This week is going to be a little different. Instead of interviewing another creative, I wanted to celebrate the fiftieth episode of Cracking Creativity by having someone else interview me.

I had my friend and former podcast guest, Jacques Ho, interview me. He has been a huge part of my work on this site and this podcast. Each week we meet to discuss what we are working on while also keeping each other accountable to our goals. He has a lot of insights on my work, which I thought would be great to have for this episode.

In it, I discuss the beginnings of my creative journey, why I started my blog Marketing Your Art the Right Way, my quote art collection and upcoming book, influences for my work, my podcast, and much more.

By the time you finish this episode, I hope you have a better idea of why I started this site and why I want to help all of you on your creative and artistic journeys.

Here are three things you can learn from me:

Start each day by working for yourself

Many of us start each day without making room to do something for ourselves. We might start checking our email or social media. We might prepare for work. Or we might get ready and just head out the door. I used to be one of those people too.

Every morning I would wake up, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, get dressed, and head out the door. I would do the least amount of work possible before heading out the door to work for someone else.

It was only after listening to other people talk about their own mornings that I started to change mine too. Instead of using the beginning of the day to work for someone else, we need to work for ourselves.

We only have a certain amount of energy each day. Why don’t we use our most productive hours working for ourselves? Why do we insist on giving our best hours to someone else?

Now, I begin each morning working for myself. I read the books I want to read. I write what I want to write And I create art for myself.

I’ll tell you this, it has made a huge difference in my day. It has fueled my mornings. It has invigorated my passion for my work. It has changed everything.

Don’t spend your most precious hours working for someone else. Use them on yourself instead.

You normally can’t be creative on command

One of the myths of creativity is that you are either born creative or you aren’t creative at all. That simply isn’t true.

If there’s one thing I know about creativity it’s that everyone has the capacity to be creative. As artists, we fall for this myth too. It’s most common form is writer’s block.

When we get stuck on an idea, we are stumped. We don’t know what to do. We let it paralyze us. “I am a creative artist, why can’t I be creative?”

The reason people think they aren’t creative, or the reason so called creative people get stuck is, they haven’t practiced using their creative muscle. Just like any other muscle in the body, if you don’t use it, it will become weak. We must practice using our creative muscle every day if we want it grow strong.

One of my favorite methods for strengthening my creative muscle is James Altucher’s ten ideas a day. Every day, I choose a topic and write ten ideas for it. In fact, it has helped me write some of my best and most successful articles.

The point of the exercise is not to come up with ten good ideas. It’s to constantly practice using your creative muscle. When doing the exercise, you will come up with the first five ideas fairly quickly. It’s those last five ideas that strain your brain. It’s those same ideas that help make your creative muscle strong.

The next time you are feeling creative block, try coming up with ten ideas to overcome it. If you keep practicing it, you will notice yourself become more and more creative.

The power and importance of story

One of my favorite parts about working on this site and this podcast is hearing about and uncovering people’s stories. We are all going through our own journeys in life. Often times we forget that other people are going through their own journeys too.

It is both an honor and a pleasure to hear about other people’s projects and lives. Some of the greatest lessons in life don’t come from our own experience. They come from learning from other people.

Other people have the capacity to inspire and move us the way we often can’t ourselves. We are too close to ourselves to notice the things we need to change. By listening to the story of others, we can gain insights into our own faults and flaws.

That is the beauty of hosting this podcast and creating this site. My podcast has introduced me to people who are changing the world. But I would never have met many of my guests if I hadn’t started this show.

One of my favorite parts of every week is when I get to jump on a call with one of my guests. Each one has an interesting and beautiful story to tell. I have made it my job as the host of Cracking Creativity to uncover the wonderful story behind each of my guests.

Too often, our connections with other people just scratch the surface. We rarely get the chance to dive deeper into other people’s lives. We rarely give ourselves the chance to learn lessons from those around us. We are too busy with our own lives to care.

That is why I want to share these wonderful guests with all of you. It has been an absolute pleasure sharing the stories of my guests, and I hope they have inspired you too. Thanks for joining me for my fiftieth episode. I hope there are many more to come.

