Get Messy Art Podcast

Art as a Must Do Rather than a Nice to Do with Gilly Welch

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.

Never miss an episode

In this Messy Conversations episode, Jenna chats with Gilly about her creative process and thinking around art journaling. They discuss how art journaling encormpasses everything and how you make it what you want it to be.

Gilly shares how she’s able to be creative every single day due to the freedom given – no boundaries, and no rules. We are all busy but when we put small bits together with pockets of time, it starts to make a huge difference.

Podcast Show Notes

Episode Transcript

Jenna:
Welcome to the Get Messy podcast. Jenna today stepping in for our fairy art mother, Caylee Grey. You may know me as @ginnistonik on Instagram. I’m continuing the Messy conversations with our guardian community. The Get Messy Guardians is a group of Get Messyans who volunteer their time to guide and support the Get Messy community. Today I’m chatting with Gilly Welsh about her art practice. Gilly, will you just say hello to everyone?

Gilly:
Hi everyone. Nice to be here.

Jenna:
Here’s Gilly’s short little bio. Gilly is an avid paper lover and creates in some form every single day. She lives on the North coast of Cornwall, UK, regularly walking the coastal path for inspiration. She’s constantly learning new skills and loves nothing better than finding different ways to incorporate all or part of these into her art journals. Today, I’m going to ask her some questions about her art practice. I encourage our listeners to create as we go along here. Gilly, are you ready?

Gilly:
I am ready. Yes. Definitely.

Jenna:
All right. We’ll start with the big one. Why do you art journal?

Gilly:
It really helps me relax and to distress. And I think in times likely are at the moment I have noticed I’m not somebody who is normally too bolted about things. I’m usually quite relaxed, quite laid back, but I found recently that I can feel myself getting very anxious, very worked up over things. And I know if I sit down at my desk and I pick up my journal, whichever one it is and the glue stick and some papers and I just stop putting stuff down, whether I’m going to finish it, whether it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.

Gilly:
But that really I immediately I can feel myself just calming down and the longer I can sit there, the better it is. For me, it is just a time to forget everything else to just do what I want to do. And I can go in any direction. That’s the joy of art journaling. There are no rules, there’s no, pre-concept. It’s wherever you want it to be. And some days it’s minimal, some days it’s everything, some days I’m angry. And I can tell how I am through how I’m working. But I know that it will make me feel better for sure.

Jenna:
I love that your focus is on relaxation because I think that’s important for a lot of people to hear because they might come in with this idea that, “I need to be artistic,” which is a super loaded word. Or I have to make something that always looks good or something like that. And instead that’s not even the point for you.

Gilly:
No, not at all. And because I’m not artistic, I’m creative. I love papers, I love color shapes, textures. I don’t know where it’s going. While I was just sitting here for 10 minutes, I’ve got a page that I’d clean some brushes on and some stencils the other day. And I’ve just literally spent two minutes because often on my desk, which is always messy. And there was some black and white text from a book and I’ve now stopped clapping, but it’s not finished, it’s not done. But today, I have done other stuff. But if that was it, it’s something and it will grow and develop over time, which is what to me, works the best.

Jenna:
How do you live a creative life?

Gilly:
Last time you said in the intro, I do something every day. I don’t necessarily art journal every day. Although I would normally put something down in a book even if it’s to say it’s just a layer or some papers or something. But I cook, I’m recently got to a lot more into photography. And I love the fact of going out and just looking around what there is. And once you actually start looking with a photographic eye, you find lots of detail.

Gilly:
You are looking for the unusual, you’re looking for anything that grabs my eye. Whether it’s the shape or a leaf or a color of a leaf or the way the leaves have fallen. Sometimes it can just be, ‘Oh, look. That’s really pretty.” That’s happening on the ground.

Gilly:
And because we do walk a lot, then there’s always something to see. The weather need a different so the clouds may be and a tree that looks boring quite often. Suddenly, the sun’s out and it’s caught the glimpse and that looks really nice. I get inspiration all around and I’m not quite good at doing the same things over and over. I love trying the new base. Even if it’s journals, if I’m making one, it’s got to be different to what I’ve done before. It’s either a new way of finding it or it’s a new cover or different papers.

