006 - Art, Motherhood & Small Biz talk with Michelle Armas Part 2-graphicOn this episode we are continuing our fika with Michelle Armas and talk about her creative process and how she’s protecting that creative mind of hers. If you haven’t listen to part 1 yet, I highly recommend it to follow this conversation better.

Topics:

  • Recap from Part 1 [0:55]
  • Michelle shares how social media has attributed to her success [2:38]
  • Introvert challenges, being brave and showing your art [7:42]
  • Handling judgement [17:05]
  • You could have done that [19:26]
  • Signing your pieces and what is ‘an Eriksdotter’? [22:19]
  • The sides of Michelle we never see [24:23]
  • The responsibilities of a small business [25:25]
  • How she protects her creative mind [32:01]
  • Hanging with who?  [33:52]

Links and Show Notes:


(Click on audio player to start playing. If the audio player doesn’t appear, click here to play the episode)

Don’t miss an episode!

Subscribe to Studio Eriksdotter Presents FIKA on iTunes. Also available on StitcherAnd please leave a review once you’ve been listening! 

Get your questions answered:

Fill out this quick form to submit questions to the show. Michelle will be back so hit us up with questions regarding motherhood, adoption, small business life and of course how she does her beautiful art.


FIKA PODCAST EPISODE 006: Art, Motherhood, & Small Biz talk with Michelle Armas, Part 2

Erica Eriksdotter: Hi lovelies!  It’s time for FIKA!  The Swedish word that means bonding and connecting with friends over coffee or tea. This is the place to be for real talks and discussions about everything from healing, fine arts, motherhood and entrepreneurship to health and fitness. The focus is connecting the dots through consciousness and elevating how consciousness is directed through each guest’s career and life path. My name is Erica Eriksdotter, fine arts painter and owner of Studio Eriksdotter, certified Intra-Dimensional Healer and PR and Social Media Strategist. I’m a modern woman, connected to Self who brings meaning to life through an earth centered truth.

So, today, we’re actually continuing our conversation with Michelle Armas to talk about life as a full time artist, business owner and mama. 

Erica Eriksdotter: Hi Michelle.

Michelle Armas: Hi!

  1. Recap from Part 1 [0:55]

Erica Eriksdotter: So, um, for those of you are just joining us on the podcast, feel free to listen to the first part where Michelle talks about life as a mother, a little bit of a teaser about adoption process, her life as an artist and small business owner.  She gives some great tips for everyone, but also an interesting story about just following her life and why chose to do certain things over other things and how it’s important to balance life.  For those who just wants to listen to this podcast, this Part 2, Michelle is a painter who is just lovely.  Absolutely, lovely on Instagram.  That’s how I met her.  She shares colorful art and photos of her adorable little girl.  You can find her at michellearmas.com and michellearmas007 on Instagram.  She paints very colorful, like I said, abstract art.  It’s just a joy to watch.  She’s in several art galleries and she’s even had some fame through Anthropologie, which was impressive, Michelle.  I don’t know how you, you’ve, you just make it happen.

Michelle Armas: [laughing] Yeah, um.  Other people are much more impressed by that than I am. [laughing] I’ve noticed.  Because, I think it’s a natural fit.  It feels like a natural fit.  If I were Anthropologie, I would also have called me for my art.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Michelle Armas: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: I love that!

  1. Michelle shares how social media has attributed to her success 2:38

Erica Eriksdotter: Alright.  Um, how important has your blog and social media been to your success do you think?

Michelle Armas: Incredibly crucial, I’d say.  Especially my blog. Um, back when people read blogs. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah. Back in the day…

