Tune in today as Lance, Rob, and Adrian interview Barry Mack. Barry is a local Portland artist with 50+ years of experience and has a career spanning the globe.
Episode 60 Transcript

Guest Barry Mack 1 of 3

Adrian Schermer  00:02

Hello future millionaires and welcome back to the get rich slow podcast. We are your hosts, Adrian Schermer, Rob Delavan. Mr. Brilliant at the basics Lance Johnson. Good morning, gentlemen.

Barry Mack  00:12

Good morning guys.

Robert Delavan  00:14

Good morning.

Lance Johnson  00:14

Good morning.

Robert Delavan  00:21

There was an extra voice so yeah, go from there. Although actually first tell us where everybody can hear us.

Adrian Schermer  00:29

Yes, you can find us among many other platforms on Apple podcast, Spotify, audible Amazon music, YouTube and Stitcher. Stitcher is a new one to me, but I’m excited to be on every platform we can to get the message out there. Today we’re going to talk to Barry Mack, who is gosh, I was gonna say who is the CEO of Barry Mack Art. Yeah, president, your treasurer, you’re all the things and Barry is obviously he’s an artist, hence the name Barry Mack Art. Barry is a local Portland artist with over 50 years of experience and has a career spanning the globe.

Lance Johnson  01:10

Only 50 years? How many people can say 50 years about anything?

Robert Delavan  01:19

Actually, there was a birthday boy I know, it’s like a week or two weeks late, but somebody here can say they’re in their 50s. So, it’s all good. Oh, by the way, he’s not just global. I would say he’s universal.

Adrian Schermer  01:41

[Cross talk]

Robert Delavan  01:47

The digital world, anyway.

Adrian Schermer  01:48

That’s some radio waves.

Robert Delavan  01:50

Oh, man. So, recap us and there’s a visual here for those of us are watching the video.

Adrian Schermer  01:56

Yeah, this is spectacular. I think if ever there was an episode where I’m gonna say, click the link description, find your way over to our YouTube page. We’ve had some funny images, but this is spectacular.

Barry Mack  02:14

Were you on that movie or what?

Adrian Schermer  02:16

This is audition pictures.

Robert Delavan  02:17

What year was this, Barry? Let’s date you.

Barry Mack  02:20

Yeah, that’s a good question. I believe that’s around 71, 72.

Adrian Schermer  02:26

What year is the bike?

Barry Mack  02:28

Yeah, that’s a good question.

Adrian Schermer  02:31

What is that? Is that a Harley?

Barry Mack  02:32

Yeah, that’s a Harley. Yeah, my dad and I were into bikes and we just did a lot of tripping together. So, that’s actually his bike. I had a chopper. I was sitting on his bike and we were getting ready to go on a road trip together.

Lance Johnson  02:50

Yes, with the leather dress shoes. I love it.

Robert Delavan  02:53

I mean, and then I would be remiss if I let this opportunity go by those of us that are follically challenged. Yours truly included. That’s a hell of a head of hair there Barry.

Barry Mack  03:03

Yeah.

Robert Delavan  03:05

That was back in the poisoned days.

Lance Johnson  03:11

Even pre poison, right? Yeah, I mean, oh, man.

Adrian Schermer  03:16

A big head of hair too back then, right?

Barry Mack  03:19

It just wasn’t curly like that.

Adrian Schermer  03:21

Rob is there’s some picture of you, you know, in man bun or like, pastor shoulders?

Barry Mack  03:27

Is that art, Garfunkel?

Robert Delavan  03:31

There you go. Yeah, so sorry about that.

Barry Mack  03:35

Remind me and I’ll tell you a crazy story about this.

Lance Johnson  03:38

We will try to get that on air if we can. So, Adrian, what were we this is episode one a three and today we’re gonna get to know Barry and learn about what made him into the person that he is today. Okay, so question one for Barry. What is a significant story that made an impact on your life?

