The Independent Artist Podcast

Spurred Me On/ Amy Flynn

January 30, 2023 Douglas Sigwarth/ Will Armstrong/ Amy Flynn Season 3 Episode 2
The Independent Artist Podcast
Spurred Me On/ Amy Flynn
Show Notes Transcript

It's every artist's nightmare to find that their work has been copied and stolen. Amy Flynn,, a mixed-media artist, describes how she navigated her way through that experience and how it "spurred her on" toward evolution. She talks about her time as an illustrator for Hallmark, as well as her connection to the theater. In the preamble discussion, Douglas and Will delve into topics related to Rick Rubin, AI art, collectors with cameras, and the ever-elusive "perfect" booth image.

Visual artists Douglas Sigwarth and Will Armstrong co-host and discuss topics affecting working artists. Each episode is a deep dive into a conversation with a guest artist who shares their unique experiences as an independent professional artist.

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[Music] foreign
artist podcast sponsored by the National Association of Independent Artists also
sponsored by zapplication I'm will Armstrong and I'm a mixed media artist I'm Douglas sigworth glassblower join
our conversations with professional working artists hello there how's it going good are you
are you sitting in your little closet there it looks a little more little closet no I'm out of the closet Douglas
I'm out I uh I had to build a new closet I've been doing a lot of shipping and so I slowly deconstructed my closet and had
to ship it and uh so Temple Bethel has my current sound booth if you will
because I do okay all of my stuff went into boxes and shipped to them those
ladies running that show could not be any more lovely I'm a huge fan of that show yeah me too fingers crossed that
it's lucrative but yeah yeah I hope it's good for you I miss really miss out being there I've had to snooze a lot of
my social media posts this past two weeks seeing all the fun in Florida I know I'm not doing Florida at all it's
nice to be home that's true do I look a little Tanner am I a little tan you do have some color even over a zoom here I
can see some color so I went to Mexico for a week with my lovely wife just to kind of reset nice uh it was a tradition
we have not been able to do since before covid so went and had a little reset vacation and used up some Airline and
hotel points and and went and ate quite a bit of fresh food and Mexican Food and
Seafood I ate pretty much Seafood every meal because in a bit of a seafood
Wasteland here in New Mexico sure yeah yeah well did it work I mean do you feel recharged and ready to ready to
interface the year that's good yep ready to go you know I did not sit down on the beach and come up with ideas like I have
in the past I got the ideas but let's just get to work that's kind of what I've been struggling with I'm sick of
being in my head I'm sick of thinking about things I am all about wanting to get out there and just get to it I'm
ready to have some action but what's happening this week with that to slow my roll is I saw um 60 Minutes interview
with Rick Rubin you know who Rick Rubin is right I'm sure yeah I love Rick Rubin everything from you know the Beastie
Boys to the Avett Brothers do you know anything about his like personal style uh like kind of who he is as a person
yeah a little bit but only Snippets you know here and there like I'd catch a snippet of an interview he produced my
favorite one of my favorite Tom Petty albums the wildflowers album and what I remember from him was like Tom Petty was
like all right we'll use the keyboard and let's get some strings in here and he's like you're Tom Petty we're
not going to use the keyboard for the string so they go and they hire the LA Philharmonic to do the strings interesting because it's like why not
you can you can afford it let's make it sound right so he he boils things down and gets to the very basic root of
what's good about an artist is what I love they featured him on 60 Minutes and he's got a book coming out uh the book
is called the creative act a way of being which I can't wait to to look into that because he does he reduces things
down but the biggest thing with him is all about removing the distractions and
there are so many distractions in this business you know looking into what's going on out in the world can really
stifle the creativity that is going to be my New Year's resolution is to remove those distractions shut the phone off
leave it across the room leave it in the house for crying out loud the whole idea of just clearing away the Clutter and
just seeing what special stuff comes up what new surprises come out of it he's an amazing producer and it doesn't
matter whether he's producing uh Jay-Z 99 Problems which was his kind of
throwback bringing heavy metal back into hip hop or whether it's cutting like the
abet brothers or Tom Petty down to the most raw form or Johnny Cash he completely
revitalized Johnny Cash's career so I love that whole I mean to hear Johnny Cash sing that Nine Inch Nails song in
such a different point of view was just brilliant he it recognized that cash was
an interpreter of song as much as he was a writer but like Elvis was was like one
of the greatest interpreters of song of all time Johnny Cash the same way and hearing Johnny Cash saying hurt it's it
becomes not about heroin abuse but about the loss of his wife and him coming to
the end of his life so Rick Rubin always kind of brought that out um I can't wait to read that book it's
it's I I'm not kidding now I mean I was joking last week we were talking and yeah and now I'm like yeah a
club in an artist book club let's do this sure in this the talk that resonated with me he tries to come at it
from a totally Clean Slate every like like if if he's got a bunch of demo tapes or whatever I think you mentioned
Tom Petty earlier wildflowers yeah he he listened to this whole demo tape and he
came back to him and he was excited because out of that whole demo tape most of it was nothing in Rick rubin's
mind but this one guitar riff yeah and he calls this guitar ref is gonna be
your whole new Direction so he could pick out these seeds that then blossomed into making somebody the best that they
could be or what their actual unique sound was and really if there's too much
distraction going on we can't be in tune with that creative voice right yeah I'm
I'm with that you know when I was talking about going down to Mexico and it's like one of the big things that I did was leave my phone in in the room
and go down to the beach and just I just swam and I read and I hung out with my
wife and I had some beers like real experiences
and the thing is man when you oh when you go back to your phone it's like you look at it and you're like
yeah what if I got like three alerts here I'm like well did I really need to know that that you posted another promo
for the podcast I didn't need that to happen whether you're whether you're present or not the
sun is shining or not absolutely right going down but um man speaking of social media you
mentioned this to me earlier you were wanting to talk about some of the things going down well it seems like lately
people are getting a little uh heated around some topics like the whole taking photos in the booth again I mean what
are your thoughts about it I've got two thoughts okay all right one of my thoughts is you know why people are
getting heated it's because it's January yeah there are like I'd say there's a good
eighty percent of the art show artists that work from March to end of September
and then that gives you October November then the holidays with the family and
then the stress of January coming around all the goddamn booth fees are due in January you're basically we are a store
right we're a store that's open maybe I don't know 8 to 15 weekends of the year
and our business expects the rent to be due for that entire year coming up in
January right after the holidays so you've got that stress going on nobody's working the bank accounts are getting
thin a real thing we start to you know a completely depleted and all these you
know you're lucky enough to get into a good show season you got to pay for it ahead of time so yeah
I had to bring that up in order to bring up I don't know that people are really that angry about photos and booths as
much as they are just sitting at their goddamn screen just looking at it gnashing their teeth right so anyway and
maybe if somebody is feeling strongly one way or the other that somebody might just ignore the other point of view if
they weren't already so hyper charged and and rearing for a fight right exactly so you ask me a question so then
back to the back to the actual yeah the whole point of it is what do you think about photos in the booth how does how
do you react to it 90 of the time the people who are taking photos of the booth are sharing it with their husband
or wife to see if they want to buy it right why would we want to shut any of that down yeah don't share it with your
husband tell him to go go away both of you get out like so no I don't hang anything in my booth that says no photos
I don't say you know I said this before on the podcast I don't say no in my booth I don't ever say no to anybody so
if somebody even comes up and we're like okay my work is is acrylic it's ink it's
mixed media decoupage is when you glue some stamps or something to a lamp right I mean it's not decoupage so people come
into my booth and they're like oh my gosh is this decoupage no it's not decoupage but I don't say that we're
like yeah you're right it is it's actually collage work so if they're wrong I still say yes you're right is
this a photograph yes it does look like a photograph thanks so much for thinking that it looks that way it's actually
hand drawn so it's always yes it's pumping them up maybe I'm an old hippie but sign signs everywhere there's a sign
