Brand Your Passion

66: Renata Paton on getting started as an artist, expanding into new mediums, and committing to your content

Episode Summary

This week on the Brand Your Passion Podcast, I talk to Melbourne-based indie artist, Renata Paton. Renata, also known as GremRen, is all about fun creatures and punchy color palettes. You can see her messing around with paint pens, yarn, wood carving, and the list goes on. AKA, if it's vibrant and fun, she is in. In this episode, I talk to Renata all about her secrets and I find out how on earth she has done it to build thousands of followers worth of audience, an amazing art style and that kick ass brand. In this episode, you're gonna learn things like how to get started as an artist, how to find your style, how can you balance work, your art, your creativity with creating a consistent brand. How do you expand into new mediums and still keep your brain consistent? How do you show up every single day online and build an audience that loves your work and a lot more, obviously?

Episode Notes

This week on the Brand Your Passion Podcast, I talk to Melbourne-based indie artist, Renata Paton.

Renata, also known as GremRen, is all about fun creatures and punchy color palettes.

You can see her messing around with paint pens, yarn, wood carving, and the list goes on. AKA, if it's vibrant and fun, she is in. In this episode, I talk to Renata all about her secrets and I find out how on earth she has done it to build thousands of followers worth of audience, an amazing art style and that kick ass brand.

In this episode, you're gonna learn things like how to get started as an artist, how to find your style, how can you balance work, your art, your creativity with creating a consistent brand. How do you expand into new mediums and still keep your brain consistent? How do you show up every single day online and build an audience that loves your work and a lot more, obviously?


Connect with Renata


Instagram: @ gremren

Twitter: @ gremren_

TikTok: @ gremren


Read the accompanying blog post.

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Hollie: We all see artists online who we love, they have hundreds of thousands of followers, an amazing art style and a kick ass brand, and we are sitting there thinking, how do they do that? What is their secret?

[00:00:16] Renata: I just kind of have made the active decision to roll the dice every day and just show up. Even if it's not my best work or anything, just be consistent, be disciplined.

[00:00:29] This is my full-time job and I take it very seriously despite, you know, my, my little goofs that I share all around the internet

[00:00:35] Hollie: Well, that is Renata Peyton, also known as GremRen. Renata is a Melbourne-based indie artist who's all about fun creatures and punchy color palettes.

[00:00:47] You can see her messing around with paint pens, yarn, wood carving, and the list goes on. AKA, if it's vibrant and fun, she is in. In this episode, I talk to Renata all about her secrets and I find out how on earth she has done it to build thousands of followers worth of audience, an amazing art style and that kick ass brand.

[00:01:12] In this episode, you're gonna learn things like how to get started as an artist, how to find your style, how can you balance work, your art, your creativity with creating a consistent brand. How do you expand into new mediums and still keep your brain consistent? How do you show up every single day online and build an audience that loves your work and a lot more, obviously?

[00:01:39] So if you are ready, let's start the episode and talk to Renata.

[00:01:44] Welcome to the podcast Renata!

[00:01:48] Renata: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:01:50] Hollie: Oh, of course, of course. I'm stoked to have you here.

[00:01:52] The people listening have heard a little bit about what you do right now and kind of how you describe what you do, but I would love to know a little bit about how you kind of got to where you are now.

[00:02:04] So, do you think you have always identified as creative? Were you creative as a young person? How did you kind of get into being creative, quote unquote?

[00:02:14] Renata: Yeah, definitely. Like art was kind of always my, my main shtick. You know, like some kids are like really good at sport or like, you know, the musicians. I was always most comfortable like in the art room doing like, you know, art, woodwork, ceramics, all that kind of stuff. My favorite thing in school.

[00:02:31] So I've always leaned very heavily towards that kind of growing up. And then, you know, when you like start to leave high school, you think seriously about where you wanna go, university kind of, you know, doing like TAFE sort of more like practical courses. After a, a little bit of introspection, I originally decided I was gonna go into industrial design because at the time I loved, like, kind of soft toy making was my, my thing at the time.

[00:02:56] So I was gonna try and make that work. And, you know, a year into that university course, found out it wasn't as much about toy making as it was about kind of product engineering. Started getting a little bit mathematical a little bit. They, I remember a moment they talked about the welding properties of steel and how to calculate the the load that that would take. And at that exact point I was like, oh, this isn't for me. Like with all due respect to whoever can, you know, engineers, incredible people. Yeah, not my faculty.

[00:03:31] Hollie: Fair enough. Amazing. I scrolled all the way back to the beginning of your Instagram.