Barry Mack  04:05

Yeah, you know, all these are great questions. I’m sure like, you guys have thought of a lot of different stories. It’s kind of like asking what’s your best food or music? A lot of stories came to mind. But what I’d like to share is that story of an artist named James Terrell, and he started a project in 1977 called the Roden crater, Rodencrater.com. You want to check it out. It’s an amazing thing. He started this art project is still going in fact, so we’re talking of whatever that is, you know, 40 plus years of an art project. He flew over Arizona. Well, he flew over the whole state, he was looking for a crater, okay, he bought a crater and he moved through 13 million tons of Earth to car about a place inside the crater, and he put rooms in there where you can see various star events. It’s just a crazy project. Check it out if you want. It’s really interesting and that story about that project and I heard him talk when it came to town and it’s a great example of perseverance. I mean, you can imagine the kind of challenges this guy went through. He had to actually start raising horses to finance it.

Lance Johnson  05:29

Okay, I was gonna ask you, how did he pay? How do you pay for something?

Barry Mack  05:34

Yeah, raised horses. So, yeah, it’s just, it’s an inspiring story to have a great vision and hang in there, no matter what it takes.

Robert Delavan  05:44

Interesting.

Lance Johnson  05:45

What a personality get rich, slow pro tip. If you’re running low on funds for your project, sell some horses.

Robert Delavan  05:53

I’ve heard a lot of people lost a lot of money on horses. But maybe, I’m missing the point of how [Cross talk] in the horses?

Adrian Schermer  06:02

Barry, what life lessons have you learned to make you into the person that you are today?

Barry Mack  06:12

Yeah, another great question. Probably be the 0 and 1 and then we can go from there. But this is probably the primary lesson I discovered that we can train ourselves, we can train, how we think and how we feel, to respond to life in a positive way, through repetition, through affirmations, through you know, whatever your strategy is, this has been a really important lesson for me that we don’t have to always respond to something in a predictable way. We can actually train ourselves to respond to things in a positive way.

Robert Delavan  06:53

So, when it helped you?

Barry Mack  06:56

Oh, it’s helped me a lot of times. I’ll give you an example. You know, when you first put yourself out there, publicly, you get positive and negative feedback. You guys know about that. You know, at first, and I’m talking whatever, you know, I went professional and 2000, around 2000, when you start getting negative feedback, the tendency is to take it personal. Have you noticed that? Yeah, after a while, I realized I didn’t have to take it personal and not only that, but the negative feedback can actually be valuable. It can inform how you do things, how you think about things, you know, it actually can be very helpful.

Robert Delavan  07:46

So, there’s a concept here that I’m hearing is I oftentimes ask for, you know, the negative feedback and the reason for that is because I don’t need any more cheerleaders in my life telling me, oh, you’re so nice. You’re kind this right, whatever. You know, tell me that I’m a jackass and tell me why because I have blind spots. So, is that what you’re talking about?

Barry Mack  08:14

That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You know, to be honest, Rob, I think that’s taking it to another level. I never thought I never asked…

Lance Johnson  08:21

I’m still on the fact that Rob use jackass. I didn’t hear anything else after that.

Robert Delavan  08:32

It’s good thing I was sitting down. Maybe we just bumped to PG 13. Sorry, listeners.

Adrian Schermer  08:39

We are saving that audio clip for later.

Robert Delavan  08:41

But seriously, like, you know, and of course, then you also have but like very you bring up a good point. In this era, especially of like, you know, social media, you know, the, I don’t know, call it the multi Metaverse, the virtual reality that we live in, where everybody can give you feedback anonymously, you know, behind the keyboard, which is there’s an element of cowardice there to a certain point, versus, you know, back in the day it was if you told somebody they were you know, sorry, Lance, I use it twice, jackass, you had to say that to their face and then you had to deal with the engagement repercussions, which at times, at least when, you know, I was growing up back when, you know, I walked uphill both ways two miles in the snow, right? Oh, yeah, exactly. All of us. Yeah. Well, now that I have kids, I can say that. So, you know, I get, you know, you risk getting punched in the face if you, you know, call a name, right? Or the equivalent thereof in in, you know, typical social settings. So, has that carried over to you? I mean, you’re an artist in 2022.

Barry Mack  09:48

Yeah, you know…

Barry Mack  09:49

Yeah. You know, when I first started going professional, a good friend of mine who had been out there for a long time, professional artist Steve warned me about this. He said, when you put yourself out there, you’re gonna get about 50%, negative 50% positive and at first, I can hardly believe it. I thought he was exaggerating. I thought no, that doesn’t sound plausible that you’re going to get 50% negative and it turns out that’s about the case. I don’t know.

