Hello. I'm Bonny Snowdon, ex-corporate person, a mother and successful artist entrepreneur. It wasn't that long ago though, that I lacked the confidence vision and support network to focus on growing my dream business. Fast-forward past many life curve balls, waves of self doubt, and so many lessons learned and you'll see ignite my thriving online colour, pencil, artist community, a community that changes members' lives for the better. It gives me freedom to live abundantly whilst doing what I love and spending quality time with my beloved family and dogs all whilst creating my best artwork with coloured pencils and mentoring others to do the same. But this life wasn't always how it was for me. It used to only exist in my imagination. I've created the It's a Bonny Old Life podcast to help increase people's confidence, share mine and my community's experience and hope through fascinating personal stories champion the other amazing humans in my personal professional and membership community and create another channel through which I can support others to realise their dreams. If you're a passionate colour pencil artist or an aspiring one, who's looking to create their best work and a joyful life you love you're in the right place. Grab a cuppa and a custard cream. Let's get cracking.
Hello and welcome back. I'm so excited about this week's episode of it's a Bonny old life taking inspiration from others, losing yourself in beautiful images. Believing that one day you could be doing something similar is what dreams are made of. And of course, dreams are the starter plans and goals.
Today's guest has been my biggest inspirations is becoming involved in the art world back in 2016. Of course it helps that you mostly paints one of my favourite animals, although he is very much a celebrity to me and many others think middle-aged fangirl here. I know, I know you can roll your eyes as much as you like, but he really is fabulous.
I'm delighted to introduce the one and only Tony O'Connor. Oh, hello, Bonny. Our teams. Well, actually I'm, I'm, I'm sitting here in my little studio, new Yorkshire it's snowing, like mad outside, Snowing in Sligo country, but we've just got these blue, skinny And lovely. And tell me, are you in your studio or are you in your house or I'm in the office?
I mean, often I'm not at my studio because I just finished a couple of meetings. So it'd be high as the case, by the end of this recording. If I stayed endurance and came into the office, hunted my wife out and I said, I need, I need comfort in space and warms and your computers. Very good. So, and is your office,
is it near your home? Is it just, is it there or do you have to travel to get to No, it's just the front room that we converted it into an office chair and start to knock down. So it's so a proper office stuff. Guess we were fortunate enough to have the space to it. So real works from here when she's not teaching.
And I get to do all my prints and stuff from Arizona in the morning. So it's just handy. Keep it out in the studio because everything gets covered in paint and it goes into the studio. Yes, yes. I can imagine. I can imagine. So I have been a, well, you know, I'm a huge fan of yours and I think you are the first person I followed on Instagram.
When I, when I kind of got into Instagram, I think it was probably 2016. And you were always such a massive inspiration, I think because of your absolutely glorious paintings, but also because you seemed quite accessible and you know, you always answer questions and you were, you seemed normal. Thanks. I'll take that. That's a compliment that I haven't gotten very often your normal,
then I certainly take that, But that's quite, you know, if you're, if you're a fan of somebody and you can comment on their work and they, and they respond back to you and that's a huge thing and it makes, makes your funds, you know, feel like you're a real person and it makes them feel really respectful. I think I was particularly inspired by that,
but also you're absolutely beautiful, beautiful paintings. And we kind of know a little bit about you. You've got a, you've got a bio on your website and I just wonder if you could give me a little bit more insight into your absolute love of horses. It does. The thing is pony. I actually hate them, paint them ironically, it's,
it's a fear thing. And I'm just like, if I paint enough, maybe I'll get like, no, I grew up with horses. We were, we family were black since back in the village shape, broken up in north Korean. So as from a young age, I was into fortunate my grand uncle. Mostly we didn't have any fancy, fancy horses.
You know, there were just farm horses and a couple of hunters and mostly donkeys and coins to forge to be shot. I was a good boy. I got to turn the bed. I was, which was great fun, like, you know, dealing with fire and molten metal when you're, you know, 7, 8, 9, it's great crack. Sure. What could go wrong?
And I think that that's just, where did all the horses come from is from being a kid and being into fortune watch and they'll see shoot horses. So I didn't go down that route myself with manual labor because my hands were just couldn't we couldn't be getting them a dirty. Yeah. And the back back as well, I imagine I had horses and the farriers that I used,
oh my goodness. They're back issues. And they have to wear like, sort of, you know, things around their backs to say, to support women. I have to do that as well. If I spend a long day or hunched over a drawing desk, you know, you get up here and up, oh my God. And cabin my back.
And I'm like, what have you doing all day? I've joined a unicorn. I'm like, get up, get out, get out. I can't even complain to my dad. Like he's, you know, at work in needs, a welder needs, you know, I know my brothers are welders security actually wants to in physical hard labor and I'm complaining I get shut up.
