We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Lay and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Matthew, what principle do you value most?
In my art career, I think one important principle (among many) is the skill of establishing consistency. You could obviously apply that principle to almost any other profession and I’m sure it still applies, but I think it’s especially relevant for entrepreneurs and artists. I’ve found that the more effort I pour into basic consistencies, the more I find a rhythm and “flow”, it actually makes other intimidating and challenging aspects of my career and life in general easier to manage.

I’ll be honest and admit that I have not locked this down by any measure and I continue to strive to improve on this principle, but I can see the progress and benefits of it when I do make a conscious effort to be consistent. For me, being consistent begins by setting some basic short term goals for myself and doing my best to make sure I actually follow through on them on a daily basis. If you’re like me and struggle with this, my advice is to pick a basic task and set a schedule where you try to repeat it daily. Start small and then you can work your way up and establish your “flow” that I mentioned before. I’m preaching to myself more than anyone but don’t feel discouraged if there are times where this is especially challenging. Live in the present moment. Make a couple small decisions, and I truly do believe those small decisions when practiced can lead to bigger and better things.

For artists and a lot of other people like me, I think it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious. We get down on ourselves about where we are vs. where we want to be with our art or careers. I think what people often over-complicate is that the journey to get from where you are to where you want to go involves intentional focus, and being consistent with your time. Again, consistency sounds simple, but can be difficult in practice. Funnily enough, I’ve found that if I have established a daily consistency, my mind has less time to dwell on those other overwhelming and anxious thoughts and my productivity actually increases.

While writing this, I would be lying if I didn’t feel like a partial hypocrite. For me, this is a challenge that maybe isn’t for others. For me, daily life can be chock-full of distractions, fear, and self-doubt, and before I know it, my time is much less available than I initially thought. Consistency is just one of my methods to remain focused and to ultimately give me more time to pursue what I want most. I hope it can do the same for others.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art journey is always changing and evolving. I would say my love of history, and capturing realism found in classical and contemporary paintings has informed my practice and inspired the direction I want my art to go in. I don’t think I’ve ”arrived” at exactly where I want to be professionally yet. In many ways I think it’s more about the process than a set destination. It has definitely not been easy. It has involved taking risks, doubting myself, overcoming the mind games not only about business elements of my art career, but about the quality of the art itself. I would be wrong not to mention the challenges of time management and focus as well. So much of what we do is based and motivated by our emotions. The mental challenges or what I like to call “mind games” are probably the most difficult in overcoming but are crucial to confront if you want to find long term success.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A perfect weekend day in Denver can be spent exploring both the great outdoors and the awesome city life we have here. I would start the day exploring Red Rocks then follow it up with a great brunch spread at Denver Biscuit Co. We’d then head into Rino and sample some beers at First Draft and grab dinner at one of my favorite places like Barcelona Wine Bar or Hop Alley. Depending on the nightcap you prefer, either grab another drink at Williams & Graham in the Highlands or a scoop of your favorite ice cream from Sweet Cow.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would absolutely dedicate my shoutout firstly to my wife, and family. Also to my past teachers and friends who have supported me along the way.

Website: https://www.matthewlayart.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/matthewlay_art/

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