Monday, January 24, 2011

Hey YouBers, Good grief, its Gary Reef!

Self proclaimed laid back, lover of coffee, Gary Reef has a captivating style of sharing his process via a 4 year relationship with his video camera and YouTube. I surfed into this artist's channel by some series of serendipitous clicks a while back and immediately was taken by one video after the other of the artist at work either spray painting in his flip flops, dissecting and reassembling junk for assemblages or addressing his audience with his signature "Hey, YouBers" in an Aussie drawl.

Here's a fun example of just such a video:

Captivating, right?

I thought it would also be captivating to have a little drawing to win a piece of art from Gary. We'll send some ATCs of Gary's work to a lucky winner drawn from the comments section via random number generator... GOOD LUCK! (and don't forget to leave me a way to contact you!) Last day to enter is next Sunday the 30th of January before Midnight PST (I think that would also be known as -8:00GMT)

Well, here are a few insights from Gary...

1) When you think about your first inkling of being an artist is there a story that comes to mind? 
I have to say there was. I was taking a life drawing class and the instructor was walking around to each student critiquing their work. When she got to me she almost feel down in shock, she said" You shouldn't paint people/nudes green, it makes them look sick. Try to avoid that colour". I was like...really?  Being the pig headed, determined, young, new comer I ignored her advice and continued to use several shades of green to complete my figure sketches. It was when I finished this work I knew I wanted to be an artist. The work sold easily and I received so much praise for it over the years. So always believe in your instincts regardless of what others say, only you know what is right at the end of the day. Sure it is ok to listen and take advice from others but just be careful. Here is an example of that early work:

2) How/ where do you work best and when? Any stories connected with how that works for you?
In my 20's I worked best late at night, usually from around 10pm until 2 or 3am the following morning. Over the years I have worked in many different spaces, places and studios. From the kitchen table, to the washroom, dinning and living room and finally my current location which is in the basement under the house. Now that I am in my mid 30's I find I am most creative in the morning and so from around 6am until 12:00 in creating. I do make exceptions for full moons because I can never sleep, I am always full of energy so usually paint late then.

3) Will you share with our readers about how you get the juices flowing, where you draw your daily inspirations from and or overcoming the inner critic?

It all starts with baby steps! I usually find when I have had a break for a few months it is always hard to get started, so I usually begin by cleaning my studio, cleaning brushes, checking supplies, looking at images, reading articles, watching youtube videos. I usually don't start to create for the first few days, I might just play around and mix some colour combinations on a palette or prepare some canvases in ready. So for me the secret to get the juices flowing is taking baby steps, getting your mind prepared for work.
Inspiration comes from many sources- the internet, reading books, magazines, nature. But i do have to say the best inspiration comes from 'the accidents' I make during the creative process. I might accidentally spill paint on a canvas and that always triggers off new inspiration and ideas.

I am fortunate enough to have developed some mental exercises to stop the critic from being apart of the process. I have no self doubt, I can always paint over something if i dislike it, I can always keep moving forward, if I ruin a painting that is just how it goes, you just have to move on and create something new. You won't get it right all the time! I am a big believer in change and I am always taking chances in hope to achieve something wonderful. 

4) What advice do you have for beginner artists?

Take your time to develop, don't think you have to be an expert overnight. It takes years to become good at something, be patient, be a sponge, learn techniques and focus on your own journey. Don't follow trends, listen to your inner voice and avoid asking family for their opinions about your art. Be brave, push yourself and never give up! Below is something to follow

8 Secrets of Success

Passion- Follow your passion, do it for love and the money comes anyway.

Work- Hard work pays off.

Good- Put ur nose down and get good at doing something, focus focus on one thing at a time.

Push- Got to push through shyness and self doubt. Believe in yourself!

Serve - Serve others something of value.

Ideas- Listen, observe, be curious, problem solve and make connections

Persist- You got to persist through failure and






5) How do you market yourself? Do you have a marketing or press package? If you have an "elevator spiel" or "cocktail party" response to "So, what do you do?" that inspires people to want to know more, will you share it with our readers?

My biggest marketing tool is the act of giving! I share my thoughts, my knowledge, my techniques with everybody who wants to learn. When you give of yourself without expectation you get back 100 fold. I don't claim to know everything nor do I wish to, but I share with people my ideas on how to approach the act of creating...and it seems to work. My advice is just get yourself out there, I started out on YouTube that has been the biggest and best marketing tool out there. I have been exposed to a huge audience and after 4 years of youtubing and 300 videos later I have slowly (with a lot of hard work) built up a fan base and following. Everyone can do it. Just be passionate about what you do, share it and the rest will take care of itself.

6) What's up for you in 2011 - anything you'd like to share? Photos? Videos? Promos?

I have my finger in many pies lol. I am flying over to America (Hampton Virgina- Art and Soul Retreat) in April to take one of Jesse Reno's courses which I am so excited about. I am gearing up to start a new round of teaching online. I have a new mixed media course called 'No Boundaries' starting beginning of March which I am excited about, as well as many other courses in the pipeline. I have an article in Art Trader Magazine due out any day ( Also, I am working on my own mixed media book.

Here are some ways you can find out more about Gary Reef:
Website is
Online Store is
Mixed Media social art network is
Youtube channel is
My website has links to my facebook fan page and other sites of interest.

Now, Go Get YOUR craft ON!


  1. I´m a big fan, Gary. But I suppose you knew that :-)

  2. Thank you for sharing Gary with your friends. He is an amazing artist and you will learn loads from his videos and his community. Mary Faith (one of his loyal LMM followers.)

  3. GREAT interview of Gary! I have followed his vids on YouTube and love his style. The above advice for beginners is fantastic...Gary you should write a book.

    Thanks Julee!xo

  4. The fact that gary is such a generous soul is what got me to notice him in the first place. All those utube vids. He is a constant source of inspiration and fun and charming and on and on and on.

  5. Thanks for more sharing Gary. You are an

  6. Thanks for sharing this awesome interview with the one and only Gary! I love it everytime he does one, I get to read more about him, plus I now get to learn more about a new artist out there with great stuff! I am looking forward to reading some of your other blogs! Cheers

  7. Like you,I was surfing the web when I found Gary and was instantly drawn in! I joined his LLM site and follow him on youtube and facebook as well,like a "stalker" lol! Thanks for sharing this wonderful interview with him! He's so carefree and has a heart of gold!! :)

  8. I'm just commenting because I want to win. NOOOOCHHH. Kidding, Gary and his videos and site are a great inspiration. He has really inspired me to improve my work. Check his youtube vids and his site Loving Mixed Media out they are


  9. Thanks for a great interview - Gary and LMM are are inspiring so many artists to just go for it and develop their own style. His LMM site has provided a much needed safe haven for artists of all types to meet, share their work and learn. He is so encouraging and giving - you can't help but love him!


Oooooh BLoGgEE love!