The Creative Endeavour Podcast - Episode #6, Alex Warnick - Bird Artist Extraordinaire

The Creative Endeavour Podcast – Episode #6, Alex Warnick – Bird Artist Extraordinaire



hi there and welcome to another episode of the creative endeavor podcast in this episode I'm interviewing Alex Warnock there's a bird artist based in Indiana in the United States now I've been following Alex on Instagram for some time and I just love seeing her work come up on my feed she's got a really precise an accurate way of detailing her paintings so I wanted to ask her all about her work but also her strategies for success when it comes to her art business I really enjoyed this conversation I hope you will too here's Alex Warnock love your work tell us a little bit about your story have maybe you started painting and and just kind of fill us in a few of those high points and what brings you here today okay um well let me think back when I started being an artist I think ever since I was a little kid is early plays my memories go I've been identifying with being an artist even like three years old four years old and kindergarten I always kind of considered myself an artist it was always my thing it's always kind of what I identified with there's always been two things in my life that I've loved I've always loved art and I've always loved birds well birds started when I was about probably around on ten or eleven years old in my family nature has just always been huge my brother's too collected snakes my whole life my dad used to take like a room of our house and fill it with like fish tanks with fish from local rivers and we had like dragonflies that would hatch in the room and blizzards run around I remember going in my bedroom there was like a lizard in my bedroom it was kind of like the local ecosystem in our house so you were there too my parents met at like a wilderness survival program so nature kind of runs in our blood and art runs in my blood too my house was covered in paintings from aunts and uncles grandparents cousins so art and nature that's kind of that's like my heritage but when I was in fifth grade I think one day I was reading a book about careers in nature and they talked about ornithology and something just snapped in ever since then I just kind of have been obsessed with birds in elementary school everybody kind of knew me as a bird girl and my yearbook photo I remember going in with my pair of binoculars up in my yearbook day and begging the photographer to let me hold my binoculars up to my face and my picture we kind of went back and forth and finally he agreed I could hold them in my picture so it's like the yearbook all the kids are there and I'm sitting there holding a pair of binoculars in my yearbook photo so yeah that's from a young age but when I got to college I kind of had to decide whether to follow my artistic inclination or my scientific one and I chose art so I I went to school for art and I was going for a BFA I actually was emphasizing in landscape painting actually oil painting landscape painting but towards the very end I think I kind of felt like I feel like there's milestones in your life where these kind of mile markers where in high school your future only goes as far as high school you can't see past it so you only worry about that in college is till the end of college and you can't see past that but once college was about to end I feel like I peaked past that mile marker and looked beyond and realized that the next mile marker is death pretty much and life felt very long in the career I had chosen I thought huh I don't know if I have the motivation or the passion behind landscape painting to do what it takes to be an artist for the rest of my life in that chosen emphasis and so the very end I just decided you know if I'm really gonna do it I think I have to just dive in and just do what I truly love I remember a teacher mentioned he said if you take what you love and you take what you know and combine them then you can probably be successful at making a living from it and I thought okay well I I know that I love birds and I know art it's what it's I'm good at so if I combine the two then maybe I can make a go of it and so I actually quit my BFA during my last semester and kind of changed course and instead just did an independent study where I focused on painting birds for that semester and I just knew it the minute I did it in fact I don't think I painted another thing since that moment I've hidden Birds and I've just been busy a full-time career since then and I just knew that oh yeah I could easily do that for the rest of my life what I loved so that's kind of what has brought me to this point today the rest is history so how many how many years has it been since you've gone pro um you know I'm still kind of a new artist oh yeah it means a lot coming from you but I've only been painting for about four years since I graduated you know I I got that I felt that pressure so much because I also went through like a tertiary institution and got my father agree and I wish I had the guts to drop out I wish I did I think it was just laziness that kept me there I thought well this must lead to something meanwhile the whole time I knew it didn't and I think sometimes when you feel something's not working and staying in that situation is not a good idea so I kind of admire that you know you you you found something you found a direction that you wanted to go and you just you just executed you just went for it and that's that's awesome so how how does you know a bird artists in today's day and age make money and I'm sorry to ask such a crass question but I think a lot of people would benefit from knowing how you monetize this thing and how you're able to generate an income because it's all well and good to paint and do what you love you know we all love that I mean I would do what I do for free so how do you get into this this way of being able to monetize your passion yeah that's a good question and and you know when I decided to make that leap into painting Birds I didn't know that it could even be a profession that would actually make a living I just kind of did it because I I don't know it was just kind of a spur-of-the-moment inspiration you just go for what you love and just hope for the best and it's kind of been a surprise to me also in the end and I thought wow I really could make a living of this and probably for the rest of my life and it was a really happy surprise but the things that I split my time between freelance illustration work for publications and things like that that need bird illustration people will always need bird illustration because if you think about it some people say well why do we need it Photography and photography is extremely helpful these days even I use photography and my work in order to create a painting but when you think about somebody creating a field guide or a textbook they want to portray a bird in it lots of birds even and like a very nice classic pose that makes it easy to identify if you think about the logistics of a photographer going into the middle of the jungle somewhere and getting the perfect setup of a photograph of all these species they need that's just logistically so much harder than an artist doing it instead so they will always need bird artists I discovered even if photography becomes big bird artists will always be more feasible in some cases so there's technical illustration for things like that field guides