Ep.175: About running art classes and workshops with Lois van Baarle (Loish)

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Sep 03, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Lois van Baarle, also known online as Loish. We talk about her experiences from the past year, how she conquered the fear of doing workshops and how it makes her whole now! We also touch upon a subject of 3rd book Lois wants to publish in the future!

Get in touch with Lois

Resources mentioned

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Special thanks to Lois for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Lois van Baarle, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer  

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life, where I chat with inspiring artists and create various art related videos. And this episode is bit special because it has been a year from the time I started Art Side of Life. So I really want to thank you guys for being here. Because without you, the whole Art Side of Life channel wouldn’t be here. So I’m really, really happy that you guys are here. And in this episode, we will talk with Loise because it has been a year from the first episode we did with her. So I want to share with you what’s new in her career, how everything changed within the year, what is her focus, so hope you will enjoy this interview. And before we get there, let’s thank our sponsors. If you are a digital artist, you will love Astro five F which turns your iPad Pro into a virus graphics tablet for your Mac. So you can use all the programs like Photoshop right on your iPad, go to artsideoflife.com/astropad and use promo code artside to get 10% discount. If you’re looking for a top quality print shop and online store to sell your art prints then you should definitely check out imprint imprint has been helping artists print and sell gallery quality prints of their work all over the world for over a decade. Go to artsideoflife.com/imprint and use promo code artside to get 10% discount. And now let’s go back to the interview. So welcome Hello Lois welcome back after a year. Yeah,

Lois van Baarle  

it’s been a year. Oh, wow. by so fast. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

that’s crazy. And you’re welcome guys for the next episode, right? And you see right away that deploys, right? So you probably recognize her. So I don’t know why I’m doing these hand gestures. But anyway. So let’s start with something what kind of happened this year? Right? And maybe, which maybe did your focus changed? Or what are you doing like these days?

Lois van Baarle  

Well, since like we wasn’t exactly a year ago, I

Iva Mikles  

think it was July if I want to look at Skype, so I’m pretty Yeah, it was.

Lois van Baarle  

So things change like big time right afterwards, because I went to give my first workshop in August last year. And and then I gave like a ton of other workshops in the course of the year. And that gave me like a completely new sort of like thing to focus on in my career. And I learned so much from it. And it it just like it was like Mike, it was like I had like some space in my career. And the workshops filled it up completely. So now I’m like, so busy by figuring out ways to share knowledge and travel and connect to people.

Iva Mikles  

So for those who don’t know, maybe your workshops, what they usually focus on, during the workshops, a problem characters, right.

Lois van Baarle  

My workshop is always about, like the short and the long ones, all of them are all about workflow. So they’re like about having a way of drawing digitally that allows you to work intuitively and have a workflow that flows naturally. Because digital artists often get stuck on like the line work or on the data, there’s usually something there that that makes it hard for them or frustrating. And then they look for knowledge and then usually accumulate all this knowledge about techniques and about like, you know, working more and working harder. And then and my workflow, my workshop is a lot about like, actually making it simpler and more intuitive and fast. That’s what

Iva Mikles  

it’s about. Yeah, that’s, that’s really cool. So yeah, so people should check out maybe do have you done the website or somewhere where you go next, or I don’t

Iva Mikles  

know, I should start there or Instagram

Iva Mikles  

or something right,

Lois van Baarle  

I should start doing that. Usually these workshops are like small amount. And then like what, like a limited number of people can join because I actually give assignments and give a lot of feedback as I go. So usually these hosts advertise the workshop in their local area and then it fills up quite quickly and then I end up not posting about it on my social media because it’s already full. But I’m going to introduce like my website needs a huge overhaul and I’m working on it, but it’s just taking a lot of time. Okay, and it’s gonna be contain a section about, like, where I’m traveling to, and things like events like comic cons, or whatever that I’ll be attending. I don’t attend a lot of them, but when I do, it’s always great to meet people. So, did you worry about it?

Iva Mikles  

Did you learn something about yourself, you know, while doing these workshops and doing more of them?

Lois van Baarle  

Well, I actually learned that I love to, like, I don’t like standing in front of people and telling them what to do. So that’s kind of difficult for me when giving a workshop, but I really like connecting with people and talking about our processes and talking about like, you know, a lot like the psychology behind drawing, like, where do you get stuck? Why, you know, like, does your self esteem play a role in like, what experiences in the past have shaped your view of art, and I’m learning so much about that. And it’s like, a new passion of mine to think about, you know, what, how people’s minds work when they’re drawing and, and my students have have shared so much with me, and I feel so inspired to like, do more with that.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah. And also, then you like, see what works better when we do SCI? Fi things and explain it? Right. So it’s like a progress. Yeah, actually is better.

