The Creative Genius Podcast - Episode 02 - Creativity is an Inside Job with Beam Paints Founder & Artist Anong Beam

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Creativity is an Inside Job: Beam Paints Watercolor Founder & Artist Anong Beam

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“The rational mind is the home of bad painting.”

About Anong Beam founder of Beam Paints Watercolor

Anong is an accomplished artist and founder of Beam Paints, truly gorgeous handmade watercolors. Her father, Carl Beam, one of her great teachers, is an award-winning artist and the first Indigenous artist to have their work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada as Contemporary Art. Anong’s work has been featured in multiple solo exhibitions and public collections throughout Canada and the world. 

The call to become creative is powerful, but can be met with all kinds of limiting beliefs in our own minds, if we let it. AS powerful, ineffable force is waiting to meet us when we allow ourselves to play with the materials and create what delights our senses, for no other purpose than to connect with the simple, beauty of colour itself. 

Anong Beam: website | instagram 

About Kate Shepherd

Kate's Art including Gratitude Birds, tutorials and giveaways Kate Shepherd Creative

Kate's Jewelry line Morning Moon Nature Jewelry

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quote "the rational mind is the home of bad painting" overlaid on a beautiful painting along with information about how to listen to her guest episode on how Creativity is an inside job on The Creative Genius Podcast

Watch the FULL episode of The Creative Genius Podcast Episode 002 with Anong Beam founder of Beam Paints Watercolor 

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF Episode #2 of The Creative Genius Podcast with Kate Shepherd - Guest Anong Beam of Beam Paints Watercolor

Anong Beam 0:05
My dad did really intelligent art, where he did like political art. And he had political things he was trying to say things he was commenting on, like there was a there was a lot of that in his work. And he even he said, the rational mind is the home affair painting.

Kate Shepherd 0:27
The rational mind is the home of bad painting. I want to write that down. I feel like there are so few truths like absolute truths in life and that is one of them.

The first thing I think of when I think of Anong Beam, is how she is one of the most gentle, genuine, authentic and beautiful souls that I've had the gift of encountering. Quiet magic, serendipity, generosity, and a soft strength all come to mind when I think of her. And in fact, those words also describe her artwork. Now he is an accomplished and very talented artist, who attended visual arts programs at the Boston School of Museum of Fine Arts, the Ontario College of Art and Design at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She has shown her artwork all over the world, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, Boston to New Mexico and beyond in China, Slovenia and Croatia. The second thing my mind excitedly does when I think of a nun is get all dreamy about her line of handcrafted watercolor paints, being paints, perhaps the most coveted of treasures in my own studio. Brilliantly named paint stones. These gorgeous little hand formed balls of paint, made from yummy ingredients like tree sap and Manitoulin honey come wrapped in beeswax canvas on slices of cedar and birch off cuts from an indigenous sustainable lumber operation. Everything about these paints feels good to the soul. And let me tell you, they're an absolute joy to paint with. It's not surprising, that is art supply stores from coast to coast clamor to carry her paints, Canada's going to go books recently came knocking to form a partnership to sell our paints across the country and beyond is an absolute pleasure to have her on creative genius today. Welcome again.

Anong Beam 2:20
Thank you so much.

Kate Shepherd 2:21
Oh, it's I've been looking forward to chatting with you in there. I had to when I was writing all the questions I want to ask you, I had to really limit myself because I could probably talk to you for three weeks. But um, for people who are just listening to creative genius podcast for the first time, I wanted to sort of explain what we're doing here. And what it essentially is, is I want to be busting through all of these old myths about creativity that I think we collectively hold. I know, personally, there are millions of people out there who I believe are mistakenly believing that only certain people are creative, or should have access to creativity. And I know, you know, doing art shows for years and years, people would come up to me and say, Oh, I wish I could be an artist or I wish I could draw or I could paint or I'm just not talented. And it drives me crazy. Because I first of all, I feel like that wish is creativity itself thing, let me out. But I also feel like we're doing ourselves a disservice when we don't let ourselves play and explore. And so talking to our people like you who've bravely chosen to let art lead the way in your life, I think can help people understand and discover that creativity not only is available to every single person on the planet, but there's magic that can happen when when you let it take over your life. So I know I read a little bit about you. You were raised by both of your artists were parents, your parents were artists, Carl beam and beam. And it sounds like art and creativity. And that kind of Madlife was woven in right from the very beginning. Was it was art something you always knew would have sort of front and center stage in your life? Or was there ever a time when you thought you know what I'm gonna maybe I'll be a helicopter pilot, I'm going to go a different direction than my family and are like how did how did art come to be such a big part of your life?

