36: A Focus on Output with Horror Painter RF Pangborn

36: A Focus on Output with Horror Painter RF Pangborn

Posted by Nicholas Ribera on

RF Pangborn discusses his transition from commission work to finding his own style, the exploration of different art mediums, and the challenges and benefits of selling original artwork. He shares insights into pricing, archiving, and the importance of consistency in social media posting. RF also touches on the role of prints and licensing in his art business. In this conversation, RF Pangborn shares insights and advice on building a successful art business on social media platforms. He emphasizes the importance of engaging with peers and followers, using hashtags effectively, and exploring different platforms like TikTok. RF also discusses the limitations of Facebook ads and the ever-changing landscape of social media. He highlights the significance of careful packing and shipping, quick delivery, and excellent customer service. Additionally, RF shares his strategies for avoiding boredom by switching mediums and exploring different art styles. He concludes by expressing his goals of making a humble living through art and encouraging persistence in the face of challenges.


You can listen to the episode here (or wherever you listen to podcasts) or read the transcript below:

A Conversation with RF Pangborn:

Chain Assembly (00:01.414)

Today I am joined by another incredible painter, the wonderful RF Pangborn. RF, I don't remember how you came across my desk or I guess your posts came across, how I came across, that's better. I don't know how I came across your art, but years ago I bought a piece from you. It was a, I still have it hanging up. It's an oil painting on board as most of yours are.


And it's like a woman. No, it's there's a lot of blue and red explosiony stuff and an eyeball somewhere in the middle. And it's awesome. Yeah. So, oh, no problem. So I think I first came across your stuff because you used to live in St. Pete. I don't think you did a lot of events, but maybe you somehow showed up as like in a local artist group or something. So what starting off? Thanks for being on the podcast. And what was your relationship with St. Pete while you were here?


RF Pangborn (00:37.333)

Sounds about right sounds about right. Hey, thanks for the great intro, man


RF Pangborn (00:57.437)

Oh, you're welcome. Thanks for having me. Do you know, are you associated with Jen Chandley at all? Bar 548.


Chain Assembly (01:04.678)

So I know there's a lot of art stuff that happens at bar 548, I've just somehow never made it there.


RF Pangborn (01:13.021)

Yeah, so I was at a couple of events there thanks to Jen. Jen was really awesome getting me involved and I had one show at a bar there and really not that much else. But like I said, it was pretty vibrant art scene in St. Pete compared to where I am now. It's just a woods around here pretty much.


Chain Assembly (01:33.51)

So where'd you move to from St. Peter? I thought you were still here.


RF Pangborn (01:35.325)

I'm up in northern Georgia now.


Chain Assembly (01:40.678)

OK, OK. So.


RF Pangborn (01:42.557)

Right next to Chattanooga, I guess.


Chain Assembly (01:45.03)

Yeah, so actually, I'm someone who had on the podcast recently, maybe you knew him while he lived in St. Pete, he moved up to Chattanooga is Bobby Rydell. If you're familiar with his stuff, he does a lot of. Yeah. So he does a lot of fantasy art and he did he lived in. He does oil paintings and watercolors, fantasy stuff.


RF Pangborn (01:52.765)

Oh, nice.


RF Pangborn (01:57.085)

We're probably friends on Facebook or something though.


Chain Assembly (02:08.614)

He lived in St. Pete for a few years, but a few months ago moved up to Chattanooga. So I guess you and he both.


RF Pangborn (02:15.165)

I'm sure there's an art scene there somewhere. I just, I haven't ventured out enough, you know, to really figure out what's going on.


Chain Assembly (02:17.35)

Yeah.


Chain Assembly (02:21.798)

So like just from the little bit I always like followed on you, followed you on Facebook and Instagram, you didn't seem like the most physically social person. Like you didn't go to a lot of events, right? Or did you?


RF Pangborn (02:32.509)

Oh yeah. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. I'm very, I'm very shy, very private, stereotypical guy. Like we talked about for this podcast, I get a lot of anxiety over these things. But I do try to force myself into the fire, so to speak. Just like I showed up today. It's, it's gotta be done. But yeah, I mean, I don't do events that often.


Chain Assembly (02:36.92)

Okay.


Chain Assembly (02:43.302)

Yeah, sure.


Chain Assembly (02:56.422)

Well, I don't know if this was like a persona you're trying to build out or something like this, but this is my first time seeing your face. And I just assumed you were like a guy in his seventies, maybe. Yeah, OK. Yeah. Well, anyway, so let's let's start off by talking a bit about your transition from.


RF Pangborn (03:09.181)

Close! Close! I'm getting there, bro.


Chain Assembly (03:22.63)

being like commission heavy to finding your own style and now deciding like maybe not now but years ago deciding that this is all you're gonna do. So tell me a bit about that story.


RF Pangborn (03:31.069)

Yeah, this, uh, I guess it's kind of a natural progression. Um, I, I saw, um, what inspired me to start doing the oil paints, a guy named Jed Leakness, uh, rest in peace. He he's passed away, but, uh, he was putting up a YouTube speed painting videos and making horror pictures pretty much. And then I saw that he was making a living doing that. I was kind of really inspired by that. And he was also a speed painter. He did things really quick and, um,


Top notch work, I mean, he's well known in the dark art community. And so I said, you know what, I've been a doodler all my life, sketching and drawing. I took maybe some rudimentary art classes when I was in, you know, I was like 10, 11 years old. It didn't last very long, but I kind of forgot about that aspect of things for a while. I'd been working full time, just manual labor jobs for a long time.


And people in my family were really getting on my case. You your art, what are you doing with your art? You know, you're wasting your gift or whatever. And it really started to weigh on me. And I was like, you know, and the job too was weighing on me too. Because I'm getting up there in years and I got a hernia. You know, it's all, how's this going to wind up? Is I'm going to be a washed up older guy who can't lift heavy things anymore, no pension plan. So I was like, let's look into this painting business. And I did some practicing and catching up and reading books about the old masters and all that stuff.


Watching a ton of YouTube videos, you know, that's something that was not a resource when I was younger man People don't know how much they haven't made with those YouTube videos today. You can learn anything for free and It got to the point eventually where I was doing horror movie fan art and also pet portraiture I'll tell you you can make a lot of money doing pet portraits man. It's always there and it got to the point eventually where I


It was kind of conflicting with my jobs pay a little bit. It was getting up there. And so luckily enough, I was able to kind of parlay myself over to part -time. And my wife and I, my wife is very supportive, thank God. And she's like, see if this works. And if you can keep up that flow of income, then maybe think about just quitting that job. So it was a couple of years of part -time going back and forth and...


RF Pangborn (05:52.797)

I actually, somewhere in there, I started horsing around with abstraction and I started kind of looking into the deeper aspects of art. I was kind of looking at myself a little bit. Like, why am I doing this? Who am I? What can I do to show myself a little bit? And so I started kind of creating a little bit the precursor to the art that you see now. And people were buying that too. And it's like, holy crap, man, I can make what I want and people will buy that.


So I kind of put, you know, it was a gradual thing. It was a little bit of that, a lot of request pieces and stuff like that. But eventually it kind of just went over to me just painting what I wanted to every day. And I was like, okay, the commission stuff is always there. You know, you could fall back on that stuff, but right now I don't have to, it's fine.


