Interview with a SUCCESSFUL ARTIST – The Creative Endeavour – Episode #5 BRENDON DARBY

Interview with a SUCCESSFUL ARTIST - The Creative Endeavour - Episode #5 BRENDON DARBY

how's it going Andrew here and welcome to another episode of the creative endeavor podcast in this episode I'm interviewing Brendon Darby who's a prominent Western Australian artist and a really talented guy in fact I originally reached out to Brendon when I was about 20 21 years old before I'd even started out on my professional art journey I was feeling really jaded and lost after my fine art university experience and wasn't quite sure how I would fit into the art world or even how to go about selling my art I wasn't even sure about what kind of art I wanted to make and so in my confusion and out of that loss I reached out to Brendan Darby who I really looked up to at the time and he was so generous with his advice and it really helped me out a lot so naturally I wanted to reach out to him again and get him on the podcast and see if he could share some of those encouraging words with us and we had a great conversation so without further ado here's Brendan Darby said Brendon welcome to the podcast well thanks Andrew it's nice to be invited look I just want to kind of take us back a little bit here I don't think you'll remember that I remember and I put this team in the email that I sent you you're one of the first people that I emailed straight out of university or actually I think truth be told I think I was still in my third year feeling really just out of it jaded really upset with the state of the art world wasn't sure how he's gonna make it and I had one of my lecturers just say we'll look ander if you want to be a commercial artist you want to go and do that and then go and live your life and just be the next Brendan Darby and at that time and and I at that time I I hadn't actually heard of you and so I thought whose burnin Darby I looked you up and I thought damn this guy can paint Danny's painting landscapes I want to paint landscapes and I looked at your work and I thought wow that it just it just summed up for me perfectly what the vision of it living an artistic life would look like and I got in touch with you and I emailed you and I I I you know was asking you all sorts of questions so I'm not sure if you remember but was that 2003 2003 yeah yeah yeah yeah I can't say I remember all of it but I'm at my age not gifted with Total Recall you know so I anything more than a week back is well look you were you were really helpful you responded to the email first top marks for the whole that's that's good you know not many people responded and I think the main thing that I was struggling with and maybe where we can kick this conversation off the main thing that I was struggling with at the time was I had this idea that if I sold my work then I wasn't a proper artist and I really had a hard time with that concept because I wanted to be commercial I wanted to live and eat and pay the rent and pay my bills saw my work and there was some somehow this idea that was just running just kind of it was like this unspoken rule in art school that hey if you do that you're not proper artist got a kind of struggle and live for your ideas and I thought how am I going to pay the rent with that sure I've had the same problem I I remember having a conversation with a very good artist who shall remain nameless in this conversation but I was introduced to her over lunch and she said oh oh yes that's right you sell your work don't you I said yes I do and she said well why do you do that I said because it enables me to continue painting and she said oh I know I think it's selling out to Sulli work and and the thing was and I don't knock this idea as well this is quite a lot of artists out there that live off the grant system off the government and never really attempt to sell their work it's just one grant after another they they're in the system and again I don't have a problem with that but because she was disparaging to me at this particular luncheon I had to say to a look I understand your position but my position is I want to paint and through my painting and selling my work I'm paying taxes which is actually paying for your grants you know so it's it goes around you know just goes around I don't see any problem at all in anyone's selling their art when you think about it it happens in all of the arts can you think of I don't know famous ballet star or opera singer that doesn't get paid to perform more you know an actor musicians how do they survive they sell their record so yeah you know so why can't our to sell their work hmm and I get it don't get it and it enables us to continue painting without having to take a real job as we call them yeah yeah a real job a job that's it you know but it mind you we all well I I started working a real job and grinding it out washing dishes and working in a giant milk fridge in Perth for a long time yeah and yeah you know you do your bit pouring beers and make it coffees until you can finally sell enough work that you're like see yeah yeah I know I was lucky because I was a professional musician while I was studying art and fortunately and I've been very very lucky I have to stress this just things about timing I don't know quite why but it worked really well for me my music was really starting to go well while I was studying graphic design which is another conversation we can get into graphic design but I left a three year diploma in graphic design to play music full-time and after several years doing that I thought I hang on I've had enough of clubs and pubs I want to get back to painting and of course promptly went broke you know but talk about out of the frying pan into the fire yeah so I was lucky I could supplement my income while I was trying to get established in the in the painting world by doing part-time music work so it was again very lucky really lucky at that time you know this is the 70s so live bands were playing everywhere I was prior to committing to painting I was touring Australia a lot it was just a beautiful time to be doing all of that tough for pro painters though because there weren't many commercial galleries there were hardly any professional painters in Perth well I used to turn painter because I I have trouble generalizing with the term artist I think we need another name food why is this visual visual artist I don't know visual artists doesn't cover it from the either yeah yeah because I mean when I when I look at somebody like you and the the sheer variety in the types of images that you paint I mean you're a guy with a lot to say about a lot of different things I mean when I first became familiar with your work you were doing these epic landscape scenes you know a lot of areas that I was just dying to get to like you know outback Western Australia the Kimberley and you got there eventually eventually I got there and but your take on it was really inspiring and then and then seeing what you were doing with these these amazing water effects with paint in more recent years but then on top of that I mean you mentioned you know music you're a really talented musician as well so what do you play besides trumpet its trumpet it's your main kind of yeah yeah trumpets trumpets really it there was a time when trumpets went out of fashion again late 70s early 80s when rock really took over and my father was a drummer and so I'd played a bit of drum so I did play drums for a little while but you know it was just a little filler you know yeah I I write music on