be and is so I I think like 1 thing it’s 1 thing to be kind of self-critical and ah.

**** – (): 48:46.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 49:03.20

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I Guess I’m just wondering I This is sort of a ah long way to get around to this. But what is the benefit of depersonalizing the work that you do. Because I hear what you’re saying that. Ah, if you can make it if you can create a distance between what you’re doing and and what you’re putting out there then maybe you’ll actually put it out there. Um, but I think in my case. Um I I never depersonalized I never depersonalized it but and the result was sometimes I have stuff out there that I’m terrified that people will remember. It’s awful. But I also.

**** – (): 49:41.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You know.

**** – (): 49:57.90

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Have some stuff out there that people have forgotten in the same way that they’ve forgotten the shit that I’ve done you know and so the.

**** – (): 50:08.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I think you know from brought I from the place that at least I understand this and I have observed and worked so me um I feel like I try to practice and I try to recommend deep personalization specifically in areas where i’ve. Really not dealt with my own impostor my own traumas a lot of time. Let’s say you know, um, my mom passed away two years ago and I was having a really hard time I was having a terrible time. Um. I didn’t make a lot of work I was putting myself throwing myself into you know in the business and all of that and I was as an artist. Um I had to undergo this really personal journey of reflecting that anger that grief all of that on my work. And I wasn’t just ready to put it out there I just wasn’t because it was too personal I couldn’t take I knew I wasn’t that work wasn’t for me to put out there because it was too personal. It was me navigating my feelings writing those and I didn’t care about. How the outcome would be I knew that whatever it was maybe I wasn’t really comfortable with putting it out there and I knew that I was I didn’t have that comfort within me to hear things. Whatever it would be like you know it didn’t it just didn’t and I’ve seen that.

**** – (): 51:37.73

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wherever there are areas of resistance no matter that is making the work sending the work if I haven’t dealt with that internally that you know I don’t care if people like it or don’t like it I don’t care if people understand what I’m feeling I don’t care as long as I don’t reach that point of I don’t care. I Really do care I care about those rejections and they become a block for me I care about how good I am I care about this isn’t good enough. The perfectionist buck takes takes over and I think the moment I start finding that ease and that ease is and that is when I feel like okay um I Maybe ask a friend for a help. You know what. Can you do this work for Me. Can you send this to someone because I know if I’m sending it I will keep judging myself I don’t know if this even makes sense.

**** – (): 52:26.68

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Oh I think it does I think ah I I mean in a way. It’s kind of beautiful.

**** – (): 52:36.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): So yeah I think it’s it’s interesting I think that is I love being creative I think that is all we all share and a mutual. Love we all have is because there’s no fixed path. There’s no one way. There’s so many different ways and how colorful it is and like um.

**** – (): 52:49.65

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 52:53.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): It’s like it’s it’s this mysterious way even in today’s like in our magazine’s upcoming edition. There’s this article I’ve written at and an editorial which is mystery or magic and I talk about this is like sometimes we I feel like this is magical but it’s also so mysterious like we know how sometimes if you know if I ask you. How to find the inspiration you may break that down for me like you know why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do that. But again, how do? how are these inspirations. How are these thoughts coming to us like it’s also very mysterious and magical. So I think I love that about being a creative like. We know everything but we really don’t know everything like anything at all actually so it’s like this portion pull constantly ah constantly.

**** – (): 53:40.59

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Ah yes I Um I agree with that.

**** – (): 53:44.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, 1 last question before I let you go? What is this network I love the work that you’re going doing I love how honestly you put your opinion out out there and I feel like we’ve really had a great conversation even though it didn’t feel like you’re speaking for the first time. So.

**** – (): 53:47.60

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 54:00.50

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Perfect.

**** – (): 54:03.31

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I Really want to know what and I want to share with our listeners. What is the network. What do you do? Um, who is it for and um, you know anything else that you would want to share.

**** – (): 54:13.91

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah, so ne is a ah membership for artists who are mid-career and it’s really for artists who want more shows grants and residencies and that’s what we help all of these artists. Do so the membership is international. Anybody can join. We have a wait list right now because we open quarterly and it’s the way that it’s structured. It’s sort of it’s one part business network group for artists so we have a. Ah, chat channels where people can ask questions get feedback ah list opportunities that sort of thing and 2 weekly newsletters that go out that assemble all of those asks and wins and opportunities and it’s one part. Professional development. So there’s an entire curriculum inside the membership that tells you how to to use a marketing term that I think many I’m not ah, maybe it’s not a marketing term but a business term like it tells you how to like optimize your artist statement. Your Instagram bio your cv and so we help make sure that your materials are really in top form so that when you send them out. You don’t have to worry and I think that’s the big thing that.

**** – (): 55:43.92

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 55:50.30

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Um, and you know we talked about this. We’ve been talking about this kind of throughout the show about like what it takes to send something out. Um and put yourself out there and.