I don't care you know well you're like can I take a photo yes and then they
bring out the soft lights and start framing it up in their HD camera
or I shut down the drive-bys I mean I'll walk up to somebody who might just be walking by with camera and hand us to
sneak in it's like usually the camera comes out if there's a conversation going and it sounds like they want to
share it with the spouse or like you said so I try not to I try to keep the energy vibe in the booth welcoming
versus always on edge and combative like don't do that don't do that don't I mean that even with kids don't do that can
just really bring the energy down in the booth and we are trying to sell stuff in
spite of how I smelt on the show I try not to be a jerk like I really focus on
not being a jerk and I try not to you know try to be likable try to be open and honest with people and the other
point about it that that hits me is we work so hard to create original work sure and we find a way that we can get
it in front of people's faces so they'll buy it but then to be completely riding the line of when is it seen too much do
you not put it on social media do not put it on a website because you don't want it to be stolen quote unquote or
copied it is something that gets in the way of that interaction of your designs
getting in front of the buyers I feel like if it's like you're trying to protect it from being stolen all the
time I've got a very dear friend that's dealing with this whack-a-mole thing right now where their designs have been
stolen like off of their Instagram off of their website sent to China and
mass-produced and now that artist is going through and they literally are playing this kind of whack-a-mole game
where they're going to all these people who are now trying to distribute their designs and being like this is stolen
this is stolen this is stolen you know and they're getting it taken down they've had these certain things approved but I mean it's an awful
feeling so I get it and and my designs if you shoot it correctly or you take it off of a website or you take it off my
website or even even zaps I mean here's a weird story for you okay I was chosen
years ago as the poster artist for a prestigious show
and they're like hey we want to use this on this image you know it was one of my zap images for for the application I'm
like awesome let me send you the high res I sent him a high res and they didn't use it they used my zap to print
the poster okay and so it's like look at 1920 by 1920 you know we have all people
complaining about it's not high res enough to do professional I didn't think it was but it looked great did it I
could tell yeah I could tell by the little corner image of because I dusted my signature out of it oh yeah and I
sent them to high res with my signature on it yeah and you know you have to obviously you know when you're applying
this app you've got to have your signature tested yeah whatever so there aren't any marks on it so I was like oh
my God they used the wrong thing and it still looked great so our stuff is out there yeah it's super stealable
um I respect other people's opinions on how they feel on on whether they want to have pictures taken I I just it's
already yeah other people yeah I I don't hold it against because I'm not a 2d artist and my work is difficult to steal
so I understand it is a real issue for people pardon me whatever I'm gonna 3D print it out a plastic there you go
there you go hey but say Hey you brought up the pollster artist thing and I do want to give a shout out to our past
guest and good friend Ben fry His Image is being used on coconut Grove's
promotions and poster this year so congrats to him congrats to him and also congrats to Coconut Grove because for
years and years they would go outside of our community and get some artist that
they thought it was just somebody fun or whatever and they'd sell their images on
coffee cups and like more commercial very commercial artists and and the fact
that Camille Marchesi is taking that show and doing some things with it that she I believe learned from her
experiences at Winter Park and is starting to prop that show up I just feel like it's amazing to have a show of
that caliber back in such good hands so hats off to to her and the rest of her team for that decision and a huge
congrats it's definitely a thing that puts art in the Forefront again which is
what we want from our art fairs and festivals is to make it be not a big entertainment event but an art event and
one of our own so yeah I mean Benjamin is like his work is uh it's really
suitable to posters it really it brings that kind of excitement and entertainment value to it as well he's
done a couple in the past that I thought of he did Des Moines and and he's he's doing this one and I I'm excited for him
I'm excited for the show that's great so another thing I saw recently was there
have been several art fair mock juries that have been going on some privately
and I know like um St Louis has done this and I was reading some threads about how people reacted to the comments
about the booth image I know we come back to that from time to time where where people have opinions about it and
some of the reactions okay we'll say oh yeah I got one the whole issue about the
booth image is you know we're trying to get into a show we're trying to show our actual real Booth but then then you
start getting feedback from well there's too many pieces in the booth it's too crowded there's grass in the booth it's
like are we then are we being told to Stage a booth so that it's acceptable and then do we show up with a staged
Booth or are we really showing a real Booth what's the deal I was at a Howard Allen Show and talking to Debbie Allen
and okay she comes over to me and she was like she's just bitching she's just
complaining just bitterly complaining about like just as cartoon curse words
like what's going on but she was like look at your neighbor and he had these blue plastic tarps
and he had his paintings with hooks like drapery hooks just jabbed through the
blue plastic and he's hanging all this stuff it was a hacky hacky Booth yeah so
and she was like look at this guy's Booth shot and there's the fake Booth shot with the pro panels and the carpet
and all of this stuff and he doesn't even own it oh it's just a photoshopped
booth and there are services online of people who are doing that for people and just putting together some nonsense
booth and it's like ridiculous yeah the booth shot to me is only context it
shows me the context of that and be like oh now I understand and sure if you have
all of these fakers who are out there faking it and they're trying to to tweak it the certain way and cut the grass and
do and and Photoshop level it out it's like it's not only is it dishonest
once you get into the show with your blue plastic drapery hook Booth
you're not getting in again I understand your point about that I mean that's so that's so blatantly counter to what the
booth shot is for to show up with a boot that was completely fabricated but what about those kind of in the middle who
have a somewhat of a professional display they're having trouble getting into shows and they're like chasing
their tail with the comments like one one thing I heard was well the work from
the individual images need to actually be in that boot shot well not all
artists can have it that way that the booth shot represents the exact jury images that are in their Booth unless
they cut and paste in Photoshop work that was made and sold original work
that was made and sold but it could still be the flavor it's not like it's a complete departure from
what they do I mean I I make new work all the time and it you can tell it's my style you can tell it to me you're
rolling through it and you're like okay I use the booth image as all right here's my professional display I feel
like all of these services are actually doing people a disservice because I I
don't think it has anything to do with the magic application if they're into you they're into you if they're not
they're not if your style is recognizable I I saw a photographer online he's like well I haven't figured
out the magic order to put my slides in in order to get into the show that I
want to get into it's like um the order isn't the key it's not the order dude it's it's just you they're
just not into you this week and they're just not that's not the show they're trying to put together it's a bummer it
happens to me uh you know both of us yeah all of us all get rejections and they're just like look likely it came
down to me and like five other people that they felt like that style uh wanted you know a representation of and they
chose somebody else I'm super bummed about it I see your smug ass sitting there and your Jazz Fest cap oh
I see it we're on Zoom I didn't get Jesse I've never gotten No
but somebody did get a few good ones which I'm not gonna point out here so yeah we can put together a good season
right that's what we're doing they're putting together a good season that's what we can all put together the season that we deserve I think aside from all
of the let's say the feedback that maybe an image gets in these mock juries
what's more important is just actually go to an actual jury a virtual or
whatnot just to be able to see what you're up against because that always helps us to kind of know context
absolutely more so than if you cut the grass it's gonna in your image it's gonna fix it if you do do two less
pieces on this pedestal it's gonna fix it that kind of thing is just going to get you chasing your tail yeah it
doesn't really matter if your walls are white or if they're gray really ultimately they're looking for a professional display show a professional
display with a with a decent shot um don't try to get cute with it don't try to I've done a I did a booth shot