Michelle Armas: [laughing] Yeah. Um, the blog was just like a revelation for me. It was so isolating to be at home, alone and I was going through a lot, I was discovering that I had adrenal fatigue and endometriosis and all these problems that were causing me to feel bad a lot.  So, um, and I discovered blogging because I was sitting there and I said, “Okay, what do I love more than anything in the world?”  I love interior design.  Okay, I’m going to go online and find everything I can about interior design.  Oh look! Domino Magazine.  I love Domino Magazine? I looked at, read everything to the point where I was like, let me read the like, subtext, like.  [laughing] Where’s the anything extra I can get?  And, they had this list of blogs.  It said, ‘Blogs We Love’. And, so I just went clicked every…this was like many, many years ago and I just went and clicked every single one and I was like ‘AHHHHH   WHHHAAATTT!!!!’  [laughing]  Are you kidding me?  I can look at art and design all day, every day and like never runs out?  Oh my gosh. It was just, and then I just started blogging because, um, I don’t know, I just wanted to be a part of it.  And, then I really just used my blog as a platform to talk to people and I ended up making all these friends.  Because, you just kind of make friends with people or you used to.  I don’t know if people still do that. But, you used to like, comment on people’s blog, it’s a lot like Instagram.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas: You know?  But, it takes a lot more commitment because you have to be at a computer.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Michelle Armas: [laughing] You know?  Um, anyways and so having that blog and then just having a place to project energy from and be positive from and just be myself, um, was drew people to me.  It was also a place, you know, that I could has out ideas and then I could talk about my paintings.  And, then other bloggers could look at, you know, my post’s and talk about me and that would bring people to me.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] Yep.

Michelle Armas: I noticed that it was, it was like being at a party and you just go and you talk to everyone at the party.  And then, one person at the party will be like, ‘Oh Hey, I want you to meet my friend so and so,’ and there you go.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah. Absolutely.  Are you structured with your blog and social media? Clearly, I’m a social media strategist so, of course I’m going to ask that question.  Or, do you just wing it?

Michelle Armas: I used to be a lot more structured with my blog.  But, it just has become harder to blog since Instagram.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yep.

Michelle Armas:  Because Instagram is so easy.

Erica Eriksdotter: I soooo agree.

Michelle Armas: Yeah.  Like, I blogged today and halfway through it I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been doing this for like, fifteen minutes.’  Because blog posts take a long time.  There is a reason why people’s jobs are running their blogs.

Erica Eriksdotter: Absolutely.

Michelle Armas: Yeah.  It is a lot of work.  Um, and for something that you ingest and move on from immediately. [laughing] You know?  It’s like people are just like information vultures.  Um, anyway, I think that Instagram is great because, and the reason I joined it in the first place is because I want to… with Instagram you can see what someone’s seeing right in front of them. And, I want to see what people are seeing right in front of them who live in gorgeous houses.  Who go to parts of the world I’ve never been to.  Who you know, have exquisite taste.  Who have all these things to teach me and things I can look at.  Exactly the same reason I wanted to blog and I can still connect with people, make friends with people.  But, it just feels like I can’t be as elaborate and I can’t really talk about things that matter to me as much on Instagram as it can on a blog.  Uh, but yeah, I would say being personal and having a voice that people are drawn to. Like, oh my gosh, so many people ask me this question.  How can I make my blog better to get people to come to me? And, I look at their blog and it has to look pretty. How do I explain that?  It has to sound nice?  How do I explain that?  It’s just like be yourself and if it works out that you are a natural blogger then your blog will be successful.  If you hate blogging, then it’s probably not where you should be putting your energy and you’re going to have a different path.

Erica Eriksdotter: Mmm Hmm.

Michelle Armas: That’s a really roundabout way of saying, “I don’t know.” [laughing]

  1. Introvert challenges, being brave and showing your art 7:42

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] How do you as an introvert, how do you manage meeting people or doing the grassroot way? Where you’re…

Michelle Armas:  I don’t do that very much.

Erica Eriksdotter: Okay.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, shows for me are the most heavy dosage of meeting people.  Um, and I think it’s really fun, but I sleep for like two days after that.  After several hours of being on and smiling.  I like doing all that stuff, I really love meeting people.  I really love meeting people.  It’s not that I don’t like people or meeting people, it’s just that for every hour I spend in the presence of people I don’t know, I need two hours to recover.  [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: No, I hear you on that. Because, I am not an introvert in that sense, but every time my husband and I did art shows up and down the East Coast, um, I mean, I would say, I had an art show hangover the next day.

Michelle Armas: Oh for sure.  I notice you used to do those wine and…

Erica Eriksdotter: Cocktails and Canvases

Michelle Armas: Yeah, Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: I still do those.

Michelle Armas: Oh do you?  I remember, I’ve seen those pictures and thought how can she do this?

Erica Eriksdotter: To me, doing it in my home where people actually sign up and do the event.  Anyone listening you can go to StudioEriksotter.com in the events section for upcoming events.  Doing it in my home, it’s actually not, that’s like the easiest thing for me.  When I had to travel to do art shows among other artists, the collective consciousness of everyone visiting, that took a toll on me.  That’s where I would have a art show hangover.

