The Practical Creative
Playing in different worlds with puppeteer and sci-fi author Mary Robinette Kowal

Playing in different worlds with puppeteer and sci-fi author Mary Robinette Kowal

March 24, 2019

Mary Robinette is a puppeteer, audiobook narrator, science fiction author, and she is no stranger to winning awards. One of her short stories won a Hugo award, she won the Campbell award for Best New Writer, and one of her novels was nominated for a Nebula – all of which are a big deal in the science fiction and fantasy genre. But her list of accomplishments goes on, with Mary Robinette also winning two UNIMA awards for her work in puppetry.

I was delighted to get the opportunity to talk to Mary Robinette about her work; particularly as she has found success in what appear to be two very different worlds – although she disagrees, and you’ll hear why.

Some of the topics we cover include:

- the importance of ‘doodling’ and how she uses it to get out of feeling ‘stuck’

- managing depression as a creative, and still getting work done

- the importance of valuing your own taste

And a wonderful writing challenge to encourage you to ‘cross pollinate.’

This was an intriguing, and surprisingly frank, conversation that covered a wide range of topics and offers an insight into two fascinating, creative worlds.

Play Futurist Yesim Kunter on Building your Creative Muscle and Tickling your Brain

Play Futurist Yesim Kunter on Building your Creative Muscle and Tickling your Brain

March 17, 2019

Yesim is a play expert and futurist who has worked with major international brands such as LEGO, Hasbro and Toys R’ Us. Her work has taken her from studying children at play and toy design to teaching executives how to access their own innate power of play.

This was an utterly fascinating conversation, and Yesim does a brilliant job of creating a vocabulary and context that takes the idea of play from something that we might dismiss as frivolous or reserved for the weekend, and instead she places it front and centre, as a fundamental aspect of the human experience (including adults), and even that play is a power that we all have access to, and one that can be cultivated on a daily basis.

Other topics we cover include

- Cultural differences in play

- How you can teach play and innovation

- Some context on why play has been relegated to ‘child-only’ status

- The connection between play and failure

and a fantastic challenge at the end to practice playfulness by ‘tickling your mind’.

This was a fascinating and inspiring conversation about perceptions of play, the need for play even as adults, and practical steps you can take to increase your own ‘play muscle’ - so please enjoy.

 

Artist and Filmmaker Charlie Hoehn on Play as Work, Wrestling, and Shifting out of ‘Seriousness’

Artist and Filmmaker Charlie Hoehn on Play as Work, Wrestling, and Shifting out of ‘Seriousness’

March 10, 2019

Charlie is an author, filmmaker and marketing strategist. His work has led to rubbing elbows with the likes of Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, Gary Vaynerchuck, the list goes on, and he’s given talks for Google and The Pentagon. Charlie’s written two books about play, one chronicling his discovery of play as an antidote to anxiety, and another celebrating how luminaries throughout history have valued play; including Bob Dylan, Plato, JK Rowling, Einstein, Jay-Z and Mark Twain.

Charlie has a fascinating relationship to the spirit of play and it’s value to mental health and happiness – which we really dig into.

Some of the other topics we cover include:

- how Charlie used play to treat his anxiety which then lead to writing ‘Play it Away’

- some of the mindshifts he made to bring more joy into his life and work

- how improv and wrestling can foster play

- how he turned writing a book into a playful project collaborating with 50 artists from around the world

We also talk about:

- how to create opportunities for more play in your daily life

- the value of journalling

- and there’s a brilliant challenge at the end to help kick-start your own play project

Charlie was an amazing guest, and this conversation is full of so many great takeaways – please enjoy!

Roadkill, memory, and drawing: artist Kathyrn Poole on her distinctive creative process

Roadkill, memory, and drawing: artist Kathyrn Poole on her distinctive creative process

February 16, 2019

Kathryn Poole is an artist from Liverpool in the United Kingdom. I had the opportunity to speak with Kathryn after she was announced as the winner of the Jackson’s Art Emerging Artist Prize in Drawing. And I’m so glad that I did.

Kathryn creates exquisite and highly detailed drawings that result from her fascinating process; a combination of the scientific method, an interest in memory, and roadkill.

The subject matter may be sombre, but Kathryn’s approach is delightfully inquisitive and cheerful.

Some of the topics we cover in this conversation include:

  • How she warms up before beginning work and maintains focus for sustained periods of time
  • Managing time to create alongside a demanding day job
  • The difference between using roadkill versus taxidermy as source material
  • The virtues of working in black and white
  • Her thoughts on entering art competitions
  • and Kathryn’s creative challenge for you to try in your own practice.

I had so much fun talking with Kathryn and exploring her wonderfully distinctive practice; our conversation is full of fantastic observations and practical takeaways – please enjoy!

www.thepracticalcreative.life

 

 

Season 2 “The Business of Creativity” Finale - 5 Key Principles for starting a creative business collated from my guests across the season

Season 2 “The Business of Creativity” Finale - 5 Key Principles for starting a creative business collated from my guests across the season

October 8, 2018

This season finale shares 5 key principles distilled from conversations with all my guests on the series:

Fused-glass artist Jo Downs

Artpreneur Jason Borbet aka 'Borbay'

Gallery owner Mike Goldmark of Goldmark Art

Art consultant and gallerist Alix Sloan

Business coach to artists Catherine Orer

Best selling author Jeff Goins

Author and coach for introverts and other quiet people Pete Mosley

An Artrepreneurs Playbook: Applying the skills of an entrepreneur to your creative career with self-represented artist ‘Borbay’

An Artrepreneurs Playbook: Applying the skills of an entrepreneur to your creative career with self-represented artist ‘Borbay’

September 30, 2018

Jason Borbet is an artist, author, and entrepreneur. As an artist, he goes by the single name of ‘Borbay’ and even has his own logo. And this exemplifies so much of his approach to being an artist. Every aspect of what he does is a considered act of branding and storytelling, which we dig into in this conversation.