one time where I opened it up I spread it wide or I did like a like yep rejection in it don't get cute just what
does it look like show people what it looks like you're not going to get yourself in trouble you didn't gnash your teeth over it sure okay another
topic AI art what do you think about that that's another conversation I feel
like I got a big old crank in my back and just winding me up what do you think about it that's
another topic we're all worrying about is is AI art it's a personal business it's it's people want to come out the
people that want to buy from us want to meet us they want to come buy from me they want to meet me they want to have a
decent human on their wall they want to have a installation of this sculptor who they talked to and this person they
found out what that means they want to buy from the working artist right right
and so this AI is it's another cheat code right it's another it is it's another oh let me let me do this and and
honestly I thought it was cute uh at first when I see all of my friends posting they're they're feeding their
images onto things like their profile pics like right during the AI technology with yeah different images our good
friend Gregory story I I love him he's he's an incredible artist and ceramic artist and he fed his images into this
AI thing and makes himself look like a romantic sci-fi superhero superhero or a Hook
cover or whatever and it's awesome you know it's fun I can see that being a fun thing for people to do like with like
it's an extension should have say like Snapchat that my kids do or you know what I mean things with filters or that
sort of thing or I mean it's almost like a more complicated version of like you know which Disney Princess are you and
it's like well yeah side note uh I'm Little Mermaid but you know the point
um but you know it's it's like it's fun it's like I don't give a it's fun but then all of a sudden
Dart real quick uh-huh you know right well I think maybe it could affect the
collectors or the artists whose collectors are looking for maybe uh decorative art if we say that it's just
like something interesting and unique but anyone who is really collecting original art that kernel is the same
they're not looking for the finished product they're looking for what was dropped up by a human who has creativity
and the problem is going to be once again when you start jurying in under
digital and and you said it's like decorative art but what I found it to be really more damaging to was illustrative
art these illustrations and where you plug in four lines from a Nick Cave song
and you get a painting and there are two Nick caves sorry about this but okay I'm talking about the musician artist no
okay not the fine artist somebody had fed in a bunch of his songs and then
gotten a feedback of like this BS here's a Nick
Cave song and then he had a really great take on it and I encourage you to follow
his red right hand files if you were a fan of honestly just art or music or
anything he's just a brilliant guy even just spirituality and religion and what it
means to be an artist or even a fan of art but he just ripped them a new one um
so that was that's pretty interesting to talk about the Integrity of what it
takes to come from something with a soul and it's a it's a grotesque mockery of
what it means to be an artist and I I find it hurting people that have
character to their work I would love to ask like Beth bojorski what she thinks of it I kind of have an idea but I think
that would be really cool to get her take on yeah because she has such character driven and such such care
within those pieces the soul that it takes to create that there we already
know there are cheaters out there you know there are artists that are making their work in analog and then they're
pitching it is digital so that they're the only people on the street that can sell reproductions in an Originals only
show we already know those people are out there yeah and that hacks us all off and and I I've talked Ad nauseam about
that being a short-sighted business model because eventually people figure you out right and you're not getting it
yeah you can't exist on an island yeah well anyway but speaking about
cheaters and copycats we have Amy Flynn on the show this week talking about
somebody who knocked her off and what her experiences were with that yeah I like what she says about it and I think
it's a it's an interesting talk and I don't want to bury the lead on it you want to just jump right into Amy Flynn
yeah let's jump into her and we'll talk a little bit more about what some of the stuff she talked about with copycatting after her talk so here's Amy Flynn from
Raleigh North Carolina this episode of The Independent artist podcast is brought to you by zap the
digital application service where artists and art festivals connect great news this application has extended their
sponsorship of the independent artist podcast into 2023. this is a podcast Douglas that you and I took on that
started out as a replacement for the naia's newsletter and quickly morphed into something else it sure did it's
turned into a place where we can share our voices as professional working artists you know when we first took this
project on it was a pretty small potatoes kind of thing and as it has grown it has grown some serious expenses
so thank you to zap for helping us take a lot of those on and get these voices heard our tribe is resilient and the
stories are so fascinating so stay tuned for another season of interesting and
inspirational conversations on the podcast Amy welcome to the show it is so good to
see your smiling face thank you Douglas how's your poor little foot my poor little foot is on the mend by the time
this airs I will be in much better shape than I am today I really miss this
interaction with friends and so I'm so glad I get to sit and talk to you well that's what I love about this podcast
this is what kept me going through the pandemic I miss talking to all my artist friends and then suddenly there they all
were it's been fun and this show has taken on legs it did actually serve as a
form of inspiration for us and for the listeners too that it was just more than
that temporary period of isolation so I'm glad that it has kept going yeah and
let it be known to everyone listening that Douglas is high off his ass on painkillers right now so he can be held
responsible for anything he says I can however I wish that were true but uh don't nope
I'm clear as day here I haven't had Diamond meds for a while damn title it could be kind of fun to get me to loose
lip sync ships as my aunt Darlene used to say but uh what I wanted to say leading in
here with you is I've been keeping track of what you and Phil have been up to last year and you guys really ran right
up to the Finish Line last year didn't you controls finished our last show on the 23rd of December and we're driving
home on Christmas day ain't that romantic but it was a great show so that always makes the drive home so much
better the full Pockets make it I think a celebration no matter where you're at
right and when it's the two of you I mean it's like really home is wherever you are so exactly Christmas at home was
in a hotel room somewhere in the South so I don't even remember where they all look the same the hotel rooms yeah
Fairfield Inns right right well we did an Easter egg hunt for our
kids one year and we do we we kind of adapt as Roadies don't we you know we the hotels become our surrogate homes
well that's the big thing we don't have uh little kids at home so if we're not home for Christmas nobody cares but us
yeah so how was your year last year you know I I hate to be one of those people
that's always bragging about how well they did because some of those people just drive me crazy but
we had our best year ever last year part of it was because it was probably
the last year where we had a lot of shows that we were held over to some really good shows because of covid and
the shows that hadn't revived yet from kova there was a lot of pent-up buying demand I I can't invest out of the gates
are like this first ones out of the gates are just such a dream come true for us we had several of those this year
and uh we broke our sales record three times at three different shows the final
one being I'm not even gonna name it because it'll make too many people mad because a lot of people had a really terrible show but we had our best show
of all times and everybody else was wailing and gnashing their teeth and I'm going yeah we we did okay
I'm happy to hear that and I can also relate to what you're saying but I think
we can say going into 2023 it does feel like we're in this kind of post pandemic
period now and it makes me wonder what kind of expectations do we set for ourselves going into the next year you
know it doesn't it doesn't do anyone good to have expectations you just show up and do your best do you feel like you
just go with faith and you just let the chips fall where they may you don't know what's going to happen till it's over so
you show up and hope for the best you can't control the weather or whether there's going to be a recession on or I
just figure at the very least I'm going to get to see my friends so I'm going okay but at the same aspect is a huge
part God yes but at the same time we are trying to cut down because we're getting
too old for this you know I think a lot of our friends who are maybe 10
years older than us when covet hit they said okay time for retirement you know
we're not coming back and I feel like I aged a lot over those two years of the
break so I mean are you kind of making a plan to be a little like softer or Kinder on yourself with the with the
pace and the schedule is that what you were saying we're trying but uh you know if somebody invites you to a show it's
like hey we got in let's go we did 11 shows last year and I'd like to keep it at no more than 11.
