Creating After a Drought, Art Meditation, and other Questions

Together with Caylee Grey and guests, we’ll explore what it REALLY means to be an artist. Practically. Warts and all. So that you can be an artist, today, now, even if you work a day job, have a million and one commitments and own a cat that likes sitting on your art.

No more excuses. Okay? Okay.

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This is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) episode, where you’re the one who asks me anything and I’m the one who answers. We cover a host of topics, mostly about supplies and where I’m at in my creative practice.

I share my favourite tools, classes, and resources for making art.

I discuss themes I’m processing through art (now and always), coming back to art after a creative drought, and a new way I’m merging meditation with creation.

A host of miscellaneous questions and answers.

And an in depth look at my love for white hair and #ff66cc.

Podcast Show Notes

Episode Transcript

Hey lovely. Today I am going to be doing an AMA, you might have noticed from the title of the episode unless this played automatically in your podcast player. But I’m going to be doing an AMA which is an Ask Me Anything. I’m going to be answering a bunch of questions that I get asked kind of a lot and then also a bunch if questions that I’ve been asked literally once before.

In case this is the first time listening to this podcast and you don’t know anything about me, my name is Caylee Grey. I am a South African artist in Germany and I run the Get Messy art community. It’s an online art community. It’s been going for, oh my goodness, seven years almost. This is the year that we turn seven which is kind of crazy to me because it simultaneously feels like I’ve been doing this my whole life and also like it is only one month old. It’s kind of like having a child really where yeah, you simultaneously think of it as a baby and also a grown up. Am I the only person that thinks of my child that way?

Anyway, okay. So if you don’t know me, there’s not much more that you need to know other than I’m an artist and I run this community. But you’ll also be finding a lot more about me in this episode. I’m hoping it’s not going to just be Caylee centered. I hope that you get something out of it. At the very least, you’ll hear about my favorite art supplies and my favorite books and maybe it’s something that you can take and you can look into and enjoy yourself.

But this is not planned in any way. I just took the screenshots off of Instagram, typed it all up into questions and I’m just going to be going through them one by ne until I feel like enough time has passed to make it an episode.

The first question that I’m going to answer because I started my morning with art as I am currently doing because I’ve been missing my art a lot and I haven’t been prioritizing art and so, starting my day that way is how I prioritize it. And I started with bookbinding. Bookbinding is easy for me. Bookbinding means that I don’t have to think and that I can just create and it’s a way for me to warm up a bit.

And so the first question is, have you posted a binding tutorial yet? Yes. I’ve done a few binding tutorials. They’re all over the internet. The best one though is what I call imperfect bookbinding and I had developed this way basically because I am lazy. I am lazy and I am not great with maths while I am busy making things. I’m not bad at maths, I did it in school, obviously. I’m not bad at maths but I’m not good at it when I’m trying to bookbind.

And when I am bookbinding, that is the last thing I want to think of. And I don’t want to think of half millimeters and that. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if you worked in inches. But my bookbinding method is done, it’s perfection free, it’s so easy, it’s so intuitive, it’s a way to really learn how to embrace imperfection and to see that there’s so much value in it.

Anyway, so I have that tutorial. That tutorial, it originally was given for Sketchbook Revival with Karen Abend but now it is in the Get Messy vault. I think that’s only place you can get it, but it’s incredible. Besides that tutorial, there’s also an entire class inside of Get Messy about basic bookbinding and scattered throughout the site, there’s a lot of bookbinding tutorials. If you’re a member you can just go to the library explore page. You can click on the checkbox for bookbinding and you can see all the tutorials there. So, yes I have posted that tutorial.

Next question. Where do you find inspiration? So, I’ve got an entire podcast episode about this and my feelings about inspiration. For me, the way that I do it is I show up. I, like I was saying just now, I’ve been kind of dry with my art journaling. I’ve been dry with art making in general. I’ve been kind of in a desert to be quite frank with you. I’ve been trying to create and just is not working out for me. This feels like I’m trying to squeeze water out of dry sand. That’s a bad analogy. But it’s been really tough to make for me lately.