keyboards but I'm not a keyboard player per se you know that's just my vehicle to get sounds down now I'm a trumpeter yeah fantastic hey let me let me ask you though what what were what we're on this subject of music and painting one of the things I wanted to ask you about is is how how did those two connect and kind of cross fertilize for you because I've seen that really fascinating there seems to be a musical rhythmic aspect to your paintings yeah probably by chance as I recall I I always will nearly always listen to music while I'm painting I'm a big jazz fan but not just jazz I like all sorts of music and on a few occasions it started to occur to me that while I was painting the music in the background was absolutely perfect or sometimes absolutely wrong and there was nothing wrong with the music it just didn't sit with the painting was like I think one of the best ways to describe it would be watching a movie with the wrong film score you know the wrong music you know just didn't sit and so I started thinking what if it did sit absolutely perfectly with the paintings so the music's written for the painting and trying to describe the same thing just to give it another dimension I don't overstate this but I felt when it worked it was greater than the sum of its two parts when it worked and that's not all the time so I understand I have a better understanding and gratitude for the composers that do great film school because that's a tough tough gig to get that right I'm trying to describe a static image you know that's hard enough yeah yeah so I just love that process so I decided to go and do a series and it happened to be in kakadu and went there and sampled some of the sounds looked at the landscape and tried to look at it in a lyric away and of course painting the arts in general and musics a share a lot of terminology and though it makes sense a lot of it just sits together well yeah I would sample things like butcher birds that are territorial and have one call for their location and so I could base a melody on that knowing it's that location that someone goes there they'll hear that melody you know that sort of thing good fun no I wanted to ask you that because I remember seeing a little YouTube clip ages ago on on your work with kakadu and i remember these sounds and you're recording things and then the imager to be it was a beautifully edited little clip I was watching it was fantastic I think I either saw it on YouTube or your website but it was a long long time ago hmm like I'm not sure exactly which bit you're referring to because I've done lots of it I tend to call the process listening to paintings which is you know just a general description I've done a series from kakadu as i've just described and then i decided to take on a much bigger project and do it australia-wide and try to go to the most diverse landscapes in australia so snow fields – deserts you know tasmania up to the tropics all of that stuff the deserts southwest coast Kimberley's kakadu all of that and and and write a piece for for each one so there's there was ten major pieces that resulted from that exhibition called listening to paintings Australia where does he get him and in ten pieces of music and that was actually premiered live with the live music performance against the film clip of the works being created which was again good fun ah fantastic what a great idea was a ten-year project of wasted ten didn't waste no took ten years to get together but I imagine I was really well received though like I mean what was the reaction like in the crowd when you finally got to show that thing or how did you feel when you when you finally delivered that body of work there were a few hiccups in the presentation that happens or all sorts of things anything that could go wrong did go wrong the computer crashed though this is before while we're trying to get it on stage and I won't give you the details but yeah a lot of people found it very very interesting but because of the concept of looking at a painting and listening to a piece of music it's difficult for a lot of people some people wouldn't look at a painting in fact you probably know this the average time a person spends looking at a painting this is the average in commercial and public galleries is four seconds yes yeah which is which is very scary really isn't it yeah yes so to expect someone to look at one of my pieces for the duration of the music and some of it went for five minutes some would go for two minutes you know just depended on the inspiration yeah I wouldn't say it's been well I can tell you it hasn't been an outrageous commercial success but I love doing it and I still keep doing it I I just loved that process some of the music has been used for commercially on TV shows not associated with the painting itself but that's okay I guess that just suggests to me that they can stand on their own which is good that's awesome that's awesome so what there's so many things I want to ask you maybe maybe what we could do is just go back is you know one of the one of the questions that I also get quite often is you know this this idea I think I think what a lot of young people are struggling with is this idea of like like there aren't careers this monumental dream and they just keep putting it off putting it off putting it off and and and if it's out there on the horizon if it's far away out of reach then it can't hurt them but they can still dream about it so they keep it there a little bit as a comforting feeling but if they have it just out of reach then it's okay what would you say to somebody who was just I mean because you've done this man I mean you've lived it you're breathing it you're you're an inspired guy you're creating great work and and I love what you're saying I mean look even though that might not be a commercial success you're driven by the love for the work so what could he say to somebody who's just wanting to start they're sitting off and and just kind of find their way social media of course helps now a lot by posting some of the work you like yourself and so you can gauge public the public reaction to it with all those naughty naughty likes and then in the old analog days and when I was first starting and this is still available I think to new artists try to get involved in your local community art shows the mixed mixed shows at schools and you know the type I'm talking about they're still very common and the best thing about that is if you're just starting you can walk into this place and no one will know you and you can hover somewhere near your painting and listen to honest comments on it you will hear what people really think but have broad shoulders because you are gonna cop it you know yeah but it's a really good education it also in a strictly commercial sense gives you an idea of where your paintings sit commercially amongst all of the other people trying to get into this marketplace you'll see a few ourselves quickly or doesn't sell at all you'll see how much work sells at that that place at a certain price point you'll soon learn where you fit commercially and I'm saying and whether people like what you're trying to tell them it doesn't mean that what you're doing is wrong if they don't like it because there's a very good chance you're above them you know this is a fairly I don't want to use any disparaging terms but it's it's not the top end of the art market here these people in suburban schools but it is a good good cross-section of your community and what the average person is going to think of your work you