Lois van Baarle  

Yeah. And usually, I’ve noticed that like, a huge part of what holds artists back is this belief like this, pushing yourself pushing yourself all the time, and not really trying to find a way to, like, let the let your creativity flow naturally in your own way, but always pushing yourself to always go outside of your comfort zone. And there’s always like, a lot of psychology behind that. Like, why do people think that they need to push themselves all the time? And, and why does that lead to so many artists getting stuck? So this, I feel like, I feel like it’s more worthwhile to invest in something that feels like it’s your own way of working than to always push yourself to do it better, like the person next to you, you are always trying to take over the skill set of somebody else, even though it might not fit you.

Iva Mikles  

Or the process, right. If someone’s doing it certain way. They’re like, Okay, I have to do it like that.

Lois van Baarle  

Yeah, exactly. And it might not fit with you, or your way of thinking,

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, true. So but then, also, what would be maybe your best advice, if you think about that, it’s like three key questions, because everyone always asked about that one, right. But if you can think about, like the best advice.

Lois van Baarle  

Um, I guess my best advice for like digital artists would be try to like work fast and leave all your detail to the end. Usually, people get stuck on the detail early on. And my best advice to like all artists is to, like prioritize self care, and taking breaks and feeling okay, before you push yourself creatively, like, try to let yourself be in an okay mental state before you, like jump into the creative process. Make that like a higher priority than always practicing, always learning, etc, etc.

Lois van Baarle  

Because when you’re starting out, you’re just really focused on Okay, I have to make money I have to make living, I have clients, and then you just take everything and you don’t have any free time.

Lois van Baarle  

Exactly. And then you end up to like, going to a bad place psychologically, you know, you’re like, you reinforced, like, this mindset where you’re like, I’m pushing myself, but I’m not improving fast enough. Because you know, you’ll always feel kind of “beep” about your art, even if you do have like, a really nice, intuitive and easy workflow, you’ll always have days where you’re like, not happy with what you make. But if you’re always pushing yourself, then you’re like, extra disappointed, because you’re like, oh, it’s not, you know, I push myself so hard, but I’m still not happy. And I think it’s more important to be like, well, you know, I am uncomfortable with my workflow. I feel okay with what I make. I’m not happy today, but maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow, you know, more of like, a balanced mindset about that.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, definitely. Because then you have to think, as well about yourself, as you said, like, I know, yeah, be like chill, and this take days off, right? So when you plan, like, Okay, you have a flat client work for two weeks, then you plan like, at least maybe two days afterwards, just to like, relax and re energize or something.

Lois van Baarle  

Yeah, I tried to keep like, some gaps in my schedule, when I’m working for clients, or when I’m doing workshops, like also keep some days off to recover. Because sometimes, you know, you can become like, quite overwhelmed, I think with with, you know, the pressure of work, or like meeting new people or whatever. And I think it’s important to like, give yourself time to recover.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, totally agree. Definitely. And if someone watching is like wondering, Okay, what about the new workshops, you will announce it on your social media, as you said, and we are also doing one in just to mention in Geneva, so I’m looking forward to that. So this will be second one we are doing together. So, yeah, so you will talk about the workflow and characters and I will talk about the storytelling and color and light and how you can use color for your storytelling in the environment. So if anyone’s interested, you can join and let’s talk about some of your maybe upcoming projects if you can share something your ideas because we talked about a bit before so maybe what are you thinking about

Lois van Baarle  

it? Um, for upcoming projects I am I want to release a third book. Like I already have to out and I feel like a third one would complete, like the trilogy.

Iva Mikles  

I feel like Lord of the Rings they’re like yeah sequence of books.

Lois van Baarle  

I used to be obsessed with trilogies. Like I used to be obsessed with also the matrix. Yeah, Lord of the Rings. And what else? Another two, I don’t remember which one, you know, I need to leave those days behind me because I was just unhealthily obsessed. But I think somehow I feel like three would complete my sort of series. And I’ve done with 3d total. Because we have like a good way of working together. And we have like, a format for the book that works nicely, I think. And, you know, I think if we had a third book, the same size, same slipcase, similar campaign, but just like completing the content, that would work really nicely. But I’m like, trying to figure out, there’s two directions you could go in, and like, it could be a book with a lot of original art and concepts, like something totally new. Or it could be a book about like my workflow about the stuff that I try to teach in my workshops. So I’m trying to figure out how can I have it be like something that shares knowledge and inspires people to like, have a better workflow, but still be an art book, still be enjoyable, like to browse, look at the art? So I’m thinking about it. I’m asking my Twitter followers to like, give me ideas and think with me, so maybe I’ll land on the exact concept that I want to do.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, that would be cool, because then both will be nice that there’s like four and then you will have to do more. But yeah, I

