Episodes
The creative life is full of decisions. Do we? Don't we? And how? Some people over-think their choices, some go with their gut. I go with a simple paradigm that brings things into perspective and focus: if something isn't a "hell, yes!" then it's usually a no. How can this way of thinking help you make more meaningful decisions? Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-073 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of...
Published 07/10/21
There is a relationship between the skills—or craft—that we hone, and our ability to dream about what is possible and reach beyond it. Creativity is not the realm of technique alone, nor only in the inner life of the imagination, but in the way they work together and call each other forward. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-072 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those 4th weeks you...
Published 07/03/21
Creativity is less the stuff of brilliant ideas and more the reality that those ideas take work to realize, to take a project from (in the words of Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull) suck to un-suck. Unless you're James Dyson, in which case you're trying to do the opposite. It took Dyson 5,127 iterations to get his cyclone vacuum cleaner to work and there's a lesson in there for all of us. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode:...
Published 06/26/21
For something so rooted in uncertainty, innovation and the discovery of new things, isn't it strange that creative work seems so often to be subject to voices telling us we're doing it wrong? Could it be that hearing, "you're doing it wrong" is a good sign we're on to something? I think there's a better question than "am I doing this right or wrong?" Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-070 A Beautiful...
Published 06/12/21
If the last episode of A Beautiful Anarchy was about the pressure to produce, this one is the (loving) kick in the pants you might need to stop worrying about it and start doing what it takes to widen the margins. I've got 3 ideas about reducing the pressure of time, expectations, and scarcity of ideas; let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-069 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those...
Published 06/05/21
Paralyzed by the pressure to produce and keep cranking out the work? You're not alone. Creators often feel like they're only as good as their recent work which means you got to keep producing recent work. But people don't respond to your work because you make it frequently. They don't need more from you, they need more of you. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-068 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of...
Published 05/29/21
If the last episode of A Beautiful Anarchy was about failing to move on from past defeats and choosing not to get stuck there when things inevitably go wrong, then this episode is about the dangers of camping out on past successes, and getting sidelined when everything goes right. There's got to be so much more to the creative life than resting on our laurels and cranking out boxed sets of our past work. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode:...
Published 05/15/21
Life is never a straight line. You never get into comedy, for example, thinking you'll nearly burn down the venue or bleed out on stage (keep listening) so when the unexpected happens you're left with a choice: keep going? Quit? What do you do when it all goes wrong, when you're trying to make something beautiful but the pieces are nothing but ugly? Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-066 A Beautiful...
Published 05/08/21
There was a motivational poster in my school that admonished us to "Always finish what you start." It included a photograph of a sprinter about to cross the finish line. It shouldn't surprise you to hear I don't think the creative life is the same thing as the 100m dash, and that there is often great value in starting many things we don't finish, cutting our losses, and being willing to make a U-turn now and then. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode:...
Published 05/01/21
When I sent out an email last month talking about the need to be able to identify the audience for our creative work, my own audience raised some questions about the importance of understanding who it is that might choose to experience our work, and the implications that might have on both our art-making and our efforts to put that art into the world. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-064 A Beautiful...
Published 04/17/21
The time has never been better to be a self-teacher. Learning how to do new things is as simple as asking Google, YouTube, or the million blogs and articles online. But this will only take you part way. It'll help you understand how others do things, but answering the bigger question is harder: How do YOU do something? It's less important that you learn the way to do something than it is that you discover the way YOU do something. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this...
Published 04/10/21
Joseph Chilton Pearce said, "to live a creative life we must lose the fear of being wrong." And yet we live in a culture where the need to prove ourselves right has never been more easily satisfied. Many of us spent the formative years of our lives in schools that were built not around learning, discovery, or exploration of new ideas, but remembering the one right answer. Is there freedom to be found in a willingness to be wrong? Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this...
Published 04/03/21
Somewhere along the way we decided play and work were necessarily different from each other. Maybe it happened without our noticing it on the way to becoming adults, when play became frivolous and work became serious. But what if the opposite of play is actually boredom, or non-play, and our best work was done playfully? What if play is just Flow? Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-061 A Beautiful Anarchy...