I get kind of not nice, I get a bit moody when I haven’t created in a while and so it is a priority for me because I like to not be moody and so the way that I’m combating this… And it could be lack of inspiration, it could be life being a lot, it could be a pandemic, it could be the fact that I had a hectic COVID scare recently.

But what’s inspiring me right now is getting to my studio in the morning, getting to my art desk and just creating. And like I was saying, bookbinding comes really easy to me and it is something that I’m able to do without much thinking and without much creativity and without much inspiration. I can just do it and it gives me that same high and that same feeling that any type of creating gives me. It’s calming and all of that.

So yeah, showing up. I’m also doing a lot of meditating lately and I’m currently in the process of meditating while creating. So, what that looks like is I’ve got a meditation practice, I’ve had it for eight years now and it’s one where I sit down in silence and I clear my thoughts and I recenter, realign I guess.

I’ve also got a night practice and my own practice is one that feels meditative but it feels meditative in the way that I get into flow and the whole world quiets around me. And so what I’m doing at the moment is I’m incorporating both of them and I’m doing that right now with guided meditations. The Calm App has a daily calm which is a daily guided meditation. That’s been quite nice and I’ve been speaking to my life coach about that. And so that’s what I’m doing now.

I know Headspace also has really good guided meditations so I’m playing with that a bit and I’m seeing what it does because right now my creating is looking a lot like the inner voice and the inner critic is being quite a bitch at the moment. Every time I make something she’s there at the back going, “Ooh, that looks terrible. Oh, who do you think you are? How do you even have a creative company?” Saying all these things that really just don’t, they’re not constructive in any way and they are not helpful and I don’t care for them. And so I’m replacing them with self compassion and with focus on the process.

Anyway, so that’s the way that I’m finding inspiration at the moment. The same way I always find inspiration, which is looking slightly different now but with work and with showing up.

Going off of that, let’s talk about tools and supplies that I can’t live without. Now, you must remember that I grew up in South Africa. Art journaling is kind of new and I mean that it’s not like 50 years old. It’s relatively new in the world. South Africa’s always quite behind and so back when I was living there five years ago, there was nothing.

Like, when I wanted to create, there were no supplies, there was no array of different journals that I could choose from, I think there were basically two types; it was the generic art shop sketchbook or Moleskine. And the Moleskine was incredibly expensive. I remember saving up for literal months to buy Moleskine and now I buy it on a whim. I feel like it’s serious currency privilege.

But anyway, so I’m not big on supplies. I’m not someone that always needs the latest supplies mainly because I grew up not having any basically. But that being said, there are favorites and there are things that make me feel very in flow. One of those things is a good pair of scissors. I desperately need a good pair of scissors. Then I also really like dry glue so I always want roller glue. I’m currently using the Tombow one. It’s blue. It’s not actually great and I still dream of the pink Tombow tape roller that I got in America. That’s the dream really. This blue one is terrible. But it’s much better than wet glue. I can’t do wet glue.

Then I like watercolors from Schmincke. I think my favorite color there is opera pink, Payne’s gray, pretty standard and I really like the golden acrylics and Titan Buff and Titan Mars Pale are my all time favorite colors. I know Moriah is currently making Titan Buff watercolor and I think she’s quite, she was saying she’s working on the Caylee Gray pallet. So, it’s got a hot pink in there too. And so I’m so excited about that.

And then I think my suppliers are complete… Oh, okay. No wait. I am quite pedantic with my paper. I don’t like rough paper. I like Moleskine paper or Tombow River paper. The book that I bound this morning was with that paper so it’s dreamy. Oh, and then I’m saying I’m not big on supplies but vintage paper is insane. Germany is just brimming with vintage paper and I love them. I scan all of them and I share them with Get Messy because it makes me feel like it’s okay that I’ve spent this much money on vintage paper.

Anyway, vintage paper. So, basically, vintage paper, Titan Buff acrylic paint, Titan Mars Pale acrylic paint, opera pink watercolor, Payne’s gray watercolor, good scissors, good dry glue and then I’m a happy, happy woman. Oh, and modeling paste. Okay, but yeah, on a stranded island, I wouldn’t need modeling paste. But I am big on modeling paste and I like using stencils. I only use stencils for my modeling paste because that’s what I like and I find it not to be very busy. I think stencils can get very busy.