Chain Assembly (06:40.55)

So that's a very optimistic, I guess, kind of goal that a lot of artists want to try and emulate. Like you've done it, you're proof that it works. That, you know, if you're really good at something and you do it really well, people will follow you along that journey. So I applaud you for everything you've made it to this position.


RF Pangborn (06:47.005)

Maybe.


RF Pangborn (07:03.085)

I think...


RF Pangborn (07:08.125)

The people who will follow your art the hardest and the most loyal buyers and so forth are people who are interested in your, in seeing you kind of grow and seeing you express yourself. Sooner or later, you got to step out of the, you got to step into the spotlight so to speak and you got to show yourself. And that was really hard for me to do. And it's easy to copy a picture of something and no one knows about you and.


You don't, you're not exploring yourself. It's more like a technical exercise and you can get by on that. But I wanted to get into, into, you know, kind of the therapy aspects and stuff like that. And that's when it kind of took on all the, all the heavy stuff. And I noticed then that the following kind of grew. There was more people who were like regular buyers and stuff like that. Like people were interested in your, in your journey, I guess, or they, they connect with you and what you're putting out there.


And so this very personal kind of connection. And I've had some buyers who've been buying from me, buying this kind of art for years and saw me through the pandemic, man, when things were really tough. A couple of people were very consistent in their support. And I think that's because we kind of made that connection through the art.


Chain Assembly (08:28.358)

Well, that's actually a good thing I want to point out is because so I'm in unnecessary backstory. I'm in a group called the Tampa Bay Society of Photographic Artists. And one of the topics we were discussing last night in our monthly meeting is how to show what the photographer is feeling in the image that you're taking. And it could be as simple as just like looking up at your subject versus looking down at your subject and


I want to touch back on what you said earlier about how you could just be copying something and you're not going to be seeing the artist in that. You'll just be seeing the subject. And that also kind of relates to in the conversation we were having with the photographers was one of the people at the meeting had went to a gallery to see photos of celebrities by a photographer they like. And they noticed that they were not able to enjoy the photos because they were just looking at the celebrity in the photo.


RF Pangborn (09:27.069)

Right. Right.


Chain Assembly (09:28.262)

And it is something that I definitely see in your work is that there is a desire to learn about the artist who created that piece. Because even though it's a portrait, there is so much abstraction and violence and danger and terror in that portrait.


RF Pangborn (09:49.725)

It's always interesting to hear the interpretations. That's great.


Chain Assembly (09:54.118)

But no, but what I'm saying is because it's not a portrait, it's not something that is like, oh, that is pinhead. That is leather face. It it it just it makes the viewer want to learn more about this guy, why he painted that and what his other paintings look like, too. So it's it's definitely a way that you have been able to market yourself without.


RF Pangborn (10:03.357)

Yeah, yeah.


Chain Assembly (10:21.574)

taking photos of you in front of the painting on Instagram. You know what I mean?


RF Pangborn (10:25.885)

Yeah, yeah, I don't think I've put any pictures of myself on the entire time. So yeah, I have no qualms with fan art. Certainly you can have a style where people may see a celebrity or a horror icon or whatever, but they know it's you because of your particular style, your flair, your strokes. They can see the movement or they see the personality in there. So I mean, you can achieve that.


But I felt that I was on kind of like a little bit of a journey myself and I found the more therapeutic abstraction and so forth and all that stuff to be a more cathartic for me and I was getting really good benefits from this. People ask me all the time, man, how do you, you must have nightmares and stuff like that. I'm like, no, actually after making one of these paintings, I sleep like a baby. It's all done, it's all out and I feel great.


And that's, I guess they call that, that's what they call therapy art. You work some things out and you figure some things out about yourself. You have to confront them on the panel there. But it was an organic kind of process. I would say that, you know, certainly if you're doing commission work and copying images and so forth, you know, you can make a pretty good living at that.


And don't be worried that, oh, you know, I don't have a style or I'm not, you know, that's going to come eventually. Do a couple hundred paintings and suddenly you'll see you're doing things different from everybody else. You kind of, you kind of fall on the step with yourself. And then from there, see, see what else is going on. Try just a blank piece of paper and make something happen there. Don't copy anything and see what comes out of you. You might be surprised.


Chain Assembly (12:12.646)

So let's actually talk since this is primarily an audio podcast, let's talk a bit about the art itself. So pretty much everything you do is oil painting on board. Is that right?


RF Pangborn (12:25.341)

It was a lot of oil painting in the beginning because I was hung up on the people don't respect acrylics and oil painting is the premier, you know, format medium. And since then, I've gained a lot of respect for a lot of different mediums. I like working in acrylic now more than I do oil, believe it or not. And I have more control over acrylic. Acrylic, I think, has proved itself in its time now. It's a worthy medium. It's lasting.


as integrity and archival integrity, which a lot of people were worried about. And it's just as legit. It can look just as good. If you want to get the look of oils with acrylic, you can. I prefer the matte look of acrylics, the flat kind of black and white stuff right now. And I also just discovered charcoal. Man, charcoal's amazing. And I was so afraid of the messiness of charcoal for years, but I got to this point where it was time to try something new, and charcoal's awesome. So I mean,


Just like I'm not as close minded as I used to be and I would urge everyone to really value the art. Don't think so much about that medium. Don't get hung up on that stuff.


Chain Assembly (13:36.006)

So that being said, let's talk a bit about like, I'm gonna throw some artists name out there that I think probably helped influence you. No, no, it's okay. So I wanna throw some artists names out there. Let me know if that resonates with you as someone who you see similarly in your work and then feel free to rebuff with some of your own artists names. Jenny Saville is the first one that comes to mind.


RF Pangborn (13:44.253)

God, if I forgot anybody, forgive me, forgive me.


RF Pangborn (14:05.501)

Are these fam - famous people? I should know.


Chain Assembly (14:05.52)

If you're not familiar. Yeah, sorry. Well, Jenny Seville, she's okay. She does lots of photos of like, people have been in injuries, lots of like scars and also autopsy scenes. But yeah, but with very fat strokes, very thick paint. What about Lucian Freud? Would that be?


RF Pangborn (14:09.885)

I've been getting, oh god, I'm sorry.


RF Pangborn (14:24.701)

Transgressive art.


RF Pangborn (14:34.141)

I know that name. I know that name. My, my, my, uh, it's kind of embarrassing. I have some old time life art books here with like a lot of old master stuff in there. I know Goya, De La Cro, uh, you know, the, the classics, but the, the new people I do, I don't know them by rote and I'll go on Pinterest once in a while and I'll see something, you know, that's awesome. And I'll try to remember who did that.


Chain Assembly (14:35.334)

Okay.


Chain Assembly (14:45.318)

Oh yeah, I definitely see Goy in there too, yeah.


RF Pangborn (14:57.597)

And it's hard for me. I don't pay as much attention to the academic side as I do. I'm busy in the studio. And I try some, I don't know who said it. The advice from this artist was try to create in a vacuum, which is impossible. You're going to be influenced constantly. But the less hung up I get on someone else's style and stuff like that, then probably the less I am apt to try to copy them, which is something I want to try to avoid. I get it.


Chain Assembly (15:12.102)

Mmm. Yeah. Mm -hmm.


RF Pangborn (15:25.469)

A ton of people started telling me, you know, this reminds me of Francis Bacon and you must be a fan of Bacon. I didn't know, I knew there was a Francis Bacon out there, but it took me going after that and watching a documentary to understand what he was all about and all that art that he did, the dark expressionism and the deconstructive portraits and stuff like that.