Anong Beam 4:14
Yeah, it's a it's definitely always been the back backbone of my life. That the real constant. But um, yeah, when I was little when I was really little. My dad was really proud because I think when I was like four or five, I wanted to be the prime minister. And he would tell everybody, look at that

Kate Shepherd 4:36
Prime Minister

Anong Beam 4:39
or something like that. I think we had been in Ottawa, and he was at an art event for Indigenous artists called scanner. And Mila malvert Mulrooney came into the to the event, and she she seemed like the queen to me it was it was so fancy and amazing and she walked up to me and held my chin like held my my face a surreal thing. And I still really landed on me. But I don't know how I took the meal and really event and then said, I want to be Prime Minister,

Kate Shepherd 5:17
Prime Minister. Well, I love that you didn't want to be the prime minister's wife, you want to be the prime minister. That's about Yeah,

Anong Beam 5:22
that's my mom and dad, they really I was homeschooled by them. So for the early part of my childhood, I did a bit of I did High School. And everything before then was homeschooling and traveling with them.

Kate Shepherd 5:38
And so I imagine that that was just like, filled with art. And because that's what they were doing. They were doing what they were doing. Exactly,

Anong Beam 5:44
that's what they were doing. So I was going to all those things. And it was an incredibly unique, really fortunate childhood. And, but it was so totally bizarre and surreal to like, this would not have been a good childhood, if you were destined to, like, need stability in your life, or, you know, you were going to become anything to do with calculation and measurement, or, you know, constancy. It definitely did give me a template for how things could be not good, but still go well. But I never really realized how poor we were until I was older. And we were really, really poor. Like, I think we definitely lived in our car for a brief time in the early 80s.

Kate Shepherd 6:36
Were you an only child?

Anong Beam 6:38
Yeah. Well, my, my father had children from his first marriage, but i He came from like, also, this was a second act for him. Because his his first marriage was an old and he had had children very young. And then, and this is how he related to me. So if it's not factually accurate, that's his fault.

Kate Shepherd 7:04
We will hold you accountable. Yeah.

Anong Beam 7:05
But he wanted to become an artist. He had been in the trades for his whole life. He helped the blue line subway. He was he helped build one of the hydroelectric dams in BC. Yeah. And he had a lot of like, near death experiences working in construction. Yeah. He was actually on the roof of a turbine, and he's explaining that the turbines are running as they're being constructed. Right. The engines are running very slowly. And he's on top of the cap that they're gonna, they're gonna cap the turbine. And he's on that piece of concrete. And the crane operator jolts. It's just so and he flies off into a turbine. Oh, my. Yeah. And everyone's like, Oh, Carlstadt. Yeah, like you said, sorry. Yeah. No, this is how it's funny because he wakes up on a mesh of rebar. Wow, looking up and he landed on on rebar down there. So he Wow, climbs off the rebar. And he just goes straight home. He doesn't like go back to work or check in. He just like hauls cross, only. Then he gets home to realize that he's been taken for dead for. Yeah, but then he shows that wow. Yeah,

Kate Shepherd 8:35
it was that was that when he decided that he needed to make a transition to Yeah, and a full time artists around there.

Anong Beam 8:40
Okay. Well, pretty much it was interesting transition for him too, because he was older. He wasn't, you know, he didn't go to high school art school art practice. He was in his mid mid to the late 30s. Okay, yeah. And then he got a grant, who Canada manpower to take some jobs training. And so he took drafting. In the drafting schools, he got an art and art elective, and he just loved it. And eventually, he managed to make the art elective into a scholarship to kidney School of the Arts. Wow. Yeah. And then he eventually got his BFA and you think, Oh,

Kate Shepherd 9:28
hmm, so you've all so so maybe that's where you so then you grew up in that environment? And then you mean, I'm an artist too, but I haven't studied extensively the way you have. I mean, there's a million different ways to climb the mountain and but I guess maybe that kind of like, that is another influence that he had on you is like the studying aspect of it. And then when you finished your schooling, what did you when you're, you know, done, you're done with the last of your degrees and you were like, Okay, here I am, I'm, I've studied enough now it's time to go out in the world and Do this. What was that? What were you? What was your vision for your? What did you think your career was gonna look like?