Shownotes

  • creativity as a strong focal point in life
    • creativity at a young age – drawing Disney cartoons at a young age
    • drawing the Tasmanian Devil on my bedroom door
    • coloring underneath the kitchen table
  • starting this blog Marketing Your Art the Right Way
    • previously worked on a blog called Who Designed It? which explored fashion, drawings, art, etc.
      • was supposed to be a site where people could find out where to buy different things they saw online (clothes, paintings, art, etc.)
    • blog was started to show artists how to market their art and learn how to build/fix their websites to reflect their art
    • why you website might not be working and how to make it something you want it to be

4:03 “I figured out that wasn’t something that was fueling my own creativity, so I started this blog to help show other people how to inspire themselves and show people that marketing  and all these things aren’t detrimental to your being an artist, they’re actually helpful to being an artist because they allow you to spread the word about your art, and therefore, by doing that, you’re able to make money, and by doing that, you can create more art because you have the means to do that.”

  • inspiration as the driving force of the blog
    • helping people in the avenues I am already familiar with (web design/marketing)
    • first quote art from Marcus Aurelius
      • “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius
      • found courtesy of Ryan Holiday’s book The Obstacle is the Way
      • the only way to go to is it go through it, that’s the only way we learn

6:16 “In order to keep people coming back, you have to consistently create things.”

6:39 “Obstacles aren’t something that should prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They’re something that can become the way that empowers you to overcome things. Because, by seeing that obstacle, you can find out different ways around it, and therefore, figure out the path that can lead you to success as opposed to just turning around and giving up at that point.”

  • my writing process and how it helps with projects
    • started off having the goal of writing every day
    • working all day for someone else, and being too tired to work for yourself
    • the idea is to start small
    • started off with writing a couple of sentences, then moved up to 100 words, and now it’s more than 100 words every morning

8:09 “One of the things I realized by listening to a bunch of other people talk about how they are creative was the fact that they start off every morning creating something for themselves. So, instead of waking up and getting ready to work to do the things that other people are asking you to do, you get up and you work on the stuff that you want to do. So, when you’re in that mindset, it’s easier to work on yourself first, then it is to work for other people.”

9:45 “By creating ten ideas a day, you are exercising your idea muscle because you can’t just be creative on command. It’s not easy to do, if you don’t use it. So the idea is to consistently create those ten ideas a day so that you can come up with a solution to a problem you might have at any given point.”

  • things that have come out of the 10 ideas a day practice
    • the first few ideas for your list will be easy, the latter half will come a little harder which is where you exercise your muscle
    • idea sex – combining ideas from your different lists to coming up with something original
    • as muscle memory
  • quote art collection
    • started off as something I could write about
    • I didn’t intend for it to grow like it did
    • process involves finding quotes that resonate with me and my audience
      • keeping a running list of quotes in Evernote (currently have 585 quotes I haven’t written a post for)
      • uncovering why famous person gave a quote, how it has meaning to me, and what meaning it might have for you
      • also allows me to play around with my own art
      • a way to combine making art with idea generation
      • currently working on a project for a quote book that compiles a list of the quotes, my thoughts on it, people who embody it, and action steps based on it
      • will contain 52 weeks of inspiration for the 52 weeks of the year
      • combining the quote and a case study  that applies to it
      • Aristotle quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
        • people who are successful/excellent got there by creating habits
        • ex: Beatles – Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
        • 10,000 hour rule
        • played thousands of hours in Hamburg before they became famous
        • the habit of playing allowed them to create excellent albums
  • people who have influenced my life
    • James Altucher – daily practice
      • consists of spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional health
      • if you can improve in those aspects every day, you will be a better person, which will lead to better things
      • combination of every aspect of life to make yourself better
      • Choose Yourself
    • Ramit SethiRamit’s Brain Trust
      • I Will Teach You to Be Rich – not only being rich in monetary sense, but also in life
      • emphasizes having the right mindsets, taking action, and changing your way of thinking
      • definition of a rich life varies from person to person – what brings you happiness?
    • Choose Yourself book review that got retweeted
      • James showing appreciation for what other people have done
      • experts like when you do the things they recommend and you can show evidence of it
      • establishing a relationship with influencers
  • mastermind group for creatives
    • Jacques and I are accountability partners
    • partnering with Mike Roy and Kent Sanders
    • showing other creatives the way through what we’ve discovered ourselves
    • group is Journey to Creative Freedom
      • combining the ideas of creativity and a journey achieve creative freedom
      • creative freedom is dislearned over timeTED Talk from Sir Ken Robinson on how education system is destroying creativity

24:56 “We want to empower other creative people to work on their first project or learn how to write or learn how to build their website or learn how to start their own podcast or any of these things that we’re trying to do and help them fuel a community of creative people to get out of the wrong mindsets and get into the right mindsets to sell their work or create their novel or write the music that they want to write.”