And that was fascinating and I got kind of scared. He's a daunting figure and I said, if I watch too much of this, I'm going to get caught up in it. And I'm, you know, I'm already being compared to people who exist. And I, I, I wish I could get away from that. I wish I'd get away from it, but probably there's nothing new under the sun with art. It's just new things being combined. But yeah, I try to, I try to stay away from getting obsessed with other people's work. And that's, I don't, I don't, yeah, I don't want to be, I don't want to start.


unconsciously forging styles instead.


Chain Assembly (16:21.126)

Well then let's talk a bit about the subject matter because you're generally doing portraits, right? Are you still, so you're branching out with the materials, are you branching out with the subject matter, is it still all portraits?


RF Pangborn (16:28.891)

Yeah, yeah.


RF Pangborn (16:35.165)

I recently started getting into figurative. I love figurative. I just was, I was so afraid because anatomy and all that stuff, but really somebody said, just, just paint what you see as quickly as you can. I don't know if it was Monet or Monet. Somebody said that in the past. And so I said, forget about worrying about learning anatomy. And I have anatomy books here and stuff like that. I barely look at them.


Chain Assembly (16:50.212)

Mm.


RF Pangborn (17:00.477)

But just copy what you see. And usually if you're loyal to, like if I need to reference a nude to add to the scene that I'm making or to take a pose from a photo, I just am loyal to the lighting there and the form. And it translates in a way that everybody can recognize, oh, that's an arm, it's a leg, okay. And you can play with those two and you can abstract that. But I'm liking figurative.


and it's hard to get off the portraiture thing because that's what's going on with me right now. But I'd like to do more figurative stuff for sure. There's more of a story being told there.


Chain Assembly (17:38.854)

So I remember there was a while where you were posting some digital paintings and do you still work with that? Okay.


RF Pangborn (17:43.963)

Yep, that was during the pandemic, bro. That came out of necessity. I have no problems with digital art. I have no problems with it. If you grab yourself a little Wacom pad, get a bamboo pad or whatever, you are drawing and painting on your screen. The painting programs they have now are amazing. I use a cheap one called ArtRage, but it has thick oil paint. It has a palette knife. It has drippy paint. So you're able to emulate all the surface textures.


Chain Assembly (18:07.686)

Mm -hmm.


RF Pangborn (18:13.693)

charcoal on rough paper, et cetera, et cetera. So I don't see any real difference other than what you're creating is not a physical one time only piece. It's something that you can make prints of. But if you are not copying and pasting, if you're not grabbing images and tracing over them and stuff like that, you're a painter. You know what I'm saying? So I had a lot of fun exploring that and I made some digital paintings during the pandemic because things were really slow.


and I wasn't wanting to invest in a lot of materials and so forth. And I said, let's try to sell some prints. And I learned a lot, man. I learned to respect digital art a great deal.


Chain Assembly (18:52.422)

Yeah, we have a lot of, I'm primarily a digital artist too, so we have a lot of digital artists on the podcast. But I did, that kind of segues into a question I wanted to ask you. Like, if I'm not mistaken, the majority of your art business income is selling originals, right? So.


RF Pangborn (19:08.349)

Yeah, I'm not even that enthused about selling prints. I want to sell affordable art that I'm not saying like the average person has $300 to throw away on a whim, but like that it's not $1 It's not $5 ,000, whatever. You can own it. It's possible. And I'll accept payments. I'll take payments. It's fine. I want somebody to have something in their hands and they can feel the texture. They can look at under different lighting and stuff like that and put up on their wall. That's been my...


my goal through this whole thing. Accessible artwork.


Chain Assembly (19:41.478)

Sure. And when it comes to pricing your work, do you do it based on size? Do you consider how long it took to make that individual thing? Do you have set increasement? Do you have a scheduled increase you do every year? Do you have any kind of structure to the pricing?


RF Pangborn (19:48.253)

Yeah.


RF Pangborn (19:58.503)

I try. I try. I try. That's not easy. I try incremental every year because you know, my God, shipping's going up. Everything's gone up recently. Groceries, the whole nine yards. Paint doesn't get cheaper and stuff. But I have created a system here where I work quickly. And so that no matter what the economic circumstances are,


No matter the size of the painting or whatnot, the painting is finished. I start to finish and the same day it's done always. For the most part, if I'm, I used to do layered oil paintings. I don't do layers anymore. I got, I have no patience for it. That's why I'm leaning towards acrylic because I could freeze an effect with a fan or a hairdryer and then move on a couple of minutes later. And I like that immediacy because sometimes you start an oil painting or you're like, okay, it's going to be like seven or eight more layers. By the time you get around,


two weeks later to hit that oil painting again. I forgot what this was all about. Where was the enthusiasm for this? I don't know how this began. So I like to make art quickly and that also allows me to price in a reasonable way because they're happening every day. I have my inventories. It's not like, oh, you know, I sold this painting that took me months and now it's going to take me another couple of months to make another one. That's just not, that's not how I operate. So they just kind of...


Chain Assembly (20:59.942)

Yeah.


RF Pangborn (21:24.829)

coming off like sweat. So I'm able to keep my prices, you know, I raise them slowly year by year, but not like, not so much to put people off. And this also, it actually helps a lot of things when you, you, when you work quickly, you start to, you don't, you're not married to everything where if I, if I make a mistake halfway through the day, I started this tradition now where if I screw the painting up and it's,


12 noon, I can do a charcoal piece and still get something done like that. So I'm not devastated if I make mistakes like I used to be and stuff. You could start again, get things done. And also I'm not butt hurt. There was a couple of times where you might've seen on Facebook, things were slow. I started doing, make me an offer. During the pandemic, I was doing tons of auctions and somebody who was a mentor of mine said, look, you're gonna do these auctions.


be ready to let things go for $5 if that's what happens at the end of the night. And I swear to God, we never came to $5, but yeah, something sold really good value, okay? And that did not hurt my feelings. I let it go because tomorrow I'll make another one, it's fine. And I'm very comfortable with the system.


RF Pangborn (22:46.013)

It also, if I keep my prices reasonable, I'm not sitting on, let's say like we created one piece, took me two weeks to do. I'm asking so much for it, it's going to take a month or two to sell, maybe six months. I'm going to sit around for years. But if I'm creating things quickly and selling them at a reasonable price, I can actually make a weekly income. If things aren't like really bad, like after the holidays and stuff, things get a little slow and stuff like that. But.


Sales can be pretty regular if you're willing to let things go at a reasonable price. And that's what that's kind of the sweet spot I found is having that good inventory, be willing to let it go. I'm not a I'm not a I'm not the kind of guy that's like, oh, this is my greatest piece. I don't know if I'm gonna be able to replicate that every day is different every day something gets done. And I'm not I'm not I'm not banking on that one piece, you know, it's it's it's it's gonna be I see myself doing this forever.


Chain Assembly (23:44.166)

So let's get into some of the logistics here. Do you price your oil paintings differently than your acrylics because of the time that goes into them?


RF Pangborn (23:52.765)

No, I, some people will probably say I should, but to me it's the same amount of work goes into it. It's the same process. I wake up in the morning, I come in here and punch in. At end of the day, whether it's oil or acrylic, it's done. And the only pricing differences I make would be like, I do a piece on paper will be cheaper than a piece on a scratch canvas. Scratch canvas is going to cost me more to ship. The supplies are more expensive and so forth.