Get out defeck. Do you have, do you have a similar thing in that? When I first started doing art, full-time my lovely mum said to me, oh, I'm so delighted. You've retired. Okay. Oh, I can, again, like, isn't it great that you can make money out of your hobby? And I'm like, snuck my hobby flipping career.
My hobby is my only fans account, which, you know, it's not going well at all. I mean, you know, you say it's your career and it's your work and everything. And, and I'm, I'm totally with you on that, but it's clear that you absolutely love it. Yeah. I do. Like when I took the leap 2011 to go full time,
I did look back once or twice, a couple of years ago. but that, you know, every, every artist has a moment of weakness, but it's been a bit, it was the best decision I've ever made. I love it. I love having the independence. I love just being able to do my own stuff and walk into my studio and just do whatever I want.
Well, if I'm not working in commissioning work to whatever I want and yeah, it's just scary, but it's worth it. It's just worth it. Yeah, absolutely. Do you know, it's funny that you said that, that do whatever you want to do. I was looking, I think I was laying in bed this morning, going through Instagram,
came across a picture and I was like, oh gosh, I would just love to just do something just for me. You know, just sit in my studio. And I have actually, I've started doing some, some oil paint while learning, and they're not particularly good, but they are just, I know I spotted your horse. she's not a horse to know.
I better watch my back with this. And you go, you just stick to your drawings and leave them to horses, to meet competition without you adding to the pylon. You flatter me, but is total rubbish. I find paint, brushes. Well, I'm getting to grips with them a little bit, but I find them really, really terrifying. There's no sort of friction to them.
There's no, you know, the brush just sort of keeps going, whereas with the pencil and you can control it. But with It's a learned skill, you'll get it. Don't worry. It'll come naturally after a one. Yeah. Maybe you're working. Do you work mainly in acrylics At the moment I do, because my studio is freezing and just finding the oils that are taking a while to dry until I insulate a studio,
plus I have so much work on it. Moment. Speed. Your critics. Okay. So it's just to make life a lot easier to go from Hawaiian to acrylic or a critic oil. You know, if you've used both mediums, just so you know, some people find toilet pens really scary to think. Now, practicing, you can put on a good base there with your critics and then flip.
You might as well just tidy it up a bit. But yeah, it's all the critics at the moment. Full-time sales assistant person in a tune shop. When I was in college, I obviously did my degree age dip and it was teaching and I hated it. Hated teaching teaching in secondary school, teaching art, fine art. Yeah. Art and design girls in a convent,
you know, 13 to 17 year olds. I just got sacred draws or draw. I just, I noticed I was young enough. I was just kind of, I was getting it. I didn't drive it at the time I was getting the bus home from teaching and it was just reading the paper on the bus and I'm like, I hate it so much.
And I spotted two as a job advertising to shop right beside, before I lived, you were looking for a sales assistant and stuff, go in there and work for a year enough to parents to do a master's. So I can, you know, couple stuff on and teach third devil as opposed to secondary school level. Nine years later, I was tending into two shops getting more and more Visier and pottied want,
you don't need that script. Now you need a different group. Just get a guy in because you don't want to use that drill. I was like, oh, it was terrible. But I was painting at nighttime and stuff like that. So at least I had done a slight sliver of sanity, but yeah, that's what I did. I was working in the tuition and pretending to be an artist at nighttime until about 2009,
I went to a life coach enterprise on a radio to go to was a gym membership. And it was all about changing yourself. You know, it was called key turnover. You know, it was like three months of intensive gym training and a couple of sessions with a life coach and you know, all about changing your mindset and stuff. Yeah. Mumbo jumbo,
crap. I just wanted to work out and lose, lose a few pounds. I started to feel better and it was really funny. It was just like the one I lost a few pounds, but domain thing, Cameron was from the life coach. He actually challenged me. He goes, are you happy with your work? And I'm like, God,
no, because why aren't you doing anything about it? I'm like, I don't have to time. I'm busy, I'm work eight to five or six. And here's a quote to do in the evenings and watch TV or go to the gym. He goes, why aren't you working? Then he goes to challenge you. This was in March because I challenge you to get cracking on and get an exhibition by the end of the year of work.
And it was like, I don't know anyone, no one knows me. I'm like, I'm not even an unheard of artists because I'm nobody. No, one's going to give me an exhibition. And I had one painting of a horse and I content, like I contacted three places and I heard nothing about this one place got back to me. He goes,
yeah, we really loved that painting. Can you show us some more? And I said, yeah, give me two weeks and I'll show you one or two more. I said, that's great. Couple of weeks later, I showed him work in the rig. Great. Do you think you could have 20 or 25 paintings? So by September we can hand them here and I'm like,
okay, I'll do it. So then from that on or to just spend every evening after work and weekends building up a collection of work and had the exhibition in September, 2009. And that was technically when it clicked that I could make a career out of this. Yeah. It wasn't too long afterwards. I just feel like butter galleries got to con contact and wanted work and commissions cards coming in and just getting busier and busier and busier.
