Studio & Life Updates from Laura & Nikki

This week Laura and Nikki take a break from the usual interviews and educational topics and get more personal with a studio and life update. They share the latest projects they are working on, things they’ve accomplished both individually and as a team, some of the challenges they’ve faced over the last year, and they give some hints about what’s coming up in the next year and beyond.

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Topics discussed

  • Things we committed to on the podcast and how we did with them
  • The new Instagram feature we are super excited about (and you should be too!)
  • Podcast news – we’ve recorded 51 episodes!
  • Laura and Nikki’s business and personal accomplishments from the past year
  • Some of the challenges we’ve been dealing with lately
  • A few things we’ve learned about ourselves 
  • Nikki shares a HUGE life change she’s in the process of making
  • And finally, we hint at what we have planned for YOU in the coming year!

Take Laura’s new Skillshare class:

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Check out Nikki’s latest calendar:

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Laura

0:04
Hi, this is Laura Lee Griffin.

Nikki

0:06
And this is Nikki may with the Startist Society, inspiring you to stop getting in your own way and start building an art biz and life that you love.

Laura

0:15
We are artists who believe strongly in the power of community, accountability, following your intuition, taking small actionable steps and breaking down the barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you stuck.

Nikki

0:30
Follow along with us on our creative business journey as we encourage you on yours.

Laura

0:39
So Nikki, what are we talking about today?

Nikki

0:42
Well, Laura, last week we started our print on demand series with an intro to the concept and the types of print on demand that you can do. And we’re gonna leave everybody with a cliffhanger on that topic for now. And this week, we’re going to get more personal and do a studio and life update for each of us.

Laura

1:00
Yeah, we want to share the latest projects we’re working on and talk about some of the things we’ve committed to doing in the past…

Nikki

1:06
…and what we did instead.

Laura

1:10
Come on, we fulfilled a good number of our commitments. And at least I know you fulfilled your bourbon quota for the year, I think back in June.

Nikki

1:19
And several other people’s quotas.

Laura

1:22
But seriously…

Nikki

1:23

Laura, I feel like that’s how you start every sentence after I say something. Either that or let’s get back on topic.

Laura

1:31
True. I’ve got to reel you in sometimes, but you know I love you.

Nikki

1:35
But seriously, let’s get back on topic.

Laura

1:40
Okay, so first, why don’t we talk about some of the commitments that we’ve made in past episodes and where we’re at with them?

Nikki

1:47
Do we hafta?

Laura

1:49
It’s truth telling time.

Nikki

1:52
All right. So one of the biggest things that I think we both committed to doing this year – that we maybe didn’t quite finish – was the 100 Day Project.

Laura

2:03
Yup.

Nikki

2:05
Yeah, I mean, we both we both have gone… Well, I know that I have gone on and on about how much I love these challenges. And I’ve done 30 day challenges and 100 day challenges. And 365 day challenges. But this year, I thought that I was going to be super ambitious, and I was gonna commit to 2 100 day challenges consecutively. Consecutively. Is that the right word?

Laura

2:35
I think at the same time, you were going to do them.

Nikki

2:37
Yes, at the same time?

Laura

2:38
Simultaneously

Nikki

2:39
Yeah, at the same time, simultaneously. So okay, so I was going to do, we’ve been talking a lot about submissions and submitting our work putting it out there. So I was going to do 100 days of submissions. And at the same time, I was also going to do 100 days of creating something, whether it was drawing, a painting, collage on these little watercolor cards that I have.

Laura

3:04
Right?

Nikki

3:05
And….

Laura

3:06
How’d that go?

Nikki

3:08
I did it a handful of each.

Laura

3:11
Okay.

Nikki

3:11
And I don’t know about your hands, but mine are not big enough to hold 100. What about you?

Laura

3:20
Okay, so I committed to doing 100 Day project for hand lettering, because that’s something I really want to get better at, especially with greeting card designs, I know how important it is. So I did start that.

Nikki

3:33
Right. And how did that go for you?

Laura

3:37
While I’m on day 14?

Nikki

3:41
And wait, wait. And when did that start? January?

Laura

3:44
We’re not counting. But I am on day 14 and it’s not over yet. So I’m still planning on eventually finishing my 100 Day project and getting back into it. But I have been a little bit distracted.

Nikki

3:59
Yeah. Okay, so um, so we didn’t fulfill those commitments, but we have not given up because they’re all still things that we want to do. So whether we do it in a year, or we do it next year, or we just keep trying to fit it in, we’re going to commit to doing more of those things.

Laura

4:21
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there are a few other things we committed to. So one was related to our phones. We talked specifically about in our morning and evening routines, how it’s so easy to get sucked in by our phones and so our goal was to sort of limit that exposure so that we can have less like frazzled time in the morning in the evenings. Nikki, how’s that gone for you?