um many of you listening know Phil I cannot do shows without Phil he is the
best Roadie in the entire world but during the pandemic he uh he tore a
tendon he completely tore a tendon off in its hip those don't roll back they
well and they misdiagnosed it as bursitis okay long story short
eventually they reattached it but after over a year of not using that that uh
hip that those muscles they if atrophied and it's it's been a chore this year to
to set everything up that damn robots are heavy yeah every single show we do at the end of the show I said that's it
I'm becoming a jeweler which I never would do but I yes I really do think about switching over
to a more lightweight form of heart which was one of the plans I had during
the pandemic was to to get back to my roots as a and in drawing and I set up a
space in my workshop where I could draw and after 27 years as a greeting card
artist I could not beat the cute out of my drawing and it was making me really
frustrated and at that time the last thing I needed was more frustration I
mean my God the economy was in the toilet and there's this deadly disease going on so many variables we might end
up with four more years of trump and I was stressed out and I found out the more stressed out I I got the more I was
rewarding Myself by going into the workshop and making a robot it's like okay one more hour at this drawing and
then I get to make a robot and I finally realized I don't need this stress I love making robots I'm going to do that and
my God by the end of the pandemic they were just piling up all over the house I
thought I could do shows for the rest of my life and I will never sell all these robots
and guess what I sold out the robots well that was a really great realization
where the business minded side of you was thinking of making a shift based on
the the challenges that you might have identified but when you got right down
to it the reason we get into this independent artist business is to do the thing that like charges are batteries
and gets us all jazzed and damn it robot making gets you gets Jazz I am so lucky
to be doing what I'm doing yeah so one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you was about that that insatiable curiosity
that incredible imagination that you have and I've been across from you at
shows and I feel like we share this in common that is when we see people walk
by not everybody but we do get crowds that kind of like their eyes light up
and they walk in and there's like an energy and a vibe that happens and I
feel like you have that imagination with what you make and people step up and they look at your pieces and then they
laugh and then they smile and then they ask what kind of drugs I'm on what kind of drugs are you on Amy as I tell them
don't drink and drill no I don't do any drugs uh pot puts me to sleep and that's
about all I've tried no I I think imagination is so foreign to a lot of
people that they figure there must be drugs involved and okay that's the only way to access it or something right yeah
no that's I found that to be quite the opposite but that's just me so you said
you came from this corporate illustrator background tell me about that you know I
I've been listening to every single one of your podcasts and there are quite a few of the people that you've
interviewed including will had uh I had a background in graphic design and or
illustration as I did and yeah I spent 27 years first working in-house for
companies like Hallmark and current if anybody remembers current and then I
went freelance and was doing children's books and greeting cards and giftware and
I am much happier doing this but I believe that the 27 years I spent as a
as an illustrator has given me and has given a lot of art show artists a real
leg up because we are in a mindset of having to produce
work with other people in mind it's not just uh I am just going to go in my
studio and paint whatever floats my boat and if people don't like it then they're wrong no I I come at it from a a
Viewpoint of what do I like to do and what's going to sell what are those
diagrams when you've got interlocking circles Venn diagrams the Venn diagram
yeah if you can have a Venn diagram where you're in the middle of making
work that is profitable that there's a demand for but that's also fulfilling
you and makes you want to go into the studio every day and that you're good at that you have a
talent for if you can find that sweet spot in the middle you are golden so the illustrator
background gave you skills of creating something with kind of a marketing idea
in mind of of what's going to hit what's going to resonate with people and also problem solving because you get a lot of
art directors that they don't really know what they want but you have to figure out what this is too
gray can you fix it for me or something they give you something me something different I we could do an
entire podcast on stupid art direction that I've gotten over the years and but
but that said I mean I I know the some of the fine artists look down on a street artist because we are literally
selling ourselves on the street yeah and going out a bunch of well you
know I'm doing what I want to do and it just happens to me that it's something
that people want to buy yeah and that's not a dirty word I mean people want to
buy us yes it is money's the dirtiest word well tell me
how did being in this career that you were good at how did that transition into being an
independent artist I mean were you feeling like oh you were stifled no not
at all 2008 happened uh by the in 2008 I was uh freelancing I was no longer
working in-house there are very few places that even have in-house artists anymore I mean Hallmark is down to just
a skeleton crew they Farm everything out because it's a lot cheaper to have artists working on spec
so all of my freelance work dried up but at about that time I had started
playing around with found objects and and I've always had this kind of bizarre
fascination with robots and I love going to flea markets because it's like a
treasure hunt I mean if you go to the mall you know exactly what you're going to find but a flea market you could find anything
and I used to make stained glass windows back when I was in college so I know how to solder yeah I did that for a little
bit and all of the cuts on my fingers and how small of a process I'm like no hot glass is definitely my Lane it was I
mean it was popular back in the 80s when I was doing it now it's a It's A Hard Sell but it's just like every every
interest and every skill I've picked up in my entire life just sort of coalesced
around these robots and I found that I was much happier making them than I ever was as an
illustrator were you making them just for yourself was it was it was just a hobby and I had some very dear friends
who owned a craft Gallery here in Raleigh and I showed them what I was
doing and they just sort of looked at me said why aren't you selling these and I said right I don't know how and you
probably didn't even know that they were like uh we all know your work is good but I'm sure at first when you made it
you're like didn't even think it'd be something somebody else would want you thought it was just for you right oh I thought they were great at the time I
looked back on my early robots I go oh my God I owe an apology to anybody that ever bought these These are crap oh but
they were different no one was doing anything like it so I said well I don't know how to sell them I quit the Girl
Scouts because I didn't like selling the cookies going door to door and they said well you can do art shows I said oh no
no every time I go to an art show it's either 100 degrees or it's raining I I don't want to do art shows and I said
well you can go around to galleries like me I said no did you not hear me about the Girl Scouts you had this long list
of No No's exactly and they said well we think the best thing that for you would
be to go to a wholesale show so I said well okay that I could handle
that it's indoors and um and people would be coming to me and it's a way
different vibe too because selling to people who are going to resell the work
has a different level of kind of like distance than like the people who are
going to fall in love and own it themselves I I did the Philadelphia the the buyers
the buyer's market of American craft that was 2009 it was just March I think
of 2009 the two Gallery owners that uh coaxed me to doing this they set me up
with an artist that they knew who did art fairs and she and her brother did
this work and of all of the 1200 people in the building he ended up being by
total coincidence in the booth directly across from us okay so we spent the
entire weekend going running over to his booth going Eric what do I do he give us good advice and but you need
to be doing art festivals so we kept trying to take him out to dinner or buy him a drink or get him
lunch and he kept saying nope nope nope I'm fine and finally at the end I guess we were