So I will I will upcharge on that.


Chain Assembly (24:24.326)

Okay. And so is aside from I guess that variable is size the biggest factor in determining the price for you?


RF Pangborn (24:37.725)

Yeah, I like that that you you can ask me my prices and I'll tell you 8 by 10 is this much and I by 12 is this much. It doesn't matter what you buy. So if you if it's 11 by 14 on stretch canvas, okay, it's going to be a little extra whatever but they're pretty consistent. It's like walking into McDonald's or whatever. You get the number one get the number two. So I don't know it works for me.


Chain Assembly (24:59.206)

So do you try and have your output match your...


input. That's not a good way to ask that. Like, do you say, okay, I sold X amount of pieces last week, that means I need to replace them by doing X amount of paintings. Do you track what you sell and use it as a factor into what you paint? Or what you produce?


RF Pangborn (25:20.925)

If you come into the studio and you make a painting a day you make a drawing a day you create a Piece of sculpture a day whatever you're doing I just applied my day job stuff to the to the studio you come in you punch in you punch out It you're going to accumulate a backlog. No matter what I mean, I think I Fancy myself as I've sold everything I've made, you know, I've sold everything but no there's there's you can see behind me There's paintings here and stuff. There's there's still some inventory here. It's gonna happen naturally


Chain Assembly (25:33.062)

I'm going to go to bed.


RF Pangborn (25:49.949)

You're not going to sell five days a week every week. There's going to be some slow times where these things will pile up a little bit. Recently I have a little more. I've been really productive. So I have a little more backlog now than I used to. When I first moved to Georgia, I probably had like 10, 12 pieces ready for a show or for sale. And now I probably got like 20 to 30 pieces here. So even like I get the flu one week.


can't show up to studio or whatever, I can just repost. There's some inventory here.


Chain Assembly (26:25.702)

Well, let's talk about that because you don't have a website, right? You do all your sales just through Instagram and Facebook?


RF Pangborn (26:31.997)

I tried the website thing and I still go back checking day after day, no clicks, no activity. And I was paying for this too. So I don't know about the website thing. I don't know if that's even necessary anymore. Some people still do place, there's like an air of legitimacy about someone who has a website, but I see a lot of people doing business right off Instagram, right off Facebook, TikTok, allegedly people are doing really good on there too. And that's probably something I need to start getting into.


Chain Assembly (26:33.964)

I'm


RF Pangborn (26:59.869)

But yeah, I've had consistent sales. First on Facebook, then we had a slow time on Facebook and I had an Instagram account that I kind of started and forgot about. And then I went back to it and suddenly Instagram was blowing up for artists, man. It's crazy. I got followers. I don't know how I got those followers on there, man. People ask me, where'd this come from? Did you pay for this? I don't know this. Instagram, man, it's good. So it's like 90.


Chain Assembly (27:24.728)

You get like 25 ,000, I think. So pretty.


RF Pangborn (27:28.957)

97? It got crazy.


Chain Assembly (27:30.566)

scroll up a bit more. Oh, shit. Yeah, you're at 98 .7 thousand. That's great.


RF Pangborn (27:36.573)

Yeah, don't ask me how that happened, bro. I don't know. I have yet to pay for one of those send your pic to whatever page and I see myself probably doing that in the future. It's probably going to be beneficial but from what I heard a lot of that is people will jump on and then they'll jump off. So the followers I have now, if they're organic, that's a little better. They're going to probably stick around a longer. Not as fickle. But yeah, Instagram's been very kind to me recently and I...


I'm ready to investigate TikTok, but I'm doing pretty good on those two platforms. Surprisingly, without a website.


Chain Assembly (28:14.342)

So if someone wanted to go to you and say, hey, I want to buy a piece. What do you have available right now? Is there a way for them to do that other than messaging you?


RF Pangborn (28:20.925)

Yeah, you gotta spend a couple of minutes. You can scroll through Instagram pretty easily. Just scroll and scroll. Everyone will be marked with the medium, size, price, and availability. I put a big sold on there if it's sold. But of course, that's not convenient for everybody. And if it's not, I say just copy and paste the picture to me and I'll let you know what's going on. And there's some customers who I'll take the time out for and I'll just take a look around the studio. What do I have? And try to amass all those photos.


and send it to them. What the heck? If it's a slow day or whatever, you got better to do. Try to make a sale.


Chain Assembly (28:54.822)

Yeah, I mean, I guess it's worth it for the extra effort because at least they're coming to you ready to purchase something.


RF Pangborn (29:00.669)

Yeah, yes. Yeah, they're interested, right? They're asking for it. So, yeah. So I now kind of learned to have a folder, a separate folder of the available pieces there so I could just kind of paste them over, drag them over to the message.


Chain Assembly (29:15.302)

So let's say we're looking at 2023 as a pie chart for RF Pangborn as an art business. Selling originals via Facebook, Instagram, that's gonna be like, what, 80 % of the income?


RF Pangborn (29:32.189)

Wow, almost 100. I saw very few prints.


2023 -2024 is young yet, but 2023 maybe I sold like three prints, bro. And I get a lot of people ask for prints. People ask for prints and then don't commit to the print. And there's some people who are dying for something and I'll go out and I'll make a print for them. It's fine. But yeah, prints not a big part of the business. I was surprised. I thought prints were going to like blow up, you know, and for the price point that they'd be flying out here.


Chain Assembly (29:44.23)

OK, OK.


RF Pangborn (30:06.493)

But I don't know what the dynamics are behind that. I haven't figured the print thing out maybe.


Chain Assembly (30:12.23)

So I mean, I think part of it too is like from looking at your pieces, we know the paint is thick as hell. So getting it as a print is just gonna be something that might like disappoint you every time you look at it. Yeah. And like, I...


RF Pangborn (30:23.677)

It's not the same. Yeah. There's people charging the same amount I charge for an original for a print. You can buy an original and enjoy it. That's what I really want. Like you said, I appreciate that texture and enjoy having that thing in your possession. It's just a great feeling.


Chain Assembly (30:44.902)

So I'm also seeing on your Instagram you have this piece that has, I believe it's a band logo, the monastit, monastil on it?


RF Pangborn (30:53.725)

Yeah, the monastic... It's a German, German... I don't know what you call them, hardcore or metal nowadays. I'm getting up there, bro. I'm not really heavy on that scene, but I get a lot of requests for the artwork and stuff. So there's a couple of bands that have some artwork out there and I appreciate those guys. They've been sending me t -shirts and albums and stuff like that. And it does me a lot of good. And...


Chain Assembly (30:56.486)

Oh, there you go.


Okay.


Chain Assembly (31:10.278)

Okay.


RF Pangborn (31:22.301)

I at one time was dabbling in music and I would have loved to have some artists, you know, have some artwork to put on those album covers or something. And I like that community. They're just like music and painters, musicians, same thing. A lot of us are working from home, trying to blow things up.


Chain Assembly (31:37.222)

So...


Chain Assembly (31:45.158)

So what percentage of that pie chart would you say is from licensing of your existing work? OK. Yeah.


RF Pangborn (31:50.269)

Not much. Less than 5%. This is something new that's been happening over the past like two years. And it's not a lot. It's not a lot.


Chain Assembly (31:59.75)

And that's not something you'd want to, like, focus on, is like, making money off of pieces you've already finished?