get a good honest answer you won't have people just saying nice things to keep you happy you'll hear the truth have you got any tips for how to handle the truth when you hear it even well I've had years of ugly trees there is no I think this is why God made beer no no it's okay I just think if you're if you're passionate about whatever the work is you producing in a certain direction you're going stay with it because that's what in the end creates an unusual and original artist it's not the one that complies and paints what the GP wants you know it's someone who's different and and if you're different it's gonna be tougher to start with much tougher you know I think I think you're touching on something there that's quite important because that speaks to the motivations by which somebody would be doing it in the first place you know are they doing it because their mums gonna be proud of them and they're gonna put it into the fridge and and say hey look what look what little Billy did you know are you doing it for the paddle in the back are you doing it because there's something in you that has to get out oh yeah you know III think the latter is certainly has got more longevity you know that's that's the most important of course but I suspect at that stage everything you said then is probably a part of that equation as long as that last situation rings true and comes through in the end you know if you're just there for I don't know a bit of glamour or no there's nothing wrong with glamour or fun either but if if you're not as andrew is driven by some of the great works you've seen in the past they wanted work you know with significance like that then yeah maybe maybe think of something else maybe yeah but that but that's a moving target as well that can build as you start working and you get further involved you you change directions and the inspiration may come right yeah yeah sorry I'm very vague on that when it's a it's the only one no no no I mean look I'm just I'm trying to work this stuff out for myself as well and I find that in every time I hit that that area where I feel like I'm just starting to get it some other challenge or something else gets thrown in my path and it's like no you don't get it at all there's even more to know isn't that great well it's wonderful and it's really humbling um but you know there is a brief moment where you're kind of you know kind of puffing yourself up a bit and feeling really good about things and then suddenly you're humbled you know in can be quite sudden the artists that I can't stand the ones that I really and I I must admit I don't really hang around a lot of artists cuz we don't get along so well but I mean but being here in New Zealand and unfortunately in Perth it was a really good crowd but you occasionally come across some artists who think they've got it all figured out and and there's nothing else that you can it's not that I would feel in those situations I'd have something to offer them but I just kind of want to kind of hear a little bit more of a human aspect or see that there was a work in progress so to speak yeah you know one thing one thing I've learned over these several decades many decades I used to get a bit excited about some works you know I think I that's a ripper you know that's really come together well and you'd feel proud of it and someone would buy it and it disappeared you wouldn't see it and and then accidentally maybe ten years later you'd walk in on it and every time I do that I look at it and say what was I thinking you know so at one level it's a dampener better than another I never get too excited about where I'm at at any given point I know that down the line it's not going to mean quite as much and I think that's a positive thing it just means that you're moving on and you're still experimenting you're still looking for more if you were content if I was content thirty years ago why would I keep doing it yeah yeah absolutely no III get the the same feeling as well looking at past work and and reflecting on those feelings said you know after putting the brushes down you know being like hey that was awesome and then you know my old folio always comes back to haunt me you know it's it's it's one of these things but look now you know you I'm I feel hopefully you can you can give us the backstory here and tell us how it's all working for you now and and maybe that that story will inspire well no it'll inspire some people but I look at your work now and and I see what you're doing online you know through your Instagram page and and kind of keep up to date with what's happening at galleries here and there where do you find yourself now what's inspiring you now and and what do you what are you working on currently well there's a couple of things I know you've been doing a bit of work with digital art as well although you you don't see that as a final work and this is an interesting dilemma I think because I believe that digital art world is becoming way more acceptable I mean David Hockney for example yeah yeah and and I've been working on it for a few years now and found the resistance a lot of people think you're cheating they think it's a manipulated photograph it's you know it's the computer doing it there's a lot of that out there but I'm finding as I as I keep working on it some people are starting to get it and come online I'm not I'm not sure how the current project I'm working on which is called 2018 where does it get them that's a an iPad painting that I'm painting every day on the same painting so whatever happens today it might be our interview I don't know that that will be the subject of the painting it'll be added to the painting yeah and of course as you you're aware procreate the the app I'm using records everything in movie form so every brush stroke every mark is recorded so at the end of this year I'll have 365 days recorded I'll have a visual diary of everything the major events in every day of this year that influenced me Wow I have no idea what I'm going to do with that when it's done I'm saving high-res some high-res images along the way so it might I don't know I may end up in an exhibition with a with this video that just runs loops I don't know we'll see but I like that idea that it's open-ended I I just like doing it knowing that there's some surprises coming perhaps if it was all resolved it wouldn't be as exciting as it is and I've already found certain things I should have thought about at the start of the year and I would have formatted it differently I would have saved every day for example but I think that's the interesting think about this sort of creative process as long as it continues to be creative there's something to look forward to if you knew everyday what was going to happen why would you bother absolutely absolutely you know I I must admit I I've experienced some of the similar resistance to the new digital medium but amazing how it literally touches everything in our modern day culture and society I mean we see digital art everywhere and why why is it taking so long to kind of permeate into the fine art space or the painting space I I do I use it as kind of a means to an end but I must admit like the digital art that gets me I mean when you're watching a TV show or a movie concept art is what gets me you know when these environments and scenes that don't exist you've got to have teams of teams of artists to do something like The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings or something like that oh it's incredible yeah yeah and I love that sort of