Anong Beam 10:06
It's so funny because I knew I was gonna teach I was just I because I think I do teach right now.

Kate Shepherd 10:14
Well, you're a great, yes. Because you are a great teacher. But it's yeah, it's a different kind of teaching. Yeah,

Anong Beam 10:19
I didn't think I was I wasn't purposefully trying to actually I never graduated. I went to either did. I think yes, that's great. But I did get approached by a school that I went to, they wanted me to be in their alumni program where they could say,

hey, oh, look at our career graduates. And I had to graduate?

Kate Shepherd 10:50
Oh, yeah. Yeah, well, you know, one of the one of the things that I feel like, very passionate about, and I hope that this podcast and all my work around it can help to do is, I feel like, there's so much gatekeeping in the art world, like, you can't be an artist, unless you finish this degree, or you can't call yourself an art, it took me almost 20 years to call myself an artist and I was born an artist, like, I know that about myself. And because I feel like there's all these like, you need to have letters behind your name, or you need to. And so I feel like there's so much important, like just even having this conversation around how you can have a successful career and be an artist and call yourself an artist without without needing anybody's validation, you know that that doesn't have to come from an external thing. It can come from inside.

Anong Beam 11:40
Yeah, it is interesting how this? Well, it has to come from inside. And it has to be so totally for you. And I remember hearing this interview with musicians once there. And they were talking about doing what they were doing. And they were successful musicians. And somebody had called them and they were talking about following that maybe as their career path. They wanted to do something. And the person being interviewed said, Well, it isn't like you decide to do it. Or you don't decide to do it. People who end up doing it or are doing it because they can't not do it. And eventually this it's just has to go this way. That's almost a way to like give yourself permission to do.

Kate Shepherd 12:37
It's not up to me. Yeah, maybe

Anong Beam 12:39
they have to do this. And yeah,

Kate Shepherd 12:42
so is that what happened to you with your art? Like in your boot? Yeah,

Anong Beam 12:47
I think so. Um, I don't really think that I could, I don't really think I could function in, in, in the world any other way. Like,

Kate Shepherd 12:59
because you mean, like expressing creativity or?

Anong Beam 13:03
Yeah, some some something like that. Like, my, the feeling I have all all artists, like I really love painting and other people who paint or they're painters and historical painters currently living painters. Like I'm, I'm a person who's always recommending Hey, go see that guy over there? Um, oh, did you know that ice is doing this over here? And I'm collecting art and buying art. And you know,

Kate Shepherd 13:42
it's a love. Yeah, it's just love. Yeah, definitely.

So I'm always curious to talk to other artists and find out what creativity feels like for you. So I don't know about you, but I get in my head a little bit sometimes I have this actually the what's behind me is this huge, like seven foot canvas, it's blank, but I'm kind of gearing up to it's big Right? Like that's uh but I often will get to this point where I have like, I can feel this like really cool inspiration where I just want to get in there and start painting and it's alive and it's not me and it's innocent and curious and it just wants to play and explore and then I'll pick up the paintbrush sometimes it just be like oh, and I get really in my head about it and I want to make it look nice and I want to make it look pretty and I want to make it be good and and all that all that stuff and it's been a beautiful practice for me to to notice that that's happening and dot and drop underneath it sort of in like feel what what does creativity want to do not what does my mind want to do? What does creativity want to do? And so I'm always curious, like what does it feel like for you like how do you relate to creativity that way? Is it i What are your struggles with it? How does it What's your Do you have like oh, yeah,

Anong Beam 14:56
yeah, absolutely. And you know, I almost feel like Really the big love affair in my life is with art, or color or the the intangible blog that is art, art and color. And it has been like this, like, Oh, God, he just thought taking, you know, it just can't give me what's in here and like, you know, in a hard spot and you're just not busy doing it and then then like, Oh, but I feel like I'm having to walk away. Yeah, I have that relationship with work, that it always saves me. And it's like, I just love this. And I do have sensation of it. And I also do know all all the things about it, like, when you you need, you need to paint something, but you can't. You have to make a living, but you can't. Or like all the all the other parts about having a life without. And like, I listened to music when I paint. So that really helps me shut my shut my thinking brain off. Because I don't think that the thinking brain has any thing good to bring. So not feeling me well.