And then I said, right, I'm going to have to, something's going to break here. I have to give something to recession here in Ireland. I might as well give up my job and start painting seems like a good idea at the time. And I did. And fortunately there was a big group of artists opening a studio in the city center called sample studios.
I applied for a space there and got it. And I moved, I quit work on him on a Friday and I moved into the studio to work on Monday and I just yeah. Put your foot on the accelerator. And I haven't stopped really since. Wow. Oh gosh. Honestly, I wasn't expecting that at all. I totally get what you mean about,
you know, when people talk about coaching is a very, it's very in, I think it's been very in for quite a long time. I qualified as a coach in 2015 and you know, I don't think people quite realise how profound I'm going to fish. I like, like I was, I had totally had written it off. I had written off go to the coach before I had,
when I heard that was part of the price of Reiki. I don't need that. Like, there's nothing wrong with my head. I'm fine. It's just my physical, mental, and just physical stuff I would fix. And that one session really, really worked. It just got me thinking if that spark or that seed can be implanted, you know,
that's, I would never knock it. It's such a good thing. So I would always tell someone, go, go to school just to have a chat, because if you're just talking, you come to the realization yourself, you just need someone to push your project or just ask that one question or just challenge you to do something. And then it's up to you.
Like I've coached, didn't help me get an exhibition or he didn't give me a context or anything like that. He just said, go do it. So, And that's it. And that's exactly it. Isn't it. It's about, it's about kind of taking control of your life, but kind of coming to the realization that, oh, hang on a second.
Yeah, actually I can do this. It's such a simple thing. And it's almost like you think, well, why didn't I think of that one? That's it? Or why didn't I do it sooner? Or why didn't I, you know, but you know, when it happens when time is right, if it happens, you know, we should have done it 10 years ago or should,
it was a five years ago or maybe on the way to next year, but when the time is right, you just do it and just snap into Lincoln. Very scary, very hard thing to do. But then it's like, oh shit, I'm in a grownup. It is here. And it's just me, but that a little bit of fear as well,
pushes you and makes you try harder. And then you can see stuff happening and you get that little bit more confidence in yourself and you can just carry on and then you push yourself a little bit more. I know I probably got a little bit complacent recently lazy, but I'm trying to get over the desk lockdown slump from the last two years. So you can make a good running start to this year.
Let's see. No With being with, with kind of being locked down, I'm the same. You kind of become a little bit comfortable don't you and not going out and not doing stuff and not kind of planning things. And actually, No, my favourite plans at the moment are canceled plans. I know those are my favourite kind of like someone goes,
oh shit. I said to meet up for coffee. And then you're like, how can I get out of this? God send a picture of a positive outage in Tesco, Coco stored in my photo album. That's so funny. So have you got sort of like, you know, the moment you've, you've got quite few commissions on social media and everything.
Have you, are you now starting to plan for more exhibitions or is that still something that's a little bit, I suppose. Well, honestly, just before I can own, I, I, I got an email yesterday from the RDS to done on our show, just regarding the trade stone that's happening in August and I've done it every year since I can.
Full-time 2011. And obviously for the last two years, it didn't go ahead, but it is going ahead this year. It's literally like flip of a coin, what I do, what I do with this year, because I didn't need it for last two years. And I managed to survive. It's a lot of work involved, you know, to create enough work,
to fill a 12 meter stand in a couple of months. I think I'll do it. I think I wasn't going to do it because it's so many people and you know, the we're in the, so people here at the moment, so many people out there don't really want to see people after the last two years, but I think I have to just be brave and get it over and done it and go back to what I used to be and just do it.
So yeah, that's partially potential making up my mind. So that's it. And then it's Christmas, Christmas commissions. So that's, that's, that's basically it then possibly solution 20, 23. So, you know, the paintings don't happen overnight. So I have to plan that in advance. So I think I'll do about 30 pieces, Three done, but two souls during the week.
So I'm going to cover people, stopped buying the work so I can just make a collection, like, you know, it's a problem with, at painting. I need that for collection in August. And you're like, yeah, but if you started no, and I'm like so hard to juggle stuff, can you wait until August to bite? And I'm like,
you know, it's money in the bank would still kind of Joys a bit in art. And then you've got galleries screaming for your work. Like, you know, Christ, I need like I've commissions where I can pick out you. Haven't been given this work in once. And I'm like, I haven't created anything in Ruskin. The important thing is you can do whatever you want.