Nikki

4:46
Well, I believe that we both committed to not taking our phones to bed with us. And I did that exactly zero nights. How about you, Laura, I believe you said you were going to leave your phone in the bathroom where you could still hear the alarm but it wasn’t right next to you.

Laura

5:11
I was going to and then… we’re going to talk about life updates later, but then there was a reason for me to have to be up at a certain time every morning. So I really needed to have that alarm right next to me.

Nikki

5:23
Because there’s no other alarms in the world except for on your phone?

Laura

5:27
Well, that’s the convenient one. So maybe I need to substitute it. But here’s what I will say.

Nikki

5:34
I’ll buy you an alarm clock.

Laura

5:37
Okay, here’s what I will say. So I may be using my phone. But what I have discovered is that Instagram has this really cool functionality like way buried inside of the app, because they kind of don’t want you to know about it. And what it does is it will monitor the time that you spend on Instagram, and it will notify you if you hit your quota for the day. So the one I have, I have it set up for 30 minutes. And so when I hit 30 minutes, it pops up and it says, hey, you’ve hit your 30 minute quota for the day, and it’s not going to kick you out of the app, because they don’t want to do that.

Nikki

6:10
It doesn’t really want you to leave.

Laura

6:12
It doesn’t really want you to leave. But I have been using that so that when I hit that quota, I’m like, Okay, it’s time to shut down. Otherwise, I might be scrolling.

Nikki

6:19
Wait, wait, wait, wait, how many times do you actually stop when you get that?

Laura

6:24
Um, occasionally…I would say I actually stopped shortly after. So it’s not like I get sucked down the rabbit hole, like I don’t immediately go, oh, my gosh, I hit my quota. I’m getting out of the app. But usually, just like a minute or so after that, I will get out. So it is helpful to me. And there are other apps that monitor all of your, your I don’t know your usage of different apps on your phone, but I find that it already exists in Instagram. So you might as well use that one. And

Nikki

6:51
Well, I didn’t know they had that first of all. Yeah. And second of all, one of my special skills is ignoring notifications. So I think I could easily set that and ignore it.

Laura

6:58
Is that why you ignore my texts, Nikki?

Nikki

7:08
I don’t ignore your texts, only your phone calls.

Laura

7:12
Oh, that’s true. That’s true. For all of our listeners, Nikki does not like talking on the phone.

Nikki

7:16
Don’t call me.

Laura

7:17
But she likes talking into microphones. 

Nikki

7:19
I do, I do.

Laura

7:23
One of the mysteries of the universe.

Nikki

7:24
There are many.

Laura

7:25
Yeah. So phones, we haven’t done the best on that. I do still use it as an alarm. But I have tried to limit my exposure by doing things like having the little timer on there.

Nikki

7:36
So what else have you committed to doing this year, Laura?

Laura

7:39
I did commit to sharing my face a little more on Instagram, which I am working on, I’m actually going to be launching a product soon, so I plan on doing some video footage for that.

Nikki

7:53
I committed to liking your posts every time you showed your face. So I I think maybe I had to like one or two posts.

Laura

8:06
I’m going to try to do more than that.

Nikki

8:07
And I will still commit to liking them all.

Laura

8:12
But first, I want to point out something super huge that just happened in the last month.

Nikki

8:18
Okay.

Laura

8:18
Okay, so Instagram now has gotten rid of the swipe up function, and that 10,000 follower limit in order to put a link in your stories. This is huge, guys. This is huge.

Nikki

8:31
Yeah, so I’m so thrilled about that. Like that was the most annoying thing about Instagram was that you couldn’t link to anything in your stories until you had 10,000 followers.

Laura

8:44
Yeah, so now there is a sticker function, so if you go to stickers in your stories, and search for link, there’s a sticker where you can input any web address that you want. And you can just show that on your page and have a direct link. So it’s absolutely perfect.

Nikki

8:59
Yeah, that’s amazing

Laura

9:01
For entrepreneurs and, and Startists to use.

Nikki

9:05
Absolutely. It’s the best. It’s the best thing Instagram’s done in a really long time.

Laura

9:09
Yeah, for sure. For sure.

Nikki

9:10
So I think you committed to a couple other things.

Laura

9:14
Yeah, so I committed to sending my artwork to a greeting card company, a manufacturing company, which I did and was added to their designer list for design briefs. So I am currently working on submissions for their current design brief. So I’m excited about that.

Nikki

9:34
Awesome.

Laura

9:35
And you know, I’m kind of sensing a theme here Nikki like, I’m committing to all these things and you’re not committing to like anything. What’s up with that?

Nikki

9:44
Um, well, one of the things I’ve committed to is not over-committing so on that commitment, I’m doing great.

