ART FIT Podcast – Episode 1

ART FIT Podcast – Episode 1

So, you feel it in your bones that you’d like to be able to draw… and/or paint?!? 

Well let’s take a few moments to think about where that feeling is coming from. 

Then once you know where you want to be, we can plan the workouts and the exercises to get you there.


This is episode one of the Art Fit podcast.

Hello, I’m Anna Battle, Shiny Happy Artist and your host of the Art Fit Podcast. Now, just as physical fitness is good for your body, Art Fitness is good for your mind. And you don’t need to be an Olympics level professional artist to benefit from Art Fitness. But what is the point? How do you actually do it? How do you fit it all in? Well, I’m on a mission to help you get Art Fit. 

This podcast is brought to you by my Shiny Happy Art Club. I send you a brand new high quality guided Paint Along each month, in acrylic and watercolour, as part of a lovely group of art friends from around the world. So, you can become a Shiny Happy Artist and get Art Fit. 

So, let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? And the most logical place to start, when it comes to any sort of new activity, is with your ‘why’. 

Yes, that book, that Simon Sinek Ted talk, all of that about ‘why’, well, it applies to art making as well. So, it’s a really important thing to realize that you don’t need to make good art to really get the benefits from making art. And look, if you’re not planning to become a professional artist; and mind you, that might be your ‘why’ and it’s certainly a very worthy ‘why’ – and it’s certainly one of my whys. But you can enjoy art so much, without having to worry about the result of being a professional artist. 

So, I’d love you to take a moment to think, “Why? Why are you interested in drawing or painting or learning to draw and paint?” There are so many reasons that you could be interested in doing it, to finding out your ‘why’. It could be, just so that you can sit down at a table and pick up a pencil and draw alongside your kids or your grandkids; that is a perfectly good ‘why’. It might be because you’re going on a trip soon, and you’d like to record some of the places that you see, not only with your camera but also in some sketches. It might be because you want to add to your journaling practice; you might be studying something at uni, and you know that doing things visually and adding a bit of drawing to what you produce, would be really useful for your learning as well. It might be because you just don’t get any other time to yourself, because you’re running a really busy household or life, and you’d like to have something that to show for a bit of time spent by yourself and something to aim for. A lovely friend, years ago, who would just do a five minute sketch of her kids or something about her kids at the end of each day. And she limited herself to that five minutes but it was such a fabulous achievement; her ‘why’ was because she wanted to record these early years of her children’s life in that way. 

So, what is your why? Your why is going to be worthy, no matter what it is. It might be just because you want to feel proud of having a full sketchbook, and this might record this chapter of your life. Because really, all you’ve got to do is, impress yourself. You are the only person that needs to be impressed enough, just so that you keep going with the activity. So, you need to learn enough that you think, “I feel like I’m getting the hang of this.” So you need to do it often enough to do that. But really, you are the one that you need to impress. So, one way of making sure that that is the case, is to use a sketchbook so that you don’t have the pressure of thinking that every painting or drawing has to be wall worthy. Because quite frankly, it doesn’t. And as a professional artist, sitting here talking to you, I can tell you that my studio is, there’s stacks of paintings that didn’t work there; there’s stats of drawings as well. And look, there was pressure producing something for the wall. So I love, absolutely love using my sketchbook because that is where I’m really free. And it doesn’t matter if somebody likes it because I can’t sell it to them anyway. You know, so many people will say, if they see you sketching or drawing, “Oh, that’s terrific. How long did it take? And how much would you sell that for?” And as much as that is a kind sentiment and they’re certainly saying it from a kind heart, it’s certainly not what art is about, I think, when it comes down to it. If you have enjoyed painting it for, or sketching it for yourself, that is enough. And just because people don’t know what to say, doesn’t mean that you need to jump on that bandwagon and start selling things, when you’re only learning. 

So, give yourself a break. Use a sketchbook, so that it’s not for the wall. And you can close it up and put it away; you don’t even need to show anybody. Because when you’re talking about Art Fitness, you need to do some exercises to then, sort of, run the marathon, or let’s get some real analogies going on here, shall we? Look, sketching in your sketchbook is like going on a daily walk; it’s like doing a bit of a workout; it’s like doing some sit-ups or push-ups or chin-ups or whatever it might be; might be doing a Zumba class. Look, and those things, you know, you’re doing because they’re good for you and they’re interesting to you. Like you’re choosing a sport or a fitness activity that’s interesting to you, but it’s probably not that interesting to anybody else; and that’s just fine too. We don’t need to show everybody all our art exercises. They are still worth doing, for our own fitness, but it doesn’t need to be show and tell all the time. Occasionally, you might want to be that person who pops a picture up or whatever it might be, but you don’t want to drown other people in your learning. Sit down and enjoy; enjoy the gift of giving yourself the time to learn, and reconnect with your ‘why’ – your reason for drawing and painting. And look, if you do want to be an artist who shows their work, just give yourself a bit of a timeline for that. Know that you have to learn a few techniques along the way; you might already know heaps. And my point on that is that there’s always more to learn. Monet was still learning about painting water lilies, until the day he died. 