[00:03:37] Renata: You can do it. Yeah. If you really wanna do it. It's, it goes for years.

[00:03:41] Hollie: Yeah. Yeah. And I saw that the first post ever were of plushies that you were making. So how did you then, I guess you were interested in the plushies, you went to industrial school, industrial design school. Then how did you get into the design and illustration work that it looked like you went into next?

[00:04:00] Renata: Yeah. So kind of from that point of like, oh gosh, industrial designer isn't for me. I kind of had a little bit of a look around at my, my own university, and where I could kind of easily jump to. And they had a like a, like a visual communication course kind of like viscom sort of, you know, like graphic design.

[00:04:18] Hollie: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:18] Renata: And while at the time I wasn't like super confident with my illustration skills, I knew I was good at art, I knew I could kind of figure it out, and so it was kind of, It was a bit a, a choice of necessity, you know?

[00:04:37] Hollie: Mm-hmm.

[00:04:37] Renata: Instead of having to mess with like different university, different courses, whatever.

[00:04:41] But yeah, I jumped into the like communication design course instead and started that sort of started pushing me towards illustration and graphic design and yeah, long story short, it, it's, it's pushed me to, to where I am now.

[00:04:54] Hollie: Yeah. Incredible. I saw that earlier on you started, you had these business cards that you had made that were for doing, I think, branding, design and illustration.

[00:05:05] Renata: Yeah.

[00:05:05] Hollie: And they had like some cute like illustrations of cats and a fish and a bubble and stuff, they were awesome. So is that sort of when you started, I guess, like branding yourself as a designer, illustrator, tell me about that sort of process.

[00:05:19] Yeah, definitely. So going through that communication design, you know, graphic course, I found myself leaning towards kind of branding and logo design as the things that personally piqued my interest a lot more.

[00:05:33] And so, you know, once, once I was kind of heading towards the end of university as well, I was like, "oh, I should start kind of putting my name out there and showing that this is something that I'm interested in, this is something that I want to work in a little bit more." So yeah, the doing it on Instagram necessarily wasn't what I had planned, but

[00:05:54] mm-hmm.

[00:05:55] Renata: I did start to kind of, you know, work in sort of a logo-y sort of area, and kind of you know, throughout my, the, the branding projects that I'd done at university, just, you know, build, build a little bit of a visual portfolio, and yeah, kind of build it from there.

[00:06:12] Hollie: And so then from doing like that branding work and logos, how did you get into doing what you do now? So doing full-time illustration and making your own products, when did that happen?

[00:06:26] Renata: It was definitely like a gradual process. It wasn't like one day, boom, I'm just like making my own stuff, like a hundred percent. So I graduated university and as is the fun part of graduating from graphic design, you like, you go on, you know, job search websites and just see how like kind of how much they're asking you to do and how little kind of opportunities there are for kind of graphic design. At least in my personal area around Melbourne at the time. It was, it was kind of slim pickings.

[00:06:59] So I ended up accepting a position at a printing company doing like in the prepress art team, which is like what it was officially called. Essentially they, they said I could do, you know, creative stuff while also doing kind of like printing stuff at the same time.

[00:07:17] But the job was a little bit more a bit more form editing. Medical was their biggest customer and clients. From that they, we would just get, our team would get a lot of jobs where we would just be editing forms, creating brochures for certain kind of like surgeries and stuff.

[00:07:34] Any, like lots and lots and lots of medical paraphernalia. Which is, you know, the, it kept coming, so it was a-

[00:07:41] Hollie: yeah

[00:07:41] Renata: -it was a great, great business model. But not quite where I was anticipating ending up.

[00:07:48] Hollie: Yeah.

[00:07:49] Renata: Yeah, and so I was, I was working in the, the pre-press team full-time working, which was helpful in its own way. It helped me understand like, you know, printing output settings and like CMYK value, like all, everything around printing. It was excellent as kind of a crash course of that.

[00:08:08] Hollie: Yeah.

[00:08:08] Renata: So I'm definitely so grateful for that job, but I found myself in like my evenings and weekends starting to just kind of do my own thing.

[00:08:18] I didn't have like a set goal per se. I, like, at the time I was just following a bunch of artists on Instagram that I was, you know, I was amazed by. I, like, I would see them doing their full-time work and then just being like that seems pretty cool. I like, not even the intention of that's where I wanna be, but just kind of like, that seems really cool, I'm inspired by that.

[00:08:41] And yeah. So I would just, you know, work, work on my evenings and weekends, make art. I, I self-funded my first like enamel pin.

[00:08:51] Hollie: Mm-hmm.

