#ICanDoThat Episode 8 with Carrie Ann Baade

In the eighth episode of #ICanDoThat Jonathan Joseph and Rachel Elspeth Gross, interview Carrie Ann Baade. Carrie Ann is “a contemporary painter whose work quotes from, interacts with, and deeply relates to art history. She paints in dialogue with relevant masterpieces, in order to reclaim them in a surreal narrative that is simultaneously biographical.” Baade “received her MFA from University of Delaware and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.” Little Red Fashion introduces Little Red Village and its first interview series #ICanDoThat on instagram. Our #ICanDoThat campaign is a one-question interview for our IGTV that asks industry professionals across disciplines to respond to the question: "What advice do you have for a kid who wants to do what you do within fashion?"


The video of this interview can be found here!

Live: June 10th, 2021


Jonathan Joseph

Rachel Elspeth Gross

Carrie Ann Baade

Jonathan Joseph  0:00  
Hello, everyone and welcome to another installment of I can do that part of Little Red Village here at Little Red Fashion. I am Jonathan Joseph. And I'm just going to take a second and bring in the lovely Rachel Elspeth Gross, our head fashion historian as we prepare to welcome this week's guests Carrie Ann, who is an amazing creative tour de force with a ton of valuable insights for our youngest fans. Give me one moment while I rally the troops as it were.

Hello, Rachel, my dear.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  0:41  
Hello, it's so humid here. I just saw my hair.

Jonathan Joseph  0:44  
Oh, it's pretty humid here, too. It's been this is the first somewhat tolerable day here in the northeast that we have had. And it's been quite quite the process. Let me make sure we invite  Carrie Ann, here we go. Oh, hopefully I'm not too shvitzy I feel very gross. I know what my air conditioning is clearly not working in my office. So Carrie, hello.

Carrie Ann Baade  1:20  
Hi, how are you? 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  1:20  
How are you? Good. 

Carrie Ann Baade  1:23  

Rachel Elspeth Gross  1:26  
Awesome. Nice to see you digitally.

Jonathan Joseph  1:31  
So nice to meet you.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  1:34  
Know about this, probably as most of us Carrie Ann was, is and will always be one of my dearest favorite teachers. She taught me when I was at FSU million years ago. And she is probably the purest, most true teacher that I've ever ever benefit of working with. So I was so excited Carrie that you were able and willing to join us today. My pleasure. Um, so I guess what we usually start with is just kind of talking about what it is that you do, what would you sort of describe your job, as? I know It's a lot of things. 

Carrie Ann Baade  2:10  
Well, I'm a professor at Florida State University in the Department of Art in the area of painting. But I really work with our BFA is cultivating their creativity, their studio habits, their creative process, and trying to give them the necessary tools to make them successful, so they can go on and be professionals. So part of that is also just helping to keep enthusiasm up and be inspiring because art is a lot about trial and error. And you get really frustrated and artists are usually emotional. And so how do you work with artistic temperaments and give them also the internal tools they need in order to keep going. 

Rachel Elspeth Gross  3:06  
Yeah, that's so important. I know it probably in any kind of work, but especially in art, there's a moment when everything feels perfect, and it's coming together. And then there's so many times you have to make yourself like get through the hard parts. And you have to find solutions when it doesn't seem like there's any. And I think that that really applies to art, which can be fashion which can be music, which can be painting creativities a purple stain.

Carrie Ann Baade  3:35  
My favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln, which is "success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."

That's great. Absolutely. 

The goal is to keep going.

Jonathan Joseph  3:49  
Yeah, that unyielding tenacity is definitely essential for law firms, you know, in addition to being a fast learner, and I'm also a painter, and I you know, the trial and error method is the only method. So, so many things and you know, a big part of what we're doing here with Little Red Fashion is really trying to give kids as early as possible these tools to gain that persistence and that tenacity, I often use the analogy of a see an enemy, right? So clownfish live in sea anemone, which normally would shock them. But what they do is they swim up as babies against them time and time again, and they build up that resistance coating to the sea anemone so that they are actually able to thrive within them. And so I think of what we're doing here is Little Red Fashion, Little Red Fashion is somewhat like being, instilling that within kids, because I think it's something that the earlier you gain those skills, the easier it becomes and the more organic it is to you. I would love to know from your perspective, given what you do, what are some things you think parents and caretakers can do to send kids to you that are more prepared and better able to weather the storms of the creative life.

