Hi friend. Come on in to a Culture of Inspiration. I’m your host, Sarah Brown, co-owner of Counter Culture DIY and your inside source for all things resin art. Just like our business, this podcast is built on giving back – to our customers, our staff, and to you, the artists community. So in each episode, we will be sharing inspiration, showing support for one another, and fueling your fire as an artist. So let’s jump right on in and get creative.
Guest Intro 0:42
Today, we’re going to talk about art as therapy. So in connecting with artists all over the world, one constant thing that I hear over and over is how art and craft has carried them through tough times. And guys, I am no different. So in addition to being an arts and crafts maniac, I’m also a musician and a songwriter. And I can’t tell you how many times I have poured my heart and my guts and my feelings into a song. And when it’s completed, it’s almost like I took all this dark, oily, ugly liquid, and I scooped it all up, and I poured it into a bottle and I put that cork in it. And the result is something beautiful. And maybe it’s not a chart topping Grammy winning hit, right. But it’s something beautiful to me. It’s an encapsulation of how I felt at that time. And it’s a testimony to the process that I worked through something that was grieving me and bringing me down. And when it’s all over, I’m a little bit better for it. I feel a little bit better. And I have that thing, that something beautiful that I created that I can look back on. And remember that I made it through that. And when you can share that something beautiful that you created with the world, it gives those feelings that you had, validation and new meaning. It gives you a purpose for the pain that you went through. So today, I’m really excited to introduce you to a guest who has used her platform to promote mental health through arts and crafts. She’s well known in the crafting community through her YouTube channel, and her Facebook groups, Cricut Craft Life and Tumbler Craft Life. She’s also a brand ambassador for Counter Culture DIY. And I’ve got to say, she’s a great friend. She’s a great human. Holli Mostella. I am so excited to have you on the podcast today. Welcome.
Holli Mostella 2:58
Thank you, Sarah, so much for having me on the podcast. First of all, I’m so excited that Counter Culture has a podcast. This is amazing. I love podcasting. I have one of my own. It’s called Beyond Crafting. And I’m really passionate about it. It’s where I can really go behind the scenes of crafting. And a big part of my platform is mental health and how crafting kind of helps us deal with mental health and get through it. And so doing the podcast and going deeper behind that, deeper behind the meaning, is really important to me. When I started crafting, I started out like a ton of us doing small shops, small business sales to help supplement the family and really get to know my machine. I started with my Cricut and I found the more that I used it, the more that it helped me escape my mind. I was really depressed, I had a lot of anxiety. And I get now that depression and anxiety is something that I will have to battle the rest of my life. It won’t be something that’s ever going to go away. It’s just part of me and who I am. And I think that crafting helped me find that and accept that. And I’m thankful for that. And even though it is, sounds a little down, right, like you don’t want to think, “Okay, I’m going to be dealing with this the rest of my life.” It just helps me find ways to cope and fashion really did that for me. So with my Cricut, the more I use it, the more I found using my hands, using that creative space, creating projects, creating templates and designs. I found the more that I was deeper in that, the less I was in the dark side of my mind. So it evolved from there. I found that I love teaching. And I loved that I found a community that was like minded. I found a lot of people that use their machines or any crafting, for the same reason. It was an escape. I had lost my identity. I had postpartum depression at this point with my second daughter. And I just felt like I was a mom and I have played no other roles. And as much as I loved being a mother, it was hard to accept that I had no other importance in life. Loved being a mom, but I needed to be more. And I found that with teaching. So it evolved from small shops, small business, to starting the YouTube channel. And it was very unprofessional. I had my phone and a ring light. And I propped my phone up on some boxes, and edited them on my phone, did the voiceover on my phone. Like those are really hard to watch, those videos are. But they got me going. And they started what I do now. And I’m a content creator, I’m a podcast host. And I’m so much more than my depression.
Sarah Brown 6:21
Holli, I think so many people, including myself can relate to that. And I have gone through something similar and I know when I get those creative juices flowing, it really can change your mindset. And it can help you just put things out of your mind, focus on something positive that brings you joy. And I’m so happy that you found that for yourself and that you’ve been able to share that with the world. I think you have such a special platform that you share that with everybody. I would love for you to tell everybody about how you got hooked up with us because I was a fan of yours and a member of your Cricut craft group. And I was harping on my husband to get in touch with you. And I didn’t even know that you were into tumblers and resin art. And it’s just been such an exciting and serendipitous pairing when you came to be involved with CC DIY. So why don’t you tell us a little bit about that.