So yeah, modeling paste. I get a lot of questions about that just because I use it so much and my favorite modeling paste is golden. There are a few types. I think there is one that’s very grainy. I don’t like that one. I like the one that is, that feels like cupcake frosting. Fun fact, in a previous life, I was a food blogger and my specialty was cupcakes. And so this one reminding me of cupcake frosting, is just great.

I also like adding color to it. That’s a lot of… And in my, the stencils that I have, I don’t have that many but I’ve got the Tim Holtz floral one which I think everyone has at the moment. And I also make my own with my silhouette cutter. That’s basically what I use for that. Also get a lot of questions about what color pink I use. I’m currently loving this very bright pink and it’s from Schmincke and it’s lumo pink or fluorescent pink or whatever but it’s great.

I did buy the… So, there was that guy who copyrighted vantablack. He is the same guy that made the Chicago Bean. I can’t remember his name. I’m sorry, this is an off the cuff episode. But he decided to copyright vantablack and everyone in the art community was like, dude, what about the rest of us? That’s kind of a dick move.

And so there was another guy whose name I also can’t remember who was like, you know what, I’m going to make the second blackest black. And so he did that and he made this paint and he sold it and it was available to literally everyone except the guy that copyrighted vantablack which is absolutely brilliant.

Anyway, he also made the pinkest pink and so I bought that. And it is a pigment and I didn’t fInd that as bright as my Schmincke. Although it is, the Schmincke one is fluorescent and the other one is not so, technicalities but yeah, the Schmincke one is my absolute favorite.

[inaudible 00:14:31] also asked, when are you most creative. I’m excited that it’s from Lina because I just filled an envelope full of goodies for her including transparent posted notes which exist. Anyway, so she asked when I’m most creative. In the morning. I am my best self in the morning. I have a toddler. He’s almost four. Is he still a toddler then? But I’ve got a kid and he’s almost four and he likes to take my mornings away. But mornings are still my absolute best time.

I am a natural night owl but I have come over to the ways of the morning. Everything that I do in that time is incredible. Everything I do there is magical and I used to use my mornings super productively. Then I used them to make art and at the moment now, because of Elliot my son, he is not enjoying letting me sleep. And so my mornings are slow which is new for me and it feels like I’m wasting them but I’m not.

So, this morning, he and I, Elliot and I before school, I sat down with the book that I’m reading which is Art and Fear and he sat down with lemon sorbet for breakfast. It’s a pandemic so it’s okay. And we sat there and we chatted. And I read a little bit, and he asked me to draw so I drew in the margins of the book. And it’s such a slow morning and it’s beautiful too.

And then I get to work super late for me which is like, about 8:00. Usually I like to start working ASAP but I get to work now and I create because I’m creating great stuff in the morning. I always feel like if I create in the middle of the day, it’s not going to be great, it’s not going to feel great for me. And that’s why we are, make all of my decisions kind of. Is the feeling right? At least for art.

And then 3:00 is the worst time for me. I feel the least creative. Also get a lot of questions about where I get the black and white labels that I use and that’s a quick answer, it’s from [inaudible 00:16:56] here in Germany. Super simple.

Also get questions about whether I gelli print and whether I think it’s necessary for artists to own one of those gelli plates. No, I don’t and I don’t understand the hype. I think… I don’t know. I don’t know why I don’t like them but I do not like them. When I went to America and I met a whole bunch of people from Get Messy, we all shared our supplies and we all shared our ephemeral and there was a gelli plate there and I was so excited to use it because like, okay, I’ll finally discover why this is such a big thing.

I did not like it. I did not like the results of it, I did not like using it, I did not… I don’t like gelli plates and I don’t think that they are necessary although they are, I want to say fun but I don’t think they’re fun. I don’t like them. You can just put some paint on a page. I know it’s different and I’m sure the gelli plate diehards will come at me for saying this but it’s not for me. I don’t like it. It’s too busy.

