Ep. 57 - How Surrender Fuels Creativity: Navigating Art, Business, & Uncertainty with Bibby Gignilliat



This brand new episode I chat with the amazing Bibby Gignilliat, an artist who's weathered self-doubt, career shifts, and found a beautiful balance between art, business and spirituality.
We kick off diving into Bibby's early struggles with doubt and how those challenges shaped her artistic path. From leaving a successful career to returning to art later in life, Bibby opens up about blending her artistic flair with some serious business skills.
Ever wondered about selling art without the awkward "salesy" vibe? Bibby spills the beans on leveraging email, social media, and the power of community. Plus, she takes us on a journey into the mystical realms of spirituality and intuition in art.
But here's the gold: Bibby shares the secret sauce—embracing uncertainty. Yep, surrendering control can be the gateway to your creative jackpot. She dishes on being present, noticing life's signs, and starting small on your creative odyssey.
Throughout our chat, we uncover nuggets of wisdom, like how to tackle those sneaky limiting beliefs and finding joy even amidst uncertainty (cue the furry caterpillar story!).
And hold onto your paintbrushes for Bibby's evening ritual with her artwork—this bedtime activity might just inspire your own creative rituals!
So, if you're ready to unlock your creative potential, embrace uncertainty, and blend art with business wizardry, this conversation with Bibby Gignilliat is your ticket! 🎨✨
Inside this episode, Bibby generously offered Creative Genius listeners a very good deal on her online course. use the code CREATIVEGENIUS on her website
Ep. 57 - How Surrender Fuels Creativity: Navigating Art, Business, & Uncertainty with Bibby Gignilliat


Show Notes:

  • Introduction and Background
    • Early experiences with art and battling self-doubt.
  • Pursuing Art and Career Transition
    • Finding courage to pursue art and transitioning from a successful career.
  • Artistic Journey and Business Skills
    • Embracing a career in art and the importance of business acumen.
  • Marketing Art and Building a Community
    • Insights into using email, social media, and nurturing a community.
  • Spirituality, Intuition, and Creativity
    • Exploring spirituality's role and the significance of intuition in creation.
  • Embracing Uncertainty and Surrender
    • Letting go of control, embracing uncertainty, and surrendering to creativity.

What We Talked About:

  • Top 3 Takeaways:
    1. Overcoming self-doubt and childhood experiences fuels creative passion.
    2. Artistic success merges artistry with business skills.
    3. Surrendering to uncertainty maximizes creative potential.

Chapters & Highlights:

  • Overcoming Doubt & Pursuing Art: Early experiences and battling self-doubt.
  • Transitioning to Art: Leaving a successful career, returning to art later in life.
  • Art and Business Fusion: Balancing artistic prowess with business skills.
  • Selling Art & Community Building: Using email, social media, and nurturing community.
  • Spirituality & Creativity: Exploring spirituality's role in the creative process.
  • Embracing Uncertainty: Surrendering to uncertainty and its impact on creativity.
  • Finding Clarity in Moments: Being present and noticing life's signs.
  • Starting Small & Building Habits: Initiating creative journeys with minimal resources.
  • Facing Limiting Beliefs: Overcoming obstacles to make a living as an artist.
  • Surrendering for Creativity: Balancing surrender and actively creating.

Top 3 Things You'll Gain:

  1. Strategies to overcome self-doubt and leverage past experiences in art.
  2. Insights into blending business skills with artistic pursuits.
  3. Techniques to embrace uncertainty and maximize creative potential.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Academy of Intuition Medicine
  • Artists: Nick Milton, Andrew Faulkner, Michael Cutlip
  • Books: "Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer

Kate's Highlight Questions:

  • Introduction to Artistic Journey: Sharing experiences and battling self-doubt.
  • Key Strategies for Selling Art: Overcoming the discomfort of selling art.
  • Creative Surrender & Uncertainty: Embracing uncertainty and its creative impact.

This episode is a transformative journey through the intersections of art, business, spirituality, and surrendering to the creative process. Gain valuable insights into overcoming obstacles, embracing uncertainty, and igniting your artistic passion. Tune in to unlock your creative potential!

Ep. 57 - How Surrender Fuels Creativity: Navigating Art, Business, & Uncertainty with Bibby Gignilliat


 Kate Shepherd: Hello there. Kate shepherd. And you're listening to the creative genius podcast.

I'm thrilled to have you here and genuinely honored to introduce you to today's guest. Bibby Gignilliat

Bibby is a remarkable artist and human whose story is a Testament to overcoming self-doubt. Navigating life's twist. And discovering the intricate connections between art business and spirituality. We start by delving into Bibby's journey, a path marked by early struggles with doubt. Pivotal moments shaping her artistic direction and the courageous leap.

She took back to her true passion art. Throughout our conversation, Bibby shares and valuable information. She shares the strategies that she uses . For selling art with authenticity. Cultivating a thriving community and harnessing the power of digital platforms to amplify her own artistic endeavors. And amidst these insights lies a profound truth. That becomes more obvious as the episode goes on. And it has to do with Bibby's perspective on embracing uncertainty. About relinquishing control and immersing ourselves in each moment to uncover inspiration. In life's subtle whispers. The gems that maybe shares with us are.

Nothing short of a guiding light for anyone charting their own creative course.

One of my favorite moments in the episode is when we get a glimpse into Bibby's nightly ritual with her artwork. It's a simple ritual, but one that I'll closer inspection. Is Actually a beautiful pathway for all of us to experiment with relinquishing control and dipping our toe into the water of uncertainty. If you find that these conversations are serving you and you appreciate the depth of them and listening to this. Show every other week. I invite you to consider joining the Patrion community.