Holli Mostella 7:31
It really has been so amazing. I started out with epoxy from Hobby Lobby, like a lot of us do, or Michaels, just local craft shops. And I hand turned. And those of you out there listening to this podcast, if you started out with tumblers in the very beginning stages, you’re going to laugh because you’re going to know exactly what I’m talking about. I had a PVC pipe with a foam football through a laundry basket because these tumblers have to turn, right, because epoxy is self leveling on tumblers. And so I would hand turn and this epoxy had to cure for eight hours. So I was sitting there with a newborn and this is what I would work on when she was napping or being a little bit content which was rare. So I would hand turn these and we eventually got to where we made a little makeshift tumbler turner. And that’s when the heavens opened up and the clouds dispersed and the sunshine came down and the angel started singing, is when I started doing tumblers. So I use my Cricut to do the designs on the cups and I loved it. But it was more of the art of it. There’s so much more artistry with epoxy and paint and glitters and markers and basically just go on the CC DIY website and you’ll know what I’m talking about. All of those tools. It really was magical to me. I think because I was so dark and I was so depressed that bringing this glitter into my life, and I don’t care how cheesy that sounds, it added that beauty back to my world when I had lost it. So I got more involved in tumblers that way. And I liked the epoxy I was using. Different companies started coming out as it got a little bit more and more popular. And I tried every single epoxy on the market. And I used every glitter at that time on the market and then, you know, you could start buying it online and people started doing custom mixes and it was just this whole explosion of new artistry that was a lot of fun. When Counter Culture came around, I saw somebody had posted a cup they had made, and it was crystal clear. And I had never seen an epoxy so shiny and beautiful. So I didn’t know that you followed my work but I reached out to Barry. I knew that I had to find the owner of this company, and I had to try this stuff and work with it and find out what is this Counter Culture epoxy. And when I reached out to Barry, he was like, “Hey, I know you!” And I was like, “But I haven’t even like really posted tumblers yet, how, how?” and he’s like, “My wife says she loves your Cricut stuff”. And it was amazing to me and such a humbling moment because I thought, oh my gosh, somebody out there in the world likes me. And it made me feel so good. But I started working with Counter Culture and the more we worked together, like, the more that I worked with their products, I knew that nothing else would do. So now in my garage, I only have Counter Culture and I’m not just saying this because it’s the Counter Culture podcast. I have used every epoxy on the market and I’ve told this, I’ve preached this, I’ve, I’ve written this in blood oaths. Counter Culture epoxy really is the best and when Fossett came out, which is like a two hour drive time here, where I’m at in the South. I know sometimes it varies, but I’m in Alabama. It takes about two hours for it to be cured. That changed the world and I was able to really crank these tumblers out. And it wasn’t so much about like, how many tumblers I could get done. It changed it because I was able to try so many different techniques and use so many different mediums like the alcohol inks and the glitter flakes and the mica powders and it truly was amazing. And I love using Elna tumblers, but I have a secret addiction to the molds too. I have, it’s crazy how many molds I have. I should probably destash some of my mold work. But I love it just so much because there’s so many different things you could do about it. So Counter Culture really took my crafting, my artistry, just to the next level.
Sarah Brown 12:36
I think you touched on something there too, that has really been on my mind lately about people who have, like, a creative side to them. Like myself. I’ve always been a crafter. I’ve always been a scrapbooker. I’ve always made cards. Well, I’ve always liked to make stuff and I make stuff out of trash. I make stuff out of whatever I can find. But I think that the tumbler and the mold side of art that has really exploded, has given people a way to use that creative side in something that’s really useful. And so, you know, you’re, you’re not just making some little knick knacks that you don’t know if anybody’s ever even gonna want it. It might just sit in your craft room and you never give it away.