Robert Delavan  09:49

How do you deal with that? How do you filter it?

Lance Johnson  10:21

It’s kind of funny because I get 80% negative. I was choose to listen to the 20% positive, and then…

Adrian Schermer  10:32

Should have gotten to art Lance.

Robert Delavan  10:34

Yeah, then you would have been 50/50.

Adrian Schermer  10:36

I really don’t. I’m very, I am curious about the filtering of that because I know you’re like me, you’re a car fan. One of these ideas that kicks around is the idea of a car that’s built designed by committee. If you ask all the audience, what do they want, they’ll build a car that nobody wants to buy, you kind of have to have a defined vision before you make an automobile or, you know, any other number of products, right? We can’t just be an amalgamation of all of the things that the one in 10 people complained about. Otherwise, you know, the other nine who wouldn’t have spoken up won’t be happy. So, how do you? What’s the filter?

Lance Johnson  11:08

A jack of all trades and a master of none. There’s many versions of all these iterations of things.

Barry Mack  11:16

Yeah. Now, that actually comes up quite a bit. That’s a good question. As an abstract painter, you know, a lot of people in my life have said, Barry, you know, if you just painted realistic things, you know, beautiful sunsets, you’d make a lot more money. You know, why don’t you do that? You know, why are you doing abstract? It’s hard for people to understand that kind of, you can’t imagine that the times that I’ve heard that. And, you know, that’s a common thing. Everybody has an opinion about what you should do and I think it’s part of finding our voice, you know, finding out what motivates you, why you do what you do and when you become really, really confident about that and clear. The other feedback, I mean, to answer your question, it just doesn’t I listen to it and I respond the best I can, but it never really persuades me one way or the other, I’m going to do what I’m gonna do.

Lance Johnson  12:15

It’s like me. I’m brown hair, brown eye, bald, and five foot ten and maybe on a good day, and I have a certain way, there’s nothing I can do about it. Like, you can’t make me something I’m not. So, you know, as an artist, you’re going to do what you do best and what you see good, bad or indifferent, whether you’re a millionaire by doing it or not. You can’t make you something you’re not. You’re gonna try to mould yourself. But it’s only if you want to be that.

Barry Mack  12:49

Exactly! Yep and you know, I think if you tried to mould yourself into what everybody told you, it wouldn’t be a happy ending.

Lance Johnson  12:58

Well, you’d be that car that he talked about, that nobody wants. Yep.

Robert Delavan  13:04

And if you keep fiddling, like, I mean, I guess to a certain degree, I mean, Lance, you and I, if we decided, you know, hey, January 2023, like, you and I are going to be, you know, like, get into good shape, right? So, you could, you know, kind of nibble around the edges, but we’re not going to change your brown eyes and the fact that you and I are both follically challenged, right?

Lance Johnson  13:23

Well, so paradigm shift is, I’ve chosen a circle and I’m in perfect shape.

Robert Delavan  13:30

Round. I’ve used that myself. I’m more pear shaped in the [Cross talk].

Lance Johnson  13:37

I make jokes about all these things. But the reality of it is, is I’m pretty confident who I am and, you know, at the end of the day, I’m just gonna be me and do people either gonna like me or they’re not, you know, I’m okay with it. I mean, I’m not gonna try to please everybody but, you know, I think I am very misunderstood because I’m a New Yorker that’s in West Coast, and there’s just different styles. You know, West Coast has different styles of communicating than East Coast. East Coast, I’m considered a softy when it comes to a New Yorker as far as how I communicate and then on the opposite side, on the West Coast, I people think of me as harsh because I speak my mind. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It’s just, I’m not passive aggressive.

Barry Mack  14:31

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Last, you know, I spent the last, you know, several years in New York and I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’ a pronounced difference.

Robert Delavan  14:42

Based on style, is there like is art different from West Coast to East Coast? I mean, is there a style difference?

Barry Mack  14:48

Yeah, East Coast art tends to be more I’m gonna just gonna generalize, okay? This is a very broad response, but East Coast tends to be more cutting edge more experimental. I think because there’s a little more money on these coasts, people are willing to take more of a chance. So, yeah, you find stranger things on the East Coast, things that you’d never see on the West Coast.