Gilly:
I know If use different papers inside, not just playing one but that will stretch me to be more creative because you’ve got to do something perhaps a little bit different. And I just love learning new things. I must be an advertiser’s dream, I think because they’ll come up with something and I’m thinking, “That looks right. I know I don’t need any more classes.”

Jenna:
And then the Instagram algorithm, it starts to get used to you. And it’s like, “Here’s a new art class. Here’s some new journals.” And you’re like, “This is evil. But awesome”

Gilly:
I know. I’ve just done another one today. I think it was Claire … I’m not sure. Claire Edridge. Anyway he’s just done a Dana Wakeley jelly print one. It was a live one on Facebook, I think. And I thought, “Do you know what? I haven’t had my jelly print out for ages.” And I love it and I do know what to do. And I thought, “Well, maybe she’s got a different stance. Maybe it’s cause I love what Claire does.” I just signed up.

Gilly:
But the thing I’m coming to about the the creative life, even though I jelly print and do lots of stuff, there’s bound to be something that I will take from it, but I didn’t know how to do or didn’t think, “I didn’t realize I could use that, whatever it is, products.” Because I’m sure I’ve got it. It’s just exciting to see somebody different doing something in a slightly different way. And then I’ll be able to incorporate that in what I do. It’s a little bit [crosstalk 00:08:28].

Jenna:
I used to get more about like, “I have to finish this thing and use this thing up,” and all that. But I have found I trust myself a lot more increasingly. And then, because I’ve seen in my practice how something loops around and it’s like, “This was the right time for this thing.” It ends up working out. I give myself a lot more freedom with that thing now. Because it all ends usually working out in some interesting way for me. I impulse purchase some oil pastels because I saw them, Francesca Season of Bloom and I was just like, “Pretty.” And then I just really couldn’t get a feel for them.

Jenna:
And then I started Vanessa’s in our heroine class and then I started using them in that and I was like, “This is how this makes sense to me. And I love how they look.” And I found a way to use them and incorporate them in a way I really like. It just needed the right time.

Gilly:
Yes. And I think that’s what’s so great about art journaling, is that it encompasses everything, absolutely everything and you make it what you want it to be.

Jenna:
Yeah, definitely. That actually leads well into our next question. How do you define art journaling?

Gilly:
I think I probably just said it. I think it really is whatever you want it to be on whatever day. I’ve got so many different journals depending on how I’m feeling or what I’m doing and it’s lovely to look along and think, “Yeah, I’m going to use that journal today or I’m going to try this.” I read somewhere that art gentlemen was a form of creative self care and I thought, “Do you know what? For me, that’s perfect.” It’s doing it for me. I’m doing it. I’m choosing what I do.

Gilly:
I choose what products I’m going to do or what stencils and it’s like, “Oh yes, today I’m going to use my brayer.” Or it’s just, it’s just so freeing that there are no boundaries, no rules. Yeah. And I think anybody starting needs to just not even worry what they’ve got, just do it. And I think it’s the doing it, not the thinking about it or the worrying, what you’ve got the right things or not things or if that straight or not straight or what’s anybody going to think. Just forget it, absolutely forgetting it because it’s whatever you want it to be and make the most of that. And yeah, you won’t go far wrong.

Jenna:
You mentioned creating every day and I remember seeing you as a part of the season of habits. Do you have any particular barriers to creating that get in the way sometimes? And if so, how do you overcome them?

Gilly:
No. I was thinking about this and I don’t. However, I am such a messy person because my mind, I think, is going into overdrive a lot of the time because I either on Instagram or I have a quick look at Pinterest and I’m thinking I’m a bit like a magpie with anything sort of shiny. That’s a nice idea. I’ll sort of keep that for later and that could be working on something and then … I get lots of things out.

Gilly:
My only barrier is that sometimes the space on my desk gets smaller and smaller. And when I end up with my journal or my not because there is no where to put it, then I know I need to tidy up. However, what I have learned is if I tidy up too much, the inspiration goes. It’s really hard, isn’t it? If I’m wanting to be creative, I need a certain mess around me.

Jenna:
A certain mess. Yeah. I think that’s really key, a certain mess. Yeah.