We really rely on the support of our own community, which is you. , and I'm proud to offer the content that I offer inside the Patrion memberships. Especially at the colorful community tier. I have a monthly workshop called activating intuition and creativity. That is truly transformative. And it resonates deeply with our patrons people keep coming back to do it month after month. So I invite you to explore that and join us.

Your support and thoughts mean the world to me. If you hear something in today's episode or a past episode that really deeply resonated with you, will you. Consider leaving a review. Your words in that way, help nurture this creative community and space that we're creating and that we're cultivating and help other people decide whether or not they want to listen to the show,

And in the spirit of fostering creative connections. I want to ask you , to have your ear out today. Four. Something that really catches the attention of your heart. and then share that with a friend, share that moment.

Kate Shepherd: You can take the timestamp if you want or not. You can just tell them that this episode there was something in it that really got your heart's attention and you wanted to share it.

I really draw strength from you. My creative community. And sharing this podcast might ignite something profound in someone else and have a deep impact on their own journey. There's so much in this conversation that I think you'll benefit from hearing. I can't wait for you to hear it. Let's get right into it.

ATR2100x-USB Microphone-5: Hello Bibby. Thank you for joining us today.

Bibby gignilliat: Hi.

Thank you.

Track 1: if you were walking down the street with somebody that you just met, that you thought, Ooh, I might be friends with this person.

I just have a feeling, how would you describe who you are and the work that you do in the world?

Bibby gignilliat: That's a great question. Who I am? Well, I can tell you who I am in the work world, but then I'll tell you who I am as a person. So I'm a mixed media artist with a studio in the ICB building in Sausalito. We're an old ship building, building with 180 working artists, and I am a full-time artist. So I actually make a living as an artist. Believe there's no such thing as a starving artist. I'm a, uh, an ambassador for artists actually. and as a person, I really think it's important to serve and there's all sorts of ways to serve. and I serve by teaching and I help people kind of cut loose and connect to that creative part of themselves. I also, I believe, set an example for people to follow their heart and passion. I did the whole corporate thing, which we can get into, and then came to art later in life. lastly, I believe that, I am bringing joy to the world and light to the world at a time when it's really needed the most. it's really important that we shine our light as opposed to dimm it down when everything's going on I bring a lot of joy through my work, through my workshops, through interacting with other artists here, and in meeting other people.

Kate Shepherd: So, uh, you said you, you came to art late in life, but actually it's almost like you came back to art late

Bibby gignilliat: Yes. That's a better

Kate Shepherd: did art when you were, when you were and you had, uh, you even won an award when you were quite young for early pieces of art. What happened?

How did you, how

did you leave art?

Bibby gignilliat: when I was age 10, I was painting every Saturday at this place in Oak Park, Illinois, and that's when I, um, got an award and loved, I just loved painting. I was very free. And then I had a critical teacher and became a perfectionist, and I understand that psychologically kids become perfectionists usually around age 12. And that's when I became a perfectionist. And that's about the same time I had this critical teacher. And so I stopped painting. But the whole time I was doing everything else I did, which was computer programming, I worked at at Adventure Travel Company as a bicycle tour leader, then went To William Sonoma and was in database marketing and then went to culinary school and then, ran a a hands-on cooking party business in the city, which brought people together through group cooking. The whole time I was doing all that in the back of my head, I always was thinking about art and maybe having a gallery show and Julia Cameron says in her book, the Artist's Way, if you really wanna know what you should do in life, look at what you loved as a child. Well, one day I was sitting in, my office and I just felt like a complete fraud because I

was sort of done with running a company for 20 years.

It was super stressful, and I was ready to have my next chapter and I thought, I've gotta take a courageous action step. so I signed up for a painting class with Nick Wilton, who, I took the class. I was the worst one in the class. And could you not? I can show you my work and you would agree. I've shown people and they're like, yeah, you were the worst one, But what I did have was, um, a lot of gumption in discipline. And so I got a space in this building. It was a hundred square feet. I felt like a complete imposter. and so I didn't even wanna leave the studio, but I kept working on it. And I found, like six months later, a collage teacher named Michael Cut Lip who changed my life because I realized part of the reason I wasn't understanding Nick's principles was that I was a collage artist and I needed to create texture. 'cause texture. was really important. Before I created my design. And so I just had a different way of doing it and I have since gone back to Nick's classes and now I get it because I'm doing it from my perspective. Um, but anyway, that's a really long answer to your question. But here I am now with the 1500 square foot studio in the ICB building and I've been making art for nine years.

Kate Shepherd (2): Well, congratulations. That makes me so happy.

Bibby gignilliat: Thank you.

Track 1: When you.

look back and you think about that teacher, was it something that they just said to you in a, in an offhanded comment, or was it sort of repeated message that you got from this person?

Bibby gignilliat: I think she was, I don't think she liked me 'cause I think I was sort of out of the box and I think she

wanted to control me and I was too out of the box for her.

Kate Shepherd: mm-Hmm.

Bibby gignilliat: um. Like a lot of schools, they try to, you know, take kids that have learning disabilities like I did and you know, was out of the box and try to put 'em in a mold and you don't fit in a mold.