pestering to him so much he said look if you want to pay me back the day
you get home from this show on Monday is the deadline for the St Louis Art Fair I
want you to take the 30 or 40 dollars that you would have spent buying me lunch and I want you to apply to this
Art Festival and if you don't get in you'll learn something and if you do get in I'll tell you what to do okay so
naively enough we applied right not necessarily knowing that this wasn't
just like a local local show you're like traveling across the country to a big a
biggie right off the bat I didn't know it was such a biggie I was so naive it
was it's I've told people it's kind of like saying well golly I think I'd like to be in a play and then getting cast in
a Broadway show exactly right right so we uh we got in and bought a tent and
the first show was the most stressful thing I have ever done in my life you
said you bought a 10 I'm sure you had to buy everything that go goes into what you need to do to show up for your first
show right you didn't want to do this but the encouragement of somebody saying you need to do this right that's a lot
of risk yes and I was digging into savings because I hadn't had any freelance artwork in over a year and I
was spending all this money buying parts for robots but the the indoor show the
wholesale show they had a rule that you couldn't use any power tools without getting the union involved so I designed
these columns that you will still see two of usually in my booth and every show made out of corrugated tin that had
this really sort of retro steampunk look to them and they just screwed together
these columns they looked like they were sitting on top of squashed octopi there
were all these legs coming out of every single one to try to make them level and we were such newbies we didn't realize
that the tent had telescoping legs so that you could write it so that the tent
was leaning one way and the The Columns are leaning the other and then the other
thing that the art show had that the um wholesale show didn't was little kids
and they were kind of bored at the art show and then they get to my booth and it's like oh toys there you go and they
were trying to pull themselves up on these wobbly columns to get a better look and things were falling over and on
the opening night uh a woman came in and swung around to look at something and
she had a great big bag off her shoulder and it cleared a column full of robots and she spun around to see what that
crash was and dumped an entire glass of wine on fill these are all like the
learning curve in this industry it's true you know it can't be underestimated
how just showing up for the first time what we know now after doing it for 15
years or 20 years or whatever that you just take for granted and everything was
like a catastrophe at every turn right I mean at one point I realized that the kids needed to see what was on the
pedestal so I took some of them off and put them on the ground and I will never forget that this parents came in and
said okay hands in your pockets till we look with our eyes not with our hands don't touch so he puts his hand in his
pockets and he turns around to look at his parents he just glares at them and he walks over to the ones on the ground
and kicks one because he wasn't touching it with his hands right well I mean that
is true your work does have that that broad age well appeal do you feel like
if you can make them appeal to the kid that that is something that maybe the
parent and the child in your booth will will bond over and it turns into a sale
yeah actually now that I have a much better setup I don't I love having kids
in the booth they are wonderful they ask the best questions most of them are
respectful and keep their hands in their pockets I even have some special ones that I will let the kids play with
so no I love having kids in the booth now but that first show was just such a disaster
that I was so stressed out the whole time that it wasn't until we pulled away
and got about an hour outside of St Louis that Phil said how much money did we make and I said I have no freaking
idea okay like a tornado got out the sales book and it was like oh my God
Eric was right we need to be doing art shows we just made a lot of money but I
really had no idea you went through this like Whirlwind of
experiences not even being able to keep track and then to look back on it and go
oh my God this is they're right we need to be doing this and the problem with
wholesaling is I couldn't create a line sheet because everyone is different it was hard for them to order that's
exactly right that store can't come in and order 10 of this particular sample that you've made because it all just
depends on the part you find and the inspiration that you get from it I mean
tell me about that process so first of all your business name is is full bot
and that stands for found object Bots but I also like that it works on that sort of faux faux level
as well oh like f a yeah right like the French faux fake right robot but then I
figured if I called it faux Bots with an faux I would probably have killed someone by now going thoughts but odd
squats that oh yeah there you go that was good that you you didn't go down that road so um I wanted to ask about
that process so when you started building your robots did you go through
the flea markets and you would find these Antique Parts and bits and you'd
say you know what this could be uh whatever this could be an elephant that's exactly is that where it came from that's exactly it I I used to do
theater as well and by the way I've noticed a lot of people in uh on your
podcast have some sort of theater background as well which would touch on it but I used to go to the flea market a
lot looking for props because although I enjoy being on stage age I feel that if
you have the privilege of being on stage you should do some backstage work and I love building props which are not the
sets the the handheld items that that the actors carry and so I was always at
the flea market looking for stuff for shows oh there's a bit of a scavenger hunt in that regards like you know
trying to find the antique telephone that goes on the periods you know right side table or whatever and then would
you find yourself like falling in love with all these little trinkets that maybe didn't have anything to do with
with what you were looking for some of them some of them I was like well I'm not going to build the theater for this
one I'm just going to keep this one because if I if I build the theater and they keep it they're going to lose it so I'm keeping this so one for you two for
me one for you three for me and eventually if you don't start doing
something with them and you become a hoarder yeah right yeah so so what I'm
wondering is which comes first is it a drawing of the the robot or do you find
the parts at the flea market and that inspires ultimately what the piece turns into it's it's I I don't draw them
anymore I I work in two ways well usually I just find a piece and I put it on the table and then I mix and match
other pieces around it to get a feel for how it's going to look and what I'm happy with the design that I put it all
together start constructing but then there are other times when you mention an elephant I knew I wanted to make an
elephant it was years before I was at a flea market and I saw this
piece that was a screen door catch to keep your screen door from blowing in the wind I said oh my God that looks
like an elephant trunk and then okay then we do elephants yeah so getting
pushed in this direction to do the retail shows where you're making one-of-a-kind pieces and being an
independent how would you compare this lifestyle what does being an independent artist mean to you versus what you knew
beforehand with being an illustrator um I love the social aspect of it that's
that's my number one reason well that in making a living but get I have met the
most wonderful people and I find that I if I stop doing it I
would miss them I would probably become one of those art show junkies that just flies into a show and walks around
saying hi to my friends and they'll say where's your booth I said nope nope just here's here just here so those
connections those are the yeah thought that's your driving force aside from the fun of making the work doing what we do
in in this kind of Market it is all about false connections that that is I
wouldn't be talking to you right now without art fairs yeah exactly uh getting back to your illustrator
background what kind of got you on the path towards that was it was it kind of a creative kid who needed to find a good
job so that was a career path for you is that what illustration was for you my uh
my parents were very encouraging but I don't think they were real crazy about the idea of me being a fine artist
they were much more supportive of me being an illustrator where I might go
and get a job and work for a company and I ended up going to San Jose State