Kate Shepherd 16:27
Like I think that seems to be a common theme. Yeah,

Anong Beam 16:31
well, my dad, even this is funny because my dad did really intelligent art, where he did like political art. And he had political things he was trying to say things he was commenting on like there was a there is a lot of that in his work. And he even he said, the rational mind is their home affair between

Kate Shepherd 16:57
the rational mind is the home of bad painting. I want to write that down. I know, I feel like there are so few truths, like absolute truths in life. And that is one of them.

Anong Beam 17:08
Yeah, it was just so you know, through all the years, and everything that you said was just really, and he was so analytical, like I noticed his imagery with me, and you're basically talking to my dad. But he, you know, he was my template for so many things. And he had I watched him go through like, not painting for a long time painting. Like, I really got to see both of my parents and their, what they did that made them successful, too, in the eyes of others and in their own eyes. And also what they did that made them block them in the eyes of others and in their own eyes. So that was

Kate Shepherd 17:53
that. Was that translated for you? Oh, like this a lot of

Anong Beam 17:59
sun weren't but warning signs, you know, and different things that I'm really conscious about that I do. Because like, for instance, my my mother, my mother, they both had different, different practices. But my father relent relentlessly pruned his artistic output. So if he did something, and he didn't like it, he would destroy it. Like it was gone. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. And I remember, he would regularly have like, bonfires burn stuff, like, wow, ceramics Smash, like, wow. And he only kept the best of what he did that he was really, really liked. And I remember when I was a kid, watching one of these and like, wanting to take something that like, No, you can't don't not that I like I liked it. Right. And he, he wouldn't let me. And he said that. This, he was really cool to like, just this really cool guy had a giant fire. No, and that not everything you do belongs in the National Gallery. And he's just bringing that he thinks, but that freed him. So he didn't have to constantly look at all of his failed work. Right. My mother didn't do that. She She didn't edit herself. She didn't like, I don't know what in their background. Maybe because my dad had came from like nothing and lost everything. And I don't know, it

Kate Shepherd 19:46
was easier for him to let go of everything because he didn't have anything.

Anong Beam 19:50
Yeah, exactly like he was. He was born in 1943 First Nation. He couldn't vote until 1960. He went to residential school. Keep, like, survived it. Like it was just really, you know, he had a tough go. He had a hard yeah. So they had totally different things. And I watched my mom struggle with oh, she just really struggled with herself and her artistic, ugly.

Kate Shepherd 20:24
She was she trying to make it be something specific and she couldn't make it happen or guys sounds like he it sounds like he was like, he had a very clear vision and he was very committed to bringing that into form. Yeah, and anything else. It's like, it's like, he was like a super manifester. Like, oh, yeah, he was doing that. And that's all I'm doing. He was

Anong Beam 20:42
and he was even convinced that he was gonna die. Is he? Like, trying my best to time I was born he thought. Yeah, he even told my mom like apologize to her. I'm sorry, I'm not gonna be here very long.

Kate Shepherd 20:56
Oh, was he? Was he right? Well,

Anong Beam 21:00
he did die young, actually. But he did make it 25 years with my mom. But I was 25. And he passed. So it was it was quite young. But yeah, he was just really determined on this what he had to do. And he and he did accomplish what he wanted to he was the first indigenous artist to be recognized as a contemporary artists in Canada to be purchased. He was purchased as contemporary art by the National Gallery of Canada. And every other indigenous artist before that had been ethnographic art, like museum pieces, like oh, it's not art. It's just nice. But his was like his art, capital. C contemporary. And there's amazing

Kate Shepherd 21:58
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So you got to see two very different ways of relating to a body of work that comes out of you. And how do you think you landed? Like, do you prune and edit? Yeah, that he does? Yeah, I do. I do. I do completely. Do you have bonfires with your network? And yeah, you do. Yeah, I do.

Anong Beam 22:41
Because there's always a way to get rid of it. It's really funny, but you can't paint over it. Or well, yeah, sometimes you can. Sometimes Sometimes you can. Sometimes you can't.

Kate Shepherd 22:52
Yeah, I'm a little bit of a squirrel. Like, I can't throw anything away. I have a really hard time. So if I don't like I mean, often, some of my favorite paintings are ones that I've painted over, like four or five times because and they just kind of there's a life to them.

Anong Beam 23:05
Yeah. Agreed. I love doing that, too.