text books publications I do a lot of commissions people just in general love birds I think birds are the most accessible wildlife of all wildlife and everybody has a connection with birds and so a lot of people are collectors even if they're not like a hardcore birder like I am they just have a love for birds and so they like to collect paintings then of course there's hardcore birders which birding is the fastest growing outdoor pastime in the world and so that's always growing so there's people who are interested in Commission work for me privately I've done corporate commissions like a coffee table style book because birds are beautiful so just aesthetically they make beautiful paintings so half of my time spent doing that type and then the other half has been kind of more with fine art I do a lot of just my own painting for shows galleries and things like that so it's kind of split okay okay look there's so much good stuff there there's pure gold there that I want to unpack but while you mention that buzzword because my ears even prick when I hear the word gallery or galleries I'm like oh wow how do you make that work how'd it how does it and this is a question I probably get more than anything how do I get my work into galleries my personal philosophy at the moment is don't don't do it it's a terrible idea a terrible idea but I I have a very weird relationship with them but I'm always curious to hear other professionals talk about galleries and their experience and and some of it most of its very positive so I'll grant them that how do you how did you find going about navigating that relationship how did you get into a gallery to begin with you know to be perfectly honest I'm a little bit of your same mindset in that you know I I do feel for gallery owners these days and that maybe their day is coming to a close at some point just because in the past they were necessary and that they were the only they kind of connected artists with the collectors and now that we have things like internet and social media and things that can connect the artist with the collectors directly you know gallery owners are becoming Aaron galleries in general are becoming just not quite as necessary of course there will always be painting there will always be a market for like for extreme fine art collecting and a very knowledgeable field gallery owners also have a lot of expertise that make them very helpful for people who are true collectors and seeking to do it as an investment so I think that that will always be needed and necessary and there will be certain types of artists that will always benefit from being involved like in a gallery and connecting very high-end collectors for me I think that it's not as necessary for me I do really like working with galleries because it can open me up to a a new audience that I wouldn't connect with otherwise on my own a gallery can find a new audience but it is true that I am sometimes a little less reluctant to send my work to a gallery because it's I do only then get a certain portion of the profit in the end of a sale of a painting whereas I could have just sold it myself and made the entire profit but mostly the the connections that I've made with galleries they've action to be honest most of them have approached me because I feel kind of the same way you do I haven't really gone out there to try and get my work in galleries I'm not really on the offense when it comes to that but people who approach me I think one of the best ways to do it is to start something like an Instagram account something where they can find you start following them their accounts getting involved and fighting ones that really fit what you're doing and that just really opens it up that makes it easy for them to find you or you can always approach them they have ways that you can submit work and ask them if they consider representing you and it is a good option for people who maybe don't have a lot of other ways to connect with other people or if they're doing very large-scale oil paintings that are extremely expensive sometimes that's hard to sell online or through your own means and galleries can be helpful in that way I don't know if I answered your question no you answered it perfectly well absolutely perfectly well III love that so when the gallery approaches you are you in a position like do you do you kind of negotiate terms with them um you know in the few instances of the different galleries I've been involved in I am I haven't negotiated terms just because it from what I've researched that like the terms that most galleries have for instance the percentage of commission that they take it seemed fair for the people who approached me especially for the level I'm at in my career I think most of them kind of do a 50/50 in fact sometimes that's good for somebody who's just starting out certain galleries could be 6040 I think if you start to get into like the forty sixty or more you're really lucky if you can find a gallery who will work with you for that so I think 50/50 is fair when it comes to galleries and if you think that you need a gallery in order to get your work out there and connect you with the right people then that's probably about what you should expect yeah and I tend to not negotiate and most of them they're pretty cooperative and most of them love art to begin with and some may get in it for like a greedy game but most of them just have a passion for art and collecting it themselves and a passion for artists in general so most of them are kind and honest stand fair and I found that to be true with my personal experience I'm really glad you put that in there cuz it sounds a lot like I'm heading on galleries yeah you know and I appreciate that I mean because yeah many of them listen I met some dirtbags but many of them have been but okay so when it when it comes to say finding you know that that balance you know you're coming to market with your your your painting and you've got to figure out where you're at and you're gonna price your work could you talk to us about that way that you would find and establish that price point and then how you manage that you know subsequently like how does that build how does that grow how is that scaled mm-hmm that's a very good question I remember when I started out that was one of the most frustrating things for me was trying to figure out pricing I'm sure it is for most beginning artists um for me I for me I just went ahead and did a comparison I looked at other people who are doing similar work to what I was doing and then priced it based on what would be competitive or based on the quality of my work compared to other people's and I started out by doing it that way and I came out in the beginning I wasn't coming up with a formula I was just thinking okay this painting would probably go for about this much and for every painting I would choose a new price and for what based on the amount of time I put into it or whatever it might be and then eventually that just began to get really stressful and I was every time I priced a painting I was questioning if it was the right price if somebody said it was too expensive for them then I questioned that price and I thought should I drop my prices and it was really stressful so in the end I created a formula that I do length plus width times a certain multiplier equals then the price of my painting some people will do length times width like and get a certain multiple for me for what I