Laura

9:59
Oh, another thing I committed to was creating my first online class.

Nikki

10:04
That’s a big one.

Laura

10:05
That was huge. And back in March, I released my very first Skillshare class, which was all about Copic Marker Essentials, because I’ve been teaching copic marker coloring classes for the last like 11 years.

Nikki

10:17
Awesome.

Laura

10:18
Yeah. So I got that, that out there in the world.

Nikki

10:20
Yeah. And you committed to doing your first Skillshare class, but now, the year’s not even over and I believe you may have released a second one.

Laura

10:30
I have.

Nikki

10:31
Yay.

Laura

10:34
Yes. So just I guess it’s only been what a week or so. I introduced my new Mindful Mandalas in Procreate Class, my first digital art class, which was super fun and challenging at the same time to create. We’ll talk a little bit more about challenges in a little bit.

Nikki

10:52
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, you. Alright, so some of the things that we thought we would do we haven’t.

Laura

11:01
Right.

Nikki

11:02
But we’ve both done some other really amazing things this year. Like, oh, I don’t know. 51 episodes of this podcast.

Laura

11:12
Holy camoly! 51 episodes. That’s amazing.

Nikki

11:16
Holy what?

Laura

11:18
Camoly?

Nikki

11:19
What’s a camoly?

Laura

11:22
I don’t know. Like..

Nikki

11:25
Holy shit, Laura, 51 episodes!

Laura

11:28
If you can’t tell, I’m like the proper one. And Nikki is not. Politically correct? Not Nikki.

Nikki

11:35
Shocking to everybody that listens to us, I’m sure.

Laura

11:38
Yes. Shocking.

Nikki

11:40
But of course, you know, all my talk about bourbon, nobody can see what you’re swinging in the background?

Laura

11:44
Yeah, well, you know, it only happens when we’re recording a podcast. So. Alright, so yeah, we did, we recorded 51 episodes. And, you know, I think it’s really important to remember that when you set a goal for yourself, you don’t need to completely beat yourself up about it if you don’t achieve that goal. You can still push yourself forward with those goals. And you’ll take actions that you wouldn’t normally have taken if you didn’t have the goal. So I think if you just taken those small steps, it’s important to celebrate them. And I know we had a whole episode all about celebrating your wins, which I think is a great one to listen to, but just know that because you know, we didn’t reach every single goal we set, we reached a lot of them that we wouldn’t have otherwise. So we gotta celebrate those.

Nikki

12:35
We did, and in doing that, we may not have reached the specific goal we spoke about, but we’ve tried a whole lot of new things, and learned a whole lot of new skills.

Laura

12:46
Yeah, for sure.

Nikki

12:47
Yeah. So let’s list some of the individual accomplishments that we’ve had over the past year.

Laura

12:53
Yeah, sure. Nikki, tell me about what you’ve done in the past year.

Nikki

12:57
Well, one thing that I did, which was super fun is, so I’ve taught some workshops before but only locally either in my studio or Ephemera Paducah. The local workshop space that we interviewed, my friend and client Kristin Williams about.

Laura

13:17
Right.

Nikki

13:18
Which will link to that episode too. But anyway, so I’ve taught locally, but this past summer, back in August, I co taught a workshop in Portland, Oregon, which by the way made podcasting a real challenge.

Laura

13:34
Okay, note if you’re ever gonna travel and podcast, make sure you have an awesome internet connection.

Nikki

13:39
Yes. And I’ll be working on that for something I’ll talk more about later in this episode, right?

Laura

13:46
Yes, yes, yes.

Nikki

13:48
So I also had, over the past six months, I’ve had three open studio sales.

Laura

13:55
Awesome.

Nikki

13:57
Where where I invited people into my studio to just buy… I kind of had like a one day only discount on some of the art that I make and some of my prints. And I sold a whole lot of art and products, as well as selling work locally in shops. So I had a really good year of sales that way. I launched several really good sized client websites, and plus the podcast website in the last year that I’m really, really proud of, and I’ll link to some of those too.

Laura

14:30
And I love our podcast website. You did such an awesome job with it.

Nikki

14:33
Thank you, me too. I like it. I like it a lot. It’s different from a lot of what I do, because I don’t normally use that much color. But it’s so fun.

Laura

14:42
It’s so fun. I love all the bright colors. And yeah, and there’s there’s so many great resources on there and you’ve done a great job with it.

Nikki

14:49
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What else have I done this year? Oh, I was, I’m on the I’m on the board of directors for a local nonprofit Art Center, the Yeiser Art Center, here in Paducah. And in the last couple months, I was elected vice president of the board. So that’s super fun. And also, that’s one of the websites I launched in the last year that I’m super proud of too.