[00:08:51] Renata: Which was like a huge thing in the art community at the time. And I, I made like a hundred. Of that design and, you know, took like three years to sell them all out.

[00:09:00] Hollie: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:00] Renata: But that's kind of, yeah, I started with like two sticker designs, one pin design, and I launched an etsy's shop cuz I was like this, it's kind of always something that I wanted to do, but I never admitted it to myself because it seemed too scary, like too difficult.

[00:09:18] Hollie: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:19] Renata: Just like entirely unattainable.

[00:09:23] So, yeah, I just, I started as tiny as possible. My friends and family bought my designs.

[00:09:29] Hollie: Awh.

[00:09:30] Renata: Bless them. You love to see it.

[00:09:33] Hollie: Yes. Yeah, yeah,

[00:09:34] Renata: yeah, yeah.

[00:09:35] From there it was the slow kind of like, you know, pushing, like just pushing the boulder bit by little bit up the hill. Yeah, as you know, it took about a year, year and a half for my, like, to get a bit of like traction on, on Instagram to get like a bit of a following, I guess.

[00:09:52] Hollie: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:52] Renata: And I was posting essentially every day, maybe skipping, you know, one or two here and there. But yeah, thanks to that like year, year and a half, I, my illustration style grew like tenfold.

[00:10:04] Hollie: Yeah. Yeah. I had so have- had and have- so many questions about your style because you have such a distinct, what I would say is such a distinct style, that scrolling like all the way back to the beginning of your Instagram, there were definitely elements of your style that were there kind of from the beginning or have been there throughout, but how, how have you, I guess, developed that style and how have you kind of come to find what's you, I guess?

[00:10:38] Renata: Great question.

[00:10:39] Essentially like, like you said, you scrolled back to the very beginning of like my Instagram. There were kind of the seeds of my st my style there, but it was just really rough. I didn't really have a lot of the fundamentals down.

[00:10:52] I've always been someone who just like, loves really punchy color palettes. Like even when I was doing branding, like logo design sort of stuff, I would always gravitate to designs that just had, you know, really bold, like reds and blues and just like, would catch your eye with their color colors. So that like, has been kind of the, the thread that weaves everything together, like all the way through.

[00:11:17] But honestly, as far as building, building my style was concerned. It's has, it was literally just kind of doing those consistent drawings like every evening, every weekend. You know, like months and months and like, you know, onwards of that year, just kind of really putting the time in.

[00:11:37] Before, before I had that full-time job and it kind of pushed me to do my own stuff. I, I never really took the time, I guess to, to invest into like, you know, my art and really kind of solidify it. Cuz I was, I was always into art. I was always kinda the art kid, but I took it for granted a little bit and so, I kind of just, you know, like coasted on, like I have a sort of a natural ability, but, you know, at the end of the day it was still very rough.

[00:12:07] And yeah, so like thanks to that job that, you know, pushed me to just work on my own stuff, just really slowly but surely, I would figure out kind of, you know, the, the palettes that I like. I'd kind of, I refined like my anatomy knowledge and kind of, I started working with like backgrounds and stuff and I found that people responded really well to that.

[00:12:29] I remember a few, like of the earlier pieces that I did that had like more defined backgrounds. I got a lot of like really positive feedback and so I was like, oh, okay, people wanted to see this and so I, I worked on it more because, you know, I, I realize this is a worthwhile investment of my time and yeah.

[00:12:48] It's really just kind of the daily practice of putting, putting that little bit of time in. It doesn't feel like much in the moment, but it, it can snowball into something so, so good. Really, really soft.

[00:13:03] Yeah.

[00:13:04] Hollie: Compounds over time. Might not feel Yeah, like it's making a difference day to day, but over time it clearly makes a huge difference.

[00:13:11] Renata: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:13:13] Hollie: Yeah. And so your style now I would say I am interested if you think so too, but that it's obviously a big part of like your brand and what people know you for and they recognize your style. So how do you kind of build the rest of your brand around the work that you do and kind of so that it compliments or they, it all works together with your work?

[00:13:38] Renata: Yeah.

[00:13:40] It's kind of, I would say it's been a fairly natural process for me as I make like a new business card or I make a new logo or just like, you know, little visual elements that I add to, like the photography that I share. It's been a natural evolution. Like I said before, the kind of my, the color palettes that I really enjoy using are sort of a thread that ties everything together.

[00:14:03] Kind of in branding generally as well, you have what is called like a tool. Or you have, you know, like your, your very, your kind of brand colors. You have your, like your logos, your, your visual assets that you tend to use in a lot of the things that you, you know, you make and you share. While I don't, you know, have the literal like tool, I can't like actively grab like an asset from like Illustrator or whatever, but I have kind of defined little visual cues and styles that I purposefully add to like my branding and you know, even like little advertisement posts for like, store updates and stuff.