Holli Mostella 13:30
Sarah Brown 13:32
And you know, tumblers. I think that has really inspired people, including myself, like, they are so artistic. There are so many tumblers out there that are true works of art. And then you give that to somebody and they’re just overwhelmed by how beautiful it is. And they’re gonna keep that in their hand and use that every single day. It’s functional art. I think that the tumbler and the different molds, I just think that resin art has given people a way to be creative that they really feel, important.
Holli Mostella 14:14
Sarah Brown 14:15
That their art really is helping others. I’m such a big advocate for people to get into resin art because of that. Because you are making art that people will truly love. It’s not going to go in a box somewhere. It’s not going to get re-gifted. It’s going to be used every day and people are going to see your art and use it. I just, I think that that has lifted so many peoples spirits and ignited a fire with people who were creative, where they found something that they can really express themselves with art and people are going to truly appreciate it.
Holli Mostella 14:56
Absolutely. And you know what’s so fun about tumblers and resin art in general, is that you can not create the same piece twice. And that’s one thing that I love about this craft so much is that I can make, so I have a membership, and I make tumblers as part of my Patreon tier. And I make a few at a time, but you cannot recreate the same thing twice. And I love that because every piece you make is unique. And I think that’s really symbolic. I’ve really put a lot of thought into that and how that correlates. Just in life in general, you know, and this too. Things may not work out how you want them to. I’ve had an idea in mind, I’ve gone to execute it, it did not go as planned but it turned out beautiful anyway. And so I think that there’s a lot of life lessons in this particular craft, because you can’t make the same thing twice. You can’t necessarily plan on how it’s going to turn out. And it may be more beautiful than you had originally intended.
Sarah Brown 16:15
I think you’re exactly right, Holli. And you know, even if you’re trying to create two tumblers exactly the same, or two geode coasters exactly the same, they’re always going to be a little bit different. And I think that that also has been part of the explosion of people wanting to share with each other, you know, there’s not that real fear of one person’s art getting duplicated by somebody else. Because everybody’s turns out a little bit different. You can share ideas, share your techniques with other people and that’s really made the resin art community such a fun community to be a part of because one person comes up with an idea and they share it and then 1000 other people take their spin on it and it becomes something new and something different. So that just makes the resin art community such a joy to be a part of for that reason, too.
Holli Mostella 17:16
For sure. And I’ll give you an example. One of my favorite resin artists is Misty Leonard. She works with Counter Culture too. And I love watching her work, because she uses techniques, or tools even, like a paintbrush, in a way that I would have never thought to do it. And I love watching her. It’s therapeutic for me just to watch her make tumblers or make any kind of resin art. And I love her work. And she’s so open to sharing and that’s what I love about this community so much is she’s so open to sharing everything freely. She is so inspiring to so many of us. And I love her so much, I could go on and on and on about her, but I love her work. But there’s so many other artists out there that have completely different techniques, you know what I mean? So she has a style to her, and she’ll share everything she knows about it. But there’s other artists that have a completely different style, and they’ll share what they know about it. And so then, let’s say I, for example, can take inspiration from Misty and from other artists and create my own artwork that pulls from both and it’s beautiful.
Sarah Brown 18:39
Absolutely. We’re going to have to get Misty on the podcast at some point too. But she has been such an inspiration to people and you can see those tumblers or phone grips or different things floating around, that you know were inspired by Misty, because she comes up with such neat ideas. But then to your point, they’re going to be different because everybody gets to put their own spin on it.
Holli Mostella 19:06
Sure. And I would love to throw this out there. If you’re listening to this podcast, and you’ve thought about dipping your toe into the world of epoxy. You may be listening and be a veteran. But if you are new, let me tell you, don’t be afraid of failure. And even if you are a veteran and you want to try something new, don’t be afraid of failure. You are going to make some of the most ugliest things. And you think that you’re like, what am I gonna even do with this? But then you’re going to try it again and it’s going to be amazing. I would suggest anybody new start out with the molds. They’re great. You really can’t mess those up and you know, saying what I love about those so much is we’re recording this. This is going to come out around the holidays. They are great gifts. You can do coasters, you can do tags, you can do so many different things. And they’re beautiful gifts to give. You can do them with extra epoxy that you have left over if you’re working on a project. Or if you’re new, just start out and get the Counter Culture epoxy, and molds. Get you some glitter, get you some flakes, and you are going to become an artist.