Gilly:
A certain mess. I need things to be able to get my creative juices going, but not so much that I’m either knocking things over because then that gets stressful. It’s totally the opposite to when I cook. When I’m in the kitchen, I have to have such a clean space. It’s in order, it’s clean, I know exactly what I’m doing, whereas in my room with art journaling or when I’m creating, I need lots of stuff around and it is a mess and I know lots of people would look at it and think, “How on earth can you do it?” But it helps me. It does happen, but not too much. Yeah, it’s getting that balance.

Jenna:
That’s funny because I also cooking’s a creative outlet for me. And I cook pretty similar. My pattern is pretty similar to art journaling. I’m pretty tidy and I clean up as I go. But one thing with art journaling I’ve found, is that it’s helpful to like leave out the most recent page or thing I’ve been working on or finish because that’s inspiration for me. When I’m feeling like, “I don’t want to make something,” but I see what I’ve recently created. And I’m like, “Hey, that looks really cool.” That is also like a good little kick starter for me to keep going. I’ve actually used a recipe book holder and put my art journals in it as inspiration on my desk.

Gilly:
Nice. Yeah. I can see that working. I just know a little bits of paper so I’m forever tearing them up. And sometimes that’s the inspiration I need. Sometimes it can be, “That’s a really nice color.” Today I’ll use that color or I’ll use that on them. What can I have to go with that? Or I might just pick up here, I’ve got a teabag but it has berries in it. It’s just such a pretty color. I know I’m going to use that one day. But it’s just taking them. I could put it away in a box and tidy up. But then if it’s the way, it does look nice when it’s tidy. I do like that but I can’t then it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t help me then to-

Jenna:
It just doesn’t work for you. Yeah.

Gilly:
It doesn’t work at all. No.

Jenna:
My old roommate, when she would cook, she would destroy the kitchen, but man was it delicious food? I was happy to be like, “I’ll clean up, don’t worry about it. Just you cook.” Because it’s just interesting how those different things work for us a little differently. What’s been your biggest lesson when it comes to creating art?

Gilly:
I think to be honest, if you’ve got a minute, if you’ve got five minutes, it’s amazing what you can get done in a very, very short space of time. And quite often, if I’ve got a busy day but I’m at home and I’ve got a busy day, the first thing I do when I get up is put a layer down. Even if it’s just 30 seconds, it might just be a pallet knife out, a bit of pain and I’ll just put that on then I’ll go and have breakfast because I know then when I’ve got another minute or two minutes, I can quickly come back up and I’ll put something else on and expect me not to think too much to start with. Just get something down. And if you then got a busy day, things will then dry, which is much better because if I sit down, I get impatient and then I felt like I’ll mess pens up or whatever, because I won’t [crosstalk 00:16:35].

Jenna:
Lost so many pens that way.

Gilly:
[crosstalk 00:16:42] or something. And then that’s it. Or it’s felt pet and it won’t ever work again. I know we’re all busy and lead busy lives, but actually realizing that small bits often make a huge difference. And you’ll find by the end of the day or even over a couple of days, or even by the end of the week, five minutes, two minutes, one minute, by the time you’ve got to the week, that’s like seven minutes and you can get a surprising amount done. You don’t think I’ve got to have an hour or I’ve got to have all afternoon or whatever. Just little bits and you’ll be creating and enjoying what you’re doing.

Jenna:
I find your process so inspiring because I started art journaling before my son was born. And I was used to those uninterrupted periods of time. And now my son, he’s two and a half. And that’s really how I ended up having to work. And it’s taken actually an adjustment for me. And definitely also, I would argue even more appreciation for that being more process oriented, just because yeah, it is, “A minute here or there.” And then he’s distracting me or when I’ve tried to sneak an art time with him and he’s doing it with me, I’m like, “This is a good excuse for me to do art.” But then I look over and he’s got paint all over his hands and it’s like. I really like your process and approach.

Gilly:
I think that has overcome because I feel so much better. Naturally, even if it’s just that day, the days I don’t get to my desk until perhaps later at night and it’s not the best time I get cross and that I haven’t had a chance. Whereas if I do it first thing in the morning, I know then that I’ve already done something and then I’m more keen to see because I don’t know I’m working, I’m thinking, “What can I add to that color? Or what could be my next step?”