[00:14:39] And that's kind of naturally developed from me looking at things that inspire me. So kind of like, you know, certain like stationary designs or kind of like designs from other artists. I, I take note of what they're doing and what I really like from that sort of inspirational content as well. And then I, I kind of, I test it out on my own stuff, and if it doesn't gel, you know, I, I don't keep going with it. But if I find that it does, then it kind of, you know, I pick it up, I put it in my toolbox and it comes with me for the ride.

[00:15:16] Yeah, that's, that's essentially it.

[00:15:18] Hollie: I love the idea of like a toolbox, you know, like these are, yeah, these are the tools I can pick up. I can use this tool here and this tool here. But they all together work to create your whole brand. And I definitely noticed you have those kind of different visual assets like you have, I guess like a mascot. I don't know if you would call like a mascot, person.

[00:15:40] Renata: Mascot is, is the idea.

[00:15:42] Hollie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And so that mascot kind of shows up when you have announcements or things coming from you, which I think is really cool. And also, You know, you have a logo on your kind of card website and then the illustrations around you and your profile photos. So there's definitely those clear assets that connect everything together. Yeah. Which I think is really clever.

[00:16:03] So kind of tied into that question, I guess a question that I get a lot of the time from artists is like, how do I have a consistent brand, which is what I guess in quotes you're "supposed" to have is something consistent, but then also have like the freedom to still be creative or try new things.

[00:16:23] I'm curious if you have any perspective on like how you balance those things, if you think about that at all. Like being consistent, but still being able to create new things and be creative.

[00:16:34] Renata: Yeah, I, I totally relate to that. It's, I think it's a struggle that every artist has if they're like on social media.

[00:16:43] Because social media kind of demands consistency, visual, kind of like a visual narrative that kind of flows through like everything that you share. And so it does kind of naturally feel a little bit constraining to, to artists who wanna just like experiment and make, you know, new and fun and different things.

[00:17:01] I would say having just those few kind of like key visual elements that can, you can naturally kind of put into every single thing that you make definitely helps keep your overall sort of visual brand as you could call in like a loose term. It keeps everything like a bit cohesive.

[00:17:22] Like I said. If I sort of broke my, my visual identity down into like its absolute core components, like the colors would be the, the stand out, the thing that ties everything together.

[00:17:35] So like, personally, even if I'm, like I say, I, I made the jump into doing kind of like rugs and trying that as a, a different medium, which you would say is, is very different from, you know, I, I built my work with like, kind of, you know, Posca paint pens and like illustrations.

[00:17:53] But I found, I found that my kind of main audience is still very excited about the, the more like the textile things that I'm doing at the moment because they still have like core parts of my style. They still have my kind of very recognizable like color schemes that I use. And it kind of, it lets me be like, it lets me have that little bit of creativity as well, you know, using different mediums.

[00:18:17] You have to kind of adapt to their strengths and weaknesses and. Yeah, finding the, you know, you just bring those core elements in, that has helped a lot. So just finding what, what are your absolute main core, like core visual ingredients and just kind of, you know, if you, if you wanna try something new, that's totally fine, just kind of just sprinkle it in a little bit and just see where it goes.

[00:18:43] If, if an experiment, you know, if you're experimenting, it doesn't go maybe the way that you wanted. You, I feel like you always still get something out of it. It's always still a worthwhile investment of your time, even if it wasn't successful. So I think it's always worth a shot.

[00:19:00] Hollie: Yeah, absolutely. I was like, so curious and like interested in the fact that you had expanded into so many different things.

[00:19:07] Cuz as you said, when you began, you had like the enamel pen and a couple of stickers. You were doing illustrations and prints and that kind of thing. But now you're doing like rugs, you made the plushy, I can see behind you with the long legs. Yeah. You got the like the wooden little animals, like how has it been expanding into these new formats or mediums while trying to keep your audience engaged and enjoying things. How's that been?

[00:19:31] Renata: Yeah, it's, it's definitely been a learning experience. I would say. I'm still kind of like riding the wave of, kind of feeling comfortable with all the different things that I'm trying to do because like, like I said before initially sort of like software design, I was like hand sewing like toys and stuff.

[00:19:50] So I've, like, I've always been interested in very, like, tactile, more kind of like craft focused creative pursuits. But at the time, kind of like after I, I left university and started working full-time job those sorts of pursuits just take so much time. And so at that time, I, I pivoted towards illustration because, you know, it, you can bang out something in like an hour or two and you know, you, you get it done, you throw it up there and then you move on to the next thing.