RF Pangborn (32:08.445)

There's a lot that goes on where there's some lesser known, maybe DIY folks, excuse me, amateur bands, and I do allow usage of artwork for free on occasion. That's my way of paying forward to whatever art community I can and helping people along with their projects.


And then there's some bigger names that have come to me and stuff and they want to pay and it's fine and they want licensing. I don't do a lot of exclusivity. Not right now. I probably should. But it's kind of new to me. And really, I'm making money with the sales of the artwork. I don't mind contributing a little bit without making money once in a while. I think that's, for me, that's fine. A lot of people say I'm nuts or whatever, but.


It's not like someone's gone out there like Led Zeppelin and the legendary band's making millions of dollars off t -shirts with my art on it. No, it's just somebody trying to push their first album out and have something cool on the cover and get things started. And I'm happy to help with that. But I haven't considered it as a part of the business yet. I probably should though. I probably should look into it.


Chain Assembly (33:18.278)

That's pretty cool.


Chain Assembly (33:26.278)

Well, let's then talk about the archiving. How do you keep records of the paintings you've made?


RF Pangborn (33:34.333)

At the end of the day, I try to snap a good picture. I try to get decent resolution. I'll go into GIMP or Photoshop and I'll clean it up and boost it up a little bit. And that's about it. And then I'll throw the title on it, throw it in a folder. And that's another thing with prints is that I don't always have the best photos. So not all of them will stand up to a print. Some do, and that's great. I'll sell the heck out of those or whatever. But some of them, I'm like, I'm sorry, this picture is just not up to snuff. And my wife,


takes great pictures too. I don't know why I don't just have her take the pictures for me. I don't know. I gotta get my act together.


Chain Assembly (34:09.99)

I mean, because your output is so high, it's like you don't, they're not so precious, I guess you could say.


RF Pangborn (34:18.865)

Maybe they should be maybe they should be maybe i'm not being smart i'm operating at a very low level here of my main i'm not in this to be. You know famous and rich shows never my intention my intention was to get out of my day job before i fell apart and then was thrown cast aside with no retirement. Some like i'm getting up there i'm in my early fifties now and this is kind of like a semi retirement for me and this is something i as long as my.


my hands and my fingers are functional or I could paint with my mouth, put a paintbrush in my mouth. I'll always be able to make paintings and hopefully always be able to sell them. It could be a comfortable old age for me. And that's really all I wanted out of this was to be able to have some, you know, leave the day job, have some income and then parlay this into a nice retirement, interesting retirement.


Chain Assembly (35:09.926)

So with that in mind, let's talk a bit about the consistency you have with posting on social media. Because every now and then you'll post some old stuff. Do you do that because you don't have anything to share that day? Or you just really want to share? OK. You have to share.


RF Pangborn (35:20.157)

Ah, right.


Sometimes, yeah. Someone was on a podcast and they were like, look, don't be afraid to repost. We're all afraid to repost because we think our audience doesn't see fresh paintings every day, new stuff every day, they're going to jet. Now, it's not the case. A lot of the people might have joined recently, might have started following you recently, didn't see all your old stuff. There's so many people who haven't seen that. Or people who enjoy seeing it again or whatever. So.


Reposting should be part of your regular schedule. I mean, even if you're not so much because you don't have anything else to post that day, but it should be just something you kind of throw into the mix weekly or monthly. I'll put up like just a sort of piece that's already sold. It doesn't matter. Just like, hey, this is from back in the day and that'll get a bunch of hits. It's still activity. It's still interaction. It's still comments and likes. It may bring in new followers. Who knows?


People see how your style has changed. And then there's the kind of repost that's like, hey, these are still available. These are from a couple months ago. They're still around. And that's something you have to do. You just can't just post new stuff every day. You gotta recycle some of that inventory. You gotta get that out there.


Chain Assembly (36:41.318)

So do you try to post once a day? Or every day, rather?


RF Pangborn (36:44.829)

I don't I ideally yes, it doesn't always work out that way. But ideally, yes. The situation is weekends usually you don't see me a part of the part of the deal with quitting the day job is I always worked weekends and my wife is like, look, if you're going to work from home, I want to see you on the weekends. And so and also just for your own mental health, whether it's a weekend or whether it's one day a week, I don't know whatever you can afford to do, get off of social media for a little bit and just


You know, kind of pay attention to things around you and don't worry about the likes and the follows and the comments and just kind of like, you know, take a break, take a break. I find that's been really beneficial for me and I can get back into things and a little fresher when I come back. I know a lot of people can't afford to do that and that if that's your situation and you got to hustle that artwork seven days a week, okay, do it somewhere during the course of your day, shut all your shut your.


shut your shit off, shut your Facebook off and your Instagram and just go chill with your friends. Read a book. It can be very stressful to get wrapped up in all this 24 -7. I was there too and it stings a little bit. You see numbers drop in and it's not always your fault, it's algorithm. You may not have changed your methods but the algorithm shot you down that day and you're like, man, nobody cares about my art today.


You can't take that stuff to heart 24 -7. Not the healthiest thing in the world.


Chain Assembly (38:18.246)

So when you do your posting, is it from your phone or do you use like the Meta Business Suite so you can schedule things ahead of time? Do you double post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time? What does that look like?


RF Pangborn (38:25.693)

Ugh.


RF Pangborn (38:29.469)

I have a kind of consistent regimen is I'll finish the painting, set it up under some lighting, try to get a decent photo, clean the photo up, cut out all the background and stuff like that and get it decent looking. And then you've got to be, there's a whole, there's a little bit that goes into this. And I have some people who are getting started and they ask me, man, I post a picture of my artwork and no, I don't get any likes, I don't get any comments and stuff like that. And I'm like, well,


Are you just like, okay, you finished the painting for the day, you took a picture, you slammed it on Facebook and then walked away. You could do that. I don't think you're going to get very far that way. You need to spend some time here. So at the end of the day, you got to put like an hour aside when you're finished painting, get your title going. For me, the title takes time too sometimes. And then...


It's a process of posting on Instagram, but also going to the Instagram home feed, liking your peers artwork, scroll through, see what other people are doing, make some supportive comments out there, because there's people just like you who need that stuff every day, and you can contribute to that. We're a community. And that kind of stuff goes a long way. And that also stimulates the algorithm, because you're interacting and stuff.


So just don't go slamming a picture on there. And if you're on Facebook, you've got to not just post on your homepage, don't just put it up on your Facebook page, so your personal page and here it is. Go to like 20 different groups and post and post and post and post. Don't copy and paste, make an original post for each page. If you copy and paste, it's a share, nobody sees shares, they go right down to drain, you'll get two looks. Take the picture, post it, copy and paste the...


description on there if you have to and then go on Facebook and scroll the home feed who are your peers out there who are your friends what do they do and hey that's that's a fire piece you know support support support reply if people say something don't just oh you know somebody liked it okay great go back and say thank you throw a heart next to that comment you know be involved in this stuff so that for me has been a part of the


RF Pangborn (40:49.987)

success of the platforms I'm on is don't post in ghost and be involved with your people.


Chain Assembly (40:58.822)

That's a lot of good.


RF Pangborn (40:59.005)

Answer your DMs. Don't, you know, when someone's you get it, you get a DM request from some strange person saying, Hey, I just started painting, man. You know, answer them back. Take it. You got time. If you don't have time. Okay. You're super busy. I understand. Uh, but when you find the time, go back and maybe give somebody some advice or, or just, you know, interact with people.