Laura

15:12
Cool.

Nikki

15:14
And another thing I’m super excited about is I got my first official licensing gig, which we talked about an episode or two ago, right? With Mixtiles Art, which I’m so thrilled about.

Laura

15:32
Yes, you have your beautiful state flower and insects on there.

Nikki

15:35
Yeah, so far so far, but I’ll be adding more too. And I have another big exciting licensing job that I can’t wait to announce. I can’t talk about it yet. But I’ll give a little hint that when I say big, I mean, like, three or four stories high.

Laura

15:54
Wow. I can’t wait to hear about that one.

Nikki

15:58
I have a meeting about that tomorrow, in fact.

Laura

16:01
Awesome.

Nikki

16:01
So yeah, so I can’t wait to be able to announce that and show photos of it when it when it actually happens.

Laura

16:07
Very cool.

Nikki

16:08
So yeah, so even though I didn’t do all the things I committed to, I did a really good number of projects that I’m really proud of. What about you, Laura, what have you worked on in the last year that you’re proud of?

Laura

16:21
So in the last year, because of the pandemic, I did shift a lot of my in-person workshops to zoom live workshops. So I had to kind of navigate that and learn how to, you know, film things a certain way, and like manage all of that, and I don’t have a virtual assistant, so I’m kind of doing it all myself. So I was able to move my copic workshops to that platform. And then after years of wanting to like officially teach online, not only did I complete that first class, but as you mentioned, I completed a second one. And I am now really comfortable with doing all that fancy stuff in Premiere Pro, video editing, like pop up text, and pics and transitions and B roll. Like all the things and that used to be just super, super intimidating to me, like the technology of it, like, I’m never gonna be able to figure that out on my own. And so that was just awesome to get at a comfort level. And it doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s still like, time consuming and it still takes a ton of work. And you know..

Nikki

17:27
But you got the hang of it. And you’re doing a beautiful, beautiful job.

Laura

17:32
Thank you. Yeah, I know, I know how to do it now and I feel comfortable with the process.

Nikki

17:37
And also, you’re getting more comfortable being on camera by doing that. Now it’s one thing when you can edit it later. But I think all that practice being on camera should help with your wanting to post on Instagram.

Laura

17:50
Yeah, yeah, doing the talking head videos, they are probably the most difficult part for me is the talking head videos, just you know, getting it right. There’s a lot of takes. But yes. Now I did have some filming challenges and we’ll talk about challenges in a little bit, because that’s, you know, the filming challenges also impact the podcast a little bit as well. But let’s see, what else have I done? I created around 50 new pieces of artwork on my iPad.

Nikki

18:18
Awesome.

Laura

18:19
Yes. And I finished a gouache and watercolor sketchbook, which has been really fun.

Nikki

18:25
I mean, that’s an accomplishment in itself, because I’m not sure I’ve ever filled a sketchbook. I tend to start them and fill, you know, I mean, I’m lucky if I fill half of it before I set it aside and then get another brand new shiny sketchbook. So just that you finished one is an accomplishment.

Laura

18:44
It’s such a great feeling to flip through it and like get to the end and not have blank pages. Because like you, I have many that I’ve started that I haven’t finished, but I did actually finish one. Um, I am launching my first ornaments collection for the holiday season.

Nikki

19:00
Awesome.

Laura

19:00
I’ve probably have more pain on my hands this week than ever made it on the ornaments. I mean, it’s been kind of a hot mess, but, but it’s super fun and I’m really enjoying the process. So I’m excited to…

Nikki

19:13
Can you sell your hands?

Laura

19:14
I know could night like they’re so pretty when they’re all full of color.

Nikki

19:18
It’d be hard to make more art if you sell your hands.

Laura

19:20
Yeah, I guess so.

Nikki

19:21
Messy too. Anyway.

Laura

19:24
So let’s see what else. I launched a new website late last year and I have been managing all the technology around my website. It’s a WordPress website with Divi. I have had all of my downloadable class assets from Skillshare flow through my website as well. So I’ve kind of figured out all the tech on how to do that.

Nikki

19:48
And you’ve done a great job. Thank you and you’ve been my advisor on occasion but I will say a majority of it I’ve done on my own.

Nikki

19:56
You absolutely have. I’m impressed with how much you’ve figured out on your own and had very few questions. I kept offering, but you pretty much had it figured out.

Laura

20:05
So I think for any of our listeners who are really nervous about that aspect, like the technology aspect, I love that quote from Marie Forleo, “Everything is Figureoutable” and Google’s your best friend, you know, it’s kind of, I love both of those phrases, but yes, you can really figure out just about anything, if you if you kind of dedicate yourself to it, and just research and dig in and experiment so.