thing but you know you're you're doing it the hard way because I mean if I if I had to do knowing me if I had to do a picture on the iPad I wouldn't go back over the top of that I mean okay maybe you could save and take images along the way hmm you know I would I would do it I'd finish so I think that's quite brave in a way to just kind of let the process then take you where it needs to go well I'm a big fan of abstraction I'm not very good at it because probably because of my graphics training and whatever other influences I've had but I really find it hard to do a non objective abstract I need a I need a pathway to it some here some sort of reference it might end up looking totally abstract to the viewer but it will have a reference from somewhere another landscape or something so what happens in this iPad project is I already have a painting on there and I'm trying to add another element another image it might just be a line torii might be just some color I don't know but as a result a lot of it becomes very abstract and I really like that process it sort of frees me up a bit or forces me to loosen up hmm which I which I'm not very good at you were also talking about projects I'm I'm not very good at planning way ahead I tend to look a year ahead maybe a year and a half ahead and walk exhibitions in commercial galleries and because I'm a lazy bastard the only way it's going to be done is I have to book the exhibition then I know I'll do it it will be done right if I didn't have if I didn't have that deadline you know the I'll be pushing it a bit you know a lot yeah so that so that's the way I have to do it you don't work a lot with commercial galleries as I understand is that right I have a really bad attitude Brendon I I'm probably have a bit of a reputation now for being quite difficult oh and I'm I'm now better than unusual i beginni to soften a little bit but I mean I've had some really great experiences I had some wonderful experiences in Perth you know in a few horror stories as well that some of my listeners will no doubt know about now but I now with with online with the online world I find that I'm getting opportunities and commissions and clients they're coming to me now but I I'm in this position now though where it's like well I want to do bodies of work for commercial galleries I'm talking with another friend of mine about maybe doing a joint show with him and so I'm forging new new relationships with galleries you know here in New Zealand because I just moved to New Zealand I married a Kiwi girl about six years ago and and now we live in the bottom of the South Island I love it it's an amazing landscape tell me and you're moving to Queenstown or you've already no no no so I'm in my permanent home now and we tried to get into Queenstown but we weren't millionaires yet those Queenstown got that expensive has that I love Queenstown Medical it is off the hook how expensive oh yes but it's stunning oh it's stunning but it's I'm waiting for a good market crash and then I'll go and buy something my literally it's on the way it yeah it look it's only two and a half hours down the road from me now but the landscape down here I mean I actually now with the lifestyle here I kind of prefer it because um you know this reminds me and we're coming around full circle here but this I saw something recently and it kind of reminds me of your approach to things in a certain way and I just want to touch on something you just said because I'm gonna want to challenge it because I know I don't know if I necessarily agree with you because I look at your world I have to be go I have to be going now what Oh jay-z got me know you'll like this you'll like this because you said you're a lazy bastard I don't agree with you I don't think that can be true because I look at the amount of work that I've seen that you've done and the amount of public collections that you're in and the the shows that you've done and and this new experimental work with with booking a show so far in advance do you find that that's a way to rather a way to kind of force yourself to structure time around works or would you be if you didn't if you didn't have that that goal of okay show time is November we got to get there that you might just continue to work on the same piece but you strike me as the kind of guy that would just show up to work everyday to paint just play most days that's true doesn't mean I necessarily do paint or play I turn up to do it and I I don't know if you have this a lot of artists do its we call it the coffee syndrome really you walk in you're gonna paint anything well especially if you're starting a new piece I better have a coffee first and those emails I better check the emails just get them out the way and pay those bills anything but starting that painting you know it doesn't happen to me all the time but it does happen quite often and it particularly happened to me when I was younger so if I have a deadline forget the coffee forget the emails let's go let's get into it yeah yeah and it also helps me to focus on a theme because I I like themed exhibitions yeah so I usually have to I try to work that out before I book the exhibition so they can they know where we're going sir yes master well yeah coz that's interesting I mean I had a client ages ago say to me Andrew I'm gonna I want this commission I want it by this date I'm gonna force you to paint it by that day I said gee that's really steep and he said you know what Andrew I know artists artists are lazy and having to deadlines forces you to structure that time I rest my case I learned that lesson and and but I didn't see it as laziness but I I see it as kind of you do tend to get caught in your own head and and you know involved in that creative process and oh I do you know anyway and and yeah drinking plenty of coffee during the day of course I bet I agree with you I think I can't speak for you or anyone else for that matter but I think most of the time whether you're painting or not you're working hmm you're thinking about okay how am I going to do this or a particular concept or whatever it is you know like that iPad thing I'm talking about yeah I don't know where it's going to finish so I keep thinking about it well what's the best way what's the most interesting way to present this so even when you're not putting brush to canvas you're still working I believe mm-hmm I want to ask you about galleries so when it when it comes to dealing with a gallery I have a lot of people ask it you know how do I even get into a gallery in the first place could you give us just a rundown of how how how does Brendan Darby forge a new relationship with a commercial gallery how would you approach a gallery right now or as a young painter or as how about give us from a young painter maybe a story of when you first started I think I talked about earlier going to your local community exhibitions joint shows and putting your work up there putting it out there I think you'll find especially some of the the more well-established exhibitions in that genre a lot of gallery people go to them just to see what's out there in fact often a lot of their artists are involved so they go along but they have got their eye open for new and upcoming talent all the time so that's one way of doing it but I also believe with social media this is a whole new world and this is probably the best time ever to try and get into a gallery you don't have to throw them in the back of your car and drag them into a gallery to find the gallery directors not there so it's much easier for