On the same vein, my least favorite color is red. I can’t… There is no red in my house, in my studio, I’m looking around now, it’s not my favorite. When I shared a studio space with someone else, I said, “You can do whatever you want, I don’t mind. Please don’t put red in there.” So, I don’t like red, I’ll never use in my art but lumo red is a magical color and I don’t understand it but it is beautiful and I love it deeply.

I don’t want this to turn into a supply episode so I’ll do the last supplies question for this and that is where I find my ledger paper, my vintage paper, all of that. Like I was saying earlier, Germany is full of this stuff. They keep everything and everything is on paper. And so it’s so easy for me to find.

I go on to, I search for vintage paper, I search for convolut which means, I don’t know, I don’t even know what the word is in English. It’s like a batch. A whole bunch. I should probably look what the English word is, but yeah, I’ll look there and I’ll look for old [inaudible 00:19:32] like an old ledger book but a different word like old business book. That’s not an English word.

But every time I find a new word to search on German eBay, I find a new one and then ooh, it’s got a lot of results. Then I feel like I deserve it, like I’ve learned enough German to deserve the vintage paper. So, yeah that’s where I find it, eBay.

I must say, I find both my papers and my vintage books there too and it’s not cheap. I think people think that I’m finding bargains that they don’t know about but it’s not bargains. And my rule for finding books there that I’m going to use to create journals out of is if it costs less than or around about the same as a Moleskine, then I’ll buy it, then it’s worth it. Then it’s the same as what I would pay for a journal from Amazon or the shop or whatever.

A little bit better obviously. But yeah, my budget for books is around €20 to €30 sometimes and that’s… Yeah, so not cheap. Not bargain hunting here. There are definitely other places that you can go to find that.

What I do do though is I scan in every single piece of paper that I get front and back and I scan the book covers and any interesting pages inside there. I do that for, I don’t know, prosperity kind of, I feel like that gives me permission to then use it in art because I’ve given it a bit of honor and so I get permission I guess.

But yeah, I do that and I share that with Get Messy. I also have in the Get Messy shop, we sell it, we sell packs of them. I think it’s €9, really cheap. Anyway… And so I definitely substantiate my purchasing of the paper because I share it with the Get Messyians.

A fun question from Angela is if I have any plans to teach at Creativebug again. I think with the pandemic, I think most teachers are not able to fly to Creativebug at the moment. If you don’t know, I’ve got three classes there. One that I did with Lauren who used to be part of Get Messy and two that I created. One for Silva Rerums which are commonplace books and binding that and creating that and how I make every day art basically. One that’s a 30 day challenge and then the other one is meditative art journaling. Calm minimalist art and everything revolving around that.

Anyway, so I taught them in 2018, so three years ago. I flew to America to do that and it was an incredible, incredible experience. Creativebug has always been part of my creativity and I’ve learned from them, I learned how to watercolor from Creativebug. I’ve learned to a lot from them. It was a massive honor teaching there. It was so much fun. San Francisco is incredible. Courtney [inaudible 00:22:58] is incredible and it was a really good experience. I cannot tell you. The people that work for Creativebug are amazing humans.

And I miss being there. It was an awesome experience. And so while there aren’t any current plans to teach there, I’m completely open to it and maybe when the pandemic lets us travel again, I’ll send Courtney an email. It was such a good experience for me.

Similarly, is that the word? I was also asked, who my dream artist to teach at Get Messy is and that was an immediate answer and that’s Steven Pressfield. I know that he’s not a traditional, he’s not exactly who you would see amongst other artists at Get Messy because he’s not art journaler et cetera. But Steven Pressfield I think encapsulates a lot of the values that we have there doing the work, creating for the sake of creating, quieting the inner critic all of those things.

We even had a season of Steven where we created around his work and his words and his books or you could do someone else if you wanted. But anyway, I actually reached out to Steven and I was like, I will pay you what you want, just talk to me for an hour. But I didn’t hear back from him and so that dream has died. I guess that’s what happens.

There are now over 100 artists that teach at Get Messy and each one of them brings something unique and I think that’s one of my favorite things about Get Messy is that it’s not just me because how freaking boring would that be. There are all rounded artists to learn from and you get to, it’s like the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You get to take so much more than each person individually plus the next person individually plus… It’s amazing. It’s great. Okay.