As long as you keep your galleries happy and your commission workout, It's a great position to be in. Isn't it? It is. Cause you could be just sitting in your studio, twiddling your tones with her work, building up her own Jeff and no one buying us or no one interested in it, but you could be happy on painting away like 11 out of a two.
So at least it's setting this and think so. No, that is it. Definitely, definitely. So I know that you use a couple of photographers don't you as well. I mean, you don't, you don't have to give details away or you know, any of your, To hide your sources. That's my favourite focus, not in worse than some cheeky versus Deanna.
And you go to, who's your photographer, where'd you get that? Can I get, you're going to take off and do your own research. Like I did answer a circuit questions, but I'm not giving it to you on. Yeah, I know. I know what you mean. So I know that you do use, you know, a couple of photographers and you do credit on every now and again,
but do you look for a specific style with your photographers that you choose? Yes. Yes I do. Yeah. A certain look that I liked as a certain photographers that I work with, I used their work because it's the same kind of as the kind of idea that I have in my head today using, you know, even going over to Germany with Andre,
it's like that she'll have a couple and we pop ideas off each other. And it's good to have that relationship with your photographer and your source imagery people. So I do sometimes I, I see some images by I'm like Christ. That's completely off to all the different, I'd like to try that like to gold leaf stuff that it is last year, just an experiment was completely different because I rarely do a full horse and stuff like that,
but sometimes it's good to experiment and try different things and being an artist as well too, as you kind of have to experiment and yeah, it's fun to do it. It might end up looking like complete Nutter mock, but it's good to try. It Puts you out of your comfort zone, but I find when you try, when I dunno, I get a lot of customers asking me for,
do you have any grays on the dark gray horses? Like I could literally just paint those for the rest of my life and desperate customers want, and they want a certain bred breed of hearts and they want a certain style and tack and all this, if you know your market and I guess that's where I'm getting lazy because you stick to it. Cause you know,
it's guaranteed to sell anyway, especially when you're making your living out of it in your debit card, but just keep on painting it. Like you're not so, but yeah, it's lost my train of thought, coffee, coffee, Talking about your, you know, knowing your audience and everything and that you kind of connect. Can you know exactly what people what's going to sell basically with the marketing side of stuff.
Do you find that that comes easily or do you have to really sort of try hard with, I actually it's, it's, it's, it's a tricky one. It's difficult in one way. It's because you're selling yourself. I hate the sales part of it. Like it's a double portion of your studying and your work and you're flogging your fucking day. Flagging down horses is so steep and you get your,
you get all the questions, you know, from what you've done and I'm going to take you to do, and you have to have people go how much you feel like you have to justify the price. And you're like, yeah, that's what it costs. Like, you know, and just say it, you know? And then there's the whole thing in Ireland that people expect you to bargain back off.
And despite the bloody thing, like, you know, if you like it, the marketing thing. Yeah, you, you kinda it's, it's a necessary evil. You have to do it or you have to, people have to see your work. You have to talk about it. You have to put prices on it unless you're aloof and you can just go your work to the Astellas by never having to speak to anyone.
But I think if people know the artists and get to talk to them and find them more, I know enabler, you know, agreeable or find out that they're not an actual ad. So they're, they're more likely to buy from the artist. So you kind of have to put yourself out there and talk. And that whole business thing is something that comes naturally to your creative mind.
If you want a certificate, a ride ride, or BMC or create, you've never talked to anyone and just let someone else do it. But then I like having that hold of my work as well. I'm in charge. So it's me. Yeah. It's about to kind of have to put a mask on in public and be more confident and be more brave.
And you probably are, but you know, without sounding too cocky or competent, like, you know, you have to, I want to say be a bit literally scared cash. Just, you have to be a bit confident with your work, but I it's, it's constant fight with the fear that's inside you, which you kind of have to not let that out.
You just have to, I dunno, do it. It's a tricky one, but it is work. You have to do you have to do the whole business side of it as well. Yeah. You know, and, and working with, working with artists, I do work with a lot of artists to sort of build their confidence and everything. And this is one of the things that people find,
I think the hardest and you sort of hit the nail on the head there when you were saying that creatives really don't find that the, the, the strong sales and the business side of things, it's not something that comes easily. And, and a lot of us, you know, we're happy in our own skins. We're happy in our, in our studio and we don't really want to,
you know, we don't really want to be going and talking to him. I mean, to be honest, I'm quite social. Yeah. I used to be quite social and give me a glass of wine. Now, these social visits had, now give me a glass of wine. If I was one would sell a painting for desk and a company tells them to push the wine in me.