Michelle Armas: Ohh…

Erica Eriksdotter: Doing events in my home, for some reason is very easy.  I think it’s the comfort of my own home.  I have my energy in my home.  It’s not somebody entering…I have…I don’t know how to say this…

Michelle Armas: You have positive anchors in your home.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, exactly. My energetic field is in my home.  They go into that.  I’m not being pinged by hundreds of people.

Michelle Armas: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: At an art show.  Where I have never been before.

Michelle Armas: Yeah. Oh, that sounds so exhausting. If that were part of my job, or something, I would never be able to do that.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas: I would hate life so much. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] And, that’s why it’s interesting.  I’m sure there are many, many introverts who are so extremely talented that we’ll never get to experience.

Michelle Armas: Yeah. Um, there are also.  Yeah, you know, being successful in your field does not mean you are the very best.  I mean, you can tell that by just looking around at the vast variety of art that’s available for sale.  I mean, that’s one thing that always gave me a lot of confidence. I would look at things and be like, “People are buying that?  A lot of people are buying that? I would never buy that in a million years.”  That must mean there are people for every market and you just have to find your people. I’m like, where is the person finding people who like troll wind chimes?  You know, it’s like there are many people who will buy a troll wind chime.  They’re not my people.  [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas: You know?

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, which is so amazing.  So, anyone who is out there listening, keep in mind that there may be people in the world that want to see your stuff.  I remember when I had one of my first healing sessions with Cherie Young. She said to me and she didn’t know I was painter, she said to me, “You are doing the world an injustice for keeping your art to yourself.” You know?  And that was just an eye opener for me. I was like what?  I’m being selfish?

Michelle Armas: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: It’s only because, for many various reason, that yes, but I was doing the injustice to myself as well, because I wasn’t being creative.  Letting that, unleashing that and taking ownership for 100% of who I was, of course, trickles into the rest of the world.

Michelle Armas: Absolutely.  I feel like if you can’t, if I wasn’t able to show my art, I would feel so narcissistic.  Like, the universe is, you know, a lot like my work is so epic, that I can’t show it.  I can’t be a part of this conversation because it’s so important. I think that the thing that is most important is diving in and the act of creating art and sharing that and allowing yourself to experience that is way more courageous than creating this art that is way to intense for the world to see.

Erica Eriksdotter: Mmm, hmm.

Michelle Armas: And like, taking yourself so seriously that you can’t even. I’m thinking of so many people I know who don’t who their work.  Not that I know personally, but people who contact me and ask me about that and they don’t show their work.  Because they’re so scared.  And, I just, I cannot relate to that.

Erica Eriksdotter: I think many people are stuck in that fear and they don’t understand that perspective that you just shared.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, if they would just change their perspective, they would have all this liberation and freedom.  Have you seen that awesome quote?  That’s like, you’re just a ghost driving a meat skeleton made out of stardust.  What do you have to be afraid of?  And, I just think that’s hilarious and wonderful.  Especially, living in the South, I know lots of people who would be so offended by that. But, essentially what that’s saying is that you’re so ephemeral. Like, you’re just so, just a chance of life that you’re here and this is your life. Whatever there is before and whatever there is after, we know there’s this and this is where you are right now.  Why wouldn’t you embrace it to the fullest?

Erica Eriksdotter: Mmm, Hmm.

Michelle Armas: You know?

Erica Eriksdotter: And, be brave.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, because just think about, you know, just think about pull yourself away and look at the earth from far away and then look at our solar system from far away.  Does, you know, what snarky Becky said about your art skill really matter anymore when you look at it from that perspective?  It doesn’t matter at all. Um, I think the whole world would be better if everyone just could have a different, or easily able to change their perspective.

Erica Eriksdotter: You mentioned how people you know, if they paint, or they do anything other creative, they may, do you think they are taking themselves too seriously and that’s why they are stuck in the fear?  Or, is it the fear of being judged?

Michelle Armas: Well, yeah, it’s both.  Their taking themselves too seriously because they think it really matters to be judged.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh, interesting.

Michelle Armas: It doesn’t matter at all.  I mean, it’s like who cares if someone doesn’t like your work.  I mean, you’ve definitely looked at work and thought, that’s not for me. I don’t like that, I don’t even want to look at it.  Did that person suffer from that thought that you had?  Not at all.