do because I tend to work smaller length plus width works better for me and then as time goes on I'll increase that multiplier I think I read somewhere that they told me in the beginning that if you can so I think it was 75% of your work in a six-month period maybe then you you're safe to raise your prices and so I kind of did that in the beginning I started kind of at a lower end length plus width times a multiplier and then after six months I was able to sell most of my work so I thought okay so that means I can raise the multiplier and so I do and that just takes away all of the stress because I know okay at this exact formula paintings sell I know they can so somebody can't pay that price I just understand that maybe it's not for them but I can sell a painting at this price so it takes away the stress and then as time goes on I continue to raise and it just kind of is a very formulaic way to do it very objective that feels good and so I'll probably just continue raising my prices as as long as I keep selling paintings according to that formula I I felt this internal resistance when I started pricing my work and in fact in the beginning I didn't price my work I had a gallery owner do it for me they took where I was at he looked at the painting he said no you're not getting that I'm doubling the price I say you can't do that what I I'm not worth asked you know and that was really interesting because overnight all of the prices of across the board had to double all of them right because I can't charge that person that amount you know even though it's going through the gallery and then have somebody else pay a cheaper amount the market values must stay the same and and so I think for me that was a big thing is just kind of understanding my own self-worth but we also I was wondering if you'd feel comfortable talking a little bit about money I mean because you you seem very business minded about this and and I love that because I feel that so many artists these days and especially artists trying to you know start out they've got this idea that it's okay to be a starving artist you know that it's okay to play small it's okay to just suffer for your art man maybe talk a little bit about your own personal relationship with being comfortable accepting money for your work and and you know being okay with going you know what I want to be wealthy I want to make money doing this mm-hmm yeah that's good I cuz in the beginning it was hard you kind of feel like you're doing a service in a way you're serving people with your art and then to ask them for money for it was a little bit of a learning curve in the beginning for me and I think in lots of cases I did tend to underprice my work and that's also one reason I didn't want to go by it like a strict formula because you know if somebody seemed like they couldn't pay the full amount I wanted to drop the price of a painting and things like that and pretty soon I just you kind of learned fast that you have to treat it like a business if you are gonna survive at all not that it has to be stuffy or drudgery I I kind of think about the business is fun it's kind of a game for me trying to figure it out it can be fun marketing is kind of a fun game and I think I think that I just kind of learned that and and being an artist you have to be as much of a marketer as you are an artist of course there's all different types of artists just like there's different types of athletes there's the Olympic swimmer his swimming for the purpose of winning the Olympics and being the very best there's swimmers who just like to go and jump in the lake after school and just swim for fun there's people who just like to swim laps in a pool in the morning before work just for exercise and I think it's the same with artists there lots of different types of art different types of artists who have different purposes and end goals with their art but if your end goal is to have this be what you do for the rest of your life and only this and nothing else then you do have to learn to be a businessperson and yeah I learned that pretty quick and now the the money game is not as much of a greedy game for me as it is a fun game seeing if I really can make it work just being an artist and I've learned to that you know the way I can serve is making it so I have art at different price points maybe I can put it that way you know if you feel if you feel kind of a guilt raising your prices so much that suddenly it's out of the realm of everyday person who can afford it you can always do I've discovered you can do prints or you can do small sales of small artwork while you're also painting large paintings and maybe selling them in gallery is that at a price point that nobody can afford except for certain people because then you have something for everybody in the market and you're serving everybody while also still making the money you need in order to keep creating your artists you can keep serving just like you said so that was kind of a learning curve for me in the beginning understanding that and that's how it's gonna have to be if I want to keep trying to serve people with the art that I create you mentioned something there just a little while ago about goals do you set goals with your you know personally and with your business and if you do could you share with us what a couple of those goals are yeah actually I I'm definitely a goal-oriented person I'm kind of even though I'm an artist you know right brain left brained I'm definitely a kind of business minded scientifically minded when it comes to art so I set a lot of goals in fact at the beginning of every single year I'm one of those people where I write down the goals I want to accomplish that year kind of big things that would be really exciting if I could do them kind of reaching for the star stuff and also just some very logical and likely goals and then I try to break them down then okay if I want this to happen I break it down like by month exactly what I'm gonna have to do each month exactly what I'm gonna have to do each week of the month and then each day in the month so I break it down big picture every year in order to try to accomplish goals I look ahead sometimes I spend weeks in the beginning of the year are usually the end of the year before looking ahead a certain shows I want to try to submit work to maybe a certain project that I really want to do it could be one that I have created myself or one that I want to be involved in or somebody's contacted me about I might look at certain like a residency or something like that so I have all these things kind of on my plate to choose from I start inserting them in my calendar creating goals maybe a people I want to approach to do like a collaboration when I need to do that and then I'll break it down so I know much every single day of the entire year I know what I need to do in order to accomplish those goals so at least no and I'm not super strict about them but at least know if I'm on track or not in order to accomplish a certain goal so I do that and very technical about it I always say that I think I would make a wonderful studio assistant for somebody a better studio assistant that an artist so yeah I say I need to get one for myself but I'd be sad because that's the part I love sometimes I say maybe I can get somebody to do the painting for me and I'll do all the business but I love painting too but so yeah I'm definitely a goal a goal setter some of the goals sometimes