25:46 “Everyone is going through a journey in life, whether you think you are or you aren’t, and we want to empower those creative people to go on a journey to leave their possible day job, or leave the project they don’t like working on, or to work on themselves so that they can continue to create and make a living for themselves doing what they love.”

  • Mike and Kent’s backgrounds
    • Mike Roy signed up for my email and said he liked what I was doing so I checked out his site
      • Cinderella myth – finding the perfect thing that will bring you exposure, that proves you are the chosen one
      • cracking creative myths
      • had monthly meetings for around a year
    • Kent Sanders – author and worked in ministry
      • one of the biggest things holding his audience back is the idea of making
      • he wants to show them you that making money isn’t a bad thing
    • pitched the idea of all working together
    • working on different ideas together as well as working on our other projects
    • mindsets on making money and pursuing goals
    • making money in pursuit of art
  • Chris Guillebeau – Born for This
    • take necessary steps towards doing things you were born to do
    • My Money or My Joy vs. My Money and My Joy
    • World Domination Summit – brings together people who are trying to make a difference
      • so many people working on so many great projects
      • fostering a community and becoming a connector of people
  • selling point for World Domination Summit
    • my review  of World Domination Summit 2015
    • world record attempts
      • most people eating breakfast in bed
      • longest high five chain
      • most people applying lipstick at the same time
    • purpose of attempting to break records
      • people coming together for a common goal
  • about the creative mastermind
    • journeytocreativefreedom.com
    • first webinar will be on mindset, how to choose your idea, focusing on your audience
    • exploring the beginning stages of the creative journey

38:50 “The first step, before you can start selling your work is to figure out how to set yourself up to do it.”

  • reason for starting the podcast
    • been listening to podcasts for a long time, and I thought it would be fun to talk to artists and creatives about their different projects
    • started going to a podcast meetup in Orlando
    • liked talking to people with podcasts to see how they are using it in their own projects/businesses
    • meeting the co-creator of Podcast Movement, one of the largest podcasting conferences in the world and thinking I could do it too
    • Unmistakable Creative – talks with some of the world’s most creative people
      • doesn’t just talk about tactics, he uncovers people’s journeys
    • Jacques didn’t listen to any podcasts before we started our weekly chats
    • starting my podcast by asking people I knew to come on, then moved to people in the podcast group, then finding many great guests at World Domination Summit
    • asking people for recommendations of people they know
    • strengthening connections between people and myself
    • connecting people who might benefit from a connection with each other
  • favorite moments from doing the podcast
    • improv and standup as ways to connect with people

41:49 “My favorite moments are the ones where people are telling a story of something that happened to them that you can relate to yourself.”

  • most surprising moment
    • having so many people agree to talk to you
    • the value you bring to someone else’s audience and the value they bring to your audience

42:58 “It’s surprising even though you may or may not have a huge audience, like the people you mentioned, Lewis Hows and James Altucher and Tim  Ferriss, people are still willing to share that story with you. And it doesn’t matter how famous that person is, you can learn something from everybody you meet.”

  • Jacque’s friend Sarah Jackson and Casa de Paz
    • helping so many people through her organization and having a platform to share that story without having to retell it all the time
  • Jacque’s favorite part about interviewing for his gratitude project
    • salsa research/gratitude project
    • wanted to learn unwritten rules that aren’t spoken about
    • losing dance venue in Denver
    • compiling memories into memoir
    • likes hearing about other people’s experiences
    • the joy in being able to change the life of even just one person
    • Jacque’s episode where he explains his journey and project in more detail
    • being the hub of his project and the way everyone is connected

47:24 “If you can make the world a better place by changing one person, I think you should go ahead and do that, if you enjoy doing it. If you don’t like doing the thing you’re trying to do, then there’s no reason to do it.”

  • feedback from listeners
    • hearing feedback from the audience of the interviewees
    • giving interviewees a chance to share parts of their story that haven’t been told
    • seeing interviews spread
  • interesting/unexpected things I’ve learned through the process
    • creativity is different for everyone
    • even though people give such different answers for what creativity is, there are still commonalities between them
    • learning about yourself by talking to others

51:44 “Creative thinking isn’t just one particular thing. It’s many different things and everyone views it in a different way.”

51:57 “Just hearing the way that people tell stories inspires you to try to figure out how to tell your own story in a better way… telling a story is one of the ways that, is the best ways to connect with people.”