And I am an Aquarius and so very rebellious I like to draw outside the lines. And so, I think I just pushed all her buttons. Maybe like the, the person that, that, uh, shut you down

Track 1: yeah. And when I think about her, I think she was, uh, it's, it's often that resentment is just jealousy. It's like they see your freedom and it isn't that they're bad people, it's that they never had anybody to set them free either. And so

it's like we do that to each other, right? Like, yeah. I always thought that was weird about medicine too.

Like doctors, well, you know, you have to work for 800 million hours a week to, because that's how they did it before us. Like, well, no, we can stop the bad cycle at any time. Yeah.

So you had this. Fairly successful, uh, career in business for two decades. I'm assuming you were comfortable financially and

Bibby gignilliat: Totally.

Track 1: so I'm always curious about that transition point for


Was it, how did you do that? What, what was the scariest moment? Was there a terrifying moment? What was the, what was that whole part of the journey like?

Bibby gignilliat: I have a strong belief in LEAP and the net will appear

and sometimes it's like, where's the net?

But it does eventually appear I know myself well enough to know that I have to kind of set myself up, for success. And so to be comfortable taking that kind of a risk. So what I did was I was running my company when I took the Nick Wilton class and got the space in the building, but at the same time I was, I was training myself in art and basically giving myself like a master's in art. I also went to the Academy of Intuition Medicine and was studying energy work. And I was doing that at the same time because I thought, okay, if I, I leap to this art career, I need to have more than one potential source of income. I eventually sold my business, while I was doing art and I had finished the academy program and at that point I had a runway For two years of enough money to be able to hold me over. And at the same time, I knew I also had this energy medicine career that I could, I could practice energy medicine if I wanted to,

which is like sort of hands-on like healing. And so that allowed me to feel comfortable enough to go for it. and at the same time, I was also starting to sell a lot of arc. So it, that helped. and lastly, I would say I, the year after I sold my business, I was still in that runway period. I took another risk and I moved into this 1500 square foot studio space. And I remember running into Nick Wilton in the hallway and I said, Nick, I'm thinking about teaching, but I'm not ready. And he said, well, you just gotta start before you're ready. And I, I love that because, I wasn't ready and I started teaching. I did a practice class on some friends, so to refine it and everything, but my, my classes started paying my rent in this big studio, and that was a real relief too.

Track 1: me, what's coming up is, okay, well,

Kate Shepherd: so what happened towards the end of that, two years that you'd given yourself was that things were, were working, you were selling the art,

know, it was, it was working. What, so for the person listening to this, who's going, well, that's nice, but that's not what's happening for me.

What I saved up and I'm almost out of the, I'm, I'm almost at the end of the two years, but I cannot imagine going back to corporate America or wherever it is they have to go back to.

What do you tell them?

Bibby gignilliat: Well, I'll, I'll tell them something. They might not like hearing but it's true. And the truth is that. As an artist, you have to work at the business side. and I think a lot of artists wanna do the art side and don't wanna work on the business side. And it's understandable. It might not be in their skillset, I would say, exercise isn't really in my skillset. I hate it, in fact, but I just swam this morning. You know, I'm gonna be doing it every day 'cause I wanna be healthy. And it's the same for an artist. if you wanna have a successful

art practice, you have to work at it, and spend an hour or two a day on the business side.

And that might mean making an Instagram post or writing a newsletter. or it could mean, researching some interior designers to contact or whatever it is for you. you have to take the time to do that in order to build your business. And it was funny, we had an open studios about a year ago, and I went up to this one woman and she was complaining about how no one came to her open studios.

And I said, well, what did you do to promote it? And she said, nothing. And I really have a belief that you reap what you sow. So one of my biggest tips would be to do the business side.

Kate Shepherd: On the business side, , what do you think you did that moved the needle the most in terms of selling art?

Bibby gignilliat: That's a great question. I'd say two things. the first thing was we had someone that was a, at the time Facebook expert that came to talk to us and he was saying, this is so Obvious and profound that you know when you're posting on Facebook, they own it, right?

It's owned by meta, right.

And so when Facebook first came out, you could send a post out and let's say you had a thousand followers, all those thousand followers would get it. But as they were refine their model, it got to the point where now it's only about 7%. I don't know, it might have changed even lower, but it's about 7% that actually see what you're posting. Because they own it, they own the algorithm, they're gonna change it over and over and over again. But what you can own is your own mailing list, email and snail mail list mail.

And so he said, you know, you really ought to be , emailing to people on a regular basis. So I started emailing every two weeks, sending out a notice, and now I don't do it quite as much 'cause it was too much for me. I would show my art in situ. I was an earlier adopt adopter of insight two shots. and then I would promote classes and any other thing I wanted to tell my clients, you know, an open studios event or whatever. I would write, , things about what was going on for me in my studio and that kind of thing. so developing your own list is super important, number one. And number two, the other thing that I did that helped me a lot was, I started doing Instagram early on I was doing reels. And reels are really important and not as important as they used to be, but they're really important. And you get way more, viewers from a reel than you would on a post. And so I started. At first, I was just like doing all this stuff that felt like, Hey mom, look at me . And one of my friends down the hall said, you know, you're such a good teacher. Why don't you show some tips and tricks on techniques? And so I started showing little 32nd techniques, you know, and they went nuts.

Like people loved them. And the beauty of that is it was feeding into my online class, et cetera, et cetera. So,

Track 1: Well,

Kate Shepherd: it back to service.

Bibby gignilliat: it goes back

Track 1: at the top of the show. It's, it's all so much of it comes, yeah.