Sarah Brown 20:27
Yes, there’s nothing more joy inducing for me than just sitting down with a bunch of glitter and getting it all over myself and all over my dog, and making something that I know I’m going to give to somebody else. That is what makes me the happiest. When I can sit down and think, okay, I’m going to make a set of coasters for my cousin and I know exactly what colors I’m going to use for her and I can just envision what room of her house she’s going to put it in. And I can just zone out for a couple of hours and get lost in the sparkle and the process. And that makes me happier than almost anything. So now is the perfect time to yeah, dip your toe in, and I absolutely agree. If you’re a little bit intimidated by resin, our molds are the perfect place to start. That’s where I started. And I had allegedly an expert instructor, Mr. Brown, but I started out with molds too because they’re a lot more forgiving, I think, than other aspects of resin art and much less intimidating, I think.
Holli Mostella 21:45
I think so, too. And one thing that you said that I’d really like to touch on is, you know, you said that when you sit down and you have your stuff out in front of you, and you have your glitter, and you zone out. That’s where my therapy begins. Like, I pay for therapy, I go to therapy every single week but there’s nothing that helps me more than just sitting down, clearing my mind, and I have to do that consciously because my mind will run and run and run. So I consciously, it’s almost like I’m trying to like glitter meditate. I have my glitter in front of me. I have my beautiful little things and even when I’m going through my darkest days, it’s hard to be in that dark state of mind when I have all of these beautiful things around me. So if you’re out there and you’re struggling, one of your things may be, well, I would love to do that and that sounds awesome but I don’t have the drive. I promise you, when you get out there and you do it, and you finish it and you see your finished product and you have all these beautiful things around you. It’s worth it. You just get out there and you do it.
Sarah Brown 22:59
I think I’m going to start using the phrase glitter meditate.
Holli Mostella 23:03
I think we should! It’s a thing now.
Sarah Brown 23:05
Yeah. Glitter meditation. I love it. A term for that, but that is a thing. It’s a real thing.
Holli Mostella 23:13
And it makes sense, right? Like it’s glitter meditation.
Sarah Brown 23:16
You heard it here first people. Well Holli, do you have anything else that you’d like to share. I love what you have shared so far.
Holli Mostella 23:27
I do. I would love to say thank you to Counter Culture again for having me. For having such a giving heart. If you guys don’t know, Counter Culture gives back to the community more than any other company, more than any other person I’ve ever seen in my life. They do holiday events. Last year, we gave Christmas trees to families that didn’t have any. We gave money for Santa Claus to come. They gave out supplies for people that needed that therapy. And I feel like on behalf of the crafting community, we just say thank you so, and I’m saying this with tears in my eyes. I just want to say thank you guys so much because you’re not just a company that’s going out there and pushing out these amazing products. You’re a company that cares and you’re a company that gives back. I feel like in this world it’s so rare to find people that truly care about you. And if you are a part of this community, be sure to join the Counter Culture support group on Facebook. You do matter. You are important. And we are so lucky to have you in this world. So come join us, be a part of us, say hello, and thank you Counter Culture and Sarah for having me.
Sarah Brown 24:50
Thank you Holli. You are always such an inspiration to us and to so many people and we will share links in the show notes on how you can find Holli on her socials, and we’ll link to her podcast as well because she has a lot of great content on there and interviews with some fantastic people that will inspire you over there too.
Holli Mostella 25:17
Thank you again so much, Sarah and I cannot wait to hear from our community.
A Culture of Inspiration 25:22
I hope you were inspired by today’s episode. When it comes to our podcast, we always want to deliver the very best to our artists community. So please leave us a review and let me know if this episode resonated with you. I’d also love for you to follow us on the socials. We’re on Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube and Facebook. All @CountercultureDIY. And if you’d like to talk about the podcast, watch live art tutorials and get in on lots of fun, join our Facebook community in the Counter Culture DIY Artists Support group. Don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcasting platform so you never miss an episode and I’ll see you next time. But till then, keep creating!You can also follow us on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Facebook, all @CounterCultureDIY. Join our Facebook community, Counter Culture DIY artists support group, and don’t forget to follow us on your favorite podcasting platforms so you never miss an episode. Keep creating!