Carrie Ann Baade  4:57  
Well, most important thing Having a designated space of art of any kind is messy. And having an environment that can allow for being creative, being messy, is really one of the goals. Once you have that designated space that you can go to that space, you can go to your supplies, and you can perform or create or I don't know, there's also something really cathartic and just deconstructing things, just pulling everything out having that designated space, or to know where that lives in your house and in your practice. So the other thing is practice of what is your practice entail? when you're a kid, you have play time, but you might have art class, but if you have some designated places in the home to do these activities that are stocked with the supplies, then it's a welcome and nurturing environment. The other one I thought, so putting things away, somehow, we learned to put anything away. That might give you a sense of self discipline, and how to re order out of chaos. But my studio, this is cleaned up. And Lee is in a state of chaos. It's just less and more chaotic.

Jonathan Joseph  6:42  
I relate most definitely we are in my studio as well, I can, you know, some parts of it are cleaner than others. Where's this gonna let me you know, so there's organized chaos, stretcher bars everywhere, paint everywhere. So I definitely relate having that sort of notion to create order out of chaos, cyclically, over and over again, is definitely really, really important as well. So I definitely empathize with that.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  7:10  
Like what I do, about having a dedicated space, it's not just about making sure your rooms clean, or that you're doing things in a perceived idea of what a proper processes, but having both the physical and emotional space where you can stretch your mind, your process, your work, whatever that work is having a space where you're allowed to. I mean, I think of it as clay, but you're allowed to work you're allowed to reach and not have there be a fear of punishment or consequences just because it's not pristine. I think that's a really big deal. So Carrie um, I know, you know, a wide range of advice and tools that you help your students to develop, but we were thinking more of like, smaller kids, maybe you know, less like college more like Middle School. Um, can you think of any particular advice that you would have wished that you would had when you were younger, would have helped you to become you better faster? I know, there's all kinds of things that I would have wanted.

Carrie Ann Baade  8:07  
What I wanted, I knew what I wanted, I was very clear, part of the problem was is I lived somewhere that didn't really have the resources for what I wanted, which is I wanted to paint with oil paint, and fifth grader oil painting. And I could ask every year, but it didn't get there any faster. So I pretty much had to get a job, get a car and drive to the next city. So what was formative and what is formative is getting the opportunity in other artists studios, no matter what the practices. I happen to grow up with ceramic artists, I grew up with jewelers. So even though it wasn't directly what I wanted, I could see other successful professionals doing what I was interested in. So if fifth grade or middle school or it might be too early to have an apprenticeship, I push my college students to have apprenticships, at least two in different related fields so that they're working with an expert. This is what is recommended in Robbins mastery book and he has 20 lessons that like help you become more successful but working in an apprenticeship is really valuable but anytime you can have any kind of role modeling, it's nice to be in the artist environment and see what they have to do in order to make it work.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  9:45  
And yes, I know that I definitely myself did with some collage work which was definitely your fault (laughs). You know, if I hadn't worked with you or worked under you that there's no, I might not have ever considered that on my own. For those who let me just catch everyone up. Carrie Ann makes these beautiful elaborate paintings. And sometimes they start as a very elaborate collage 

Carrie Ann Baade  10:07  
that's finished one (audio breaks up) Pretty much. And there's no the collage work can be anything. (audio breaks up) That's not a painting yet, but maybe. So, yeah, I think that this painting and process, much of my creative process mirrors what was available. available to me as a young kid, they would give you scissors, and I had a weekly job to cut out coupons. Scissors, are action tools, you know, you can change things. And well, the tools that were for children were like paper dolls. Paper dolls, were kind of dumb toys. It wasn't as interesting as like a chemistry set, Tinker toys, or Legos, you just have these tabs. But when you collage, you can change things you make wimzie you make mythological creatures, and you have agency. So collage is a nice. First step, it's an easy thing to do. You don't I actually prefer cellophane tape to glue. And why because I can reposition with cellophane tape, and you can't reposition glue as easily. And then there are masterful artists that work only in collage, like or more completely in collage like one gets you moved to or Fred Tomaselli. So collage is just one way of taking the detritus, the images of the world around us and changing them. So