Oh, take the painting for free. You take it. Yeah. It is a tricky one, but it's, I think I found out a lot of artists could benefit without having to chat with people, end up a little bit of confidence of that business talk that it is a business after all. I can not as much as you'd like being by yourself and working in creating,
and you are putting yourself on the cannabis. Technically you are putting a bit of yourself, so you are selling, you can send yourself cheap or you can sell yourself short, tighter. Yeah, exactly, exactly. And I, and again, you know, so, so many people are just terrified of putting a price on something because they feel that they're not worthy or,
you know, they don't have the self-belief or anything like that. And I love that sort of metaphor that you you're saying, you know, you kind of have to put that mask on when you become this confident person who stand in there and, and selling your work. And I think, you know, a lot of people I do exactly the same,
you know, you almost have like a bit of a ritual where it's sort of like a, almost like taking a deep breath and just kind of step on stage. And it's not necessarily feel like it's you, but it it's something that you have to do to be able to then, you know, come across as this confident person who is, you know,
selling the, making a business outside of. Yeah. Can I have to do that? That's a few tricks that I want to have learned with over two years that you just kind of have to go, yeah, look, sometimes my work isn't for everyone, or, you know, have to think about it. That's what I say to my coach for go away,
have a think about it, but always at least 10% of your price, because they would knock the 10% off anyways. So at least you come away with really what you want eventually, like, you know, so always go up higher, never go no word and what your price, because people get hit with an offer price anyway. So you might as well go high aim high,
keep your heels and your standard sites. Yeah. Yeah. And your pieces are usually, I mean, even the smallest piece is a pretty big, Well, I'm doing a lot of smarter work as one of, I think there are two foot by two foot, which is small for me, you know, I used to love painting six foot pieces,
but just transporting them like, you know, so I try and keep them in between the two foot to three foot or four for the pieces now, but you're still large enough there, you know, you fill a wall with two of them are, you know, staple pieces and such you'd know what was in O'Connor and you could see it from a sort of make about big pieces go big or go home.
Yeah. Yes we should. Which when you're a coloured pencil, artist is really difficult. It's quite a kind of tricky. Yeah. I'd say I'd have, my wrist would have fallen off. I'd say lifestyles with coloured pencils. It wouldn't have to patients or to the drawing board out the window and said, right now it's taken a week to do a drawing.
Give me paints, no paint over it. Yeah. And that's, you know, I mean, I only use that one medium. I'm just kind of dabbling a little bit with the oils, just, just for, for me rarely, but actually that's what I love about the pencils is the time that it takes and the mindfulness I get from them.
Cause that's why I started them in, in the first place. Is it? Yeah. I get that crime stressed. I sketch when I, when I just want to completely news track of time, don't know whatever's going on, I'm going to draw. And that's when you see drawings going up on my page, it's going to go up 20, must be stressed or there's something going on.
Cause he's sketching for last week. Isn't the painting happening. I find just sitting down with a pencil, I don't spend as long way sketches as you do. And your, I dunno, I spend more than a day on a sketch. I'm like not, and don't know that I want to move on to something else. Think of the attention span of a squirrel in the constant.
I find sketching, you can just get lost. And I, my sketches aren't as detailed as years reside or it's like that whole process of I can breathe and just let it come together. Sketching it quite mindfulness, which is yeah. Beach doing yoga anyway, the stretchy. Yes. Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, I, you know,
I, well, now that I've got to have so much more in my business than when I first started, it was, I was just a commissioned artist. So not just a commission, but commission artists, and that's all I was doing all day. So I was like sitting down drawing for like 12 hours a day and just, it was fantastic.
But then as the business grew, I found I had more and more admin to do. And obviously with the teaching side of stuff, I've got videos to edit all of that side of things. I know that you have run some workshops, haven't you? I, I did, I didn't set him up. He was smarter other artists and other people that set them up and ask me to be the guest painter and stuff,
which was fun because I'm naturally not inclined to teach after my horrible experience of being a teacher. But I said, I do it for the crack, you know? Cause it's just something different. So the Oklahoma thing was, was good, fun. Cause like, why would I not want to go to America on a horse ranch and do just show people what I do.
And then in Australia was a bit of crack as opposed to like, you know, just, but I don't set it up myself. I don't have time to be thinking like, you know, it's like taking a week or two weeks off of my own work to do like a holiday camp of teaching. Like, you know, so I don't know how you do it.
You know, I just find time is yeah. Good on you for doing all this stuff. I crack up all the admin, all the teaching editing videos, I'm like, oh, you should do teaching videos. I'm like, Nope,, I'm not going to, You said, you say I, I taught, but I, it was more a training side of stuff.
So when I was working in the coaching sector, I was teaching leadership skills and coaching skills and everything. So that's where I kind of came from, you know, groups of people and teaching them all of these different models and everything. And I really, really, really loved that. And I knew that when I, when I created my business plan,
I knew that teaching was going to be a part of it at some point, whatever it was going to be. And, and I have to say, I absolutely love it. I mean the teaching side stuff is now faster past my, the commission side of things. And I really like that interaction with people. And I love to see people succeed and everything like that.
