Episode 21: It’s Ok to Be an Artist

Brian Robinson
Photo by Michael Marzik

I’m borrowing today’s episode title from Gordon MacKenzie, an American artist.  He used to talk to school kids from kindergarten to year 6, asking the same question: “Anybody an artist?”. And while everyone in kindergarten was enthusiastically raising their hands, as he progressed from one year to the next, the number of hands raised dropped. By year 6 hardly any kids put their hand up.

So Gordon Mackenzie asked the sixth graders: “Hey! What happened to all the artists in this school? Did all the artists transfer out? Did all the artists go to art school? I don’t think so. I think something much worse. I think someone or something has told you it’s not OK to be an artist. If you don’t remember anything else I say today I want you to go home and remember it’s OK to be an artist.”

I am so glad that my guest today – Brian Robinson – was not afraid to remain an artist even though some of his loved ones advised against it. At times it was a lonely road, working long hours, not knowing what the future holds, but that was the sacrifice he was willing to make.

Brian is the 2013 Recipient of the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award, the nation’s richest Indigenous arts prize for exceptional achievements by an Australian Indigenous artist. His works are displayed across Australia, at the Monaco Palace and at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. He spent more than two decades perfecting his craft and never once wavered in his pursuit.

Brian constantly challenges himself to create unique and amazing masterpieces. He uses a variety of methods from printmaking, painting, sculpture, installation and design. His work embodies the customs and traditions of the Torres Strait Islander people whilst also referencing mythological narratives from global cultures.

In this interview Brian gives us a glimpse into his life as an artist, the work involved, the unusual materials and tools he uses for his art work. He also shares a bit about his life journey.

Before you listen to our conversation I highly recommend you follow this link to see his talent on display.

I’ll end with another quote from Gordon Mackenzie’s amazing book on creativity Orbiting the Giant Hairball: “If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you.”

Bring out your masterpiece, whatever that is!

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 20: Overcoming Addiction

Natalie Calkins Rountree
Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction?

When someone suffers from drugs or alcohol addiction their entire family is paying for that terrible choice. Addiction brings about serious damage to families and to relationships. Those who take drugs can experience deadly consequences such as overdoses, crime, traffic accidents, violence and suicide. Children of alcoholic parents are at high risk of mental, physical and sexual abuse. They also suffer from low self esteem, loneliness and fear of abandonment. Sadly, I am one of those children…

In this episode I’m talking to an incredibly intelligent and beautiful lady, Natalie Calkins Rountree, who was kind enough to share with us her epic battle with alcohol addiction and her journey to recovery. Natalie came from a good background but, due to some poor choices, she became addicted to alcohol early on. She lost her self worth, dignity, the custody of her young daughter and almost took her own life. After a 15 years battle with alcoholism she had finally kicked the habit and has been sober for almost a decade. She rebuilt her life, got her daughter back, she’s happily married and has a very successful career.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 19: Understanding and Managing Relationship Problems

Dave ElliottAll couples have problems. No relationship is perfect. Some issues can be resolved while others are destructive, unhealthy, unacceptable and therefore you must learn to walk away.

Have you ever wondered why some people keep falling for the same type of person? Why do they subject themselves to the same pain and get burnt over and over again? Yet, they can’t seem to break away from these toxic characters. Cheaters, liars, narcissists…

Does this sound familiar?

In this episode relationship expert Dave Elliott explains why we do what we do and how we can change our destructive thoughts and behaviour patterns in order to attract the right people into our lives.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 18: To Forgive the Unforgivable

Anthony Sukto“Please help me. My daddy killed me with a knife and I’m gone. Can you please send the army men or the ambulance? I woke up suddenly, uh, my dad he was killing my mom. And then my dad told me to go on the other bed. And then he was like, ‘You’re next’, and then he killed me. And I was still alive. I kind of survived.” – Anthony’s 911 call.

He was 8 years old at the time.

His father brutally murdered his mother. He stabbed Anthony six times in the chest and face. He then left the house not knowing that his son was still alive. Anthony had a punctured liver and was bleeding profusely when he made that 911 call.

Today Anthony is a grown man and an aspiring musician. And after all the pain and suffering he’s been through, this exceptional and courageous young man still finds it in his heart to forgive and love the man that tore his life part.

“Every time I would think of my dad, I would think of hate,” Anthony said. “The only way I could find peace and love within myself was to forgive my father.”

Anthony is sharing his story with us today hoping to inspire and show us that it is possible to leave our past behind, forgive the unforgivable and move on with our lives.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits

Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Episode 17: Defying the Odds

Eric Bailey“When you can put other people’s aspirations and goals a little bit higher on the priority list, then you allow yourself to give more of yourself. And when you can give more of yourself, it’s just a good feeling,” Eric Bailey

Eric was born with a bone disease in his knees. The doctors told him that he would never be able to play sports and would never be normal like other kids. His biological parents didn’t want to take on the responsibility to raise him so they gave him up for adoption. Yet, he defied the odds and became an elite basketball player and NBL legend.

Eric grew up in poverty, in a rough neighbourhood in South Central Los Angeles. His young life was surrounded by crime, drugs and struggle. Today he is a successful entrepreneur, a renown inspirational speaker and world class coach. He was voted as the Top 22 Motivational Speaker in the world.

Resources and Links:
Music Credits
Intro: Don’t Hold Back (Grow and Soar) by KOÄN
2010 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

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