Rachel Elspeth Gross  12:01  
yeah, and if you didn't live in the community that had a lot of artistic resources, I mean, if you get out a catalog, every, everyone probably has a couple of jump catalogs you could out of no artistic materials, you could start something you could make something you could play (audio breaks up).

Jonathan Joseph  12:20  
And I think that's where it all starts is creative play. (audio breaks up) Absolutely. That's why creative play is so central to all of the things we're building here at Little Red Fashion. It's building the tools so that kids who love fashion can play with it and play with core concepts and things. (audio breaks up)

Rachel Elspeth Gross  12:54  
everything's breaking up, Instagram is such a cruel god.

Jonathan Joseph  12:58  
Oh, it's true. Oh.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  13:04  
So Carrie, one of our favorite questions to ask people are books that they like and I know you have a billion. If you were going to give a parent of book that would help them understand a child who was more creative than they were someplace around here I have. This just came in the mail you told me about, yes im going to read it. (audio cuts out).

Carrie Ann Baade  13:25  
What I would recommend, called wired to create. I think that would be a good manual like I was wanted this. What is the manual for artists? Like I missing my appliance type, cat video, what helped me figure out who I am better and faster. So wired to create just talks about the different kind of human you are as a creative, that there's more stream of conscious, there's more mess. There are more emotions, at that these are things that we have to navigate. And it's part of being a synthesizer, it's part of being sensual and related to your senses. And that it helps you set it up is not you know, different but another type of intelligence, another type of aptitude that if you don't have parents who are the same. I think it could be really helpful to read a book like this to understand your child. I think for my college students, they're trying to learn to understand themselves, but they might also recommend it to their parents.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  14:40  
It's always good to Yeah, connect better. And think outside of regular perspective. for sure. Oh, Jonathan, do you have a question before we start to to wrap up here? 

Jonathan Joseph  14:51  
Sure. Well, you know, I think, you know, myself, as I mentioned before, as a painter and a fashion nerd. I think there's a lot of confluence between the two disciplines. And one thing that sticks out to me, that's something I wish maybe we have gotten more of an education, or at least a better education as kids, is the idea of color and color theory. Do you have any recommendations for parents or caretakers that want to really immerse the children in their lives in color theory and studies of colors specifically, because of that universality of language across creative discipline? 

Carrie Ann Baade  15:22  
I think that's a great question. And so Betty Edwards, you may know that name she wrote, drawing on the right side of the brain. This is an essential book for helping people draw what they see, because guess what, almost all of us see the same with the exception of big percentage of us being colorblind. So it's just how to build those skills of hand eye coordination. Betty Edwards also has a book on color, this is appropriate for fifth grade level on up. And it does basic color theory. But it also walks you through certain exercises that will help develop your eye. This is something that a fifth grader could do with the direction of their parent, or really, anybody from middle school up could follow the they're almost like recipes, assignments, that are in the text that would really help build your eye, talk about analogous complimentary colors, (audio breaksup) how things are and build that vacbulary.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  16:29  
Vocabulary is so important. It's so much. It's so much harder when you don't know how to say what you know. And when you have the words, I feel like that's really empowering. If you can articulate what you're thinking or what you're feeling or what you're trying to make. It makes it so much easier not just to explain it, but also, I think maybe to make it right, you can explain it, you can do it, I hope. One of my goals.

Carrie Ann Baade  16:52  
(audio is broken up) is a little like taking piano lessons. I've taken color theory classes over and over and over again. Because each time I take it, I develop a greater attunement, a greater articulation for understanding how colors resonate and function together much like harmonies or chords. So it's it's something to visit, revisit across visual disciplines.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  17:25  
It would apply to like everything, everything. If we see it, even if we are colorblind, we still have gradiation will need to have words for our visual experiences. And we want to express those on paper or in fabric.