**** – (): 55:53.89

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 56:01.77

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 56:03.35

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): For me I always felt like it was way easier to do that when I was confident in the materials that I produce right? So if I knew that they were good then the rejections mattered less because I knew that it wasn’t about me.

**** – (): 56:08.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 56:21.57

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): And so that’s what we help every artist do inside the membership optimize the everything so that they know when they’re sending something off that it’s the best It can be and that if they do get a rejection. It’s not about them.

**** – (): 56:26.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 56:38.89

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 56:41.29

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): So I guess to circle back to the depersonalization that’s kind of how we do it. So maybe I’m back on track with that. Ah.

**** – (): 56:53.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But see is it mystery or magic who knows like there is logic I think there’s so much logic to everything we do, but there’s also no logic like sometimes it’s like I Love the intuitiveness of the work we do and again still trying to find out ways on how things work in a system.

**** – (): 57:11.30

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Yeah, me too. So so that’s what we do with a network membership and of course ah outside of that we you know I give a lot of free resources away and I do that via the Instagram which is ferkshop art and via the podcast that I run.

**** – (): 57:24.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Podcast. Yes I Love that.

**** – (): 57:27.63

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Which is art problems. Well and I also want to thank you so much for having me on the show. It’s really been a real pleasure to chat with you and it’s kind of.

**** – (): 57:42.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amia.

**** – (): 57:45.66

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): At the beginning prior to the podcast. You said that it would be a very organic conversation and that always makes me nervous because I I run out of things to say and it actually was ah like ah just a pleasure and very organic.

**** – (): 58:02.88

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Thank you so much I think it was a great episode because there’s so many great things I’m going to relisten to this because I think there’s so many good things that I would have to really jot them down in my notebook. Yeah.

**** – (): 58:04.84

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): So thank you for that.

**** – (): 58:15.42

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): I feel the same way. So thank you so much.

**** – (): 58:19.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Thank you! The pleasure is all mine I’ve been following your work and I really look forward to doing more things together. But thank you so much for your time I Really appreciate it and everyone who’s joined us. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode and make sure you follow Paddy’s work. You can find it.

**** – (): 58:29.74

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Likewise.

**** – (): 58:38.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): On our website you can ah will link the podcast the network and everything else that we’ve spoken about in this podcast. So make sure you you know make sure make sure you make the most of these resources and I hope to see you in the next episode. Thank you, You’ll have to hold on.

**** – (): 58:52.53

**** – (): Paddy Johnson

**** – (): Thank you bye.


About The Guest(s): Paddy Johnson is the founder of The Network, a membership platform for mid-career artists looking to increase their exposure and opportunities in the art world. She is also the host of the Art Problems podcast and the founder of the popular art blog, Art F City.

Summary: Paddy Johnson discusses her journey from being an artist to becoming a writer and curator in the art world. She shares her experiences with imposter syndrome and the challenges she faced in finding her creative voice. Paddy emphasizes the importance of setting goals and aligning them with one’s values. She also highlights the need for artists to research and understand the industry they are in, as well as the importance of depersonalizing their work to overcome self-doubt. Paddy provides insights into her membership platform, The Network, which helps artists optimize their materials and connect with opportunities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Imposter syndrome is common among artists, but it is important to acknowledge it and not let it hinder creativity.
  • Setting goals and aligning them with personal values is crucial for success in the art world.
  • Researching and understanding the industry is essential for artists to navigate and participate effectively.
  • Depersonalizing one’s work can help overcome self-doubt and fear of rejection.
  • The Network membership platform provides artists with resources and support to optimize their materials and connect with opportunities.

Quotes:

  • “Imposter syndrome is not about how to get rid of it, but rather how to live with it and not let it impact what you do in a destructive way.”
  • “Understanding the constraints and working within them is key to creativity.”
  • “Depersonalizing your work can help overcome self-doubt and fear of rejection.”
  • “Setting goals and aligning them with your values frees up more time for creativity.”
  • “Researching and understanding the industry helps artists find the right audience and opportunities.”

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

Paddy Johnson is the founder of VVrkshop, a company that helps artists get the shows, grants, and residencies of their dreams. She is the editor of the forthcoming book Impractical Spaces and the co-founder of the collaborative national publishing project Impractical Spaces (2017-present.) She is the founding editor of the contemporary art blog Art F City (2005-2018), and co-founder of the Queens public art program PARADE (2018-2019).

Johnson was the first recipient of the Arts Writers Grant for blogging in 2008, and a two-time nominee for Best Critic at the Rob Pruitt Awards in 2009 and 2010. She won the Village Voice Web Award for best Art Blog in 2010 and in 2011. In 2014, she was the subject of a VICE profile.