Lance Johnson  15:13

That’s just in general.

Robert Delavan  15:16

Yeah, but definitely as if…

Adrian Schermer  15:19

You’ve been on a New York City subway. You know, just how strange it can get.

Robert Delavan  15:25

I love it.

Lance Johnson  15:29

Barry, I love this question. What have you learned about the past? And how do you apply it to now? Yeah, give us some experience?

Barry Mack  15:39

Yeah, you know, these are great questions and kudos to you guys for coming up with these. A lot of them are very thought provoking and I decided to land on one perspective and that’s that we can change how we respond to the past and this is kind of related to what we were talking about. But you know, a lot of times we tend to think of the past as being locked in stone, and it is what it is, you know, and really, the fact of the matter is the past lives in us in the moment in the present. There is no past really, it’s all now and you know, a big part of our life is how we respond to the past, how do we feel about the past, and that can be changed and to me, that’s a really important bit of information. We can change how we feel about the past.

Robert Delavan  16:29

And how do you do that? How do you apply it?

Barry Mack  16:35

If I have an experience, that tends to create a feeling that I don’t want, I work on that. I work on changing that. You know, I’m sure I can come up with a million examples. Of course, now I’m drawing a blank now. But a lot of times we have an experience where, you know, it leaves you maybe discouraged or disappointed or whatever and you know, I know you guys can relate to this and if you let that get to you, it can take you down paths that aren’t the best, or don’t lead to where you want to go, you know?

Robert Delavan  17:17

So, failure, self-doubt that can lead to you know, I can’t, you know, or like you said, you know, oh, I can’t change that. So, then you start to internalize it, right?

Barry Mack  17:32

Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Yeah, I can be changed.

Robert Delavan  17:37

And then if you internalize it, now there’s a slippery slope, right? A downward spiral where, okay, so there was a failure, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a failure. But if you pull into that, then you know, your best self isn’t going to show up.

Lance Johnson  17:52

I think one of the things I was reading the other day, or it was on the show was the time that Michael Jordan got cut from the varsity team, he had to play JV and you know, his mom, his mom didn’t complain. His dad didn’t. They didn’t blame the coach. They didn’t blame everybody else. The only thing he said, she said to Michael was, you need to get in that gym and work harder, you know, so he didn’t have self-doubt. It wasn’t that it was just wasn’t his time at that point in time and you know, he got cut from his varsity basketball, you would never think that Michael Jordan was obviously that basketball team probably was good, but also wasn’t the right time and he could have turtled and self-doubted himself or go back to basics and get himself out of it and clearly, obviously, history was written, right?

Barry Mack  18:49

Yeah, that’s a great example. I just thought of another example that happened to me when I first went public when I first did my show. I got some scathing feedback from somebody in the public arena, and it was published, okay? And the gallery owner, read the public review and she was infuriated and she wanted to actually call the person that put that out there and you know, it was in the past and I thought about it for a while I really did. At first, I took it personal. I worked through my usual thing, that no, I’m not going to let this get me down and I actually, I wrote a letter to the person and explored why they said that, and I won’t tell you the whole story. But fast forward, we actually became really good friends and it’s a beautiful relationship to this day and there’s immense respect back and forth because I didn’t take it personal. You know, I didn’t go down that route of, oh my god, it’s true. You know, I should never show again, my art sucks, you know, all that kind of stuff.

Robert Delavan  19:54

So, it came in through engagement, basically, or an opportunity for engagement and relationship.

Barry Mack  20:00

Yeah, exactly.

Lance Johnson  20:03

There was a Dilbert. Dilbert is that, you know, a little comment here and talked about, like a scathing review and so one of the characters is asking, well, how do you feel about it? I don’t really, I can’t remember the exact response, but was, well, it would matter if I only really cared about the person. So, since the person didn’t care, it didn’t really matter.

Barry Mack  20:28

Yeah. Well, I actually, I didn’t know the person and so you know, I didn’t care for it and find out, you know, why he wrote that and it turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences in my entire career.