Nikki

20:29
And you can almost always find a Skillshare class on whatever it is you want to learn.

Laura

20:33
Yes, Skillshare and YouTube. Yes, YouTube is also my friend now.

Nikki

20:38
I believe you also did one other really huge thing.

Laura

20:42
I did. So this. So this year, um, a few months back, I began a new full time gig as a finance manager supporting a major brand partnership while continuing all of my other passions. So that has been, you know, it’s a challenge, just like anyone has in prioritizing, right, like learning, learning how to prioritize. So we’ll talk a little bit more about the challenges, but I’m really excited. I’m loving my new gig. And I happen to be somebody who is dual-brained, Nikki. So I’m very left/right brained. And I have to kind of be balanced, like I have to do the analytical stuff, and the artistic and music and all those things. So it does help balance me out. And, hey, it also helps to have a paycheck to support all of my habits.

Nikki

21:34
Paychecks are nice.

Laura

21:38
And it’s, you know, allowing me to continue to pursue all the avenues with my art. And also, you know, being able to make money at all of my art endeavors at the same time, but with a little bit less pressure.

Nikki

21:52
Congratulations on that. It’s, and I’m really proud of your ability to take on a big new job like that, and still manage to find time to work on the podcast, create your Skillshare classes and make some art because I know that when I started working at IBM, I let everything else fall away. I stopped making art for a really long time. So I’m impressed with your ability to balance that. I think, I think if I had to do that, again, now being a little bit older and more comfortable in knowing more about myself and how I work, I probably could do a better job of balancing it now than I did in 1997 when I started working for IBM. But yeah, I’m really proud of your ability to do that. So that’s really impressive.

Laura

22:42
Thanks.

Nikki

22:43
Yeah.

Laura

22:45
It’s still a balancing act. But you know, I’m learning.

Nikki

22:47
Of course, but what you’ve stopped doing, I think maybe is sleeping?

Laura

22:53
Probably.

Nikki

22:54
So maybe you should try to work some more of that into your schedule.

Laura

22:59
Yes, for my health, I need to get a little bit more sleep in my schedule.

Nikki

23:01
I recommend it.

Laura

23:05
Alright, so Nikki, let’s talk a little bit about our challenges. So those were some of our accomplishments this past year, let’s talk about some of the challenges.

Nikki

23:12
Um, alright, so I have I have a big challenge going on right now because I am currently in the process of selling my house. And in fact, just last weekend, I moved. So that means that for the past several months, I’ve been going through everything I own and packing and getting rid of stuff and having a sale and another sale. And trying to do all of that while fitting in all the work that I have to do, client work and art work, and, and then especially planning, recording and releasing this podcast, it’s it’s a lot to try to squeeze in.

Laura

23:56
Yeah, for sure. I mean, moving moving, like selling and moving all your stuff and doing all of that is a full time job. And then you have a full time job as a freelancer. And then the podcast is a full time job. So you know, it’s a lot.

Nikki

24:08
Yeah. And then also right in the middle of that process. I actually had to put my 14 year old dog Kodi to sleep.

Laura

24:18
I’m so sorry.

Nikki

24:18
Yeah, that was like to two or three weeks ago, and yeah, we won’t dwell on that. But it’s super sad.

Laura

24:26
My dog is 14 as well. So, I’m just enjoying every moment that I have. And you are an awesome dog mama. And we’ll just say that he was a lucky dog.

Nikki

24:36
Thank you. Aww, thanks. Thanks. Anyway, so I believe you’ve had quite a few good sized challenges as well this past year.

Laura

24:46
Yeah. So earlier this year, my mother ended up having three major surgeries. But I’m very happy to report that she is doing absolutely great. And but you know that that was something that I think I kind of sidetracked things a little bit.

Nikki

25:02
Well, you ended up having to go travel, what is she three, three hours away from you? Four?

Laura

25:09
About four and a half hours, which I’m thankful that it’s not too far.

Nikki

25:12
So you ended up having to travel several times to, to be with your family.

Laura

25:18
Yeah. And it’s not just that, it’s just sort of the the mental aspect of it too.

Nikki

25:21
Of course, of course.

Laura

25:22
Because it’s always in the back of your head, you know? Because right now, you, you love your mom. So you only want the best.

Nikki

25:29
But she’s doing great.

Laura

25:30
But she’s doing great. So, so yeah, so she’s doing great now and then. Okay, so everybody knows, I live next to an airport in Dallas, Texas. And when I say next to I’m five minutes from their front door, and right now they happen to be renovating the far runway away from me, which means that every two and a half minutes or so there is an airplane going right over the roof of my place.