University in California that had was about an hour away from where we were
living and had one of the best illustration departments in in the country certainly in California
and there was always that tension between the fine artists and the the
who are doing yeah the sellouts yeah well what was little Amy like were
you were you a little creative you said you did theater and all that stuff yeah yeah well I was drawing from a very
early age but um the theater sort of came because of the drawing in high school
the theater teacher saw my work in one of the display cases outside the art
room and said hey could you do a poster for us and from there it's a short short
step to could you build these props could you paint this picture of Elwood P doubt and Harvey could you keep this
backdrop and so I joined the the theater class and eventually after about two years I
was there all the time anyway working on the sets and eventually I said you know what there's this little tiny part that
in the man who came to dinner where she did one of the two neighbor ladies walks in with the calves foot jelly and she's
on for about a minute I'm here all the time anyway I bet I could get that part and ended up getting cast in a huge part
oh so that was another like uh dip in the toe
in the water kind of like the wholesale thing and then you kind of get pushed into another another Arena and then the
exact same thing happened uh in my adult life I I was living in Colorado Springs
and working for current and I met Phil and he was very involved with theater okay he was a theater major at
University of Texas and it was like can you can you do this poster for us can you can you help me with this set
backdrop kit and eventually it's like all right there's this one little character that suggests in the last
scene I'm here all the time anyway you're saying this is Bill's story he had kind of the similar thing this is me
this is he wrote me into doing all the backstage stuff and then was like there's this little tiny roll for for a
girl in the last act and I thought I could get that and it got cast in a much bigger bigger part
and I did a lot of theater for many many years I missed that too
but it's very it's very similar to doing art shows except that the the auditions
are much more painful than applying to a show because you don't have to be there
yeah I don't have to be there to uh to audition for an art show you just send
them money in some pictures you just get the letter back or the the email back now but uh yeah no you don't have to
stand face front and and see the rejection eye to eye that is I can
attest to that that brand of humiliation that is is tough
auditions always made me so nervous I had to generally take a Xanax or
something just to get through them but being on stage is completely different because that's not I always felt like it
wasn't really me it was this other person and this other person always knew what to say well that is definitely how
an introvert can find themselves in the theater and be on stage people will be
like well that doesn't make any sense How could an introvert be on the stage but you're taking on a different role
you're taking on a different character it's not you right you're just losing yourself in another person yeah the only
time you'd get popped out of that is when somebody else forgets their lines and and suddenly you have to figure out
stuff I had that issue when when we started
the podcast I'm like this isn't me playing a character this is this is this is what I think and this is my
conversations and what comes to mind for me and there is a vulnerability there that is just so different that I wasn't
prepared for for that that part of it so that's been kind of getting me out of my
my comfort zone so you have a theater background too yes I was a theater major at the University
of Northern Iowa graduated as a acting major and I was I pursued theater as an
actor in Minneapolis and that's where I met my wife we were both working in
restaurants remember that now I so many people have had a theater background I've forgot which ones did yes
it helps with the art show stuff too I mean talking to collectors and being right in
the booth and yeah connecting definitely you you mentioned introversion and
extroversion well I found the textbook definition for me at least of the difference between the two is it's like
Phil and I Phil is a total extrovert he at the end of the day of talking to
people he he's gained energy from talking to people yes I am drained by it
but as an actor I am playing a role as you know the that funny lady we met at
the art show that yeah sold us this robot and but at the end of the day oh I
just wanna I Wanna Be someplace quiet with my friends yeah yeah and just
decompress and and get ready to do it all over again
I've got so better at it when we first started out it was just assumed that I'd be in the front talking to people and it
would be in the back wrapping things up but it worked out to be just the opposite he was so good at talking to
people and I really enjoyed hiding in the back well for those who don't know
you you are you're the whole creative side you're the artist you create the work Phil is your husband Phil Crone
although Will likes to refer to him as Phil bot you're Amy bot and philbott
but tell us how your partnership Works how does he fit into your partnership and business
he does absolutely everything except make the robots he draws to the shows he helps me set up he does one thing with
the robots that I don't do and that is early on
Phil has also has a background in computer stuff and early on he said and
he's the one that keeps spreadsheets and is into numbers and things God bless him
early on you know I do not the part of my brain that is supposed to hold
numbers is just there's a black hole there and early on he said um you know
you need to number these and I said hello have we met numbers no me
collectors are going to want them numbered I said fine you number them so he um he we decided on cutting out
pieces of sheep copper and stamping the number on them along with the word
phobots that's brilliant I mean that is the collectible one-of-a-kind nature of it it makes it takes it up a notch as to
making your work special to being collectible and and they've got the one
you know what I mean or they've got the 1715 or something you know what I mean
of the robots that have been birthed by Amy Flynn right right and he enjoys
keeping the spreadsheet but at the shows he will sit out front and of course everybody assumes he's the artist he can
be wearing a great big badge that says Hi I'm the assistant then they will say well how did you start making these and
bless his heart every single time he said well you'd be better off talking to the artist my lovely and talented wife
Amy Flynn in the back of the booth I'm the eye candy oh my God that is such a great way to
approach that he has such a style about him that he's able to present it that way that is so great he loves telling
people he's the eye candy and sometimes and it always gets a laugh and sometimes it gets sort of a pat on
the shoulder like yes you are dear well it turns misogyny on its ear and I mean
don't you think the fact that people will typically think that the man is the artist because sure because they're
robots yeah but but for him to then make a joke at his own expense as being
like the as the diminutive role the the Lesser role and and he he so gracefully
hands the do credit to you I think that's our best he is absolutely the
best I could not do these shows without him and I'm so happy that although he's
still a bit weak with the the hip surgery he's not in pain anymore so yeah
yeah but I like I said I don't know how many more years of this we have left he's uh 72 I'm 62. how did that happen
no kidding I I took you guys to be each 10 years younger than that that's not
even that doesn't even register yeah that is that is insane how many more years of unloading a van and putting up
a tent do we have in US physically it is it is it is stressful it is physically difficult yeah I'm gonna be a jeweler no
I'm not there you go no you're not you're gonna make robots for your to wear around your neck actually I I do
that but I can't sell them at shows because they could be construed as jewelry anyhow got the whole the whole
uh multi-category thing and anybody who wants to make Bank can say they're a
jeweler and if they sneak in a different category that's that's the big No-No in our business I I am guilty of that when
I first started doing shows I was making the the little tiny robots that you could wear around your neck and I never
thought of them as jewelry I thought of them as little tiny robots somebody turned me into a show and and they made
me take them down and I I want to apologize to every Jeweler out there I was so naive I am so sorry I did not
mean to offend you weren't trying to to encroach