So, if that’s good enough for Monet, it’s good enough for us. I think the more you learn, the more you realize you have to learn. And it’s a really wonderful hobby; it’s a really wonderful pastime, just as it’s a really wonderful vocation. And whichever level you choose to join me at, that is absolutely fine. So, reconnect with your why, figure out what it is; you might have a couple of whys. And I recommend that you write that down, or draw pictures and symbols that mean that to you, in the front of your sketchbook. Okay. 

So, your little bit of home play today is just to figure out what your why is. When it comes to drawing and painting, there are so many rewards that can be gained by including it into your life; and that’s exactly why we’re on this track. And while I’m encouraging you to get Art Fit, so go ahead and do that. And I look forward to hearing about it from you. Feel free to drop me a line, send an email in. I’ll put the details in the show notes there. But if you’d like to share your ‘why’ with me, that’s terrific. And if you want to just keep your ‘why’ for yourself, that’s fine too. Okay? But do identify what your why is, because that will give you the drive to continue on your journey to art fitness. Okay? That’s your job for today, and I’ll talk to you again, soon. 

So you want to get Art Fit? We’ll find out when the doors to the Shiny Happy Art Club open next. There are 24 online Paint Alongs to choose from when you join, so you’ll definitely find something you love. And now, there are also $15 and $25 subscription options. So, go to to pop your name on the waiting list. 

I look forward to painting with you in the Shiny Happy Art Club. And until then, I’ll be back in your ears with the next episode of the Art Fit podcast. 

The new improved Shiny Happy Club will get you painting!

The new improved Shiny Happy Club will get you painting!

Shiny Happy Art Club

On New Years Day 2017 I started deliberately trying to sketch every day. I decided on ‘everyday-ish’ and the first sketch was not about much – an empty chocolate nuts bottle and a pair of scissors or something… sketched with coloured biros. As much as I’ve always been a ‘draw-er’, that was the year my confidence grew. By drawing lots and lots of things I became confident enough to try sketching anything, and I still try and sketch every day.

In 2018, after teaching adults face to face for almost 7 years, it became so evident to me that the people who had the most confidence to paint with me, who started as beginners, were the ones who painted often. And that was the idea that sparked the Paint Along of the Month Club, launched in January 2019.

The idea of painting every month means that the learning with each painting has time to sink in, that you can try a variety of subjects and approaches, and at the end of the year you have at least 12 paintings to show for the learning that you’ve done.

Just a week ago I released Paint Along #22 in the Club series – I’m now working on the next three paintings – and I love doing it and sharing it.

I love the accessibility – I can jump on and do a painting whenever the mood strikes. And they can be painted within a reasonable amount of time which make it easier to fit in and makes you feel as though you are accomplishing. Plus your bright and encouraging teaching style Anna. It’s a delight to join in! DI, Club Member
I love your style of painting, I love your happy and encouraging personality! You have opened the door to the world of creating art to me, in a fun and not too demanding way. I am never reluctant to try a new piece because you have a way of walking me through it that makes it fun, even though I am not an artist, just a beginner who loves to work with colour. BECKY, Club Member
100% love it! It is so joyous & satisfying & mostly relaxing 😁, once I’ve let go of the high expectations I put on myself. RHYL, Club Member

As the Club has grown, and the lovelies that have been with me from the beginning are sharing more, we’re growing up and renaming as the SHINY HAPPY ART CLUB.

From January 2021 I will be including my demonstration collection videos in the Club (ie. free to Club Members). These have been $22-44 each month and while some people have sketched along with everything in the collection, others have chosen, and enjoyed sketching, their favourites!

All paintings up to #24 (released January 2021) will have ‘lifetime access’ (for the life of the website). From then on they will be included and available while a membership subscription is current.

Of course, if you do want to keep a particular class, you can buy whichever ones you choose at a discounted price.

The way the class platform is set up, I will be able to add even more bonuses for members, and if that gets you wanting to sketch and paint more, because I give you more options and inspiration, well… that’s where the joy lives. It’s exciting!

So join me.

Here’s the link to sign up 🙂

So I can focus on all of you lovely members, I’ll be closing the doors of the Club for a while on 15 December. So tell your friends, get your paints out and ready… and let’s go!