Kate Shepherd 23:10
so he had it sounds like he had a very clear calling, it's just really comes across as a calling and something that he was really dedicated and committed to bring you to life. And, and that was how creativity spoke through him and how that intelligence wanted to use him. How do you feel? What do you think creativity wants from you? What do you think it wants you to do and be

Anong Beam 23:35
funny? artist who is inside art, like as a vehicle for social change. And me, I am inside of art as like, I'm essentialist I'm in Wow, look at this pink. I you know, I really love the texture of the paint and just what you can make it do and what that feels like when you see people behave that way. How those certain colors can just make feelings, like goosebumps and just flew just from out of color behavior of it as a as a material. Well, we had this conversation once and it's really funny because he was up. He was a hard man to impress in certain rules. But I knew that I really impressed him because he copied this what I said in this conversation, and I heard him say to somebody else that's like, okay, but that's I point for me. Yeah. And it was that I came over with a painting and I'm showing him and I'm like, Ooh, my early 20s 21 Maybe like, Hey, check this out. Here's my painting. And he looks at it really like art like professors and he just gives this whole rundown. But oh yeah, I see what that is. It's it's this because this means that because this and he just tries to like sum it all up and write it off or not write it off, but just say, and I was really like eyebrows that convey and they said, Wow, no, like none of that. It's not it's not any of that it's just beautiful. This is like painting is just, this is just a good looking healing. And it's a it's a painting. I'm a painter, that's, that's my painting. I heard him say that to somebody, but they were asking him what does it mean to curl? And he said, What do you mean by this to be the thing? I'm an artist? Painting, it's beautiful.

Kate Shepherd 25:54
How wonderful. You guys gave each other such gifts because that's that sounds like such a departure for where from where he'd come from, to be able to just say, yeah, hey, it's just beautiful to be, you know, to be able to open for you to be able to kind of take some of his like, harsh, like, injuries around. No, this has to be you know, like, that's good. I love how you gave each other Oh,

Anong Beam 26:15
yeah, we had we had a really good relationship really quick. It was actually it was really close like that. My whole life. And when I finished high school, I came back home. And he actually bought a house for me. So then I have Yeah, you he was to Ottawa. And he watched a movie called you remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Yeah, he watched that movie. And at the end, where the dad buys the daughter's house next door. My mom says she looks over. He's in tears and theater. . and he did he bought me an old schoolhouse back when you could buy a house for $29,000 buy houses when you

Kate Shepherd 27:08
was it was it him that taught you how to harvest the pigments from the mountains near your home? It was him that brought you out there?

Anong Beam 27:16
Yeah. Well doing that. Now. It just really was such a great feeling to go back to doing that with my kids. And yeah, I felt like busy visiting with him.

Kate Shepherd 27:30
And it was that the seed for being pain? Yeah, totally. Yeah,

Anong Beam 27:34
absolutely. It was. That's part of the reason for naming it beam because that's his last name. And I started the company. It's legal, like brace days on his brain was on his birthday.

Kate Shepherd 27:46
What was that on purpose? No. Did it just work out? Oh, it happened

Anong Beam 27:50
to be in that time. So it's like, okay, let's put it on this time. That's amazing. Yeah. Yeah.

Kate Shepherd 27:57
Did you? Did you know that it would I mean, I'm guessing. Well, I mean, it just seems like you're enjoying such like, it's just you on my impression is that you just kind of can't keep up with Yeah, people are so in love with what you're doing. And it is. I mean, I have to tell you, like, I will tell anybody who listens to me I was on the ferry the other day in the in the undercarriage of the ferry was my dog because we'd walked onto like the dungeon of the ferry. And there's this other woman. And then I was like, I need to tell you about these paints, like anybody who will listen, I will go out and and actually, like, I don't know if it's just my circle, but a good number of these people who some of them are strangers, and some of them are friends. Tell me Oh, I have I bought some of those. I have some of those. And a couple of them more than I would want have said kind of sheepishly and a little bit quietly, that they haven't opened them yet. And I want to talk to you about this. Yeah, I hear that so much. Okay, so we so we do need to we need to talk about it, because I think it makes me want to cry. And I feel like I mean, so there's that thing where people like put a cover on the couch because they don't want to use the couch or they don't have the good china or they don't burn the pretty candle or whatever. Yeah, this feels this is different. I feel like this is more like this internal. It's back to this not being able to claim creativity as well. So I feel like people think there's this joyful little innocent child in them that comes up and says, Oh my God, those are so beautiful. I want to pick the yes, let's buy them and we'll go home and we'll paint them play and then and they get the paint home and they open them up and they're fall in love and they're so beautiful. And then there's this other voice that comes in and says Who do you think you are? Yeah, real artists do you shouldn't you don't deserve these paints and you're gonna Yeah, you're gonna make a mess or you're gonna make a mess. You're gonna it's gonna waste them. You shouldn't. So for the person who's sitting at home right now listening to this, us talking about this and going yeah, okay, that was me. I I do that. I bought these beautiful paints, and then I'm not using them because I'm for whatever reason, what would you want to say to them,