Nikki

25:59
Which means we pause in our recording every two and a half minutes. And Laura says plane and then we just twiddle our thumbs for a minute and…

Laura

26:10
Wait two and a half minutes for the next one. Yeah, so that has been really challenging. And with audio, it’s a little bit easier because you can stop and you know, cut out parts where you don’t want that to be in your audio. But when you’re doing video recording, you kind of have to like pause, you don’t want those awkward cuts in video. So you end up like having to pause and like not move, for like a minute and then start talking again, which is really difficult. And so what I ended up doing in my last class, I’ll be honest, I filmed almost all the videos between midnight and 5am. It was kind of ridiculous. But that was when it was quiet. And I was able to get that work done. Now I’m not recommending anybody else do this.

Nikki

26:52
Because as we just said, sleep is important.

Laura

26:55
Sleep is very important for our health. But but that’s what I ended up doing a lot. And it was a bit of a sacrifice. But I am happy really, really happy with how this last class turned out. And you know, as we mentioned before, it’s also tough sort of managing a full time job and editing the weekly podcast and editing videos for online classes and planning my Zoom workshops when I have those. So I’m learning how to prioritize all over again, because I still want to do all the things.

Nikki

27:26
Teach me.

Nikki

27:27
Yeah, it’s it’s hard, but you just have to learn, you know how to how to know when something’s good enough. And I’m still learning that Nikki.

Nikki

27:35
Okay, so with all the wins and challenges that you’ve had in the past year, Laura, what have you learned about yourself?

Laura

27:41
Well, I don’t think this is necessarily new. But I’m definitely I’m definitely a perfectionist. And as I mentioned, having the teach core and part of the teach core at Skillshare. And having a deadline of when my class needed to be uploaded was kind of awesome for me, because I’m learning that done is better than perfect. Even though I submitted that class at 10:55pm. and it was due at 11. Like, of course, I was tweaking.

Nikki

28:11
Wait, 10:55, you had five minutes to spare?

Laura

28:13
I did a five minutes to spare… look at me!

Nikki

28:15
It wasn’t 10:59? The old Laura would have done it at 10:59.

Laura

28:21
Yeah, so having those deadlines has helped. And you know, just getting to that point where I realized done is better than perfect. Because the things that I want to tweak are things that don’t matter. Like they don’t matter to anybody else but me. I’m the one that’s gonna notice them and nobody else is gonna notice them.

Nikki

28:37
Nobody else is going to notice the things you do, especially with your special ears.

Laura

28:41
Yes, everyone, I have special ears. Yes. Which is good for podcast editing.

Nikki

28:46
I’m sure we’ve talked about your special ears on the podcast before. Because Laura is. She’s an amazing podcast editor. I’m so glad that we have her to handle the audio because she hears things that I can’t, I can’t hear, I think this sounds great. And she’s like, No, we have to fix this and this and this…but somewhere, somewhere in between us is the perfect balance as always.

Laura

29:11
Yes. As always, that’s a great thing about having a co host on a podcast, they can help balance you out that way.

Nikki

29:17
Yeah, absolutely.

Laura

29:18
You certainly do an amazing job with the graphics and website design and the audiograms and all of that. So

Nikki

29:23
Thank you, thank you.

Laura

29:24
It works out well. Yeah. What about you, Nikki? So what are some of the things that you’ve kind of learned about yourself?

Nikki

29:31
Well, okay, one of the things that I’ve learned about myself, which we talked about back in, it was episode 26 when we were talking about making time for art, and really I kind of already knew this but didn’t have the word for it. Is that I’m an obliger, which means that I will accomplish anything that I promised to someone else, but not what I promise to myself. So I’m still working on learning how to, you know, work around that. But, like having the accountability of this podcast and working with you, Laura, really helps. But I need to figure out how to keep commitments that I make to myself the way I keep commitments to other people.

Laura

30:18
Yeah, that that is a tough one. And I’m feeling that same pressure right now. You know, if we talk about big life changes that are happening in both of our lives. So for me, it’s been starting this new day job and sort of balancing all of that. And I’d say, If I’ve learned anything from COVID, my natural tendencies are like you, Nikki, a bit to being an obliger. And I’m learning that I have to set boundaries for myself and my work to ensure that I maintain some balance and don’t lose sight of the goals that I have. Otherwise, I would just sit at my day job and work all day and all night long, trying to meet someone’s goals. And so I plan to continue to teach, which I love, to create both digital and traditional artwork, both for just the sheer joy the process as well as selling it, and also creating this podcast for like-minded people.

Nikki

31:09
I gotta say, Laura, if you ask me, which you didn’t, you’re more of an upholder. And what we’re talking about is the four tendencies, which are about how you how you deal with commitments. And so to me, you’re more of an upholder, which means that you’ll follow through on external and internal commitments. So I think you do a much better job than I do of meeting your own deadlines and other people’s.