[00:20:20] Making say like, you know, hand carving and then designing a little like wooden bear takes a little bit longer, takes, you know, a like 10 hours, maybe, you know, a bit more that sometimes.

[00:20:32] So yeah, it's, I've always had the, the desire to kind of shift more towards like, you know, 3D products, more like tactile craft and stuff as well. But when I was initially building my kind of like my, my brand I guess it just, it wasn't a viable thing that I could do, so, I made that active choice to shift towards illustration, which was great because then I got way more comfortable and from that you know, kind of grew people's interest in my work solidified myself and kind of, you know, made it, like, made myself known for the things that I'm into.

[00:21:17] And then as I maybe, you know, needed a little bit of a, a break from illustration and posture and stuff because it's just, you know, you do the same thing over and over and over again, even with different like different subjects and, you know, different different ways of doing it. It you just, you need a break. You need to kind of freshen things up a little bit. And so that's where kind of, you know, a bit more of the product design and leaning more towards craft has just been like such a breath of fresh air.

[00:21:45] And I think, I think I've noticed like the people who engage with my art consistently they, I think a few of them even mentioned, you know, they noticed like my, my excitement for what I was doing, kind of like it was, it was dimming a little bit, and then with, you know, changing and, you know, trying a few different things, it really perked back up a little bit.

[00:22:07] So it's, it definitely did feel like a little bit of a risk because I, at the time I was known for like, Illustration. That was kind of the, the meat and potatoes of what I did. So yeah, it definitely felt like a little bit of a risk, but it has turned into a worthwhile risk now. It's so encouraging and yeah, now I kind of, you know, I jumped from like rugs to illustration, to product design to you know, any other craft that I can get my grubby little fingers on, and people have consistently been excited about, you know, anything and everything that I kind of, I, I come up with, which, yeah, it's, it's been so encouraging and j really, really just makes me wanna push myself further and further from there.

[00:22:55] Hollie: Yeah. That's so special that those people who have been following you for so long are still, they're so excited to see this new level of excitement for you and that's really, yeah, I can imagine how encouraging that is. So that's awesome. Yeah.

[00:23:08] And I'm just curious, maybe just a quick question about obviously those illustrations you said you can kind of smash those out pretty quickly.

[00:23:15] I can imagine it, you said you were doing those like every day, every weekend, spending time. So you're publishing, I guess, a new illustration or sharing a new something almost every day. Compared to now you are doing things that take a lot longer, so maybe people aren't seeing like something new all the time.

[00:23:32] So how do you kind of, how have you adjusted to that or balance that or what are your thoughts on kind of that shift and I guess publishing things, new things all the time?

[00:23:42] Renata: Yeah, definitely. It's, I know it's a thing that a lot of people struggle with when it comes to social media. Yeah. There's this kinda expectation to share like something new and fresh and amazing like every single.

[00:23:52] I like, even when I was doing kind of full-time work and drawing really consistently and everything, I would on a somewhat consistent basis share like, you know, the sticker designs that I had up in my shop and kind of have that as my daily post. Or like, if I had maybe like a page of doodles or something, I, I would use that instead.

[00:24:15] So it. Consistently, visually knew stuff that I was sharing to like, say my Instagram feed. But it wasn't a new piece of art like every single day. I, I think that's unobtainable. And not sustainable on a long-term basis. So yeah, even when I was, you know, doing that, I was giving myself a little bit of a, a little bit of a, a.

[00:24:40] When I didn't have something new to, to share, like I would be consistently taking my artwork in my car, like driving to work. And then as I parked in the carpark of work, I would take the photo of my artwork because like at the time I, I started work kind of earlier around eight o'clock. And so, I, I couldn't take the photos when I got home cuz the sun would be down. I couldn't take them before I left to work. The sun would just be rising. So, yeah, I would have to like do it then, because that was, that was the best time for lighting. That's just how it goes.

[00:25:13] But yeah, now as well I found that like video content, which is, you know, in the past few years really become a mu, like a greater force in the creative social media community, that has been, something that I've relied on as well.

[00:25:34] So I will make, you know, I'll make a, a new design if, if it's an illustration or a rug or whatever, but I'll also, while I'm creating that design, I'll be probably like recording it, either like a full-time lapse or just kind of like in little segments here and there, just like a few seconds here and there. It's literally all you need. And then, You know, just, I'll, I'll slap that together as, as a reel or a TikTok video, and then I can, I can share that as one of my, my daily posts as well. So in that way, kind of like, you know, one piece of art can become like two pieces of content and you can really stretch one piece of art out into like multiple posts as well.