Erica Eriksdotter: You have, you went to school for art, right? I remember a story where you were judged all the time for it so you just kind of, you didn’t care anymore.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, that’s true.  If you go to art school, you get critiqued a lot and you know, your ideas are and you have to pitch ideas in front of your class and talk about things.  Um, so yeah, I would think that probably really helped me a lot.  I had one really bad review my first quarter, there are eight quarters.  I had one really bad review the first quarter and then after that I only had really good reviews.  Because, I just decided that I was going to make sure that I felt really good about the work.  So, that even if someone said, ‘Well, I don’t like the fact that you made this cover blue.’  In my mind, I would say, ‘Well, it’s symbolic.  It’s blue because it’s the sky.’ The story is about a ball that flies through the sky.  So, if you don’t like it, then that’s okay. But, I know that I have a solid reason why I made that choice and I feel good about that. So, um, so therefore, I would just be sort of more, I don’t know, professional about it.

Erica Eriksdotter: Mmm, hmm.

Michelle Armas: I decided not to take it personally.

  1. Handling judgement 17:05

Erica Eriksdotter: So, what can you give more advice for other people who are listening to, because it’s so hard.  It’s like telling somebody not to breathe.  Or, just..

Michelle Armas: I know.

Erica Eriksdotter: To not care about that judgment.  But, it really is that face you have to just you just have to do it.  I would say there is no advice, you just have to do it. And, get over it.

Michelle Armas: Well, maybe the advice is to just to do it a lot.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas: Just do it a lot.

Michelle Armas: Yep.  Expose yourself, again, and again, and again, and again.  And, you’ll see that it’s not bad at all.  It’s kind of like when you are trying to convince your friend come swim in the ocean with you.  They are like putting their toe in, it’s really cold though.  And, you’re already been in there for a while and you know that you get used to it and it’s not cold anymore.  It’s so nice here, and the sun is shining and it’s such a pretty view.  Just get your ass in the ocean.  It’s like, you’ve just got to get in there, you’ve just got to do it. Because the rewards of feeling better about it are just you have to trust that they are going to be there.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, and there are millions of opinions.  They’re going to have opinions about your stuff no matter what, positive or negative.  Um, and, take them all with a piece of grain, piece of salt, whatever you say.

Michelle Armas: [laughing] Grain of salt.

Erica Eriksdotter: Ohhh [laughing] Grain of salt, there you go.

Michelle Armas: Well, I mean I think that people assume that you just get your standing up on stage and you’re just going to get all this rotten fruit thrown at you. But, really, people are very nice. I mean, for the most part, unless someone is just a total jerk, which almost never happens…

Erica Eriksdotter: Yep.

Michelle Armas: No one’s going to say anything bad about your work.  They’re not going to be like, ‘Oh, well that’s not very good.’ [laughing] People just don’t do that for the most part.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, they, the only things that I would say that I’ve experienced negatively is you know somebody who walks straight up to a piece and goes, you know, this is, why did you do it this way?  This is the how I would have done it. Or it needs more of this.  But, that is very rare that it happens.  But, it does happen.  Another one of favor, of course the person who, and we’ve all been there.  You walk up to a piece of art with your girlfriend and you go, ‘You could have done that.’

  1. You could have done that 19:26

Michelle Armas: [laughing] Oh yeah!

Erica Eriksdotter: You know?  It’s so common, we get that all the time.  And, yes, absolutely, if you can do that, go ahead and do it.  Do it.

Michelle Armas: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Nobody’s stopping you.

Michelle Armas: That doesn’t upset me at all!

Erica Eriksdotter: No!

Michelle Armas: I would probably giggle if I heard someone say that.  That doesn’t scare me at all because who hasn’t thought that?  I swear, I have looked at actors on TV and been like, I can do that. [laughing] I’m like, no I couldn’t.

Erica Eriksdotter: Absolutely!

Michelle Armas: I can’t do that

Erica Eriksdotter: I’ve been to MOMA, and I’ve been like I can do that.

Michelle Armas: No, you can’t do that! You know it’s true. You can’t actually test that theory because everyone would fail.

Erica Eriksdotter: Or, maybe you can, but the difference is that, you know, this person has done this for this many years and this is the path that led up to this piece. Whether it being a scene or a piece of painting and you can’t replicate that in that sense.