Johnson has contributed to The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Economist, CNN, VICE, Gizmodo, Observer, Frieze Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, The Art Newspaper, and Hyperallergic. She was a columnist for Artnet, The L Magazine, and Art in America.

Lecturing across the country, Johnson’s talks take place at venues such as Yale, The Chicago Art Institute, Rutgers, Columbia University, The Museum of Fort Worth, the De La Cruz Foundation and the SXSW conference.

Paddy has been in the art industry for a long time, and apart from running the Netvvrk, she has also worked with galleries, curators and artists. Paddy was always great at drawing and was attracted towards the field of art, and ultimately, she found that writing about art was something she enjoyed doing. She had opinions, and she was able to share them with the world on her blog.

Beating the imposter syndrome

Paddy acknowledges that being an artist means that you have to excel in a field that is competitive. It is hard to make a career out of it, and it’s harder to make money. In the midst of all these challenges and hurdles, it’s very easy to doubt yourself. Many artists may have felt at one of some point in life that they aren’t good enough, or that their art is not worthy of being seen or shared. Paddy has had similar experiences in her life as well, and just like everyone else, it’s something that she continues to fight and overcome. Her solution to this imposter syndrome? To acknowledge its existence, and instead of finding ways to get rid of it, finding ways to not let it affect your performance and creativity.

It’s not about ‘how do I get rid of it’, but rather ‘how do I live with this’.

Paddy Johnson – Arts to Hearts Podcast s03e42

Paddy’s advice about the imposter syndrome makes sense as our inner critic is someone who is always there. From as long as we remember, we are riddled with self-doubts, whether it is in a class room as a child or in a studio as an artist. We all have ask ourselves one rhetorical question, “what if I’m not good enough?” This game of hide and seek between an artist and his/her inner critic that persists and will prevail until the end of time. The trick is to understand that even the greatest artists and creative have been at this place, and if they had chosen to listen to this voice, we would never have been gifted with their art.

I think if you’re ambitious in any way, you are going to feel imposter syndrome.

Paddy Johnson – Arts to Hearts Podcast s03e42

The art of goal setting

Paddy believes that setting clear goals is essential for artists to stay focused and motivated. However, she acknowledges that goal setting can be challenging as artists can be unsure of what they want or feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the art world. This especially rings true nowadays as the online world has made us believe that we can only choose one position, when in fact, it’s not true. Humans have diverse skills, and for an artist, it’s not possible to stay at one place forever. Paddy divides the task of setting goals in three categories.

When we talk about setting our goals, Paddy thinks it’s important that artists realize when their goal needs changing. Whenever we learn something about ourselves, instead of limiting ourselves, we must have the flexibility to change those goals and make sure they are not in conflict with what we believe in, as this is how an artist can ensure that s/he is constantly evolving and growing. By making sure that our goals are in alignment with our values, we can create something that feels fulfilling. If our goals do not speak to inner artist, our work will feel empty to us.

We need to have the flexibility to change those goals and make sure that they’re in alignment with our values.

Paddy Johnson – Arts to Hearts Podcast s03e42

The second thing that Paddy stresses upon is researching. Researching the field you are getting into is equally important as practicing your skills. This is the world where you will create and showcase your world, and you need to know how it is done. While researching is a life-long process, something that you continue to do since the world around is us is every evolving, many artists can make the mistake of not getting familiar with the industry.

The third important thing to do as an artist, is to outreach. If you are creating art, but not putting it out, what’s the point of it? Paddy recalls experiencing it herself where she would believe that some work of hers was not good enough, and would be scared about showing it to people. Artists must ignore that voice, and tell people what they’re doing, as only then they will be able to get the exposure that they need.

Art and technology

As a creative, Paddy believes that while technology may have its advantages, it has its flip sides too. With the advent of social media, and as they call it, ‘doomscrolling’, people have been beginning to see the effects. Recounting her own experience where she had to go to a doctor, Paddy talks about forgetting things which is a result of overconsumption of information, something that can in a way affect an artist as well. While the access of information has become easy, it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed with everything that we see on a screen. Watching people achieve so much can mess with our heads, and that’s where we need to remember to stay focused and keep our eye on the prize. Moreover, artists will also see some of the complications of AI in the future where copying work without any credits or citations will become common. The burden will fall on the artists then to find innovative ways to navigate the art world. However, Paddy believes that limitations can be a catalyst for creativity and encourages artists to view them as opportunities rather than obstacles.

Image taken from Paddy’s Instagram

In the end, according to Paddy, depersonalizing the work you do is the way to go. With these beliefs, Paddy has also been helping artists by offering them international memberships where members can ask questions and get feedback from professionals such as guidance on how to optimize your artist statement, Instagram bio, CV etc. Paddy helps artists feel confident, so that in the future, they know that any rejections they may receive is never about them or their art. You can check out Paddy’s Instagram and website for more information on Netvvrk.


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