Chain Assembly (41:22.214)

great advice. And well, related to that, I see you also use a lot of hashtags to define that. Have you ever tried experimenting by posting without hashtags to see if it adjusts the numbers or anything like that?


RF Pangborn (41:36.125)

Um, I, uh, I don't know where I heard that. It was another podcast. Someone was saying throw some hashtags up, but not too many. I don't know what's too many, but, uh, if, um, if there's a hot, uh, word, if someone's going to type in expressionistic portrait or they're going to type in dark art and you're going to pop up somewhere on there, why not? I mean, it's, you're, you're exposing yourself to more people. It takes five seconds to copy and paste all your hashtags, depending on the medium.


I have hashtags for acrylic, I have hashtags for oil, and I'll modify them a little bit depending on the subject of the painting sometimes. But yeah, I think hashtags help a lot. I haven't used them on Facebook at all, and maybe I should. I tried it for a little bit, I didn't see a big difference, but on Instagram, I think it definitely makes a difference.


Chain Assembly (42:22.566)

Okay, okay. I don't post on Instagram nearly as much as I should, but I've got a tarot project that I'm gonna be launching soon, so I really ought to get some shit scheduled for that. I got all these cards that'd be great stuff to share as a lead up to it. Anyways.


RF Pangborn (42:38.621)

Sure. Think about it. No one is charging us a dime for this stuff. It doesn't hurt.


Chain Assembly (42:43.878)

Yeah, the way I see it is I focus on the social media platforms that I use and I'm rarely ever on Instagram anymore, but I spend a lot of time on TikTok.


RF Pangborn (42:57.629)

What are your platforms of choice? TikTok, huh? And TikTok's primarily short, like, vignettes, videos.


Chain Assembly (43:01.254)

TikTok and Facebook.


Chain Assembly (43:06.95)

So as far as like me being a consumer, I love just like opening up TikTok and seeing what's going on. Like the people I follow, there's people who, I follow a lot of creators who do like weird abandoned places in Florida or like Disney history stuff. And then a lot of artists showing like their speed paints or whatever, or like showing off their techniques and things like that. A lot of political stuff.


RF Pangborn (43:29.181)

Yeah. So, so TikTok allow you to, this allow you to post edited videos. It doesn't, it's not necessarily like a live. Okay.


Chain Assembly (43:39.386)

Yeah, yeah. I mean, you can do live, but I always just scroll past live. I don't care about live. The live stuff on TikTok is usually people trying to sell a product like infomercial style, which is very weird. But so like, for example, one thing I'm going to do with this podcast and I do with all of them is this platform I'm using Riverside. It's going to transcribe everything. It's going to look for what the AI thinks is the most interesting parts. And then it's going to do an edit of the video based on that.


RF Pangborn (43:51.293)

Okay.


Chain Assembly (44:09.574)

and it'll create 10 different options all about a minute long. And it reformats your video above my video and puts the text transcription on screen. And then I could just instantly upload that to TikTok. And I get some engagement with those because I know when I'm scrolling through TikTok, if I see someone having a conversation, even if it is a clip from a podcast, I get excited. I want to hear the rest of what they're going to talk about. And I have noticed that did.


RF Pangborn (44:35.485)

Right. Right.


Chain Assembly (44:37.862)

that has brought some more ears to the podcast. And so in that regard, TikTok's worked well. But one thing that I've noticed recently that's very frustrating is if I'm trying to run an ad on Facebook and Instagram, if the ad is going on Facebook, I'm not able, unless there's a way to do it, I can't figure it out on the ads manager. I can't send people to an external link anymore. I can only send them to a page on Kickstarter. I mean, sorry, a page on Facebook.


RF Pangborn (44:43.101)

Yeah, that's pretty badass.


Chain Assembly (45:07.558)

So like the options it gives me is like message me on Facebook or call my WhatsApp or go to my page or just have them look at the ad. Like those are like all my options. But if I run an ad on Instagram, I can send them to an external link. So.


RF Pangborn (45:19.773)

Right, right.


RF Pangborn (45:23.677)

Yeah, yeah, Facebook's becoming a little bit of a dinosaur is what I'm hearing.


Chain Assembly (45:28.406)

Yeah, it's just so weird like even though they're owned by the same company it's so weird like it just seems so so So much more useless to run an ad on Facebook But there's probably just an option somewhere in the interface that I just can't find so I'll just keep running the ads on Instagram I don't actually


RF Pangborn (45:44.925)

Uh, maybe, but I think you've got things pretty well figured out. It seems like you're doing well on the platforms you're on. And, and, uh, uh, Facebook was great for me at one time. It's not so great. Now. Instagram is kind of like taking over that. And, and I'm even, I'm way behind you. I should be on TikTok. I should have done TikTok a long time ago. And that's, that's going to be my next challenge as an old man, get on TikTok and get some speedpainting videos out there. Something.


Because social media comes and goes man. Where's my space? You're gonna post our on my space now. You're gonna blow up on there It's done, right? So this is gonna happen everything so I'm always on the lookout someone's trying to get me into threads about threads It says


Chain Assembly (46:15.782)

You


Chain Assembly (46:23.782)

I have a threads account, I never post on it. But I was never on Twitter either, so.


RF Pangborn (46:27.581)

Yeah. Right. I tried. I tried Twitter for a little bit and Twitter's I got some some likes and stuff, but no one asking to buy anything on there. I don't know. I tried LinkedIn for a little bit. So I think TikTok, I'd better get into it. And you know, it doesn't hurt if you have the time to be on as many platforms as you can. What can you know, how much time do you have? It's it's all going to help.


But definitely marrying a social media platform and willing to die on that hill man, that's not good You got to kind of keep up with things. That's how I'm telling myself that right now


Chain Assembly (47:02.482)

So like one thing I've noticed too on TikTok that tends to work better is not just like a speed paint video, but a video that's like three seconds of footage every 15 minutes kind of a thing. So it's like it's edited down super quickly and that's kind of more tedious to put together because with the time lapse, you could just set up the camera and tell it to take a shot every now and then. But yeah.


RF Pangborn (47:18.429)

  1. OK.

Short and sweet.


RF Pangborn (47:28.605)

Right, right. Throw some music on it. Try to edit it in an interesting way. And yeah, even my patience is going down for stuff and scrolling videos and stuff like that. If things don't get started right away, I just scroll to the next thing, man. And I'm an old fart, dude. Young people probably have less patience for that stuff. So yeah, a few seconds of something interesting, it's probably your best bet.


Chain Assembly (47:34.95)

Mm -hmm. Yeah.


Chain Assembly (47:44.474)

Mm -hmm.


Chain Assembly (47:55.27)

So did you, you mentioned how Facebook isn't working as well for you anymore. So do you still give the same amount of energy to posting on Facebook that you give to Instagram?


RF Pangborn (48:04.829)

Yes, because out of nowhere, I'll get a sale there. And that's, there's still sales going on there. You know, I'm going to I'm going to participate. When if that dies completely. Okay, it's probably time to kill it. But even if it's just slow, and I move on to Instagram and tik tok, why not keep it? Like I said, if I can afford the couple of minutes to go on there and post and so forth, then why not? Again, it's free.


It's free and you're just exposing yourself to more people, even if it's 10 people, who cares? Imagine trying to be an artist in the 70s and the 60s and so forth where it's like, wow, who do I have to know to get this painting shown? And who's going to see it? You know, it's such an amazing opportunity we have now. Anyone can get on there and be exposed to the world. So.