Anong Beam 30:06
I, it's like buying the car, like, you're gonna get a Ford Mustang and just leave it in the garage. You can't do that, like, you must take it and head out on the highway. Definitely, that's, that's what I would say. And I get a lot to people saying, Oh, I can't, but I'd love to do that can't paint or, you know, all the versions of that. And there's a lot of versions. So people are so and you know, that they're so used to saying they've said it so many times about why they can't. But I think they're even just to take that brush, and just to use the brush to activate the color and spread it over a volume, that area. That alone, just that alone is so satisfying. And it's really gives you a I think it's actually healthy for the spirit and the mind to be in that color. And I think the act of seeing your hand your intention, create the color and extend that enlarge this scene of color. As that's my biggest like, exercise out to people. And really, every single order we send out has one thing like a little thing of color. And I tried to I did a video on tick tock actually doing like, here's one sheet of purple proof so that she made a big 22 by 30. Purple. And that's it as a there's a vibration to it. Like there's, there's scientific things going on there. We can't even really understand it has it has an effect. And even just That's enough, you know? Yeah, I think people look at like, like, imagine we were gonna say those people who were right. And yes, there's people who can and people who can't, then how are you going to explain Mark Roscoe. And like, you know, all the wonderful abstract artists, or even like, as we go through time, and different kinds of art are accepted and celebrated. And others aren't like, you know, abstract impressionism is not, there is a moment where that was not the thing. Yeah, and every single thing that is the thing had a time when it wasn't, wasn't appreciated. And so that kind of goes back to, it can't be about trying to get an outside of outside appreciation. It has to be really internal, selfish, self great, like, self gratifying thing. And that's, that's one of the great things. And it's also one of the like, the foibles to like, you know, you can't be it's easy to become too self absorbed as an artist. Yeah, and stop, like looking, looking out at what other people are doing. And being inspired by that.

Kate Shepherd 33:29
And balancing that. Yeah, yeah, I think that's, I love what you said about just getting the brush wet and moving it around in the color. And because I think that can be I mean, it's so basic and obvious, but it's like, I've done that before, too. If I'm, if I'm stuck, I will just, I'll just open some paint, or I'll just get my brush. You know, I'll do that, intuitively. But yeah, I think that's a really useful practice for somebody who's just really feeling like it takes the pressure off. You don't have to You're not liking something, you're not doing something. You're, you're Yeah, you're enjoying the color and you're interacting with. Yeah,

Anong Beam 34:07
yeah. And you put on, you put on music and you just put this color and you have this experience. That's what I love is that I know that there's something there's something in there in the big thing of what we what we call art. And that that energy or that entity, or whatever it is it still meet it in there and some something happens. And it wasn't you that did it. Really? Yeah. And that's always some of my favorite things. Like if I'm painting I get really like tight, you know, that of a painting. And then I have to remind myself that I'm painting and I could do something lucid that something unexpected will happen. And then that's like the firm painting.

Kate Shepherd 35:05
Yeah. So do you do you ever get deeper? Find yourself? Just I guess I would call it kind of creative block like, yeah, yeah. And is that what you said? Do you have other strategies? Or is that kind of your main go to? Oh, no.

Anong Beam 35:21
Oh, what something lately that I'm really, really enjoying is that I like I like painting. Well, you know, in music, or musicians will do covers of songs that they like. So I've kind of doing covers of paintings that I like, and are different artists that I like, like Peter Deutsch, and then even like, the real classic masters like Van Gogh and stuff like that. I'll go and I'll do a study of one of their works. I did. And I've done quite a few of them. I've done some top tops in groups of seven ones, like the west wind, I did just fine. I did periodontics camp first year, this weight camp that I did, that works. The storm, and I done some Edward Hopper and Van Gogh and Monet,

Kate Shepherd 36:22
they all are they all have you shared them all on social media. Could people go in and see your studies? Or? Yeah, some

Anong Beam 36:28
of them? I think that I probably put, I think I put the money. No, I put a Van Gogh? I did. oleanders by Van Gogh.