I think I'll look out there into in the world of birding and art and I see people that I would have the potential to collaborate with that might kind of be a pipe dream but I will set that as a goal and then see what baby steps I need to take that might lead to it and it might be baby steps like maybe just become a better artist so they'll even consider working with me okay well what areas in my art are weaknesses so then I can start developing or it might be become better known so that they think I'm a little bit more worthwhile and actually making a connection with so how can I do that and you know maybe it's getting more followers on Instagram or not or maybe it's just submitting to more articles and publications or whatever it might be so I like breaking down things into goals and baby steps that's one of my favorite parts about being an artist is it's accomplishing what might seem impossible to me now awesome awesome can you give me an example of one of those shooting for the stars goals yeah I want a really embarrassing one something you're like no way okay but I'll say it just go for it you go and then I'll go that's a good okay let's see let me think of one um well for me right now is shooting for the stars goal and all these right now like I say they're shooting for the stars and maybe someday I'll laugh at myself because then I'll be like that was shooting for the stars that's normal now but that's what's wonderful about it but for me I'm trying to get a lot of the stuff that I use for free that's gonna be my shooting for the stars it like some of the optics and things like that that I use that can be extremely expensive I have goals of collaborating with people that then will make it so that I have those things for free to for the rest of my life hopefully and so that's kind of a shooting for the stars thing for me because that's a lot of money that somebody would have to put out for me but that's a goal I have working right now I have my eyes on a museum that's kind of a shooting for the stars goal collaborating with them but I'm already in I'm already discussing with them in discussions and that was just spur the moments I thought this is shooting with the stuff for the stars what I thought why not write him an email this week and try to set something up and so I did and then suddenly they contacted me back I thought wow that one might happen faster than I expected you know it's just fun to see how big you can go how fast and you know if you fail you fail but there's there's nothing wrong with failing it's just fun to try I love that you say that there you know because as so many people are afraid to to fail afraid to fall flat on their face you know and I I just think you know that's so sad like the amount of ridiculous crap that I just went for and then either ended up turning out or I ended up learning from like I'm so glad I did a lot of these things and and when you look back on them you realize hang on that wasn't a failure that wasn't a failure because something that's something so valuable came out of that you know it's almost cliche to say but I there have been times early on where I just kind of allowed myself to go yeah now Who am I little old me Who am I and and you know now you know I still get the I still get that feeling and the pit of my stomach and even in my chest it kind of it hurts it's like this warm feeling but it's a hurt feeling as well it's not it's not nice it's just kind of it makes you want to collapse in on yourself and hide away and that's when I just kind of stand up straight and I go alright that means we have to do it all right let's go and then so I feel the fear and I'm just like well we're doing it we're doing it you know and it just means you know you kind of work through that so the goals that's that's huge because it puts up there and and identifies hey this is this is what I'm about this is what I'm going for it so I love that I love that you see you know set your own goals and you know you're executing guy let me let me give you an example of a ridiculous goal of mine a shooting for the stars first on plein air painter on Mars I'm serious it makes me realize I'm not dreaming big enough but that's definitely a possibility yeah and Elon if you're listening I'm ready buddy let's go and you'll definitely be the first one cuz you're the first one who decided to dream it so yeah but now I'm putting it out there in public so how smart am i a lot of other people now there's gonna be a waiting list so that's I'm gonna have to compete with Jeremy lip King that's no good so um you know you from following you on social media and and and watching you just put up this consistently fantastic work and then I'm noticing that you're putting up a few kind of personal posts and like you'll show yourself in the field you seem to be aware you know you're building this personal brand it would appear and it you know you're somebody that I instantly you know kid felt like I connected with so maybe could you talk a little bit about that and how important it is to you to kind of cultivate this following build that personal brand and really connect with people yeah instagrams been really good to me from the very beginning I started it just because a college my last semester school college professor said it was an assignment start an Instagram account and I really didn't want to just because you know I was really shy at the time and I was one of those people that I would never show anybody any of my art if I didn't have to or at least I liked it to be hanging somewhere and then to be invisible in the crowd and hear if people liked it or not but I just never want to show my face so I started an Instagram account and immediately people were really supportive of the work that I did and I got a lot of positive feedback and of course that's extremely encouraging in itself and that's just advice I would give to a beginning artists to start something like that because the encouragement and kindness that you get back becomes extremely motivating for the art that you do because lots of times we're just alone in our studio and just painting all day and you don't hear anything and so it's nice to be able to share these progress pictures of your work and hear that people love it even before it's done it's just extremely motivating but so in the very beginning um a lot of people were finding me and I was making wonderful connections with other artists and people who are fans of what I did and every single new follower every single comment even to this day I think it surprises me every single time that people still connect with what I do and go out of their way to tell me that they're liking what I do so I try really hard to respond to every single person who ever comments because I'm grateful for every single one and it kind of recently I've started sharing a little bit more about my process and behind the scenes of the work that I do in the field and try to show my face and stuff a little bit more at first I thought I wouldn't I thought I would just share the art but then I realized that like you were saying in the beginning there's certain aspects of what we do then you realize this kind of selfishness and I think that part of not wanting to show myself was a little bit of selfishness not I guess it was keeping me from really connecting even more the people who are being so kind to me so some people might not like it but I love it when people show themselves every once