Wild little flowers asked me what my favorite classes are personally. I have not taken a creative class for quite some time but I recently felt the urge at the end of last year and so I enrolled in a few classes. I enrolled in Passport to Journal by Orly Avineri. Conversations with Renee Muller and I also am currently doing Katie Licht’s Encouragement Journal.

The other one I signed up for at the beginning of this year is Susannah Conway’s Journal Your Life. So, I’ve been doing her, Unravel Your Life every single year for the past bunch of years. And she always speaks about her Journal Your Life class and this year I’ll say, let’s do it, and so I’m doing that. I really want to dig in to journaling.

Oh, the other class that I recently did is Take Time to Make by Anna Baer. And she was on the podcast and so I did that and I don’t know, there’s this focus on creating and this renewer importance, not renewed but this… Yeah, I guess it’s renewed importance on my art and this reminder that my art is worthy has been very worthwhile to me.

Usually, I don’t really take creative classes just because I’m overseeing all of the classes and the workshops happening in Get Messy and so I take those in and I create those. Oh, speaking of which, also I’m taking the Inner Heroine by Vanessa for Get Messy. It’s an incredible class. All of these are stretching me so much and they’re helping with that creative desert that I spoke about.

So let’s talk about how I got started art journaling. Someone asked, when did you first start? I started at the end of 2014. I started doing this because I wanted to be an artist and I wasn’t making art and so I decided, I’m going to start making art. And I’m someone who’s always dealt, I’ve dabbled in a lot of things and art journaling is the thing that has stuck mainly because it can be whatever I want it to look like.

So, in the beginning, it looked like cutting out a lot of paper and gluing it down. Right now it’s weirdly looking like a lot of writing. Never expected that. It’s also in the past looked like photos, it’s looked like trying out all my supplies. It really adapts and it fits in with the way that I am.

Something that annoys me most in life is forgetting something. Starting to talk and just my mind going blank, that happens a lot to me and it’s, I don’t know, it’s also turned me into the type of person who’s become kind of like a magpie with my memories, with my thoughts, with my ideas, with my tasks that I want to do and I just want to record everything because I don’t want to forget it because I’m always forgetting it. And so journaling also fills that for me.

It’s a way for me to be grateful, it’s a way for me to remember what’s important, to remember that life is great. It realigns me, it really does. It recenters me and I don’t know how it does it. But it’s magic. And no matter what I’m doing in my journal, whether it’s writing absolute rubbish or it’s literally just tearing paper and gluing it down, it really does return me to me.

And yeah, so that all started at the end of 2014. It coincided with us starting Get Messy and Get Messy, it started from a real need to create then having our friends all join us and then it turned into a big thing and into the thing that it is at the moment. It started with two people creating every week, then there were three, then there were 50, then there were 500, now there are over 3000 people inside of Get Messy and it’s, all of us are just people that want to create and want to fit creating into our lives and art journaling is the magic thing that makes you do that.

It’s also very, very good at helping keep my depression at bay. A while back, I realized that this practice of gratitude, this practice of actively living, being intentional, remembering things. All of that helps me not be depressed. I’m sure if you are someone who tends to get depressed, you kind of know what your triggers are and you know what helps. And for me, art journaling really, really helps.

Talking about that leads into this question which was, when did you know art was your calling? Was there a moment? Were you born with it? I like this question a lot because hell no, I was not born with this. This was not a calling. This was not like I know… I guess I went to Catholic High school and the nuns would talk about when they were called to live unselfishly.

Art never called me. I made a decision that I was going to make art every week, share it on my blog and it kind of stumbled, it stumbled? There’s a ball going downhill and it’s getting bigger. Snowballed. It’s snowballed. From there, it was a small decision that I made and it kept happening, that small decision and every week and every single page that I made, every paper that I put down, everyone that joined me and encouraged me.

And I say, I talk about the people because my journey is so intertwined with the journey of Get Messy that it’s not, you can’t really split them. This wasn’t planned, none of this was planned. It happened organically and beautifully and out of a need, out of a real need and I think that’s why most people come to art journaling. There’s a need to do something and art journaling fills that need.