[00:26:17] You could do like a work in progress post. You could do it in a like collection with pieces of art that are similar. You could show it like in a frame, looking just so beautiful and ready to be adopted. Yeah. And then from that, if you make much of it, then you know, share your product photos as well.

[00:26:35] There really are a lot of different ways that you can keep up that like schedule if you need to, if you feel the need to do so. And yeah, I'd, I think the idea of new art every day. Is so bad. Yeah, it's bad for your little artist's soul. So if you can ever kind of move away from that, I would highly, highly recommend it.

[00:27:00] Hollie: Yes. Just mildly unsustainable.

[00:27:05] Renata: Just a little bit. Yeah.

[00:27:06] Hollie: And like you said, it's bad for the creative soul in a way. Cause if you are feeling rushed or like you can't spend the time to just explore or to really hone your craft or you feel like you can't venture into something that takes longer.

[00:27:20] There are people who paint things that take days and months and years to finish. And if you were trying to post that every day, you'd be like, oh, I can't do that. But if you just let yourself, like, oh, I can, I can actually spend the time on this work. Maybe I just need to, or I want to document my progress every day or some other aspect of it to spread that out as a great approach.

[00:27:45] Renata: Absolutely. Like it takes a little bit of planning on your part to make sure that you have those, like, you know, the backed up content, if daily posting or even like schedule posting is what you wanna do, but it's, it's entirely achievable. So it's, it's, it's worth a little bit of planning, I promise.

[00:28:02] Hollie: Yeah, definitely. Because it's obviously worked for you because you have 115,000 followers on Instagram, a hundred eighty seven 0.5 on TikTok, 30,000 on Twitter. So what has helped you to grow your audience that much and to venture into TikTok when that launched? What has been your strategy or your approach to growing your audience.

[00:28:23] Renata: Yeah. It's not especially complex, I would say. I don't have like an eight point like strategy that I can share. It's literally I just kind of have made the active decision to like roll the dice every day and like, you know, and just, just show up and be the, even if it's not my best work or anything, just be consistent, be disciplined.

[00:28:48] Because I'm taking this, like, this is my full-time job and I take it very seriously despite, you know, my, my little goofs that I share all around the internet.

[00:28:55] Yeah, that's kind of my core of what I would recommend to everyone cuz like, I know a lot of people get really they get a bit dejected looking at, you know, like numbers and like the algorithm, looking at engagement.

[00:29:09] I make the active decision to not do that. I try to kind of like disengage myself from the numbers as much as possible, cuz at the end of the day, I, I can't do a lot to change how those numbers roll in or rollout. I would much, much rather focus my energy on just creating the art. That's what I'm here for in the first place. And if people enjoy that, then extra bonus for me.

[00:29:36] But as far as more specific things Instagram was, for Instagram at least, just, it's always just those few little viral posts that managed to, like, by some miracle end up like on the explore page or like, you know, just get that crazy traction. I've had a few reels that you know, like get a few million views, which is just insane.

[00:29:59] But from there you get like, potentially, you know, like a, a bump of like 10,000 followers. And it's just, it's the same thing that you've been doing for like, you know, the past two months or something. But this, this one post, you just got lucky. You kind of, you know, timed the right, had like a seven second clip and, you know, just, just, it went well.

[00:30:20] I found, at least for TikTok a lot of my followers came from a tutorial that I made about, like a water illustration tutorial, which once again, I kind of made on a whim. I did not have, didn't expected to do particularly well. It did very particularly well. Yeah. Yeah. It was. It was a bit of a thing, which was fun. And from there yeah, just a lot of people like, it was like 50,000, 60,000 or something on TikTok nuts. Absolutely insane. Yeah. Yeah, so I, I haven't really made many tutorials since then. Could be in a thing to do. I would like to do them in the future, but it's just, you know, you do the best you can.

[00:31:05] And there are so many people sharing, like tips and tricks on how to, you know, game the algorithm and, you know, like make your, make your content elevate to the next level or whatever. Which you can pretty easily find on, on each respective platform.

[00:31:22] But at the end of the day, I find, yeah, just, just showing up like every, every, like I try to do every weekday at this point. Give me, give the weekends a little bit of a break when possible. But yeah, just consistency cuz you, you really never know which one is gonna be like the banger.

[00:31:40] Sometimes you have one a post that you think is gonna be incredible and then it does, you know, luke warm at best. And you have to be able to roll with those punches and keep going regardless. That's, that will help you more than anything else.