in a while cuz suddenly they're a real person there's some and I just become more invested in what they're doing and so I've been trying to do that and I have a lot of people who are just buddies through social media that sometimes when I remember that I've never met them in real life it blows my mind because I'm like oh they're one of my really good friends I can't believe I've actually never met them before I made wonderful connections with artists who have been role models for me even since I was a little kid now I made connections with them on Instagram it's a wonderful platform because it's so casual if it's an example sorry give us an example of somebody he connected with because that's so exciting okay yeah I you know there are some wonderful artists that one of things that inspired me as a kid were these wildlife catalogues that I used my parents used to pick up from used bookstores and I used to flip through through those things all the time Doolittle master copies like my ten year old self drawing these paintings by these artists some of them kind of the Western tradition Michael Coleman and Nicholas Coleman yeah and yeah i Nicholas Coleman has been a wonderful support for me I actually have a painting of his hanging up in here but he's been wonderful and I've connected with some other people that I just loved James prozac some of these some of these are embarrassing to mention on here because I don't tell how much they were an inspiration for me as a kid but they were in Chains prozac I loved I've loved his work forever I discovered him in a book or two a long time ago and then connecting with him on Instagram and now he owns some of my work that was just something that was really special to me and just little things like that just connected with these wonderful people or even just like family members of artists that I admired and maybe the the artists themselves aren't around anymore but their family members have connected with me and that's just kind of been special and it's just it's it's been kind of amazing to me to see that Instagram gets rid of all formality so even these people that you thought you never could connect with because there was a barrier there suddenly that's gone and you can connect with all sorts of people at any level it just kind of starts this conversation they had this kind of a worldwide conversation and anybody can join in and so that's been fun for me and that's another reason I would recommend anybody starting on something like Instagram or Twitter or any kind of social media account because even if you don't sell your work through it it's one of the best ways to network and meet other people and be aware of just kind of what's happening in the market and the world around you so so yeah that's been exciting do you listen to audio book um I do what do you listen to while you paint um you know sometimes I can't listen to anything because I have to concentrate but when I do listen to things I like to do podcasts a lot and there's a lot Podcast out there that i love most of them are nature related there's not a whole ton of art podcast there's a few but that's also why I was really excited to hear that you were starting this a couple of nature podcasts I listen to bird guides or field guides I think they're actually called nature guys there's a botany one that I can't remember the name of but there's also a lot of podcasts one by the American brooding association bird note things like that I listened to a lot of those as far as audiobooks go right now I'm listening to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea I don't know how many times to listen to it it's just one of my favorite books I like to listen to a lot of our kind of nature related young adult fiction my side of the mountain things like that because it kind of puts me in the mood while I am painting that kind of a naturalist mindset so those are the things I listen to the most do you listen to any kind of nonfiction informational inspirational type stuff oh yeah I do I listen to a ton um I listen to quite a few business books and you know I might have to look at what they are because titles I have my audible account here known by Mark Schaefer in a pit with a lion on a snowy day by Mark Batterson and things like that and they're very inspirational business books I will say that one of the most motivating things for me and this will be you know there'll be people on both sides of the coin whether or not they think this is great or not but I have listened to a lot of like Law of Attraction books I don't know if you're familiar with that and whether whether they buy into the fact that Law of Attraction is a real thing or not you know there's no arguing that just positive thinking will make you more successful and as soon as I just started to feel positive with my work and that was one of the biggest things with goals having dreams shooting for the stars and then just not letting failure and discouragement even be an issue just kind of casting them aside and just deciding you're just gonna be hopeful and think positive all the time that's been one of the most helpful things for me because suddenly opportunities come and you do accomplish goals and dreams do come true and they wouldn't have if you had just succumbed to the discouragement from the beginning so those have been very helpful if nothing else there's just a great pep talk give us you're a law of attraction author maybe a book somebody can go and check out download on audible okay um let me see I've listened to a lot let me see which one I would recommend yeah definitely so secret it's one where the movie if you watch it every couple like every couple of months I'll just watch it again just because it gets you mode they're pretty much telling you that anything you want to like your biggest dreams can come true and just believing that alone is powerful in itself because I mean you're gonna try and so I'm a believer too you know people might remember and one of the episodes for this podcast we interviewed dr. John Demartini who was on the secret Oh okay wow that's great that guy's awesome he's on fire oh that's wonderful well yeah I definitely whether people want really believe in kind of the metaphysical side or just the fact of thinking positive that's a scientific fact it's gonna make you more successful I mean that's proven science so I think just in general reading those things is helpful just because that's a big part the people who succeed are the ones who believe they can or unwilling to believe that they can't so I would recommend that it's been helpful for me you know you you sound like somebody who's you know you don't seem to have any trouble staying on top of it staying dedicated disciplined and motivated so how do you you know stay on top of it how do you just keep that focus and just laser in and just get it done yeah you know I think that's kind of a challenge for me too and I think that's probably a something I hear from almost every art that it is a challenge all the time to be your own boss and to make yourself do the work when nobody is there in the studio telling you to do it and I definitely have those days where I am just extremely lazy and I just cannot bring myself to do it and those are probably more often than I would like to admit but they happen but I found that the best way to counteract that is to create projects for myself that have deadlines and it forces you to work you have to do the work