them as well to receive a well presented email or you know whatever mmm with some high good quality images on it I'm I'm also interested in what you just said about you have clients coming it doesn't surprise me clients coming to you as a result of your posts online and I've always seen that as as the only hiccup with digital media digital galleries social media to solve paintings most people I think when it gets to a certain price point they need to stand in front of it before they commit yes so from my point of view that narrows the market to your local market yes even though your even though you're promoting it worldwide so there's a great advantage to it but at the same time there's that little point which still justifies commercial galleries yeah you're quite right you're quite right I mean there's a lot of resistance that I found you know I'll get emails from people who will want to Commission something and and you know sometimes it works so it works enough then I make a good solid go of it but I will get back to them with a price you know based on the size that they want and then I never hear from them again you know it's one of these things that once you establish your price within the art world or within a particular market why would you insult all of your previous clients and buyers by coming up with something that you feel is appropriate at that level the price is a price and the market has established that I have to keep it there you know that's an interest that's an interesting point as well that I've been talking with a lot of people about I've always found it a bit strange that visual arts paintings are not allowed to move with the rest of the market other commodities precious metals the stock market real estate they'll they're up and down and people that invest in such things expect that that's the risk they take but if you Andrew were to soul very nice painting to someone and then a year later a similar sized similar subject you put on the market considerably reduced because the marketers reduced you'd be very unpopular with that buyer and I don't understand why it's you it's it's just the realities of the marketplace and everything else the end result is of course that artists that can't move in a really tough market tend to not sell many paintings while it's really tough and that's equally unfair but I I had an exhibition a few years back during a tough time and was talking to a friend of mine about this problem and decided to have an experiment so at opening night at this exhibition I said basically what I just said to you there about why can't art move with the market and as such I want to have a little experiment tonight and this is called price justification it's where you the buyer sets the price you've all got a catalogue in front of you and it has a price on the world from now and for a little while until I put it into this you can buy any one of those pieces at half price and if someone else wants it they can bid above that half price and and the price will be written against it as we go to see what price the market really wants to pay for these works Wow yeah it was a bit scary could I attend well sort of it didn't really pan out the way I hoped what it did Tommy though it was most of the people that were there were there for the party in the free wine because even at half price you know yeah yeah most of them but that's the case with most gallery exhibitions you there are people that are serious about it and the great majority are there for some fun and you know in a social event that's fair enough that's part of it as well any anyway it yeah I got a lot of blank stares and some people got some fairly cheap paintings out of that exercise but it it didn't didn't sort of resolve the problem I didn't get to a point where I said well this is what this painting is worth now because the masses have told me because the masses didn't vote no no wiser no wiser for the event yeah yeah but I mean look in speaking of the markets I mean during that economic anomic turmoil you know I lost my business totally lost my business so I I went from a period of 2009 had a sellout show walked away with you know just didn't know what to do with the money and then the next year not another thing and and oh yeah just bare bones and a lot of people and and that was about the time that all the galleries and WI started dropping like flies so how does one kind of how do you how do you kind of bear the brunt and kind of weather that storm gives a bad time to come and you know economic economic hardship is coming as an artist how do you deal with that I I think you're right I think there's a beauty coming up right up very soon the next year or so yeah I mean it's it's tough now I don't think there's any short answer to that i I think the way you're working at the moment on social media and your teaching and all of that is going to help you enormous ly to get through that to have a stable base to work with because people still want to learn to paint you've been in the bad times they may not have the discretionary spend for a big piece I've just been very lucky we've we've had lots of very lean years and for some reason I seem to just get something touchwood a big Commission or something like that just to get us over the line and the last few exhibitions have gone okay just enough to keep us aden along I don't I don't have a simple answer to that this is not true just for paintings but what I'm trying to do right now is get rid of debt that's all yeah and that's hard because you have to solve paintings to get rid of debt yeah it's it is a tricky one I think I think this next generation is you stated is it's going to find it far more interesting to get seen to get to galleries to get to major exhibition competitions Archibald's and things like that because they all seem to be starting to change over to a digital submission rather than having to pack the painting up from Perth and send it all the way to Sydney at a huge cost and have it sent back you know that that that sort of stuff is getting a little easier and will continue to do so so it'll be easier for the new artist to be seen excellent excellent so on that with with dealing with competitions I mean our competitions important to you as an artist and and going for awards not not particularly I usually intend to enter the Archibald but as I said to you and I'm pretty poorly organized and often don't get around to it yeah I was really I was really lucky just by chance I entered in 2001 and and got into the the show which I wasn't expecting it was the first time I'd tried and then I thought ah this is easy and I've been trying ever since and of course having been aided in again but but yeah I like I like that sort of comp and some of the bigger comps because it exposes you work to a different different audience you know the significant ones that Doug Moran prizes and birth portrait prize I've just joined the West Australian portrait artists group and I'm having they are we are having a show in two weeks down in Fremantle it's the first one I will be having with them which is good fun yeah fantastic who's your subject for that show well I'm putting three pieces in one is a self portrait that was a semi finalist in the Doug Moran Prize last year and in fact there's two self portraits the other one is as a result of one day on the iPad works that I spat out and printed the paper at a reasonable size you know saying a little bit about that process hmm alongside the painting and I'll have a video along sided or under it's showing where