um I wanted to ask about some of the characters that you that you come up with like there's some iconic characters
like somebody like let's say Ruth Bader Ginsburg or whatever where there are
people who are important to you and you want to do a a tribute or a piece that
that I mean what types of people or which characters in like real life influence you in that regard in your
designs you know it has to be someone that is so has there's something so
recognizable about them that you can portray them in robot form and I can't
do that with many people with Ruth Bader Ginsburg well her initials are iconic
sure and then I found some other stuff relating to the law that I was able to incorporate but most of the time I don't
do characters or individual people I mean I do I really enjoy doing
a Wizard of Oz set when I can because they are so iconic that people recognize
them right away but for the most part no I I don't uh I
stay away from real people well I really get the theater thing because it feels
like you're creating characters you're not just making a robot like oh this could be a shoulder or this could be a
head or this could be eyelashes it's like I try to give them I try to give them personalities but they're not
always based on them a whole script well there's the calendar right actually write their script yeah
but it feels like everyone that you make has a name and it has a back story and
it has it does it it has a life to it which is is theatrical well thank you
well gosh now that you mention it it's like you're writing a little story yeah I've and I've been told that my booth
looks like a theater so all that that set design came into good use absolutely with like uh how you
create the the stanchions across them so that's a good way to protect them from those those fingers to keep them from
getting broken and knocked around the stanchions almost like you're at a theater right right give them a little
stand and there's really more to to keep them in when it gets windy than to to keep people out oh sure sure but I like
the way it looks you even give them a heart every one of them has their own a
heart inside like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz oh there you go Wizard of Oz was a huge deal when I was growing up
because they're it was on TV once a year I remember I rarely saw it in theaters you didn't
have DVD players or movies on demand at the time it was you saw it that one time
it came on the year and it was a big event and and you'd watch it every year exactly it wasn't like oh I've seen it
so I I don't need to see it again it was like no we need to experience it year after year exactly and of course I'm
making Tin Men so it just seemed obvious to put a heart in them because that's
what the Tin man wants yeah he wants the heart at first I only put them in the ones that opened up so you could see it
but so many people were disappointed that theirs didn't have a heart that very early on I just started dropping a
heart and every single one and they don't all let you see it but you can hear it rattling around in there so even
if you can't let's say open the body because it's meant to be closed the rattling lets you know it right it's in
there a lot of the tins open from the top and if I don't solder it shut then people do 10 to pick things up by the
head and then their body falls off and that's a rough way to find out there's a heart inside so you go to the flea
markets you find these objects that speak to you and then you craft them and you put them
together and a lot of times you're using let's say Old Spice tins from you know
the 1940s or something I mean do you ever find that that use of nostalgia
just hooks people absolutely I mean I just started using
the old stuff because I just liked the way it looked okay and but the then when
I started selling it in public and people would come in and get teary eyed
oh my grandmother had one of these and or she used this brand of spices it's
it's really gratifying to see people relate to the objects I love that that
happened to us that happened to Renee when she saw the cap that we bought from you a couple years back that that spice
tin was her grandma and she had to have it and it was so special to her and it's
special to us where we have it it's that I really think that that is that is an important part of making work
for the public is that you can't do it externally where you have to say well if I'm going to use this tin there's going
to be people fall in love with it but if we connect to the sense of nostalgia and then the people come
to it you know what I'm saying that they find they find us as opposed to us trying to find them yeah Nostalgia has
really been hitting me lately with with artwork okay so now I'm going to bring up a topic that might be a little
uncomfortable and we'll just kind of waddle our way through it as as comfortably as as you feel on it and
that is you know you're going about your business you've had this Evolution where you find yourself now at the road shows
and you're making work that energizes you you're you're meeting people you're forming a community
and your work has not been seen and it's almost like it takes the World by storm
and then you start seeing your work or people saying that they have your work
and you know that you weren't at that market or you've never been where they said they bought it right and you start
seeing your stuff kind of popping up around the country at different shows and yeah we've used the term tribute
artist I love that so much but how does it feel when somebody kind of knocks you
off well first of all I have no issue with people making robots of their own I
I think it's fantastic more power to you have fun kids okay but sometimes it
takes me years to come up with a design sure and it is really discouraging when
a couple of months later I go online and I see somebody's made a copy of it yeah
because you know they didn't put in the work and you know they don't and they maybe don't even have the creativity
that they can put in that work and make it they just have to steal or or take
what they've seen I'm not letting it bother me because you know if it bothers you you can do one of two things you can
let it eat you alive yes or you can sue and I don't want to do either of those
things well ensuing is so difficult because honestly unless you copyright every single robot you make it's a
costly and a process that no independent artist can really really feasibly do you
copyright law is such that once a piece of art is in fixed form it is copyrighted if you want to get
additional damages you have to copyright it but I'm not going to do that okay okay yeah what I've come to the
conclusion of uh in the long run is that anybody who is a real artist who has the
manual skills who has the vision who has the sense of design to be a real artist
isn't going to be copying somebody else's work they're going to be doing their own work
and the people that are copying well they don't really usually have the
skills or the design sense so the copies aren't as good and really the only issue
I'm having is that I can't even do shows in certain areas anymore because it has
been so inundated by particular tribute artists shall we say yeah that all I
hear is oh we bought one from you three weeks ago at name of show I've never
done before and Phil will say no we've never done that show he actually got
almost got into a fight once with somebody who said yes you were there I saw you why are you lying about this
this I saw this no we really have never been so yeah and and I think a lot of us
can run into like I'll say for me so I'm gonna be like oh yeah I bought your glasses blah blah blah and people can
have this mistaken idea of what your work is just because oh it was glass and
then they show you the picture and it looks nothing like your work but in real life in your case it is so identifiable
and it has its own vision and so and then I'm sure you go on online and you
look at who they've referenced or whatever and you're like no these are knockoffs these are actual attempts at doing what I do well and the name phobot
has become so synonymous with uh found object robots that people and I have had
so many times when people have bought one from a tribute artist and it's broken so they look up phobot and they
call me and say it's broken and I've learned now to say can you show me a picture so that I can see what parts I
would need to order in order to fix it and they send a picture and say and that's not mine it's not mine yeah I've
I had a woman at a show in Florida come in just with a really loud voice saying I bought one of these from you at such
and such a show and it just fell apart and I said I've never done that show
you're looking for so and so uh-huh and I'm back in the right direction really
loud so that the other people in the booth wouldn't think I may butts that just fall apart well that is she was
obnoxious anyway but that is the deal too you don't want to like lose the 10 people considering purchasing your