Published 03/20/21
Pablo Picasso was once asked whether he knew, when he started it, what a painting was going to look like when it was finished. "No, of course not," he replied.  "If I knew, I wouldn't bother doing it." What Picasso was implying was that the act of painting was the way he discovered what the painting itself would become, that putting his brush to the canvas was an act of exploration before it was ever an act of expression. He was also, I think, implying that the act of exploration was the very...
Published 03/13/21
The Roman stoic philosopher, Seneca, in the years before Nero went crazy and ordered the poor guy to off himself, was relentless in reminding those around him that life was short and that far from being morbid, the daily reminder to memento mori, or remember we will die, is an invitation to live that life fully and to make the most of it. And since this is a podcast about making, I thought maybe we should talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode:...
Published 03/06/21
Only 2 months ago about 190 million Americans made New Year's resolutions in hopes of introducing changes to their lives. Only 8% will accomplish these changes and most of us will have quit the effort by January 08, designated Quitter's Day. This does not mean change is impossible, it means we might not want it badly enough, and are probably going about it the wrong way when we do. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode:...
Published 02/20/21
In the old Cherokee story about the two wolves battling within each of us, the one that prevails is the one we feed. But is it that simple? Does one wolf have a distinct advantage that demands we be even more proactive in feeding the other, how do we do that, and exactly when did this become a podcast about wildlife because I thought this was meant to be about my creative life, wasn't it? Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode:...
Published 02/13/21
In 1996 Bill Gates wrote an article entitled Content is King for the Microsoft website. This premise has proven prophetic. And yet no one seemed to stop and ask what kind of King. If content is king at all, it's not a good king and it serves no one but itself. I think we can do better in our art-making. I think the true king, if there is one at all, is connection and engagement and I was thinking maybe we should talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode:...
Published 02/06/21
Einstein's brain was stolen, and subsequently studied. What did it reveal about his genius and creativity? Not much. Certainly not as much as Einstein himself did when he said, "I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious." What has curiosity got to do with your creativity and how can it be honed or nurtured? Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-055 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4...
Published 01/23/21
While 'thinking outside the box' is short-hand for 'let's be really creative!' It is thinking inside the box, within our constraints and limitations, that gets our best work started. What do painter Paul Klee and a heavy-metal band called Okilly Dokilly have to do with this? let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-054 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those 4th weeks you can get your fix...
Published 01/16/21
There are two narratives competing for the attention of creative people trying to unlock the so-called secret to success. One relies on natural talent, the other on super-natural perseverance. I think the truth–as it so often does–lies somewhere in the messy middle, let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-053 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those 4th weeks you can get your fix by...
Published 01/09/21
Where do you get your ideas? If you're like me, sometimes they appear out of the blue, but most often it's the result of a catalyst bringing together all the half-formed notions and influences floating around in your mind. Consistently the one catalyst that exposes me to new ideas, and makes new possibilities of those I already had (but often didn't know I had) is conversation. One mind being exposed to another mind. So, speaking of conversation, since where we get our ideas is so important...
Published 12/26/20
When you're selling juggling to the world, as I did for a dozen years, you can't afford to let your marketing slip. It's easy to get lazy with marketing, to believe that "social media" is a two-word marketing plan. But to relegate your marketing efforts mostly to social is to miss out out on a wider gamut of real-world marketing and connection. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-051 A Beautiful Anarchy is...
Published 12/19/20
A friend asked me a question recently that brought me a series of revelations that have pulled me once again, from my funk and my boredom. That question was this: what's your fight? Life is always a bit of a struggle but the specific fight we choose to be part of is what gives us the kind of focus and challenge we most need to get to Flow Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-050 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted...
Published 12/12/20
In reaction to something the Chief Economist of the Bank of England said about creative work, and how working from home might be a barrier to that creativity, this episode takes us down a rabbit-hole about how and when we do our best creative work and how that differs for us all, and how–in the end– it's more important that we know how to find flow and create sparks than it is that we know how to find the perfect context in which to work. Let's talk about it. Click here for a full transcript...
Published 11/28/20