Michelle Armas: No, and also, when they say, you could do this are they including the hutzpah that it took to put a painting out on display so that a bunch of like two-bit morons can come up and say you could have done this?

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Michelle Armas: I don’t think so.  It’s very easy to pass judgement when you have nothing at stake.  So, those kind of comments, I wouldn’t even notice them.  And, quite frankly, I wish somebody would come up to one of my paintings and be like,’ Why did you do this?  I’d want to put it like this.’  I’d be so fascinated to talk to that person. Really, okay, tell me what you would do, because I’m really interested.  Because, it’s true. It’s like I think about that all the time when I look at other people’s art, I’m like why did they make this choice and why did they make that choice?  How are they able to look at this piece and not want to change the tension in this corner?  It’s driving me crazy!! It’s like, that’s the way their brain is and it’s so fascinating to see like a visual expression.

Erica Eriksdotter: I love it! I love it as well. Talking about it.  I had a client who bought two pieces that were long.  So, they were 15 by maybe 40 inches and I painted them horizontally.  Up close, they were daisies. When we hung them in her home, she put them vertically.

Michelle Armas: Oh cool!

Erica Eriksdotter: And, they are phenomenal. But, I was like, ‘Oh, I didn’t think of that…it looks great.’ You know?

Michelle Armas: It’s cool. It’s like extra art was created because it was a collaboration between you guys.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas:  I love that.  That’s why I hesitate signing the front of my canvases because I really encourage people to hang paintings any which way they like.

  1. Signing your pieces and what is ‘an Eriksdotter’? 22:19

Erica Eriksdotter: And how do you sign your paintings?   Because, to me, actually that almost is the hardest part.

Michelle Armas:  Oh, really?  Um, I just sign them on the back.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh, you do.  Okay.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, I just sign them on the back and title and date them. There are a few that I have been signing on the front just because I’ve had so many requests for it. So, I feel like if it doesn’t… if I feel like I could turn the piece and not be bothered by the signature, then I go ahead and sign the front. But, I really, I really like when I buy art, I always think of changing it or moving it somehow. Or, like, um, and if there was a signature, like a big signature and if it looked really weird having it, you know, hanging in a different direction than I would be a lot less inclined to buy that art.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh, interesting.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, so I try to consider that.

Erica Eriksdotter: I have, um, so my last name Eriksdotter is it means, Erik’s Daughter and my dad’s name was Erik, so I am very proud of that last name. So, I write just Eriksdotter on my pieces.  I don’t do Erica.  I always like that I can say that I have Eriksdotter’s all over the world.  You know?  There’s an Eriksdotter.  I have customers who say, I want to commission an Eriksdotter.

Michelle Armas: Uh huh.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, I think that’s cute. Because, yes it’s my last name but it’s also passing on the generation and connecting to the past.  I’m also the third generation painter on my mother’s side.  It’s just connecting the essence of who I am and I really like that.

Michelle Armas: That’s really sweet.

Erica Eriksdotter: There’s a lot in that signature for me and also it’s a hassle to write with paint.

Michelle Armas: It is!

  1. The sides of Michelle we never see [24:25]

Erica Eriksdotter: What is the side of the, we talked a little about the success of blogging and social media etc.  What is the side of the artist and the small business ownership that we don’t get to see on social?

Michelle Armas: Well, Um, there’s just all of the customer service stuff.  I ordered a print and this and this happened.  And, can I special order it? And then you have to go back to your vendor and talk to them about it.  I’ve learned so much about large format printers.  I had never wanted to know all of this stuff.  But, now I just know all this stuff.  Yeah, there’s just a lot of that kind of stuff.  And, then also, the time wasting.  [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Michelle Armas: There’s the fiddlesticks and sitting there staring at your canvas and then sitting down and looking at Instagram for an hour instead. [laughing]

  1. The responsibilities of a small business [25:25]

Erica Eriksdotter: So, if you break it out in percentages, because I think that the illusion we want as artists appear that we have this floaty life and everything is a dream and all we do is paint all day.  And, clearly you paint all day, but there is so much more because you are driving your own success.  You are the small business owner.  There’s so many hats that you wear and yes, you have an assistant who are supporting you.  You have your husband supporting you, but what are the, how would you say it, if you break it up the responsibilities.  For those people who don’t know what it takes?