no matter what cuz you have deadlines and even when I know buddies come to me with a deadline that's when I create my own project approach somebody and create a deadline for myself and so I do I'm pretty I have a good routine and I'm pretty consistent that I get up and I probably start working in the studio around nine nine o'clock in the morning every day because before that I do other things that are important like exercising and things that keep you saying and I'll probably paint until depending on how intense my deadlines are I'll paint at least till 3:00 p.m. every day sometimes if it's more intense I'll go longer till like 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. but at that point I start to not be on my best game and my work suffers a little bit if I paint more than like six hours straight in the day some people I know can do twelve hours a day and I've done it but if I really want to I'm sure you have sure fifteen hours yesterday yeah I've done that with projects in the past too and sometimes I don't know if it's the work that I do is extremely detailed or cerebral but I get burnt out after about six hours of that straight so it's difficult to sustain I mean especially with the quality of your work and the intricacy to it I mean with me I feel like often I'm just slapping painting around having a good time but I mean you know I look at you and you you know with of something like a field guide you can't be creative with those feathers you but yet somehow you manage to make these look like works of art but it's just exquisite what I'm looking at how fine these images are and how well execute they are mean look for people listening you know you want to see some work that is well executed somebody who knows her stuff you got to check out Alex Warnock if you're not following if you're just listening to this and you're not following or right now on instagram change that immediately go follow her look I've really really appreciated your time there's just a few more questions I'd like to squeeze in here if we've got got a little bit more time together yeah okay you know I I'm constantly getting asked for advice and in fact that's what inspired me to start this podcast in the first place as so many people are like Andrea how do I get in galleries or how do I press my work or how do I stay motivated or how do I go about being an artist in the first place I'm like I don't know man like I just do what I do well let me ask some people and get back to you you know so that's what kind of started this whole thing off so let's say you're talking to somebody who's you know or better yet let's ask it this way I like it when other interviewers have asked this kind of question let's say you're offering your twelve year old self some advice what are you gonna cite or hmm it's a good question I think I would say I think I would go back to kind of what I said in the beginning that if you combine what you know with what you love you're probably gonna be a success because you'll do what it takes to make it a success and anything can be a success I think if you're willing to work hard enough for it and if you love it it won't feel like work so I think that's probably the best advice so it gives just to go for it and to be creative in your business there's a million ways to make something work and most of them people just haven't tried yet and if you just get creative you can do it and and make your personal dream work on your own terms however you want to do it at least that's what I believe it's worked for me and that's something I'm very grateful for and I think that can probably work for most people – absolutely hey let me ask you who are you heroes who are your heroes like from all time like old masters painters from the past naturalist biologists ornithologist who those people that you've got on your your Mount Rushmore okay my Mount Rushmore well for artists I am most inspired by the 19th century Natural History artists so people like John James Audubon Alexander Wilson mark Catesby Jacques bear band and then going into the 20th century people like Roger Tory Peterson Louis Agassiz square days artists like that pretty much anybody who paved the way for what I do I really connect with them in in terms of just people in general Roger Tory Peterson is one of my heroes in sixth grade I remember I made a paper mache mask of his face and wore it for a book report project that I did on him he's I was actually born in his hometown where he was born so it's he's just always been a hero of mine um yeah those would probably be my greatest heroes really anybody who paved this way any naturalist Explorer who found the birds and first showed them to people from the very beginning through their artwork I really connect with them so then for modern-day painters there's a whole slew of wildlife artists and I probably won't even get to naming him because there's so many and I'm sure I would leave somebody out but pretty much anybody who paid spirts they have inspired me at one point or another fantastic that's that's wonderful that's wonderful and so I can really hear that that's something that is just by having those heroes close and keeping them in your mind it kind of just pushes you on that daily basis to just keep going keep going that's amazing so look let's let's give you you know some some final and closing thoughts here like I've really enjoyed this but what's what are some things that you want to leave us with your Alex Warnock um I think I would just leave that art is a wonderful happy career and I think I've heard a lot that it's tough and like you said in the beginning you're gonna be a starving artist and most people end up quitting before they ever get started but I think I would just say to anybody they're that first of all there's a lot of ways to succeed and success looks different for lots of different people and making a full time living and career out of it might be one definition of success for somebody and they can definitely do it if they want it really bad and there's especially in our day there's so many creative wonderful ways to succeed and all the tools are kind of in our hands now we have everything we need and it's just a really fun journey and the connections with other people makes it all worth it amazing amazing Alex where can people find you where can they see more of your fantastic art how do people get in touch um I have a website just my name WWE Alex Warnock calm and also my Instagram account which is also my name Alex Warnock are the two best ways to find me wonderful thank you so much for doing this podcast it has been awesome well thank you so much Andrew I just really enjoyed it now I really hope that you've enjoyed this episode of the creative endeavor podcast and a big thank you to Alex Warnock for joining me if you want to see more of her work then make sure you click those links in the description down below I've linked to both her website and her Instagram now if you liked this video and you want to see more of these podcasts then make sure you hit that like button for me and leave me a comment down below if you want to come back for more see more videos just like this one or some how to paint videos then make sure you're subscribed to this channel as always you can find me on Instagram and Facebook but most important make sure you subscribe through my website at Andrew Tischler dot-com thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you again soon