So, but I can understand completely how, I mean it is really time consuming, you know? And like I say, born in thinking, gosh, I just love to draw something just on my own. Like a Yeah. Would you have a class to prepare you to do something else? Or like, oh, there's only time. Yeah. Yeah.
But I, but I do, but I do love it. So yes. And I guess if you, you know, the, the one-off sort of bits and pieces that you have, you don't have to organize, I suppose this is quite nice. It's yeah. It's I have to do not. I just show up and go, Hey, get your paints out.
Cause this is what we're doing. Then people are very quiet and I'm like, it's eight. O'clock good morning. Come on, you start work. We're getting started to know like, you know, it's a full day. We need to get the painting finished for the end of the day. Come on. There's no time for medicine. So yeah,
I not, although the new studio spaces that I have at the moment, once it's insulated. And so I was thinking that I might run some type of weekend course or something like that eventually, but not too sure. I may even break out in a cold sweat thinking about it at the moment. So maybe I won't, I couldn't lie to know Christ.
I can't have people in the studio with me what would happen. So I'm definitely not an extra. So the rugby world cup is an extra that's too busy next year to do any teaching at all. So that's going to be taken up for that. I forget about it, but forget about me doing any teaching. And so do you have your work in galleries?
Have you got other galleries? Do you have galleries approach you all of the time? Yeah. There's, there's always a few galleries looking for work. There's someone to UK and loads here in Ireland, France looking for work and Marie can, but you got to give them all the work and you can't build a collection and well, you try and do,
excuse me, somebody's got a receipt. You try and start tomorrow. I'm sending work over to tidy whole gallery over in the UK. He wants some foxes and stuff like that. So I just finished off docks. They're varnishing at the moment. They need to send up to him this week. Sebastian. He's very good. He gave me a show in London two years ago.
I was part of it with Charney maxi and a few other artists. So I said to him, I would like, you know, kind of to give me a start in London, which is always a cool thing. Like, you know, but yeah, it's just juggling galleries. That's the thing as well. You could just be, you know,
just painting, working, just giving them to galleries. But I like being self representative as well because you know, to work is there someone's come looking for it. You can send it straight away rather than giving it to a gallery. And no one could be there for three or four or five months before it selves. And you're there sitting on a stock paintings.
It's costing you money to ship it and gallery just waiting. You're just hoping someone sees it there. There's foreign against this. At least people, it better someone in the gallery season. Then it's stunning face against the wall in your studio where no one would see it unless you have it online. When a game's on all the joys of juggling stuff. When you're an artist,
as you probably know, Do you have anybody who sort of helps you out? Does your, does your wife help you out? Or She, she helps some newsletters and she helps me if I need to say stuff, she's very good. At words, she's a teacher. So she knows all the grammar stuff and all the big words. So everything by her go,
this make me look smart. And she goes, yes. So she edited it to make it, to make me sound slightly more intelligent or code coherent a lot more coherent than I normally am. So she's great, but there's nothing anyone can do because I do the prints myself. I do calendars for last year. Actually. I've got the kids to help me with the calendars because that's a massive job in September.
When you start shipping those, they all have to be designed. And that's a huge, that's four months work of getting all those out in time. So I brought the kids into it. So yeah, they're their fees are extortion neighbor. My ass swear to God. My daughter wants a new phone for helping with bloody doing a couple of calendars. And you're like,
hang on a second. You're getting a five for an hour for packing stuff. There's like a Samsung. Have you ever thought about outsourcing? Yes. Fifth year I went last year and already cracked because you don't have to worry, especially shipping stuff to UK and America tomorrow to new customers, rules everything else. So you've got the whole C 23 costumes charge and all the customer's details will be on the outside for everything.
So I seriously talked about doing some mail drop to signing a thousand Condors, dropping them, ship everything, but haven't found anyone here in Southern Ireland yet to do a decent job or we'll do it for a thousand. You know, for certain amount of items. I would research a little bit, little bit more in the coming weeks because I know July is fast approaching and I need to have the calendar for next year done by then.
So can this be printed out by August? I definitely think because I already had a mess down test last September during the calendar. I'm not surprised. I mean, I, I have a meltdown when I just have one thing to package up. I've I've got a memory stick here that I have to post out to somebody it's just sat there waiting. Not very good at packaging.
It also I'm thinking about this stuff. I'm like, oh God, I just, oh, I couldn't cope. That's 7,800 orders. Those are called with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. And then your yard, you just get cracking on the work and you try and do it right. And going to do the yard and ones. I'm going to do the French ones.