Lois van Baarle  

can’t do two No, no, no, because like I said, if I have a fourth book that I have to do six, because everything has to be in multiples of three. Right? So

Iva Mikles  

that kind of work either way. Yeah. So yeah, so if you guys have idea, or what would you prefer? You can also write it in comments. So either the workflow or the artbook original concept. Yeah. So yeah, both can be awesome. Yeah,

Lois van Baarle  

huh. Yeah. Too much work. I need to keep it manageable. I don’t know. Why

Iva Mikles  

do you need to sleep or before we continue, let’s thank our sponsors again. If you’re a digital artist, you will love AstroPad as your pet is an app that turns your iPad Pro into professional viral is graphics tablet for your Mac. I use it to work with Photoshop and Illustrator to create highly rendered artworks for my clients directly on my iPad. I was super excited to discover Astrophys because the painting apps available on iPad don’t have all the functionality like Photoshop. With Astro pad, I can use all my favorite and custom made Photoshop brushes, which is super cool. And because you’re part of Art Side of Life community, you will get an exclusive 10% discount on a stupid studio licenses. To get started, go to artsideoflife.com/astro pad and enter the promo code artside. If you’re looking for a top quality print shop and online store to sell your art prints then you should definitely check out in print in print has been helping artists print and sell gallery quality prints of their work all over the world for over a decade created by artists for artists in print ensures that you as an artists get your artworks printed in a highest quality and you earn the highest percentage compared to the others in the industry. The online gallery@imprint.com is curated by the members resulting in a beautiful and unique collection of work. So for their favorite artists discover new ones and start selling through your own gallery today. What is more as Art Side of Life listener, you will get a special 10% discount with the promo code artside so don’t wait visit artsideoflife.com/imprint and use promo code artside and now let’s go back to the interview. Do you see like also some kind of change or progress in your artwork now maybe in the recent years something you do maybe differently or what do you focus on more

Lois van Baarle  

well I see kind of changed I’m not that happy with but I’m not spending as much time on finished pieces anymore as I used to like I’m spending more time on like rough work and quick sketches because I have the iPad now so I just like sketch on my iPad a bit and I used to like just have less work as well now I’m like my schedules filling up real fast like I’m fully booked until like November or something which is bizarre like if I think about that now I’m getting really stressed out already. Just like entire like like these things that that like needs to be planned ahead of time as well like the workshops and stuff so everything fills up really fast and I used to have these, like client work that I my my monthly expenses were much lower back in the day as well, you know, my rent was lower. And everything has changed since that time, and it used to be that I would do some client work, and then I would have like a couple weeks of nothing. And I would just go to my office and I’d be like, What do I do with all this time and I would make like a whole digital painting, you know, and now I’m just like, okay, an hour here an hour there, you know, like, there’s an evening free, I could draw a little bit this evening and always trying to balance like, meeting rest with like, having some time to sketch and so my art has become less working towards these finalized pieces. And I guess that’s like, you know, career wise, my art has developed in a very positive direction, because I work faster I, I switch between projects quickly, like my resume is better. But just for me personally, like for me, as an artist, I feel like I’m a little bit scatterbrained now, compared to how I was before, so I keep thinking like I need a year off to refocus and regroup. That’s never, that’s never gonna happen. So I don’t know. I need to, like, keep thinking about what, what I can do to keep my creativity where I want it to be.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, because most of the climbs where you can a chair probably. And then if you can mention maybe what type of client work like yeah, of course, without mentioning names, but you do like graph concepts of characters? Or do you do also animations or something different? What you didn’t do before? For people just to like, kind of relate to your artworks, or there is nothing you can share? It’s, it’s,

Lois van Baarle  

it’s not much I can share? Okay, good. So then, like, when I do I’m doing character designs? A lot of them? Yeah, so

Iva Mikles  

like rough sketches most of the time? Or do you spend more time on finalizing

Lois van Baarle  

mostly rough like, I’m usually trying to stick a bunch of character designs into one day, so like, coming up with numerous characters within one day, or developing one character a little further. But I’m doing character design for a bunch of different projects, like mixed one week this and one week that so it’s like, kind of exhausting creatively, you know, because have to come up with all these new characters. But it’s, I’m learning a lot from it. And I can’t wait to share it. But it probably won’t be for like another five years, or longer,

Iva Mikles  

a long time. And he wouldn’t even forget, like, Oh, I’d be bad. Oh, yeah.

Lois van Baarle  

Sometimes I look at like, my personal work and my client work, like, browse through the folders. And I’m like, I make so much art. I mix so much art in a year, but like so much of it, people can’t see it, like people don’t know that I’m making it. So it’s hard to, for people to understand how much I’m actually drawing in a day. But it’s ridiculous if you look at it all together.