I was definitely not born with any kind of art in my bones. I still don’t have, I’m not a traditional artist. I don’t like mess, I don’t like quirkiness and all of that. I really like to be contained, self contained. I am very pedantic. My family that I grew up in were high achievers. My mom is a professor and my father, she’s head of department at the university now.

My father had his own company, his own building company and so I don’t know where this need came from or this want because my whole life, I was on a pretty straight path, a very non artistic path. I know a lot of artists online speak about how they were always an artist and how they knew this is what they wanted to do. That’s not my story, I had no idea what I was going to do.

I chose a degree at university based on what I did not want to do. I went to the university that my boyfriend at the time’s mother applied me for. And somehow everything worked out. It worked out and I’m still surprised that this is what I’m doing. I’m still excited that I get to do this and kind of magically, the job that I do right now and the art that I made is everything that I’ve ever been, wrapped up into one.

So when I was 11, I used to figure out web pages and code and use really shocking CSS on a site that was called XPages. Also used to use Microsoft FrontPage which was absolutely rubbish. I used to play around and back in the days in South Africa, the internet was incredibly expensive. And I know it’s totally normal now for children to be making web pages and making apps and all of that but it was not back then and especially not in South Africa and I spent a lot of my moms money. And I think that’s what has taught me everything that I use today and my interest in computers and in playing around and making things look pretty and making things organized.

I love organizing. One of my favorite parts about running this company is all the admin that I get to do. And with my art, I was also asked what themes I’m currently working with. And the themes that I use in my art are themes that I’ll never not be doing. Themes that run through my life repeatedly over and over again.

The feeling of belonging, the feeling of home, what is home. Am I still African if I left South Africa? If I left my country, did I abandon it? I have massive conversations with myself about who I am. I guess we all do. Where I belong, is it Germany, is it South Africa? I’m not home here, I’m not home when I go back to South Africa. And so heritage is a strong theme for me.

Another theme is self worth and who I am. Am I worthy? Yes I am. I’m worthy because I am. Not because I’ve done anything. Perfectionism, overcoming all of that. Overcoming my own pedanticity, overcoming expectations, all of that. All of that is wrapped up in my art, all of that is wrapped up very neatly into the work that I do. And I think that that’s the same for all of us, is we are everything that has ever happened to us and that’s what makes us unique and that’s what makes us create unique stuff in our art. Is every single thing that’s happened to us and every single person we’ve met all wrapped into one.

Long ass answer to that question. But yeah, I could talk about it for ages. Where did I learn to art journal. I learned to art journal by art journaling, that’s it. I have got a bunch of inspiration boards that I use that I create a notion. I call them swap files which I think comes from Austin Kleon, which I think comes from someone else.

But there are swap files and I’ve got them there with the best of intensions and that I want to create art inspired by it but that never happens. I always just end up making whatever I want to and I think that that means that I make a lot of nonsense but I think it also means that I make things that are true. And if I’m lacking in what I know to create, I’ll do a class and I’ll take that and I’ll use that as prompting.

Someone very lovely also asked how I’m feeling. That’s very sweet. We just had a COVID scare in my son’s kindergarten. And by COVID scare, I mean that a dad had symptoms, dropped his child off on Monday morning, went to his COVID test, continued with his day and then picked his child up and then got news that he was COVID positive which is real dick move but okay.

And so the school let us know and at the same time, I had been going through intense asthma and allergies and I honestly thought I was going to die for a little bit. I wrote a bunch of letters and stuff and I went and had a COVID test and I was luckily clear and now my asthma’s mostly gone, allergy’s mostly gone and so I’m feeling good.

I’m feeling alive and happy and I created this morning and it was a very nice book and I’m very happy about that. And my kid is cute at the moment and my marriage is still great and we’re planning eight year anniversary I need to figure that out because it’s my year this year. And the last time I did something, it was, we went to Paris and so expectations are high for me.

Anyway, things are really good at the moment. They were rough when I thought I was dying and I thought I had COVID and asthma simultaneously and I thought this is the end. Not really, but yeah, things are good for me. They’re good. Nice question. Another more personal question, where would I go if I could visit anywhere in the world.