Gilly:
I’ve already thought about it. The moment I get up here, escape from my own house. The moment I was out here I’ve already thought, “Right, I’m going to use that color or I’m going to use that product or that stencil.” And then I’ll do another minute or two, [crosstalk 00:19:12].

Jenna:
It’s like that first, that morning, layer. It creates your momentum for the day.

Gilly:
Yeah. And then if for any reason, I don’t get to it till later, at least I know I have actually done something that morning. And usually to say by the time I get back to it, it’s dry and I can then easily to do the next bit. But mentally it helps me because I’m not thinking all the time, “I can’t get to my desk or I’ve not done anything yet.” And I get all tense, so at least I know first thing in the morning before breakfast, I’ve done a little something.

Jenna:
Great lead into our next question. What is the best art advice you’ve ever received?

Gilly:
It’s really hard, but I think it’s just don’t worry, everybody’s individual and don’t compare yourself to anybody. Because you have to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. And it is hard to stop because you do have a lot of self doubt and you do when you put things out there, think, “Oh, crikey,” when you look at other people’s. But I think that’s always the case.

Gilly:
I’m always looking at other people to think no, that’s so good. And I wish I could do that or draw or whatever, but I think if you’re happy and with what you’re doing and you’re it for yourself, you’re not doing it for anybody else. I now, I put stuff on Instagram when I want to, I create every day, I don’t share everything every day. But it’s for me and however much I want to take from it to grow myself or not grow or do, it’s down to me and I’m not doing it for anybody else.

Gilly:
And I think that was once I realized that, and if I’m not happy with something, I won’t necessarily put it out there. Or if I haven’t put something on every day, it doesn’t flow to me. I know that I’m creating, I know that I’m doing different things that I want to do. And to the rest of the world, the people want to decide. It’s me that I have to answer to.

Jenna:
And the thing is, most people actually really respond to that. When you’re true to yourself, it ends up, it creates a snowball effect for others. And so they’re drawn to that. I have to remind myself of that a lot.

Gilly:
I’m so not good with words. But I can create economics. I prefer to do it with colors and shapes and whether there’s a lot, whether there’s a little or whatever. And I think that helps me. Because at the moment I stopped try and put words down and I know it is journaling and there were times when it is great. You might get your thoughts out and then cover it up or whatever. I might put words on after I put something on Instagram or whatever because I don’t know. I cringe sometimes my attempt. Some people can just get it and yeah, anybody that’s worried, just don’t worry.

Jenna:
Are you saying the words come for you after you’ve created?

Gilly:
Quite often. Yes. But I’m not hung up anymore about the words. Or sometimes I might have got, I don’t know, not a blank page but a page without any words. And I’ll be scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest and I’ll see a quote. And it really resonates with me and I think, “That’s amazing. I love that. What page can I …” And then I’ll have a look through sometimes I think, “Whatever reason it will go nicely on that page.”

Gilly:
I’ll either hand write it out or type it out or whatever. And sometimes that comes at the same time. I don’t have to finish. I don’t have to think, “I’ve got to put some words on here now,” if it doesn’t feel right or I’m not sure that that’s the right moment to do it. Whereas I think to start with, I used to, and then I look back and think, “Yeah, that’s not either quite right.” It doesn’t matter now. It really doesn’t matter.

Jenna:
What is your go-to technique or tool?

Gilly:
I love paper. I collage papers blue and maybe some scissors or tab and you can do it. I did the a hundred day project last time with little ATCs and working small is really good. And you use tiny little bits of paper, but I’ve got boxes and boxes of scrapped bits. I will have to clear out, I think, before my kids decide that they’re going to have to clear my stuff for me because I looked through some of the boxes and now think, “What is this?”

Gilly:
This box comes from the bottom of the bin or whatever but little bits are really interesting. And sometimes just making a page or a small thing with little bits makes me very happy, but I’ve got boxes they’re thick a bit. Definitely my go-to technique to start off with is collage. And sometimes we’ll put some paint down or maybe a little bit of water color and then it gives me a theme or a color. Then I’ll look to my book and say, “I’m going to use just blues today. What blues have I got? And then you can find different shades of blue. But there’s always something interesting that you can do with little bits of paper, I think.

Jenna:
What do you do when you don’t like a page you’ve made?