Iva Mikles  

And so how much how are you planning now your like weeks and months? Do you have the physical planner? Or do you do digitally. So

Lois van Baarle  

I have my moleskin with my own sticker on it. So that I could take pictures of the sticker and put it on my Instagram to promote my, my stickers. Let’s see I have like this planner. It’s like 1818 month planner. And then it has like a sort of like the year in the beginning. And then it’s so I plan like the block out like different things like the workshop or client work. And then I have like every week, like my sort of week, and then notes on what I need to do. So that’s how I need to do a physical planner. I used to do like just Google the Google Calendar. But I would forget like half of the stuff. So I needed to write it down physically because otherwise I would forget it. Yeah,

Iva Mikles  

I also prefer physical planner. It’s just Yeah, sir. And something about you writing it by hand. And it’s like, yeah,

Lois van Baarle  

it like really gets in your brain and stuff. And I also have to I do it twice. So I put it in the year planner. And then I also put it in the week planner. So then I really like have an idea of because I used to be able to just live week by week and now I have to live like 18 months by 18 months with the planning so

Iva Mikles  

yeah, it’s a it’s a lot of planning but like when you when you have your own business, right because we want to draw all the time but then to take care of the other side.

Lois van Baarle  

Yeah, especially when like now it’s because since last year that’s the main change. I have like business from different areas. Like I used to be just like client work personal work whenever I have the time and now I’m also doing workshops. I’m also doing like Comic Cons I’m also doing well that but it’s a lot you know so

Iva Mikles  

because it’s like here and there like workshop client work convention or something.

Lois van Baarle  

Yeah. And I have to do like a mental switch every time so I need to keep track of it all a bit better than I used to.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, plus the contract and agreement. That Iran right. So yeah, but people need to think about it. It’s important. So yeah, a

Lois van Baarle  

lot of work. cuz it’s a lot, but I’ve learned that like with, you know, in the beginning, the workshops were, like, super exhausting for me, like because I had to, I had to set up the contract and I insist on booking the flight myself because I’m like, super specific about like, tiny details that other people don’t understand. Like, I need to like sit in a certain seat and blah, blah, blah, so. So I like in the beginning, it took me so much time to set up a workshop and think about and think about the content and make sure that it was all gonna go smoothly, all the logistics and now it’s like, I’m just booking flights like, really quickly and just typing up the contract. So it gets easier as it goes along. But I shouldn’t be hiring an assistant or something. And I’m not. I’m too stubborn.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, I think it might help you free up some time for sure.

Lois van Baarle  

Yeah, it would everybody’s like, hired assistant. And I’m like, Who can I trust? I don’t know.

Iva Mikles  

Maybe you need like a golden glasses. That’s what I imagined like a special seat. I have to be in the first class. You can caviar or sushi. But yeah, just to clarify for people that

Lois van Baarle  

actually, I’m really I’m really, like, specific about timing, because I, because I once did a workshop where the host booked my flight and then they they booked my flight to like leave at like 8am. And that is like for me, like absolute no, no, because that means I have to be there at like 6am which is just pure lunacy to me. But other people are like, isn’t that not like, I know that you could do that? You get up early.

Iva Mikles  

I don’t like early flights either. Because then I stress out that I don’t I don’t wake up. I don’t sleep

Lois van Baarle  

directly. Exactly. So I have to have it later in the day. But I need to be able to eat dinner in my in the place where I arrive. So that I can just like eat something and go over my workshop. So it needs to be exactly like that, you know? Anyway, I come across like I’m like really OCD or something like with my three books and exact seat and everything. And I really not i Yeah, I know. Yeah. But you’re free you

Iva Mikles  

know, you’re in a completely normal everyone has their preferences for something like yeah, sitting by the window, because he can see outside and all of that. But yeah, so anyway, guys. Yeah. Thank you for watching. And thank you ladies for being here so much. So it’s super nice to hear what you’re up to. Yeah,

Lois van Baarle  

it was really fun to be a part of it again. One year anniversary.

Iva Mikles  

Yeah, that’s. That’s crazy. Just saying it again. Anyway. So for you guys who want to check out the workshops and other stuff like keep an eye on Lucy’s profile, like where is she going to be next? And yet, so see you guys next episode. Bye. So that was it, guys. Thank you so much for listening and sticking around until the end. And if you’re interested in some of the things we talked about, I will put these links in the description so you can check it out. And if you want to watch some of the YouTube videos, you can just head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube or just go directly to YouTube. And you can just let me know what you think in the comments. And if you would spare five minutes, I would really love if you can write a review on iTunes or Spotify or wherever you listen or get your podcasts. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much again for being here and talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

Announcer  

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Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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