pieces to think this is legitimate and your stuff is going to fall apart so you kind of have to be diplomatic on how you
kind of handle it and get her out and move it along yeah I just made sure to be even louder
than her okay so no diplomacy just get out just use my theater voice that is not my
robot no I a couple of years ago I um I woke
up one morning and I turned on my computer and I for some reason I've got like 15 Facebook messages which is
unusual yeah so I start clicking on them and one of them is from Will and this
and they were all saying Amy go to go to such and such I think I guess it was art show jury evaluation where you go to get
help with your your jewelry pictures gotcha right one of those evaluation sites yep yeah out and I had like 15
people saying Amy go to this site so I went there and there is what at first glance I thought was one of my robots
but it wasn't it was so close I mean right down to the purse that the robot
was carrying wow so you had people had your back people always have my back they don't need to defend me you know
just if you see a knockoff at a show just be nice to them they're just doing their best I'm doing okay we just had our best year
ever so yeah obviously it's not impacting my ability to make a living so go ahead make robots but try to find
your own voice yeah you'll be much happier if you do well right because there's the Integrity behind it the
satisfaction of making something not just that you constructed and sold but
something that you dreamed up and sold I mean that's really the key right there that that's the the glorification of the
the Redemption behind it is is that somebody wants what came out of your magical brain
a magical brain well if anything I think maybe it's provided you with a sense of
of resilience because I mean they can maybe take what you've done and what you're doing but they can't anticipate
what comes next you know well and I am grateful to the copycats because it has spurred me on to
try to make better and better work to try and make things that are more and more difficult to copy so those are the
puzzles you have to solve you so being a puzzle solver has been a big part of your life yeah so that's a puzzle to
solve sure and I hope I continue to evolve there's I remember seeing a an
interview with somebody I think it was maybe Pablo casals who was still practicing in his 90s and somebody says
you're good at this why are you still practicing and he said something like because I think I'm starting to make
some progress I really thought that by now people
would be tired of these robots and would have moved on to the the next thing but they're still buying them and I'm still
enjoying it and and I hope I'm still getting better at it well that that copycatting has baked in the cake for
you this mentality of striving to be better it didn't put you back on your
heels I mean I have always thought that your superpower is your imagination and and so they are
pushing you to keep that imagination fresh and you're you're solving those
problems and I find inspiration from that thank you well I think we have kind of come to a conclusion Point here this
has been a great talk Amy well I'm looking at my clock here and you've got you've got you got two more minutes here
should we film we'll do a little uh stretch
I was so worried when you said you wanted to talk to me I think I told you
that I've never crossed the ocean on a raft to gain my freedom I haven't danced
on the top of a bar to get beer money for my dad or cut off half my hand I've
led the most privileged white bread life imaginable I'm a complete Suburbia and
Catholic school and I understand that I understand where you're coming from
there a lot of these stories that we've had I mean I didn't know all of this
background about artists and I start talking to people and we hear these stories that are so profound and on the
surface yes what you just listed off are three pretty pretty interesting great stories but I don't
want to underestimate your story and it's the imagination and the creativity
it really speaks to who we are as people as who we are as Independent Artists who
want to have this life of having connections with other people making what we want to make getting
inspired by what we make and being our own boss and I mean that's it right there you know that's that's that's the
Amy fullbot story and that's what we love about Amy phobot
everyone thank you thank you well have a good one Amy and thanks so much for sitting down
and talking to me today it's been great all right have a good one okay bye you know Douglas when we first started
this project uh Amy has always been one of the people that I thought we would interview she's uh out there she knows a
million different people and uh she talks about the social aspect we all know her so I'm glad we finally got her
on the show I think it's really funny what she said about how what I first approached her she was like I didn't
have all this uh dramatic stuff happened to me uh what are we gonna talk about we just talk about our experiences it was a
great talk I love it I love talking to her yeah nice chat with her and uh thanks again Amy for for being on the
show and you know sometimes I I feel like there are these Partnerships but if you walk into the phobots booth
Phil immediately deflects to her he's like nope not the artist right you know like he's the eye candy how about that
one he's the eye candy yeah that's nice you know I especially like
it when Phil is out there setting up the show and he's got his sexy Sweat Band on over his head this is John McEnroe uh
that's awesome that's a good look Phil it's a good look but I really I mean this is this was a good talk about you
know being thankful to the the tribute artists who would have ever thought that would be something she might say that
that it pushes her to be better at what she does I was kind of surprised that that was what came out of her mouth yeah
that was
no I I do appreciate that gratitude uh idea ah it's tough I'm sure she'd like
for that not to exist but it does and it's a it's a fresh way to handle it it is it's to know that she can always be
thinking of what's next that she's got the real gift which is the creativity so the creativity it's a limitless pool
that she can keep doing new stuff where other people are chasing you know they're chasing the the interesting
design yeah they're chasing her last design exactly right and I liked what she said about that but I mean you've
got these people out there and and some of them may be listening look you know out there if you're being ethically lazy
sure you know you're you're like well this is an idea but this is like a different thing so it's it's okay it's
okay if I if I do this because it's different it's like you know deep in your heart that you're not you're not
really you didn't really come up with that you know it there's one artist that's that I used to know pretty well
and I was fairly fairly decent friends with them neighbors and and they decided
to just start ripping off another artist down to the paint color of their walls
and the photography style and the frames um you know there's a cost of being
ethically lazy you don't get any friends those guys don't have any friends if you're cheating they're they're an
analog artist and they're selling reproductions they're they're stuck in their Booth they don't really get to talk to people they're missing out on
one of the main portions of what even Amy Says is like she misses the camaraderie I know the social aspect
yeah I know how much you're missing that right now and it's it's a huge part of what we do and the offense intensity it
comes down to it for me because this business is hard enough as it is the setting up the selling the going on to
the next one but for it to feel like there's a hollow Integrity or a hollow
authenticity behind it because that's really for me what makes me get back on
the road after a bad show or to really feel on cloud nine when I've had a great show and that is the stuff that we
dreamed up Renee and I it hit or it didn't hit and I want to get another crack at it you know what I
mean and it's all about that Integrity with the work and if that's missing if it's all about just being a salesperson
man you sure picked a hard industry to just sell stuff yeah you know what I'm saying exactly exactly once you just you
know if you're just about selling there's a lot easier things to do is go sell hot dogs yeah right
well on that fine note I think that's a wrap for this week uh great talking to
you will everyone else out there have good shows make big bucks enjoy your time in Florida and we'll see you the
next time that's right be kind to each other on the social media quit getting into your little Slappy fights
March will be here before you know it yes it will this podcast is brought to you by the National Association of
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