I don't mind being on the old dinosaur platform there as long as it's still giving back. When that stops...


I hope I've got my time for something else.


Chain Assembly (49:11.43)

So what about packing and shipping? What's been your history with delivering the actual product?


RF Pangborn (49:18.045)

Don't sit on those paintings forever when they're dry and they're ready to go ship them out. Be mindful of your customers. Don't, don't, you can be frugal with your packing, but pack as though you're packing something really important. Pack as though you're sending a gift to a friend and you send something to your mom for Mother's Day. You know, put some love into it. Now I'm probably the most professional at packing than I've ever been. I have a


supplies, it's another another cost. You know, you're you're gonna have to pay for some consistent size boxes, a little backstock of that stuff, plastic wrap, bubble wrap. I use a lot of newspaper too. But you, you know, I started out going in the dumpster at work and trying to find appropriate size box, cut it down to size with a box cutter and find some old styrofoam and throw it in there. But I always made sure the painting was protected.


and that was neatly done to the best of my ability. Put some care into it no matter what you're doing. And then later if you can afford to go to like packaging price or something and get yourself those boxes and the tape and the... I think my biggest expenditure here is parchment paper, good parchment paper too because I tried wax paper and that stuck to a painting one time and ruined my day, ruined a customer's day.


So yeah, invest a little bit of money in those supplies. If you can invest the money, put some love into crafting that packaging, man. Make it neat. And don't somebody buys a painting on Friday if it's a drawing and it's done. Be ready to ship that out that day or have it out Saturday, have it out Monday. Be quick with that stuff. People appreciate that. You order something off Amazon. Now, how frustrating is that? It's like, they didn't ship it yet. It's been there two weeks.


Chain Assembly (51:05.222)

Yeah.


RF Pangborn (51:06.621)

And I've heard horror stories, like people ordered from this guy and he said, it's been a year now and I haven't seen my painting. No, no, no. You're ruining your reputation. Don't do that. Like how would you, you ordered something, you paid good money for something. You're going to want to see that show up as fast as possible. And with some of the, even now I'm able to subscribe to a postal postage service in home posted service where I get a little discounted rates on my postage now.


So now I can provide priority shipping for my customers. It's just a step above the ground male, which gets kicked around and stuff. Priorities, a little more care taken, it gets there faster. And since I'm getting a reduced price on it, now I can guarantee everybody gets, if you're in the United States, you get that priority ship. I'm gonna deliver on that and make sure you get it quick.


Chain Assembly (51:56.838)

So one thing that I've noticed has really worked well for me when I'm bringing like framed pieces to an art show or something. Yeah, it's obnoxious how heavy they can be. But since I do all digital, like I'm printing things, putting them in glass frames and hanging them. Yeah, like a pop -up. So, but one thing I've noticed has worked well for me as far as moving them is I bought on Amazon this big pack of foldable corners for the pieces.


RF Pangborn (52:02.333)

Oh, the heavy, yeah, yeah.


Oh yeah.


RF Pangborn (52:11.453)

Oh, that glass.


RF Pangborn (52:24.029)

Oh yeah, yeah.


Chain Assembly (52:24.966)

So you fold them up, snap them onto the corners, and then I wrap it up with like, it's got two big handles on it, like a rolling pin, but it's like stretchy plastic. Yeah, there you go. So that has worked really well for like keeping things safe when I'm moving them long distances or I don't want them rattling around. Just having the corners protected and wrapping the whole thing in cellophane. That way I could also stack multiple of them together and wrap that whole pile in cellophane.


RF Pangborn (52:32.381)

like cellophane. Yeah.


RF Pangborn (52:50.077)

That's brave. That's brave. Excuse me.


Chain Assembly (52:51.686)

Well, I mean, I got the corners in there, so they're not touching, but that helps.


RF Pangborn (52:56.509)

Yeah, shipping to galleries and stuff like that, it's going to cost a little more. You know this, dude. You slap that frame on there, you're adding pounds to that package. You send a piece of paper to someone, it's less than a pound. You send that framed picture, you're talking, I don't know where you'd be shipping to. It can go up to a hundred bucks to ship something. But that's another thing too, is that if someone makes a proposition, they want you to do a gallery show or whatnot, is...


Chain Assembly (53:01.574)

Yeah.


RF Pangborn (53:26.429)

be ready to put a couple of bucks aside for that and show up because those things are really important. And yeah, I get a nice frame and yeah, a lot of times too on these you have to pay for the return chipping. But for me, it's a rare opportunity to be physically present somewhere other than my basement where you can go see that art man. It's important. So I try to take every opportunity to put out the little extra cost to do that. It's worth it.


Chain Assembly (53:55.142)

Well, let's bring up the gallery side. Like, do you do any events, like markets, not markets, but like art fairs or gallery shows?


RF Pangborn (54:04.605)

I haven't I haven't done any art fairs. It's it's it's people always like you should get a table and whatnot. And I haven't tried that yet. And that's another it's more additional cost to rent that space. And and I don't have a setup. You probably want to have a nice setup when you go there. And also.


I don't see, I don't know if there's a lot of that going on around here. There wasn't Florida, there wasn't in Tampa especially. But I do try to show up to every show that someone asked me to show up to. There's no reason to say no. So that I will be there with bells on. Anyone that wants me to send a piece out to show if it's in Canada, if it's in Europe, I don't care. That's an opportunity for me to step out and.


And have someone actually, instead of looking at it on a computer screen, they can look up close as though you're in a museum or whatever. You can go up to the painting and see what it's really all about. And it doesn't always equate to a sale, but it equates to something. And it's definitely, it should be on your radar. Don't say no to shows, never.


Chain Assembly (55:14.95)

Alright, so one last question I want to ask you is do you ever get bored with your style? And if so, is there anything you do to try and like rediscover the love for it?


RF Pangborn (55:29.085)

Yes, I think we all get into this rut where we're like, what the hell am I doing? And it's another melty face, whatever, you know, you have those days, but, uh, the greatest tool that I have found was to switch mediums, switch your medium. Uh, you made like, you'll notice I'll make like three acrylic pieces. Then there'd be some oil pieces. Then it'll be some charcoal. Uh, if I,


I found in the past if I stuck to the same thing for a long time, I kind of got in this weird space of I felt like I was doing the same thing over and over again. Even try a new medium, try mixed media, try just anything, throw everything at the panel that day and something different will happen. We get trapped into using the same techniques. When you switch mediums, you're forced to do something completely different. And...


That can put you in a new place and also you have a new, you have something else you can run to when you get to that dead end. Now I have charcoal, acrylic and oil. I'm never really bored, man. I can switch it up any day of the week and get inspired again. And when I was painting cleanly, what helped was changing styles. Try abstraction.


Try improvisation, improvisational art, make a mess. That's what keeps me going is not having a plan for the day, showing up to that blank piece of paper, that blank canvas. I don't have a plan. I have to trust this process to kind of see itself through. And that starts a lot of times by making random marks, throwing shit at the canvas.


