David Smooke studied economics and creative writing in university because he liked to write and felt economics had real world applications. He believed these two areas of study would be practical skills to have for his career.
After graduating, David got a job as a journalist, but felt his creativity was being stifled. He was given assignments, and was given very little leeway in how he could apply his creativity.
So he saved up a few months rent and moved to San Francisco. This turned out to be the pivotal moment in David’s career. It was here that he got his first taste of marketing while working for a startup.
At the startup David honed his marketing and community building skills. The lessons he learned here allowed him to start his own marketing firm called Art Map Inc.
In this episode, David talks about taking small incremental steps, the importance of community, and why you shouldn’t hold yourself back.
Melissa Dinwiddie spent much of her life thinking she wasn’t an artist. Even though she loved doing creative things, and her parents encouraged her to become an artist, she still chose to take a different path. She was intimidated by all the people who drew better than her, so she stopped making art for 15 years.
Even a stint as a dance student at Julliard, a prestigious performing arts school, didn’t convince her to stick with her creative inclinations. Instead, she went to school for cultural studies and even attempted to get her PhD.
While trying to fill out her PhD application, she was filled with fear. Her body was telling her something wasn’t right. It was telling her to be more creative.
This integral moment in her life brought her back to creativity. It led her to create a business around designing ketubahs, and eventually led her to creating her blog Living a Creative Life.
In this episode Melissa talks about being happy with your self and your work, making time for your goals and creativity, and sharing your work without expectations, among many other things.
Kerry Burki had an idea simmering in her head ever since high school. She wanted to make all women feel beautiful. This idea sat in her head for years before she would finally unleash it.
Kerry’s story starts like a lot of our stories. We have a kernel of an idea that sits in our heads. Sometimes we act on it, but more often than not, we let it sit. Then, something pushes us to act on it. Kerry’s push came twenty years later in the form of her time in Marie Forleo’s B School.
Kerry was working on a blog called Handmade Success, which helps people sell their work on Etsy, when her kernel of an idea crept back in her head. The only difference was, this time, instead of pushing the idea away again, Kerry decided to pull the trigger.
She asked women of all different ages and sizes to come over for a photo shoot. And with the help of a photographer friend, she began the first shoot of what became Kerry Magazine. She was finally doing her part in making all women feel beautiful. What started off as a small idea in her head has evolved into a full-blown magazine with three issues under its belt.
In this episode, Kerry talks about letting your younger self guide you, learning to say no, and shifting your mindset, among many other things.
Dave Conrey‘s path to becoming a full-time artist is not a simple one. Growing up, he wasn’t that passionate about art, but over time, and after a series of jobs and ventures, he has finally dedicated himself to the idea.
After going to school for art and graphic design, Dave had two separate stints as an art director, but was laid off both times. He also spent time as a author, podcaster, and creator of Fresh Rag, which helped artists sell their work.
After years of feeling unfulfilled, Dave finally decided to put everything else on hiatus to pursue his art full-time.
In this episode, Dave talks about the importance of connecting with others, some of his keys to building a creative business, and getting started.
Logan Nickleson has always had an admiration for the arts. When he was a child he liked to draw and paint. When he was 15-16 years old he started getting into music. And for college, he went into journalism.
While in college, Logan saw the changes that were happening in journalism. So he changed his major to advertising. This led to his internship at an advertising agency.
His internship turned into a full-time job, where he worked on numerous projects. It was during this time that a revelation came to him. While making short videos for clients, he was having a hard time finding music for his videos. So he decided to use his own music.
Inspired by stock photography sites like Death to Stock and Unsplash, Logan decided to take all the music he created, and started his own stock site. The only difference was his stock site would for music. Thus, Music For Makers was born.
In this episode, Logan talks about why marketing has gotten such a bad rap, the most essential element for finding your audience, and how we can use psychology to our advantage.
Amy Oestreicher thought she had her life all figured out. Ever since she was young, she felt she was born to perform. She was all set to go to college for musical theater when medical complications derailed everything.
During her senior year of high school Amy started having stomach pains. When she went into surgery to fix it, her stomach shot out of her body and she went into a coma for months. She spent years and many surgeries in hospitals trying to reach some semblance of normalcy.
During this trying time, Amy turned to creativity to help keep her busy. She started painting and she even developed her own one person play based on all of her troubles and overcoming adversity.
With one play in the books, and another on the way, Amy is the prime example of what it means to persevere.
In this episode, Amy talks about being a detourist, being more capable than we think we are, and how our creativity benefits from taking small risks.
Cassia Cogger has created art ever since she was young. In middle school she won a national contest for a laundry detergent brand. And unlike most artists, she began selling her art early in life.
After college, Cassia abandoned her artistic pursuits and got a job as an editor at a trade magazine. It was during this time that Cassia realized she wanted to become a full-time artist. So she picked up a few odd jobs to support her painting business.
Before her daughter was born, Cassia was featured in a magazine as a rising star in water color. But after her daughter’s birth, she stopped painting as frequently.
It wasn’t until after her second child was born that Cassia got serious about art again. The same art magazine wanted to follow up with her to see what she had done in the past five years. This was the call to action she needed to get serious about art again.
In this episode, Cassia talks about why we need to be open to new ideas, the importance of avoiding complacency and being consistent, and the art of simplification, among many other things.
Kent Sanders has lived a life full of creativity ever since he was young, but it never occurred to him that he could make a living from his creativity. When Kent was young, he separated his love of creativity from his love of religion. It never occurred to him that he could combine those two interests.
After working in the ministry for a few years, he decided he wanted to go back to school to teach. He wanted to challenge himself by doing something new.
While finishing up his master’s degree, a realization dawned on him. He realized he could combine his two passions for art and religion. So he became a professor at a religious college where has taught everything from technology, to art, and film.
In this episode, Kent talks about why breaks are important, some of the biggest things holding us back, and changing our mindsets about money.
Bob Baker has always been determined to make a living from his creative career. He started off his career by creating a music publication from scratch, with no prior experience. He didn’t let his lack of experience prevent him from achieving his goals. He just experimented with different ideas until he made it work.
Since that first publication he has expanded his interests well beyond a local music magazine. He has dabbled with writing, painting, and creating courses for aspiring artists. He even got into stand-up and improv comedy.
Bob has not let the starving artist mentality prevent him from making a career out of his creativity. In fact, he has thrived as an artist and creative.
In this episode, Bob talks about doing things that interest you, why you need to be persistent, and what separates successful artists from unsuccessful artists.
Kym Dolcimascolo got a degree in photography and film making but didn’t follow that path once she graduated from school. Instead she became a computer engineer and worked her way up the career ladder.
After working for a while in the corporate world, she decided she had had enough. So, she set herself up to leave her corporate job and started a web design company.
This career move allowed her to work with people who embraced creativity, and eventually led her into coaching for artists and creatives.
In this episode Kym talks about creating plans, why you should know your audience, and how artists can change the world.