Berlin. Every… Man, it was on my vision board for last year and then COVID happened and so I didn’t get there. And I miss Berlin. It’s the intersection of Cape Town where I used to live and Germany because it’s got Cape Town creativeness on steroids. Similar people to Cape Town, they’re very relaxed and chilled and accepting. But it’s still got the German rules and regulations and beauty and all of that.

So, that’s where I’d go even though I’ve been there. Kind of lame. I also wouldn’t mind going to see the northern lights. That’s… I think I’ve traveled enough in my life and I just want to go to places I’ve been. Cape Town would be great too actually. I’m missing South Africa a lot right now with the pandemic.

Question from Kristin. I remember this is who because I really like this question. And that was, has your shade of pink ever changed? Yes. I really like this question. Pink is my favorite color. Kind of lame, I don’t care. I am a girly girl kind of, maybe. I don’t know. But my color of pink has changed and I can tell you what color it’s changed from.

When I was playing with XPage and HTML and CSS back in the day, my absolute favorite color was FF66CC which is bright shocking pink. I used to make all my pages with this color. I loved it. And whenever I am coding now and I need a hex color to use, I use this FF66CC. You can maybe Google it. I think if you put a, do they call it a hashtag, pound sign; at the front of it and just Google it, you can see the exact color. It’s a shocking color, it’s terrible. But that was my favorite color back then.

And then I just went to barbie pink and at the moment it is that Titan Mars Pale which is dusty pink. But I still like lumo pink, I just like pink. I think I like the orangey pinks more. But yeah. FF66CC, that was my home goal.

Do I still make photo books? I do. I make one every single year for the top 10 moments that happened. The way that we currently… I don’t have a full memory keeping in place, I just have my journals at the moment. But every week, my husband sends me a list of things that made him happy that week and so that’s what… I haven’t made the 2020 photo book yet, the top 10 for that but I was thinking of using his 52 gratitude lists, happiness lists. I think I’ll do that for the book this year. Still doing those.

Also, I partnered with Dash Moleskine photo books and so I created a bunch of videos for them and you can see my photo books there if you’re interested. My favorite non art book. I just finished Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reed and that was beautiful. That was a book that I read at night that I kept waking, not waking, but I kept going into my son and looking at him sleeping because it’s so beautiful if you’ve got a child who’s around three years old. Man, it’s going to pull out your heartstrings and make you want to be a better mother and make you appreciate them and want to write down everything that they say and that was really good.

I don’t usually read fiction though. I’m not really a fan, I prefer nonfiction. Favorite non art book. I don’t know, is it a cop out to say Steven Pressfield’s books, all of them? Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club. I used to love Chuck Palahniuk and then he wrote a book that had something to do with a little child in it and I cannot read his books anymore and I regret ever liking him.

But yeah, I don’t have a lot of art books actually. I’ve got ones that are about art and I’m currently reading a lot about the process of art and especially the process of writing because I feel like it’s very similar to art journaling processes. A lot of nonfiction.

I think I’m going to make a podcast episode with my favorite books. I love listening to those. I love finding new books. Another quick question from Donna asking, when you join Get Messy, is there a [inaudible 00:44:23] of classes or just, you just get access to the new classes?

So, Get Messy has at the moment, I think 20 full classes and then there are also almost 50 seasons. So, there are almost 100 classes that are immediately available upon joining and then you also get access to the new stuff as they come out.

Sasha asked if I’m happy with how Get Messy has been growing and developing since becoming its only owner. This is a big question and something that I think about every day really. It obviously makes a big difference when you go from running a business with your friend to just being the only person. Short answer, yes. Flip, yes. So happy.

I think that Get Messy is on a much truer path. I think it’s much more authentic, much more honest, much more real. And the art that people have been making is incredible and the friendships and the bonds have been so beautiful to see and everyday I’m just so grateful.

It’s been quite an experience learning how to be a solo business owner is something that is… Yeah, it’s a lot and I think, I’m sad that I no longer run it with a best friend but thing’s so much better. So much better. I’m sure that I would have a lot more to say if I would have time to collect my thoughts and maybe it will be an episode in the future. But man, running your own business by yourself with no one else to answer to and no one else to wait on, it’s great. It’s really nice.