Gilly:
I will keep going. I’m not very good at having something in a journal that I don’t like. Because every I can’t go through it, it’s like a magnet. I will stop at that page. And I think, “I don’t like that page,” and it bothers me. It really bothers me. I will work it. It might not be that day, but I will because sometimes when you look at it with a fresh pair of eyes, I’ll think, “Do you know what? That just needs such and such Or if I just put that on there.”

Gilly:
But I’m sorry, I can’t have pages in my journals. Don’t get me wrong. There are some that I’m not overly happy with, but there’s nothing actually wrong with them. But if it really jars with me that every time I look at it, I think that’s just awful for whatever reason, I have to do something about it. I won’t tear it out. I wouldn’t remove it because [inaudible 00:27:22] something on the back but I will work on it until it’s okay. Or sometimes I’ll show it to somebody else. That helps because sometimes you can just get stuck or can get tunnel vision. Somebody else will look at it and think … And I’m always open, always open to suggestions. I’m never too humble for anybody to just … I will ask.

Gilly:
And whether I listen, whether I take it on board, I think, “That’s not I want to do.” But sometimes it will be just right and it’s worth the try. It’s always worth the try. And that’s always more unless you actually end up with it like an inch thick or something. You can [crosstalk 00:28:13].

Jenna:
Because you keep adding layers and you’re like, “No, not this.”

Gilly:
Because that’s the other question, isn’t it sometimes? When do you stop? I think you stop when you like it. When you feel enough is enough.

Jenna:
Yeah, exactly. Have you ever been through artistic block?

Gilly:
I think no is the answer. Although we come back to when I have had a serious tidy, which was a little while ago and it was incredibly tidy. I sat down and there was nothing, absolutely nothing around. And I sat there and then I’m just like, “What am I going to do then?” And everything was away. And that I found incredibly hard, incredibly hard.

Jenna:
That’s so funny.

Gilly:
Yeah. Because normally the something around that will I say, could just be a color or a bit of washi tape or I’ll look for inspiration anywhere. And then it would just set me off. But with nothing around, I couldn’t cope with that at all. It didn’t last very long, I will say. But I did remember sitting down and freezing almost because there was nothing.

Gilly:
Yeah, it gave me the inspiration. Definitely some things around, not too many, but enough to take me down a path to stop anyway. And also having half pages in journals. Having something, whether it’s just say you’ve paint a brush or a brayer or something with something on, so it’s not a blank page. And then-

Jenna:
That’s why I love junk journals.

Gilly:
Definitely. Yes. A lot of my art journals. Even when you come to sit down, you end up covering it completely. Usually you can see something underneath it or as another layer. But that definitely definitely helps.

Jenna:
I saw on Instagram that you’re doing the a hundred days project again and you have done it for the last three years and you’ve completed it?

Gilly:
Yes. Every single time. And yes, three years. The first year I started doing, they patchwork, but they were all hand-sewn and so I just did a row of stitching. I didn’t measure, I cut the fabric to fit. And I think they call it lock cabin. You start with a small bit and you put one piece on a new. I ended up with lots of different squares, which was really good. I think the next year I did something creative every day. And then last year I did a hundred days of ATCs, which was great and it’s a long time.

Jenna:
It is. I’ve done completed it once.

Gilly:
Yeah. I’m definitely doing it again this year, but I’m going back to hand stitching. I was given a book on boro, B O R O, which is think is a Japanese way of reusing garments and patching them and then handing them down. And this particular stitch is called for [stoshiko 00:32:17]. This running stitches and you can have patterns. I’m going to use an old pair of jeans. I’m going to make into a messenger bag. It’s going to have patchwork underneath but so for a hundred days I will have finished. Some days I’ve only got a small amount of time to do it, but the a hundred days I need to have it finished. Some days I might have to end up doing a lot depending on how far I’ve got?

Jenna:
What advice would you give to somebody who was starting a hundred day project? Because clearly you have been successful at it.

Gilly:
Keep it simple. Keep it really, really simple. Because the days come around so fast and there’s a lot of excitement and inertia to start with because you’re keyed up. And then after like 10 days, you’re thinking “No, this is great.” And then you think, “Crikey, I’ve got 90 days to go.” And it’s a mountain. It is a mountain and it’s every single day. It’s not like just doing a week and then having a week off.