[00:31:54] Hollie: Yeah, absolutely. And just knowing that it's not necessarily that that post was bad or that people don't like that piece of art. It's just, it just is what it is. It's just how the platforms work and you just have to, like you said, keep showing up. Keep just focusing on doing the work. And yeah, it'll happen.

[00:32:12] Renata: It's nothing personal. At the end of the day, it's nothing personal. Like if your stuff doesn't do well, it's just, you know, algorithms unfortunately don't have feelings and you know, it's, yeah, just try not to take it to heart and just, you just keep going. That's all you can do. Yeah.

[00:32:30] Hollie: Just publish again tomorrow.

[00:32:33] Renata: That's it. Another day. Another, another dollar.

[00:32:36] Hollie: Yeah, exactly. So you've done some pretty cool collaborations that I've seen. You did some one recently doing a sneaker collaboration with the tribe where you were drawing on sneakers. How have those brand collaborations come about?

[00:32:51] Renata: It's been, I would say a hundred percent from my social media and just kind of me naturally just putting myself out there, like over and over again.

[00:32:59] Yeah, they'll like, you know, send me an email or send me his dm. Just kind of like, it's always like they'll, nine times outta 10 be the ones putting the feelers out and being like, "Hey, we have this idea. We think you'd be a great fit for it. What do you think?" And then if I have, like, you know, if I have the time and if I think it's a, a good match or a good use of my, a good, just a good use of my time and resources, then you know, you kind of keep rolling the ball from there and just, you know, it doesn't, you don't have to say an absolute yes so you can be like, you know, gimme more information. I'll see if it's a good fit.

[00:33:35] So yeah, it's, it's usually a very organic, you know, people will come to me for that kind of stuff. I do feel bad, like, you know, not saying yes to like every single one, but I, I do have like, people pleasing tendencies that I have to just like squash down into my little box and yeah, just make, make sure I am, you know, not saying yes and overloading myself, but yeah.

[00:33:56] The ones that I've said yes, to have all been like really, really cool really cool partnerships and really like, I think I've learned like a lot from like every single one of them. So yeah. Yeah, they've been great. Worth the effort for sure.

[00:34:10] Hollie: Yeah. Amazing. I am with you on being like a people pleaser. I'm terrible at saying no or have been in the past. One of the things that I learned or someone said to me that helped me was, "A no from me means a yes for someone else." So I, I say no to something that means another creative gets to do that thing, or another artist gets to do it. So that makes me feel a little bit better about saying no.

[00:34:38] Renata: Oh, I'm gonna take that and I'm gonna just like, run with it for the rest of my life.

[00:34:42] That just like, yeah, it makes you feel like a great person. Like, no, I'm giving everyone else a chance to be their beautiful, like, you know, resplendent selves. Just, yeah, yeah. Pass, pass on the good vibes. I love that.

[00:34:53] Hollie: Exactly. Okay. So in the last few minutes I just wanna ask you a couple of questions that I ask everybody.

[00:34:59] Okay. The first is, what do you think is the biggest lesson that you have learned about branding your passion?

[00:35:07] Renata: Ooh, that's an interesting question. I would say for me personally, the biggest lesson is it's okay to change. Like a certain part of your like, visual branding throughout your kind of like your, your cute little journey or whatever.

[00:35:23] It's like I, I have changed my, my personal like online name, once at least with like my Instagram, I, I've done a full name change. I have kind of like, as far as visual style, if you, like, if you said, if you scroll back far enough in my Instagram feed, you can. Like I've, I've picked some things up. I've definitely let some things go.

[00:35:45] And, you know, just kind of, it's okay to make those changes. I don't think a soul has come up to me and said like, you were- the inconsistencies, I can't believe it. I can't believe you're not running with this one color palette that you loved two years ago. Unsubscribed, unfollowed, blocked, or whatever, like.

[00:36:03] Yeah. If you, and like if you don't try, you don't know if those things are going to work for you or not in the long term. So, you know, even if you don't have that 100% perfect vision of like what you want your brand to be, just, just make, just make something and then, you know, just, just tweak it as you go along.

[00:36:27] I promise that's way better than not making it at all, because, you know, like it's not perfect in your. Yeah, just, just give it a go. That's all you need to do.

[00:36:37] Hollie: That's such, such a good lesson. And I'm a, I'm a big advocate and I teach a lot of my, my clients the same thing that like Yeah, people feel like they have to be locked into their brand forever and ever and ever.

[00:36:49] And they make this one decision now and they're never gonna be able to change it. But it is. Yeah. You, you are a human. You are gonna change, you should change and evolve and grow and learn and. Your brand should do the same thing to reflect there and to make sure that you feel like your brand reflects you and you feel comfortable showing up under that brand.