Something that my friend Essie told me when Elliot was a newborn was that it’s okay to simultaneously mourn and celebrate. So, I was having a rough time when Elliot was new born. And she said, you know what, you can grieve your old life at the same time that you celebrate your new one. It’s okay to miss not having any responsibilities but also be happy that you’re a mom.

And there’s space for both of those, what seems like contrasting feelings to love at the same time. And I think it’s the same with Get Messy and with running it by myself. I love running it by myself and I miss having someone to run it with. There’s an intense bond that you form when you have a company like Get Messy. And so, yeah I miss having someone to do it with and I love doing it by myself.

And I know that this is, something that helps is that I know that this is the right thing for Get Messy and the path that Get Messy is on is right and true and beautiful. Question, if I ever worry that I’ll run out of ideas. No. And if I ever do, then it’ll be a lot of fun trying to find some.

I think it’ll be fine this often that I create when I’m bursting with ideas and when I have no idea what to make and both of them are valid. And to end this AMA off, we’re going to ask a light question. What hair color do you want to achieve?

My goal hair color is white. My goal hair color is the same color as my father. He had black hair. When he was in his 20s, he was almost completely white. I don’t know if you know, but the white that you grow when your hair was black is beautiful. It is pure white. It is blue white. It is white. White, white, white, pure white, beautiful. #FFFFFF if you ever do hex codes for colors.

And that’s my dream color but I am naturally blonde and so when I go gray, I’m going to go yellow gray which I do not like and which is murky and a bit yuck. And also it’s going to be way later than in my 20s like my dad.

So, I would like to go white but my hair does not agree with me because if you’ve bleached your hair you know that your hair absolutely fries. So, maybe one day I’ll go white. Maybe. That’s my dream. Until then, I’ll just be as light as my hair can handle.

So, that’s almost an hour of questions. If you have any questions for me, clearly I like answering questions. I also like helping people out. I like helping people figure things out, figure art out, life out. I like to share everything that I’ve ever learned clearly. And so if you have any questions for me, you can send them through Instagram, through email. You can send them through the podcast on Anchor, whatever you want to do, send it. There are like a million ways to contact me if you do enjoy this podcast.

Now, I’m not going to ask this a lot of times because I find it so [inaudible 00:50:18]. But if you like this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes, that will be really cool. I really love reading those reviews. I think podcasting is always something that makes me feel extremely vulnerable.

I’ve been putting myself on the internet for a decade now and so I don’t really have a lot of qualms with putting art out and hearing anything bad coming back. I don’t… It’s fine or when I meet someone and they’re like, “Oh, I saw one of your YouTube videos,” or, “I saw your website.” It’s fine. That’s no problem with me but when someone says, “I listen to your podcast.” Then I tense up and feel super awkward because I think that this is a very unfiltered part of me and a very raw part of me and I’m not yet used to talking about it.

Also been doing this for five years so I don’t know why. Not this podcast, I did one previously, a different one. But yeah, leave a review, I love reading them. The reviews go to my heart except if they’re nasty then I take note of them and move along.

But thank you for listening to this podcast, thank you for joining me on the journey and I’m just so excited for everything that you create because no one else can make it except for you. No one else can make the art that you make except for you because remember I was talking about all those million and one experiences that are completely unique to you, that’s what makes you unique, you don’t need to even try.

Love your face, see you in the next episode.

Caylee Grey

Caylee Grey is the host of Get Messy and a South African perfectionist currently pursuing imperfection.

Caylee Grey, host of Get Messy

The Get Messy Podcast

I’m Caylee Grey. Creator of Get Messy, official fairy freaking artmother and your pro excuse-squashing ninja.

In the Get Messy podcast I’ll be chatting to a selection of amazing, real-life humans just like you are who are dealing with the very same barriers … but overcoming them to create their art.

Together, we’ll explore what it REALLY means to be an artist. Practically. Warts and all. So that you can be an artist, today, now, even if you work a day job, have a million and one commitments and own a cat that likes sitting on your art.

No more excuses. Okay? Okay.