Michelle Armas: Um, oh my gosh! The thing that I am most responsible for is protecting my mind. That’s a and strengthening my creative muscle.  Um, so I devote a lot of time to experimenting and just working on stuff.  Again and again and again.  And, um, trying and failing so many times to try new things.  And, then after that, it’s really just business maintenance.  And, strategizing, to me I don’t really have to strategize too much about you know, what to do to move forward.  I have a list of things I want do.  Like, this week, my goal is I have two new prints I need to introduce, so I have to get the files, print them out, do color correcting, get them perfect, take pictures of them, put them on the website, advertise them, then I’m going to conceive up some sales for this holiday season.  Then, I have some paintings that are due for this shop and I’m going to try do those soon and get them out of the way so I can start working on getting my own sales for the holiday season.  Then, it’s all that kind of stuff.  I think that’s sort of fun stuff.  And, then blogging.  I’m writing blog posts about my Greece trip.  I don’t think anybody wants to know every single thing we did and everywhere we ate. [laughing] You know what I mean.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Michelle Armas: It’s nice to, um, I just kind of talked in the first blog post about whatever, but really the point is, you know, if I weren’t an artist or even though I am an artist, I like to see how other artists and other people who think maybe like I do, experience, new things.  That’s why I blog about them.  Well, maybe someone’s like me and they care about this sort of thing.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas: So, that’s, I consider that part of work.  And, then just painting and working and painting and getting paintings up on the website, taking pictures of them. Spraying them with Fixodent and tracking shipments and making sure that everybody that needs something from me, got something from me.

Erica Eriksdotter: How do you do the bookkeeping?

Michelle Armas:  Oh, I’m a terrible bookkeeper.  I use Quicken.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yep.

Michelle Armas: I download all of my bank transactions and all of my credit card transactions and then all my transfers so that’s how I pay myself.  So, I just and at the end of the year, I just sit there and I’ve used Quicken long enough now that it automatically gives categories to things that I import. It’s like, oh Epson, we know if you buy something from Epson that goes into the printing supplies category. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Yep.

Michelle Armas: It’s like that.  It’s super easy.  And, then, when I’m done…

Erica Eriksdotter: For those who doesn’t know what Epson is, it’s the ink we get for our big printers.

Michelle Armas: Yes, I’m sorry.  Yes, it’s printer ink and paper, really high quality.  So, yeah, when I placed my you know, giant order a couple times a year, then you know on my credit card, then it gets downloaded onto that.  Yeah, I’m terrible at bookkeeping.  I don’t know how much money I make, I really don’t.  I have a rough idea and I don’t keep track of this I know gross in a sort of sense.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas: But, there are so many transactions and PayPal where I take most of my money is so bad.  I mean, you cannot just click a number, you know, click a button and get you know, starting January 1 to January 31 this is what you took in and this is what you spent.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yep.

Michelle Armas: It won’t let you do that.

Erica Eriksdotter: Nope

Michelle Armas: So, then in one month you could have hundreds and hundreds of transactions because we use it for shipping as well.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Michelle Armas: So, it’s just like, you know. I pay myself from there into a certain account and then that’s how I have a rough idea of god I hope the government isn’t listening to this. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Michelle Armas: There’s a, anyway…

Erica Eriksdotter: For me, I love numbers.  I’m very, I love that stuff. But, I’m not a professional bookkeeper or anything.  However, I do stick with the same, I use Quicken.  Try to get everything neat and organized but I do outsource the tax stuff to a real accountant because I just felt like, okay, that’s just too much for me to handle, even though I do all the bookkeeping throughout the year, but I felt like that having an accountant to be able to ask questions and get making sure that everything is organized and you know, not taking any chances.  So, to me that was very helpful and actually, if you just do that, if you use Quicken you know.  I use the online version.  It’s easy, I can access it no matter where I am in the world and then having a support with an accountant it’s actually not very expensive to have an extra accountant who focuses in small business.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, I don’t really know because luckily because my husbands also an entrepreneur and we’re married, he….

Erica Eriksdotter: You can use him without payment?

Michelle Armas: Yeah, his accountant that his company pays for does both of our taxes.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh great!!

Michelle Armas: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Ok. See, so you have an accountant.

Michelle Armas: Yes, I do have an accountant.  Oh, yes I do. To me, that would just be bonkers not to have one.