[00:37:06] Renata: I'm glad you're on the same page. Yeah. I dunno if you saw like, I think it was like Burberry or something has done like a really solid rebrand recently, like fully changing their logo, like bringing back the more kind of old school visual style that they had like, I don't know, a hundred years ago or something. So like if a giant like fashion company like that can do a very significant visual rebrand. Like you can do it too. It's okay. Yeah.

[00:37:34] Hollie: Yeah. Absolutely. And this might like kind of tie in, it might be the same, you have the same answer or a new answer, but what piece of advice do you think you would give to other creatives who are wanting to brand their passion?

[00:37:47] Renata: I would like, there definitely are lot little things that I could say. It's definitely. Don't care about it being perfect. Just give it a go Solid piece of advice. We'll stand by that until I die. I think it's also what I, what I said previously of just kind of take, take. It's, it's good to take a second to look at your overall like visual catalog of what you create and even what you personally enjoy as an artisan, as a human being and kind of.

[00:38:20] Even like dot point down a few like key things that really tie, you know, like your art and what you love together. Whether it's like a certain style that you like add to your illustrations. Like say you love like crosshatching or something like, you know, it wouldn't work for me, but it would work for another artist a hundred percent.

[00:38:42] If that's something that they use as a constant, you know, visual cue in their artwork. I think. It's just very helpful to have say like key colors, a certain type face that you can use consistently throughout, like branding. And then just kind of those, those little visual elements that you can put into like say like advertising for like shop updates or events that you're doing.

[00:39:05] Like I kind of semi-recently started doing this little like, like dotted sort of like sketched line thing. Which at one point I, like, I had never done it before and then I tried it one time and I decided, I was like, that's really cute. And then I've just, yeah. Kept doing it consistently. It's kind of become a part of my, my visual toolbox.

[00:39:27] So yeah, if you can, if you can find those few core little, little things that you can keep repurposing and using in different ways, that's going to make your overall branding experie. Just so much easier and go like so much more naturally.

[00:39:46] Hollie: Incredible. Yeah. What a, well, multiple pieces of incredible advice.

[00:39:51] So thank you so much. I'm sure that everybody listening will love that advice and hopefully take it on board and it will help them to create a brand as great as yours.

[00:40:03] Renata: Fingers crossed. And like my dms like always open. If you have like a really pressing question, you know, and I have the time to.

[00:40:10] I like, I, I do and I will. So yeah, if, if you have like a pressing question, just feel free to like drop me a line or whatever. Happy to help.

[00:40:20] Hollie: Oh, that's so nice. And you have a Patreon, right? Where people can see like behind the scenes Yeah. Of stuff if they're wanting to learn how you're doing stuff, they can maybe learn from

[00:40:28] there.

[00:40:29] Renata: Yeah, definitely. Like, I'm always open to kind of like, you know, new ideas and I, I love sharing stuff with my patrons as well, so. Yeah, like just, just find me, hang out with the grim gang with we're very chill boys. Very happy to have new people.

[00:40:43] Hollie: Incredible. I will leave all of the links to where they can find the grim gang everywhere.

[00:40:48] But yeah, I just wanna say thank you so much for talking to the people. I've had a blast and I'm sure they have had a blast listening. So thank you so much.

[00:40:56] Oh my gosh,

[00:40:57] Renata: it was such a pleasure. Thank you for having me. And yeah, just keep, keep doing what you're doing cuz these kind of podcasts are so helpful to our community for sure.

[00:41:08] Hollie: I hope so.

[00:41:08] Renata: Awesome. Thank you.

[00:41:10] Hollie: Thank you.

[00:41:11] Thanks for listening to this week's episode of Brand Your Passion and choosing to spend time with me, learning all about branding, business and all things creativity. You can find more episodes just like this one at slash podcast. If you like this one, you can tap that subscribe or follow button so that you're notified about each and every new episode.

[00:41:46] And if you've got a spare second, please leave a review on iTunes or wherever it is that you're listening to this podcast, because I would absolutely 100% love to hear from you.

[00:41:56] If there were some helpful goodies in this episode for you, it would mean the world to me as well. If you could screenshot that podcast player right now, hop on over to Instagram or Twitter and tag us at Maker and Moxie. By subscribing, reviewing, and sharing, you are helping reach more creators just like you so that together we can make the world a more creative place, one brand at a time. We can't achieve this mission without you, so your support means that absolute world.

[00:42:24] I will talk to you in the next episode, but until then, keep creating.