Robert Delavan  20:41

Wow, that’s, and I guess, if we could have a takeaway here, right, is, you know, it goes back to and we talked about this in earlier questions. It is actually the, you know, constructive criticism, we could dive deep on defining constructive criticism, right? Sometimes it’s not the actual message. It’s the way it’s conveyed. But let’s just assume, you know, we don’t necessarily need cheerleaders. We’re all very nice people, kind people. We have great relationships with people around us. But man, obviously, Barry, it was that specific sounds like pretty scathing criticism…

Barry Mack  21:18

Oh, demolishment.

Robert Delavan  21:22

But you engage you lead into it, instead of, you know, ran away from it and you know, when you have a situation like that, that basically taxes our character, but you lean into it, and you’re like, okay, tell me? Tell me more?

Adrian Schermer  21:38

What’s the growth opportunity here?

Robert Delavan  21:39

Right!

Barry Mack  21:39

Yeah and that’s pretty cool.

Lance Johnson  21:41

You know, that says some about Barry’s character, you know, is when you can take a hard hit and blow and, and become friends with that individual, you know, words can be very sharp, hard hitting, and if you let it affect you negatively, it will consume you. The other case, dealing with coping mechanisms that allow you to move on and therefore make a friendship by that guy says something about your characters.

Barry Mack  22:17

Yeah. That’s an important idea.

Robert Delavan  22:23

And just the fact that your, your ego, you were able to humble yourself and in that moment with, you know, we all have our ego, right? And ego isn’t good or bad. It kind of has a negative connotation sometimes, if you’re not exploring it, but we all have an ego and man, you know, like you said, Lance character. That’s brilliant insight.

Barry Mack  22:41

Yeah, well, you know, just to wrap it up, as I’m thinking about this, and listen to you guys, I’ve actually gained more from negative feedback that I have from positive.

Lance Johnson  22:50

Most people do so like in sports, you can win a bunch of games, and you won’t progress because you think you’re doing everything right. But as soon as you do one or two games, you start to really break down where the losses came and what really broke down, you learn more from failures than you ever do from successes.

Barry Mack  23:12

Absolutely!

Lance Johnson  23:13

And it’s just a lot of times it’s you know, it’s how you approach those failures and understand to make you a better person and get back into the gym or the hockey or back in the artistry and try different things and I think people sometimes just you know, really there’s a gift that’s given when it’s hard and but you got to look at that gift as a way that it’s, it’s gonna propel you.

Robert Delavan  23:43

That’s incredible.

Lance Johnson  23:49

So, why don’t you tell us about where we can reach you and stuff?

Barry Mack  23:55

Thanks Lance. I’m on all the major social platforms. Feel free to email me [email protected] My phone is open and BarryMackart.com is my website and also sea Gallery in the Bridgeport area.

Lance Johnson  24:14

So, why don’t you tell us your phone number where they can reach you so all the people that don’t see the PowerPoint, you know? Sure, jot your number down?

Barry Mack  24:21

Yeah, 971-348-1890.

Lance Johnson  24:26

Awesome. Great.

Robert Delavan  24:27

Thank you.

Adrian Schermer  24:30

Thank you, Barry Mack. BarryMackart.com is the website check our show notes. To learn more about Barry Mack, learn more about the three of us as well, links to our websites in the description and the get rich slow website as well where you can join us in the hub of information for what we do here. We’ve also got some events coming up. I think we’ve got that here. Roi-FA.com/events is the best way to find out when our next learning grow event is. We do some of the wind events as well, that Lake Oswego office. I know we’ve got a learning grow coming up August 12, summer bash on the 20th of August and then again I know it’s early but get them done early so you can get those Christmas Cards out photos with Santa on November 12.

Lance Johnson  25:17

Nice.

Robert Delavan  25:19

Looking forward to. Yeah, not even Christmas in July here in June. Love it. Thank you. Thank you so much Barry for being a guest. This was actually you know, look looking backwards and gleaning wisdom from you. It’s interesting where the conversation goes. So, thank you for sharing your history with us. We’re looking forward to episodes two and three with you. We’ll look at kind of what’s going on now with you and then in the last episode, we’ll jump into where you’re going and looking forward to this one. It’s always fun having a guest Thank you, Lance brilliant at the basics Johnson Thank you silky baritone, Adrian Schermer and signing off for now we’ll see on the flipside to on the get rich slow podcast.

Barry Mack  26:07

Thank you guys. It’s been awesome.

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