it came from from the very beginning to that point so it'll show all the brushstrokes again I have no idea where that's all going but to do that in that environment I think I might get some feedback that might let me think of why this this is a good way to do it you know who knows and the third third one is of who I believe is going to be Western Australia's new governor-general do you know who that is I'm out of the loop and double way yeah well I wasn't I wasn't aware of this until a few days ago as well but it's Kim Beazley oh I know who that is yeah yeah paid I painted him a couple of times he was in the salon of the Archibald I think it was the year after I was in the archery and then I did this piece when he retired from politics when he he he became ill and he left politics for a year or two and then went back and as leader of the party and lost the election he couldn't lose you know I think of Kim as the best prime minister we never had he was just a really good genuine guy still is yeah yeah I liked him a lot yeah well so he's the he's the other piece Ryan fantastic yeah that would be that would be a great little collection of work so who else have we got in that and that portrait artist group who else is shown well I do I'm not going to say I'm not going to tell you because as I just joined the group and I won't remember their names and then I'll be in trouble okay okay you know that one anyway they are all fantastic a really really good bunch of painters lots of them have been finalists in our Qi boards and birth portrait prizes yeah and it's a group of 18 or something and most of them are putting in two or three pieces awesome so I think it opens on the 9th of next month for anyone looking for something to do fantastic there's this the big plug you know one of the things that really inspires me and I saw this just a few days ago on your Instagram feed where you had a few images on there that showed your studio space and I just not immediately damn beautiful beautiful space beautiful paintings and there's something so good about saying somebody just kind of immersed in their element and I was looking at that going wow you know I still get I still get that surge of inspiration when I see something because it just kind of puts it's like it's like when you're putting together a vision board you're putting up pictures that really inspire you and it's like yep one day I'm gonna have that you know because I haven't built my studio yet but I saw some really interesting ideas there in your studio it almost looks like it's open air would you like to see it I'll just turn you around yeah let's have a look good this the studio seeing that properly that is beautiful lift it up a little bit for us tilt it up just a bit yeah yeah so yeah the big part on the right there is can be open it just has blinds to keep the modules and things out it has it has a sealed section at the back also that if it gets too hot or too cold I can go in there and then the beat the little piece on the front left here is my music studio so it's a beautiful place to work it's it took a long time to set this up I've only been in this since 2015 this section I built this last open-air section on 2015 and it's just a gorgeous place to work it's open you know the paint fumes are not destroying me too much Georgia sir so what are you painting with you using oils yep I work with generally under painting acrylic if I want heavy textures and then oils over the top for glazes and so on but you'd be aware of this the problem I have with finishing in acrylic is trying to match tone yeah as you know it goes on lighter than it dries or vice versa yeah yeah and with oil it's consistently what you see is what you get when it's dry absolutely so what mediums are you mixing with your oils oh I just use a number 5 medium to speed the drying process that's all thanks Milo I used to use spectrum stuff yeah that's right yeah I used to I usually use a quite a bit of linseed oil but of course that slows the drying process and I I guess the reason I'm in the habit of using something that drives reasonably quickly is I'm usually running late which explains my earlier comment about being poorly organized and having to have a deadline you know yeah yeah so so again that's why I pay under painting acrylic so it dries quickly into heavy stuff and then I paint over there then or in oils to finish that's awesome so I've noticed with a few of your works actually this is good because it's good that we get just a couple of things if you got a minute it's good to get just show a couple of technical things in because people might want to know a little bit more about your process just whatever you feel comfortable sharing I've noticed with some of your works I mean the scale of some of these paintings is pretty damn impressive like they're huge works um do you do a study or a sketch before you move on to a bigger work or do you just have at it it depends on the particular piece I I did a I had a commission for a painting seven meters high by three meters wide what you a year or two back Wow and yeah so I did a study for that and the study I think was two meters high by meter wide or something just so I could get some idea of what's going on there because this is how he ever yeah and then then in preparation and organization to get this it into a private house which had a huge open space in the middle of it we worked out that we wouldn't be able to get it into the house there was nowhere long enough to get a seven-meter piece in through doors or you know we couldn't get it in through the roof so it ended up being a triptych so I had to paint it in three pieces and in the studio I was in at the time I couldn't stand it up anyway I was going to have to find somewhere else to paint it so I would paint one piece up in its normal space lay the next one on the floor in front of it and stand back behind that and then the the third one behind that and it was pretty difficult really hard to get perspective right mm-hmm but an interesting process so yes I did a study for that one normally I don't I have before the the series I talked about earlier listening paintings Australia they were all the final pieces were all three meters by 1.8 and I had done a lot of work at each location small works on papers smaller paintings all sorts of things and the end result was generally semi abstract piece of that location because I wanted to get lots of elements into it too many elements to put into a representational painting so I want to get in the tropics for example a bunch of birds and waterfalls and so it would end up being abstracted and so I would just look at the other pieces I'd done and refer to them as I'm painting make it up as I go along but I think I would suggest to anyone listening that yeah do a study do a study you know that's the other good thing about iPad paintings of course it's a good way to try stuff you know you can think oh you know let's do a quick study on this and you're not you can be really radical without wasting materials really radical yep what what stands out to you is one of the most profound experiences in your career one of the things that like really moved you in some way or something that just really almost like a slightly spiritual experience or something that just kind of I don't know I don't know what I'm trying to ask for me it's like when I when I see a landscape for instance or I hear something or I see somebody's a reaction like the sale doesn't really get it for me but when I when I'm in an exhibition of somebody's reacting