29 thoughts on “The Creative Endeavour Podcast – Episode #6, Alex Warnick – Bird Artist Extraordinaire

  1. Hi Andrew and Alex, thanks so much, inspired once again. I listen to bird song on youtube while I'm painting my birds. So soothing and relevant. Plenty of youtube bird song videos. Also we watch your podcasts on TV in the living room, I make the whole family watch them so thats the best method for us, but audio only….I'll make that work 🙂 :). The Secret is simply the best….. Thanks again. Pam

  2. this is the first time I've subscribed to anything…keep up the great work, you are making a difference.

  3. I extremely enjoyed this podcast.Thank you Andrew. Alex is amazing. Keep shooting for the stars ….and Mars 😉.

  4. Thank you Andrew and Alex for much inspiration. I am following both of you on insta . 👏👏👏🙏👍

  5. Many Galleria are quite greedy and restrictive.kinda like selling your soul. In some cases they do not allow you to sell your own works by other means.

  6. Hi Andrew!
    Loved this Podcasr! Heading over to see Alex's website and Instagram now. I hope you will continue to offer a video version as well as audio on your podcasts. It's nice to listen to them while I paint but sometimes I really like to see who's talking! Just got your Portrait DVD and will be diving in tomorrow! Thanks for all you do and looking forward to your next podcast.
    Cheers!

  7. MAESTRO ANDREW , IM SO THANKFUL TO YOUR VIDEOS .IT REALLY HELPS ME A LOT IN IMPROVING MY TALENT , IM FROM PHILIPPINES . YOUR MY MODERNDAY ARTIST IDOL .