I believe all the UK and American ones to Alaska, they are going to take the longest because every single label has to be pre-bought online, but you can't just go into a post office and go, I need a hundred steps. You need to put into customers. Every single one has to be done, print it off and then stuck to the label.
Then you're done. Oh my God. So it's a good complaint. It's a very good complaint. So I'm not knocking it. It is not a passive income. Cause it's like, Yeah, do you have something like I use trans global express in the UK. I don't know whether you have something like that in Ireland where I go and they don't,
you download a spreadsheet and you just pour all of the information into the spreadsheet, upload it. And they just send you a PDF with all of the labels on It's probably the cause. Or you Shopify started a sales Coventry that you just have to go to your orders. Then, you know, some people order one calendar, some people are at three six,
you know, you just have to go to every single order and see what they, and some people are the prints didn't need to step to make sure that because clearly as I'm using my wife's, she can tell that I'm like computer illiterate. So doing something like that, my head would explode. So you just mentioned PDF. I'm like, oh yeah,
that's not going to happen anytime soon. Just give me a pencil and paper. I was just writing it down And writing everybody's addresses. Now I did that for all the Irish ones. Everything was handwritten. It makes a bit more personal as well, too. Like, you know? Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. I've got one of your calendars here and I have,
I think I've got a couple of your prints and I've got an original Sketch. I've got so many things that my frame is waiting to be framed. And one of these days they're going to go pointing out a, framed, everything for you. That'd be 4,000 pounds, please. That's the same exact piece of art to be like, yeah, I just finished a painting for a guy and he goes,
can you frame it for me? Can you frame it? Can it get printed? And can you get framed those prints as well? Fair enough. So I'm going onto my framework. Can you get all this stuff done for me the first week of March and stick them on and off? How about, do you, do you photograph your original pieces then to get the prints?
Is that how you Guy I'm going Stefan from studio one and can sail worked at it for years old? He's German so efficient. Isn't a word I swear to God. He's brilliant. And he's literally, he lives 14 minutes from me, exactly from my studio to his house is 14 minutes. So I load up the car with paintings and I take them down to his studio and he has them on my Dropbox to follow a day,
edited, colour, proofed everything in a list and a sampler print of them for me. Brilliant. So let's just suck them up on if I'm doing it in limited edition, I put them on Shopify and it has the print orders come in. I generally place on my orders like that build up for a week and I place the print orders on a Sunday or Saturday and collect them on Monday and shipped them.
So once a week I do a kind of a batch to him gone. I need these, my prints and he has 'em ready for me since it's fantastic. And he was really, really, really good. And it's only been a tick to work down to him prior to him coming to my studio and photographing it. Cause I can just crack on with extra work,
but he's, he's got to go set up in his studio for photographic stuff. So I always get a fight. You know, I just think if someone is really good at something, let them do it. Yeah, definitely. I mean, that's one of the reasons why I've stopped doing, doing prints. I, yeah, I've got a little scanner here,
but it's not really big enough. And you know, they just weren't good enough quality really. And actually there is the printer that I used is a Manchester to do a photography service, but it would mean either shipping originals over to them or taking them over. I can understand that it would be a pain, but I know I'm super fortunate to have,
you know, a really top class photographer and printer. Cause he does, you know, he's got the whole set up for GTA's and he's got all the fancy papers and all this stuff and his wife does only framing for me. So it makes all for him. So it's just such like a federally feed, but those students they're mine. They're mine.
They're my printer, my photographer. How do you recommend them? Anything? Yeah, I can see much of a painting. Yeah. Because a lot of people ask me where to get my prints to us here in cork. And they were like, oh, and the dominant instinct and do it. You just have to bring to work down to them,
just problem, like age shipping work and then they have to ship it back so Well that's, that's the thing, isn't it. And then there's more likelihood that it's going to get damaged and all of that sort of stuff. So having someone on your doorstep is amazing. Yeah. Especially in west cork there, but everything. We still have everything we need and you know,
Amazing, amazing. So I've got a question that I'm asking, I'm asking everybody. And that is when it comes to confidence. Number one, tip A lot of wine, just neck NetApp on low wine, swear to God and give you more confidence. Now, competence, it's a tricky one where that mask competence like, you know, when you're,
you're in your studio yourself, you're working away. You know, you've got this, obviously we all go through the whole process of the painting starts with school. This is, this has got potential. It's really good. Halfway through it. Shit, terrible artist. This is rubbish. And then towards the end of it, yeah, this is, I made it.
This is really good painting. So you go to, at the end of it, you have to have confidence in yourself. You know that what you've done is good and what you've done in the past is good. What you're going to do in the future is going to be better because you want to get better and better and better. Just the whole thing about art.
You constantly try and improve and get better and better and better, but have no fear of perfection because you'll never reach it apparently because you're constantly trying to improve. But for the whole confidence thing, if you're out there, yeah. Just be brave and wear that mask. It doesn't necessarily, I've got the Batman one. So like no one else to wear that.