Bibby gignilliat: yeah.

yeah, And um, I remember one reel, and I don't get this kind of result anymore. Like I'm lucky to get, I don't know, one 10th of this, but at early on I did a real, where I was using a simple Windshield wiper squeegee. And I did a ink drawing, with Sumi Inc . And it got 675,000


Track 1: Oh my God.

Bibby gignilliat: and I've

never anything like that since. And so, and because 'cause of that I got like a thousand followers and then those followers, then we get more followers, et cetera, et cetera.

Track 1: yeah, I feel like it's really stuck. Like I feel like that for a new artist coming in now or for somebody coming in now, unless you're willing to do like really goofy, funny, I mean, I can't get it up for that. I So, I don't know, like for the person who's just sort of coming into it now, what, what, what do they do?

Like, how do you grow your, even your email list, you know, it

Bibby gignilliat: Yeah, that's a great question. Okay, couple things. First of all, Everyone creates paintings, right? So you could get a tripod, they're like 50 bucks on, Amazon, and you could just show a process video of how you paint and if there's any information you can share with people, just share it. And then you get this really nice reputation as being a, a generous, kind person. And if you can think of something goofy, do something goofy. Or

if, if it's just a matter of turning around like the real hot, hot thing right now as people where you have the back to the camera and you turn around with your piece

of art or whatever, that gets a lot. Um, so just do it regularly. You know, I post every day and I don't make a big deal about it. I use the copy function and copy and paste previous text. And so I just post every day. and again, come, let me just come back to one thing if you don't wanna do it. Either hire someone to do it if you can afford that or get an intern to do it, or you know, figure out a trade or something.

There's clever ways to get around the cost piece.

Track 1: there are people out there who are really trying to build their, you know, their list and their email file.

And it's just like you said, the algorithm. I think it can feel a little bit like, well, I missed that boat. You know, I wasn't, you know, I wasn't on Instagram in the, in the glory days, and now it's too late. And I don't believe that either. I don't actually believe that that's true. I mean, it might be true about these platforms, but I don't think that that is the only way you can sell your art or the only way you can build a business.

I think there are other ways, but we got, we have gotten stuck believing that social media is the only way.

Bibby gignilliat: I'm vigilant about, at my Open Studios any sale that I do make, I capture not only their email, but I also capture their snail mail because I print postcards and invite people twice a year with postcards to open studios. And I send out about 400 now. But again, it's nine years in. And, I had to build that list from

scratch. In every open studios I have a guest book out. And I, and this is a really important thing, I have a friend help me at Open Studios, because sometimes it's awkward for me, even though I seem like an extrovert sometimes I get a little awkward, especially around. The selling aspect. So I

have a really Gift of Gab friend that comes who's really good at sales, and she captures names. We do it on an iPad and we, it, it integrates directly into, in, uh, MailChimp. And so we get, usually every day of an open studios, we get 25 emails,


Track 1: That's terrific.

Bibby gignilliat: We have a guest book out for people that wanna write in there and they can write their address in there. That's another way. had my friend Andrew Faulkner on the show earlier, and he was always struggling with, increasing his mailing list and he kept saying, how can I get more names on my mailing list? I said, the best way to do it is to teach. And so he's getting tons of people now because. People wanna take your classes and so they wanna be on your email list to be notified of new classes.

So that's another great way. And again, I started painting in 2014 and I started teaching in 2018,

Track 1: I love, and I love that idea of, of do it before you're ready, because you're never gonna feel

you're, oh, you're never gonna feel ready. It never feels like, oh, now I've accumulated enough, you know, uh, wisdom and information and no, you're never, you're never ready. It really is just about sharing what you know now.

Bibby gignilliat: Yeah. And

finding like everybody's got their something as Nika Costa said in her song, everybody's

got their something.

what? Your something is

Track 1: Yeah. Well, that's half the battle, I think. Right?

Would you say that you have a calling

Bibby gignilliat: yes, I do have a calling and let me say two things. so I feel like I'm halfway to my calling. I'm at a crossroads right now and in a transitional place, I would say, with my art. I teach and a lot of my, um, I. Teaching not only revolves around technique, but spiritual principles. and one of the big things I focus on is sort of freedom and non-attachment, and helping people to let go of control. I often talk about Michael Singer in his book, the Untethered Soul Michael Singer says that there are often rocks in the river and they block the flow. And so people that are struggling with flow often are either holding on, they're gripping to an aspect of the painting, and that's usually the piece that has to go in order to take the painting to the next level. I'm a real proponent of teaching some of these spiritual principles in my classes, but I've been on this huge spiritual journey myself, and I am Wanting to bring more and more of that into the classroom, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. And one of the thoughts is I've been doing, um, a lot of breath work. and it's so powerful and it's like where you listen to music and you just breathe in and out continually for like an hour and so many things come up and so much gets released when you do it.

I did a breath work session last Friday and the instructor said, pick a word that you wanna bring in as an intention. And so a lot of people think of me as so free. The word that came up for me was freedom. And I didn't know why that came up or anything. But then in the breath work session, I had a vision of me wearing this back brace that I wore in high school for two years. And it was very restrictive. Like I could hardly move. And it was like the back brace energetically was still on my body.

Bibby gignilliat: And so in the breath work session, deep breathing deeply, I shook it off and it was super powerful. So the point of that, of me saying that is that I'm interested in maybe somehow doing something like this with art, um, or making it more of a, a spiritual psychological experience. And I'm not really sure what that's gonna be yet.