  8. I loved the podcast and enjoy that there is video that I can glance over at while I do studies or excercises whilst in artist mode. A mode that helps me seperate my artist life from my Batman life.
    You ask excellent questions Andrew and what I really enjoy is that you actually let the person that you're interviewing answer the question 100% on their own without cluttering up the interview as you add your 2 cents worth. You allow the interview to breathe, yet you are still there. That is how you interview somebody. You allow the interviewee the chance to speak and you can really tell that you are listening instead of waiting for your turn to speak. That in and itself is a breath of fresh air in today's society.
    Thanks for the video, I enjoyed it very much.
    Antony

  9. Excellent, excellent interview. Great questions and honest, professional, and REAL answers from Alex. She hit on some very strong points (for me) concerning letting yourself be seen with regards to marketing platforms i.e., Instagram and other social media. Also enjoyed her goal oriented mindset and daily structure.
    Loved that she looks at marketing and producing art as a game. She seems like an “old soul”, very serene and grounded. Great choice for your interview. Thank you Andrew

  10. Man, that was a great interview! Insightful yes, cool guest, yes but the interviewer…wow, great job Andrew. Thank you so much. A snazzy artist in your own right but you definitely are an awesome encourager . Keep it up. I will definitely subscribe and look forward to seeing more of these. ..and will make as a "shoot for the stars" goal to paint in NZ someday!

  11. Alex Warnick is very articulate. So Andrew if you want to be the first outside painter on Mars, or any other planet for that matter. Stake your claim and make your little claim in perpetuity monies. That way your descendants will be the riches person of that planet, or planets combined I should say.

  12. Andrew. I really find the podcasts exceptionally encouraging. It feels like a century ago (only 45) that I graduated from university with a fine art degree and life intervened preventing a real effort in this area. I am finally getting back to it and often feel the "it's too late" lie bearing down on me. Thank you for giving me the encouragement to keep on "keeping on". This podcast was awesome!!!

  13. Thanks so much for this information-packed podcast.  Alex, your wisdom belies your young age!  Thank you for your thoughtful answers. Andrew,  I greatly appreciate the time and effort you devote to making this podcast series, as well as the video tutorials. I just received the portrait painting one and look forward to watching it and incorporating your tips into the next figurative piece I do.  The Law of Attraction has played a pivotal role in my personal wellbeing and growth and success as an artist.  John Assaraf was also in The Secret and has YouTube videos on goal setting that are very good.  I also listen to Joe Dispenza, Brene Brown, Impact Theory, and Tony Robbins, and in the past watched Abraham-Hicks.  To be successful in all aspects of life, I’ve found these people to be great teachers and mentors.

  14. Wow wow wow 2am have a cup of tea before going back to sleep, check email, Andrews podcast. Thanks for the sleep deprivation. Another master piece

  15. Hey, I really enjoy your podcasts. Loved expanding my scope of learning from experienced artist. You ask excellent questions! This podcast was exceptional in that Alex has strong skills not only in Art but business and connecting with a greater community of artist. Very inspiring.

  16. Another great interview, thank you. The most amazing thing about it, we get to see that you really do have some hair under your hats!
    I don't plan to become a professional artist, but all the advice given in your podcasts are transferable to most businesses. I'm self employed and I always come away with new inspiration not just for my art but also for my business.

    Looking forward to the next endeavour episode.

  17. Thanks Andrew, someone else I hadn't come across before. Alex seems very mature, capable and organised for someone so young. I find the business side of this game very interesting, though, in my case, in a rather theoretical way as I tend to be pretty useless at taking action. I really enjoy making plans as Alex does but I then allow myself to be drawn into other activities or fall prey to procrastination (hey, even watching this video, though useful learning, falls into the procrastination category as I'm not watching it at an appropriate time in my, supposedly, working day). Anyway, great work, appreciate it.

  18. Regarding Law of Attraction, Abraham-Hicks is the very best. Granted, everyone is at a different place in their life and will be able hear better from teachers that match their current vibration, and funnily enough this is based on the law of Law of Attraction. 😉

  19. Andrew, first I should tell you that you are one of my art heroes.
    Then, these podcasts are really helpfull!!! They give people the idea that everyone start at a point and no one is perfect.
    For me, I still struggle finding my way to sell my art and do commissions. But portraiture is my thing and I enjoy it.
    I never had a direct art teacher and leaned what I know from reading topics and watching youtube videos.
    Maybe take a look at my work on instagram: @hassib_ahmad_noori and add your opinion about it.
    Thank you again for posting such amazing videos… ❤

  20. When I receive unlisted yt videos by email, I feel so VIP and I'm so thankful for that. Keep going with TCEPodcast, you're doing a wonderful job!~

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