  1. How she protects her creative mind [32:05]

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.  You mentioned that you were protecting mind.  I really liked that aspect.  How do you protect your mind?  In Part 1, we talked a little bit about, that you have to log off.

Michelle Armas:

Erica Eriksdotter: What other necessities?  Do you have take baths or candle lights or meditation?

Michelle Armas: I have to be alone a lot.  Um, I really like being alone.  I need to my studio time to stay sane.

Erica Eriksdotter: Are you in your studio without painting?

Michelle Armas: Oh, all the time! Yeah, all the time. Um, yeah and I’m not really very good at protecting my mind. My husband is constantly reminding me you now, you need to stop doing that or you’re going to get stressed out.  Um, you know, I try and I know what I need to do, but I’m not always perfect at doing it.  Just because I know what to do, doesn’t mean that I’m some kind of saint that you know…

Erica Eriksdotter: Have it all figured out?

Michelle Armas: Yeah, I don’t.

Erica Eriksdotter: I don’t think anyone has it figured out.  Which is so wonderful that you are willing to share about your opening up.  You’re very open in general.

Michelle Armas: Yes.

Erica Eriksdotter: But, it’s wonderful for me, for our listeners to hear you know having that discussion and understanding that you know, we there’s no one set way of doing things.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, isn’t that cool? I love that.

Erica Eriksdotter: It’s so cool.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, I really love that.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, it’s okay.

Michelle Armas: Yeah!! Sure it’s okay.

  1. Hanging with who?  33:52

Erica Eriksdotter: So, do you hang out with mostly entrepreneurs and artists?  Or, do you have, you know, hard core corporate people?

Michelle Armas: Um, I have friends from all different walks of life.  On the trip we just went on, um, we hung out with a couple their both microbiologists.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh!

Michelle Armas: Yeah, and then the other ones, one’s a designer, one’s a photographer.  Then, our friends that were getting married are both in sales. So, it’s just you know, you name it, all different kinds of people.  Um, I like people.  I like the way people are different from me.  I, you know, I can be friends with someone who’s quirky.  As long as they’re a good friend, as long as they’re someone who I can be myself around and someone I can depend on, who’s reliable and who just has positivity and positive energy, I can be friends with them no matter what they do, or what religion are, or what their politics are.  They can be quirky to the max.

Erica Eriksdotter: As long as they leave you alone [laughing]

Michelle Armas: [laughing] As long as they add to my life and are a positive influence, um, then I’ll be friends. with them.  I’m not biased.

Erica Eriksdotter: Neat. Where can people find you Michelle?

Michelle Armas: Instagram is probably the best way to find me.  Because, I’m just one of those typical people who believe that everybody [laughing] wants to know everything about my life.

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Michelle Armas: I’m available on my blog, on Instagram. I’m just around.  [laughing] I live in Atlanta.

Erica Eriksdotter: You live in Atlanta and you are also in various galleries, so you don’t have to travel to Atlanta, you’re also in Florida, Your in…

Michelle Armas: Connecticut, I work with a gallery in Connecticut.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, you ship worldwide.

Michelle Armas: Yeah, ship worldwide.  I have sent people videos of paintings before.  Um, I mean, yeah, I will do whatever it takes for you to feel like the painting is in the room with you.

Erica Eriksdotter: Alright, well there you have it.  I hope, if you have longed for that big painting of Michelle, just send her an email, her assistant will get back to you. [laughing]

Michelle Armas: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: And send you a video of that piece and you get to have that personal experience even though you can’t be there in person.  Alright, that’s it for this episode.  Thanks for joining me Michelle.

Michelle Armas: It’s always so lovely to chat with you.

Erica Eriksdotter: Ohhhh.  The next episode will feature another guest, but Michelle will be back.  So, please, if you have any questions you’d like to ask her or give her a shout-out or compliment her ego even further, you can do so by using the hashtag #fikapodcast on twitter or use the link in the Show Notes.  I’ll be sure to include certain things in there so you can use the link for a quick and easy form to fill out.  You can find me erica@studioeriksdotter.com.  Please join my email list if you want to stay up to date.  You can access it at the bottom of my website.  And, while you’re at it, please leave the #fikapodcast an iTunes review and don’t forget to subscribe.  Thanks for listening and Thanks Michelle!

Michelle Armas: Thank you! Bye.

Erica Eriksdotter: Bye.