That's my one. No, don't kink Shammy. It's my thing. I liked that. It's kind of like what wearing mask, like, you know, he's confident in front of his stuff and you just have to just be brave, be confident and know that you have put you into this work. It's you, that you're setting. You're not going to,
you know, you don't have to be overly confident or cocky because no one likes NASA. You like your work due to talking. I generally shut up and let people look at the work. And what did they feel about it? And the whole thing about, if they ask you a question, then you do the whole politicians in answer to your question.
What the question was, how does it make you feel? It makes me feel sad. You should buy that painting and custody feeds time for rest of your life. Yeah. Just once they wear a mask because we, we, we did in life the whole time anyway, but it just, and I think sometimes just letting the mess drop, it's not a bad thing.
We're all wonderful people. People, people will see that you are vulnerable. I know it because we're artists, we're, we're sensitive by nature. I think people will notice that. And if you get to talk to someone, the mask will drop and you will, your natural selves would come out and you would just talk and it would be more natural.
But I think if people are just being ballsy and being cheeky, you have to be confident with yourself. And that sort of mask comes in and you're like, you might want to go back to your studio and go swear and karst are, go to the gym and punched two different snaps under the porch, bagger or lift something really heavy going, oh,
she dropped this and that person. Oh, dare they just confidence. It's a tricky one. But belief in yourself, I think. And belief in your work and that you are worth it. And someone tries to knock your prices down and go, no, sometimes you just got to go. Not for down happened to me more than one occasion. And I've gone.
Nope, never ending list of those people. They're never, ever, ever going to own any of my work. Not that I'm shallow or bitter. My favourite painting is hanging in the hallway. And just because someone gave me a ridiculous offer for at one stage, I said, I thought he was joking and said, no, you're joking. He was like,
oh no, no, no, no. For saying good luck to you. Now off you go, come back to me in early every year looking to buy it. And I said, no, not unless you pay. Even if you paid off my mortgage, you're never having to painting. Sometimes you just have to stick to your guns. And if you do,
you might feel that a little bit. But then at the end of the day, you're growing your own confidence and you're believing in yourself. And that's what it's all about. Because if you don't believe in yourself, how do you expect other people to believe in you? And by your work, You have to believe. You have to believe in yourself.
You have to believe in your ability, even though 50% of the time, I don't, as you don't figure out Christ. I forgot how to paint happens. People go, what do you do? You never get an artist. I get an artist once a week. Did I mix that colour? Couldn't remember how did I do that last week? I can't remember.
I kind of regret this. I go about teaching. Hang on a second. I'll figure it out there to get this colour again. So I dunno. That's, that's brilliant. That's brilliant. Thank you so much. It's you know, I think that will kind of resonate with an awful lot of people and it's wonderful to hear, you know, someone who is,
you know, right up there and, and successful and you know, has got the most amazing career. You're still like all of, all of us mere mortals, I guess, you know, you still, The spear never leaves. It never goes to fear. Never go like, whereas your first exhibition or your 20th exhibition, if you are not some way apprehensive or scared are just a little bit nervous.
It's not worth it because you're doing something wrong because it's you, you're putting something out. It's you you're showing. And I, if you are not nervous before you put stuff out, something's wrong. So it's, that does never going to leave. It's never going to be no matter how big of an artist you think you are. If you're not scared are fear like a good fear.
Cause it shows you care about your work. It shows that you love what you do when you want not to say you want other people to do shit, what people think, but you want your work to be accepted or it's difficult to say it, but it's kind of like, if you're not scared, it's a bad thing. You should be a little bit nervous,
a little scared. Not scared enough to go. I'm not going out there. So postcards, I'm never coming, but just that little bit of temptation before an exhibition is always good. Yeah. So there you go. That's the bad news never goes away. Well, Tony, thank you so, so much for joining me and for sharing all of that.
It's been, it's been just lovely, lovely speaking to you and no it's been super. Thank you ever so much. No problem. Have a good day for yourself. Then I'm going to go back into my studio and get home in little varnish. Cause it's no rugby to enjoy today. So room my brains, the motorway. Oh dear. Well,
thank you. Thank you so much. No problem. And our best luck editing this stone. It doesn't have to be a half an hour talking to an Irish. I'd never shut up the rest of this. That's why he's normally, it's normally talking to the hind, like off donkey. So Thanks for asking me, but I remember no. Do a really honest and try and make me sound coherent and intelligent.
If you could edit all the places that these indoors and put a T H in where he should've done it, that'd be fantastic as well. I'll do That So much and hopefully I'll get to chat to you again soon. Thank you. You too. Bye. Really hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of my it's a Bonny old life podcast. If you did a big,
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