Kate Shepherd 36:40
Oh, I think I saw I think I remember seeing that one. Yeah, that's probably the most recent one. And then that's a nice thing to do. Because you sort of get you're not responsible for the outcome. Really? I mean, because it's like, you're just kind of Yeah, you're Yeah, you're you're somebody else's has, yeah, deep down the path for you. And you're just kind of going down that path again,

Anong Beam 36:58
you're not going to pretend like that's an actual vehicle that could sorry. And the other thing is if somebody walks in, and they're like, what's this? What's this ridiculous thing? That's a Van Gogh. Come on. Yeah, like it's already it's something else. But I think beyond that. I learned so much doing notes. Like, yeah, I think I've painted the camp first year by Peter doing like, oh, live. I've done it small and watercolor. I've done it in oils. I've done it bigger. The original painting, which I really hope I get to see someday. The original painting, I think is six feet by six feet. Wow. Yeah, I've never done it life size. But I've come pretty close. I've done some six foot by four foot paintings. And there's parts that came first years in there. And then I keep going, building like these landscapes around what's in the in the middle. So that's been my like, find fun thing to do. Oh,

Kate Shepherd 38:04
that's cool. You said something a minute ago, I wanted to get back to you for a minute. You talked about how, when you're you've got the brush wet and the colors there. And there's a feeling that happens. And you're meeting it, you're meeting it. And I wondered if you might explain what it is.

Anong Beam 38:20
Yeah, I don't know. What is it? I really, I This isn't there's a sensation. And there's also like an awareness for me the same way that there's an awareness that, yes, there is a divine, like I believe in a divine power. But I don't exactly have it. I don't have a name for it. But I've seen evidence of it. Like I believe,

Kate Shepherd 38:47
yeah, it was real. It was yeah, it was real, even

Anong Beam 38:51
something that organizes the universe, right. And I that there's also that same thing is inside color. And I think that that happens to anybody, when they find that flow state that they encounter that energy in writing, or athletics or sport or like, flow. I think it's like flow state.

Kate Shepherd 39:23
Would you say I'm just this is just me going off on a tangent with you because this is so fascinating. But would you say that it's got like, a personality and like, Could you describe?

Anong Beam 39:33
Yeah, I think I totally think that this is the thing that is like, you know, when you feel when you feel that light shine shine on you, you feel so loved by it. And then when you need it, and it's not shining on you. Like where's you go? Yeah, yeah. I think that's maybe comes down to like, expectations or understanding of what love is, it's not something that you, you put x, you can't put this thing on it that love is this person's always going to make me a sandwich and they don't make me a sandwich, then they don't show up, then they don't love them anymore. It's, I think there's something for me, there's something like that in there. Because I think about it all the times when I was, like, needing to, well, here's an interesting thing, like when the pandemic happened, and all that stuff is going on. And it was also very intense for me, because my mother had just gone into long term care the week before the first. Oh, yeah, so she was in long term care, and where it's coming up the year, six months of really intense kind of caregiving that led up to her going in. And I, I really, then the pandemic, like it was just really, so I really wanted to feel like super authentic, I want to feel taken care of. And I went into the pizza view. And I decided to like, make a color for that for me. And it was so good, because I remember the sun was coming in the window, and I was making this color. And I started mixing it and it turned into this wonderful like butter cream color. And I called it buddy. And we still we still make it but it was made to like, be soothing. And I could feel like my mom and I could think of like all the kitchens I was in as a kid and people making cake with ways to have like blueberry cake content butter on it when it came out of the oven. And it's just so you know, it's all the things you're gonna be okay. Yeah,

Kate Shepherd 42:04
I love that art can I love that are trapped in our art can provide that kind of soothing, and self love you can conjure up, you know, when you need it, and

Anong Beam 42:13
it can really be there for you. Yeah, so that's, that's kind of like, It's really thrilling to think that as a, as a human, as a, as a creative person, you're part of something that this dialogue has been going on, for centuries, centuries and centuries, and you actively in a experience with these people who are so far removed from you, but they're right there. And right there. Yeah, but they were projecting that feeling those situations or hopes and dreams, like all that emotion, all that experience is just right. When they made it, you know, it's really an amazing thing.

