We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Randall Garrett a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Randall, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What’s the backstory behind how you came up with the idea for your business?
For thirty years I have shown my work professionally as an artist. All of that time making art has been about being true to myself and my creation, to bring that to the world in as real of a way as I can. What is new for me, what has emerged from connecting with others, is the understanding that one doesn’t create in a vacuum. The work I make in my studio, and the videos I upload to my YouTube channel, go out into the world to have an impact of some sort. This realization, that artist and audience are both part of the same creative experience, has awakened in me the desire to start a Patreon page. It inspired me to develop a closer connection with those who enjoy my work, to bring them behind the scenes, and get their feedback on what I am doing. In my first performance work, “Last Dance” from 1999, I built a small dance floor pedestal and invited guests to come up and dance with me during the performance. In a similar way, the offerings on my new Patreon page are an attempt to bridge that gap between the artist, the art, and the audience.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I am an artist, a creator. I live for accessing my own creativity and for working with others so they may do the same. This is what makes me get up in the morning, what gives me a reason for existing, the drive to experience this world and bring my creation into it. For over twenty years, I have owned and run Plush Gallery, the same length of time I taught arts and humanities at Dallas College. In that length of time, I have shown hundreds of artists work at my gallery, and taught thousands of students about art, creativity, and performance. In starting my own business as a creative mentor, I took lessons from this experience, of working with artists and college students, to start coaching others, to help them find their life’s purpose by way of their own creative expression. My clients often come to me from a place of being stuck in their lives, and of not seeing a way out. I meet them where they are, working with them to get in touch and bring forward their own expression, whether it is something they lost along the way, or have never accessed before in their lives. That same drive propels me to continually grow in my own expression, to hone and expand my craft, from the studio, to my YouTube channel, to my mentoring work, and now as a Patreon creator.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
When I was an adolescent, my family moved from my childhood home in Arkansas, out to West Texas. Suddenly, I was in a strange environment, having lost all the friends I had grown up with, and on my own. I became something of a loner, immersing myself in my creative activities, taking long walks, and not really connecting socially. I also learned to be self-sufficient, to take care of things without asking for help from others. This do-it-yourself approach to life got me far, enabling me to open my art gallery without the fear of failure, but also with the inherent limitations which come from doing everything by oneself. As I have matured in my approach to life, I have also learned I can do better and more through collaboration. And so, in my art gallery, I have asked my artists to bring their vision forward, to help me create something which is bigger than any one person’s dream. And now, I am learning that same lesson with regard to my own art, that it has the potential to be greater through active collaboration with my audience. This is what led me to start my YouTube channel, and now to launch a Patreon account, the desire to collaborate with others toward a more expansive vision of what my art and creativity may become.
Have you ever had to pivot?
A year and a half ago, I was laid off from my teaching position at Dallas College, due to the pandemic and institutional cutbacks. It was an environment I had taught in for over twenty years, and though it came as a surprise, it was not as great of a shock as I imagined, because I had already moved from a full-time to adjunct teaching position a few years prior. Assessing my situation, I paid heed to the moment we were all in, at a time in the pandemic when many others had also lost their jobs, and the gig-based economy was really taking hold. I decided to take inspiration from that moment, to commit myself fully to bringing my creative self into the world. As a teacher, this meant learning how to take the same lessons on creativity I had been giving my students, through a course I had developed called “Identity, Culture, and Performance,” and applying those concepts to a business startup. This took the form of creative mentoring, a type of coaching I developed to work with others in nurturing their own expression, so as to achieve personal growth and find purpose in life. My new Patreon page is a natural outgrowth of that desire, to deepen my own creative expression by focusing on how it relates to and connects with my audience.
- Website: https://www.randallgarrett.com/
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therandallgarrett/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/therandallgarrett
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/therandallgarrett
- Other: https://www.patreon.com/therandallgarrett
canvas_rebel_garrett_iii.jpg – Daniel Sunshine canvas_rebel_garrett_iv.jpg – Punto Magnolia, Mexico City