So it's still incubating and I'm sure it's already affecting my art. people are looking at my art and saying, oh, it's got sort of a. Complexity and intellectualism that wasn't there before. I don't know where it's going and I'm just getting, trying to get more and more uncomfortable with uncertainty, which is not an easy place for me to be. And that's, that's where I am.

Kate Shepherd: Before we started the show, I think I explained to you sort of my philosophy about creativity. I believe, and I'll just say it again here, for anyone who hasn't, who's just tuning in for the first time, I believe that creativity is the intelligence that's animating the entire universe.

It's, you know, the same thing that's telling you how to, where to put that piece of texture and, and move it if it doesn't feel quite right. Or, uh, gives you a crazy idea for how to fix your computer monitor in a dream in the middle of the night.

Bibby gignilliat: Mm-Hmm.

Track 1: And it's, I think it's even the thing that tells a tulip when to open.

You know, I, it's, and it's doing all these things at the same time and it moves through us. Like you said, this is what I believe that it moves through us. We're channels for this thing, and we, and we need creativity, and we need the rational mind both together. They need to work together to create what it needs to create.

And we're glitching because we've shoved down this, the creative, the creativity voice, right? We are really good at rational mind. We're really good at letting science and logic and that run the show things I can prove. But this sort of more ethereal, untouchable energy, the spirit of it is, is uh, is something that we've denied ourselves.

You seem like somebody who has a pretty deep connection with that facet of your being. That energy, that intelligence, how does it communicate with you and how do you communicate back with it? Is it a two-way thing? Are you just receiving? Are you, is it a conversation? Does it give you visions? Do you hear a voice?

How does it feel? Like, what is it? What is it for you?

Bibby gignilliat: I have like three things to say, so this is a perfect time. You, you let, you teed me up to read this amazing quote by Brene Brown that says there's no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. There's just people who use their creativity and people who don't, and not using it doesn't go without penalty. As it turns out, unused creativity is not benign, it's dangerous. So that's the first thing I'll say about like, the importance of creativity. and I, I believe if everyone were creative and, and, and, well, I do believe everyone's creative and you know, you might be a gardener or you might be a singer or you might be, you know, a writer. But it's just so important for us to express that. I think if everyone were expressing their creativity, we probably wouldn't have, what, what's going on in the world right now?

Track 1: A hundred percent

Bibby gignilliat: The second thing is when I went to the Academy of Intuition Medicine, one of the things we talked a lot about was there's the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the analyzer, and we need it, and then there's the center lobe. Which the center part of the brain, which is more the intuitive place. And I believe that the more you can be in the intuitive center, it allows you to have that stream of flow. And, and, and then it's important for it to be like a, a dance between the intuition and the analyzer. You don't wanna throw the analyzer out with the bath water, but you just don't want it driving the car. I find when my analyzer's driving the car, the work looks very restricted and is very controlled. And, some of the flow has been blocked. the more I'm in my intuitive place, the better and I can feel when I'm in it because it's that state of flow where you, get lost in time and you have access to a lot of ideas and things will just come to you Then the last thing is one of my spiritual principles that I've worked really hard on, and it's still an everyday thing, is sort of surrendering and offering the whole thing to something higher than you. And then offering doesn't really mean that you're, passive, but it just means you're looking for the breadcrumbs or the signs or the spaa of things of the way you're supposed to go.

And it like a really stupid little example is I might be stuck in my studio and I'm like kind of in my analyzer struggling and all that, and then all of a sudden I'll look on the floor and there'll be a scrap. That's the scrap. You know, like, where did that come from? But it's on the floor somehow it got there and that's the exact scrap that helps me to move forward. Does that make sense?

Track 1: Oh, totally makes sense. I love it. Yeah, because you get out of the part that's trying so hard to figure it out and you just actually, and it actually, you've teed me up now to my next question perfectly, which is this. So this whole season of Creative Genius is about learning to see, you know, I think there's, there's, we're taught how to see and then there's a process we get to go through by choice.

I think where you can unlearn so much of how you were taught to see and then actually see things. For what they really are. See reality for, for what it really is. See the, see the, you know, and, and, and art is a wonderful way that we can do that. You know, if I'm trying to learn how to paint a portrait, if I'm trying to do it from how I think a portrait should be painted, the end result is gonna be very different than if I actually stop and look at it and say, oh, her skin is green actually not beige or brown or whatever color my brain wanted me to.

Because the brain will show you what it wants to, what it wants you to see. And, and the rational mind and the brain or the mind, whatever we wanna call it, has a certain sort of set of parameters. It has these ideas of, if I do this, then I'll be safe. So it shows you things that will keep you safe. Right.

I so I guess my question is.

What do you think? What have you seen? What do you think is the most common thing? Our rational minds want to prevent us from seeing. What is it that that part of us doesn't want us to know or discover?

Why does it keep us from that freedom?

Bibby gignilliat: I have to think about this one for a minute.

Kate Shepherd: It's a big question.

Bibby gignilliat: I think I'm just relating it to my classes. I think most people are just afraid to be out of control.

Kate Shepherd: Mm-Hmm. uncertainty.

Bibby gignilliat: I think you know nobody, I. Really likes to be in uncertainty. I don't know anybody that does And I think one of the most important things one can learn in life is to get comfortable with uncertainty. 'cause we don't have any certainty. Like everyone's always trying to be in control, especially me. And there's no control that we really have. I mean some to some degree, yes. Like you can control, like this morning I could control that I had three eggs for breakfast and that kind of thing.