Laura

31:36
I mean, you’re, you’re probably right, because I’m harder on myself than other people are on me. And I’ll meet my own deadlines. But that’s to the detriment of my sleep cycle.

Nikki

31:46
Right. And that’s probably why I don’t meet my own deadlines is because I’m not willing to give up sleep.

Laura

31:51
Well, you shouldn’t be, I need to be a little bit more like you, Nikki.

Nikki

31:55
Well, in that way, probably not many others. Okay, so I have one other really big life change coming up that I need to share, because we’ve been teasing about it and hinting about it. And I’m really excited about putting this out there so I can start sharing all the details. I mentioned that I just moved and, and I’m selling my house, but I didn’t really talk much about why but here’s what I’m about to do. I am currently looking for a school bus, an old school bus to buy and to convert it into like an RV to live and travel in.

Laura

32:42
I feel like we need a sound effect here.

Nikki

32:45
We do like maybe the sound of a bus backing up or something.

Laura

32:52
I think it’s amazing. I think it’s amazing what you’re doing. And, and I also think it’s amazing in the short last few months, how you’ve made this decision for yourself, and just have been able to like, let go of so much, you know, and just to clear out your house and move and like once you made the decision that this is what you wanted to do. It was like gung ho, don’t get in Nikki’s way, man, she is on a mission.

Nikki

33:18
Well, thank you. Now, depending on your perspective, that is either a great quality of mine, or a big flaw of mine. If you’re my parents, you think, Oh, God, Nikki’s doing something impulsive and stupid again. Maybe not stupid, but a little off the wall, for sure.

Laura

33:42
Okay, well, I’m a finance girl. And I have to say you won’t have a mortgage. Yay you.

Nikki

33:46
I won’t have a mortgage. I won’t have an electric bill. I will have to sometimes buy propane and I’ll spend a lot of money on diesel. But yeah, the idea is to save a lot of money. But yeah, so some people will call it crazy. Some people will call it like a special skill of mine that well, first of all, I love change. You know, so many people are scared of change, and I thrive on it. And I, you know what sounds impulsive to a lot of people. They don’t know the amount of thinking and planning that I’ve been doing before I bring it up. So it may sound like I just had the idea a couple months ago. And now oh my god, I’m selling my house and doing it. But I’ve been thinking about this for a couple years.

Laura

34:35
Yeah, and you’ve put a ton and ton of thought into and you’re gonna get to design a brand new space like to your specs. And…

Nikki

34:43
Yeah, it’s super, super exciting. But yeah, it’s a lot of big changes and it’s a lot of, it’s a lot of really hard decisions because, as we may have mentioned, I’m not a minimalist.

Laura

34:58
But you’re more of a minimalist than I am I have to say, I think.

Nikki

35:02
Uh, I don’t think so. I think you have more art supplies… no, you don’t.

Laura

35:11
Well, I do after your studio sale.

Nikki

35:12
Well, yes, yes. Now that I’ve gotten rid of, I mean, I probably got rid of half the books that I have and half the art supplies, but I still have way more than can fit in a bus. I’m living temporarily in a small studio apartment above my sister’s garage that she’s been Airbnb’ing for the past couple years. And…

Laura

35:33
Thank you, Nikki’s sister.

Nikki

35:35
Yeah, thank you, Sandi. If you’re looking around the apartment, it looks like yeah, pretty minimal. You could fit that in a bus. But I’ve also filled up half of her two and a half car garage. So although I did a big purge and sale, I have to do another round or two of it, you know? So there’s still there’s still a lot to do. But it’s so freaking exciting. But it’s gonna have some challenges too, because I had a I had a, I had a 550 square foot art studio in my house. 550. My bus is probably going to have a total of maybe 180 square feet of living and working space.

Laura

36:17
Oh my gosh, wait, wait, wait. And there’s animals involved? Right.

Nikki

36:20
And I have a 70 pound dog and a cat.

Laura

36:24
Wow.

Nikki

36:25
Yes. But um, but it’s a super fun challenge for me trying to figure out how to fit like a working office/computer space and art studio space, and podcasting space. And, by the way, something a lot of people don’t put in a bus, a bathtub.

Laura

36:49
Okay, I really kind of want to know how this bathtub situation is gonna work out because that is just beyond my understanding in a bus.

Nikki

36:56
So there, there are certain things that I feel like I have to have, because I don’t want it to feel like I’m roughing it. I want it to feel like this is my home and it has everything that I really need. But I’m willing to give up other things like a lot of people want a big spacious kitchen with lots of you know, counter space and a big stove. And and I don’t need that, I’m gonna have a really, really small kitchen.

Laura

37:24
Well, can you buy something like a big flat panel you can put over the tub and just, you know, chop your vegetables on that or something.