to the work in the way that I react to the subject not necessarily the painting but to my subject and I sold it through that work they get it you know to me that some of those experiences really stand out to me when you sorry-sorry you you can you can tell it's really genuine and they moved by it and I'm with you that's that's the best that's always the best and I agree with you also that certain locations when you arrive there and you just you're just gobsmacked you it's you're dumbfounded as I was just then thinking about places like the mutual Falls and that somewhat some of that Kimberley coastline you know it's it's unreal it's too good to be true mmm and and I can't think of I'm sure I will as soon as we hang up but I can't think of any one specific moment that just totally floored me there will be there will be but I might have to get back to you on that hey you know as I said earlier anything over a week ago [Laughter] that's all good I mean no I just I I like throwing that one in there you know just just on the off chance because I tend to be especially nowadays more than ever like I'm finding now that I've moved in I've set roots down you know we're about to start a family and I'm just finding myself getting more and more emotional and more and more in tune I tell you though something that had a really interesting effect on me I saw this amazing documentary about Andrew Wyeth on YouTube about his connection with his subject his fascination it was by Michael Palin I'm big Michael Palin fan me too yeah have you seen that documentary no Evan oh you'll go looking for it you know I have to check it out just go Andrew Wyeth documentary I'll come up on YouTube but one of the things that really struck me about Wyeth he said he could see things that were just to me every day and is not particularly profound but he would find the profound in something mundane and it was just to bring this up and say look at this this is amazing and it would just be a bit wood or a bit of wire or you know a landscape with just a little bit of snow as simple simple stuff right yeah yeah take time to look at the simple stuff I don't wish to anyway compare myself to him but that that idea of looking at everyday stuff and trying to appreciate it more this iPad project has forced me to do that because I have to paint something every day and every day I might not do much you know it might be just here working on something else or having a nice meal with my wife Julie or something and it's it's that in fact one of the days I ended up painting this table that we're sitting at now as the day's subject because Julie and I had a fantastic lunch on it and it's a beautiful table shall I show you yeah here please well it's an interesting table I don't know beautiful to the right word oh wow oh wow what is that made of that looks like all kinds and it's it's well it used to be a Balinese boat Wow yeah cool cool so that's that's the original paint on on it so it's gradually falling off but it's fantastic yeah it's interesting the way artists to look at things I and when I speak to other artists finding out what makes them tick and and you always see you know the artist is always kind of looking for that little bit of texture a little bit of color a little bit of depth there's nice and just just trigger by something they're like hey you see that you're like no what the hell are you looking at you know exactly yeah yeah I guess that's our gig that's what we have to do yeah that's it that's that's that's the best thing about it mmm Hey look thank you I I'm I'm more than thrilled with what we have there Brendan thank you again it's just such an honor mate to finally meet you I mean it it is great fun I've really enjoyed it and don't hesitate if you think of something we haven't covered that we should just yeah we'll do it yeah no problem it's um no I I just remember I remember that night it was back in 2005 I think it was it would have been 2005 and I was showing it showing a gallery 360 and in sube and and the group was there and challenge was there and total was there herself was there and I met a lot of other people and I was waiting when's Brenda Darby showing up you know because I just wanted to shake hands say on that guy that emailed you you know and oh you know but I mean that I'm not just blowing smoke about like that meant so much that you got back to me and and I will take a tire oh it's like credit for everything you do now look I'm very proud of what I've achieved yeah no it's it's just you know a bit like yourself you know I've been very lucky I feel blessed and and that's what's given the idea for this podcast I just hope that people get something out of it it's a chance to give back you know yeah I I agree it's a fantastic idea and I look forward to seeing the interviews with everyone else you did it's gonna be a great series oh there you go well look at before before we finish this thing off I want to I want to give the floor to you Brendan and you know thanks again for agreeing to do the podcast with me and um you know sharing your stories and you know your sizes but look is there anything that you might maybe I could pitch the question this way if you had an opportunity of me because we all have 20/20 vision in hindsight right if you could go back sit down with your 21 year old self and say listen bite this is what you're gonna do well I mean it's a bit of a loaded question some people wouldn't do anything but what would you what advice would you give to you younger self mmm that is a good question it's it's particularly difficult to answer because as I said earlier I've been so lucky my timing getting into the music business and then the art world was ridiculously good it the the painting market had just started to pick up in Perth and galleries were opening and the economy was booming up until 1990 it was perfect and so I guess the only thing I wish I had known is it's not going to be perfect forever so make hey you know while things are going well just get on with it and have have fun because it's as you know very well the tough times are coming yeah and I wish I'd known a little bit more about that because it was all too easy for me I don't want to oversimplify it it wasn't easy but but it was the perfect environment I was so lucky in fact I've been lucky my whole life to be able to do yeah yeah mmm well look that was yeah fantastic thank you so much again for joining me on the podcast Brandon Darby where can people find out more about your work where can they find you online your website what are you okay well I'm Brendon Darby calm that's the website and that will direct people to all the galleries I've show in I'm on social media you can look me up there send me a message love to reply and thank you for the invitation to be involved and this is good fun I hope I hope some of it makes sense to up-and-coming artists and to get a little something out of it I hope what's been a treat for me I can tell you about much it's been an absolute pleasure thank you me too thanks Andrew thanks a lot now I really hope that you've enjoyed this episode of the creative endeavor and if you did then please hit that like button for me if you want to come back for more see some of my painting instructional videos or see more of the creative endeavor podcast and make sure you subscribe to this channel as always you can find me on Instagram and Facebook but most important make sure you're subscribed through my website at Andrew Tischler comm thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you again soon