But in the bigger picture, and I think in the creative process, there's a lot of letting go of control and that's where the more interesting work is, I believe.

Track 1: How have you navigated that? How have you befriended uncertainty or gotten more comfortable? With being out of control in uncertain situations.

Bibby gignilliat: ,

I Went to the Anderson Ranch Learning Center this summer to learn how to draw. 'cause I wanted to have more control over my drawing. Like I felt like I didn't know how to draw. So I went and the, I didn't know what I was signing up for really. I could have done more research, but I didn't. and it was a very controlled class where we were

drawing on the grid and it was super uncomfortable for me. And I tried and tried and tried and I came home and I had this huge realization, like I am an abstract drawer. I like the drawing to look out of control or less controlled. And so it was sort of embracing the of letting go of control. I have a lot of uncertainty in my life right now. My dad has dementia and, he's 91 and my mom's 91 and they're gonna pass. And so I, I angst about that uncertainty . And I, you know, have uncertainty 'cause I'm in this crossroads with my work I know I'm gonna bring something more forward and I haven't figured it out yet. So there's levels of uncertainty. And the way that I've dealt with it is I just keep offering it over to something higher than myself. And I keep saying to the divine, like, I want what you want for me. Because we can talk all day long about manifestation, but what you might wanna manifest might be not as big as what, something higher than you wants to bring you. And I just, you know, I know my dad will pass. That's a for sure thing.

and so it's more about just being present. And there's this little book I just got recently. It's called

in In this Moment. it's just. Teaches you to notice the moments and looking, look for the, you know, the signs that might be coming your way.

I saw yesterday a caterpillar, a big furry caterpillar, and I was like, oh, wow, that's so interesting because I feel like I'm the caterpillar that hasn't yet become the butterfly.

Track 1: When we are out of control, uh, or when . Maybe not when we're out of control, but when we're, when there's a lot of uncertainty in our lives. Almost in, you're describing a, a moment, a chapter in your life right now where almost everywhere you look, it's uncertain or you don't know where it's gonna go, and yet there's still something in you that is present enough to notice the caterpillar.

And I think a lot of the times, what goes with uncertainty is that part of our, our being our mind kind of rolls us up and we're in a panic mode of sorts. And we're so worried about resolving the uncertainty 'cause it's very uncomfortable, very uncomfortable to be in uncertainty. And so we're rushing, we're using all of our resources to try to, and we spin out and we don't even notice the caterpillar.

And you, so you mentioned the caterpillar, but you also mentioned the scrap, the perfect scrap on the floor. Like there's something in you that you've cultivated that allows you to be present even in the midst of uncertainty and, and. Even more than uncertainty there, what's the word of beyond uncertainty?

It's like, uh, like real discomfort or really difficult time. How did you do that? How did you, why do you have that in you? How did you get that?

Bibby gignilliat: Well, it's been really hard, I have to say. I've been in this really difficult spiritual chapter and it, it's all been wonderful. It's like getting a PhD in spirituality. it's going to unfold into my art that I know somehow 'cause that's even my higher calling to serve. all I can do. No, and this gets me to another point of my spiritual belief system, which is we come into this lifetime with a course curriculum, I believe, that we've signed onto before we even got here. And I know that all this is part of what I'm supposed to be learning. so you kind of surrender to the learning and keep focusing, and I'm, I'm not perfect at this, but keep focusing on what you do have versus what you don't. So I can get into like, oh my God, my dad might die. But then yesterday I had this wonderful call with him and he asked me the same question like five times, and that I've gotten to be really comfortable with.

And just pre, you know, just be present. Just answer the question, don't get irritated. Don't try to change the subject. Just let him ask the question over and over and over again.

Track 1: What happens in that surrender Because I read instructions to tape on the wall of my nursing home if I ever end up with dementia. And it was like, don't try to stop me from asking the same question over and over again. You know, indulge my, my, the, the things that I'm saying that are not correct, that are not factually correct,

you know?

And I, And I, was like imagining a scenario where somebody did that with somebody who had dementia and I was like, oh yeah, that would be a way more fun interaction. It doesn't, we're so stuck on trying to make things be the way that we think they should be, that we forget to be with them the way that they are, which might actually be beautiful.

Bibby gignilliat: Yeah. And that comes to, uh, you know, I used to do a lot of improv theater and the beauty of improv is it teaches you to be in the complete moment. And so let's say you are my partner in improv and you say there's a purple elephant. I'm not supposed to say no, it's green, which blocks the person and shuts down the connection and the flow. And instead I say, oh yeah, and it's wearing pajamas. And then you go from there, right? And so it's like

that figure eight flow that we're talking about, and it applies to my dad and to art.

Track 1: Using, using the obstacles. I've put obstacles in quotes, using the obstacles as part of the flow. know, pushing off from the rocks that are,

Bibby gignilliat: Surrendering to the moment.

'cause the only time we have fear is when we're in the future or in the past.

But usually there's relatively little fear, unless like there's an earthquake happening or something. But very, very little fear in the moment.

Track 1: Yeah. If you're really

in it. Yeah,

Bibby gignilliat: So just keep, you know, that book is so cute the, in this moment, like, so in this moment I'm just sitting here enjoying this conversation with you and I'm in this wonderful studio surrounded by my art and everything's good, right? And so just breaking it down moment to moment as opposed to like, what am I gonna be a year from now?

Or am I ever gonna have love, romantic love, or whatever the fear question is, like, what am I gonna do when my dad dies? where will I be? And you know, all those things, that can take you off your center. I.