  • what advice would I give to myself
    • do a better job of connecting with people and trying to get them more involved
    • figuring out what people like/don’t like, who they like hearing from, what types of people they want to hear more from, getting more people involved in the process
  • vision for the next 50 episodes
    • there are a bunch in the back log
    • some episodes reference earlier this year, but they mean earlier last year
    • doing solo episodes or shorter best of/recap episodes
  • favorite quote I haven’t published yet
    • No matter what level you’re at in life there is still a struggle – Kanye West tweet
      • people you don’t think have struggles have them too, theirs are just on a far grander scale than yours
    •  “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” —Walt Disney found through Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work
      • you need to create art and sell it so you are able to make more art
      • you can sell your art without worrying about starving
      • stop worrying about being greedy or selfish
  • morning routine
    • grab breakfast, read kindle app on computer and highlight passages, also brush teeth while reading and highlighting
      • serves duel purpose – doing something I have to do and something I don’t necessarily have to do simultaneously
      • saves time and effort
    • daily practice of writing at least 100 words per day
    • then work on quote art for that week
    • then drive to work while listening to podcasts
    • whole routine before driving to work takes around an hour and forty five minutes
  • books, podcasts, documentaries, etc.
    • books
      • Make Art Make Money by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens – Jim Henson’s journey from Muppets to Labyrinth and making money to make work he loves
      • War of Art by Steven Pressfield – making art is liking war and going into the battlefield, battling Resistance and the idea that you’re not good enough
      • Choose Yourself by James Altucher – working on yourself and not relying on other people
      • Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
    • podcasts
      • Unmistakable Creative
      • Fizzle – great for anyone building a business
      • OffCamera – sharing stories from celebrities, actors, musicians, etc. and how their lives and struggles are just like ours
    • documentaries
      • Exit Through the Gift Shop – Banksy
      • Jiro Dreams of Sushi – sushi chef who has spent many years mastering a craft
      • Tim Ferriss Experiment – taking two days to learn a skill or teach someone else a skill using 80/20 principle
        • teaching a woman who was afraid to swim how to swim
        • teaching himself how to play the drums, from scratch, so he could play Hot Blooded in a concert with Foreigner
    • Derek Sivers Now page – lists what projects he is working on at the moment
  • creative people
    • Josh Carrasco aka Madd Illz – first podcast interview I ever did
      • was a former battle rapper
      • trade verses trying to diss/make fun of your opponent
      • battle rapping takes skill, quick thinking, and a lot of creativity
      • you have to think quick on your feet or you will lose
      • his explanation of a splinter in a building
      • singling in on the smallest details and making them seem extremely important
    • Carl Rosa – starting off as a real estate executive and completing shifting his career through sushi and trips to Japan
      • not liking sushi the very first time he tried it, but still wanting to learn about it
      • having a deep sense of curiosity and willingness to explore
    • Jason Silva as the most creative person I would like to meet
      • host of Brain Games – tv show exploring how our brains work
      • Shots of Awe – freeflow thoughts and ideas combined with music and video to create wonderful videos on love/philosophy/art
        • when you hear them, you know he’s in a state of flow
  • definition of creativity
    • everything that is creative is just a combination of ideas
    • iPhone just being the combination of a cell phone and a computer
    • listening to your own inner thoughts
    • taking your life experiences and combining them into something that never existed before
    • play as an element of creativity
      • don’t ridicule your idea before it has time to grow
      • kids don’t worry about the rules, they make them up as they go
      • Hot Lava game – not touching the floor
      • making up rules to games, and losing that ability as we get older

“Another thing that I think creativity is is listening to your own inner thoughts, and taking your life experiences and using them and combining them into something that never existed before because you are the only person who will ever live your life. Ever. So, your ideas and the things that you went through can impact what you think and how you combine those ideas into something interesting.”

“Kids will come up with all kinds of crazy idea if you let them and at a certain point we lose of all of that and we think that we can’t be creative anymore. But anyone can be creative if you just allow yourself to be, and one of the good ways to do that is the ten ideas a day.”

  • challenge for the listeners
    • figure out a project you want to do, and figure out what the very first step is for achieving it
    • do that step, and don’t worry about anything else yet
    • then do the very next step
    • only worry about the step that is in front of you
    • take a David sized step, not a Goliath sized step
    • ex: for Jacques’ project
      • first step is who can he interview
      • second step is, what question can he ask
    • the idea is to start  on the path towards accomplishing your goal
    • your not running a sprint, you are completing a marathon

Marketing Your Art the Right Way | Journey to Creative Freedom

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