And something will emerge from that if I try too hard to come up with a game plan for the day And I say what am I gonna do? What do I want to say today? It takes up a lot of time. It's a lot of mental effort. That's not necessary from my perspective and You're kind of boxing yourself in if I start a painting and it's a portrait Someone face in a certain way doing a certain thing. I'm not married to that if that starts to go south on me


RF Pangborn (57:46.365)

Time to scrape, time to make some marks, let's go in different directions. Just listen to that paint. If you have this mindset of you're able to create something, destroy it and create it again, you don't get stuck in that one spot. You just break the pattern and start fresh. You have some time, you have a couple hours, you can knock something out. And so this process for me has kept art very exciting and very fresh.


I'm kind of excited every day when I come in, say what's going to happen today. I don't even know if it's going to be oil or what have you. It's kind of chaotic, but you have to trust the chaos. It sort of always comes through if you get going on it. Something's going to come out of it. And so, yeah, I don't know. I'm kind of past that part of getting stuck in the rut and being bored and stuff like that. I even took a...


I was in a hopeless place with oil paintings and I started to take newspaper and wads of paper towel and gloom the canvas with Elmer's glue and gesso and just make forms on the canvas and then splash some paint on it and say, oh, it starts to look like a face. It starts to look like something. Do something different. Don't be afraid to try, bust out some pencils, start sketching, take a ballpoint pen, try to make a piece that way.


Challenge yourself with different mediums. I think this is the best advice.


Chain Assembly (59:14.982)

So I also think that's great advice. So as an illustrator, I don't really have my own style. Every project I do, I try and do a completely different style. So that always keeps me excited. I'll try to be like, this time I'm going to try and do the...


RF Pangborn (59:26.973)

Nice. Yeah, that's challenging.


Chain Assembly (59:35.43)

like French 1960s comic book style, or this time I'm going to try and do some like oil or some alcohol ink style. So it's always fun changing it up. So if you think about like where your art business would be five years from now, and you're just looking at your plans for it, is it just continuing on with what's working for you? Or do you think like, you'll kind of branch out on different products or like maybe have a book?


RF Pangborn (59:37.661)

Right.


Chain Assembly (01:00:04.538)

Or do you think that's all gonna be people who approach you with ideas? It's not gonna be something you're pushing.


RF Pangborn (01:00:08.253)

Probably knowing my personality, I do kind of get into a habitual kind of way of doing things business -wise. And then, you know, someone may come out of the work and approach me with something. Certainly, my only real ambition here is to just make a humble living. And I think that that's kind of a challenge in and of itself to keep that consistently going.


But I'm hoping to, I mean, it took this long to amass this many followers and to get the regular sales and stuff like that. And I'm just hoping that with consistency, with maybe like we were talking about getting on some different platforms and stuff like that, that I can just widen my audience. And if I can continue to sell, that's like magic to me, dude. If I can continue to sell artwork till the day I die and, you know.


Chain Assembly (01:00:54.022)

Mmm.


RF Pangborn (01:01:03.613)

keep myself alive doing artwork. That to me is enough. I'm not looking for like big things. I'm not looking to be the next so and so, so and so with the coffee table book, whatever. That's great if that happens. But I just want to be able to make a living with art. And I want to see where the art goes more than anything too. I mean, I want to see like from where I started out, what I was doing when I started out to where I am now, where am I going to be? What's the art going to look like in 10 years? What's it going to look like when I'm all...


creating like Titian at like 90 years old or whatever. Where am I going to be? That's pretty interesting stuff, man. And if I'm still able to sell that, I consider that kind of a, it's a blessing. It's like magic. It's like, how am I turning a piece of paper or a canvas panel into money? And that's, I don't know. I'm kind of, if I could just keep doing that, that's pretty awesome. It's a, it's a, it's a humble, it's a humble vision. I, you know.


Chain Assembly (01:01:58.246)

So is there anyone -


No, I know what you mean. Like it's when I'm at a market and someone's like, oh my God, I love this. Here's a hundred bucks. I'm like, wow, I just converted my time into cash. It's so weird, but it's such a it's an addictive feeling. So.


RF Pangborn (01:02:12.413)

Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. With your hands, it's like a cabinet maker or somebody, I don't know, it's so satisfying to create something where there wasn't something there before and then someone buys it on top of that. It's just, I don't know, it's still blowing my mind.


Chain Assembly (01:02:29.126)

So whether on purpose or by accident, is there anyone whom you've modeled your business model after?


RF Pangborn (01:02:39.453)

My greatest two people have been very helpful to me. Chet Tsar has been very helpful. Chet's a very approachable guy. He's a good dude. He's trying to bolster the dark art community in the art world and its presence and he's a big part of that. He created the Dark Art Society Collective on Facebook and there's a lot of like -minded people trying to get this scene off the ground.


He's been really instrumental and he's helped me along the way and definitely gave me a lot of exposure and another fella who's out there, you can look him up on Instagram, YouTube, he's all over the place. His name is Jose Trujillo. He's a very prolific and successful artist who is ready to give advice to drop the hat. And he has helped me in my productivity and my attitude about showing up and being consistent, you know, and productive. That's...


That guy's been really helpful. Check him out if you get a chance. He doesn't make a dark art. He paints really nice stuff. But his attitude, his work ethic is amazing. And I did not have a work ethic before regarding art. I didn't know what that was.


Chain Assembly (01:03:45.222)

Yeah, yeah, I'm taking.


Chain Assembly (01:03:56.134)

Yeah, I'm definitely check both of those out. And then so if any of our listeners want to follow you, you are at instagram .com slash Pangborn R .F. That's P -A -N -G -B -O -R -N R .F. And on Facebook, you are facebook .com slash R .F. dot Pangborn P -A -N -G -B -O -R -N. Yeah. Well, R .F., thank you so much for talking to me about your art, your process, your journey. Is there a?


RF Pangborn (01:04:18.621)

Yeah. Perfect. Thank you for the plug.


RF Pangborn (01:04:24.733)

Dude, thanks for having me.


Chain Assembly (01:04:26.086)

Any, anything you want to leave the listeners with?


RF Pangborn (01:04:29.501)

Yeah, people starting out, I hear this all the time, they're discouraged right away on social media. You didn't get 10 ,000 followers overnight. Look, I started in 2013. I have a decent following. I'm making regular sales. It took years of back work and just being showing up constantly, even though there was a lot coming back to me. Don't expect this thing to happen overnight. And


Chain Assembly (01:04:31.11)

Right?


Chain Assembly (01:04:43.686)

Hehehe.


RF Pangborn (01:04:57.949)

Don't give up. Don't make a post. Don't post about, oh, no one's buying my artwork. People don't want to hear that stuff, man. Don't defeat yourself. Be in it for the long term. Believe that, you know, trust the process that in the end you're going to get that following and stuff, man. But if you give up right away, too many people give up too soon. I see a lot of young people doing this, man. You're just giving your slot to someone else. Someone's going to come right in there.


You will cease to exist and someone will take all that prosperity and success away from you. It's yours if you're willing to hang in there. It's not so much your talent or your style. It's your persistence.


Chain Assembly (01:05:39.75)

Awesome. Great, great final word send on. So again, RF, thank you so much. I appreciate your time and hope you have a wonderful day.


RF Pangborn (01:05:44.605)

Thank you. Likewise, you too. Take care, man.


Outro

Chain Assembly: Art for profit sake is recorded through Riverside FM, distributed through Spotify for podcasters, and edited on Adobe Audition. The music is provided by Old Romans. If you learned anything useful or found this podcast helpful, please rate and review us five stars. If you want to learn more about me or my art, head over to ChainAssembly.com.

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