Gilly:
It’s by 40, 50, 60, you’re thinking, “I still got a long time to go.” Pacing yourself, keeping it really, really simple. I think for me, it’s if you want to do a lot, you can, but if you don’t feel that you … If you can’t keep it simple to something very, very basic. If that’s all you managed to do, you’ve done it. Whereas if you fail to start with that you’ve failed or you’re not keeping up to date. Then the momentum to keep going is really hard. Whereas if you can think every day, “Yeah, I’ve managed that day today.” Almost keen to keep going and doing it the next day because you’re actually building each day on another one.

Jenna:
Yeah. You give up if you’ve set the bar so high. You’re like, “I can’t reach it. What’s the point?” As opposed to just keeping it super simple, because if you achieve that, “Oh cool.” And then maybe one day you do a lot of extra stuff and that’s just a added bonus.

Gilly:
Bonus it is. And then yes. With the ATC, I might have cheated a little and I didn’t cheat, but I think if I’m right, it started on something like the sixth or 7th of April. I started mine on the first. I was already, I had a few days in hand. When it started, I obviously started with the first one, but I had already so that-

Jenna:
You already had a little bit going.

Gilly:
I had a little bit going. If I had a day where something happened, it was almost like get out of jail free card. It was allowed me to not have to necessarily … If I haven’t managed to finish one, I wasn’t going to beat myself up because I started a bit earlier. I did actually manage to do. But it was mentioned it was helpful because I knew I got some in the bag already done.

Jenna:
This is like how much the Get Messy philosophy has gotten into my head. This last May I had surgery on my knee and when I was in physical therapy, I had this great physical therapist and he was so positive. And just the way he would support me and comment on what I was good at. I wasn’t in shape before anything like that, but just the praise he gave and how he did it. I was thinking like, “This is really a great example of how this is positive in setting the bar low, keeps us going to greater and greater things. And I was really thinking it from the art journaling perspective of just those little things, little positive steps to keep going forward. Even at that moment.

Gilly:
Yeah. And then at the end, you’ve got a huge amount of something. But I would also make it something that you really enjoy doing because if it’s already a task or I wouldn’t necessarily learn something new that you’re going to struggle with. Have something that is to start with, even easy. Because you can always as I say, add to it, but just don’t make it too complicated.

Jenna:
Yeah. Definitely. What tips then do you have for beginners?

Gilly:
Just keep going. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t think you need huge amounts of supplies. I think we all love supplies. I certainly love treating myself to say-

Jenna:
I do.

Gilly:
I think we all do. But I think sometimes when you’re starting, that can become overwhelming. And that’s not what it’s about. It’s not because I do travel journals as well and the last few years when we’ve been away, I actually complete them completely when we’re away. I don’t bring them back unfinished. Sometimes just having one little bag or two bags with, you said, there’s a pen, a glue stick, maybe a magazine and a book, you can.

Gilly:
And I think you actually use your imagination more than sitting here thinking, “Oh crikey. Should I use that shade? Should I use that shade? Or should I use a golden one? Or I’ve got to mi it. It really can become very, very overwhelming and I think to start with, again, keep it simple, just keep it. And watch videos, watch other people watch anything, but you’re going to suddenly later on or even think, “Oh yeah, I can do that. Or that goes with that.”

Gilly:
And then suddenly there’s been lots of light bulb moments for me when I see somebody or some of it goes over my head, but there’ll be something that you will then use to build your knowledge base and your process base. And there’s lots and lots of free tutorials out there. People wanting to show you what they do. And you’re-

Jenna:
I love creating alongside videos. I can’t not do it with them. I’m just like, “I can’t just watch this. I have to do something.”

Gilly:
Yeah. And you don’t have to buy classes either. There are classes out there, but there are people that are so happy to show you what they do. If you just use YouTube, you can find everything and anything on the YouTube channel. If you’ve got a product and you’re not sure what to do with it or whatever, just YouTube it, somebody else’s interpretation of how they use it. And then try that for a little while. But certainly for beginners, just don’t overthink it. There are no rules. No rules.

Jenna:
What do you do when you don’t know what to make?

Gilly:
I think I probably would go to maybe some paints that I haven’t used because it’s very easy sometimes just to keep picking out the ones you like and the ones at the bottom of the box or the bag don’t get-

Jenna:
The same colors.