Track 1: , tell us about your creative space. And what does space mean to you? What is important about spaces


Bibby gignilliat: Oh yeah, that's a great question. So I feel so fortunate 'cause I'm in Sausalito, California, this beautiful place if you've never been here, it kind of reminds me of Italy with incredible views of the water. And this building is an old ship building building. So it was used to create ships in world Wari, and then they converted it to art studios and for 55 years or so, maybe more, it's been an art studio building There are 180 working artists in the building. Some come every day like me and others, you know, once a year will come, So it's all different levels of people interested. Some are hobbyists, some are, you know, trying to make a living as an artist like I am. and all different levels of skills

, it brings me to another point, which it's so important to be in a community.

. I'm an extroverted introvert, so when I'm creating, I like to just be in my space. And, and, but then I love the idea of touring the building and visiting with people or getting inspired by other people's art.

Or, if I'm stuck calling Andrew Faulkner in to say, give me a critique on this piece. Um, this afternoon I'm having one of the more senior artists in the building, who's been in the building 30 years or something, uh, down to give me a critique. 'cause I'm stuck on a few pieces there's just a lot of things that we offer each other. And now

we've done this whole branding on the building and we're, we're really trying to get people to come to our next open studios and sharing information. And I did an Instagram seminar yesterday in my studio, so some of the people in the building, we had a 91-year-old lady that was in the room, you know, that doesn't, didn't really know how to do Instagram, but she was learning Instagram, you know, so that

Track 1: I love that.

Bibby gignilliat: get people to the, our event coming up.

So that's the, good thing about the building. And then my actual studio space is 1500 square feet and it's got like four windows that look out, you know, the view's nice. And the sun comes in in the afternoon and. I just have a lot of space for, , I create mostly large art. I love creating big , and so this space helps me to feel like I can do that. It's big enough to invite people to come in and do, like to paint together or do meetings here , and then I teach, once a month out of here at least,

for the person who's listening to this going, okay, well I'm just starting out and I can't even rent a hundred square foot studio somewhere for myself. What would you say to them about using what they have?


yeah. Well, um, and keep in mind I had a hundred square feet shared. With someone when I first started and I, I was in there for two years and I was creating 12 by twelves and now I, my biggest piece in here is 72 by 96. So,

um, you have to start somewhere and it's better to start somewhere, even if it's at home. And, but the most important thing is if it's gonna be at home, I don't recommend it being like on the dining room table where you're worried about getting it on the dining room table. Like it's good to have a place maybe like your garage or basement or attic or whatever, where you can really get kind of messy and you could leave it out and open.

'cause I think you're gonna be more likely to do it if it's available. You can just walk in and get started without having a lot of setup and cleanup.

Track 1: Mm-Hmm. , do you have, like a ritual that you do every day or a habit that you have that you might say sort of shifted everything for you? what are your rituals in your and your habits around creativity?

Bibby gignilliat: I like to wake up and I sit outside in my garden, which is very inspiring and, you know, have my coffee and ease into the day. before Covid I used to get up and go to a cafe with my laptop and that's when I would do the business side. I'd write my newsletters, you know, respond to anybody. And then I'll come into my studio and then I create for like four or five, six hours and then head home and exercise and might do a little Instagram right before bed. but that's pretty much it. I don't do any like formal meditation, but I have kind of my quiet time in the morning to kind of ease into the day and the garden and it's, it feels sort of meditative.

Kate Shepherd: Yeah, I think meditation is misunderstood. It doesn't have to just be sitting there with your eyes closed in a straight back, like can, you can be medi. You're probably meditating for many of those. Six hours that you're at the studio, you're actually probably in some sort of meditative state

when you're in that

Bibby gignilliat: And then walking, I find very meditative,

especially if I have to think through something. And one of the things I do with my art is I'll often take a photo of it at the end of the day and then right before bed when I right, either before or after the Instagram, I'll look at it and I'll get out the markup tool on my iPhone and I will

play with it and see like, what if I did this mark on it, or what if I did that Mark, this is what I especially do if I'm stuck on something and I try it at night and see what I can come up with with my markup tool. So that's another little thing I do often when I'm in the throws of a big painting.

Track 1: We had a guest on in season one who, who said what would happen if you, you know, you loved this painting, but it wasn't quite finished, or it didn't feel like it needed, it felt like it needed something. What would happen if you took your biggest paintbrush and your darkest black paint?

And just made a big line across the middle of it. And I was like, Ooh, . She was trying to point to like letting go and not getting so attached to what you think you've created. But I like that idea too, because I think we also need to give ourselves permission to tiptoe into that.

You know, maybe we're not ready for the real paintbrush, but maybe we can do that on our iPad and it can help us look what happens.

It doesn't, the world doesn't end because you made a mark that didn't work, right?


Bibby gignilliat: a recovering perfectionist and it's been one of the ways I've, I I believe control is a form of perfectionism or is perfectionism, and so it's been one of the ways it's helped me to kinda let go of some of that more easily.

Kate Shepherd: what do you think is maybe the most common limiting belief that people tell themselves? What do you think is, is at the root of most of it? Of holding ourselves back?

Bibby gignilliat: A lot of people say they can't make a living as an artist 'cause I don't know why, but our society has taught people that, that your artist has to starve. And I don't believe that at all. like I said earlier, I don't wanna, you know, take it for granted. But I work at it.

I do the business side.

Track 1: Mm-Hmm.

Bibby gignilliat: Does that make sense?