Kate Shepherd 43:05
So do you think as we're talking about this, it just it this is how I feel about creativity, I feel that it is the intelligence that is breathing us. It is the same intelligence that's telling a flower how to open. And it's the same thing that's telling us which pigment to put in here to make that color to, like we're being guided and led by this intelligence when we're, when we're, and I've seen I've seen it happen with musical performers, to singers, I've watched, you know, that intelligence come through their bodies and kind of take over and and I have the overall kind of feeling that it's trying to say something through us, or let us tell us something or communicate something. And I'm curious if you have that feeling? And if you do, what do you think it's trying to say?

Anong Beam 43:55
Oh, yeah, I definitely think in some way, but that's what I think is so great about it. It's, it's, it's the ineffable. You know, it's, that's why it can be so. So really land on you is if there was, if there was anything really concrete, then you could explain it away. Or write it off. But because it is you can you can look at it painting, like you know, it's artistic upon example, but you know, either the Pantheon or the greats and you look at a painting. Well, I mentioned Hawker before, right? So let's just say that you look at Edward Hopper, and the one the night one, the famous one geez, I can think of that. Whether eating a sandwich at the corner diner. Yes, I know. Yeah. And you just look at it and you feel you feel it. And you don't even know like what what the heck, what is that? Is to people We'll do something else that you know. Yes, yes.

Kate Shepherd 45:05
I feel like I could ask you about 1000 more questions. So maybe I'll have to have you back on the podcast again. But I want to respect your time. And I know that our listeners are expecting a not a four hour phone call, but or podcast. But I guess I have one quote. And I asked this to everybody who comes on the show, we've talked a little bit about it already. But just to put a fine point on it, if you had a billboard, that every person in the world who longed to be an artist, but for some reason believe they were not good enough, weren't creative enough, didn't like all those things that we talked about. And that you knew that this all these people who believe that would see this billboard, and it would it would reach their heart, what would you put on it?

Anong Beam 45:48
Oh, wow, that's so that's such a good question. be, like, slightly sarcastic about it. But you know, a thing that used to get in my way, is thinking about like, well, you know, why buy? Oh, but why? Why does it matter? Do this beautiful thing and why? And maybe it doesn't have to be just just paint. It doesn't have to be everything. It's, then you do it, see the painting and then does the next painting. You don't have to fit it all into one painting. Do you could do that take the pressure off to the next thing.

Kate Shepherd 46:37
Mm hmm. I love that so much. Oh, thank you. And thank you for your time today. I've really I was looking forward to talking to you so much. And I just like I said, I feel like I could talk to you for hours and hours and hours and hours. But I soon realized

Anong Beam 46:52
that we'll have to do this again.

Kate Shepherd 46:55
So many wise insights from a noun in this episode. I love to remind you that claiming ourselves as artists, and accessing what creativity is trying to do through us is an inside job. seeking external validation is a waste of time to art is a self full self gratifying act. Allowing ourselves to create wants to be created from inside, not what we think the world outside will like. She reminds us to think of the breakthrough artists like the Impressionists, all the critics at the time, so they were creating crap art, it's a good thing they didn't listen, and instead kept creating for themselves. And if you take one thing away from this episode today, I hope it's that you give yourself permission to put on some music with a paintbrush and simply move the paint around. Stay open to conjuring the self love that comes through approaching creativity with innocence and no expectations. If you let yourself do this, you just might meet that ineffable energy we call creativity, the intelligence that organizes the entire universe. And then something unexpected might happen. And when it does, it'll be painting. I have a fun challenge for you. For this episode, the first friend that pops to mind right now, don't overthink it. There's a reason you thought of them. And you never know. You might change their life forever. See a picture of my favorite anom being painting and her incredible handmade watercolor paints, and find links to her websites in the show notes on Kate Shepherd genius. That's Shepherd sh EP H ARD. Thank you for listening. If you'd like to support the show, please consider joining my Patreon at Genius podcast. Your support helps make it possible for me to continue bringing you these inspiring conversations with artists every other week. As a Patreon member, you'll have access to things like bonus content, live asked me anything sessions, and even original art sent right to your door. We have an incredible lineup of guests coming up, you won't want to miss a single one. So before you forget, hit the subscribe button in your podcast app. And I would love it if you'd head over to iTunes to leave the show or review. I love your feedback. It helps me learn how to continue to evolve and improve the show for you. And did you know you can watch full video of most of our episodes? Head over to Kate Shepherd genius for all the details. Thank you again for listening. May you find and unleash your creative genius

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