Carrie Ann Baade  17:39  
My first color theory class was with someone who was colorblind, and he significantly better than I did, because he could tell the color value. He couldn't necessarily name it. But his ability to interpert color was far superior, my own. So I was much more interested in the symbolic representations of what color meant, and how they related to psychology (audio breaks up) could actually analyze visually at a much higher level.

Jonathan Joseph  18:12  
(Audio broken up)

Rachel Elspeth Gross  18:23  
Diversity of intelligence is real, and we all have something to contribute. And we all see the world a little bit differently. And that just makes it a better place to be.

Jonathan Joseph  18:34  
100%. Absolutely, I mean, that's why newbies like this are so important because we're gathering together so many diverse perspectives on how to better empower kids when it comes to nurturing that inner creative seed as early and as effectively as possible.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  18:51  
I always just feel like we're all better people if we're trying to make something. Kind of doesn't matter what that thing is. But I'd be very curious if (audio broken up) you there's something good evening. There's something good about having a process and there's something spiritual about creating and I (audio cuts out).

Jonathan Joseph  19:10  
Yea and I think it's essential to the human experience.

Carrie Ann Baade  19:18  
(audio broken up) waste as artists, not every human being might be a practicing artist, but every human being should have a creative practice of some kind. What makes life more meaningful, this is where you can process your emotions. This is how you make greater contributions and lead a more meaningful and poetic life. One of the cities on earth that best represents this in my experience is Ubud Bali is said to be an (audio breaks up) everyone in the city is a painter. And so I went there and asking the people the hotel you know, as a tourist you interact with taxi drivers, hotels and restaurants. But I asked I said, so do you paint? Everyone I spoke to said they painted. So I asked, Can I see, and I just started following people home and go into their garage, where they had their studios and they were all very competent painters. So I think it's really an example that we all need the equivalent of painting, whether you know, Rachel's father is a great guitarist, or, you know, whether you're doing theater on the side, how are you expressing yourself and cultivating your creativity, because this is one of the ways that we engage deeply in life.

Rachel Elspeth Gross  20:41  
(audio broken up) connections. So I think parents, who have a creative child, and maybe you're not certain on how to help them, do the things they want to do, finding a way via cooking, or sewing or painting or anything that you can do. I know from my own personal experience with my daughter that children learn best by example. And the example of I tried to give my daughter is to find work that feels like play. And I think what you're describing carries exactly that finding a place where you can stretch yourself and become more connected to the world that you're parting with the world you want to see. So these are so much fun. I love this. Thank you so much carrier. I appreciate you making the time to come talk to us today.

Carrie Ann Baade  21:23  
You are welcome. I hope you enjoyed that book. It's also quite good on audio. 

Jonathan Joseph  21:31  
 Oh, yea audible is great, I'm a big fan. Thank you so much, Carrie, really, these insights are so valuable. And I know that our followers are going to eat this up. And we are absolutely looking forward to sharing it with everyone and the transcripts as well because one of the greatest things that we get to do with these interviews is turn them into actionable activities for kids. And it really adds to our perpetual and endless reading list of resources that parents and care takers (audio breaks up) in order to empower the kids in their life. 

Carrie Ann Baade  22:04  
Thank you Carrie, we'll speak soon. 

Jonathan Joseph  22:07  
Thank you. Thank you to everyone watching as well. Take care everybody. We will see you next week for our next installment of how I can do that here as part of Little Red Village at Little Red Fashion. Take care everyone.

Jonathan Joseph


Little Red Fashion Creator and CEO Jonathan Joseph is a fashion loving visionary & consultant who's loved fashion since childhood. After consulting in the luxury space for a bit, he was inspired to write The Little Red Dress. From there he realized kids who love fashion lack the same level of targeted resources from books to tech that their peers who love music or sports have had for ages. Our entire vision is dedicated to his mom, Margaret, who started his love of fashion as a kid looking for unique socks to cover his leg braces!


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