  • sunLover rays says:

    Amazing artists… Meet the Titans

  • ramelep says:


  • Venkatesh U says:

    No words,,,

  • justin hunt says:

    Drew do you you have any advice for family friends telling you you wasting your time or you shouldn't work so hard tks man great channel

  • banci wright says:

    this is encouraging, there is so much “pauper” mentality among artists. i want to sell my art work and the online thing is not great i feel

  • AJ 's creation says:

    After few months I also make my own channel of painting 🤗🤗

  • AJ 's creation says:

    Which company colors and brushes you use?

  • adrian cosentino says:

    Gran entrevista, ojalá muchos artistas pintores entendieran esto de vivir de la venta de sus obras. Saludos desde Argentina.

  • Marcel's Book Reviews says:

    great interview, im a self-taught artist myself

  • Marcel's Book Reviews says:

    awesome brother

  • BINOSH ART says:

    Thank you sir ❤️

  • Sabrina Ito says:

    Thank for doing this interview! You keep me inspire💜😊

  • Lorna Gerard says:

    Thank you for this wonderful interview, loved it, it was very pleasurable I had a smile on my face as I could relate. I loved the the crow adding it’s voice also. Thank you so much.

  • Osvaldo Macedo Neto says:

    Those coffee breaks, tell me about it…
    As always, great entertaining time with truly inspiring people.
    Thank you Andrew.

  • Ryan Noel says:

    As much as I love your videos – especially the new paid ones you're producing – I think I love the podcasts even more. It's the perfect thing to listen to while painting.

  • anand e.s says:

    Awesome! Enjoyed it!

  • cora kiceniuk says:

    Lol, “difficult”? You seem to be so generous and giving with your ideas and expertise. I enjoy all of your videos.

  • John Smith says:

    Great podcast, Brendon is a really down to earth guy with great advice. Is that an empty frame behind you Andrew? – a bit of abstract art amongst the realism 🙂

  • Deborah Barnes says:

    This is great! Thank you for this podcast. Very informative. ❤❤❤

  • Dirceu Rodrigues says:

    I will watch it later. What I can say right now is thank you for sharing your experience with us. It help us a lot.

  • sherry susan says:

    Enjoy your podcasts more & more every time I watch/listen. Appreciate you take the high & less traveled road. I feel the really good artists I follow are so truly unique personality wise, strong willed, confident, highly tuned to their chi … please keep these good shows coming (so much better than what's on today's TV). It is my dream to someday paint a piece that is gallery worthy … cheers!

  • Tina Swindell says:

    Thanks Andrew! Great interview. Keep them coming. I'm a retired NASA Management Analyst turned painter and loving it.

  • Mick Ruellan says:

    Very enjoyable and enlightening Andrew, thank you. And for the Michael Palin film, brilliant.

  • Morgan Adams says:

    Thank you so much for this! I learned how to put paint on the canvas from you, January of 2018. Thank you, I have a new career, have a show reception tomorrow and couldn’t be happier. Thank you for the inspection and instruction! Instagram: Morgan_Adams_Artist

  • Elena Borowski says:

    Thank you Andrew, for this podcast. I appreciate the sensitive handling of subject s and questions that concern serious artists. I am a senior who has waited all her life to start serious efforts as a painter. I have raised my family, be one a widow five years ago. I am just getting started. Your podcast was inspired, except for the phrase " hard times are coming. I always accepted the idea that hard times are always there for a person who pursues their art. The successful ones are the exception not the rule I believe. So to continue in one'artistic pursuits takes lots of courage. Thanks again.

  • Richard Ervine says:

    Number one. Dang ! I was supposed to be working outside just popped in for 5 minute coffee break and I had to check the e mails. I am a sucker for artist pod casts. Really enjoying the series. Thanks Richard

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