Gilly:
Yeah. That’s really helpful to have a look through and find something that you’ve not used or a stencil. The season of ness I found with Barbara Graham, I think it was, was just three colors and I had three colors. There were three colors with a white and a black. And for me, that was inspirational.

Gilly:
Because I managed to create so many new colors. And the beauty of that was with like college papers, they all go together. Because you’ve only used three and whatever you put them or do with them, they all seem to just work, which is fascinating, absolutely fascinating.

Jenna:
I think that goes back what you were saying before about your travel journal and having just those limited supplies and actually taking out a lot of the choices helps you then to actually create. I love season of less for that same reason. I thought it was terrific.

Gilly:
Yes. No, I learned a lot from that. But again, yeah, just keeping it to keeping it simple. I think that’s definitely my motto, I think.

Jenna:
Your motto?

Gilly:
Yes.

Jenna:
How do you find time to make things?

Gilly:
I think if you want to do it badly enough, then you will find time. Because I always try and think to myself in that 24 hours in a day, I sleep for what? Seven. That’s 17 hours. And then when I stopped breaking it down, I’m thinking I’ve got more than enough time and as we said, just sometimes a layer or I think it’s what your priorities are because I don’t ever get up and not wash my face. I don’t ever get out and I don’t brush my teeth.

Gilly:
There’s so many things that I wouldn’t ever think of not having breakfast or lunch or dinner. I think if you can incorporate that into your day to actually it’s important, it’s a must do rather than a nice to do. And I think for my own creative wellbeing, I have to do it. I have to do something because that’s what keeps me going and what I just love every day, is creating something.

Jenna:
And I’ve realized for a long time I did this, treating it like a necessity is so important because I knew I wanted to do it but I still would be like, ‘Well, I’ll do it after I get these other things I need to get done. Chores, things like that.” And I would treat it like a reward. And then of because it never happened because there was always something to be done. I could always do more than just dust the parts of the house people can see, which I barely even do that. Making it a necessity, not just your reward for doing all your other things, but like you said, this is how I relax and relaxation is crucial. That’s a necessity too.

Gilly:
It is.

Jenna:
I think that that’s a big mindset change for a lot of us. It took me awhile.

Gilly:
Yes. Because I think sometimes you feel selfish or if I come up and I haven’t, I don’t know, empty the dishwasher or there’s a part of finding, so what? That will be there tomorrow. Now it’s just my husband did not. But even when the kids were growing up, there’s the iron, there’s the iron pouch. If it’s that important then you need to learn how to do it. Because it is for my mind sanity. I have to be doing something.

Jenna:
Yeah. Sanity especially right now.

Gilly:
And I feel really sorry for people that don’t have a creative outlet. I think people that are reliant on either playing video games or not doing anything, it must be must be horrific. And I don’t mean that badly, but I think in lock down, we’ve been in lockdown now for quite some time on and off. And I do feel guilty sometimes because I’m happy. I’m happy at home and I’ve got so many things that will keep me going.

Gilly:
Not that I would want it because I don’t see my granddaughters, but there’s not a day where I think, “Oh my goodness, what am I going to do today?” Yes. There’s always something that I can be doing and look forward to doing. Look forward to it.

Jenna:
Gilly, that’s all my questions. I’m so glad and so thankful that you joined and also did this again with me. When I was just learning things, we had a restart, so Gilly’s been very patient with me. I’m working my way through the Get Messy community and there’s more to come. Gilly, do you have any last thoughts or anything you want to share?

Gilly:
No. But I would just say to anybody that’s got any questions or not sure about anything. The Get Messy community is fabulous. There’ll be somebody out there that knows the answer. Don’t ever think, “I’m either stuck or I don’t know what to do or I can’t carry on because I’ve not done X, Y and Z,” Put it out there because somebody will have the answer. Somebody will put you on the right track to continuing and good luck.

Jenna:
All right, everybody. Thank you for tuning in and we will see you next time.

 

Gilly Welch

Gilly is an avid paper lover and creates in some form every single day. She lives on the north coast of Cornwall (UK) regularly walking the coastal path for inspiration. She is constantly learning new skills and loves nothing better than finding different ways to incorporate all or part of these into her art journals.

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.