Other topics we cover include:

- Jason’s extraordinary career path from graphic designer to stand-up comedian to working in the corporate world and recruitment, before finally committing to being a full-time artist. At the ripe old age of 28.

- we cover how the skills he learned from working with some of the top video game companies have influenced how he markets his art

- his relationship with collectors

- managing commissions and why it’s sometimes better to say ‘no’

- his pricing strategy and why he raises his prices every single year

- some of the key strategies he has used raise his profile as an artist

I am so excited to have Jason on the show, as he exemplifies the idea of the artist as entrepreneur. And he does it in a way that integrates seamlessly with his creative practice, so much so that being an entrepreneur almost appears to be a part of his practice. If you are looking for creative ways to share your work, want to shake up how you think about marketing your work, or are just looking for a bit of inspiration, then you will enjoy this episode!

Oh, and you definitely need to check you his Challenge to Listeners at the end!

www.thepracticalcreative.life

How being a quiet person can be a strength in marketing: coach Pete Mosley on being brave and promoting your work with confidence.

How being a quiet person can be a strength in marketing: coach Pete Mosley on being brave and promoting your work with confidence.

September 23, 2018

Pete is a writer, coach and speaker. He’s also the author of the book “The Art of Shouting Quietly; A guide to self promotion for introverts and other quiet souls” which is aimed at brilliant people out there who have fabulous products and services but who struggle to promote themselves through shyness, introversion, or a mistrust of the marketing process.

In this conversation, we cover a number of topics from the book and Pete’s wider experience of coaching quiet people in communicating the value of their work. These include:

- practical strategies for identifying your own key values (and we also cover why this is so important)

- how quietness can be a strength – even in marketing!

- how to find and use the voices of others to help promote your work

- practical steps you can take to protect yourself from plagiarism when sharing your work online

- and ways to think about and build confidence

Pete’s gentle and considered approach offers an inspiring alternative to anyone who’s uncomfortable with the idea of selling and promoting their work.

thepracticalcreative.life

 

Profit isn’t everything: gallerist Mike Goldmark on running a creative business that reflects your core values.

Profit isn’t everything: gallerist Mike Goldmark on running a creative business that reflects your core values.

September 16, 2018

Mike runs the Goldmark Art Gallery, a fascinating space that sells work to collectors around the world. But this is, by no means, your traditional art gallery. Mike has a unique approach to sales, marketing and promotion (which we get into), but he has also made the bold decision to sell functional pottery alongside fine-art.

In our conversation, we get into:

- why Mike invests thousands of pounds to great stunning videos about the artists he represents (and I encourage you to check them out, they are truly beautiful)

- why he’s chosen to sell functional craft items alongside fine art and how that works practically

- why he’s NOT out to maximise profit

- Mike’s personal connection to pots made by great potters (and honestly, it’s worth listening to this episode for that alone)

- his belief in the transformative power of great art

- and why most creative people should keep their day jobs

Mike is a true iconoclast, with strong views and opinions formed over 50 years of building and running his business on his own terms. Goldmark Art is a testament to his clear vision and unapologetic views on what it means to be an artist and to sell art, and they are a great challenge to us all.

thepracticalcreative.life/

Why every artist should keep ‘office hours’: gallerist and coach Alix Sloan on identifying your goals and putting time into nurturing the business side of your practice.

Why every artist should keep ‘office hours’: gallerist and coach Alix Sloan on identifying your goals and putting time into nurturing the business side of your practice.

September 9, 2018

Alix is a gallerist, art consultant, and author of “Launching Your Art Career: A Practical Guide for Artists”. She has spent years in the art world connecting artists with collectors, as well as teaching artists how to take charge of their own careers. In this episode we cover:

- the importance of being clear about your goals as an artist; whether it be money, fame, status, influence, or something else entirely

- when and why it might be worth considering hiring an art coach

- the importance of keeping ‘office hours’ as part of your practice

- as well as a host of practical actions you can take to start working towards your goals.

Alix is full of fun, warmth and understanding, and couples this with a no-nonsense, actionable approach to launching and building a career as an artist. So please enjoy this episode of The Practical Creative Podcast.

Never work for free: best-selling author Jeff Goins on why being a starving artist is a choice, the importance of thinking like a professional, and what it means to be ‘original’.

Never work for free: best-selling author Jeff Goins on why being a starving artist is a choice, the importance of thinking like a professional, and what it means to be ‘original’.

September 2, 2018

Jeff is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the best-selling author of five books, and his award-winning blog Goinswriter.com is visited by millions of people every year. In this conversation, we talk about his book “Real Artists Don’t Starve” where Jeff lays out principles for that any creative can use to move from being a ‘starving’ artist to become a ‘thriving’ artist.

We cover a lot in this episode, including:

- how being a ‘starving’ artist is actually a choice, and one that you can change

- the importance of thinking like a professional

- what it means to be ‘original’ and why it’s actually easier than you might think

- and why it’s important to never work for free

In this conversation we talk about some of the broader principles in Jeff’s book, as well as some of the personal shifts Jeff made in order to become the thriving writer that he is today.

If you’re interested in practical strategies and guidelines to help you thrive as an artist or creative, then there’s something here for you!

 

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