Nikki

37:32
Theoretically, yes. But when I get to that point, I’ll have to share my my floor plans and my design for things on our website and our Facebook group. But I’ll definitely be sharing it all on Instagram too. But I’m also having a lot of fun designing my studio space, my workspace. I don’t need, a lot of people put like a big couch or even two rows of couches that fold out into another bed. And I don’t need that much living space. I need workspace more than living space. So I’m going to have like maybe a loveseat size seating area and the rest of that will be full of like work surfaces and storage for art supplies and… super fun to think of.

Laura

38:20
Oh, well I’m excited to see the floor plans. I think it’s gonna be so cool to watch it unfold. And but you know, I have questions like, Where do you park a school bus? Like, you can’t just randomly park it anywhere like you have to go certain places.

Nikki

38:36
This could be a whole ‘nother spin off podcast, but other people are already podcasting about it. But but you know, you learn, you learn what to do. So I’ve learned the word boondocking.

Laura

38:47
I don’t know what that means.

Nikki

38:49
Which means being totally off grid and like parking out in the wild somewhere not at a campground or, and I’ll have the ability to do that because I will be completely solar and self contained.

Laura

39:03
Okay, one other question like, what about the bathroom situation? Like…

Nikki

39:08
Composting toilet?

Laura

39:11
Okay, whatever that means. Does it does that mean it doesn’t stink?

Nikki

39:14
It doesn’t stink. And I mean, I mean, I could go into as much detail as you want about how there’s a urine diverter and the number one and number two go into separate areas and you use peat moss to turn your stuff into compost.

Laura

39:30
I think it’s TMI, I think it’s TMI, let’s just go with it doesn’t stink.

Nikki

39:33
It doesn’t stink. If you take care of it. It doesn’t stink.

Laura

39:36
Alright.

Nikki

39:37
Anyway, I mean, obviously, I could go on and on and on about this forever.

Laura

39:42
Yes, we could have a three hour long podcast about it.

Nikki

39:45
We really could. And I’m sure it will come up again and again, especially as one of the big challenges I’m going to have is continuing to podcast.

Laura

39:55
With a stable internet connection.

Nikki

39:57
Well, that’s going to be my biggest splurge. on this project, I’m going to save money in a lot of places. But I’m going to splurge on the best possible mobile internet that I can have. Because it’s super important to me for my, my job and for this podcast, so I will not be sacrificing internet at all. And I’m going to make sure that I build in a space on the bus that has, it’s not going to be soundproof, but you know, decent…

Laura

40:27
Pillow fort

Nikki

40:28
Yeah, pillow fort!

Laura

40:32
We’re gonna make it happen, y’all. We’re gonna make it happen.

Nikki

40:35
Bathtub/podcast booth.

Laura

40:39
This does need to be on Instagram.

Nikki

40:42
Oh, there will be pictures, there will be pictures of everything I promise.

Laura

40:46
I’m really excited. So yes, know that this podcast will be thriving and continue to thrive. And we’re really, really excited. And we’re gonna talk a lot more about that in our next episode and what some of our plans are for the podcast as we look back on this past year. And as we look forward to the things that we’re really, really excited about bringing to you.

Nikki

41:09
Oh, yeah. And we have some really, really exciting things that we are just in the, the dreaming brainstorming phase of that I think you guys are all going to really, really be excited about and and yeah, so we can’t wait to tease you quite a bit before we tell you all about it.

Laura

41:31
Absolutely. Now it’s your turn. Do you have any questions for us that we haven’t answered? Or do you have any accomplishments to share or lessons learned or big life changes in the works for you? We’d love to hear all about them in our Facebook group and on Instagram @StartistSociety.

Nikki

41:50
For today’s Startist Society show notes go to startistsociety.com/updates. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, we’d love for you to leave us a five star rating and review. Reviews help us reach more Startists like you and keep us inspired to continue creating new episodes. In fact, we have a great new review that we’d like to read for you right now.

Laura

42:11
This one comes from Silvia Volpe via Apple Podcasts. “My most favorite creative podcast. Laura and Nikki created one of the best creative podcasts out there. For me, the best. As well as sharing their own experience and their creative journeys, they invite guests and do interviews and get fantastic insights and tips on being a creative entrepreneur. They’re fun and make you feel like you’re not alone in your creative path. In fact, they have a fantastic Facebook group where all the Startists can join and feel part of a community. I really enjoy listening to their podcast. Thank you, Laura and Nikki. You’re doing a fantastic job and I’m so grateful I found your show. Silvia, thanks so much for your feedback. We love having you as a part of our community.

Nikki

42:53
Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.

Nikki

43:02
Rocket, Rocket hush. Rocket I’m recording a podcast. This scene did not call for a barking pitbull!

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