Track 1: Yeah. Yeah. I think the idea that, that you, Just have a dream and then are sitting in your armchair at home. Waiting for the universe to deliver it to you is, I mean, , it's foolish. , you do have to work for it. And then, you know, if you really, really, really, really, really work for it, it still doesn't happen. Okay. Maybe then you surrender and say, well, maybe this wasn't my path, but I think you, you do have to work for it,

Bibby gignilliat: I think

it's a little of both. It's it's surrender and, and allowed to come to you. What's gonna come to you, but also respond to the breadcrumbs and, and do the work.

Kate Shepherd: You talked about teaching. If somebody's listening to this and they're clear across the country from you or you know, somewhere in Europe or somewhere beyond, people still study with you? How can we find out more about that and how can we support you?

Bibby gignilliat: Thank you. well, during C-O-V-I-D-I freaked out 'cause I was doing pretty well that year. And then all of a sudden income went dry and I had to come up with an idea for making income. So I decided to teach an online class, which I had no intention of doing. but now all these years later, I have 950 people from around the world that have taken the class, it's a self-paced, self-study class. So you sign up for it, it's $197 and you take the class at your convenience. It's like 20 different modules with a big handout, with a lot of links to it, to all the different resources I mentioned. And I talk about a lot of the principles we've talked about today in, in that coursework. and there's a Facebook group, you know, that people can join to post their work and that kind of thing.

Kate Shepherd: And it's an abstract, it's a learning to,

Bibby gignilliat: It's mixed


, for your listeners, I would offer it at a discount of 125.

Track 1: , one thing I wanna tell you, and something one more question I wanna ask you.

Before every episode, I, I have this beautiful wooden heart-shaped bowl, and it's, got my angel cards in it. Just, they're little tiny cards

and each card just has one little word on it.


just ask for a little bit of guidance or blessing or like, what is the, you know, the word for today's show and today's word was

purpose, I thought was so beautiful. 'cause I feel like that that's the path that you're on. You've got lots of questions about purpose and uncertainty and what's happening right now.

And I feel like for a lot of us, you know, listeners and myself included, there's a, underneath our creative impulses, there is this sense of like, needing to understand our purpose so that we can be in service.

Bibby gignilliat: Yes.


a quote last night that said something like, um, I'm gonna find it for you because I think you're gonna love it. your purpose is not the thing you do, it's the thing that happens in others. When you do what you do,

Track 1: Oh, I just got actual chills.

Bibby gignilliat: your purpose is not the thing you do. It is the thing that happens in others. When you do what you do by Dr. Carolyn Leaf, LEAF.

Kate Shepherd: I got actual chills on my arms when you said that. . the end of every episode, I ask everybody the same question. It's the billboard question. So if you had this magical billboard that. Would reach all of the people who yearn to express their purpose and express their creativity.

But for all of the reasons we've talked about, teachers, you know who, who shut them down when they were younger, or limiting beliefs that society has given them and they just don't believe they have it in them. They really do not believe they have these things in them. And you could reach them with this message on the billboard.

What would you put on the billboard?

Bibby gignilliat: I would just say take one courageous action step. I think what happens is people think about this whole, like how am I gonna make a living? Like all this kind of stuff. But maybe it's just as simple as set up the dining room table or set up the garage or take an art class.

Track 1: I love that . Thank you. Thank you for coming today. I really, I've loved meeting you.

Bibby gignilliat: Loved meeting you.

Kate Shepherd: As we wrap up this incredible conversation, it occurs to me that there's a resounding theme that echoes throughout this entire episode. Around surrendering 10 certainty. It's one of the hardest things. That we can ever do. . It's sometimes it feels like our whole body is primed to resist uncertainty. But when we allow ourselves to be open. To surrender to the uncertainty, to the unknown, to be in a place of not knowing. That's the moment we become open. And available. And attuned. To the whispers of life. Those seemingly small moments, the perfect scrap on the floor. Uh, for caterpillar.

They can hold profound significance. AnD immeasurable guidance. On our creative path. Before we part ways I want to give you a quick reminder to mark your calendars for January 25th. I have something truly special lined up for you. It's our January. aCtivating intuition and creativity workshop.

This is a live online workshop we do every month in the lead up to the full moon. It's beautiful. People love doing it. They use words like transformative. and powerful and deeply resonating. And a lot of the people who do it keep coming back for more. So that says something. That workshop is included when you are a Patrion member at the colorful community tier. Join the creative genius Patrion at the colorful community tier.

ATR2100x-USB Microphone-7: All the information you need to sign up for Patrion membership. Can be found on patrion.com. Slash creative genius podcast. It's P a T R E O n.com. slash creative genius podcast, you can also find everything they need on Kate Sheppard, creative.com.

K a T E S H E P H E R D. creative.com.

Kate Shepherd: If there's one thing I hope you take away from this episode today. It's that in surrendering?

We open ourselves to finding unexpected treasures, unlock hidden potential. And are open to the information we need to embark on a journey where creativity and inspiration thrive. And are in fact at the helm.

Embracing uncertainty.

Isn't just about navigating the unknown. It's about discovering the magic. That's hidden right there in plain sight within it.

You're a part of a community now. This creative genius family is a community.

And the more of us that work together to embrace the unknown together. And steady our wobbly selves when we hit rough patches. The more grounded and emboldened will feel to step even deeper into the mystery of life. May you find inspiration in every twist and turn on your creative path . And until next time. I'm here. Cheering you on.

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